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10 reasons why Labour should be worried

There was some cheer online among Labour supporters after Conservative Home editor Tim Montgomerie published his list “Ten facts to worry every Conservative”. Instead of cheer Labour supporters should worry. While we were Refounding Labour the Lord Ashcroft funding machine has been putting polls and focus groups in the field up and down the country tasked with looking at how they can move from 36% to over 40%.

It is often thought that ConservativeHome represents part of the “right-flank” in Tory grass-root activity. Reading this you can see it’s “ideology be dammed, pass me the husky” – they will do what it takes to detoxify and get the Tories over the finishing line in 2015.

Labour needs to move from 29% to over 40% to win a majority next time. The task is that much greater, the slope even steeper. We must reject the politics of “one more heave” – the electorate firmly rejected New Labour at the last election and the task is massive. Here are ten facts we need to remember if we are to win again.

1. The party of the poor – Tim is right to acknowledge that the Tory Party is seen as the party of the wealthy, but while the Tories may be viewed by swing voters as for the rich, Labour is viewed as the party of the poor, immigrants and benefit scroungers. The centre ground of politics is wide-open.

2. Party finances – Labour doesn’t have any money, or at least has very little compared to the Tories. If Cameron called an election tomorrow, the Tory Party would be able to compete financially, Labour simply wouldn’t. Judging by how little the party has declared in recent quarters, it doesn’t seem like Miliband is spending a great deal of time on fundraising either.

3. Scotland – The party took months to agree on a timetable for the Scottish leadership election, leading to the embarrassing spectacle of Iain Gray being in post long after he said he’d be gone. And to compound the embarrassment, Ed Miliband didn’t know who the front runner to replace him was. Labour faces a genuine existential crisis in Scotland. For decades we have been the dominant force north of the border – now there’s a very real risk of the end of the UK. That would have a devastating impact on Labour’s chances of ever winning a majority in Westminster.

 

Originally published by Labour List

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