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13 July 2016

How do you vote for (or against) Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership election?

If you've been following the Labour party's ongoing leadership crisis and want to have your say, here's how to make sure you get a vote.

By Stephanie Boland

UPDATE 14/7/16

Labour has ruled the “freeze” on voter eligiblity also applies to affiliate members, so you can’t vote just via joining a union.

***

So Jeremy Corbyn is definitely going to be on the leadership ballot after the ruling from Labour’s NEC.

The committee, which is made up of MPs, union representatives and other figures, decided that, as an incumbent – as opposed to a challenger, like Angela Eagle – Corbyn does not need to collect nominations from MPs and MEPs.

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But if Corbynistas can count that particular hurdle cleared, another committee ruling may still complicate Corbyn’s path (back to) power.

In last year’s leadership election, registered supporters were able to pay £3 and gain a vote. Yet this time, the NEC ruled, the cost would be £25, with a two-day sign up period.

There’s also a six-month backdated “freeze” on membership, which means those who have paid to join Labour in the past six months will need to pay again to vote.

My colleague George Eaton has covered what this might mean for Corbyn; but what about his supporters? (Or, indeed, those who want rid of him?)

We won’t know the precise regulations until Thursday (14 July), and I’d recommend waiting until then to make sure the option you choose will definitely be valid before parting with any cash.

But if you’re in a Labour-related tailspin and need some answers, here are some possible ways you can get a vote in the Labour leadership contest.

1. Join a union

Turns out Billy Bragg was on to something: there is, indeed, power in a union.

Unite have published guidelines on how to register as an affiliated supporter with them.

There’s even an option for unwaged supporters – which may prove important, given criticism of the £25 fee.

If you want to go down this route, you need to sign up by August 8th.

2. Join another affiliated organisation

But wait, I hear you cry: which one?

Well, for now, it’s not quite clear.

OK, that’s not hugely helpful, but it’s still another possible option for those looking to get a vote, and one worth keeping an eye on in case you’d prefer to join a religious, LGBT or other organisation affiliated with Labour.

We’ll update this with details about which organisations will provide you with a vote once we have them.

3. Suck it up and pay the £25

It’s certainly a lot more than £3, and will definitely sting for people on lower incomes.

But if paying £25 is an option, you might decide you’d like that money to go to the Labour party – who, it’s worth remembering, have to shell out to fund the leadership process. (In fact, it costs a lot!)

If this is what you want to do, make a note in your calendar now for next Monday morning. Registration will be open for 48 hours from 1820 July, and you don’t want to miss it.

In fact, while you’re here, here’s the full schedule  in a suitably gloomy photograph taken by our Politics Editor, George: