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School of Politics and International Relations

Professor Tim Bale, Substance or Style? Labour Leader Banks on Geek Appeal


Ed Miliband is nerdy. Awkward. Shy. But those traits may not stop him from becoming Britain's next prime minister. Since Britons choose the party and lawmaker they want, and don't directly elect the head of government, Miliband could end up running the country — despite his lack of allure. "There's good evidence from the past to show this can and does happen," said Tim Bale, author of "Five Year Mission: The Labour Party under Ed Miliband." Clement Atlee, who was elected in 1945 and is often listed among Britain's best post-war prime ministers, also had little personal magnetism. "He had absolutely zero charisma and he was facing the hero of all time in Winston Churchill," Bale said. "And he wins."
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