Saturday, September 25, 2010

Decision Time For Labour - Banana Man or Forrest Gump

It's not long now until one of the Milibands gets elected to the position of leader of the Labour Party. The world waits with disinterested breath (what do you mean that doesn't make any sense?) for the result announcement at 4 sometime or other, later today.

Will Labour veer to the left with David or lurch to the left with Ed? For both candidates served under New Labour but have played to the Real Labour agenda that the party membership, unions and many MPs wish they could return to.

Between the two Milibands, David is seen as the most moderate and "New Labour"; Ed has been dubbed Red Ed due to his left wing rhetoric and increasingly delusional deficit denying that is almost on a par with Ed Balls' position.

Clearly David would be the more electable candidate but he has promised a left turn (even if not as sharp a one as his brother) to the Labour/Union electorate and they will expect him to deliver, damaging the party's chances of getting back in. That's good news for the country but it could be even better...

I've always thought Ed had a good chance of winning even though David's been the clear favourite up to very recently. That's because of Labour tripartite electoral college and the AV electoral system that means 2nd preference votes can make a big difference to the result. It seems to me that most Brownites will vote for Ed Balls but give their 2nd prefs to Ed Miliband. While the other leftists will split their 1st pref votes among Balls, Abbot and Burnham but, knowing it's really going to be between D and E Miliband will place a 2nd pref vote for the one taking a more leftist position - Red Ed. So David could win on 1st preference votes - clearly the most sensible result for Labour, but if it's close and 2nd preferences become relevant he could lose due to tactical preferential voting. Labour would be left (in both senses of the word) with a candidate no one really wanted.

David must be praying it isn't close and that he wins outright. Otherwise, how he'll regret his cowardice when he shrank from dislodging the obviously failing Gordon Brown earlier this year. He could have seized the day back then and relieved us all of Brown's malign influence sooner than was otherwise the case. Instead, he put his personal interest (didn't want to lead a party likely to lose the next election and feared the Brownite backlash) before the country's and even his party's.

Pity poor Labour. Their choice is between two barely humanoid nerds, one a coward and one an unelectable leftist looky-likey of Forrest Gump.

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