Ed Miliband emerges as favourite to be new Labour leaderSeptember 25th, 2010 - 11:58 am ICT by ANI
London, Sept.25 (ANI): British Labour Party politician and Member of Parliament for Doncaster North, Ed Miliband, is emerging as the favourite to defeat his brother David Miliband to be elected as Labour leader. The country’s main bookmakers shifted their odds after punters began laying heavy bets on the younger sibling following a late surge in the polls.
If correct, it would be a dramatic end to the five-month contest, delivering a devastating blow both personally and politically to David Miliband, the older, more right-wing brother who had long been considered the most likely victor, The Telegraph reports. The outcome will be announced in Manchester at around 4.45p.m. Sunday, as delegates gather for the party’s conference, and there will be a tense wait as the results of the complicated Labour leadership voting system are played out.
In what has been described by some commentators as a worse case scenario for the party, analysis of voting intentions by the influential Left Foot Forward website suggested that David Miliband would top the poll on first preferences, but go on to lose by 49 percent to 51 percent once the second, third and fourth preferences of the losing candidates were redistributed.
As opinion polls and bookmakers predicted that Ed Miliband would pip David on the finishing line, the young sibling’s thoughts were said to be turning to the formation of his potential shadow cabinet.
In another twist which could again draw family relationships into the world of high politics, Miliband is thought to be mulling over both Ed Balls, another leadership rival, and his wife, Yvette Cooper, the shadow work and pensions secretary, as his choice for shadow chancellor.
Although hamstrung during the contest by his association with Gordon Brown, Balls is seen as having run a highly effective leadership campaign.
His analysis of the economic outlook is viewed as providing a template for the new leader to take on the Coalition, by making a cogent case for delaying public sector cuts until growth is more firmly established.
Miliband has also been impressed by Cooper’s success over George Osborne, the Chancellor, in a Commons debate on the Budget in the early weeks of the new Government.
He is said to feel that as a young, comprehensive-school educated woman, she will play well with the public, particularly in contrast to Osborne, who he hopes she will portray as elitist.
During the contest, David Miliband was embarrassed by repeated questioning about his intentions, and was eventually forced to state that he would serve under his brother.
The likelihood is that he would be invited to keep his current job of shadow foreign secretary - soothing his wounded pride by allowing him to spend as much time as he liked out of Westminster and away from his brother.
However, there is growing speculation that while David Miliband would accept a position for form’s sake, he would stay no more than six months.
In a sign that he too may consider the battle lost, he spoke out yesterday to deny suggestions that he could even quit as an MP, saying that he was too attached to the voters of his South Shields constituency who re-elected him at the general election earlier this year to abandon them. (ANI)
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