Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Gay Labour voters back Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband
Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband will win the majority of support from gay voters in this month's Labour leadership election, according to a poll.

The survey for PinkNews.co.uk gave Mr Miliband 42% backing among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people eligible to cast a vote, against his brother David's 31%, with Diane Abbott on 16%, Andy Burnham 7% and Ed Balls 4%.

Meanwhile, former home secretary David Blunkett announced he will vote for Mr Burnham for leader, and give his second preference to David Miliband.

The news came as the five candidates to succeed Gordon Brown prepared for their most extended TV debate of the campaign so far, answering questions from a studio audience in a 90-minute live debate on Sky News broadcast from Norwich on Sunday.

The debate is to be followed by a hustings at the TUC conference in Manchester and a leadership election special on BBC1's Question Time before voting in the postal ballot closes and the new leader is named on September 25.

In an editorial, PinkNews said that its readership's preference for Ed over David Miliband would "surprise many", as the shadow foreign secretary had previously enjoyed solid support in the gay community.

But it said LGBT people had been "impressed by his younger brother's commitment to full marriage equality". Writing for the website last month, Ed Miliband said: "I want to see heterosexual and same-sex partnerships put on an equal basis and a Labour Party that I lead will campaign to make gay marriage happen."

Among Labour voters who are not members of the party or of affiliated unions, Ms Abbott was the most popular candidate.

Mr Blunkett nominated Mr Burnham - his former parliamentary aide - for the leadership and today said he was voting for him because his "background, connections and political perspective mirror my own".

But with the shadow health secretary expected to be eliminated at an early stage of the contest, Mr Blunkett's second preference vote for David Miliband may prove more significant, marking a further indication that the shadow foreign secretary enjoys the support of senior Blairites in the party.

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