History should not give cause for optimism for Labour

Ed Miliband needs to conquer is his image problem which, four years on from taking the leadership of the party, remains a noose around the party’s neck.

Ed Miliband needs to conquer is his image problem which, four years on from taking the leadership of the party, remains a noose around the party’s neck

Next year’s General Election will be one in which the near impossible will have occurred whatever the result.

Should the Conservatives seize the levers of powers they will have defied historical precedents and increased its share of the vote whilst in power between elections.

The last time that happened was Harold Wilson in 1974, and even that was a special case which saw the country going to the polls twice in a year as a response to the hung parliament elected in the February of that year.

The re-election of a coalition government, of whatever form, would also be unprecedented in recent electrical history.

What then of the mountain facing Labour as Ed Miliband prepares later today to deliver his final rallying call to the party faithful ahead of the General Election?

His mission is clear – to ensure that Labour remains a one-term opposition. The last time this was achieved however was in 1970, when Edward Heath managed to bring Harold Wilson’s first government to an end after just one term.

History then makes any result next year highly unusual.

What then of the polling?

Since 1979, there have been just three changes in the governing party. Thatcher took the keys of Downing Street from James Callaghan in 1979; Tony Blair comprehensively beat John Major’s Conservatives in 1997 and in 2010 we know what happened.

Based on data within Ipsos Mori’s historical archives, the figures do not bode well for Ed Miliband or the Labour Party more widely.

Looking just at the polling data from the conferences prior to each General Election, in September 1978, ahead of Thatcher’s victory the year after, the data put the Conservatives on 48 per cent against Labour’s 42 per cent.

In September 1996, New Labour had effectively sealed the deal, with the polling having put the party on 52 per cent against the Conservatives 29 per cent.

For the Conservatives in September 2009, Ipsos Mori saw the party polling 36 per cent against Labour on 24 per cent.

The lesson from recent history is clear – the party going into the final conference ahead of the general election has found themselves either winning outright or being the dominate force within government.

With this month’s survey data from Ipsos putting the Tories on 34 per cent, one percentage point ahead of Labour, the party would need to pull a rabbit out of the hat if it is to form a government next year.

But the second mountain Ed Miliband needs to conquer is his image problem which, four years on from taking the leadership of the party, remains a noose around the party’s neck.

Whilst those in Labour circles might point to the polling in September 1978 which put Jim Callaghan ahead of Thatcher when voters were asked who they were most satisfied with, despite the Conservatives going on to win the following year, this remains the exception to the rule.

In September 1996, Blair led Major on satisfaction rates by 13 percentage points whilst David Cameron, at the same time in 2009, enjoyed a 16 percentage point lead over Gordon Brown.

With this month’s Ipsos Mori polling putting David Cameron’s satisfaction ratings at 39 per cent compared to Ed Miliband’s 29 per cent, the Labour leader has everything to do to persuade a sceptical public that the party and he himself in particular is ready to govern for the One Nation he spoke about in Manchester two years ago.

History does not give cause for optimism.

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59 Responses to “History should not give cause for optimism for Labour”

  1. InbredBlockhead

    Your English leads one to believe you are of Asian ancestry.

  2. InbredBlockhead

    1. A Hebrew word used in the Jewish Scriptures (a.k.a. the Old Testament). The word literally means “nations,” and is always used within these scriptures to refer to the nations of the world. Significantly, within the Old Testament, Judah (the Jewish nation) itself is called a “goy.”
    2. In the Old Testament, the Jews were called to be a nation separate from the other nations, which were all Pagan. And so, colloquially, all non-Jewish nations came to be called “goyim” as in “the nations” from which the God of the Old Testament had called upon the Jews to separate themselves.
    3. A word used by some Jews to refer to Gentiles (non-Jews). The word can have derogatory connotations, such as the word “black” when used to refer to a persons of African descent. It can be neutral or negative depending on the context and the intent of the speaker.

  3. Leon Wolfeson

    Yes yes, the work I do isn’t honest or hard because I’m a Jew blah blah.

    I’m suggesting you pay tax like any good British citizen, which you’re not (good, that is).

    I also don’t share your family, but thanks for projecting onto multiple other people, and demanding people share your hatreds of the English for not being as nasty as you.

  4. Leon Wolfeson

    One, not a Labourite.
    Two, thanks for the anti-Semitism, as you call for pogroms and purges, as per the standard textbook.

    No surprise either you support Saddam, etc. Your ideal nation, which would (rightly) be isolated because of the sanctions against it for genocide…would not be Britain.

    Go back to Stormfront.

  5. Guest

    Modern usage – Anti-semites like you use it.

  6. Guest

    One? Which one are you talking about? Hitler? Stalin? Mao? Which One of your heros?

    And of course you need to make up spew – I, my parents and grandparents were born here. You, with your North Korean blood…

  7. Guest

    So you admit I can comment and further admit you should not? Great!

    Follow your rules.

  8. Guest

    Your policy.
    Your belief.
    Your creed.

    Yours, North Korean. Not mine.

  9. InbredBlockhead

    Without mass immigration we would not have …

    1. A rapidly rising population.

    2. Ethnic minority ghettoes.

    3. Race relations legislation, most notably the Race Relations Act of 1976.

    4. Gross interferences with free speech such as those in the 1976 Race Relations Act and 1986 Public Order Act arising from the British elite’s determination and need (from their point of view) to suppress dissent about immigration and its consequences.

    5. Native Britons being charged with criminal offences and, in increasing numbers of cases, finding themselves in prison for expressing their opposition to mass immigration or for being non-PC about immigrants and British-born ethnic and racial minorities.

    6. Native Britons losing their jobs simply for beings non-pc about immigration and ethnic and racial minorities.

    7. Such a virulent political correctness, because the central plank of the creed – race – would have been removed or at least made insignificant. Without large numbers of racial and ethnic minorities to either act as the clients of the politically correct or to offer a threat of serious civil unrest to provide the politically correct with a reason to enact authoritarian laws banning free discussion about the effects of immigration, ‘antiracism’ would have little traction. Moreover, without the massive political leverage race has provided, political correctness in its other areas, most notably homosexuality and feminism, would have been much more difficult to inject into British society. But even if political correctness had been robbed of its dominant racial aspect whilst leaving the rest of the ideology as potent as it is now, it would be a trivial thing compared to the ideology with its dominant racial aspect intact. Changes to the status of homosexuals and women do not fundamentally alter the nature of a society by destroying its natural homogeneity. Moreover, customs and laws can always be altered peacefully. A country with large unassimilable minorities cannot be altered peacefully.

    8. State sponsored multiculturalism, which is now institutionalised within British public service and the state educational system.

    9. Islamic terrorism.

    10. The creeping introduction of sharia law through such things as the toleration of sharia courts to settle disputes between Muslims provided both parties agree. The idea that such agreement is voluntary is highly suspect because of the pressure from within the Muslim population for Muslims to conform to sharia law and to settle disputes within the Muslim population. But even if it was always entirely voluntary, it would be wrong in principle to have an alien system of law accepted as a rival to the law of the land because inevitably it would undermine the idea of the rule of law and further isolate Muslims from the mainstream.

    11. Muslims Schools which fail to conform to the national curriculum at best and at worst are vehicles for the promotion of Islamic supremacist ideas.

    12. A calamitous housing shortage.

    13. Housing Associations which cater solely for ethnic and racial minority groups.

    14. A serious and growing shortage of school places, especially primary school places.

    15. Health tourism on a huge scale.

    16. Benefit tourism on a massive scale.

    17 . Such crowded roads and public transport.

    18. Such a low-wage economy.

    19. Such high unemployment and underemployment.

    20. Such a need for the taxpayer to subsidise those in work because of the undercutting of wages by immigrants.

    21. Areas of work effectively off limits to white Britons because either an area of work is controlled by foreigners or British-born ethnic minorities, both of whom only employ those of their own nationality and/ or ethnicity, or unscrupulous British employers who use foreigners and ethnic minorities because they are cheap and easier to control.

    22. As much crime (and particularly violent crime) because foreigners and British born blacks and Asians commit a disproportionately large proportion of UK crime (for example, see here, here and here).

    23. Double standards in applying the law to the white native population and immigrants, with the white native population being frequently treated more harshly than blacks, Asians and white first-generation immigrants.

    24. Female genital mutilation.

    25. ‘Honour’ killings.

    26. Forced marriages.

    27. Widespread electoral fraud.

    We would have …

    1. A very homogenous country, as it used to be.

    2. No fear of speaking our minds about race and immigration.

    3. No fear of speaking our minds about foreigners.

    4. No fear of being proud of our country and Western culture generally.

    5. No people being sent to prison for simply saying what they thought about race and ethnicity.

    6. Much less political correctness.

    7. Equality before the law in as far as that is humanly possible.

    8. A stable population.

    9. Plentiful housing, both rented and for purchase, at a price the ordinary working man or woman can afford.

    10. Abundant school places.

    11. An NHS with much shorter waiting lists and staffed overwhelmingly with native Britons. Those who claim that the NHS would collapse without foreign staff should ask themselves one question: if that is the case, how do areas of the UK with few racial or ethnic minority people manage to recruit native-born Britons to do the work?

    12. A higher-wage economy.

    13. Far more native Britons in employment.

    14. No areas of work effectively off limits to white Britons because either an area of work is controlled by foreigners or British-born ethnic minorities, both of whom only employ those of their own nationality and/ or ethnicity, or unscrupulous British employers who use foreigners and ethnic minorities because they are cheap and easier to control.

    15. A much lower benefit bill for those of working age.

    16. Substantially less crime.

    17. An honest electoral system.

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