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The numbers game

Betsan Powys | 12:39 UK time, Monday, 27 September 2010

Who did the majority of Welsh Labour party members want to lead the party?

We know Welsh MPs were pretty evenly split between David and Ed Miliband, with some pretty big beasts plumping for Ed. Not Paul Flynn who put him fifth out of five. How come? He was, after all, the only MP to do so. It was, he says, done as a tactical boost for David, his first choice. Ah well. He didn't want a job anyway.

Shadow Cabinet hopeful, Chris Bryant, a keen supporter of his former boss at the Foreign Office, understandably, put the eventual winner 4th, a fact that hasn't gone unnoticed amongst - you guessed it - his fellow Shadow Cabinet hopefuls.

We know the vast majority of Labour Assembly Members went for Ed.

So what about ordinary party members?

Their first preferences are laid out here (with thanks to the reader of the blog who sent the link) and show, as far as my maths makes it out, that 43.6% went for David, while 32.3% chose Ed. David won a majority, sometimes tiny, sometimes hefty, in 32 out of 40 CLPs. That's why, for the second week running, ordinary party members at their party conference are willing the boss to deliver a cracker of a speech. They have no desire to replay the contest. They want to accept it - it's just that they want his help, early in the process, to do that.

One of Ed Miliband's strongest backers, Peter Hain, delivers his own speech at a fringe meeting tonight. It's not enough, he'll say, to attack the Con Dem coalition - or the Conservative Liberal Democrat coalition as he very assidulously called it throughout his speech yesterday. Labour must deliver more than condemnation.

For instance:

''In Wales and Scotland next year, we must fight to win by showing we are serious about public service reform within restricted budgets. We need to present a vision for the future of a high tech, high investment, high skill economy, in stark contrast to the Coalition managing the decline of Britain''.

Great stuff, many ordinary party members will say: now let's see it.

And again: ''During our last years in Government, it was as if we'd forgotten why we were there. We'd become the establishment. We'd stopped transforming the country. We were now merely managers of the system. We were managing the economic crisis and the global terrorist threat - pretty well, most fair minded people would concede. But only Alex Ferguson or Jose Mourinho would get elected for being good managers''.

And how about this attack on 'simply managing'?

"We didn't come into being to put up with things as they are or to simply manage Wales, but to change Wales and meet the ambitions and aspirations of its citizens."

Ah no. That was Ieuan Wyn Jones in Aberystwyth two weeks ago.


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