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Here's What The Teens Of The Milifandom Are Up To One Year Later

We caught up with Ed Miliband's biggest teen fans one year after the #Milifandom and Labour's general election defeat.

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Today is the one-year anniversary of one of the strangest stories of the 2015 general election: the Milifandom.

For those who either can't remember or have blocked it from their memories, the Milifandom was an online movement of mostly teenage girls who celebrated their love for then Labour leader Ed Miliband on Twitter.

when u say u don't love ed miliband ur not only lying to yourself but also the whole population of this planet we call home

But one year later, have their feelings about politics, and about Ed himself, changed or remained mostly the same?

why am i like thjs fucjng ED MILIBANDX FANFICTUIB WHY DI I DO THUS TO MYSEKDF

We checked in with some of the Milifandom's original members – the ones who loved and tweeted about Ed before it was cool – to see what they're up to now.

The obvious place to start was with the Milifandom's self-appointed leader, Abby Tomlinson, who's now 18.

I think it's exactly a year since I joined @UKLabour today, not much happened after that tbh

She's had a pretty big year.

One year ago, after noticing her slightly mad but very charming tweets about Ed Miliband, BuzzFeed interviewed Abby to find out why she loved Ed so much.

At this point, her identity was a secret, and she only went by "Abby". Her parents had no idea about her thousands of Twitter followers or her online political activities.

After BuzzFeed broke the story, the hashtag #Milifandom started trending on Twitter, with Abby at the centre of it all.

BuzzFeed

Pretty soon, the Milifandom was seized upon by a bewildered but highly entertained media in Britain and beyond.

It was, if you can remember, a pretty dull election, and it was nice to have something completely unexpected to talk about.
The Independent / The Telegraph / BBC / Huffington Post / The Washington Post / The Guardian

It was, if you can remember, a pretty dull election, and it was nice to have something completely unexpected to talk about.

Twenty-four hours and one media storm later, Abby had been acknowledged by Ed Miliband himself.

Looking back at the year since that media frenzy, Abby told us this week that she's had "the weirdest/greatest year ever".

Abby Tomlinson / Twitter: @twcuddleston

She's been on TV multiple times to talk politics, and has been published in The Guardian, The Telegraph, and the New Statesman.

#bbcdp When I was asked about Labour Leadership:

In the summer, she interviewed three of the candidates for the Labour leadership and ended up endorsing Andy Burnham.

She also got to speak at a rally in Manchester in front of thousands of people, and was proud of getting over her fear of public speaking – "with a little encouragement from Owen Jones".

Abby now supports Jeremy Corbyn, who she once convinced to have an impromptu interview: "I was wandering around Parliament Square trying to find an estranged Jeremy Corbyn, who was incredibly lovely."

Huge thank you to @jeremycorbyn for giving up some of his time to let me ask him a few questions,here's the interview http://t.co/8SFsI9LvlE

"He told everyone crowding around him that I'd been waiting for ages so he had to speak to me, which was nice as it was a five-minute interview with someone he'd never met, who wasn't from a high-profile publication, when there were literally crowds waiting to see him."

Even though Ed will always be first in her heart, Abby's second-place favourite is now Owen Smith, the shadow work and pensions secretary.

Although she has faced plenty of Corbynite trolls, and even a spat with former Tory MP Louise Mensch, Abby said the last year has been a very positive one.

Look where I am... again (this is becoming a bit of a habit) busy day ahead.

"Really, everyone I've met this year has only reaffirmed my faith in politics, I think the kindness of so many people involved is something that really touched me," she said.

"Also it gave me loads to say on my previously rather bare personal statement (I actually wrote #milifandom on it – first person to use a hashtag?), which I think helped me university-wise."

(She's headed off to either Cambridge or the London School of Economics next year.)

Abby's mum is "really proud and very impressed" – and her dad's proud too, even though "all his mates tease him" about his daughter being left-wing.

They're not really bothered with watching PMQs, however.
Twitter: @twcuddleston

They're not really bothered with watching PMQs, however.

She even had a brief encounter with David Cameron.

HELP ME. I THINK HE KNOWS WHO I AM. HE KEPT STARING AFTER I SAID HELLO.

And, of course, she loved meeting Ed himself.

"They say to never meet your idols," Abby said. "But I honestly think that meeting him made me like him more!

"It's actually been the best year ever tbh."

But what about the rest of the Milifandom?

Last year, after the initial story broke, we interviewed about a dozen teenage Milifans about their political opinions to show that the Milifandom wasn't all about flower crowns and weird photoshops.

Although the photoshops were obviously pretty great.
Twitter: @chocognome

Although the photoshops were obviously pretty great.

Jen, now 19, has stayed involved in Labour party politics in her first year at uni. Nowadays, her favourite politician is Jeremy Corbyn – but she wishes there were more female politicians to choose from.

Nineteen-year-old Chloe, on the other hand, is less excited about Corbyn than she was about Ed last year.

Other than his Snapchat, of course.
Twitter: @wtverchlo

Other than his Snapchat, of course.

Sophie, who's just about to turn 18, reflected on how terrible Labour's loss felt the day after the election.

Looking back at the Milifandom, Sophie said: "It feels really strange to look back on it, I still find it incredible how much of an impact it had, and how many young people actually had a voice in politics. ... It was also nice to speak to new people, who I still talk to now and not just about politics hah."She said that nowdays she supports Corbyn "completely".
Twitter: @Sophiephilips1

Looking back at the Milifandom, Sophie said: "It feels really strange to look back on it, I still find it incredible how much of an impact it had, and how many young people actually had a voice in politics. ... It was also nice to speak to new people, who I still talk to now and not just about politics hah."

She said that nowdays she supports Corbyn "completely".

Amy, now 18, also felt the pain of Ed's resignation – but he's still her fave.

(The resignation was, to be fair, a pretty emotional moment.)

Finally, we wanted to know how, exactly, the Milifans would react to these pictures of Ed looking rather well one year after his defeat.

Justin Tallis / AFP/Getty Images
JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP / Getty Images

Some were upset.

Some were just impressed.

But all remained loyal.

No matter what's become of his political career, the Milifans – many of whom are now actually able to vote – still love Ed Miliband just the way he is.

#Milifandom is for life, not just for the election.