Trades Union leaders are already planning to take full advantage from their chosen standard bearer in Labour’s leadership contest and are as I write, in the bars, plotting to turn Ed Miliband into their prisoner. Beer and sandwiches anyone?
The Public Wanted David, Labour Party members wanted David, Members of Parliament wanted David, Messers Simpson, Woodley, Prentis, Kenny and Co from the unions wanted Ed. So who wins? Ed!
This is the first occasion that all the parts of the Labour Electoral College have not all gone the same way. Previous Leaders from Neil Kinnock to Blair had an overwhelming majority amongst Members, Parliamentarians and Trades Unions so this issue has not arisen before.
David Cameron and Nick Clegg must be rubbing their hands with glee at the numerous own goals this charade has ended up providing them with! Ed Miliband could end up a lame duck by Christmas or even earlier!
This will lead to a great many problems for Ed Miliband that previous Leaders did not have to face in uniting the Party behind them! MPs are most disgruntled at this outcome as are local members who mostly seem to have gone for David.
Civil war inside the Labour Party is the usual fall out from losing office. Only hunger for future Party success has a chance of maintaining unity. This will especially come under strain when Simpson and Co start applying pressure on MPs to toe the Unite, GMB or Unison line. Sources tell me that unkind comparisons to Michael Foot are the mainstay of many earnest conversations around the conference bars. Real anger mixed with despair are stalking the conference corridors. Delegates are already acutely aware of the consequences of the Unions victory because it will erode confidence in the long term and many are of the opinion that the next General Election was lost today. At this rate, civil war will have broken out by tomorrow morning, so much for unity!
This reaction from an unnamed but senior Labour MP:
“I think this will trigger a constitutional crisis in the party. It is complete madness that we can be seen to have a leader who was put there by the unions.”
From Tony Woodley. Joint General Secretary Unite:
“We welcome Ed’s victory – this is a fantastic achievement for him and for the policies he has been promoting. His victory, coming from nowhere a few months ago, is a clear sign that the party wants change, to move on from New Labour and reconnect with working people. Ed has won by hitting the issues people care about – stopping the assassination of public services, fighting for a living wage, standing up for manufacturing, a better future for young people. Now the party must unite behind its new leadership and take the fight to the Tories.”
From Dave Prentis. General Secretary Unison:
“Unison backed Ed Miliband because of the way he listened and understood the needs of ordinary working people. We look forward to working together to challenge the coalition government and its regressive cuts agenda. Under Ed’s leadership, Labour must offer an alternative economic strategy, promoting growth and recovery, together with fairness … As a priority, Ed must reconnect with Labour’s lost voters, including public sector workers, many of whom have been turned off in the past because they believed that Labour had deserted them.”
I saw John Healey on television and from his demeanour, he could not disguise his displeasure at the outcome, nor I suspect was he aware he was on television, Oh dear! Perhaps he was looking forward to the Shadow Cabinet elections to come?
The backlash begins, this from Sayeeda Warsi already:
“On behalf of all of us in the Conservative Party, I congratulate Ed Miliband on his election as Leader of the Labour Party.
He will have many challenges ahead in these next few days, but if he wants to be taken seriously, the first thing he’s got to do is own up to his role in creating the mess that Britain is in and tell us what he’d do to fix it.
From advising Gordon Brown in the Treasury in the 90s, to serving in his Cabinet in the 2000s, he must recognise his central role in creating the financial mess we’re all paying for.
For the past five months, all we’ve heard from Labour is knee jerk opposition to our plans to tackle the deficit. Now is the time for Mr Miliband to tell us what he’d do instead. He promised us a Labour spending plan before the spending review, now we’d all like to see it.
The new Labour leader now has a clear choice. He can either serve the national interest by joining with us and the Liberal Democrats and set out how he would cut the deficit, or he can stand on the sidelines and refuse to engage with the biggest challenge facing Britain in decades.
The fact that Ed Miliband owes his position to the votes of the unions does not bode well. At the moment this looks like a great leap backwards for the Labour Party.
After 13 years of Labour failure, we need your help to hold Ed Miliband to account.
And Guido Fawkes announced victory for Ed thus:
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…
From Toby Young:
Did Ed Miliband supporters break the rules of the leadership election? If so, big trouble lies ahead.
and Christmas has come early for David Cameron.
John Rentoul of the Independent:
The party voted for David Miliband but got the Panda instead
Those results in full:
Diane Abbott: 7.42% (0.877% from MPs and MEPs, 2.447% from members, 4.093% from unions and affiliated societies)
Ed Balls: 11.79% (5.013% from MPs and MEPs, 3.371% from members, 3.411% from unions and societies)
Andy Burnham: 8.68% (3.008% from MPs and MEPs, 2.849% from members, 2.825% from unions and societies)
David Miliband: 37.78% (13.910% from MPs and MEPs, 14.688% from members, 9.182% from unions and societies)
Ed Miliband: 34.33% (10.526% from MPs and MEPs, 13.821% from members, 9.978% from unions and societies)
As no candidate got more than 50% overall, Diane Abbott was eliminated and her second preference votes redistributed.
Ed Balls: 13.3% (5.171% from MPs and MEPs , 4.224% from members, 3.829% from unions and affiliated societies)
Andy Burnham: 10.41% ( 3.03% from MPs and MEPs, 3.298% from members, 4.078% from unions and affiliated societies)
David Miliband: 38.89% (14.015% from MPs and MEPs , 15.076% from members, 9.799% from unions and affiliated societies)
Ed Miliband: 37.47% (11.111% from MPs and MEPs , 11.13% from members, 15.231% from unions and affiliated societies)
As no candidate got more than 50% overall, Andy Burnham was eliminated and his votes redistributed according to preferences.
Ed Balls: 16.02% (5.429% from MPs and MEPs, 4.823% from members, 5.76% from unions and affiliated societies)
David Miliband: 42.72% (15.783% from MPs and MEPs, 16.076% from members, 10.861% from unions and affiliated societies)
Ed Miliband: 41.26% (12.121% from MPs and MEPs , 12.424% from members, 16.706% from unions and affiliated societies)
As no candidate got more than 50% overall, Ed Balls was eliminated and his votes redistributed according to preferences.
David Miliband 49.35% (17.812% from MPs and MEPs, 18.135% from members, 13.40% from unions and affiliated societies)
Ed Miliband 50.65% (15.522% from MPs and MEPs, 15.198% from members, 19.934% from unions and affiliated societies)
Ed Miliband passed the 50% threshold and declared the winner.