Ed Miliband Edges Out David in Labour Party Poll

H S Rao/London
Ed Miliband Edges Out David in Labour Party Poll
A last minute surge of support propelled the underdog Edward Milliband to victory in Britain's battle of the siblings, as he worsted his elder brother David Miliband and other rivals today to become the Labour party's new leader.

The contest between the brothers almost went to the wires before Edward emerged a winner in a very close fight to head one of the Britain's oldest parties, once led by leaders like Harold Wilson, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Dumped out of office in May this year after 13 years in power, forty-year-old Ed Miliband will have the task of rejuvenating the centre-left group which is almost in shambles.

Though former Foreign Secretary 45-year-old David Miliband led the opinion polls till the end, a last minute surge of support carried the day for the younger sibling.

The younger Miliband faces a tough task to reunite the party torn apart by recent attacks by the former prime minister Tony Blair on his successor Gordon Brown, accusing him of giving up the election plank of new Labour.

He beat the former foreign secretary by the wafer thin margin of 50.65 per cent to 49.35 per cent after second, third and fourth preference votes came into play, the BBC reported.

Ed Balls was third, Andy Burnham fourth and Diane Abbott last in the ballot of Labour members and trade unionists. Edward Miliband replaces acting leader Harriet Harman in the contest triggered by the resignation of Gordon Brown.

The election for the Labour party leadership was sparked following the decision by Gordon Brown to step down as party leader following the general election defeat.

Paying tribute to each of his fellow candidates, the shadow energy secretary underlined the need to move forward as a team.

"Today we draw a line under this contest and move forward united as a team," he told the conference.

Ed appears to have benefited from a last-minute surge of support before voting in the postal ballot closed on Wednesday.

David Miliband was ahead in the first three rounds of voting, but was pushed over when votes were reallocated as the other candidates were knocked out, the BBC said.

Since, the exit of Brown as leader, Harriet Harmon has been acting as the leader of the Labour.

Ed hugged David after the result was announced.

"The Labour Party in the future must be a vehicle that doesn't just attract thousands of young people but tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of young people who see us as their voice in British politics today," he said in his victory speech as he vowed to unify the party.

He also paid tribute to his predecessors Brown and Tony Blair.

"Today's election turns the page because a new generation has stepped forward to serve our party and in time I hope to serve our country. Today the work of the new generation begins," he was quoted as saying by the BBC.

"Today a new generation has taken charge of Labour, a new generation that understands the call of change," Ed said as he received a standing ovation from delegates with David at his side.
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