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Ed Miliband & the Obama effect

Photo: REX FEATURES

Miliband: following Obama

While the world rejoiced at the election of President Barack Obama in early November of 2008 attention turned to questions about what affect it would have overseas.

Beyond the grand hopes of his election, in Britain we looked at ourselves and asked ‘When will we have a Black Prime Minister?’

Time will tell on that question, I personally believe we will see a Black Prime Minister within my lifetime, and quite possibly in the next 25 years, but Obama’s election was bigger than that.

His campaign had many lessons for political campaigns of all varieties in the UK. While we don’t have a Presidential system over here, there are certain electoral circumstances which lend themselves to the Obama campaign techniques; Mayoral elections and leadership elections for a political party, and it seems that Ed Miliband has been taking note:

“The shadow energy secretary drew in £8,000 in low value contributions in 24 hours, after issuing an online plea for funds along the style of that used by Mr Obama’s team during his successful campaign for the Democratic nomination two years ago.

Donations ranged in size from £500 to just £2, with the average backer giving £32.79.

Ed Miliband’s team insisted yesterday that they were confident he could follow the example of Mr Obama by inspiring hundreds of small-scale donors to contribute to his campaign.”

That’s an impressive amount of money to raise in such a short time and it wouldn’t surprise me if the other candidates (especially those preparing for the 2012 London Mayoral elections) are watching with interest.

By Leon Green

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