- Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:16 pm #418196
New piece from John Curtice. Haven't had chance to read the whole thing, but:
http://www.ippr.org/juncture/a-defeat-t ... urs-losses" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;There is no single straightforward explanation for Labour’s election losses, either in Scotland or in Britain as a whole. But to win a fresh hearing among key demographics, writes John Curtice, the party must convince voters that it can create a better and more appealing economy, not just competently steward it.
Labour is in shock. The party may not have expected to win an overall majority on 7 May, and might even have been surprised if it had come first in seats. But it certainly did not anticipate ending up with fewer seats than it had five years ago, and thereby being left without any prospect of being able to negotiate its way to power via deals and understandings with smaller parties.
One advantage of this shock is that the defeat is being taken seriously. It has been described as the party’s worst result ever, and has even led some to question the party’s long-term future. However, shock also has its disadvantages. Faced with trying to account for the unexpected, there is a tendency to grab the first plausible answer that comes along, and particularly to resort to explanations that accord with existing preconceptions of how the party should comport itself. For example, in his instant commentary on the defeat, Tony Blair argued that the party needs to return to the ‘centre ground’ and show that it is for ‘ambition and aspiration’.
But if one thing is clear about this election, it is that the temptation to look for one single straightforward explanation or response should be resisted. After all, its outcome marked the final death-knell of the idea that there is such a thing as a single Britain-wide electoral contest. There was, in truth, one election outcome in England and Wales and another very different one in Scotland. Both outcomes have to be taken on board if an adequate response to Labour’s electoral woes is to be identified.
Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.