Regular readers may recall that Off The Perch ran a poll asking who you’d like to see leading the Labour Party. We even made not being a candidate, or indeed not being alive, no barrier to election. The results were fascinating and revealing, but unfortunately we dropped one very significant bollock.
In an attempt to keep him quiet, we got our irritating right-wing intern Frank Lee-Bull* to oversee the poll. We assumed he would just count the votes, but like a total busybody he decided to completely take charge. Apparently, as soon as we’d left him in his office, he was on the phone to Iain McNicol at Labour HQ asking for advice on how to set up a compliance unit.
As a consequence, the number of eligible votes in the OTP poll has been slashed from 2,268 to just 13. The compliance unit has released a small sample of reasons given for suspensions. Trevor Kidney from Lewisham was banned after writing a TripAdvisor review in which he described a stand-up comedian at The Comedy Store as:
More hectoring than a Hilary Benn ‘Let’s bomb Syria’ rant
Lobelia Reisling, 19, took a selfie with Tom Watson at the Tower of London and posted it on Instagram with the comment:
Me with Tim watson at Traitors Gate. LOL. #Awks
And Deirdre Snapchat, who has never been on social media and doesn’t even have a smartphone, was spotted on CCTV nipping into the last car park space at Bluewater, just ahead of Lord Sainsbury, who filed a complaint.
So there are two very different sets of results. We didn’t bother telling Frank that the original poll actually displays the votes cast so those are still visible.
Early leadership hopeful, Angela Eagle, right-wing poster boy Tristram Hunt, and party grandee Neil Kinnock each have 2 votes. Yes, 2 votes. No candidate went away empty-handed. Isn’t that nice? Hilary Benn got 3, while Jess Phillips and Harriet Harman (with 4) and Tom Watson and Ed Miliband (with 6) complete the ‘also-rans’.
Doing slightly better than awfully are Yvette Cooper (on 9), Gordon Brown, Liz Kendall and Owen Smith (on 12), Tony Blair (on 17) and Tony Blair’s understudy David Miliband (on 20). Wait, what? Owen Smith on 12? Crikey, poor bloke. He’s actually in the real contest as well. It’s lucky he likes speaking to small groups.
Faring rather better are “Others”, who’ve amassed 105 votes between them, although they may not all be alive, or Labour Party politicians, or real. Legendary bastions of the Labour left, Dennis Skinner (135), Aneurin “Nye” Bevan (188), and Tony Benn (239) showed that youthful vigour is not an electoral necessity.
And Jeremy Corbyn got 1,490.
Intriguingly, Corbyn’s share of the vote (66%) is not a million miles from the predictions of some pollsters (although any comparison would not be scientific).
But, of course, the compliance unit had to do its work once that champion eejit Lee-Bull had set the wheels in motion. And so the final, compliance-approved, certified-democratic, 100% official, binding and believable result is:
Runner-up, with 2 votes: Angela Eagle.
Winner, with 11 votes: Owen Smith.
It seems a Smith voter was excluded, though, on the basis of the following tweet:
*We’re required to employ a token right-winger under a government scheme. We sent Frank to Rio 2016 to be a sports reporter, but sadly he’s back already because he doesn’t think the Paralympics are real.
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?