Urgent guidance: Entitlement of members to register as affiliated supporters and vote in the upcoming Labour leadership election

Updated 14 July 2016

Today, the Labour party procedures committee has ruled that an affiliated union member must be a member of their affiliated union for 6 months and be an affiliated supporter by 8 August in order to qualify for a vote in the upcoming leadership election. This is a change from last year’s election.

Please read our guidance below fully. Do not assume that new Unite members will be entitled to a vote.

The only way to guarantee a vote is to join the Labour Party as a registered member, which costs £25. Registered membership opens on 18 July and closes on 20 July. The website will only be available from the 18 July.

We will obviously be following developments very closely and will post updates on our website when we have them.

Entitlement to register as affiliated supporters

Unite members can apply to be Labour Party affiliated supporters and therefore be eligible for a vote in Labour’s leadership elections, but there are criteria that must be met. Unite members must:

  1. Have been a member of the union on or before January 12 2016.
  2. Pay the political levy – this will be the case unless the member has opted out. It is a portion of member subscriptions to fund political campaigning by the union.
  3. Agree to the statement that they support the aims and values of the Labour party and are not a supporter of any other political party and agree for their contact details to be shared with the Labour Party.
  4. Be on the electoral register at the address given to the union and the Labour Party.
  5. Provide a date of birth and email address.
  6. Apply to be an affiliated supporter before 8th August. To do this, fill in the form at www.unitetheunion.org/yourpartyyourvoice

The Labour Party will be conducting the election. Queries about the ballot or members wishing to check if their applications have been accepted by the Labour Party should contact the Labour Party www.labour.org.uk

For every application, Unite must provide the Labour Party with the contact details of the member, including their date of birth, evidence that they made a clear intention to sign-up and that they agree with the aims and values of the Labour Party are not a supporter of any other political party.

There are a few ways for members to sign up:

This is the best way for members to sign up. All members with access to the internet should be directed to the form on Unite’s website at www.unitetheunion.org/yourpartyyourvoice. This form submits details directly to the Labour Party, meaning there is no processing at Unite and applications are submitted immediately. To vote in the Labour leadership elections, the deadline for applications will be Monday 8th August 2016.

Paper form
Paper applications should only be sent to members who do not have access to the internet. To process applications, forms will need to be sent to the Political Department, 128 Theobald’s Road, London WC1X 8TN.

The contact details of applicants will be uploaded to the Labour Party and the forms will be sent as supporting evidence. Both the upload and the evidence need to be submitted to the Labour Party by the applications deadline.

In order to allow sufficient time for processing, the deadline for paper forms to arrive at the political department will be Friday 29th July 2016.

National campaign activity

The political and campaigns departments will be encouraging members to sign up through various methods which will be communicated through the Regional Political Officers.

If members have queries about the process, please first refer them to the eligibility criteria above and to www.unitetheunion.org/yourpartyyourvoice to apply.

If members received a vote in the leadership election last year and are querying if they are still entitled to a vote, the best advice is to ask them to fill in the online form to be doubly sure. If the query is still unresolved, please email political@unitetheunion.org