Posts Tagged ‘Milibelievers’

The Milibelievers are back to finish the job of destroying the Labour party

10/06/2015, 08:05:15 PM

by Renie Anjeh

It’s been over a month since Labour’s devastating, but entirely avoidable, election defeat. Ed Milband’s leadership ended in abject failure.  David Cameron is the first prime minister since 1900 to increase his party’s share of the vote and number of seats after a full parliamentary term. There are voices in the Labour party who understand the gravity of the situation.  Jon Cruddas warned that this is the greatest crisis that the Labour party has ever faced.

Alastair Campbell reiterated Cruddas’s warnings when he told Andrew Marr that the party is in “big trouble” and “may not be at the bottom”. Unfortunately, their political sagacity is not shared by a lot of the party especially the Milibelievers. Yes, the Milibelievers are not dead. They are not even sleeping. They are alive and well and finding their voice again.

Over the last five years, the Milibelievers have given us a litany of excuses to prove that Ed Miliband was destined for Number 10. “2015 was going to be a ‘change election’”, they told us. This meant that the rules of politics no longer applied. They even said that Ed was the Left’s answer to Margaret Thatcher and he was going to reshape the political consensus.

As we learned last month, the messianic prophecies of the Milibelievers turned out to be complete and utter rubbish.

But here they come again.


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Milibelievers were thin on the ground at Labour conference

24/09/2014, 02:54:20 PM

by Jonathan Todd

Throughout Ed Miliband’s leadership there have been those at Labour Party conference prepared to mock and criticise him. There have also been Milibelivers. In between these pessimists and optimists have been pragmatists, seeing both positives and weaknesses in Miliband, seeking to accentuate the former and minimise the latter.

Milibelivers felt thin on the ground this week. I made a point of asking everyone I spoke to how they assessed the mood. “Flat,” was the usual response. After Miliband’s speech, I also enquired what they thought of it. The elderly delegate from a Labour constituency in the north east of England who described it as “the icing on the cake of his week” was the exception in speaking wholly warmly about it.

The dearth of Milibelivers had the effect that pragmatists felt less conference peer pressure to align themselves with the optimists and more to mirror the concerns of the pessimists. We entered a spiral of negativity. The conference vibe was much like twitter where the cheerleading tweets of MPs during Miliband’s speech were drowned out by the mirth of others.

The grounds for optimism cited by elected representatives, however, were not always without foundation. One told me of a Labour business breakfast attended by many more businesses and senior business people than in previous years. Public affairs agencies informed me that they were bringing more clients to conference than in recent years and clients were keener to attend.

Business is preparing for Labour government. They are right to do so. After Douglas Carswell’s defection to UKIP, presuming he succeeds in retaining his seat in the upcoming by election, the idea that UKIP will poll something in the order of 10 per cent in 2015 seems plausible. While an effective ground game is likely to secure the Liberal Democrats many more MPs than UKIP, probably somewhere between 30 and 40, their national polling has been on the floor for so long that it also seems plausible that they might poll somewhere in the same 10 per cent region. Both the persistence of UKIP and the non-recovery of the Liberal Democrats favour Labour over the Conservatives. As do the parliamentary boundaries. As does the incomplete nature of David Cameron’s half-baked detoxification of his party.


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The Milibelievers are destroying Labour’s chances for victory in 2015

06/01/2014, 10:47:37 AM

by Atul Hatwal

The polls are fine. Labour’s rating is holding firm in the high thirties, it will stay there because Lib Dem defectors will boost Labour’s core vote from 2010 and UKIP will squeeze the Tories’ vote.

This is the litany of the Milibelievers.  A group that is distinctly under-represented in the PLP but more vocal in the media community and believes Ed Miliband’s gameplan is working.

It was neatly summarised by George Eaton before Christmas and represents one the greatest threats to Labour success in 2015. Because unless Labour radically changes course and accepts the current gameplan is failing, defeat is increasingly likely.

There are two flaws to the Milibeliever prospectus.

First, Labour’s base is not the 29% achieved 2010.

Given how appalling Labour’s performance was in 2010, it’s tempting to believe that it represents rock bottom. 29% was derisory, but Labour can fall further. In polling for Uncut by YouGov in early September, just over 1 in 4 (26%) of Labour’s 2010 voters said they did not intend to vote for the party at the next election.

There may have been some minor movement in the attrition rate since Autumn, but given the broad similarity in the polls between then and now, it is unlikely to have changed significantly.

This means Labour’s current base is actually nearer 22% rather than 29% and unless something major changes, Labour will not even be the largest party, let alone a majority government, no matter how solid the block of Lib Dem defectors.

Second, Labour is losing the argument in terms of leadership and economic competence. This is the underlying reason why the party’s base vote has eroded since 2010, why it is overly optimistic to believe Labour can rely on legions of 2010 Lib Dem voters backing the party into the high thirties and why many UKIP converts are likely to lapse back into the Tory fold.

The chart below sets out the scale of Labour’s problem. No opposition has ever won while being behind on both leadership and the economy, and Labour now trails by double digits on both.

Con lead over Lab on PM and econ (more…)

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