Pollsters Backing Ed V Punters Backing David

Someone is going to get a shock based on these Sunday Times/YouGov polling results. With two weeks to go until the results are known and voting already taking place it is, all are agreed, going to be close. Punters are predicting a win for David Miliband whilst pollsters YouGov are predicting a narrow win for Ed Miliband.  Admittedly the punters could change their positions on this news, but as things stand currently they are ignoring the pollster overall.


Guido is sticking with his money on David Miliband to beat his brother Ed because he disagrees with the YouGov / LeftFootForward analysis of how the second preference votes will break. It will be close undoubtedly and there does seem to have been a shift in the union affiliates section of the electoral college and Guido has taken money off David to win that section (Ed is now 60% favourite to win the union members vote). David Miliband is still overall favourite to win the leadership, the MEP/MPs votes and the members votes. Guido can only think that the switch in union affiliates to Ed is a result of Union bosses’ endorsements sent out with ballot papers.

UPDATE : Ed Balls remains favourite to be eliminated in the first round. Oh dear…

Ed Miliband Admits Defeat

In a chat with Mumsnet the Labour leadership contenders were asked which historical figure they would be. Cue standard answers like Nye Bevan (Burnham), Republican president Lincoln (Mili-D) and, er, Elvis (Balls). However most telling was Ed Miliband’s answer – Bobby Kennedy.

So he’s the little brother who never made it to the top. Though the similarities must end there, David Miliband “is no Jack Kennedy” to coin a phrase

Asatoband

Ever wondered how David Miliband miraculously has time to blog while he is out and about sewing up the leadership vote. Well he doesn’t:

A little look at the RSS feed for the blog shows us who the real blogger is…

UPDATE: Jess loyally claims that David writes absolutely everything and it’s just her job to put things up. So what do his speech writers do?

David Plans Victory Party as Polls Peak

In the closing days punters are shifting decisively towards David Miliband becoming the next leader of the Labour Party and winning all three sections of the vote. The money is on him winning even the trade union block, despite the hundred grand Unite gave his little brother. A poll for the Daily Politics had him ahead amongst local councillors in addition to MPs, MEPs and members. It looks like he’s got it sewn up.

So it is no surprise then that he is already planning his victory party. Free day passes to Labour Conference for David Miliband supporters are being organised by his “Movement for Change” on the condition that they turn up to his rally being held on the 28th, the day after the result of the leadership election is announced. Despite caveating that the rally will go ahead whoever wins, it sounds a lot like a victory party…

Supporters are also invited to the new leader’s first conference speech, all free of charge. This isn’t the first time the front-runner has been quite so brazen. Despite promising a thousand community organisers would be trained by his campaign, he apparently had to flood his eve-of-voting-rally in London with members of left-wing group London Citizens. Guido imagines his opponents might have one or two things to say about potentially bribing supporters with free conference access…

Blair Bashes Balls For Miliband

No surprises that Tony showers praise on his loyal heir David Miliband. A good spot by Andrew Sparrow who notes:

“Blair says that Miliband was “fundamentally uncertain” in 2007 about whether he wanted the top job. But Blair also says: “Two years later he would be a different calibre of politician, with clear leadership qualities.”

Blair says “two years later”. But we’re reading this more than three years later. Is that sloppy editing? Or does it mean that Blair thought Miliband should replace Brown in 2009, before the general election?”

No other leadership candidate gets anywhere near the support. Ed Miliband is merely seen as one of Brown’s “folk”. Pure venom is spat at Ed Balls. Along side talk of him “behaving badly” was this gem:

“He has guts and he can take decisions. But he suffers from the bane of all left-leaning intellectuals. As I have remarked elsewhere, these guys never ‘get’ aspiration”

The other two candidates are barely mentioned in passing. Blair admits he knew Brown would be a disaster and had David preparing for a leadership bid in 2007. Things would have been very different if the prodigy had found the courage…

The “Special” One

So Labour “oldies”, or election winners as they are also known, are not allowed to comment on the future direction of the party apparently. Unless of course they are Alan Johnson. But was his description of David Miliband as “special” really the best choice of phrase?

Well Guido chuckled anyway…

Labour Lords a’Leaping

As much as the candidates may try to spin it, it is clear the old guard still have the ability to upset the leadership apple-cart. Guido, like most people, wasn’t really paying much attention to the squabbles of the weekend after Mandy dipped an oar in. To summarise, it seems the Dark Lord made a supportive comment about Miliband D, who promptly said “woah there, back off with the endorsements”. Miliband E took offence, and a man who knows all about winning, Lord Kinnock came to his defence. As ever Lord Prescott got angry.

All fascinating stuff that kept the news channels occupied over the long weekend. The Labour Party is really covering itself in glory with this fascinating, in depth, internal discussion about it’s future. News is starting to emerge of Blair’s criticisms of Brown in his book published tomorrow. How convenient for the rest of the country that the Labour Party go into meltdown about the past, the war, the lies and the spin the day the ballot papers go out…

Perfect timing our Tone.

Balls Admits Defeat

So it seems Balls’s campaign to be leader is officially over. Plan B, to get the Shadow Chancellorship, kicked in this morning at Bloomberg. As refreshing as it was to finally hear a leadership candidate talk about the economy, Balls’s pitch for the number two job was way off the mark. With David Miliband hinting that Labour must start to accept some home truths and not fight everything the coalition has done, and the fact that he is sticking to Labour’s “halve the deficit in four years plan” why would he appoint Balls, who is still stuck in denial, as his money man? If he does make the job, his half-baked theories are going to be ripped to shreds in and outside the Party…

The speech itself was hard-hitting, there is no denying that Balls is the man to lay punches, however inaccurate, on the Coalition. Much hay was made of the fact that he correctly predicted Osborne would raise VAT, a fact he only knew because Labour would have had to do the same had they won. As Pete Hoskin points out blatant lies were also told:

Balls says that “George Osborne … is planning to go £40 billion further and faster this year than even Alistair Darling’s plans,” I’m sure he must mean “over this Parliament,” not “this year”. Because that’s the truth.

One bit of confusion that always tickles Guido is how Balls claims that the last recession was the biggest economic crisis of the last hundred years, yet constantly warns that the Coalition plans will take us back to the 1930s depression. A mere seventy to eighty years ago – which was the worst crisis Ed?

For those wondering, a co-conspirator was able to put a crowd sourced question from readers at last night’s Q&A with Balls. Asking whether his friendship with Damian McBride revealed a lack of judgement that rendered him unsuitable for high office, and when was the last time he had any form of communication with his old pal, Balls dodged the first bit but admitted he still talks on the phone to Damian. He was quick to add in an unofficial capacity and he wasn’t taking advice from him. Probably a wise move…

Question to Balls

Guido is off to watch the death throes of Ed Balls’s leadership campaign over at Clifford Chance where he is doing a Q&A at 18:30 with Steve Richards. Tomorrow morning he is also giving  a speech at Bloomberg at 08:30. […]

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Davided Endorsements

With the candidates back from holiday, the finishing line is finally in sight for the Labour leadership. The news that the New Statesman has fallen in line with the Labour youth and trade union movement to back Ed Miliband shouldn’t […]

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Labour’s Happy Left Turn

Peter Mandelson warned recently that the leadership candidates were abandoning the successful tenets of New Labour. He got no thanks for it. Mandy can see that the majority of the Labour Party is in denial – Alastair Campbell actually denies […]

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Quote of the Day

Hugo Rifkind writes on the Labour Leadership contest…

“They’re having the leadership contest that none of them had the guts to have two years ago; promising to do all the things they didn’t do when they could have actually done […]

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Quote of the Day

Mary Creagh’s coded attack on Ed Miliband…

‘I want the country to be united behind a single vision, we aren’t going to do it by sort of having a Rubik’s Cube approach to politics’. 

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