The Thick of It


Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Can Ed Miliband succeed where Tony Blair failed?

The Labour Party has surveyed voters' views as part of the major policy review. This has shown that voters want Labour to be strong on immigration, protect British interests first in Europe and international affairs, propose welfare reform and be tough on crime. This sounds remarkably like Tony Blair's rights and responsibilities policy agenda. It should surprise nobody.

This is no surprise because the country moved to the right at the last election. These are issues that are typically hard for Labour to campaign on as the party finds it easier to talk about subjects that matter to lefties. These leftie issues are unlikely to be enough to win Labour an election. However, these are the bread and butter working class issues and Ed Miliband needs to seize control of this agenda.
The Labour survey also showed that voters want the party to be tough on bankers and to soften the market. This is Miliband's natural territory. I don't think he'll find it easy to be talking about crime and immigration but it is an absolute must. That he hasn't yet can in part explain Labour's failure to secure first place in the English local elections.
Miliband's challenge is the tough, classic one faced by all Labour leaders. Talk tough on crime and immigration and lose support of the party and win votes, or do the opposite. If he can find a happy equilibrium he will strike gold.

No comments: