UPDATE 14:15 From what we’re hearing it might be less than 11!
For a full list of her original nominators (and who they’re really voting for) see our updated breakdown.
It was widely known that many of Abbott’s nominators wanted her on the ballot but would not support her in the final vote. Notwithstanding this fact, the extent to which she has bled support throughout the campaign surprised Scrapbook when updating our original article on her nominations yesterday. By our reckoning, just 11 of her 257 Labour colleagues intend to vote for her when postal ballots hit doormats from 1 September. This is exactly one third of the MPs required to nominate for the contest:
- Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley)
- Katy Clark (North Ayrshire & Arran)
- Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North)
- John Cryer (Leyton & Wanstead)
- Kate Hoey (Vauxhall)
- Kelvin Hopkins (LutonNorth)
- Sian James (Swansea East)
- John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington)
- George Mudie (Leeds East)
- Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)
- Mike Wood (Batley & Spen)
A more generous assessment might include left wing PLP Chair Tony Lloyd, who backed her on the final day of nominations after coming under pressure from Labour members. This would bring her tally to 12 but this still includes 8 MPs who originally preferred John McDonnell and brings into question her claim that she could attract support “not just from the left”.
Abbott was at once blessed and cursed with the charity of David Miliband. A loan of his backers got her onto the ballot but meant her original list of “support” shrivelled over the Summer as the Mili-D camp slowly dripped announcements (notably Jack Straw) that they had kept in their back pocket. This strategy benefited the frontrunner as much as it did Abbott.
The “We’re backing Diane” section of her website has a grand total of, erm, two endorsements and one of these is by someone who will vote for Ed Miliband! Halifax MP Linda Riordan is clear that, while it was important to have a left-wing voice in the contest, she will not be voting for Abbott:
“To have the broad strand of Labour opinion represented required a candidate from the left. This is why, as in 2007, I nominated John McDonnell and when he fell short of the numbers, transferred to Diane Abbott. Already, thanks to Diane’s inclusion, issues like Iraq, tuition fees, and ID cards are being debated … That is why it was so important to have a candidate from the left involved, to enable the debate to happen.”
“I have a greater chance of being Labour leader in my lifetime than Diane Abbott does.”