Saturday, September 25, 2010

It's Red Ed!

Ed Miliband wasn't the only winner today. I won 100 quid on my 4:1 bet after the election. And the Coalition won today. Because David Miliband was the only opponent we are really worried about. Members apparently went 54:46 for David, unions 60:40 for Ed. So he's already in their debt.

This is a seriously bad result for Labour. Ed didn't get the MPs or the Members. He's also too left-wing, not very good on telly and too geeky for the British electorate. I can't quite believe this has happened.

What will we see next? The battle-lines are now drawns. Ed and the Unions versus the rest of us. Ed is now the candidate of Unite, Unison and the RMT. He doesn't look ready. He is a lovely bloke, he has a real integity but I don't see him as a Prime Ministerial figure. Of course he will grow and he will move to the middle-ground - but he lacked the weight and political imagination of his older brother.

I really feared David Miliband. I could see him finding the pressure-points on the Coalition - and the chunks of its electorate that will waver. Ed won't be able to connect. Like all Labour leader of the past (before Blair) he thinks young voters and non-voters will come out for him. They won't. He has to win seats in the South and the South won't vote for Ed.

Overall, the Labour movement had a choice: a challenging new leader who would take them back to the middle-ground of UK politics. Or to do some comfort-eating and elect the candidate who makes them feel warm inside. To their credit, the Tories chose Cameron, we chose Clegg, both candidates who are not really `of' their parties - but who connect to voters. Ed is the opposite.

Interesting times ahead.

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