A poll of PinkNews.co.uk readers has revealed which candidates LGBT Labour party members voted for in the election of a Deputy Leader of the Labour party.

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain was the first choice of 25% of gay party members. The positive showing for Hain was despite a large number of multiple votes being automatically disqualified by PinkNews.co.uk’s polling software after his campaign team promoted the poll using the social networking site Facebook.

Party chair Hazel Blears took 19% of first preferences, followed by 16% for backbench candidate Jon Cruddas.

Harriet Harman polled 15%, Alan Johnson 14% and Hilary Benn 11%. Of the 1152 LGBT people who took part in the survey, 44% were members of the Labour party.

All candidates specifically campaigned to LGBT party members, each giving wide ranging interviews to PinkNews.co.uk.

Large numbers of entries were disqualified following extensive promotion on the social networking website Facebook, by “Peter Hain”, the profile maintained by Hain’s campaign team.

The Labour party uses an electoral college to elect its leadership, split three ways between the MPs and MEPs, the party membership and members of affiliated unions.

Any candidate that gets 50% or more of the vote wins outright, otherwise further elimination ballots will be held.

With six candidates running for Deputy Leader and no clear front runner, it is likely that the second preference votes will decide who wins.

Among non-Labour members, there was little difference between the candidates: 21% for Cruddas, 18% for Education Secretary Alan Johnson, 17% for Benn and Harman, 16% for Hain and 11% for Hazel Blears.

She was also voted least favourite to succeed John Prescott by 33% of Labour members and 36% of others in the PinkNews.co.uk poll.

Justice minister Harriet Harman was least favourite of 28% of Labour party members and 14% of others. Jon Cruddas failed to impress 18% of Labour members and 14% of others.

Peter Hain polled badly with non-Labour members, 22% of whom said he was their least favourite candidate.

Hilary Benn, the International Development Secretary, was least favourite candidate of 4% of Labour members and 7% of others.

If a general election was called tomorrow, 35% of LGBT people who took part in the PinkNews.co.uk survey said they would vote for Labour, 26% for the Conservatives, 16% for the Lib Dems, a drop in support in the gay community of 11 per cent since May. 13% support the Greens. SNP/Plaid Cymru polled 7%

At the start of May a PinkNews.co.uk survey found that 35% of the LGBT community would vote Labour, 27% Liberal Democrats and 26% would vote Conservative.

10% said they would vote Green and 2% for the Scottish and Welsh nationalist parties.