Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Miliband Heuristic

Miliband has announced he won't be running for the leadership of the Labour party.

Look at the prospects for Miliband if Labour loses the next election. He'll be the clear favourite and still reasonably young and untainted. He may have thought he could improve Labour's prospects but that the next Labour leader was sure to fail. Better to lead a recovering new Labour Party than be the bookend of the Blair government.

By contrast, if Labour wins they'll limp on for a parliament under Brown. After that, they could lose heavily and a Conservative government could last more than one parliament. Even if Labour keep on winning that just means more years serving under Brown. However it plays out Miliband would have to wait at least eight years for his chance at the leadership, probably longer. By then he would no longer be the fresh candidate. He might also have become more closely connected to an unpopular government or suffer some other calamity.

It could be Miliband's nerve failed him, it could be he really thinks Brown is a better candidate than himself for the Labour leadership. I suspect he thinks Labour are going to lose.

4 comments:

Gracchi said...

Great piece Matt- I think likewise Milliband has chosen to defer- the other thought is that after an election campaign in a hung Parliament Labour may look to someone new to form a coalition say with the liberals and he gets in that way. Brown had in my view sown up too mcuh- 200 MPs many trade unions et al.

bloggingjames said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bloggingjames said...

Interesting piece. I am slightly dissapointed he has decided not to run but I guess he realised he was unlikely to win against Brown and he may wish to take a seat in Browns cabinate for now. Its an interesting thought that he may be hoping for a conservative victory in the next election! We'll have to keep an eye out for him handing out blue leaflets when the big election does comes round.

james higham said...

...Look at the prospects for Miliband if Labour loses the next election. He'll be the clear favourite and still reasonably young and untainted. He may have thought he could improve Labour's prospects but that the next Labour leader was sure to fail. Better to lead a recovering new Labour Party than be the bookend of the Blair government...

This is, of course, so. But I really don't think he feels Broon is better. He knows the score. The Bilderbergers clearly were grooming both Blair and Broon from an early point - Milliband has also been approached, as he's 'talent'but this would only serve to remind him he's still too green and must wait in the wings.

[Oh, plus all the ostensible, peripheral stuff about Broon having the numbers and all that.]