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Why Labour lost in 2015

January 17th, 2016

With Corbyn’s personal polling ranging from the calamitous to the cataclysmic it appears Labour are intent on repeating the mistakes of the 2015 general election

This week sees two important reports published, firstly the BPC inquiry into why the polls were wrong, then there’s the publication of the report by Dame Margaret Beckett into why Labour lost, parts of Beckett’s report has been leaked. The four main reasons Labour lost were

  1. A failure to shake off the myth that the last Labour government was responsible for crashing the economy.
  2. An inability to deal with “issues of connection” like immigration and benefits.
  3. A fear among voters of the SNP propping up a minority Labour government.
  4. Miliband was judged to be not as strong a leader as David Cameron.

The study also found that leftwing policies – such as the energy price freeze, and greater potential to bring railways back into public ownership – were some of the most popular put forward by Miliband, but that there was a lack of a coherent overall narrative.

So this might mean that Corbyn’s left wing policies might not be a voter loser as assumed. He is also no supporter of the economics of the New Labour era, so he might also be able to successfully change the economic narrative about the last Labour government, especially if the UK experiences an economic downturn before the next election.

Where Corbyn will struggle is on points 3 and 4, unless he is the new Blair, he will not achieve the swings to gain Labour a majority, so in 2020 the only way Labour can take power is with the SNP, which won’t be good news for Labour nor Corbyn,

For me the most striking from the report is the section that says the [Labour] party’s failed to connect with demographic groups in the centre. It isn’t a controversial thing to say that Jeremy Corbyn is more left wing than Ed Miliband, so I’m not sure how Corbyn will connect with demographic groups in the centre.

With Corbyn’s personal polling ranging from the calamitous to the cataclysmic predicting the outcome of the 2020 general election is quite easy, as the below tweet from Mike shows, as pretty much all the polling shows the potential next Tory leaders leading Corbyn in the polling, even before we take into account Corbyn’s atrocious polling on matters of national security, as I’m convinced the country won’t make Prime Minister who isn’t trusted to keep the country safe and secure.

Just look at the response to Corbyn’s interview with Andrew Marr this morning, and imagine a six week general election campaign with Jeremy Corbyn at the heart of it on a daily basis, there will be a coherent narrative, just not one necessarily to Labour’s advantage. It appears Labour are intent on repeating the mistakes of 2015, a poor leader who doesn’t connect with the centre ground will lead to a traditional left-wing party competes with a traditional right-wing party, with the traditional result in 2020, as Labour’s most electorally successful leader would put it.

TSE