Calls for full disclosure of Labour leadership result after concerns raised over multiple votes


By a Newsnet reporter
Scottish Labour has been challenged to reveal the full breakdown of votes cast in the party’s leadership contest as concerns were raised that people were allowed to cast multiple votes.
The SNP has called on the Labour party to make public, details of the latest contest results after similar concerns were raised following the 2008 election of Iain Gray.

Labour’s electoral system makes it possible for an individual to cast multiple votes in a single contest.  Reports have suggested that one candidate in the race to succeed outgoing leader Iain Gray has received seven votes from one person.

The SNP has also called on Labour to confirm whether members of Labour social drinking clubs were allowed to vote.

The SNP’s Business Convener Derek MacKay said

“After the disastrous effect of Labour’s crazy election system on the UK leadership contest leaving them with a leader who lacked the support of his MPs it is vital Scottish Labour are utterly transparent over the leadership result.

“There must be absolute clarity over who has voted and how many times.

“With a falling membership of 13,000 it would be no surprise if Labour sought to hide the figures as they did in 2008 or bump up the numbers with members of local social clubs and it’s no surprise they are encouraging people to vote early and vote often.”

Members of Labour social clubs are described as ‘affiliate’ members of the Labour party and their numbers have been known to be used in the past in order to ‘swell’ Labour’s numbers in Scotland.

The UK wide election that saw Ed Miliband triumph over brother David revealed that Labour’s membership in Scotland had shrunk to 13,135. 

Mr Mackay added:

“It is ridiculous that one person can have their vote counted seven times.  Without a full breakdown of the results there will be real questions over the credibility of the new leader.”

Today’s result is expected to reveal that Johann Lamont has triumphed in her bid to replace Iain Gray as the next leader of Scottish Labour.

Ms Lamont emerged the clear favourite after winning the support of the powerful trade union vote.

If victorious, Ms Lamont faces immediate questions over her views on the Clyde based Trident nuclear weapons system after it emerged she had repeatedly refused to respond to questions posed by anti-nuclear weapons group Scottish CND.

The current Deputy Scottish Labour leader will also be hoping to avoid a repeat of the serious gaffe that saw her attack the Scottish government’s record on rape by citing details of a court case that turned out to have been fabricated.


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