Scottish Labour Party deputy leadership election, 2008

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The 2008 Scottish Labour Party deputy leadership election was an internal party election to choose a new deputy leader of the Labour Party in the Scottish Parliament, and was triggered following the resignation of Cathy Jamieson,[1] who stood down in order to campaign in the leadership election which is being held alongside the deputy leadership election. Johann Lamont won the election and was elected deputy leader on Saturday 13 September.

The timetable for the election was finalised on Monday 28 July, and is identical to that of the leadership election. Nominations closed on Friday 1 August with the result declaration being made on 13 September.

Successfully nominated candidates[edit]

Both of the declared candidates received more than five nominations from MSPs, which was the minimum requirement for them to get onto the ballot paper, by the close of nominations at 12:00 UTC+1 on 1 August 2008.[3][4]


Candidates are initially nominated by their parliamentary colleagues from within the Scottish Parliament, following which Westminster MPs, constituency Labour parties and affiliated trade union organisation can submit 'supporting nominations', providing their backing to a specific candidates. These nominations can be seen in the tables below:


The election took place using Alternative Vote in an electoral college, with a third of the votes allocated to Labour's MSPs, Scottish MPs and Scottish MEPs, a third to individual members of the Scottish Labour Party, and a third to individual members of affiliated organisations, mainly trade unions.[3]

In order to be elected, one candidate must have achieved a majority of votes, i.e. 50% plus 1 vote.

Candidate Members of affiliated organisations Individual members MPs, MSPs and MEPs Total
Johann Lamont 17.19% 18.31% 24.68% 60.18%
Bill Butler 16.14% 15.02% 8.66% 39.82%
Johann Lamont elected deputy leader

Source: The Citizen: Campaigning for Socialism

Suggested candidates not standing[edit]

The following either publicly suggested they would stand for election or received media speculation to that effect. However, at the close of nominations they had not been nominated by any MSPs.[5]

  • Des McNulty has said he would "be inviting support from Holyrood colleagues".[6] McNulty ultimately nominated Johann Lamont.[5]
  • Margaret Curran.[7] Originally intended to stand in the leadership election;[8] however she subsequently stood in and lost the Glasgow East by-election on 24 July, raising questions over any leadership or deputy leadership ambitions.[9] Curran ultimately nominated Johann Lamont.[5]

Timeline of events[edit]

Date Event
28 July 2008 • Cathy Jamieson stands down as deputy leader of Scottish Labour in order to concentrate on her campaign in the leadership election; however, she remains Acting Leader.
• Scottish Labour's procedure committee meet and agree the timetable for the leadership and deputy leadership elections.[1]
30 July 2008 • Scottish Labour confirm that both Bill Butler and Johann Lamont have received sufficient nominations and are therefore official candidates.
1 August 2008 • Nominations closed with two candidates having been successfully nominated.
13 September 2008 • Declaration of result made - Johann Lamont elected deputy leader of Scottish Labour.

See also[edit]