On the eve of Labour’s leadership conference, Left Foot Forward’s model is projecting a victory for Ed Miliband. Our latest intelligence reinforces the numbers we provided to YouGov on the MPs and MEPs’ section for their shock poll on September 12th.
Assuming YouGov’s numbers are a representative sample of party members and trade union members, the younger Miliband brother will take the crown. Political Betting and Guido Fawkes are both making a similar projection this morning.
Left Foot Forward has gathered information on the first preferences of 261 of 271 eligible MPs and MEPs. They show 41 per cent for David Miliband followed by Ed Miliband (30%), Ed Balls (15%), Andy Burnham (10%), and Diane Abbott (3%). We also have intelligence on the 2nd preferences 32 of the 74 MPs that we believe are supporting either Abbott, Balls, or Burnham.
Supporters of Diane Abbott are splitting 6-1 for Ed M (with 1 unknown); supporters of Andy Burnham are falling 8-2 for David M (with 16 unknowns); supporters of Ed Balls go 8-7 for David M (with 25 unknown). Overall, our sample shows 2nd preferences falling 17-15 for David Miliband (with 42 unknowns).
Without a more representative sample, Left Foot Forward continues to assume that MP’s 2nd preferences will fall 50:50. This would give David Miliband a 56-44 lead in the run-off with his brother among MPs - not enough to prevent Ed Miliband of victory. But as reported by Political Betting:
[Former MP] Nick Palmer reckons after soundings that MPs will split 54-46 in favour of DM – that’s slightly wider than another estimate passed on to me this morning which had a 6% DaveM lead in this section.
The big shift since our last projection is a small upturn in Ed Balls’ support among MPs and MEPs. As reported by Next Left, Mr Balls has secured a first preference each from public supporters of David and Ed Miliband. This momentum makes it increasingly likely that Diane Abbott will come bottom with Ed Balls likely to overtake Andy Burnham and finish third – a projection first made by LFF in August.
Perversely, Diane Abbott coming bottom is likely to help Ed Miliband. A candidate finishing bottom will see their 2nd, 3rd and 4th preferences counted while the candidate in third place will only have their 2nd preferences counted. If Balls came third, a voter giving their preferences in order to Ed Balls, Andy Burnham and Ed Miliband would not influence the run-off between the Milibands.
Join @wdjstraw on Twitter tomorrow from 4pm for live tweets from the leadership conference. We will publish a full analysis of the numbers on Left Foot Forward shortly after the result concludes.