The Thick of It


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Finding the Tory switchers

I wrote yesterday of how Labour needs to target Tory voters to stand any chance of winning power again. The reduction in the number of MPs will only strengthen the need to focus on this. It is only by winning seats from Tories that Labour will stand a chance.

As much as I and many others have revelled in the pitiful state of the Lib Dems, the real enemy has always been their Tory masters.

Caroline Flint wrote for Progress that  Labour has "to reach out beyond our traditional heartlands" to create a real progressive majority. She points out that of the top 100 Labour target seats, 83 are currently Tory. Appealing to these Tory voters has to be the central plank of Labour policy and communications in the next couple of years. Looking at the recent English local election results it is clear that the party is not reaching these people currently.

Ed Miliband will have to blend to aspects as he attempts to drive Labour forward. They are often viewed as mutually exclusive, but I don't agree. Renewing the left of Britain and making Labour a party that rewards talent, is at the centre of our communities, campaigns (and doesn't just talk in dull meetings) can sit hand in hand with appealing to England's centre ground - being aspirational, fair on immigration and winning the economic argument back from the Tories.

Re-founding Labour is a good start but won't be enough as the party has to revitalise without and within.

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