AV in action ...

Labour leadership first round results:

David Miliband: 37.8 percent (of the total vote)
Ed Miliband: 34.3 percent
Ed Balls: 11.8 percent
Andy Burnham: 8.7 percent
Diane Abbott: 7.4 percent

The bottom placed candidate, Diane Abbott, was then eliminated and her votes transferred according to second preferences.

Second round results:

David Miliband: 38.9 percent (of the total remaining vote:)
Ed Miliband: 37.5 percent
Ed Balls: 13.2 percent
Andy Burnham: 10.4 percent

The bottom placed candidate, Andy Burnham, was then eliminated and his votes transferred according to second preferences (or third preferences in the case of votes which came to him from Diane Abbott).

Third round results:

David Miliband: 42.7 percent
Ed Miliband: 41.26 percent
Ed Balls: 16 percent

The bottom placed candidate, Ed Balls, was then eliminated and his votes transferred according to second preferences (or third or fourth preferences in the case of votes which came to him from Diane Abbott, Andy Burnham, or both).


And at this point, the candidate who had been the most popular second choice among the supporters of all the other candidates overtook the candidate who had most first preferences and had been in the lead up to that point, with the following result:

Ed Miliband: 50.6 percent
David Miliband: 49.4 percent

It is worth noting that this is an almost exact parallel with the leadership election in the Conservative party immediately after we lost power in 1997.

If I were a member of the Labour party today I think I would be feeling something between the disappointment I felt when Ken Clarke lost out to William Hague in 1997 and the despair and fury which I felt when he lost to IDS in 2001.

William Hague, IDS, and Ed Miliband all have their strengths - indeed one of the reasons I look back on the Conservative leadership election of 1997 as a sad mistake is that someone who might otherwise have become a great prime minister became party leader far too soon.

Doubtless having won the election by appealing to Labour and the Trade Union's disgruntled activists, Ed Miliband will now tack back towards the centre. It will be interesting, however, to see how much room he has to do this.

I can't help thinking that Labour may have made the same sort of mistake that we made after losing power. It also casts an interesting light on how AV can work which may have consequences for the referendum.


Jane said…
Ed Milliband is from the Class of 97. He is guilty by deed and association. He was part of the Government that brought the country to its knees with the deficit, as advisor to Gordon Brown in the Treasury and later as a member of the Cabinet. Now like the rest of his colleagues he takes the easy option of sitting on the opposition benches and jeering at the Coalition Government taking responsibility for the country's Aegean deficit. He is in a state of denial with regard to the cuts that would have been made had Labour being re-elected in May.

After listening to the vomit-making sycophantic speeches leading up to the announcement of the new leader, it was intriguing to be reminded of the process of AV in action. It is an extremely negative form of voting. A person is elected on the basis that he is the least disliked by the transferred voters! This was a classic example, whereby Ed gained advantage over his more popular elder brother.

Whilst I am by no means anti-union (I have always joined my workplace union) it is totally unacceptable that a sectional interest in society can determine who could be ultimately the PM. The CBI does not choose the Conservative Party leader! Unions are meant to be a pressure group representing their members interests with regard to working conditions, fair pay, health and safety, pensions and mutual self-help. The fact that the leaders of the unions vote in block, means that the views of the members are not taken into account, which is utterly undemocratic. The rumblings in the unions during the TUC conference with threats of civil disobedience and 'political' strikes resonated back to the 70's.

Fortunately Margaret Thatcher or shall we say Arthur Scargill who played right into her hands over the 'secret ballot' ensured that the unions' political power has diminished significantly, both over their members wishes and society when it comes to strike action. If a ballot is not conducted appropriately it can at least be challenged in the court as happened with the BA dispute.

Incidentally Jamie Reed will be disappointed in finding that he has backed the wrong horse in supporting David. Well he has time to get back into Ed's good books, if he is after a ministerial position. His time on the opposition benches could be of some duration, particularly if Ed is at the disposal of the union bosses. Ed Milliband would do well to remember that the majority of British people abhor civil disobedience.

Interesting times ahead.
Tim said…
" it is totally unacceptable that a sectional interest in society can determine who could be ultimately the PM"

Jane, please send this information to Rupert 'the prince of darkness' Murdoch.

Given the fact that you cannot get a fag paper between the ideologies of the LibLabCon, your criticisms of one are clearly a criticism of all three.
Chris Whiteside said…
Tim, I cannot take seriously the idea that you cannot get a fag paper between the policies of the three main parties.

Of course, the differences are less extreme than some people in all three parties, or indeed those in the media who focus on the differences, rather than on what the parties have in common, like to pretend.

But if you really cannot see the differences between the lines which Ed Balls and Ed Miliband were taking during the leadership election, and the policies of the coalition government, or if you really cannot see the differences between Gordon Brown's policies and those of David Cameron, then there is something seriously wrong with the websites from which you get your information.
Tim said…

I said:

"Given the fact that you cannot get a fag paper between the IDEOLOGIES of the LibLabCon"

They all subscribe to a world where Global Capitalism is the only perceived way of doing things. Despite this leading to utterly absurd and unfair outcomes, they all seem to love it. If I suggested that we should no longer import any goods from China, because some of what they manufacture is produced by political prisoners - they, the spokesmen for the LibLabCon would openly laugh at me.

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