Labour Party (UK) deputy leadership election, 2015

Labour Party deputy leadership election

12 September 2015

Candidate Tom Watson Stella Creasy Caroline Flint
First round 160,852 (39.4%) 78,100 (19.1%) 64,425 (15.8%)
Second round 170,589 (42.2%) 86,555 (21.4%) 74,581 (18.4%)
Third round 198,962 (50.7%)[1] 103,746 (26.4%) 89,538 (22.8%)

Candidate Angela Eagle Ben Bradshaw
First round 66,013 (16.2%) 39,080 (9.6%)
Second round 72,517 (17.9%) Eliminated

Deputy Leader before election

Harriet Harman

Elected Deputy Leader

Tom Watson

The 2015 Labour Party deputy leadership election was triggered on 8 May 2015 by the resignation of Harriet Harman as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party of the United Kingdom following the party's defeat at the 2015 General Election. Harman, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, became Acting Leader following Leader Ed Miliband's resignation. Harman announced on the same day that she would step down as Deputy Leader, with her resignation taking effect when the new Leader and Deputy Leader are elected.[2]

Five candidates were successfully nominated to stand in the deputy leadership election: Ben Bradshaw, Stella Creasy, Angela Eagle, Caroline Flint, and Tom Watson. The voting process began on Friday 14 August 2015 and closed on Thursday 10 September 2015, with the results being announced on Saturday 12 September 2015. Voting was by Labour Party members and registered and affiliated supporters, using the alternative vote system. Tom Watson was elected deputy leader with 50.7% of the vote on the third ballot.


The leadership election, triggered by Harman's resignation, took place under the reformed rules adopted from the proposals of the February 2014 Collins Report, which was led by Ray Collins, Baron Collins of Highbury.[3] The plan entails a shorter election than the one that took place in 2010, with a new deputy leader being in place before Labour's party conference in September 2015.[4]

The review changed the way in which Labour elects leaders. Under the former system, a three-way electoral college chose the leader, with one-third weight given to the votes of the Parliamentary Labour Party (i.e., Labour members of the House of Commons) and Labour members of the European Parliament; one-third to individual Labour Party members, and one third to the trade union and affiliated societies sections. Ed Miliband famously won after a large victory in the third of these colleges.

Following the Collins review, this system was replaced by a "one member, one vote" (OMOV) system. Candidates were elected by members and registered and affiliated supporters, who will all receive a maximum of one vote. This means that, for example, members of Labour-affiliated trade unions will need to register as Labour supporters in order to vote.

In order to stand, candidates needed to have been nominated by at least 15% of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) – now 35 MPs. The vote, as in previous elections, was held by the alternative vote (instant-runoff) system. The leadership election was held under the same rules.

A meeting of Labour's National Executive Committee took place on 13 May 2015 to set a timetable and procedure for the two elections.[5]

Candidates for Deputy Leader




Flint is viewed as a Blairite, while Watson is viewed as having close links to the trade unions.[15] One party source was anonymously quoted in the Financial Times as comparing a potential contest between Flint and Watson to the hotly contested 1981 deputy leadership election between Denis Healey and the leftist Tony Benn.[15]

MP nominations for candidates

To be placed on the ballot, candidates for deputy leader must have obtained the nominations of 35 MPs. The number of MPs next to the candidate's name includes the actual candidate too, as they can count as one of the 35 MPs needed. Members with bold numbers succeeded to get the 35 nominations needed to make the ballot. Nominations for candidates by MPs are, so far:[14]

Before dropping out of the race on 17 June, Rushanara Ali had the following 24 nominations: Roberta Blackman-Woods, Paul Blomfield, Lyn Brown, Dawn Butler, Julie Cooper, Jeremy Corbyn, Clive Efford, Fabian Hamilton, Helen Hayes, Tristram Hunt, Rupa Huq, Sadiq Khan, Seema Malhotra, John Mann, John McDonnell, Chi Onwurah, Teresa Pearce, Matthew Pennycook, Yasmin Qureshi, Dennis Skinner, Andy Slaughter, Keir Starmer, Chuka Umunna[14]

Before dropping out of the race on 11 June, John Healey had the following 20 nominations: Sarah Champion, Clive Efford, Holly Lynch, Kevin Barron, Andy Slaughter, Clive Betts, Ruth Cadbury, Simon Danczuk, Louise Ellman, Fabian Hamilton, Harry Harpham, Madeleine Moon, Paula Sherriff, Derek Twigg, Paul Blomfield, Ivan Lewis, Gordon Marsden, Chris Leslie, Teresa Pearce[16]

Opinion polling

Poll source Date(s)
Margin of
YouGov/The Times[17][18] 17–21 July 2015 1,054 eligible voters[lower-alpha 1] ± ? 11% 21% 10% 17% 41%
  1. Labour Party members, registered supporters and signed up trade unionists who are eligible to vote in the leadership election


Membership ballot

Between 14 August and 10 September, affiliated and registered supporters and members of the Labour Party were able to vote.

First round
Candidate Votes Percentage
Tom Watson 160,852
Stella Creasy 78,100
Angela Eagle 66,013
Caroline Flint 64,425
Ben Bradshaw Red X 39,080
Second round
Tom Watson 170,589
Stella Creasy 86,555
Caroline Flint 74,581
Angela EagleRed X 72,517
Third round
Tom Watson Green tick 198,962
Stella Creasy 103,746
Caroline Flint 89,538

See also


  1. Wilkinson, Michael. "Jeremy Corbyn set to win Labour leadership election – live results coverage". Telegraph. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  2. Cathy Owen, General Election 2015: Harriet Harman announces that she will be standing down as deputy leader of the Labour Party Wales Online (8 May 2015).
  3. Ray Collins, 'Building a One Nation Labour Party: The Collins Review into Labour Party Reform (February 2014).
  4. Pope, Conor (8 May 2015). "How will the leadership election work?". LabourList. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  5. "Labour leadership election in September". BBC News. 13 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  6. "Ben Bradshaw announces Labour party deputy leadership bid". The Guardian. 2015-05-15. Retrieved 2015-05-15.
  7. Hayward, Stephen (2015-05-16). "Stella Creasy confirms she's running for Labour deputy leader: 'Party must return to fighting poverty, inequality and injustice'". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  8. Liam Murphy, "Wallasey MP Angela Eagle joins race to be Labour's deputy leader", Liverpool Echo (May 18, 2015).
  9. "Bradshaw and Flint both announce deputy leadership campaigns | LabourList". 2015-05-16. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  10. Tom Watson MP sets up crowdfunding site for his deputy Labour leadership bid, New Statesman (May 10, 2015).
  11. "John Healey withdraws from deputy leadership race", LabourList, 11 June 2015
  12. "stellacreasy (@stellacreasy) on Twitter".
  13. "Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk rules out standing for Labour Party deputy leader".
  14. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 , Labour Party (June 9, 2015).
  15. 1 2 Pickard, Jim (2015-05-08). "General election: Battle for Labour's soul". Retrieved 2015-05-08.
  16. , New Statesman (June 9, 2015).
  17. Sam Coates (21 July 2015). "Labour war as Corbyn closes in on leadership". The Times. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  18. "Neil Henderson on Twitter". Retrieved 2016-09-27.
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