I am told that at least one of the Miliband camps has already devised some special hand signals to convey to allies in the waiting room who has won the leadership race – 10 minutes or so before the official result.
This type of system has been used before, as Paul Richards* reveals in his excellent new book, “Labour’s Revival” (published by Biteback).
Richards was in the Hazel Blears team when she stood unsuccessfully for the deputy leadership in 2007.
“We had arranged a series of hand signals with Caroline Flint, Hazel’s campaign manager, who would know the result before it was announced. She signalled to Hazel’s team sitting in the conference hall that Harriet Harman had won, for which the signal was a hand on the heart. I assumed Caroline had indigestion; we couldn’t believe it.”
* Former special adviser to Pat Hewitt and Hazel Blears etc.
UPDATE: Someone reminds me that the Alan Johnson signal involved him keeping his glasses on or off – but unfortunately he forgot to do it.