Saturday, 5 June 2010

Campaign chair backs candidate sensation

The political betting website has long established itself as an essential source for political punters, rarely letting a foreign election or LibDem deputy leadership contest go unnoticed. But the site may need to secure some more Labour party inside intelligence between now and September, judging by the rather breathless report from site editor Mike Smithson last night.

Smithson is a Cameron-friendly Liberal Democrat who has done a great deal to establish the blog as a significant political forum. But he was off the mark in suggesting that a game-changing intervention had given David Miliband "the big Mo" and may even now have made his campaign "unstoppable".

The big news tonight in the Labour race is a statement by Douglas Alexander, who was previously a strong Mili-Ed supporter, on why he has come out backing Mili-D.

This follows the endorsement from Alistair Darling and it looks as though Alexander, a key figure, has worked out where this race is going and wants to be on the DM band-wagon.

That account will surprise both Milibands - since Douglas Alexander has been co-chairing the David Miliband campaign from the start, and was writing for the Labour Uncut blog in that capacity, to make a strong pitch for his candidate's credentials.

The error was picked up by several contributors, though it has yet to be corrected. Smithson has openly declared his gamble on a David Miliband victory at 7-1 last Autumn, and the website has a strong policy and consistent record of contributors being transparent about when they have a stake in any outcome.

Securing Alexander for Team Miliband (D) was an important enough coup to be the opening contender in my most surprising nominations stakes.

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