At the Co-operative Group’s AGM in Manchester this weekend, individual and corporate members of the Co-operative Group voted in favour of maintaining the Group’s subscription to the Co-operative Party.

Motion 12, which sought members’ approval for political subscriptions, was backed by both the Group’s Board and National Members’ Council. With tens of thousands voting online and by post in advance of the AGM, as well as on the day, the motion passed with 78.32% of the vote. 70,911 were in in favour of the century-old link, with 19,634 against.

This result follows a 3-month long campaign for a yes vote in which both Party members and its supporters in the co-operative, labour and trade union movements have spoken out in favour of the link.

Commenting on the result, General Secretary Claire McCarthy said:

“The Co-operative Party is pleased to continue our historic partnership with the Co-operative Group, and by the confidence placed in us by the tens of thousands of the Group’s members who voted to maintain the link with the Party.

From co-operative housing to community energy, co-operators are pioneering solutions to many of the challenges Britain faces. We look forward to continuing to work with the Group to ensure a strong voice for our movement in the rooms where decisions are made, and as advocates for co-operative values our economy and society more widely.”

In an email to Party members on Saturday, immediately following the announcement of the results, Party Chair Gareth Thomas MP emphasised the value of the Party to the wider co-operative movement, writing:

This result is a recognition that co-operatives and co-operative values need a voice in politics more than ever.

The full results of the vote were:

For 70,911 78.32%
Against 19,634 21.68%
Withheld 20,111