The campaign formed by Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) in Wales to push for one member, one vote (OMOV) in Welsh Labour leadership elections has issued a statement spelling out what OMOV means for members of Labour-affiliated trade unions.

CYFLE (Campaigning for Your Franchise in Leadership Elections) has responded to comments made since the party agreed to initiate a Welsh Party Democracy Review at its conference in Llandudno last weekend. The fact that there will be an election by the end of the year to choose Carwyn Jones’ successor has led to calls to resolve concerns over the electoral system first but some have expressed unhappiness at the idea that this might result in OMOV, because of its implications for unions.

Cardiff West Labour Chair, David Davies, who has also acted as Chair of CYFLE, said:

“There seems to be a widespread misconception that OMOV would disenfranchise members of affiliated unions who are not also party members.

“In fact, the OMOV system used by the UK party and by Scottish Labour provides an opportunity for all affiliated union members to vote on an equal basis with full members of the party. Almost 100,000 affiliated supporters took part in the last UK leadership election in 2016 and more than 4,000 affiliated supporters voted in the Scottish leadership election last year.

“In Wales, almost 155,000 affiliated supporters received ballot-papers in the recent deputy leadership election – far more than the 25,000 sent to full party members. Any of these could potentially vote in a leadership election conducted under OMOV. In contrast to the present electoral college arrangement, all of those votes would have equal weight. OMOV is the simplest, most transparent and most democratic way for party members and affiliated union members to choose Labour leaders.”

CYFLE is supporting calls for a first phase of the Welsh Democracy Review to consider changes to the system for electing leaders and deputy leaders and for any proposals to be brought to a special conference before the leadership election takes place in the autumn.