Everyone else thought Michael Foot was a disastrous leader of the Labour Party, but legend has it that he was convinced he had won the 1983 general election. In fact he almost came third.
Writing in the Spectator, Dan Hodges says Ed Miliband and his inner circle were equally convinced they had won.
On the way, he tells a couple of great stories:
Most of the blame, inevitably, is being aimed at the leader’s office. ‘When the campaign started we were told we had to clear all leaflet design past the leader’s office,’ said one party worker. ‘We thought that would be a nightmare, but for the first part of the campaign it worked really well. We’d email the art, and about an hour or so later we’d get the response, “Great. Go with this.”
Then one day someone got the message, “Excellent. All good.” But when they went to respond they realised they’d failed to insert the original attachment. All the time, Ed’s team had been signing off the leaflets without bothering to look at them.’And:
Another Labour insider told of the scene in the press office when Miliband posed with the notorious Ed stone, the 8ft 6in slab of limestone upon which his six key election pledges were inscribed. When it appeared on TV, a press officer ‘started screaming. He stood in the office, just screaming over and over again at the screen. It was so bad they thought he was having a breakdown.’