LabourList.org, the website for grass roots Labour members, carries out an annual survey asking readers about the “state of the party”.

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It’s not very surprising that this time round it has found members believe there is a “fixing” problem when the party chooses candidates to fight seats. Some 59pc of the 815 polled said it was an issue. Only 17pc said it was not.

Part of that will come from men who get passed over for selection when the party imposes an all women shortlist, as happened in Norwich North. Meanwhile it is well known that those with powerful friends in a political party tend to get a shot at the best seats.

Cameron has his A-listers which have caused consternation in their time, but Labour’s system is often a little less transparent – the politically geeky amongst you will remember what happened with Harriet Harman’s husband Jack Dromey in Leyton and Wansted back in 2009 and with Peter Mandelson’s protégé Tristram Hunt in Stoke on Trent in the same year.

Labourlist is campaigning for change and I know other Labour activists I’ve spoken to at conferences in recent years have also been concerned at the lack of democracy in the party, something which Ed Miliband has promised to address.

The thing is that the survey also showed Miliband’s popularity is increasing. Two months ago 30pc of Labourlist readers thought the leader was doing an “excellent” or “good” job – now that figure is 61pc.

So the question is, now that Miliband has some wind in his sails, is he really going to want to make a change that sees him relinquish power over who sits on the benches behind him?

3 comments

  • If it is described as a "problem" in the Labour Party then the word to describe it in the Tory party probably hasn't been invented yet!

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    alecto

    Sunday, June 17, 2012

  • Ed`s "popularity" amongst party members comes care of the medias universal attack on the tories. And in particular their seemingly, never ending personal attacks on David Cameron. If they could spin it, they would blame DC for the current spell of bad weather as well. It was rather unfortunate that someone didn't `t try to warn the PM that there would be unintended consequence of him setting up an inquiry into the behaviour of the press. Ed Miliband being as opportunistic as usual, has decided to side with the press on this one. He knows with the media in their current frame of mind his chances of winning at the next election have never looked so good.

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    BG

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

  • Very statesmanlike performance by Ed Miliband at Lord Leveson's enquiry.No Blank Cheques.As a voter in Norwich North can I express support for an all female list.President Hollande showed it can be done with 50%women in his cabinet on merit.There are still not enough women in parliament.If Norwich North has a Labour woman candidate it is all to the good.My experience is that women are much better at it too.

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    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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