Thursday, 18 December 2014

Democratic deficit

 --UPDATE: GMB turnout was 8.5%--

AT a glance, the Scottish Labour party provided an element of transparency in its leadership result on Saturday.

Officials released figures showing the vote %  each candidate received in the rather absurd three-part electoral college used for the contest.

The winner, Jim Murphy, cleaned up in the parliamentarian and members’ sections, while challenger Neil Findlay won the affiliated trade unions and socialist societies.

However, Scottish Labour did not provide turnout figures for either the members’ section, or for the unions.

Nor were figures provided for the total number of people who voted in each part of the college.

Such a basic disclosure, I am told by party sources, could prove embarrassing.

However, some unions have embraced transparency and coughed up their turnouts. Here they are:

      1. ASLEF: 21%
2. Community: 12%
          3.  Unite: 10.2%
These numbers are abject  – around 90% Unite’s political levy payers did not vote– but at least these affiliates have provided basic information.

At the very least, these tiny turnouts should spell the end for the electoral college in all Labour leadership contests.

But shouldn't Scottish Labour now provide all turnout figures?