Ed Miliband wins - a damning indictment of AV
When His Grace tweeted this at midday, some five hours before the result of the Labour leadership contest was known, he had no idea that his prophetic skills were as accurate as those of YouGov and as well developed as those of Mike Smithson.
It needs saying, and doubtless it will be said over and over again. But Ed Miliband was not ahead in any of the first three AV rounds. In the first ballot, David led him by a margin of 3.5 per cent; in the second ballot, David led by a margin of 1.4 per cent; and in the third ballot, David led by a further margin of 1.4 per cent... but then went on to lose in the fourth ballot by a margin of 1.2 per cent.
Ed Miliband did not win the majority of support from Labour MPs; he did not win the majority of support from Labour MEPs; he did not even win the majority of support from Labour Party members. All of those went to his brother, David.
Ed Miliband only won majority support from the trade unions and affiliates.
And these trumped MPs, MEPs and the rank and file members.
David Miliband lost this election not because he was less popular amongst his political colleagues or ordinary party members, but because of Labour's grossly distorted electoral college and the vicissitudes of AV.
If such a photo-finish outcome were inflicted on the country after a general election, as we waited days and even weeks for the second-preference votes of hundreds of candidates to be redistributed, who then could possibly argue the merits of the Alternative Vote electoral system?