Rebecca Long-Bailey said she is ‘not concerned’ about receiving half the constituency party nominations of her leadership rival because she thinks she’s going to win.
Long-Bailey said the nomination meetings represent a “tiny proportion” of Labour’s membership because “a lot of people don’t go to their (CLP) meetings”.
“You might get 50 to 100 people at a meeting if you’re lucky, some constituencies more. But, to give Salford as an example, we had about 100 people come to our nomination meeting. We’ve got nearly 2,000 members, who potentially are all going to vote,” she told HuffPost UK.
“So a lot of people that you’re trying to reach won’t be active party members. They’ll be political, but they won’t be directly involved in your party locally. I think I’m going to win. Obviously.”
The shadow business secretary has won the support of around 138 Constituency Labour parties (CLPs) compared with 312 for Sir Keir Starmer.
The two other contenders – Wigan MP Lisa Nandy and shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry – have received 59 and 23 CLP nominations respectively.
Thornberry is the only one of the four candidates vying to replace Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader who has yet to secure a place on the ballot paper.
Long-Bailey left some activists in disbelief when she claimed last month that she thought the worst-case scenario for Labour in the general election would be a hung parliament.
She said she had been dumbfounded by the result because “everybody loved the Labour Party” in the “people’s republic of Salford” – a reference to her constituency.
“I was in a state of shock and it was as if everything I believed [was] being ripped up before my very eyes, that everything we fought and we’re so proud of was suddenly invalidated, [that] no-one wanted us, no-one wanted socialism,” she said in a leaked recording.
Jeremy Corbyn’s successor will be announced on April 4.