UK's opposition Labour party hires Obama's poll guru

London,British opposition leader Ed Miliband has roped in US poll guru David Axelrod as his strategic adviser to fight a "tight" election next year. 

Axelrod, a key architect behind US President Barack Obama's two presidential triumphs, will work alongside shadow foreign secretary, Douglas Alexander, who is to run Labour's general election strategy. The party will pay Axelrod a six-figure sum and use his consulting firm AKVD in its bid to win power in the May 7, 2015 election, the BBC reported. 

Axelrod, 59, was a key architect of US President Obama's back-to-back presidential victories in 2008 and 2012. Alexander said Axelrod had three great strengths: he had shown an ability to win the middle class over to a progressive cause; he knew how to build large majorities; and he was an expert in handling negative campaigning. "We anticipate this is going to be a tight election and a tough campaign and I can't think of anyone I'd rather have alongside me in the trench than one David Axelrod," he added. After masterminding Obama's election to the White House, Axelrod went on to become a senior adviser to the president. He quit the post in 2011 in order to work on the successful 2012 campaign to re-elect Obama. He has since acted as a media commentator and as a director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago. 

Axelrod told the Guardian that he had signed up "because I have had some long conversations with Ed Miliband over the course of the past year and it was less about politics, and more about this issue of how in the 21st century you create healthy economies in which opportunity is broadly available, and people can stay ahead of the cost of living". Miliband hailed Axelrod's appointment as "excellent news" and predicted the strategist would be a "huge asset to our campaign as we work to show the British people how we can change our country for the better". Axelrod said he had been struck by the power of the Labour leader's ideas and the "strength of his vision". 

He drew a comparison between Miliband's economic policies and the arguments articulated by Obama in 2008, saying both have at their core "the experience of everyday people". 

He said: "I think candidates who can win are candidates who articulate a vision that speaks to the lives and concerns of the people they are running to represent. "Ed Miliband understands the struggle that people are going through in Britain to make a living wage, to support their families, to retire with some dignity. "He understands that a growing economy demands that you have broad prosperity and not just prosperity that's hoarded by a few. And so I think you can build a movement." Axelrod is expected to travel to London for two days of strategy meetings in mid-May led by Miliband and deputy leader Harriet Harman. 
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