The Thick of It


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Opposition is not enough

I wrote on Monday that it will be insufficient for Labour simply to oppose everything the Tories do. The 1980s showed that not being the Tories just wasn't enough to put Labour into power when Labour wasn't attractive to voters in itself.

A Politics Home survey of "informed political opinion" (yes, I did take part) released today bolsters this view. Asked what Ed Miliband and Alan Johnson should do in response to today's spending review, 60% stated that Labour should focus on providing alternatives, including cuts, to show how they would do things differently. Only 35% thought Labour should focus on the pain the cuts will cause. "Simply bashing the government for cutting spending will not work for Labour."

Notably Labour "insiders" were split almost 50-50 on which course of action to take. Those identifying with other parties much more forthright. This just highlights that a core-vote strategy won't work. Labour needs to persuade those who voted Tory and Lib Dem who feel let down and will be let down by this spending review and in the next four years. Their views are clear. I await Ed and Alan's response eagerly.

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