Tower Hamlets Labour Party 2018 Council Selections

Introduction

Tower Hamlets Labour Party will be conducting short-listing and selections for 2018 council candidates at a series of meetings during November 2017.

To be eligible to attend these meetings and vote on the selection of candidates for your ward, you must

  • have been a Labour Party member on 1st September 2016
  • have had your membership in Tower Hamlets on 1st March 2017
  • not be seeking selection as a candidate in your ward.

You will receive an email inviting you to the meeting, or a letter delivered to you at home if the Labour Party does not have an email address for you on record. If you believe you are eligible to vote and do not receive either a letter or an email, please contact towerhamlets2018@labour.org.uk or call 020 7729 6682.

Your email or letter will inform you of the exact date, time and location of your ward's meeting. If you have moved very recently, the email or letter will inform you which ward you are able to participate in.

You must also be up-to-date with your membership payments to be eligible to attend the meetings. If you are in arrears, you will need to arrive 45 minutes early for your ward's meeting and pay those arrears in cash, in order to guarantee that you will be able to attend the meeting.

On arrival at your ward's meeting, your membership must be verified. So that we can do this, please bring your Labour Party membership card and either one form of photo ID (such as passport or driving licence) or two forms of non-photo ID (such as bills, bank statements etc).

If you require assistance in reaching the venue for your ward's meeting, please contact towerhamlets2018@labour.org.uk or call 020 7729 6682 and we will be very pleased to try to arrange a lift for you. If you believe that anyone is acting in contravention of Labour Party rules in relation to short-listing and selections, including anyone engaging in the intimidation or harassment of members, please also contact the London Regional Board at towerhamlets2018@labour.org.uk who will treat your complaint in the strictest confidence.

If you require a creche service during the meeting, please click here for futher details.

Schedule of Meetings

 Selections_Meeting_Timetable.png

Detailed Procedure & Model Agendas for Meetings

The meetings will be split into two sections, shortlisting and selection. Potential candidates will only be asked to address the second selection part of the meeting.

A. Shortlisting

The following model agenda will be used for the shortlisting meeting:

  1. Introduction of Tower Hamlets EC observers and explanation of procedure.
  2. Where there are any women only shortlists, this should be made clear at this stage.
  3. Apologies
  4. Membership check
    1. (Confirmation of freeze date and quorum set by THLP EC)
    2. The number of eligible voting members in the meeting should be declared at this stage.
  5. Review of panel and moving/seconding of names for consideration
    1. Any member arriving after this point in the agenda has been reached shall not be permitted to participate in any way in the meeting or in any ballot.
  6. If appropriate members to vote as to whether to reselect each sitting councillor seeking reselection
  7. Decision on number of nominees to be short-listed
  8. Secret ballot (if required) to agree short-list
    1. This must be carried out by eliminating ballot – the short-list shall consist of at least one more candidate than the number to be selected
    2. Any sitting Councillors seeking reselection that have not passed their automatic selection ballot are automatically on the shortlist

At the end of this meeting, interested candidates will be informed who has been shortlisted and will therefore be required to address the selection meeting.

B. Selection

The following model agenda will be used for the shortlisting meeting:

  1. Introduction of Tower Hamlets EC observers and explanation of procedure
  2. Roll call and apologies
    1. (Opportunity to challenge credentials of anyone present in light of eligibility established at short-listing meeting)
    2. The number of eligible voting members in the meeting should be declared at this stage.
    3. Any member arriving after this point in the agenda has been reached shall not be permitted to participate in any way in the meeting or in any ballot.
  3. Speech then question and answer to the short-listed nominees in an order determined by lot
    1. Lots will be drawn by candidates for the order of appearance prior to the start of the meeting (and taking into account where relevant any initial ballot between women nominees only)
  4. Procedural motion to proceed to ballot
    1. (If this motion is lost, this meeting shall either proceed to draw up a new short-list or agree dates for new short-listing and selection meetings, subject to be approval by Tower Hamlets EC)
  5. Ballot to select the candidate(s) for the ward
    1. This must be carried out by eliminating ballot 
    2. If there are contestable positions that have been reserved for women these will happen first before adding all unsuccessful women into the ballot for any further open positions
  6. Result of ballot and votes of thanks

All candidates will address the meeting in turn and will be invited to make a two minute speech and then answer questions for five minutes. Members will be invited to write down questions on their way into the meeting. Five questions will be drawn at random which will be asked by the chair to all candidates. Candidates have five minutes to answer and therefore can decide how long they spend on each question. Candidates will be stopped after five minutes regardless of whether they have answered all five questions or not.

Members of London Labour and Head Office Staff as well as members of the London Regional Board will be present at all selection meetings to ensure that they are all run according to the rules and that all members feel comfortable attending and participating in them. An independent Sylheti translator will also be attending to ensure that all members are able to understand the processes.

C. Voting Process 

The selection will be made from shortlisted candidates by an OMOV (one member one vote) ballot, using a preferential voting system per seat to be selected. Votes will not be transferred between seat selections.

There be only rounds of voting per seat and members should vote in order of preference, ie, if there are six candidates then you vote one for your favoured candidate, two for your second favoured candidate, and so on down to six.

With each round of the ballot you will eliminate the bottom candidate. Second preferences (or highest preference still remaining in the ballot) are redistributed from the eliminated candidate. The ballot continues until one candidate has achieved more than 50 per cent of the votes cast in a particular round.

Working from the bottom up, if the total votes for a number of candidates do not equal the candidate above then all are eliminated.

Where there is a tie, the candidate with the greater number of higher preferences will determine who stays in or wins the ballot. Should you still be unable to separate the candidates during the elimination process, then lots will have to be drawn to determine which candidate proceeds in the ballot and which is eliminated.

In the final ballot if both candidates are tied then the highest number of first preferences, followed by second preferences, and so on, will count.

In the unlikely event that you could not separate these final two candidates, then the ballot would have to be re-run at a later date.

There is no casting vote for the chair in any circumstance, though the chair is entitled to participate in the ballot provided s/he is a member otherwise eligible to participate in the ballot.

Code of Conduct for Members Attending Selection Meetings

  • All meetings must be held in a comradely way and no members will be allowed to make other members feel uncomfortable.
  • All votes will be taken in a way that no pressure can be exerted on members to vote in a certain way
  • People waiting outside the venue will be asked to leave – only eligible members of the ward taking place may enter the venue
  • Labour Party Staff, Regional Board Members and Tower Hamlets EC members will be present to ensure that Labour Party rules are followed and no abuse directed towards these or any other members will be tolerated.

Code of Conduct for Candidates

  • This code of conduct has been produced for all potential candidates in the selection of candidates for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in order to assist the smooth running of all stages of the process.  
  • Following publication of the timetable for a ward potential candidates are permitted to contact eligible members direct, as well as Labour Party Units and affiliated organisations, with any canvassing/promotional material. 
  • No candidate or anyone acting on their behalf may use membership data to contact members
  • No potential candidates or persons acting on behalf of any potential candidate will use their own material or access to publicity to disparage any other potential candidate.
  • Canvassing is specifically allowed following publication of the timetable and from this period onwards potential candidates may approach members personally or by telephone to seek their support. Contact with members must not be carried out in a manner likely to cause offence or be seen as applying pressure to any member.
  • No financial inducement or inducement in kind may be offered to attempt to secure support.
  • Only designated officers will be authorised to issue statements to the media about any aspect of the selection procedure, and then only after consultation with appropriate senior Party Officers. This does not preclude potential candidates undertaking press, Radio or TV interviews on other matters, though under no circumstances should any potential candidate disparage any other potential candidate.
  • Party staff will not use or abuse their position, Party resources or time in the process of an internal selection or election so as to further the interests of themselves or their personal preferred candidate(s).  This does not preclude normal contact or general conversation undertaken in their capacity as a member of the Party.  The General Secretary is answerable to the NEC for the conduct of staff in all internal elections.
  • Once a potential candidate has declared an interest in an elected position s/he cannot attend the part of any meeting that is dealing with selection business of the ward in question, unless specifically invited in their role as a potential candidate. 
  • No potential candidate or members acting on her/his behalf will interfere with or put under duress any member in regard to how they vote at any stage during the process.
  • Potential candidates (and those making donations of money or in kind to their selection campaign) are regulated by the Political Parties, Elections & Referendum Act and are required to comply with the provisions on accepting and reporting of donations of £500 or more. Contact the Governance and Legal Unit for more information.
  • Any member breaching this code of conduct or knowingly allowing others to do so on her/his behalf will be liable for disciplinary action. The NEC will not hesitate to use its powers of disqualification and suspension to impose sanctions to enforce the code.

 

Any questions relating to these processes should be emailed to towerhamlets2018@labour.org.uk.

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