Lisa Nandy is close to making the Labour leadership ballot but unresolved tensions remain

Labour leadership candidate and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy.

The Wigan MP’s pro-immigration pledge sits uneasily with many of her leading supporters’ views.

Lisa Nandy has bagged the endorsement of the National Union of Mineworkers. A surprising but symbolic boost to her campaign is the consensus among the commentariat – an assessment that is, I’d say, almost precisely wrong. It is not surprising because of the candidates in the field, Nandy’s towns pitch is the closest to that of Yvette Cooper, who the NUM backed in 2015. It is not symbolic because there is no great caucus of voters among the teachers, librarians, charity workers, and guilty financial services employees who make up the bulk of Labour Party members waiting for the symbolic endorsement of the coal miners to guide them. It is a real and tangible boost is because it puts Nandy within touching distance of the ballot paper and thus the contest proper.

Under the rules of Labour’s new nomination process, candidates need either to secure the nomination of five per cent of the party’s grassroots or at least three affiliate organisations, two of which must be trades unions making up at least five per cent of the total affiliation. The grassroots route means picking up the support of 33 Constituency Labour Parties, which is a big and expensive ask as campaigns need to get their message out to the hundreds of thousands of Labour Party members, and one that is particularly difficult for a candidate like Nandy, whose profile outside of the most politically engaged and well-informed part of the Labour membership is low.

Reaching the ballot via the affiliate route means that you have to woo the top layer of elected officials – a much less tricky task in terms of cost and time, though one that has plenty of its own …read more

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