David Miliband has received a cool response to declaring his support for Liz Kendall in the Labour leadership race as voters rushed to social media to make public who they are voting for.
Ballot papers today started to land on the doorsteps of around 600,000 people who are eligible to vote in the party leader and deputy leadership elections, with many voting straight away online. The result is announced on September 12.
Mr Miliband, the former Labour MP who lost to his brother in the leadership election four years' ago, wrote in The Guardian he was backing the rank outsider, Ms Kendall, since she was offering "clarity and courage" in contrast to Jeremy Corbyn's "angry defiance".
It was the latest "Stop Corbyn" intervention following Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Alistair Campbell, Jack Straw and Neil Kinnock all warning the left-winger's anti-austerity, pro-nationalisation agenda would leave Labour out of power for many years.
However, his comments, made while in New York running the charity he has overseen since quitting as an MP, were rebuked by some despite being warmly welcomed by Kendall supporters.
Journalist Stephen Bush offered a wry observation.
People who defeated Ed Miliband: SNP, Ukip, Respect and the Conservatives. People defeated by Ed Miliband: David Miliband.— Stephen Bush (@stephenkb) August 17, 2015
David Miliband?! *head in hands* What is WRONG with you guys? Didn't think I'd see a more shambolic campaign that Better Together, but...— Ellie Mae O'Hagan (@MissEllieMae) August 17, 2015
"What's that? Yes! What Labour needs me to do is definitely to endorse the least popular candidate at the 11th hour!" http://t.co/8AVyIW9ELh— Marie Le Conte (@youngvulgarian) August 17, 2015
Corbyn supporters picked up on the reverse effect the anti-Corbyn overtures are having.
Does David Miliband actually want JC to win or is he just thick?August 17, 2015
Whoever thinks that David Miliband is the answer to anything other than 'Which big spoilt baby ran away when his brother won?'' is an idiot— James MacRae (@jamesmacrae) August 17, 2015
Yet Labour MP Mike Gapes concurred with the only Miliband to declare.
Former Labour MP Jim Murphy joined the public display of preference, which was oft RT-ed by the candidates' campaign teams.
I believe in Labour as a historic cause and want us to govern again.
That's why today I've voted for Liz, Yvette and Andy.— Jim Murphy (@GlasgowMurphy) August 17, 2015
Labour MP Cat Smith was quick off the mark last night in support of Mr Corbyn.
Gordon Brown called for a leader who gives us hope, is credible, radical and electable - on which basis I'm backing Jeremy Corbyn— Cat Smith (@CatSmithMP) August 16, 2015
Ballot paper pics were a favourite, as an Andy Burnham supporter showed.
Ed Miliband's biggest fan was getting in on the act.
There was some pro-Yvette Cooper, anti-Corbyn voting too.
Celebrities were getting in on the act, though keeping their powder dry on the big one.
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Still don't know who I'm voting for as Labour Leader, but it's gonna be Stella Creasy for deputy *prepares Biro*— Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran) August 17, 2015