Monday 27 September 2010

How the Fabians voted for leader

The affiiates section does not, contrary to perceptions, only contain trade unionists. These were the first preferences of Fabian members in the leadership ballot.

David Miliband 1461 (39.6%)
Ed Miliband 1321 (35.9%)
Ed Balls 313 (8.5%)
Diane Abbott 308 (8.4%)
Andy Burnham 281 (6.4%)

The Fabian ballot is pretty close to being representative that of all party members, with David Miliband marginally down by 2% on his party membership share of first preferences, and Ed Miliband 6% up.

It would have been almost neck-and-neck among the Milibands after transfers, with Ed Miliband probably having a very small lead (of less than 50 votes), on a projection based on the rates of transfer from the other candidates among party members.

There were 369 spoilt ballots out of 4053 votes returned, leaving 3684 valid Fabian votes.

There was a 61.4% turnout, considerably higher than union turnout which averaged 8%.

For example, there were more than 50 times as many Usdaw ballot papers as Fabian ballots, but these only recorded four times as many votes. Only the five large unions cast considerably larger numbers of votes than the Fabians, with UCATT and ASLEF returning a handful more votes than our members, and five of the smaller unions returning fewer ballots than the engaged Fabians.

I am told that people overlooking or ignoring the need to tick the declaration explains the high number of spoilt votes across the affiliated section. (I received a photocopy from one Fabian member who had numbered all five candidates, but then spoilt the ballot, partly because having paid attended our hustings and read all of the Fabian essays, he did not feel any of them had quite met the threshold to get his Fabian vote. I doubt that was typical).

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