Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 03:12:34 PM EST
FT.com / UK / Politics & policy - Ed Miliband wins Labour leadership by wafer-thin margin
Ed Miliband is the new leader of the Labour party, after he rode a wave of support from trade union members to beat his brother, David, by the tightest of margins.
In front of a packed hall in Manchester, Ed Miliband struggled with his emotions as he pronounced his love for his elder brother, and said: "Today the work of the new generation begins."
Ed Miliband's victory was secured in the fourth round of a leadership contest after the elimination of Diane Abbott, Andy Burnham and Ed Balls. To gasps in the hall, he ended with 50.65 per cent of the vote, with David Miliband winning 49.35.
So, what change in the Labour policy proposals and strategy can we expect? Will the fact that he owes his victory to the unions lead to a Labour party more equality and social justice-oriented?
In a brief speech, Mr Miliband said he would be a "responsible" opposition leader, supporting the coalition when it was doing the right thing, and said Labour had to change.
"We lost the election and we lost it badly," he said. He vowed to put Labour on the side of people looking for a home and seeking affordable university education and to narrow the gap between rich and poor.
David Miliband had insisted on sticking to the last leadership's policy of halving Britain's huge deficit by the end of the Parliament. But Ed Miliband, the younger brother by five years, has suggested that this plan could be delayed or ditched if necessary.
Meanwhile Ed Miliband supports maintaining the bankers' bonus tax, increasing the annual bank levy and a new financial transactions tax; he also supports a "living wage" across Britain.
What about his position towards the European Union? About the foreign policy?
Will it start an internal infighting within the Labour party?
Ed Miliband elected new Labour leader | Politics | guardian.co.uk
MPs who supported David Miliband warned that Ed Miliband's reliance on the union vote was a "disaster" for the party - leaving it open to charges that its leader would be in the pocket of its leftwing paymasters, and wide open to attack from the Tories and rightwing elements in the media.
Will it increase the propspect of a Labour victory in the next elections?
Let our friends from the wrong side of the Channel chime in...