Ranking its candidates on the party list would be difficult enough for Labour if it was polling strongly, as it is several MPs will be very worried about whether or not they will retain their seats.
That concern will be even greater for men because the party changed the rules to require at least 45% of MPs to be women.
Matthew Hooton writes of Labour’s looming list crisis:
. . . nearly two-thirds of Labour’s electorate MPs are likely to be men and just 36% women.
To compensate for this Y chromosome surplus – and that the highest ranked list-only member must be deputy leader David Parker, a male, at least the next six spots must go to women . these are the only list places Labour can realistically expect to win . . .
Claire Trevett also writes on the problem the party faces with its list:
The party’s low polling makes the news worse for male candidates relying on the list. It is expecting to win at least 28 electorates, 5 more than at present. That will give it two more female electorate MPs than present – Carmel Sepuloni and Jenny Salesa are in safe seats.
However, if Labour gets 30 per cent at the election that leaves only 8 places for List MPs – and 6 of those would have to go to women if it is to meet the 45 per cent.
That would not be enough to get all of the current List MPs back. It could put the likes of Clayton Cosgrove, Andrew Little and Kelvin Davis at risk of missing out if more women are ranked above them to ensure the 45 per cent target was safely passed. . . .
It’s the party vote that counts but those who think they have a better chance in an electorate than on the list might put their personal ambition to stay, or get in, to parliament ahead of their loyalty to the party.
That will only add to Labour’s woes.
It would be in a difficult position with its list-ranking anyway. Its determination to have a female quota has added to its troubles.