Web Only: the best of the blogs

The five must-read posts from today, including Ed Miliband, and physically leaning to the left or ri

1. Stepping into the Shadows

Gary Gibbon considers the next race within the Labour Party: securing shadow cabinet nominations.

2. Mr Miliband must be brave and bold on voting reform

In a guest post at Left Foot Forward, the singer and activist Billy Bragg puts forward the case for a fairer, more representative politics.

3. More polling on Ed Miliband

The UK Polling Report draws attention to a YouGov/Sun poll which showed good news for the new Labour leader.

4. Lurching to the left or right

The Marbury blog highlights research showing that spatially orienting people towards their left or their right influenced their political attitudes.

5. In the long-run, it's governments and not insurgents who win

Liberal Democrat Voice's Mark Pack discusses a piece in Foreign Affairs magazine that examines 89 insurgencies and challenges conventional wisdom on war.


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Italian PM Matteo Renzi resigns after referendum No vote

Europe's right-wing populists cheered the result. 

Italy's centrist Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was forced to resign late on Sunday after he lost a referendum on constitutional change.

With most ballots counted, 60 per cent of Italians voted No to change, according to the BBC. The turn out was nearly 70 per cent. 

Voters were asked whether they backed a reform to Italy's complex political system, but right-wing populists have interpreted the referendum as a wider poll on the direction of the country.

Before the result, former Ukip leader Nigel Farage tweeted: "Hope the exit polls in Italy are right. This vote looks to me to be more about the Euro than constitutional change."

The leader of France's far-right Front National, Marine Le Pen, tweeted "bravo" to her Eurosceptic "friend" Matteo Salvini, a politician who campaigned for the No vote. She described the referendum result as a "thirst for liberty". 

In his resignation speech, Renzi told reporters he took responsibility for the outcome and added "good luck to us all". 

Since gaining office in 2014, Renzi has been a reformist politician. He introduced same-sex civil unions, made employment laws more flexible and abolished small taxes, and was known by some as "Europe's last Blairite".

However, his proposed constitutional reforms divided opinion even among liberals, because of the way they removed certain checks and balances and handed increased power to the government.


Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.