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16 December 2019updated 08 Jun 2021 11:15am

How many Corbynites will run for Labour leadership?

By George Grylls

Today 26 new Labour MPs made their way to Westminster. Although it is a hazardous game guessing the political beliefs of individuals, it does appear that at least ten of them come from the Corbynite wing of the party (with another six to eight from the left of the party). Meanwhile around 16 loyalists from the last parliament have kept their seats.

What is the sum total of all these calculations? The rules of the Labour leadership race dictate that a candidate needs the support of 10 per cent of the Parliamentary Labour Party to get on the ballot. After last Thursday’s decimation, there are now 203 Labour MPs. Therefore, rounded up to a whole person, each candidate needs the support of 21 of their colleagues.

The more numerate New Statesman readers will have already worked out that, barring some miraculous sweet-talking, there will therefore only be one Corbynite candidate on the ballot paper. Most likely it will be John McDonnell’s anointed successor – Rebecca Long-Bailey. Already this afternoon it seems that a deal has been struck with her good friend Angela Rayner, and the two appear set to run on a joint ticket.

In addition to the backing of 10 per cent of the Parliamentary Labour Party, candidates need the support of either 5 per cent of Constituency Labour Parties or 5 per cent of affiliates (two of which must be trades unions). To see what that means in normal English, read Stephen’s explainer here.

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