Who will win Labour’s 2nd preferences?

Activist sentiment in Constituency Labour Party nominations suggests that David Miliband has a slender lead over Ed Miliband in the membership section of Labour’s electoral college. But evidence from those constituencies where there was a run-off between the two Milibands suggests that the younger brother may have a lead in second preferences.

Our appeal on twitter and by email to all CLP secretaries has delivered the full nomination results of 64 local parties where nominations took place and the votes of 1,610 Labour members. In votes cast from our sample of local Labour meetings, David Miliband has 35.3% of the vote followed by Ed Miliband (31.4%), Diane Abbott (14.4%), Ed Balls (10.1%), and Andy Burnham (8.9%). The results for the front runners are surprisingly similar to Labour List’s self-selective poll of Labour members which was used in Left Foot Forward’s model.

It is harder to make any inferences about second preferences since in the majority of cases the CLP either erroneously used first-past-the-post or there was a decisive winner in the first ballot. But in the 12 races for which we have information about a run-off between the two Milibands, Ed gained most second preferences in nine races, David in two, and they were tied in one. In these races, Ed picked up 54 votes while David gained 34.

Left Foot Forward has also spoken this week with a small group of Labour MPs who had nominated either Diane Abbott, Andy Burnham or Ed Balls. Again it is hard to make generalisations from such a small sample but the findings again reiterate how close the race has become. Of the nine willing to divulge a preference between the two Miliband brothers, five are for David and four for Ed. David’s second preferences came primarily from Andy Burnham backers while Ed’s came primarily from Diane Abbott’s.

If you have more information about your CLPs’ race, please send it [email protected]

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