46% of the British public support the rule that party leader candidates hoping for nomination must have the support of 33 MPs before they can stand.
The issue has come to the fore since the defeat of the Labour party in this year’s General Election. Gordon Brown’s subsequent relinquishing of his position as party leader has seen the emergence of six potential candidates all vying for the top position, and according to the rules of the Labour party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) – the body responsible for overseeing the overall direction of the party and its policymaking processes – any candidate wishing to stand for the Labour party leadership should have the support of at least 33 MPs in order to secure nomination.
This rule has not gone down well with all the candidates vying for the top spot, however, as only Ed Balls, Ed Miliband and David Miliband have enough nominations, at present, to stand. As such, some of the other candidates, which include Diane Abbott and Andy Burnham, have appealed to the NEC to relax the nomination process and extend the June 9th deadline.
But nearly half (46%) of the British public support the NEC’s requirement on the basis that ‘if a candidate cannot get the support of 33 MPs they could not possibly be an effective leader’.
A significant proportion (38%), though, feels that change to the process would be good, as it would give party members the ‘widest possible choice’.