Psst… have you heard? Natalie Bennett won the leadership race

She’s been all over the news and telly and that but my favorite so far has been the Independent article and the Guardian editorial today. Wowzers!

Natalie Bennett will be giving her key note speech in Bristol on Friday – and I reckon it will be a corker!

 

For enthusiasts of numbers and elections here are today’s results with a little bit of breakdown.

First the raw votes (round one, two and three)

Bennett                       1,300                1,487                 1,757

Cranie                              902                   976                 1,204

Phoenix                          492                   585                          –

Bartolotti                        389                       –                           –

RON                                    28                     35                        62

Not transferable              –                      28                        88

 

Two comments.

First, turnout was up from two years ago (from 20% -ish to 25.1%) but not up a vast amount. I do wonder whether August elections are such a good idea…

Second, why would 28 people RON *everyone* when they had a broad range of candidates to choose from? I’d say these are people opposed to having a leader at all – which constitutes just a little less than 1% of those who voted.

 

Those numbers as percentages;

Bennett                            41.79%     47.80%     56.48%

Cranie                               28.99%     31.37%     38.70%

Phoenix                             15.81%     18.80%

Bartolotti                          12.50%

RON                                      0.90%       1.13%        1.99%

Not transferable                                 0.90%       2.83%

 

So around 4.8% of members (1 in 20) wanted neither Bennett nor Cranie the two top dogs.

Natalie’s vote on the first round was very high for a four way race on STV and gave her a convincing win on first preferences which would have been almost impossible to catch up to. As her campaign manager I had hoped that we could get 50% or more on the first round but were pushed all the way to the third round. However, Natalie did win the ost transfers on each round too so the dye was well and truly cast in the first round.

Pippa’s vote was much higher than I’d expected, and given that if Wales members turnout was about the same as everywhere else (ie around 150 voting in total) her vote was not simply a Welsh vote but much wider. My personal view is that as the only candidate that basically said she was pro-business, in a context of all the other candidates taking on multi-national capital in one form or another, she attracted the “right” Green vote, even though she herself does not describe herself as rightwing.

I personally think a stronger candidate with a good campaign manager could get the right/business friendly vote up to at least 25%.

 

 

Pippas transfers 

 

Bennett    48.07%

Cranie      19.02%

Phoenix    23.91%

RON            1.80%

Not transferable 7.20%

 

Natalie won almost half of Pippa’s transfers and Peter came in third, below Romayne on second preferences from those who voted Pippa 1.

I suspect, taken with the next table, we see a small group of voters who voted for all the women. It’s not possible to tell from these figures how large a group would only vote for a man.

 

Romayne’s  transfers

Bennett           46.15%

Cranie              38.97%

RON                    4.62%

Not transferable 10.26%

 

Again Natalie won most transfers almost half of them in fact, this time from the Green Left candidate – no doubt reflecting the fact that she was the most leftwing of the two front runners (as Derek Wall argues in the Guardian).

15% of Green Left voters felt only the Green Left was good enough to lead the party and the difference between the other candidates was irrelevant so either RONned or stopped voting.

 

Finally, well done to the Green Left’s Will Duckworth who won the deputy leader post in a very tight vote. I’m sure he’ll be an excellent asset to the party.

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14 Comments

  1. Douglas Coker

     /  04/09/2012

    Good to see this post Jim – was thinking you and Matt had packed up and gone home!! It’s a bit late now so I might come back tomorrow with some properly considered observations. In the meantime … well done Natalie and well done Will. I look forward to hearing you both address Conference in Bristol.

    Cheers
    Douglas
    Enfield

  2. “I suspect, taken with the next table, we see a small group of voters who voted for all the women. It’s not possible to tell from these figures how large a group would only vote for a man.”

    It’s also not possible to tell from these figures how large a group would only vote for a woman. We only had one male candidate, so we can’t assume that everybody who put him behind RON, or who didn’t preference him at all, did so for sexist reasons. And even if we could, there’s not enough information from these summaries to work out what proportion of Pippa’s or Romayne’s supporters preferenced him last or not at all. Finally, we know nothing about the way Natalie’s supporters would have transferred.

    “Second, why would 28 people RON *everyone* when they had a broad range of candidates to choose from? I’d say these are people opposed to having a leader at all – which constitutes just a little less than 1% of those who voted.”

    Another possibility is that some of them were unaware that RON can’t be eliminated, and were trying to ensure that RON was still in when it came to later rounds of counting. Your suggestion is more likely, though.

  3. On the first point – quite true which is why I used the very soft phrasing that I suspected that was the case.

    On the second, my impression is that most of those who voted Natalie second pref’d Peter and visa versa – but it will never be counted so we wont ever know the proportions.

    On the last – people were actually writing on their ballot papers “no leader” and the like – that observation is not based simply from the numbers

  4. “no doubt reflecting the fact that she was the most leftwing of the two front runners (as Derek Wall argues in the Guardian).”

    Without wanting to be difficult, I don’t think this should be presented as fact – it certainly wasn’t my impression of the campaigns, nor is it my reflection of the situation more generally. Though, evidently, a lot of Romayne’s supporters either thought so or were voting on a gender-basis above political leaning, as it were.

    Matt

  5. Also, I don’t think Derek does argue that in The Guardian, from my recollection – he argues that Natalie is left wing, which is not a comparative point. I’m fairly sure he said he was voting Peter 2nd pref.

    Matt the pedant

  6. He voted Peter second pref but he did argue that people voted for her due to her left credentials/politics which only makes sense as a reason to prefer a candidate if she’s to the left of other candidates – which she is.

    I’m not sure how helpful a discussion around this might be so wouldn’t want to prolong it but if you compare the campaigns we see (for example) Natalie talking about Syriza on the front page – Peter talks about (old) Labour. Peter was saying not a penny more to the banks and Natalie was saying break up the banks. There’s a material difference to these positions.

    Given Natalie’s record of introducing a large amount of left wing policy into the PSS, for example, over the last few years there is no doubt in my mind that she was well to the left of Peter whose campaign seem safe and mainstream – but like I say perhaps this is a discussion for another time.

  7. Well, that’s not how I see things – but as you say, probably not worth debating it here. Particularly as neither of us are Party members anymore….is all a bit abstract anyway!

  8. Douglas Coker

     /  05/09/2012

    Eeehhh! I knew Jim had left but you too Matt. What the “bleeps” going on? We have a world to change and a planet to save. Surely the GP is the obvious home for all those who want to pursue a red/green alliance or if you like a green/red alliance. Explanations please!!!

    Douglas
    Enfield

  9. Well, basically the Green Party still has all the flaws I’ve always thought it had (weak/confused theory of social change, generally limited appeal outside a certain social background and disinterest in changing this, tendency when the pressure is really on to view environmental solutions as being about a few more solar panels as opposed to radical change) and I don’t have the energy anymore to help change those things.

    I’ll still support some Green candidates, of course, but I just don’t want to support a Party anymore which I don’t think really ‘gets it’. If the Party isn’t going to be a catalyst for radical change, then it becomes a bit irrelevant. I’m not hostile at all, just not wanting to be straitjacketed by party membership anymore.

    Not sure what Jim’s reasons are!

    Matt

  10. james?

     /  06/09/2012

    It will seem confusing to people that the campaign managers of the top two green party leader candidates have both left the party. i also think when we look at the reasons greens leave the party then it shows we are a soft lot compared to labour suporters who seem to be able to put up with any amount of crimes just out of the disclipine that they are playing a long game.
    By the way Jim i opposed having a leader and still do i voted in the leader election i would still guess that a high number of people who voted for one of the candidates didnt want a leader but werent going to give up influence on the partys future direction. Are we to take this as the conclusion of the blog thank you to all involved then.

  11. Alan Howe

     /  06/09/2012

    What is the news on Romayne’s and Pippa’s campaign managers?

  12. Derek Wall

     /  06/09/2012

    ‘Again Natalie won most transfers almost half of them in fact, this time from the Green Left candidate – no doubt reflecting the fact that she was the most leftwing of the two front runners (as Derek Wall argues in the Guardian).’ oh no I didn’t

  13. Alan Howe

     /  06/09/2012

    Who cares? Does anyone apart from a tiny minority take any notice of these superficial labels?

  14. great article, hope to see more from you

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