Is this election really all about EdM’s leadership?
I very much agree with the former Blair advisor, John McTernan’s take on his Telegraph blog.
..This is, in the end, all about Labour. And more precisely, all about Ed Miliband. He needs a strong result because Oldham East and Saddleworth is a seat where Labour shouldnâ€™t need to break sweat. Phil Woolas held the seat when Labour were a bare six points ahead of the Lib Dems nationally, with the margin now closer to 36 points this should fall into his lap. A less than stunning victory will lead to a string of articles telling him to be bolder and define himself or he wonâ€™t win the trust of the public â€“ according to the prejudices of the commentator. A stunning victory will lead to a string of articles urging him to be bolder and define himself or heâ€™ll lose the trust of the public.
But most importantly Miliband needs to be able to pull off the trick of making the result â€“ whatever it is â€“ seem significant, while knowing that it isnâ€™t. The turning point by-elections are few and far between. Darlington that saved Michael Footâ€™s leadership. Eastbourne that torpedoed Margaret Thatcherâ€™s. The rest vanish like snow off a dyke.”