Posted on June 23, 2007
In a landmark June 24 election with instant runoff voting, Harriet Harman became Deputy Leader of the British Labour Party with a 50.4% majority of votes. She beat Alan Johnson, with 49.6%, after a series of instant runoffs in the six-candidate race.
Incoming Prime Minister Gordon Brown has pledged to make Harman chair of the Labour Party. Harman, who in 2001 became Britain's first ever female Solictor General, has been a champion of women's issues and a bridge-builder between different wings of the Labour Party. Brown and top members of the Labour Party are showing interest in IRV to elect the House of Commons and proportional voting to elect the House of Lords.
Called the "alternative vote" in the United Kingdom, instant runoff voting is used by Labour's electoral college, which consists of Members of Parliament, Members of the European Parliament and representatives from organized labor.