Should the votes involved have been disqualified?
The other day I was having a conversation with a Labour figure who was furious about the manner of Ed Miliband’s election as Labour leader on September 25th last year.
It will be recalled that David Miliband had clear margins amongst the party members and the party’s MPs/MEPs. The elder brother was also ahead in most of the affiliated organisations apart from in a small group of very large unions where voting papers had gone out in the form that appears in the picture above.
I am told that there had been a ruling from the NEC that promotional material for specific candidates was not to be included within the ballot packs. This small group of unions, it is said, interpreted this by using the outer envelope to back their choice – the younger Miliband.
“Why oh why..” my contact argued, did the NEC allow this to happen and “why didn’t David Miliband complain?”
For it was the mass of votes from the unions involved that pushed Ed Milband’s ahead in the final round of the AV election.
I don’t know whether the person I spoke to is representative of opinion within the party but there’s clearly unease in some quarters about the younger Miliband