Don’t believe the doubters – Labour can win in 2024

by Tim Carter

The fact that the Tories came away victors from the general election in December shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone, the majority was bigger than most expected, my prediction was 37-45 but maybe that was because I have an in-built Labour bias and at times tend to see my glass half full even when it is almost empty!

But politics is always about numbers and with 365 Tory MPs sitting across from 202 Labour MPs the numbers look daunting, leading most sane commentators to decide that the next Labour government is at least two general elections away. But they might be, and probably are, wrong – here’s why.

Back in 2005 the Conservatives had just suffered third general election defeat and their 198 (up from 166) MPs sat looking across at 355 Labour MPs. The talk was that for the Tories the game was over and opposition was now their natural role, they were now the ‘nasty party’ with the Lib Dems on 62 the talk was of ‘two party politics’ coming to an end. The Tories were, we were told, a busted flush.

Howard resigned as leader and a leadership contest was triggered, David Davis was the continuity Howard candidate and in the first round of the contest he was leading Cameron. Following Ken Clarke’s elimination and after the departure of Liam Fox in the next round, the members got to choose between Cameron and Davis – the clear choice offered was change or more of the same and the membership chose change.

Cameron set out on a on a path of reform and detoxification – sound familiar, well it should do because this is where Labour is after three election defeats and the decision members and eventually MPs have to make, is the same.

Cameron dragged the Tories from 198 up to 306 seats with Labour dropping back to 258 – the Lib Dems (down five) decided to deliver a Tory-led government.

During the 2010 campaign most Labour insiders had decided that a hung parliament was the best achievable result and another political fact came true – play to draw or lose and you won’t win.

People will dismiss all of this by shouting “financial crash” or “bigotgate” but the truth is Labour didn’t campaign to win and accepted defeat before one vote had been cast.

So back to 2020 the here and now: Labour are about to rid ourselves of a toxic leader who the public didn’t and would never have warmed to, so step one is choosing the right leader, I’m not going to suggest who that should be but if the membership make the wrong decision – throw this post in the bin along with any chance of future success.

Once the new leader is installed, it is about trust and convincing the electorate we have listened and learned. A full acceptance without argument of the EHRC recommendations, a comprehensive action plan along with expulsion of anti-Semites is the next step, not just zero tolerance but zero tolerance towards those who argue against it!

A leader needs to have the best shadow cabinet possible along with the best advisers so a complete overhaul of staffing both structures and personnel is next and it has to be done without favour or prejudice: “keep the best – chuck the rest” should be the rule…

After that we need to act within two years to make sure that as many seats as possible have candidates selected, in place as insurgents but acting like incumbents, if a seat flipped in 2019 it can flip back in 2024 and if a seat was Labour in 2005 it can be Labour again – go look at some of the majorities – from wafer thin to 5000 the road to victory is there if you want to look for it

What about Scotland you say? I say go and talk to Ian Murray (Edinburgh South) a majority of 316 in 2010 to a majority of 11095 in 2019 – fight to win and you win, build trust across communities, listen and always be on their side – winning elections isn’t always easy but simple things make it easier.

With Brexit decided Johnson has no shield and from here on in everything is down to him and we should be brutal, no hiding place, no escape route – hold him and his MPs to account for every decision – it is a long road but it is a road we must take.

Ignore people who talk about the ‘red wall’ just as you should ignore the fools and knaves who scream #UnseatJohnson, from Leigh to Swindon, Redcar to Gedling and beyond, James Frith to Mel Onn, if we decide we can win, we stand a chance – if we decide we can’t win, we won’t.

But of course, in the leadership election, the membership might decide that slogans and giving the members a vote on whether we should go to war, is more important than winning elections and making Britain Better. If common sense does prevail though, just remember 198 to 306; winning isn’t impossible unless you decide not to try.

Tim Carter is a freelance communications specialist and can be found in Westminster bars and cafes or on Twittter @forwardnotback


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7 Responses to “Don’t believe the doubters – Labour can win in 2024”

  1. Alf says:

    Whether it’s cracking down on benefit cheats, refusing to prosecute over the killings of Ian Tomlinson and Jean Charles de Menezes, abstaining on the Tory Welfare Bill, voting to renew Trident, voting against enquiries into the Iraq War or supporting Owen Smith in 2016 — little of what Starmer has actually done in politics would appeal to most Labour members.

    That said, he looks likely to win in March. But he won’t win in 2025. No-one really wants a return to Tory-lite politics.

  2. Tafia says:

    Labour have never won a majority in General Election without wining the majority of seats in Scotland.

    The boundaries will have been redrawn for 2024, levelling them out and making them fairer – that disadvantages Labour. If those new boundaries had been in place in 2019 and Brexit Party hadn’t been around, the Tories would have had a majority of 110-120.

    Starmer will not get back the Labour Leavers unless he accepts Brexit in full and drops his halfwitted mickey-mouse idea of rejoining Freedom of Movement. Apart from which he is a dire performer in the House. He always looks and sounds as though he is about to burst into tears, is boring to listen to and equally boring to watch. Johnson is more than a match for him at the box as he has shown time and again.

    Coalition.
    He will not get a Coalition with the SNP unless he agrees to IndyRef2, to be held within the first year should Labour win ( which they won’t). If he does agree, the LibDems wont support him.

  3. John P Reid says:

    Alf I’m agInst starmer but he didn’t vote gunsta inquiry into Iraq he only became a mp in 2015
    As for the prosecutions on Jean Charles demenez ans Ian Tomlinson, it’s the CPS to see if there’s evidence of unlawful killing to see if a prosecution likely, in the JCM case the jury returned a open verdict so couldn’t, in the Tomlinson case when a jury concluded despite DR patels botched autopsy that found a heart attack, he was unlawfully killed,I t was then the DPP could propose a prosecution, which even then wasn’t beyond reasonable doubt

    As for the article, what nonsense, yes in 2005 the difference between labour and Tory MP’s was similar to now, but there were 50 libdem MP’s and labour only got 2.5% more of the vote, than the tories, the tories just got 12% of the vote more than labour

    In 2010 we treated it as a 1992 election which we could have beat the odds and we prevented the tories getting a overall majority
    And Melanie Onn is backing Lisa

  4. steve says:

    “A leader needs to have ( … ) the best advisers”

    No doubt Tim has an updated c.v. ready and waiting.

    If Labour Party wannabe politicians and ‘best’ advisers/’communication consultants’ want to prove their worth they can take their ‘expertise’ to Scotland and produce a Labour victory in 2021. But of course, that’s a challenge that would see their self-declared expertise blown clean out of the water. So it ain’t going to happen.

    As their big talk becomes increasingly shrill, sensible people will hear only the desperation of those who wish to deny Labour’s demise – wrecked on the rocks of Brexit.

  5. John P Reid says:

    I’ve got to the stage where I’m going to labour meetings full of old white people saying we need a token BAME person
    Yet
    Black people I know don’t like The catergory BAMe as theres no reason why they should feel that a Asian person would represent them or collectively they have the same views
    As the white midgle class liberals who like things like not having discipline only listen to black members who agree and sane with the lesbians who are cstgegirisedas LGBT and if a LGBT group says decriminalise prostitution and assume they freak for a lesbian community

    While saying hate crime is going up due to the wotking class having white priveledge

    Yet when I say or or just Is impossible for the people at the meeting to feel its worth listening to as If a black persons or lesbian is socially conservative on discipline or not supporting prostitution or a working class person feeling that the glow that hold them together is the local community
    then they’re the wrong sort of view for the Labour Party
    But I’ll keep repeating it msybe 1 day at the meeting 1 person will listen if labour wants ts to win again

  6. Anon E Mouse says:

    The author of this article needs to be booted out of the Labour Party ASAP for gross stupidity if he actually believes this drivel – people with these views are not helping.

    To beat Boris Johnson with an 80 seat majority will be nigh on impossible – without the Brexit Party standing the likelihood is he will achieve another 28 seats especially since nothing has shown the Labour Party actually gets it.

    Unseating governments is hard and the opposing party needs to be popular; something that Labour seem intent on preventing with it’s childish virtue signalling, identity politics and middle class rubbish.

    It’s as if the current leadership candidates missed the last four General Election defeats and want to remain unpopular.

    If Brexit goes well Boris Johnson will take the credit and be re-elected. If Brexit goes badly no one will trust Labour to get them out of a hole and as every time before will want the Tories to sort the economy out.

    Either way the idea Labour would be electable for the next two General Elections is fanciful but at least they can claim to represent their wealthy chums inside the M25 and bang on about Palestine and freeing criminals on our streets.

    Oh and calling everyone racist for not voting for the party of unelectable clowns previously known as the Labour Party…

  7. John P Reid says:

    I actually think Lisas leadership is the equivalent of had david Owen stayed in the Labour Party and stood for leader after the 83 defeat where the people who quit who were bullied out like John Cartwright would have stayed and Eaten humble pie with Owen standing for leader having to keep quiet about thatcher was right in democratising unions, knowing he’d lose anyway but If there wasn’t a candidate like Owen in 83 who told the party of the scale of the defeat then it might as well just elect a candidate who was going to lose and be out for 10 more years
    Oh this case the candidate who’s telling the party what it wants to hear but will still lose the next election is Keir Starmer

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