Thursday, May 10, 2007

Peter Hain proves he should never be Chancellor

Peter Hain has made a surprising gaffe when announcing that he has received sufficient support to be nominated for Deputy Leader of the Labour Party:

Mr Hain said he was pleased to get such support as it was not possible - mathematically speaking - for all six declared contenders to get on the ballot paper. (BBC News: Deputy contenders claim support)
Clearly he's not very good at maths. So here's a simple maths lesson for him.

There are 352 Labour MPs.

Each candidate for the Deputy Leadership requires the support of 45 MPs (including themselves).

352 divided by 45 is 7.8222222222222222222222222222222

So it is possible for seven candidates to be nominated.

And Peter Hain has got his sums wrong. Let's hope he's never made Chancellor of the Exchequer.


Michael Shilliday said...

I assume that each MP can only back one candidate? Interesting to see which Ministers have been shipped out of the NIO following Tuesday (the talented ones.......who happen to be refusing to back Hain for Dep)

cim said...

Just out of interest, what happens if the Labour leader resigns at a time just after the party does so badly in a general election it has 44 or fewer MPs?

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

It's not a fixed number but a percentage (12.5%) of Labour MPs. (It's possible that they're including the Speaker & Deputies in the calculation.) So if Labour did do so badly (and the incumbant may well have lost their seat - there are some who think this would automatically disqualify them from the leadership) the percentage would come down to something managable.

From recollection the high percentage was installed after Tony Benn challenged Neil Kinnock in 1988 and got thrashed.


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