Chasing Conservative votes will not win us the next election….

Ed Miliband’s prodigious ability to get things totally wrong is becoming very vexing. In The Guardian today he is quoted as saying he ‘wants Conservative votes’ and that is how Labour ‘wins elections’. It sounds sensible enough but even a short logical examination shows it not to be true. First, let’s start with a blindingly obvious point – the Conservatives did not ‘win’ the last General Election. Properly winning an election means not just being the largest Party but being the largest Party and attaining a governing majority and they fall short on the second criteria.

So, even if we achieved the same vote share and vote mass as the Conservatives it would not win us the next election as Ed seems to think it would. Polling consistently shows that the people who voted Conservative last time are happy too again (the Conservatives are running at around a 90% retention rate) so in light of that, Ed’s stance looks even more like a prescription for a sore head (after alot of banging against a brick wall) rather than an election win.

At the last election, Labour saw a 6.2% swing against it, but only a fraction over half of that swing (3.8%) actually went to the Conservatives; their 10,706,647 votes represents under a quarter of the entire electorate and is around 1/3 of the actual votes cast. So, when you crunch the numbers the whole notion that Conservative votes win elections is nonsensical. Far more votes exist in addressing yourself to people who didn’t vote (some of whom will be lapsed Labour supporters, disillusioned with the direction the Party took under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown) than ever will in addressing yourself to committed Conservative voters.

If the leadership pursues this strategy then it may appease the right-wing of the Party who want us to chase this group to bend the Party to its own ideological agenda but it wont win us the next election. So, please Mr Miliband stop pretending it will.




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5 responses to “Chasing Conservative votes will not win us the next election….”

  1. john reid says :

    I have to point out that former labour party members such as Rbert shaw ,who blogs on labour list, is an old school left winger who voted tory last time, and hr eould vote labour agsin if we were more left wing, David owen alright he was on the right of the party, but he was talking of coming back to vote labour (from the tories) only baacking thr toties last time because of Iraq, so if Ed does want tory votes ,it’s not neccesarily by apprsling to the right of the party,
    Also When blair got 13.6 m votes in ;97 that was by getting tory votes, and Cameron is more popular now by getting ex liberal votes, the way labour is more popular now than it was 2 years ago ,by getting ex libdems votes, yourself inclusive.


  2. darrellgoodliffe says :


    No, in short, I think you will find there was some non-voters who came out for Blair too…..having said all that, 13.6 million is probably less than we will need to scrape a majority nowadays….


  3. thereviewer says :

    Ed needs those woolly Liberal votes which Labour managed to lose themselves last time around. Unfortunately David Cameron is the best speaker even if his policies are dodgy, i.e Big Society. Perhaps senior Miliband would have been better after all for Labour?


  4. darrellgoodliffe says :

    I think they will come home naturally though since they would be naturally adverse to being in Coalition with the Conservatives


  5. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Thanks for the link btw will have a look 🙂


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