Britain's opposition Labor party elects Ed Miliband as new leader

12:45, September 26, 2010      

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Former British climate change minister Ed Miliband addresses Labor supporters after being elected new leader of the Labor Party in Manchester. Miliband beat his older brother David in a knife-edge race. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

The British Labor party, which was in power for 13 years until election defeat in May this year, Saturday chose Ed Miliband as its new leader.

Ed Miliband triumphed over his older brother David in a tight result, winning by just over 1 percent, taking 50.65 percent of the vote, to his brother's 49.35 percent.

Ed Miliband said in a victory speech at the annual party conference in the northern city of Manchester that he would unite the party and take it forward, "I heard the call for change as I went round the country in the election campaign -- I get it and I understand the need for change -- I know we have to change."

He said his party had failed to understand what voters wanted on wages, immigration, and housing. He also criticized the decision by the last Labor government to back the war in Iraq " which led to an appalling loss of trust for us (the Labor party)".

The Labor party's leadership election process is complicated. It gives one third of the vote to members, one third to trade unions, and the final third to members of parliament (MPs), who are elected lawmakers.

The lowest polling candidates are progressively removed once votes are counted and their votes are redistributed to the others based on second preferences to produce a winner.

Ed Miliband had secured the support of the three largest unions, and this helped him to victory over brother David, who had more support among MPs.
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