The results of Labour’s leadership election will be known officially at 4.30pm on Saturday 25th September, as delegates to the party conference assemble in Manchester, Northern England. The contest has been tightly – and expensively – fought, with little serious political debate in a party that lost its ideological bearings over a decade ago.
The two front runners, brothers David and Ed Miliband, are reported in much of the British media to be facing a knife edge result. The bulk of the political and media establishment have for most of the past four months been predicting that David Miliband will win handsomely, ably assisted by various figures from the Blairite wing of the Labour Party claiming that David is the brother most feared by the governing Conservatives. In fact a number of senior Conservatives would prefer David Miliband to be elected Labour leader because there is not a great deal that distinguishes him from them, and he will pose less of a threat.
The media establishment have devoted a good deal of space to the Labour leadership campaign without actually reporting or debating any of the issues in any depth. There have been periodic polls, which have largely been inconclusive, because the pollsters don’t know who to poll and don’t understand the somewhat byzantine voting rules of the party.
Supporters of David’s younger brother Ed have argued that he will win because of second and third preference votes from all other candidates going over to him.
However, it is clear that Ed Miliband is not only winning on second and third preferences, but according to well placed insiders is emerging with the most first preference votes – putting him on course to be the next leader of the Labour Party by Saturday evening.