According to new polling evidence from YouGov, not just Labour voters but also the party’s swing voters prefer “a leftist Labour Party than a Blairite one” as Stephan Shakespeare, YouGov’s CEO puts it, adding: “People are not as attracted to the mushy centre as they were five years ago“. The poll shows big majorities for an agenda which is anti-austerity, anti-war and anti-big-business – in Shakespeare’s words “three trump cards that might deliver them a victory to Labour in the general election“: Continue reading
It is true that Jim Murphy has a higher media profile than Neil Findlay, but rarely in a leadership election do we have such good evidence that one candidate in the running cannot win over the voters Labour needs whilst the other has the policies they support. This matters if Ed Miliband is to have a reasonable chance of forming a government and if Scottish Labour is to avoid a further drubbing in 2016.
We know that over a third of Labour supporters went with Yes in the referendum. According to Professor John Curtice, a poll from Lord Ashcroft has this figure at 37% with another poll from Opinium in the last week of the campaign showing it to be as high as 47%. As Curtice points out:
It is certainly the case that less well-off voters, that is the kind of people who might be thought to be Labour’s traditional constituency, were more likely to vote Yes than those in more comfortable circumstances.’
Yesterday, Pollsters Survation released the results of a poll of previously declared SNP voters carried out for Progressive Polling which revealed that a range of left policies similar to those advocated by Neil Findlay and Katy Clark, would be likely to win back significant numbers of SNP voters:
- A policy of a mandatory living wage would make 37% more likely to vote Labour
- A commitment to permanently abolishing tuition fees for university education in Scotland would make 30% more likely to vote Labour
- Promising to decommission the Trident nuclear weapons system would make 30% more likely to vote Labour
- A policy to re-nationalise Scottish rail services would make 27% more likely to vote Labour
- Promising free nursery places for children from the age of 12 months would make 21% more likely to vote Labour
Political people are a fragile lot. It doesn’t take much for herds of us to start quaffing at the Last Chance Saloon. Two polls – admittedly “gold standard” polls – place Labour two points behind the Conservatives. Not ideal at all, far from it. Then one of the them, the ICM poll for the Graun, puts Labour trailing UKIP AND the Tories in next week’s European elections. Not the music of an election victory party echoing from the future to the present. Naturally, two swallows don’t a summer make but the excellent reputations ICM and Lord Ashcroft have, and these results’ congruence with converging poll trends point to movement in the minds of the electorate, and that movement is not to the red team’s benefit. Continue reading
When one of us suggests that the Labour Party should be more resolute and radical in its policy proposals, it doesn’t take long for detractors to start crying ‘8 million votes for Socialism’, in a clear reference to the 1983 general election defeat. Their whine seeks to identify those of us on the Left of this party as out-of-touch and our policies as outdated and unpopular. But the truth of the matter is the other way around.
Never before has laissez faire neo-Blairism been so out-of-touch. On the other hand, policies such as renationalisation of utilities and bold increases in the top tax rate, derided by the media and probably most of the Shadow Cabinet as far-left, are immensely popular according to recent polls. Surprisingly (or maybe not), these polls have not been met by any effort to place the party more in line with popular opinion. Is it perhaps that in today’s twisted democracy, popular opinion is only respected if and when it embraces the neo-liberal consensus? As the general election of 2015 approaches, Labour can no longer afford to continue in blatant disregard of people’s yearning for radical and urgent change. Continue reading