Crucial to the Ed Miliband camp’s narrative was the idea that the YouGov poll in early September – which for the first time put him ahead of David, albeit by only 51:49 – gave him the psychological edge. The theory was that ambitious MPs in the elder brother’s camp would jump ship in order to win promotion, as we reported at the time.
This was wrong. Ultimately only one MP quit the David Miliband camp in the last week or two: Chris Evans, MP for Islwyn. And even then it was not to join the Mili-E bandwaggon: he decided to back Ed Balls, whose political reputation – if not his campaign – had been picking up.
Perhaps politicians are rather less principled than some might think. Or they were restrained by the knowledge that hacks such as myself would be poring through sheets of paper (from this website) trying to spot the “turncoats”?