Ed Miliband’s inquiry into Labour’s defeat will tell us only what we already know
The former leader will do his best, but he and the commission cannot undertake the task of properly analysing secrets of the election results, writes Sean O'Grady
Like losing general elections, the Labour Party has a long tradition of launching inquiries into losing general elections. The latest one will feature former leader Ed Miliband, who knows a thing or two himself about losing. The national share of the vote he achieved at the 2015 election was, as many Corbyn supporters have pointed out, lower than 2019 and far lower than 2017. Above all, the 2015 campaign was the one where Labour lost Scotland – down from 41 out of 59 seats to just one. The whereabouts of the infamous “Edstone”, the giant slab of stone with Labour’s vague commitments for the 2015 campaign remain unknown. Miliband hasn’t even that literal monument to failure to show for his ill-starred reign.
The commission will be led by Lucy Powell, still an MP, who helped to run the 2015 campaign and OK-ed a memorably cringeworthy encounter between Miliband and Russell Brand. Was that really an error? “Hell yes” was the consensus. Failure is familiar to the class of 2015.
Miliband and his colleagues will be interviewing scores of ousted MPs and disappointed candidates in target seats, organisers and regional and national officials.