The marathon contest to fill one of the biggest jobs in education enters its final phase next week as the National Union of Teachers leadership ballot opens.
William Stewart profiles each candidate here. John Bangs, the union's head of education; Ian Murch, national executive member for West Yorkshire; Martin Powell-Davies, Lewisham branch secretary and Steve Sinnott, deputy general secretary, are competing to succeed Doug McAvoy as NUT general secretary.
On Monday, a year and two months since the contenders first put their names forward, ballot papers will be sent out to around 267,000 fee-paying members of the biggest teaching union. They will be accompanied by biographies of the four candidates, a 300-word address from each of them and a list of the local branches nominating them.
The postal ballot operates on a single transferable vote system which is not only hard to understand but makes the result hideously difficult to predict. It allows voters to express preferences for more than one candidate which has sparked several rumours of dubious providence about deals being cut between rival contenders.
Voters must return their ballot papers by midday on June 28.
Members who do not receive their papers by June 14 should ring an election hotline on 0207380 4825.
MATT BUCK'S WEEK 31