Four points to take away from the Labour Party National Executive (NEC) election results announced on 13 November.
• The balance between broadly-left and broadly-right in the membership is not much changed. The left slate (not a good left slate, in our view, but the left slate) did better than it expected, winning five constituency seats. The “old” right won three, and the ninth place was taken by Ann Black, an NEC member on the “centre-left” slate from 2000 to 2018 but now seen as definitely “centre”.
• Keir Starmer has a stronger majority on the Executive, because of the change to electing the constituency seats to STV. Still, it is narrow, and relies on him keeping the support of GMB and Unison.
• The turnout, at 27%, was only slightly down on previous elections (except when they coincided with leadership elections). Stories that many thousands of ballot papers had been ruled invalid seem thin: more likely, some voters voted in only one section and had their ballots recorded as “blank” in others.
• The “official” left won Young Labour heavily. But the turnout there was only 8,000 votes. The YL “official” left is even more Stalinoid-Brexity-leaning than the older “official” left, and YL under its rule is probably even weaker than it was with right-wing rule. “Alternative” left candidates failed to get onto the ballot paper because the lack of political life in YL made it hard even to contact people to ask for nominations. Labour Students was disbanded in September 2019 and there are no signs yet of relaunch.