Is due at about 4.40pm. The last YouGov poll of Labour members and trade unionists had the Miliband brothers neck and neck. Ed Miliband was marginally ahead – but they were within the margin of error of each other and it could easily go either way (especially since MPs second preferences are still largely unknown, though Left Foot Forward have since managed to get some info from MPs backing Abbott, Balls and Burnham).

The Westminster village seems to have decided that Ed Miliband will indeed win, and the betting markets have him as heavy odds on favourite. However, there isn’t any sign of firm information (Laura Kuenssberg tweeted earlier that even Labour’s general secretary wont be told the result by ERS until 3.30pm, and ERS themselves are unlikely to leak), so it should really still be regarded as too close to call.

Feel free to use this thread to discuss the result (but please, try to stick to the comments policy and lay off the posts greeting the new leader as either the coming of the messiah or the final nail in Labour’s coffin!)

UPDATE: The result is, as everyone will now know, Ed by a whisker. That was stressful!

334 Responses to “The new Labour leader annoucement”

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  1. Looking forward to 4.30 like te rest of us!

    Interesting to learn on BBC News 24 this morning that some polling research (didn’t catch who and when) indicates that as far as the general public is concerned it won’t make a lot of difference which Miliband it is – we shall see.

  2. I think I caught that too, David. I’m sure it said that Gordon Brown was more popular than either Milliband as leader with party members – but that was done to affection rather than a consideration of who was best to lead the party.

  3. Anthony

    Of course, those of us who aren’t Christians have no problem in thinking that the new leader may be both the Messiah and dead!

  4. I won’t be available to blog today after 4.40pm.

    But I don’t think it will matter much who wins, except in the unlikely event that it is Diane Abbot. The four male candidates all came across as professional politician types, and none of them had an outstanding campaign.

    Perhaps the surprise is that Ed Balls did not make more impact during the leadership campaign. But it might be said he had a family balls-up. One cannot help thinking that Yvette Cooper would have had a good chance had she stood.

    In fact it is rather depressing. Labour has preferential treatment to get women MPs through means such as all women shortlists which I for one find morally dubious, and which I think in practice too often prefer second rate candidates. But when there came an election for which Labour’s best available candidates may well have been women – Harriet Harman as well as Yvette Cooper would have had a good chance – they bottled it.

    At least Diane Abbot went for it. She comes out of the leadership campaign with a great deal of credit, whatever votes she gets.

    I think the differences between the two Milibands was situational rather than about them personally. David had more experience, but also more baggage (not only the banana photo), than Ed. Given that this was so, there is no reason why one of them beating the other should have any implications for their family relationship. And I sincerely hope that it won’t.

  5. Miliband is not the messiah, he is a very naughty boy!!!!

  6. Balls had the best campaign. On policy, he has paved the wave forward for Labour. andy Burnahm chipped in with a couple of good policies as well. In both cases the policies were not minor reforms but were wholesale changes about the way our society should be. I sincerely hope that the new leader does not ignore the ideas to come from these two men.

    Opposition will be eventful. With AV, Holyrood and the CSR, the new leader does not have long to bed himself down before having to decide the best way forward for Labour.

    In terms of the Blue and Yellow manifestos, they have quite a lot of policy to implement. I hope the leader is as constructive as possible. Nothing looked as bad for the Tories at PMQ as when Blair listed Labour’s achievements only to conclude with the fact that blues had opposed the social chapter, minimum wage or devolution.

    Thus, the hardest job of all for the new Labour leader will be the task of picking the blue policies to support. I hope he makes his choices well.

  7. By the way, there is much talk of it being close between the two brothers. i do not think it will be close. Overall, I think Ed will win by about 6%.

  8. I think that whoever wins, the job ahead isn’t really any different. While each candidate may have different small advantages and disadvantages, the road to effective opposition, government -in-waiting and election victory will be tough regardless.

    This tension isn’t good, but I am filling the time re-watching the 80’s series ‘Edge of Darkness’, a most commendable way to fill the time!

  9. @ Eoin – Michael Meacher MP pretty much agrees with you on his blog.

  10. Even my ‘insiders’, who tipped me early that Ed M would have union backing & likely win, say it is too close to call.

    They are saying that Andy & Ed B are sure to have shadow cabinet positions & a lot of influence going forward.

    There is a lot of affection for Gordon in the Party; David’s friend Purnell did David no favours with his resign/ coup stunt. I believe this cost David some crucial MP votes.

    That’s all the gossip I have, for now, that’s fit to print.

  11. h ttp://

    I reccomend the above link to anyone who has time to watch Michael Crick’s exploration of the Miliband’s backgroung.

  12. Message my friend Dan sent to me today:
    ‘Chatting to a Labour MP yesterday, he has voted 4 times! Once as an MP, once as a Labour member, once as a member of a union and once as a member of an affiliated organisation! Due to weighting an MP’s vote is worth 600 times more than a members!’

    Is this true?
    If so, what an absolutely ridiculous system!

  13. I have now heard from two separate sources the same piece of info: DM has taken the MPs by 53% to 47%.

    That gets DM 17.66% of the required 50% to become leader.

    EM has 2% shortfall to make up on the Unions and Party membership (Em is on 15.66% if the sources are to be believed).

  14. “ERS themselves are unlikely to leak”

    However there is always the chance that an insider can inadvertently leak by way of cashing in by placing bets after all we are all opportunist thieves . Bookmakers have suddenly made Ed Millipede favourite.

  15. March 2014 or March 2015 will be a tax cutting buget. In a triumphalist kinda way it will be a “we dunnit” budget. I think Income Tax is most likely to come down on the very day that the chancellor also announces that the Personal Tax Allowance has reached £10k. The newspapers headlines will read something to the affect of budget helps the poorest and those on middle income. DC will from that go on an eek out a narrow majority. That for me is the most likely outcome in 2015.

    the first sign that blues are thinking about the tex cutting approach in the run up to the election is covered in the following article.

    h ttp://

  16. @ MisterDavid

    It’s amazing how interested the Media & the blogosphere have become in the way we elect our leader. Few showed any interest at the start of the process.

    The old habit of attacking Labour on how their leader was chosen, it dies hard for you guys. Personally, I think one man, one vote is a cr*p way to elect a leader of a political party.

    Anybody can splurge a few quid on a membership & get the same vote as an MP who is representing his entire constituency…. How would that be fairer?

  17. @ Éoin

    Tax cutting budget before the next GE… hmmm. Is that the only strategy the Coalition have got? I do hope so because, IMO, there’s no way that’ll be enough. 8-)

  18. I don’t think there is much wrong with the system for electing the labour leader. AV is a good way to make sure that you get a consensus candidate with the broadest base of support. The “electoral college system” that gives preferential weight to MP’s is fine because it is they who represent constituents, report to the leader and jobs depend on the success of the leader. What I’m not sure about is why an ordinary Labour member can get loads of votes by just joining as many organisations as possible. You should only get one vote in each section of the college so an MP could vote once as MP, once as union/affiliated group and once as party member. This would make the system almost perfect in my view.

    In terms of who has won I suspect Ed has probably pipped David and the interesting question will be how the losing brother moves forward.

  19. I think we can be sure that any winning candidate will need second and prehaps third preference votes to
    cross the 50% line.
    While I voted for David M /Ed Balls I do find that most my local members voted for Ed either first or second
    with David losing out with these secondary votes.
    It won’t surprise me a bit to find Ed coming in first
    this afternoon

  20. Mr Clarke – It would be nice to see taxes cut – ie it would be nice to see that we are wealthy enough as a nation to afford taxes cut.

    But I do not think it is going to happen. Simply raising the thresholds is going to take a lot of money. We are still mired in a massive deficit and need to actually build up surpluses to pay off debt and prepare for the next downturn in the cycle. This used to be called ‘prudence’.

    Only if the government finds cheaper ways of doing things can we hope to see significant (as opposed to window dressing) tax cuts.

    we might hope for a simpler tax system a simpler benefits system which would be less expensive to administer. But I wonder …

  21. @ Trevorsden

    LOL – you are another person who is stuck in the politics of the past.

    The deficit was higher than ever in August; your comment & the Tory tax cut strategy, mentioned by Éoin, rather depend on it being zero by mid-2014.

    All the Coailition supporters speak as if a zero deficit by then is a fact. Does it ever occur to you deficit hawks that it may still be there come 2014? Epic fail for a government with all their eggs in one basket? 8-)

  22. TrevorsDen,

    It is good to see you posting. And I understand your argument. Debt is bad I think you are arguing. And wage regulations on small businesses hampers their growth i also think you refer to.

    I hold the view that tax rises could have helped alleviate the debt rather than cut. Ed Balls has also had an honest debate about our position in Europe and Immigration. I like his views on a house building programme. Most of all, i support his graduate tax idea. Where I give him credit is that at least you knew where you stood with him. I am a sukcer for honesty in a politician.

  23. @ Trevorsden

    I have to withdraw at least half of my comment to you, in light of your 3:07pm post.

    My apologies for assuming you were a member of the tax avoiders alliance. ;-)

  24. Dear Jamie – should voting for a leader be about ‘consensus’ ? By which you really mean compromise.
    Or does this system really take the mind away from a true consideration of the issues and the making of a hard nosed decision.

    I forget now how the conservatives do it, but one person one vote seems the only serious way you can elect a party leader. The role of MP is to put up the candidates.
    A 1 member 7 votes system only strikes me as sensible in the Alice Through The Looking-glass world of Labour politics.

  25. Anthony

    I think you’re being too modest. Since the betting market turn around seems to be based on Mike Smithson’s analysis, and that was in turn based on your own impeccable polling, that makes you at least John the Baptist.

    I agree though, it’s still impossible to call, because of the disproportionate weight given to the MPs/MEPs, who are not necessarily going to spill the beans, even after they’ve voted. There was clearly a lot of late attempts to stampede them one way or the other (see nails and Messiahs), but I wouldn’t think that with a secret ballot it would have much effect.

  26. Roger,

    MPs votes are not in secret ballot. They are published… I’ve received reports that it broke down something like a gap of 14 between the two…

  27. Mr Clarke we are seeing a rise in VAT to 20%. So tax is playing its part.

    We are spending massive amounts of money which the economy cannot support.
    Its called the structural deficit.
    Even in the good times we did not generate the revenues to support Browns spending ambitions because spending was totally out of control.
    Thats why we need to cut spending. The other part of the debt is cyclical and we might expect revenues to increase to cut that and build up a surplus.

    I see no merit in discussing various cherry picked policies from any of the candidate who put them forward to appeal to one constituency or another.
    Take the issue of a graduate tax. Its a pity that we cannot afford to make further education free for all who would benefit from it.

    The real issue is the pointless expansion of further education which we cannot afford and which is of no merit. And behind that of course is the very nature of the society which 13 years of labour have pushed us into.

    PS grateful for the studied replies.
    Of to my granddaughters 4th birthday shortly.

  28. TrevorsDen,

    II understand your perspective. And I have no doubt you hold it in good faith.. I certainly do not think you are wrong…

    We just see it different: In and ideal world (for a red) we would always run a small deficit. Say £6bn or so. reds think that when you spend you improve services and generate growth, which in turn makes the country we live in better and increases tax receipts. Reds believe that unspent money is a waste of potential good.

    i fully appreciate that this is waffle to a monetarist but that is our genuninely held convcition.

    as for new Labour and 3rd Level Education, it is a holy unmitiagated disaster. Russell Group universities want to charge £7k a year. A typical undergraduate humanities student gets 72 hours worth of lectures per annum. In addition to this they get 60 hours of tutorials per year. That means a student would be paying £53 per hour of education. Add to that accomodation, books, travel etc… and very quickly you see how unsustainable it becomes.

    Enjoy the party, I hope you are saving for her education :)

  29. Well at least Labour is having a leadership contest this time instead of just anointing the loony in the attic.

    The Twitterati seem to think Ed has won it but we’ll know for sure soon enough. I prefer Ed to David myself but I suspect Ed is less likely to swing a general election.

  30. Colin
    On Ken L, I think that it is a clear sign of Labour showing maturity in decision-making. Age should neither ensure you are ignored or that you get the job.. Most people probably had reservations about Ken and many will be politically closer to Oona but Ken is the best placed candidate to run London
    Ps Conservatives may weel think they should have thought similarly about K Clark

  31. I feel sick. :(

  32. Yesterday blogosphere seemed sure it was Ed, today, nobody will commit. Honestly don’t think anyone knows now.

  33. @ Sue

    Nerves getting to you? I took a lot of reassurance from David saying he will be staying whatever happens in the leadership contest. 8-)

  34. Sue,

    Please stop pacing around, sit down and have a cup of tea!

  35. Sue,

    I have posted a link on ralph Miliband higher up the thread. It will cheer you up…. Their Mum should be the new leader :)

  36. :lol:

    My girls are here with me. The sisterhood will see me through )

  37. @ Sue

    Think of whoever wins as the next Prime Minister, replacing David Cameron. That helps, believe me. 8-)

  38. Amber

    Anybody can splurge a few quid on a membership & get the same vote as an MP who is representing his entire constituency…. How would that be fairer?

    Well the Labour Party has only itself to blame for that. Normally with leadership elections, candidate selection etc, most Parties close the voting roll as soon as the vacancy is announced. Instead Labour decided to keep voting membership open to nearly the end of the process and also to do an introductory £1 fee for the first year. I remember pointing out to you at the time that, at best, it looked a bit needy.

    I don’t think there has been any attempt to buy up votes, certainly not judged by those regulars here who’ve joined, and a post-election surge in membership seems to have common to all Parties; but if there have been any dodgy dealings Labour can’t accuse anyone except itself.

    As far as the extra super-vote for the ubermenschen (MPs/MEPs) goes – remember they all have their personal votes as well. Of course we know New Labour believes in unaccountable elites ( :P ), but you can’t justify this as representing their constituencies. This is a secret ballot unlike in the Commons, so they can’t be held to account by their voters as normal. Don’t forget that MPs (as with Conservative and Lib Dems) already have the gatekeeper role that a certain amount of backing from the Parliamentary Party is required before a candidate can even stand.

  39. Amber – Finding it hard, but I’ll do my best :)

    Tomorrow I will be the model party faithful – whoever wins :)

  40. @ Roger Mexico

    I’m an ordinary member of the Labour Party & I think you are, perhaps, speaking from the sidelines.

    All the MPs I know have openly said who they’d like to support & sought feedback from their members & their constituency via websites etc. before making a final decision.

    Are you inferring that the MPs have not been honest about who they are voting for?

  41. Eoin

    I’ve just seen your comment at 3:18. Are you sure that the list of MPs/MEPs votes will be published? I can’t find a reference to it anywhere or a list of how they voted in the Deputy leadership.

    Of course they may say who they voted for and many have indicated who they will support, but I don’t think there’s any way of confirming it. In addition many will not state their second etc preferences because of course their preferred candidate “is going to win”.

  42. Roger – I thought it was open too with the MPs

  43. Just to say that according to the Certification Office the number of people that pay into Unite’s General Fund has gone own 300 000 in the last two years.In 2009 it had a deficit of £80 000 000 in its pension fund. The GMB owes the Co-op Bank £30 000 000. Not surprising the Government is scrapping the Trade Union Modernisation Fund.

  44. TrevorsDen

    i’m actually impressed with labours voting system, by including the trade union members and affiliated groups they have broadened the voting base. maybe they give themselves a better chance to elect a truly popular leader instead of a “party darling” just look at the mess the blues made of OMOV, Michael Howard was probably the worst choice they could have made

    i’m afraid that eoin is probably right, there will be a pre election “giveaway” but you are also right, it won’t be affordable. ‘prudence’ is a dirty word with both reds and blues. so deficit increasing tax cuts are almost inevitable.

    i would hope that the libdems would be opposed to tax cuts but no one can campaign against tax cuts without being annihilated at the polls

    i’m starting to wonder if democracy is irresponsible by nature

  45. I also believe that MP votes are made public.

    Gordon & Harriet are abstaining because they consider it important that they are seen to be impartial.

    There wouldn’t be much point to that, if their votes were kept secret.

    Assuming we are wrong & Roger Mexico is correct, I dislike his inferrence that MPs would lie to their CLP members & constituents about who they voted for. 8-)

  46. Gordon’s such a statesman.

  47. I am so glad that Gordon is in good form and looking well. I think he’s got a great family and I wish them well.

  48. Amber

    It’s because I’m an outsider that I can criticise how things look, and to outsiders the way the Labour Party does these elections appears odd. I know there are good historical reasons for it, but now even the Tories have one person one vote (admittedly after the MPs have whittled the choice down to two) it does look a bit dated.

    In the end it’s up to the Labour Party to set its own rules; but because their choice does effect the whole country, people are not going to let it pass without comment.

    My belief about the secret ballot is based on my being unable to find the info anywhere and assuming that there would have been X voted for Y stories in the past, if the details were known. Actually technical information on how the whole thing works is difficult to find; as I’ve said before, it would be interesting to know the effect of online voting say.

    I don’t know if Brown and Harman said they were not voting for any candidate or just that they wouldn’t support anyone publicly. In any case you can still have a list of who voted in a secret ballot – that’s what the marked register is.

    I’m sure that most MPs (any Party) would deal openly and honestly with their members and constituents on this issue. However, if I’m right about the secret ballot, there isn’t a way to verify it; most members of the British public do not share our views of MPs honesty (only 38% in fact).

    ht tp://

  49. @ Sue

    Cracking ‘farewell’ speech by Gordon. 8-)

  50. So where’s all these post Lib Dem conference polls?

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