Monday, September 13, 2010

The Miliband Race

With the YouGov polling data now out there is the fascinating conundrum that while Labour members apparently see David Miliband as more electable (55% to 25%) and a potentially better prime minister (45% to 28%), the poll of members, as reported in the Sunday Times over the weekend, gives Ed Miliband a narrow lead (51% to 49%). But, this lead makes an assumption over second preferences, dividing them equally between the two brothers from the other three eliminated candidates. That this is by no means certain is commented on by James Forsyth on the Spectator blog.

On first preferences (and with the other candidates still in the race) David beats Ed 36% to 32%. Whether or not Labour members really will decide to use their second preferences to give the leadership to the man they perceive as both less qualified and less electable remains to be seen, although it will be an interesting commentary not only on how a party membership often rejects electability in favour of ideological comfort, but also how AV might give voters a false sense of security when allocating their second preferences.

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