I was lucky enough to have a ticket to the Leadership conference, and was sat fairly close to the front and centre, with Sarah Norman and James Green. It is fair to say that as the whole event went on we were all becoming more nervous about the result, we just wanted to know 🙂
In the build up we have some great bits of video to remind us what the Labour Party had achieved over the last Government, and there was Speeches, in particular from Gordon Brown and Harriet Harman. What hit me was just how ‘powerful Gordon Brown is as a speaker. It is something that doesn’t come across on TV (I think that is true for anyone, not just Gordon), but sitting a few rows in, I thought he was such a strong presence. Though I guess you would expect that from a former Prime minister.
Then we had the announcement itself, by Ann Black, Chair of the NEC. Given that the party use the AV system, we had the tension and torment of seeing how the votes rolled out through each stage.
It was very nail biting, down to the wire stuff, watching both Milibands creep to the 50% required to win, and then seeing David being pipped at the Post by Ed in the final round just proved that its not over ’till its over.
I will guess that a lot will be made of the union Votes, but it is worth remembering that it is not a Union vote, but Union members vote!
No matter what is said about the process, be it the proportion of votes each person gets, everyone knew the the rules of the game before it started.
While Ed was not my first choice, I am quite happy with the result. I did actually quite like a lot of what he said in his first speech and I think he will have the other candidates behind him too, so really we have not lost anything in terms of “skills”.
It is now time for the party to put the past where is belongs, in the past and moving into a new future. Ed M has had the first important victory. However it is on the end of the beginning, we, as a party, have a lot of internal work to do, as well as regain the trust of the public by the next election (be that next year or in 4.5 years time)
Day 0 of conference over, looking forward to the rest of the week.