The long read: It was Labour’s most stunning defeat since 1983. This exclusive account – based on unique access to the party leader’s closest aides – tells the inside story of what went wrong.
This is the story of how that defeat came about – based on extensive interviews with many of Miliband’s closest advisers. It is a story of decisions deferred – of a senior team divided – and of a losing struggle to make the Labour leader electable. At its heart are the twin forces that would prove to be the party’s undoing – the profound doubts about Labour’s instincts on the economy and the surge of nationalism in Labour’s onetime Scottish heartlands. Once those issues – embodied by Miliband’s memory lapse and his rushed deployment of aides north of the border – were skilfully fused together by the Conservatives in the election campaign – they would prove lethal to Labour.
And they would ensure that by 8 May – a matter of hours after he had genuinely believed he was about to become Britain’s prime minister – Ed Miliband was gone.