Labour Party Jargon Explained
There are a great deal of words, phrases and acronyms that old school Labour members will throw around that might be completely alien to you when you first join the party. So here is a bit more information about the terminology you might come across in the party.
Labour Party Structures and Bodies
BLP Branch Labour Party: Your local party, based on ward boundaries for the election of Councillors. A lot of Labour Party activity takes place at branch level, it is from here that members take part in choosing local council candidates.
CLP Constituency Labour Party: Made up of several branches and based on the electoral area for the election of MPs. It is from here that you can help choose which members will represent you at Annual Conference.
ALC: The Association of Labour Councillors is a Labour Party affiliated organisation which represents Labour councillors of England, Wales and Scotland within the Labour Party. The work of the ALC is governed by executives who are directly elected by Labour councillors from each region.
CAC: The Conference Arrangements Committee is the committee which determines the shape of the agenda for Annual Conference, rules on the validity of contemporary and emergency motions, and acts as the steering committee for the conference. People are elected to the CAC by members periodically.
LCF: The Local Campaign Forum – these are the committees that plan and organise election campaigning for different council areas. They shortlist potential local government candidates for members to vote on and work with CLPs and the national party to deliver winning campaigns.
NEC: The National Executive Committee is made up of elected representatives from every section of the Party – government, MPs, Councillors, trade unions and CLPs. Members vote for their CLP representative in a ballot every year. The NEC sets the Party’s objectives and oversees the running of the Party nationally.
PLP: The Parliamentary Labour Party is the group of Labour MPs in parliament.
Commonly heard campaigning phrases
Canvassing: This simply means speaking to people. This can be face-to-face by going door-knocking, or over the phone through our campaign tools. During these conversations you will also find out who people are planning on supporting at elections.
GOTV – Get out the vote: You’ll hear a lot about this around election time. Throughout a campaign we identify Labour voters (through canvassing), we then encourage them to go and cast their vote on polling day.
First Day on the Doorstep: Find out what it’s like hitting the Labour doorstep for the first time from members who’ve been in your shoes themselves.
Party Events and Involvement Opportunities
Annual Conference: This takes place every autumn and is one of the largest and most high profile political events in Europe. Delegates at Conference vote on policy documents brought by the NPF.
NPF: The National Policy Forum is made up of more than 200 representatives from all sections of the Party, with the largest part elected by ordinary members in each region and nation of the UK. Other members of the NPF represent Labour Councillors, MPs, affiliated trade unions, socialist societies and other groups.
As with any large movement, there’s a lot to take in and sometimes it can be overwhelming. But there’s also a great deal to jump in and get involved with. We hope this explainer has boosted your confidence and you feel empowered to attend your next local meeting or event, get to know fellow members and set yourself goals for your membership.