The change in the method of selecting the Labour Party leader, from an elite parliamentary ballot to a mass participatory Electoral College, which occurred in 1981 was ideologically motivated. However, the strategy of the Left to enhance the accountability of the incumbent party leader to the wider Labour movement, and the Left's chances of securing an ideological succession in the party leadership failed. Drawing together debates on the method of party leadership selection and the ideological positioning of leadership candidates, this book examines each leadership election since 1963 as a means of charting the decline of the left within the Labour Party. Given the bypassing of the Electoral College to appoint Gordon Brown in 2007, and the debates surrounding his authority and legitimacy as Labour Party leader thereafter, this book offers a comprehensive and timely examination of Labour Party leadership elections from Wilson to Brown which will be invaluable for scholars of British Politics and the history of the Labour Party.
Choosing the Labour Leader
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