+ + + David Miliband Statement + + +
Fears Perpetual Distraction and Destruction

You read it here first:

“The party needs a fresh start from its new leader, and I think that is more likely to be achieved if I make a fresh start…  having thought it through, and discussed it with family and friends I am absolutely confident it is the right decision for Ed, for the party, and for me and my family. This is now Ed’s party to lead and he must be able to do so as free as possible from distraction…. This is because of the simple fact that Ed is my brother, who has just defeated me for the party leadership. I genuinely fear perpetual, distracting and destructive attempts to find division where none exists, and splits where they don’t exist, all to the detriment of the party.”

So all that stuff during the election campaign about him being “happy to serve” in Ed’s cabinet was a load of bananas…

UPDATE : The text is taken from a letter sent to his constituency chair. Guido was not subject to an embargo because he wasn’t officially given the text.

How the Unions Won it for Red Ed

This morning’s papers could not have been comfortable reading for the majority of the Labour Party who did not vote for Ed Miliband. Despite attempts to say “so what” to the fact that Unite and the other unions have the leader of their party by the balls, Red Ed is being defined by his opponents (and supporters) before the voting public have any idea who he really is. Not without good reason, imagine the outcry from Labour if the Tories biggest donor had been given the deciding say in who the party leader is, against the wishes of the membership and MPs. Try as Ed may to claim he is his own man, the results speak for themselves and how they were achieved is very telling.

Not only was there the £135,000 given to Ed’s campaign directly, but money was spent elsewhere pushing his face and name. Take this ballot paper envelope from the GMB for example:

Unite the Union broke not only the spirit but the letter of the leadership election laws by sending a mailshot endorsing Ed when they sent the ballot papers to their 950,000 members.  Unite even set up a website backing Red Ed which linked to the Electoral Reform Society’s online voting page. If David Miliband had a little less dignity he would have pretty solid grounds for an investigation.

The unions gave help-in-kind worth millions. There is no way the unions will not want a return for their investment and in the campaign Ed promised to support strikes and even show his face at the TUC’s coordinated action day. Guido is fairly confident this won’t happen and Ed will have to attempt to distance himself from his puppet-masters. Expect tame words calling for political solutions and the like…

Winners & Losers

Besides Red Ed and Derek Simpson there are a few others who won big. On the blogosphere LeftFootForward did well, Mike Smithson bravely called it for Ed, enhancing his reputation for sagacity, YouGov rang the bell with polling granularity that was impressively predictive and punters did extraordinarily well. Yesterday morning punters’ favourites for first round elimination, to win overall, to win the membership, MPs, union sections and overall all came true. The predictive wisdom of crowds…

The losers were the Blairites. Mandelson should have stayed out of it, his intervention was counter-productive and irritated many. Mandy’s analysis was correct in that Ed was running against his own manifesto and was crowd pleasing the Guardianistas. Blairite pundits Rentoul and Aaronovitch are already mourning the electability of Labour. Labour friendly media did particularly badly, both the Mirror and the Guardian backed David Miliband to no avail. Clients of lobbyists Roland Rudd and Tony Bailey wasted their money, as did David Sainsbury, not that he’d notice.


The polling of Labour members shows that they thought David was the more effective leader, more likely to lead them to victory and would make a better PM, still they chose Ed. Tony himself of course dropped hints that David was really his heir and a disappointed Bad Al Campbell hit the nail on the Ed, saying he’ll make ‘the party feel OK about losing’. The Labour Party has chosen to lose the next general election and seems happy about it…

Charlie Whelan Wins by a Whisker

Unite’s massive effort to persuade disinterested union members to vote for Ed Miliband paid off. Ed won 50.65% of the vote. He lost in the MP and membership sections of the electoral college but took so much of the union vote it didn’t matter. The unions bought the election, endorsements and incredibly heavy promotion of their chose candidate paid off. Charlie Whelan and Derek Simpson can justifiably claim it is their victory, they got Red Ed the job…

It Ain’t Over till the Electoral Reform Society Sings


Guido has basically got his betting book flat on the Labour leadership, after backing David originally, flipping around onto Ed last Friday and adding to his position substantially during the week. Guido took the book to basically neutral last night, after selling Ed at ridiculously high prices going into the result.

Why? Because it is just too close to call with confidence.

Unless the Electoral Reform Society has leaked – something Guido doubts – the Thursday night flip happened because punters put money on Ed, it snowballed taking him beyond evens and making him favourite. There was no new poll or information on Thursday, the price moved simply and only because there were more buyers than sellers.

At the time of writing the specialist political bookies Smarkets* have Ed with an 80% probability of winning, it should be nearer 50/50 based on the polling and closeness of the count. Guido is tempted, on a valuation basis, to sell Ed at that price…

*As far as Guido can see they are the only bookies still making prices.

The Battle of the Brothers

The BBC have produced a round up of the campaign so far:

It is an accurate insight into the Miliband brothers’ relationship with a revelation that Hague likes Balls. The Guidoisation of politics continues…

Little Bro Has Big Mo (Too Late To Vote Though)

You can bet your bottom dollar that David Miliband is rueing the day he didn’t stab Gordon this morning. Suddenly the race to be the next Labour leader got interesting. The late-in-the-game switch to Ed as favourite has been aided in no small part by the fact it was left-wing Red Ken beating right-wing Blarite Oona in a miniature version of the national race. This must be torture for David…

Nice to see the lobby are catching up with the fast pace this morning, it seems the pack have realised some people actually put their money when their mouths are.

You read it here first.

+ + + Ed Miliband Now Bookies Favourite + + +

David Miliband Preparing for Defeat

This morning the Guardian is reporting that Jim Murphy, one of David Miliband’s two campaign managers, attended a meeting with members of the Ed Milband camp to map out how they would handle Saturday’s leadership result in the event of […]

Counting Begins

The campaigning is over, the counting has begun. For political punters like Guido there is a fascinating divergence between the punters and the pollsters, YouGov is calling it narrowly for Red Ed, the punters reckon it will be David Miliband.[…]

A Clear Conscience

In a move completely out-of-place for someone who can put their head on the pillow confident in the knowledge that they hadn’t relied on information from tortured terror suspects, David Miliband decided yesterday he would return to the FCO to […]

‘Red Ed’ Has CCHQ Licking Lips

If as many expect Mili-D wins the MPs’ vote, splits the members vote with his brother, but Mili-E still wins overall because the union vote goes overwhelmingly to him, Guido gets the impression that the few remaining Tory strategists […]



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Quote of the Day

Andrew Neil on the dying Dead Tree Press

“I read more bloggers now than mainstream columnists, because they’ve got more interesting things to say. Too many columnists today make you think, ‘Yeah, I think you’ve said that 10 times before and I’ve just noticed your column has not go a single fact in it’”.

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