In the mind of a politician there is one fact that is always present, the next election date may be your expiration date, The Leader of the Opposition is however the exception to the rule. Although Ed Miliband knows, that come May 6th 2015 if he hasn't pushed Labour back into first place after the votes have been counted, he will most likely not continue as Leader, he also faces problems which threaten to bring his end much sooner.
Oldham East and Saddleworth
Once the votes are counted on January 13th and we hear the result, Ed Miliband will know how stable his leadership will be in the run-up to May. if the results end with....
Labour Victory: Ed Miliband safe till May and will be able to use win as ammunition against both the coalition and his critics
Liberal Democrat Victory: Ed Miliband will face serious question from his party considering current Lib-Dem opinion poll ratings, will make it more difficult to attack Clegg and critics of Ed will gain more support
Conservative Victory: If the Conservatives soft campaign in Oldhan still results in a Conservative win, Ed will face serious problems from within as he lost to the party that weren't even trying. Coupled with the fact that Ed's policy review has left Labour temporarily lacking policy will mean the Conservatives will be able to launch a full on attack on Labour allowing Lib Dems some breathing space.
Green/English Democrat/Pirate/BNP/UKIP/MRLP/BPEP Victory: If any of the 'Others' win, Ed will most likely have to resign as he would have no credibility as a Leader come the next PMQ.
Many people, including perhaps Alan himself, were shocked when it was announced he would be Chancellor. Unfortunately the Shadow Chancellor knew why he was placed in the number 2 spot on the Shadow Cabinet, it was to keep Balls out. It was suggested that had David Miliband won, Ed Balls would have been Shadow Chancellor following a deal between the two, and while Ed hoped to protect his position with the Party loyalist Johnson, Johnson is most likely not happy to be put in the position of having to fight economics when he is not an expert on the subject. With some already public disagreements on policy during Ed Miliband's first 100, Alan is now falling behind Ed, but the fact remains Ed's first 100 days as leader were marred by Johnson.
With rumours aplenty about a possible merger between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives and a current policy review rebuilding Labour's manifesto, some have called for Ed Miliband to simply sit back and allow the Coalition obsessed media and shunned wings with the Government to damage themselves. Sadly this idea had already been taken by David Miliband. After his defeat David took to the backbenches with the only major public statement being that he would not be accepting the role as ambassador to the US. David has in fact done nothing, He has simply set up shop on the sidelines and watched his Brother go. Either it is a testament to the skill David has a politician or the problems that Ed has faced but some have already been questioning whether the right Miliband is leading Labour. It is perhaps the most chilling message an Older Brother can give to his Younger sibling, 'I'll be waiting'. Unlike Ed, David has no unwanted problems threatening to cut his time short, he has until the next General election and is in safe seat and with David doing absolutely nothing, it is all on Ed.
For Ed the next 6 months will decide if he remains as Leader, a doubtful performance and Labour can afford to replace him as they sit in Opposition.
How has Ed done so far? will he make it to the end of the year? what's your view?