In the much-publicised Labour Leadership contest, members of the Labour Party from Medway’s three constituencies decided that they preferred David Miliband to his victorious younger brother Ed.
An analysis of first preference votes by Medway Conservative blogger Alan W Collins has shown that, in total, 43% of Labour Party members voted initially for David, whilst just 29% voted for Ed. Ed Balls polled 12%, Andy Burnham 10% and Diane Abbott 6%, with 1 spoilt ballot.
In Chatham and Aylesford, 61 members voted for David Miliband, whilst 39 voted for Ed Miliband (43% and 27% respectively), whilst in Gillingham and Rainham David Miliband reached a majority with 68 votes against just 28 for Ed Miliband (52% to 23%).
Only in Rochester and Strood did the two brothers poll equally, with 58 votes (36%) each. Total turnout for Medway was 71%.
Commenting on the controversial result, where David Miliband won the support of Labour MPs, MEPs and party members, but where Ed Miliband was elected leader on the strength of union members’ votes, Alan W Collins said: “Many people who should know better have declared that Labour have voted themselves into opposition for another five years.
“Ed Miliband may seem like an unfortunate choice for Labour, but he must not be underestimated. He has, after all, been elected on the strength of votes from ordinary working people.
“However, the results in Medway, where Ed Miliband barely managed to get two-thirds the number of votes the former favorite David Miliband polled, are representative of the national picture.
“The Labour Party voted, and said that they wanted David Miliband. The unions voted, and said that they wanted Ed Miliband. In the end, it was the unions who won.
“If the Labour Party do lose the next election, then they need not worry – it wasn’t their fault. If the Labour Party lose the next election, it will have been the unions who lost it for them.”