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Sep. 28th, 2010

Ed Miliband will be portrayed by many as the man who won the Labour leadership by a wafer-thin margin solely because of the union vote, but I think this is to underestimate two things:
* The almost one in 10 members of unions and other “affiliate” groups who were eligible to vote in the leadership election but did not tick the box to declare that they supported Labour and not another party (guilty consciences about actually voting SWP or similar, or just the familiar electoral phenomenon of booth confusion? Either way, well done everyone); and

* People who will have found it poetic and downright amusing to deny Miliband Senior his coronation.
A man considered to have refused at the leadership fence not once but twice (see here, for example) David Miliband has learnt belatedly that leaders’ mantles are not usually bestowed on someone who has quietly waited their turn, and I’d love to know for how many voters this was a prime and gleeful motivation.

My esteemed ex-colleague used to have a theory that, as part of David M’s long waiting campaign, he felt he should tone down his famous appeal (not one that necessarily translated into pictures, but a definite charm in the room, especially when speaking publicly) by making extremely dull and ineffectual speeches. Perhaps this worked too well.

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