Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Where will the second preferences go?

Tom Watson has a good thread running today in which he asks his readers to list Labour's deputy leadership candidates in order of preference. This will of course be crucial to the outcome of an election in which support still seems pretty well spread between the six candidates.

I did think of responding to Tom's post on his own blog but I've decided to do it here. My preferences will go as follows:

1 Cruddas
2 Hain
3 Harman
4 Johnson
5 Benn
6 Blears

I have already explained here and here why I will be voting for Jon Cruddas as first preference, and why I won't be voting for some of the others. But since he is currently the favourite, I will add a word about Hilary Benn whose support seems to be largely based on (a) his family name, and (b) the fact that he seems a nice chap.

To my mind, Benn stands for very little in this election, besides the fact that he is neither a card-carrying Blairite nor someone who wants to disown much of the Government's legacy. This is not enough for me, and I agree with Tom Watson that a would-be deputy leader has to say more about the direction they would like the party to go in.

So much for what I want to happen. What I expect to happen is that Benn will indeed win, in a final run-off against Cruddas who will benefit from the early elimination of Hain and Harman. It follows from this that I do not expect my second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth preferences to have the slightest bearing on the election at all.

This is how I see the ballots panning out:

1st Ballot: 1 Benn 2 Johnson 3 Harman 4 Cruddas 5 Hain 6 Blears. Blears' votes transfer mainly to Johnson.

2nd Ballot: 1 Johnson 2 Benn 3 Harman 4 Cruddas 5 Hain. Hain's votes transfer mainly to Cruddas but some to Benn.

3rd Ballot: 1 Benn 2 Johnson 3 Cruddas 4 Harman. Harman's votes transfer mainly to Cruddas.

4th Ballot: 1 Benn 2 Cruddas 3 Johnson. Johnson's votes transfer mainly to Benn.

5th Ballot: 1 Benn 2 Cruddas, by a margin of about 55-45.

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Anonymous said...

Oh dear, Oh dear! It's a bit like the mediaeval debate on how many angels can you get on the head of a pin. It's a suitable subject for the champion Boor of all England, for the championship itself. These candidates are the scourings of the bottom of all the most useless of all those useless MPs. Card carrying nincompoops, formula spouting, automatic Marxists, activated only at midbrain level.

skipper said...

Good analysis here but I've read in quite a few places that Harmon was likely to win, despite the betting odds not favouring her.
Disagree totally-this is meaningless abuse. All the candidates are pretty able by any standards, with only Cruddas not being a minister. They stand comparison with anything the Tories could put up and all of them would show IDS a clean pair of heels.

Anonymous said...

Paul- How do you get Benn ahead on 1st prefs? I've been running simulations (counting the fact benn will only get 45 or so MPs) and he needs a huge level of support in the party/union section to get ahead on 1st prefs and the latest yougov poll says he's not getting that.

I'm not criticising, but genuinely interested in why you think Benn will do so well.

FWIW, my prediction is that Johnson will lead to the 3 or 4th round, when Harman then Cruddas transfers will make it too close to call. In that scenario, your vote would help Johnson win

Anonymous said...

The yougov poll shows that 29% of his member vote would go to Benn, 25% would go to Johnson and only 11% to Cruddas. The TU vote is little different

The same is likely for the Harman transfers, though I suspect she will come third to Cruddas's fourth. He will get some 1 and lots of 6's but little in between.

At present you are not voting for Cruddas in the last round, you are voting for Johnson.

However the distribution of Benn's substantial second preferences across all three wings is likely to put him in a strong position against your Johnson vote.

Anonymous said...

Cruddas support has been wildly hyped up and over-estimated.Largely due to his canniness in standing as "left" candidate and thereby taking much of Hain's votes with him. Among activists, he will do well. Most Labour members are NOT activists. They will vote for names they know.My guess is cruddas will come third with Benn or Johnson to win. Hope it's Benn.