Ed Miliband becomes unexpected internet star with #milifandom

Some of the best #milifandom tributes Credit: Twitter/ @GeneralBoles

In a surprise for most politics watchers Ed Miliband has become an internet sensation, winning the support of an army of teenage girls describing themselves as the Milifandom.

Twitter is full of messages hailing the Labour leader and sharing pictures of him photoshopped on to more traditional heartthrobs.

The #milifandom uses tones normally reserved for film stars or pop singers.

The trend appears to have been started by a Twitter user with the handle @twcuddleston, who identified herself as a 17-year-old student and Labour Party member called Abby and "leader of the milifandom, a movement against the distorted media portrayal of Ed".

With messages announcing "i love ed miliband so much it is painful" and "if I ever met ed miliband I could die happy tbh, he's cool", some of the messages may have more than a touch of irony, but it was the top trending hashtag in the UK for parts of yesterday.

It marks a shift in popular depictions of the Labour leader, who has previously suffered from being presented as an awkward geek, thanks to photos of him struggling to eat a bacon sandwich and cartoons showing him as animated inventor Wallace.

Sources close to Mr Miliband have declined to reveal his reaction to his new fan base, but the party posted a response on its official Facebook page: "We didn't see this coming ... If you're fired up about Ed, changing Britain, and making your voice heard, we'd love you to be on the team."