Selecting Candidates and Leaders: The Battle for One Member One Vote

  • Meg Russell


No question has been more central to debates about the internal democracy of the modern Labour Party than that of how candidates and leaders should be selected. Choosing candidates for public office is one of the most important functions of any political party, and how Labour went about this task became a core battleground in the 1970s and 1980s. The initiatives of the CLPD, which pressed for the relationship between Labour’s elected representatives and the wider party to change, started in the 1970s with successful moves to reform the selection process. Later the dramatic decision to adopt the ‘one member one vote’ (OMOV) system in 1993 was a symbolic step on the path to creating new Labour. The OMOV package was presented as a fundamental shift in the party’s democracy. However it was also the long overdue conclusion of a 15 year debate about reform, which is charted in this chapter. And the debate did not end in 1993 — as further discussed in Chapter 4.


Trade Union Local Selection Leadership Election Party Member Labour Party 
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Copyright information

© Meg Russell 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meg Russell
    • 1
  1. 1.The Constitution UnitUniversity College LondonUK

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