Is this the key to enthusing the ‘core vote’?
Politics Home has a poll which finds that ‘under half of natural Labour supporters feel it would deliver on its manifesto pledges’. A couple of notes of caution have to be struck; what is defined as ‘natural supporters’ isn’t exactly well-defined by the poll so there could be sampling issues.
Secondly, there is the ‘fatigue’ issue which would naturally set in for any government seeking its fourth term. Nonetheless the poll highlights an issue of trust; furthermore, this is likely to be exacerbated by continuing inquiry into the Iraq War. The majority of British people clearly regret this war (rightly so) and they blame Tony Blair and probably, to a lesser degree, by association for leading them ‘up the garden path’.
In this situation a degree of candour is needed and there has to be a recognition that ‘yes but….’ doesnt usually wash with voters. Clearly, a lack of trust in Labour to dealiver could well be leading to the core vote at the very least sitting on its hands. The high percentages for both the other parties will directly effect their motivation to vote and it will directly effect the chances of Labour winning a fourth-term. Jessica Asato suggests that Labour should say ‘sorry’ on LabourList and these figures show that this degree of candour may well be required.
It is all very well making radical promises but if they are not bealived then voters simply will not turn out and vote. Not only does the leadership need to radically change its orientation to enthuse its voters but that change must be accompanied by some candour about the record of Labour in government. Nobody is naive enough to believe everything can be perfect and would respond to a frank assessment of what has gone right and wrong and not lived up to expectations well.
As well as policy aims this could well prove to be the key to motivating the ‘core’ Labour vote.