Saturday 25 September 2010

Congratulations Ed Miliband

Congratulations to Ed Miliband on being elected Labour leader, his brother David Miliband who came so close to being elected, and to the other candidates who fought a fraternal and important contest for the party.

The split electoral college - with David Miliband winning more votes among party members as well as MPs - places an even greater emphasis on party unity.

It is also the case that Ed Miliband will have been first or second choice of about 66% of party members - as he was the second choice of 40% of those who voted for his brother, though those votes obviously did not count for him.

I discussed this scenario in detail and this Left Foot Forward commentary at the start of September:

Ed Miliband would face hostile media attention if he were to trail his brother among MPs (45-55) and party members (49-51) yet still get elected Labour leader as the strong choice of trade union levy payers and other affiliates – say 58-42.

That would be enough to give him the electoral college 50.6 to 49.4 – along with a headache with the newspapers and the Tory party, who would challenge the legitimacy of a Labour leader elected primarily on union votes. While not impossible, such scenarios are rather unlikely. Any split decision winner is likely to have 45%+ in every section, demonstrating a breadth of support.

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