Monday, February 08, 2016

Labour in denial

The Economist magazine has an interesting article about Labour's review of the last election, called

The elephant in the room?

which argues that Labour is basically in denial about why it lost the 2015 election.

I'm not going to reveal anything about what was discussed at the meeting of Conservative activists in London which I attended on Saturday because the party has asked that we have the debate about what we need to do by talking directly to one another rather than have the conversation in the pages of the Daily Telegraph.

But I will say that it is my honest impression from comparing the article in The Economist with the meeting two days ago that the Conservative party, both at senior level and among the activists, is far less complacent about the factors which could have cost us the 2015 election, and may have limited the size of our surprise victory, than the Labour party is about the problems which handed us that victory. And that the party leadership is listening to the things which rank-and-file activists are saying - certainly what was said on Saturday matched what had been said at the meeting of party members in the North West which I had previously attended - and wants to address those problems.

Labour is also listening to the party's activists, but not to actual and potential Labour voters.

That is an danger for any party and an issue the Conservatives will also need to bear in mind. But - and I'm obviously biased here - I don't think the present crop of Tory activists is anything like as far out of line with Conservative voters as the present Labour membership is with Labour voters.

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