Votes have been cast in the Labour leadership election and the party now has a day and a half’s anxious wait to find out the result.
When will the winner be announced?
In London on Saturday September 12 from 11am at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre. The deputy leadership will be announced first and then the leader revealed at 11.30am. It will be televised live on BBC2. The winner will give a short acceptance speech and details will be released of how many votes were cast, and exactly how the candidate won taking into account first and second preference votes.
How many people voted?
Official statistics will be announced on Saturday, however potentially more than 600,000 people voted after a huge surge in membership. There were 293,000 members, 148,000 supporters signed up through trade unions and 113,000 registered supporters who paid £3 to take part.
All members, registered supporters and affiliated supporters had to sign up before August 12 to get a vote, with the deadline passing at midday on September 10. However there has been some criticism that ballots arrived late with some people not able to vote in time.
This is the first time that a Labour leadership election has been held under the one member, one vote system introduced by former leader Ed Miliband.
It’s surely a win for Jeremy Corbyn?
Despite only just getting enough nominations to run in the first place, left-winger Mr Corbyn has swept up national support throughout the summer and turnouts have been high at his roadshow events across the country. Yorkshire’s leadership candidate shadow home secretary and Normanton, Pontefract, Castleford MP Yvette Cooper has been fighting it out with Andy Burnham for second place in the polls, however in the last week she has been a vocal contributor to the migrant crisis, which may have elevated her profile.
As shown in the Scottish referendum and the General Election however, polling isn’t always accurate, so the dominance of Jeremy Corbyn may not necessarily play out on the ballot paper.
In a tweet following polls closing he said what ever the result it had been an ‘inspiring summer’.
Who might win the deputy leadership contest?
This feels less certain although Tom Watson has been widely described as the front-runner. He has strong union backing and his centrist views might be a welcome remedy to Corbyn among some within the Labour party. He has been up against Ben Bradshaw, Stella Creasy, Angela Eagle and Yorkshire’s Caroline Flint.
How did the voting work?
Voters had the chance to rank the candidates in order of preference. If no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote in the first round, the person in last place drops out and their supporters’ second preference votes are reallocated to the other candidates. This continues until the person with the most accumulated votes wins.
When will we get to see the leader in action?
The party conference held in Brighton will be the first proper chance the party and the public alike will get to see the new leader in full swing. Their speech will be highly scrutinized, but whoever delivers the keynote address their enduring message is likely to be a call for unity within the party.
And what about a shadow cabinet?
Jeremy Corbyn has said he would like a more collegiate approach to choosing the shadow cabinet, with even reference to holding elections, however this may not be possible without agreement at party conference and two-thirds of MPs in support. It’s likely that the shadow team will be appointed. Only Andy Burnham has publicly said he would serve under Mr Corbyn.