David Miliband appears to be leading this race

But his brother's camp is still talking tough.

The ComRes-BBC Daily Politics poll highlighted by my colleague Caroline Crampton appears to have breathed new life into the David Miliband campaign for the Labour leadership, showing him ahead among councillors polled in first, second and third preference votes.

The results echo those in past "primaries" and appear to show David Miliband on course to victory even after the distribution of votes during knock-out stages. The poll appears to question the claim in the Ed Miliband camp that the younger brother will win on the basis of second preferences. The claim, pushed in an article in yesterday's Guardian, led to mild retribution from supporters of David Miliband last night. One said that to talk of victory not on the basis of coming first was "an act of desperation".

But a source close to Ed Miliband told the New Statesman that the Daily Politics poll is a "survey that is not representative of the whole membership", and pointed out that the fieldwork was conducted in July. "It is historical -- a lot has changed in August."

Both Miliband camps maintain they are confident of victory.

James Macintyre is political correspondent for the New Statesman.
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The NS Podcast #150: Englishness, X-men and Equality

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