Posts Tagged ‘retreat’

The twelve rules of opposition: day nine

02/01/2012, 04:39:58 PM

by Atul Hatwal

Rule 9: Your strength is your weakness

No-one likes to be unpopular. When a party loses an election, its members and activists do not just feel unpopular, they experience utter rejection at the hands of voters. All those leaflets delivered, doors knocked and phone calls made. For nothing.

What most oppositions do next is no surprise. The retreat into the comfort zone is as understandable as it is likely.

Each party has issues on which they lead, even in the throes of defeat. For example, Labour has the NHS, while the Tories are preferred on immigration. The temptation is to return to these subjects, where the sunshine of public support is still felt, as the mainstays of campaigns in opposition.

It recharges the batteries of a beaten party to do something popular again. For people to see a party stall in the high street and not avert their eyes is sustenance for activists’ political soul. (more…)

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