The Electoral College for the Labour leadership contest is split equally between MPs, constituency members and affiliated organisations (primarily the Trades Unions). The political views of each of these blocks is completely understood.
- The Trades Unions want the Labour Party to be their political wing, expressing the sectional interests of organised labour.
- The constituencies want a dose of traditional labour leftism.
- The parliamentary party (including MEPs) are all over the place.
There is no set of rational policies which can simultaneously deliver the vote across the college and achieve a plurality in the electorate at large: this will be the undoing of David M.
Ed Balls will work just fine for the Trades Unionists and CLP members but sufficient people will judge him to be a tribal and divisive figure who cannot win an election to scupper his chances.
Ed Miliband will play the "values" card, as he is already doing and will be policy-lite. By seeming "one of us" across the college he won't activate the Labour Party's immune system (unlike his elder brother) and will come across as sufficiently affable to position himself as a winner at the next election.
So I guess I should pop down to the betting shop and put my money where my post is? - Let me just check the odds at time of writing ...
DAVID MILIBAND 4/7
ED MILIBAND 2/1
ED BALLS 10/1
ANDY BURNHAM 8/1
DIANE ABBOTT 33/1.
Hardly seems worth it unless I were delusional about Diane ... and then magically proven correct!