Labour ‘least progressive party’ – Poll
Poltics Home has this poll which I find somewhat fascinating because it doesn’t just ask which party is progressive but tries to narrow people down to defining words. It shows that only 12% of people think that the Labour Party is progressive which is behind 17% who think that the Greens are and 22% who plump for both the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives. However, 22% also pick A.N Other party and this is something that to my mind confirms the rise of minor parties in the public estimation following the expenses scandal. Something that is confirmed by the 35% who pick no party as being progressive. It would have been interesting to see a poll on how their views affected voting intention.
Part of the rather fragmented nature of the results would to my mind be the wide variety of ways people define progressive values. Something that is illustrated by the breakdown of results into word choices; of course, this is a little problematic in that picking one word to define a body of ideas is arbitrary but then again it does provide some fascinating insights. Perhaps worryingly for us only 16% of people in total view ‘liberal’ as being progressive which is more than the 7% who choose left-wing but considerably less than the 24% who chose radical.
My personal gut feeling is that ‘liberal’ is widely seen as just another version of ‘enlightened or ‘open-minded’ in most peoples minds. Both of these choices score higher; 40% and 31% and that says alot to my mind, liberal as a word lacks social content and that is why it is not chosen in my eyes. It is also possible that liberal has strong associations with the past in peoples eyes and since the top choices were ‘reforming’ and ‘modernising’ (63 & 61%) this negatively counted against liberal too.
However, Labour should perhaps bear in mind that liberal was picked by 16% of Labour voters (which is more than 12% of the same who chose left-wing) although I think the 9% figure for Conservative voters says something too. Only 17% of Conservative voters picked tolerance which is the lowest proportion of any party. 30% of our voters picked ‘radical’ which is the highest proportion of any party; surely this is a reminder that stale ‘aspirations’ are not the way forward for us. Labour has defiantly lost the progressive mantle but we are still a long way from convincing people it belongs totally to us as are, for all their bold claims, the Conservatives. The battle to claim the progressive crown in politics is far from won….