The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Going For The Core Vote

Posted by The Futility Monster on December 12, 2009 @ 10:52

Core vote strategies, the Old School way...

Following on from yesterday’s examination of the polls, I said that the Tory vote is going to be about 40% come hell or high water.

In those circumstances, there is no way Labour can win. But there still remains three possibilities.

  1. A Labour disaster, scoring around 20% in the polls
  2. A slightly smaller disaster, getting around 25% in the polls
  3. A reasonable result, achieving 30% or so…

At this stage, the polls are pointing to either 1 or 2. That would be catastrophic for Labour, obviously, and would consign them to at least two elections in the wilderness. And with party warfare to follow a massive defeat, expect there to be a lot of blood spilled.

Clearly, then, number 3 would be preferable. But can they do it?

I genuinely believe they can. They’ll need more than a little luck, and no more back-biting, but if they hammer positively on the core Labour messages, and rally the core vote, they will at least get more than their current poll ratings suggest.

The hardest part of it is to sound convincing. If they are going to go on a message of equality, fairness, social justice… the classic creed of the centre-left, they unfortunately have to answer to their 13 year record. There are some successes, like the minimum wage and various other working rights, but broadly the statistics on lack of social mobility are hard to run away from.

It would have made more sense, then, for a new leader to have been elected on this kind of message. A John Cruddas figure, perhaps. But since that was never going to happen while they are in power, it doesn’t matter to them now.

The good thing, however, is that Brown is amazingly adept at ignoring the facts and ploughing on with his own reality. We see it every week at PMQs, to varying degrees of success. However, his excellent PMQs performance against a petulant Cameron on December 2, 2009 was a sign that he can make the strategy work.

The key to winning an election, though, is to tell a new story. That is why Labour cannot win. But they can lose less badly by telling all those who will listen, probably about 50% of the electorate, about the things they have done, and that their achievements will be put in serious jeopardy.

They are already doing that to a limited extent, but I strongly believe they need to be more selective, talk more about the things that get Labour sympathisers fired up.

Gordon Brown has to be bold, confident and aggressive. Go harder on the banks. Go harder on MPs expenses. Talk about the various Labour nationalisations of recent years as a sign the government is not going to let the private sector get away with the mess it’s put this country in any more. With that in mind, he should keep Northern Rock in the public sector, as an honest competitor for the banks. And, even better, keep the recently nationalised East Coast railway company in public hands.

Talk up the successes of the public sector, because there are some. There have been improvements in the NHS, without a doubt. And the crime statistics and surveys show that crime has fallen. Talk about how Labour will be a renewed, reinvigorated force after the election. A Labour “victory” next time could conceivably do that, due to the fact that huge numbers of their MPs are retiring, and there would be an infusion of new talent.

There is a credible message that could be told that could deliver them, say, 32%. That would be enough to deliver a very tight Parliament, and give Labour a path back after a period in opposition.

The key to achieving it is all about the above message and to look reinvigorated.

In other words, no Mandelsons. No Campbells. No Straws, Hoons or Darlings. And definitely no Lord Foulkes.

How to do this, you might ask? Well, a major pre-election reshuffle oughta do the trick…

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One Response to “Going For The Core Vote”

  1. […] Going For The Core Vote […]

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