The Labour Party under Ed Miliband

Trying but failing to renew social democracy

Author: Eunice Goes

When Ed Miliband was elected leader of the Labour Party in 2010 he sought to turn the page on New Labour and use the global financial crisis as an opportunity to renew social democracy. With great intellectual and ideological gusto Miliband and his team searched, adopted and adapted new and old ideas that would address the policy puzzles left open by the global financial crisis. This book seeks to determine whether Ed Miliband was successful in his task by analysing the different ideas that were adopted and adapted by the Labour Party in the period 2010-15. Using discursive institutionalism and historical institutionalism, this book will map the political ideas and will identify the main ideational, institutional and political constraints that impacted and shaped the Labour Party’s political agenda. The book argues that the Labour Party under Ed Miliband tried but failed to renew social democracy. The timing, the prevalence of the neoliberalism in public discourse as well as Miliband’s inability to find a coalition of supporters for his transformative agenda and his own shortcomings as party leader led to a watered down political agenda that lacked boldness, clarity and definition. This lack of definition and clarity was one of the reasons why Milibandism was so overwhelmingly rejected by voters in May 2015.

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