What do the Labour Party’s elections for leader and deputy leader tell us about ideological divisions within the party? Certainly the process has turned out to be much more newsworthy and more politically divisive than anybody expected. With my University of Bristol colleague Mark Wickham-Jones I have been analysing developments and will be writing more on this topic in the months to come. Even now, however, it is possible to draw important conclusions about the way in which ideological divisions have deepened since the party’s last leadership election in 2010. The development of polarised factions was evident almost from the start, when MPs made their nominations. We have written up our findings on this, identifying two key factions within the Parliamentary Labour Party – one with an institutional basis in the trade unions and one based around Progress. Details of our analysis will appear in the next hard copy issue of Renewal but the article is already available on ‘early view’, and it’s free to access (‘Factionalism in the Parliamentary Labour party and the 2015 leadership contest‘).
A couple of posts published by us on other blogs summarise some of the findings:
- Clear factions have emerged in the Parliamentary Labour Party, LSE British Politics and Policy Blog, August 2015
- ‘The rival factions at war over Labour’s leadership contest‘, Spectator Coffee House Blog, 24 July 2015.