The UK Labour party has elected Ed Miliband its new leader, in a narrow victory over his older brother David. Mili-E (as he’s dubbed in the UK blogosphere) won 50.65% of the vote in Labour’s electoral college, which comprises the votes of party members, unionists and Labour MPs and MEPs.
Labour lost the last election because, despite the Blair/Brown governments’ acknowledged achievements, they were intimidated into believing that victory depended on imitating their enemies – light touch regulation in the private sector and the internal market in public services, combined with a wanton disregard for personal liberty. Not surprisingly, its core vote felt abandoned and thousands of more prosperous families asked the question that sounds the knell of political hope: “But what does Labour stand for?” Ed Miliband knows what the answer should be. He will provide it with the confidence that comes from the certainty that a natural progressive majority in Britain is waiting to support a genuinely radical party with an unapologetically radical leader.
Ed Miliband was elected through a process which took five months, and involved televised debates, “hustings” for party members, and a relatively substantive discussion over the party’s future and ideological direction.
Update: This is interesting – Ed Miliband on getting out of the “New Labour comfort zone”.