Third largest Labour Party affiliate announces support for leadership candidate following membership ballot.
GMB, the UK’s third largest trade union, today endorsed Owen Smith in the Labour Party leadership contest.
The union, which represents members across the public and private sectors, balloted members to ask their opinion on who the union should support.
By 60% to 40%, GMB members voted to endorse Smith over his rival Jeremy Corbyn in a ballot administered by independent agency Electoral Reform Services (ERS)*.
Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary said:
“The Labour Party is at a crossroads. I’m under no illusions that we’re living through dangerous political times – the like of which I haven’t seen during my three decades in our movement. It's time for us to face up to reality.
"GMB balloted our members because this kind of decision shouldn’t be taken from up on high. We’re a democratic organisation here to serve our members’ interests. I was determined that our members would have their say. And they've had it.
"I’ll proudly campaign alongside Owen in the coming weeks and months to deliver on his pledges to end the public sector pay freeze, to support defence workers, to invest in health and industry, and to build an industrial strategy – these are bread and butter issues for the people I represent.
"But we can only tackle them if we’re in government. That’s the end game and I hope whatever the final result, the Labour Party will unite when all this is over. GMB members cannot afford for Labour to be talking to itself in a bubble for the next five years while the Tories run riot through our rights at work, our public services and our communities.”
Contact: GMB press office on 07958 156846 / 07813 541658 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
To find out more about Owen Smith, please click here
The ballot was conducted by the independent agency Electoral Reform Services (ERS) and closed at noon on Wednesday 10 August.
GMB Consultative Ballot of Members
Total number of votes cast: 43,635
Total number of votes found to be invalid: 216
Total number of valid votes to be counted: 43,419
Question – Who do you think is best placed to lead the Labour Party to a General Election victory and serve as Prime Minister?
SMITH, Owen – 25,969 (60%)
CORBYN, Jeremy - 17,450 (40%)
Turnout - 8.1%
*GMB Scotland took a decision not to ballot their members. A statement on GMB Scotland’s decision is here