SUPPORTERS of Kezia Dugdale failed to win a majority of the places on Scottish Labour’s governing body after fielding too many candidates, the Sunday Herald can reveal.

A slate of candidates loyal to the UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn secured most of constituency slots on the party’s executive even though they won fewer votes in some regions.

Dugdale easily won the Scottish Labour leadership in 2015 but is under pressure from an emboldened left-wing. Mobilised by the Campaign for Socialism, the left wants Dugdale to pursue a socialist agenda and work closer with Corbyn’s team.

An influx of new members – Scottish Labour currently has around 26,000 – also means that any future leadership contest could be closer than in previous races.

One of Dugdale’s immediate challenges is dealing with a newly-elected executive, which is made up of politicians, senior trade unionists and constituency party representatives. She commanded a clear majority on the body, but elections in January have made the arithmetic tighter.

Five of the eight constituency places were won by candidates who ran on a pro-Corbyn slate.

However, the full breakdown of the results revealed that the so-called moderate wing of the party would almost certainly have won most of the seats if a co-ordinated approach had been taken.

In the Central Scotland/Glasgow super region two Corbynistas collectively polled 1432 votes against 1697 votes won by three moderates. However, the presence of the three on the ballot split the vote and ensured that none of them won. Instead, lStephen Low and Angela Feeney got both executive places.

In North East Scotland & Highlands and Islands, three moderates polled 1440 votes, while the solitary left-winger on the ballot, Lesley Brennan, won 569 votes. Again, due to her opposition vote being split three ways, Brennan secured one of the region’s two places on the executive.

A senior party source said: “The results show that the Corbynista machine in Scotland was smarter than the network around Kez. The moderates should have won a majority.”

A second source said the failure was more about discipline than organisation. However, the same party insider said the results proved that there are still more moderate voters in Scottish Labour than Corbynistas.

Another comfort for Dugdale is that some of the trade union representatives on the executive are favourable to her leadership and sceptical of Corbyn.

The key executive meeting will be the one scheduled to take place after May’s local government election, at which Scottish Labour is bracing itself for heavy losses.

Opinion polls have Dugdale’s party on around 15 per cent of the vote, down from the historic low of 19.1 per cent achieved at the last Holyrood election.

A spokesman said: “We congratulate all successful candidates and thank those who are standing down. Members of the SEC are united in their determination to take our party forward. Only Scottish Labour is standing up to SNP and Tory austerity.”