Candidate selection, devolution and modernization: The selection of labour party candidates for the 1999 Scottish parliament and welsh assembly elections

Jonathan Bradbury*, James Mitchell, Lynn Bennie, David Denver

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The article discusses four issues in the development of Labour Party candidate selection procedures for the 1999 Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly elections: how the procedures were originally decided; the creation of approved panels of candidates; the selection of constituency candidates; and the selection of list candidates. Each stage is assessed in terms of the implications for central control within the party, openness of nomination and participation in selection, and judged in terms of 'new politics' aspirations for party democratization against sceptical views of central party manipulation. Whilst there was generally widespread approval of moves towards gender balance the article shows that candidates were critical of all stages of selection in terms of unfairness and lack of democracy. The reasons for dissatisfaction, however, vary between Scotland and Wales. In Scotland central manipulation for ideological reasons was viewed as a consistent theme throughout the process, while in Wales specific criticism focused on the operation of the approval appeals process, the lack of policing of constituency selections, and central manipulation affecting in particular list selections for the specific purpose of facilitating Alun Michael's leadership of the Wales Labour Group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-172
Number of pages22
JournalBritish Elections and Parties Review
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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