There’s an extraordinarily comprehensive account by Patrick Wintour in the Guardian this morning of how right up to the moment the exit poll was published at 10pm on May 7th that Ed and his team really believed he was about to become PM. The report opens:
“This is the story of how the election defeat came about, based on extensive interviews with many of Milibandâ€™s closest advisers. It is a story of decisions deferred, of a senior team divided, and of a losing struggle to make the Labour leader electable. At its heart are the twin forces that would prove to be the partyâ€™s undoing: the profound doubts about Labourâ€™s instincts on the economy and the surge of nationalism in Labourâ€™s onetime Scottish heartlands. Once those issues â€“ embodied by Milibandâ€™s memory lapse and his rushed deployment of aides north of the border â€“ were skilfully fused together by the Conservatives in the election campaign, they would prove lethal to Labour. And they would ensure that by 8 May, a matter of hours after he had genuinely believed he was about to become Britainâ€™s prime minister, Ed Miliband was gone…”
In another article Wintour focuses on the polling on what the party believed was happening.
Both pieces are well researched outline of what led up to that dramatic night and how so many people, myself included, were so misled by the published polling which, as will be recalled, was turning Labour’s way on election morning.
The hero from the Tory perspective is Lynton Crosby.