Labour still odds-on not only to win election, but overall majority too

Now that the storm-in-a-teacup in the PLP, orchestrated by 3 ne’er-do-well malcontents and gleefully inflated by the Tory tabloids, is over, it is as well to assess the state of play before another bout of self-indulgent hysterics blows up.   Before the PLP gets afflicted again with a turn of the jitters, look at the evidence.   The latest poll puts Labour on 32%, the Tories on 31%, UKIP on 14% and the LibDems trailing at 11%.   This 1% Labour lead is dismissed as wafer-thin and fragile – and of course a 5-10% lead would be much more reassuring – but the significance of that 1% is widely misunderstood.   If there were an election now with that polling distribution deployed across the country in a uniform swing, Labour would now have 55 more seats than the Tories and with 321 seats would be just 5 seats short of an overall majority.   Not a bad position from which to start an election campaign!   Nor is this just a polling freak.   Just 6 months ago in the May elections Labour ended up with a virtually identical spread of votes across the country – actual votes, not responses to pollsters – which left the party just 4 seats short of an overall majority.   So despite the roller-coaster of the last 6 months, Labour remains in a potentially commanding position.

There’s a lot more evidence that is relevant too.   The Survation poll only a day or two earlier put Labour again on 31%, but the Tories at 27%and UKIP at 23% – a bigger margin over the Tories and UKIP exerting greater damage to the Tories.   The Rochester by-election in a week’s time will almost certainly fall to UKIP, which will very likely provoke further Tory defections.   The Financial Times has already identified 2 weeks ago 5 Tory MPs who would be more likely to keep their seats if they defected to UKIP.   The Tory party is already on the cusp of a split over Europe, and the only question is whether it happens before or after the election.   The Tory shambles in the debate (or rather non-debate) in the Commons on Monday over the European Arrest Warrant shows how far the rot has already set in.   Perhaps most significant of all, Ashcroft’s polling points up another crucial point, that Labour’s lead in the marginals where it really counts is higher than the average across the country.

None of this is to suggest it’s a done deal.   It certainly isn’t.   The major inroads by UKIP and the SNP provide a major confounding element of uncertainty, and both have to be addressed though not by a welter of personal attacks which nearly always turn out counter-productive.   What is needed are two things.   One is a rapid rebuttal machine to counter quickly and effectively the lies increasingly pouring out of the Tory machine.   The other, even more important, is a commanding narrative focused on the 4 or 5 central issues on which Labour intends to fight the election, and then to stick to them through hell or high water all the way to the election.

One thought on “Labour still odds-on not only to win election, but overall majority too

  1. Oh, I do very sincerely hope you’re right!
    Even before I started reading your blogs I was well aware that the Tories were ruining this once lovely country of ours, and I’m certain that the only way to get them out is to vote Labour.

    In my own small way I’m trying to get this message across to as many people as possible; I’m making use of Facebook and find it a very useful tool. I‘m in contact with people all around the country and through your blogs you’ve given me some ammunition in the form of facts and figures which I can use to counteract various arguments

    The danger is that Labour talks to Labour supporters, thus preaching to the converted, whereas there are great swathes of people who are still very cynical of Labour and politicians in general. These are the people who need to be targeted and brought round. Especially those who have believed the propaganda spewed out by the Tories over the last 5 years. (We have 6 months in which to undo 5 years’ damage).

    They’ve followed the credo that ‘if you repeat a lie often enough then people will start to believe it‘, and I’m afraid they have had a fair amount of success in this. People genuinely believe the country is broke, that there’s no money for the NHS, the disabled and other needy people. I’ve known for some time that we’re the 7th richest country in the world, and have wondered at this conundrum, so am very grateful to you for throwing so much light on the subject in your most informative blogs.

    However, your words of wisdom need to reach a far wider audience (I hope Ed Miliband reads them too)! As I said, I’m doing my best, but only in a very minor way.

    The fact that the Tories are losing MPs and votes to UKIP is good, but I wouldn’t put it past them to join forces if it meant them being able to stay in power. I imagine that traditional Labour voting areas have high unemployment so (rightly or wrongly) immigration must be a big concern there, therefore Labour could also lose votes to UKIP. Their concerns need to be seriously addressed.

    Labour also needs to publicise it’s Green credentials, as the very many people who are disenchanted with the main parties will either go in their direction, or not vote at all. Scotland could also be a problem.

    Psychologically, it’s not good for Labour to publicise the fact that they are very confident of winning, as back in the ‘60s my mum used to tell me that if it rained on election day then Labour voters wouldn’t bother to go to the polls, especially if they thought they’d win anyway!

    My very best wishes.

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