Today, more than 80% of Labour MPs supported a vote of no confidence in leader Jeremy Corbyn, elected a year ago. He doesn't have the support of MPs. However, he does still appear to enjoy popular support of members and supporters.

Clearly, MPs and members disagree strongly.

Who selects Labour candidates to stand for MP?

The Labour website says you can help select your parliamentary candidate, but whether that means anyone can apply and stand for local candidacy, or whether that means Westminster Labour appoints a single candidate they like and who local members can then either support or reject, remains unclear.

  • I have inserted the word "Labour" into the title as your question only refers to Labour MPs. The Conservative Party and other UK parties use a variety of different selection methods. More info here: westminsteradvisers.co.uk/2015/03/… Jun 29, 2016 at 6:46

1 Answer 1


Candidates are selected by the Constituency Labour Parties, following the plan outlined in the Labour Party Rule Book. The last version I can find online is from 2013. This states that in terms of rights to select "All individual eligible members of the party with continuous membership of at least six months (who reside in the electoral area concerned) are entitled to participate in selections. Any exceptions to this must be approved by the NEC (National Executive Committee)."

Meanwhile the candidate must satisfy additional criteria: "In addition to fulfilling any statutory requirements for the relevant public office, persons wishing to stand as a Labour candidate must have continuous membership of the party of at least 12 months. Where not otherwise prevented they shall also be a member of a trade union affiliated to the TUC or considered by the NEC as a bona fide trade union and contribute to the political fund of that union. Any exceptions to these conditions must be approved by the NEC."

In terms of the actual selection process

  • if there is a sitting Labour MP there is an option for a fast-tracked process to be selected. Otherwise his or her name is automatically included on the selection shortlist below.
  • Otherwise the constituency shortlisting committee draws up a list of eligible and interested candidates. This is then voted on by as many of the constituency Labour party as care to at an eliminating ballot until only one candidate is left, and this person is selected.
  • A £3 registered "Labour party supporter" (not a Labour party member) instantly gets to vote in parliamentary Labour party leadership elections. Do such supporters not get a vote in constituency selection of MPs? - seems odd. Jun 30, 2016 at 14:53
  • Not previously, and as far as I'm aware this was't something that got revised in the 2014 changes. Similarly membership of an affiliated trade union grants the right to vote for the leader and deputy leader, but not for local candidate selection.
    – origimbo
    Jun 30, 2016 at 15:21

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