2015 Scottish Labour leadership election


The 2015 Scottish Labour Party leadership election was formally triggered on 16 May 2015 by the resignation of Jim Murphy as Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, which took effect on 13 June 2015, following the party's defeat at the 2015 general election.[1][2] A new leader and deputy leader would be chosen following the resignations of Jim Murphy and Kezia Dugdale. In the meantime, former Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray took over as acting leader. On 15 August, Dugdale was elected to lead the party, while Alex Rowley was chosen to become her deputy.

2015 Scottish Labour Party leadership election

 2014 21 July 2015 – 15 August 2015 2017 
 
Candidate Kezia Dugdale Ken Macintosh
First preferences 72.1% 27.9%

Leader before election

Iain Gray (acting); previously Jim Murphy

Elected Leader

Kezia Dugdale

Background


Jim Murphy announced his decision to resign on 16 May 2015 after narrowly surviving a vote of no confidence (17-14) at a meeting of the Scottish Labour party's Scottish Executive Committee (SEC) in Glasgow.[1][2]

Murphy had faced calls to resign from several MSPs, trade unions and former MPs in the wake of his party's near wipeout at the general election. Murphy lost his seat in the 2015 general election as the Scottish National Party won 56 of the 59 Scottish seats, leaving Labour with a single member of parliament in Scotland. His deputy, Kezia Dugdale MSP, would normally become acting leader until a permanent successor is found, but as she resigned the Deputy Leadership in order to run for the Leadership, former Scottish Labour Leader Iain Gray became acting leader.[3]

Procedure


Former Scottish Labour Leader Iain Gray took over as acting leader, as deputy leader Kezia Dugdale handed in her resignation as deputy leader in order to stand in the race to replace Murphy.

Nominations opened at 5pm on Monday 15 June; the close of nominations happened at 12pm on Friday 19 June. Supporting Nominations open at 5pm on Friday 19 June. Every CLP, Councillor and Affiliated Organisation has a right to cast a supporting nomination for their preferred candidate. The Scottish Labour Party moved to the One Person, One Vote system that is used to elect the UK Labour Party Leader. Candidates for Leader must be already elected as either an MP, MSP or MEP. Candidates for Deputy Leader must be already elected as either an MP, MSP, MEP or Councillor. Leadership nominees must achieve 15% of support of MSPs, MPs and MEPs. Deputy Leadership nominees must also achieve 15% support of MSPs, MPs and MEPs or 15% of Councillors. The previous requirement to have at least one nomination from two of the three Parliamentary groups no longer applies.

Unlike previous leadership elections, this election was held on a one-person-one-vote basis. There are three sets of people who can vote:

  • Labour Party members
  • Affiliated supporters (people who’ve signed up as a Labour Party supporter through one of Scottish Labour's affiliated organisations or unions)
  • Registered supporters (people who’ve registered that they support the Labour Party by signing up online and paying a one-off minimum fee of £3)

On 15 August, Dugdale was elected to lead the party, while Alex Rowley was chosen to become her deputy.

Proposal for change

On 27 May 2015, Macintosh wrote to the outgoing leader Jim Murphy, the Chair of the Scottish Executive Committee, and to the General Secretary of the Scottish Labour Party to ask for changes to be made to the way a new party leader is elected. In the open letter, Macintosh asked that Scottish Labour Party elect its new leader by using a One Member One Vote system and that they move to a system of open primaries. He proposed that Scottish Labour offers people who aren’t members an opportunity to join the party as a supporter, so that they are eligible to vote in the leadership election. He also asked that they have the contest before the summer, which would be different from the leadership elections for the national Labour Party. He also argued that the problems facing Scottish Labour won’t just be remedied by electing a new leader but that the party needed radical change to repair its relationship with the people in Scotland.[4]

On 13 June 2015, alongside Murphy's resignation as Leader taking effect, the Scottish Executive Committee agreed to adopt the One Member One Vote system that the UK-wide contest is using, moving away from the electoral college system that was used up until December 2014’s contest.

Timetable

The leader and deputy leader contests took place simultaneously. Here is the timetable:[3]

  • Monday 15 June 2015 - Nominations open for Leader and Deputy Leader
  • Friday 19 June 2015 (12:00) - Nominations (Leader and Deputy Leader) Close. Validly nominated candidates for Leadership to be published.
  • Friday 19 June 2015 (17:00) - Supporting nominations open
  • Monday 22 June 2015 - Hustings period opens
  • Monday 13 July 2015 (17:00) - Last date to join as member, affiliated supporter, or registered supporter, in order to vote in the Leadership ballot.
  • Friday 17 July 2015 (12:00) - Supporting nominations close
  • Monday 20 July 2015 - Ballot opens
  • Friday 14 August 2015 - Ballot closes
  • Saturday 15 August 2015 - Result announced

Candidates


Leadership

On 18 May 2015, the day after the Jim Murphy's resignation speech, the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power gave the following odds for next Scottish Labour leader: 1/2 Kezia Dugdale; 2/1 Neil Findlay; 5/1 Ken Macintosh; 10/1 Jackie Baillie; 16/1 Anas Sarwar; 20/1 Jenny Marra; 20/1 Sarah Boyack; 20/1 Gordon Brown; 25/1 Ian Murray; 25/1 Douglas Alexander; and 100/1 Ian Smart.[5]

The number of MSPs next to the leadership candidate's name below includes the actual candidate too, as they can count as one of the MSPs needed.

Candidates must be MSPs, MPs, or MEPs. A candidate needs 15% of the support of MSPs, MPs, and MEPs (7 MSPs, MPs, or MEPs), in order to be nominated. There is also a rather odd concept of "Supporting Nominations" from Constituency Labour Parties, Councillors, or Supporting Affiliates. These are an indication of how widely spread throughout the party a candidate's support is.

Declared
Map of CLP endorsements.
Declined

Deputy Leadership

The number of MSPs next to the Baker's and Rowley's names and the number of Councillors next to Matheson's name below includes the actual candidate too, as they can count as one of the MSPs/Councillors needed.

Candidates must be MSPs, MPs, MEPs, or Councillors. A candidate needs 15% of the support of MSPs, MPs, and MEPs (7 MSPs, MPs, or MEPs) or 15% of the support of Councillors (60 Councillors), in order to be nominated. There is also a rather odd concept of "Supporting Nominations" from Constituency Labour Parties or Supporting Affiliates. These are an indication of how widely spread throughout the party a candidate's support is.

Declared

Results


Leadership

Candidate Total
%
Kezia Dugdale
72.1%
Ken Macintosh
27.9%

Deputy Leadership

First Round
Candidate Total
%
Alex Rowley
37.4%
Gordon Matheson
32.2%
Richard Baker
30.4%
Second Round
Candidate Total
%
Alex Rowley
55.5%
Gordon Matheson
44.5%

See also


References