— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) July 10, 2013
The blow up last week of the Falkirk selection contributed to EdM’s very poor start to July. He looked uncertain and less than self assured as he sought to deal with issues that opened up the whole question of Labour’s historical link with the trade union movement.
This came at a time when the Labourâ€™s poll leads seemed to be edging downwards with a couple of YouGov surveys reporting the gap down to just 5%
Last week EdM’s PMQS performance was poor and there were reports of unease at his leadership amongst some in the parliamentary party which led to some betting on his survival. At one stage it was 16/1 that he wouldn’t survive 2013.
Since then he’s adopted two tactics – to demand that MPs outside earnings are restricted and to open up discussion beyond Labour’s financial relationship with the unions.
As James Forsyth has it in the Spectator:-
“Cameronâ€™s problem is that Miliband is turning this from a debate about union influence on Labour selections into one about money â€” and when it comes to money, no party looks good…
…Yesterdayâ€™s speech combined with todayâ€™s performance at PMQs has put Miliband in a far better position. This crisis no longer looks like being one that could engulf his leadership.”
In any case Labour party rules make it much harder to unseat a leader than with the LDs and even more so the Tories.
What was striking about today’s PMQs was how Labour MPs got behind their man. The noise was about as loud as it gets which undoubtedly helped Ed.
The main risk to EdM’s leadership, I’d suggest, comes if he falls short at GE2015 but for the moment he is safe.
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