Cambridge and the Labour Leadership election

With more than six weeks to go in the Labour leadership election, here’s a quick look at how the contest is playing out in our local Labour party. By way of background, here’s a summary of how the Cambridge Labour Party voted in the last leadership contest, back in 2010:


This graph shows the first preference votes cast in 2010 by members of the Cambridge Labour Party, compared to the overall totals for all Constituency Labour Parties. Broadly, Cambridge was a bit more pro-Ed and less pro-David Miliband that the overall Labour membership, though David was still a narrow favourite. Among the (then) lower-ranked candidates, Cambridge Labour tended to favour Diane Abbot rather more than the national party, and Andy Burnham rather less. In total, 716 ballot papers were distributed to Cambridge Labour members, and 522 of them voted – a pretty respectable turnout of 72.9%.

Five years on, which way is the Cambridge Labour party leaning this time? So far, it’s hard to tell much more than that there is a fairly broad spread of opinion. In a spirit of enquiry, I emailed all 32 Cambridge Labour councillors to ask which of the candidates they were planning to support. Perhaps unsurprisingly, not many of them were willing to share their preference with a Lib Dem activist, though I did get a few thoughtful and interesting replies – thank you for those. I’ve put together the following list of supporters based on various sources. I’d be happy to update it with more information – please do get in touch by commenting below, Twitter, or email – though I’m only including those who hold elected office for Labour.

Andy Burnham supporters:

  • Dave Baigent, City Councillor for Romsey
  • George Owers, City Councillor for Coleridge
  • Peter Roberts, City Councillor for Abbey
  • Ashley Walsh, County Councillor for Petersfield

Yvette Cooper supporters:

  • Richard Howitt, MEP for the East of England
  • Ann Sinnott, City Councillor for Petersfield,
  • Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge

Jeremy Corbyn supporters:

  • Margery Abbott, City Councillor for East Chesterton
  • Kevin Price, City Councillor for King’s Hedges
  • Peter Sarris, City Councillor for East Chesterton

Liz Kendall supporters:

  • Richard Johnson, City Councillor for Abbey

As last time, the election is by the Alternative Vote system, which means that voters list the candidates in their preferred order, and as the less popular candidates are eliminated, votes are transferred to the next preference. This vote transfer was crucial to the outcome last time, allowing Ed Miliband to overhaul his brother David by a slender margin. Arguably, 2010 was the first Labour leadership election since 1980 whose result was genuinely uncertain, but it looks like we are in for a similarly unpredictable contest this time. It’s going to be a fascinating few weeks for British politics.

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1 Response to Cambridge and the Labour Leadership election

  1. Paul Lythgoe says:

    Recent tweets would suggest that Dave Baigent has moved allegance to Corbyn – “My heart with Corbyn I will vote 4 a winner Whoever is chosen I will canvass 4 It is looking increasingly pragmatic to vote @Corbyn4Leader”.

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