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    Around 2001 we had the strange death of the Conservative Party...

    The 2001 general election could easily be summed up as the invisible general election. A dull campaign; predictable result; and the record for the least number of constituencies to change hands. It was almost as if a general election never took place that year. The only remarkable feature was the independent doctor Richard Taylor winning in Wyre Forest. After four years of opposition the Conservatives made minimal gains over Labour and had little to offer the public apart from a boring bald Yorkshireman, a miserable hag, and a gay Portaloo.

    It is noteworthy that between 1900 and 1992 all but one leader of the Conservative Party became PM. That one exceptional individual was Austen Chamberlain. After the 1997 general election we had three successive Conservative leaders who failed to become PM, and one did not even make it to a general election.

    The intriguing thing was that at the time the core basis for the existence of socialist parties - state ownership of the economy – had almost completely died, and fallen out of favour with the public, so one might reasonably have expected the Conservatives to have emerged triumphant and Labour thrown into the wilderness. What kept Labour alive during its dark years of the mid 1980s following their meltdown in 1983 was the fact that there were a sufficient number of poor people living in Britain to support the existence of such a party. The Conservatives are hardly a party that appeals to the poor so they didn't have this lifeline during their dark days after 1997. Could the Conservatives have gone down a similar road the Liberal party went down from the Edwardian era when they were the establishment to the 1950s when they were little more than a protest vote? Even in 2010 the Conservatives were unable to win the election outright and had to form a coalition.

    Now it looks plausible that the Conservatives could be in power until 2030. This is despite very lukewarm support for them from the public. Nowhere near the same amount of support that Margaret Thatcher, or even John Major, had. The Conservatives didn't really win the 2015 general election. It was a surprise victory with a paper thin majority resulting from a meltdown of the Lib-Dems, with most of their constituencies going to the Conservatives, than anything else. They gained very few constituencies from Labour and if the Lib-Dems hadn't collapsed then it would have been another coalition government.

    Has Britain experienced a strange death of the Labour Party in 2015? There is a notable difference between the mid 1980s and more recent times in that Labour has serious competition in many of its heartlands from UKIP. It certainly brings into question the old left vs right yardstick or working vs middle class viewpoint.

    The challenge that Labour faces is being able to appeal to a diverse and disparate selection of the population with conflicting interests. The Conservatives seem to have a support base that is large enough to sustain them to being the largest party in Parliament.
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    (Original post by Arran90)
    Around 2001 we had the strange death of the Conservative Party...

    The 2001 general election could easily be summed up as the invisible general election. A dull campaign; predictable result; and the record for the least number of constituencies to change hands. It was almost as if a general election never took place that year. The only remarkable feature was the independent doctor Richard Taylor winning in Wyre Forest. After four years of opposition the Conservatives made minimal gains over Labour and had little to offer the public apart from a boring bald Yorkshireman, a miserable hag, and a gay Portaloo.

    It is noteworthy that between 1900 and 1992 all but one leader of the Conservative Party became PM. That one exceptional individual was Austen Chamberlain. After the 1997 general election we had three successive Conservative leaders who failed to become PM, and one did not even make it to a general election.

    The intriguing thing was that at the time the core basis for the existence of socialist parties - state ownership of the economy – had almost completely died, and fallen out of favour with the public, so one might reasonably have expected the Conservatives to have emerged triumphant and Labour thrown into the wilderness. What kept Labour alive during its dark years of the mid 1980s following their meltdown in 1983 was the fact that there were a sufficient number of poor people living in Britain to support the existence of such a party. The Conservatives are hardly a party that appeals to the poor so they didn't have this lifeline during their dark days after 1997. Could the Conservatives have gone down a similar road the Liberal party went down from the Edwardian era when they were the establishment to the 1950s when they were little more than a protest vote? Even in 2010 the Conservatives were unable to win the election outright and had to form a coalition.

    Now it looks plausible that the Conservatives could be in power until 2030. This is despite very lukewarm support for them from the public. Nowhere near the same amount of support that Margaret Thatcher, or even John Major, had. The Conservatives didn't really win the 2015 general election. It was a surprise victory with a paper thin majority resulting from a meltdown of the Lib-Dems, with most of their constituencies going to the Conservatives, than anything else. They gained very few constituencies from Labour and if the Lib-Dems hadn't collapsed then it would have been another coalition government.

    Has Britain experienced a strange death of the Labour Party in 2015? There is a notable difference between the mid 1980s and more recent times in that Labour has serious competition in many of its heartlands from UKIP. It certainly brings into question the old left vs right yardstick or working vs middle class viewpoint.

    The challenge that Labour faces is being able to appeal to a diverse and disparate selection of the population with conflicting interests. The Conservatives seem to have a support base that is large enough to sustain them to being the largest party in Parliament.
    Excellent post. From my perspective the most frustrating thing as you say is that at best, this government has at best lukewarm support from the public.
    This is a party making fairly unpopular cuts, making enemies of the doctors, lawyers, teachers and other sectors. It's a party about to tear itself apart over europe but labour is failing badly to offer an attractive alternative. I'd say 2015 was similar to 2005, an unpopular government facing an even more unpopular opposition. That remains the case.

    There is no easy answer for labour. How can it win back votes in Scotland without losing them in England?
    How can it win back working class poor votes back off ukip without losing middle england votes to the Tories?
    How can it win middle england votes off the tories without leaking votes to the greens and snp?

    There are no easy answers, whatever options it has to win votes off one group seems to lose them off another in equal measure.

    At the moment it seems like we will have to wait until the tories become so unpopular and Labour get a new charismatic leader. When that will be is anyone's guess.




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    I think there is a generational gap larger than at any time since 1945 where we have a high proportion of the hard done by younger generation opposing austerity and a high proportion of the baby boomer generation, which has not done too badly in the recent recession, wanting more austerity. This is happening even in the same towns regardless of whether they are historically leaning to Labour or the Conservatives.

    The media probably also plays a large part with the younger generation getting their news and information from the internet and the baby boomers getting their news and information from newspapers and Freeview channels.

    UKIP seems to be the only party doing well following its transition from an anti-EU version of the middle of the road Conservative Party into what is best described as a populist party. It's also the only party that appeals to both the younger generation and the baby boomers.

    As I have previously stated, the sticking point with Corbyn is his foreign and defence policies more so than his economic policies. The Muslims and the progressive left love them. The white working class and middle England hate them. Labour under Corbyn is the sort of party that could get 90% of the vote in Tower Hamlets or Islington but would be third place behind both the Conservatives and UKIP in places like Cannock or Basildon - the places they need to win in order to win the 2020 general election.
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    (Original post by Arran90)
    I think there is a generational gap larger than at any time since 1945 where we have a high proportion of the hard done by younger generation opposing austerity and a high proportion of the baby boomer generation, which has not done too badly in the recent recession, wanting more austerity. This is happening even in the same towns regardless of whether they are historically leaning to Labour or the Conservatives.

    The media probably also plays a large part with the younger generation getting their news and information from the internet and the baby boomers getting their news and information from newspapers and Freeview channels.

    UKIP seems to be the only party doing well following its transition from an anti-EU version of the middle of the road Conservative Party into what is best described as a populist party. It's also the only party that appeals to both the younger generation and the baby boomers.

    As I have previously stated, the sticking point with Corbyn is his foreign and defence policies more so than his economic policies. The Muslims and the progressive left love them. The white working class and middle England hate them. Labour under Corbyn is the sort of party that could get 90% of the vote in Tower Hamlets or Islington but would be third place behind both the Conservatives and UKIP in places like Cannock or Basildon - the places they need to win in order to win the 2020 general election.
    Ukip's average voter is even older than the Tories, theres no basis to say that they appeal to the young significantly.
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    I would vote Labour, but I do not give labour a chance.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    Ukip's average voter is even older than the Tories, theres no basis to say that they appeal to the young significantly.
    That is untrue. There are plenty of 20 and 30 somethings who vote UKIP. Mostly from the upper working and lower middle classes. Also lots of skilled manual workers and tradesmen type people.

    UKIP doesn't appeal to younger graduates or Londoners.
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    I would give a right wing Labour a chance, possibly.
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    (Original post by Arran90)
    That is untrue. There are plenty of 20 and 30 somethings who vote UKIP. Mostly from the upper working and lower middle classes. Also lots of skilled manual workers and tradesmen type people.

    UKIP doesn't appeal to younger graduates or Londoners.
    Nominally there are plenty of young who vote Tory and plenty of old people who vote Labour however when making demographic claims in relation to political parties it tends to be that percentages are a better statistical device and in percentage terms Ukip's average voter is an older man, the average Tory is a slightly younger man and the average Labour voter is a middle aged woman.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    Excellent post. From my perspective the most frustrating thing as you say is that at best, this government has at best lukewarm support from the public.
    This is a party making fairly unpopular cuts, making enemies of the doctors, lawyers, teachers and other sectors. It's a party about to tear itself apart over europe but labour is failing badly to offer an attractive alternative. I'd say 2015 was similar to 2005, an unpopular government facing an even more unpopular opposition. That remains the case.

    There is no easy answer for labour. How can it win back votes in Scotland without losing them in England?
    How can it win back working class poor votes back off ukip without losing middle england votes to the Tories?
    How can it win middle england votes off the tories without leaking votes to the greens and snp?

    There are no easy answers, whatever options it has to win votes off one group seems to lose them off another in equal measure.

    At the moment it seems like we will have to wait until the tories become so unpopular and Labour get a new charismatic leader. When that will be is anyone's guess.

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    If we're brutally honest here Labour do know how to make an election winning cocktail (Blair+anti-immigration+anti-welfare), it's just that they are horrified that they ever drank it. Until Labour frankly 'man up' and accept reality (that Blair is largely where the country still is) then the Tories can go as far as they like. Chances are that the Tory majority will be sufficiently large in 2020 that they'll be in power until 2030.

    The last part is what alarms me about the mentality of Corbyn supporters.. they think that it can't get worse. Looking at the electoral map though you see that is far from true and that Labour are bleeding and failing to close the wound... Labour is 3200 votes from losing the entire Welsh border.. 4 seats including Wrexham (a heartland traditionally) all have slim majorities due to this bleed. In West Yorkshire the Tories incredibly require just a 1.5% swing to take Wakefield and are 500 votes away from turning Halifax (an old mining town) blue for the first time in a century.

    These towns are places that used to be winnable by anybody wearing a red rosette and yet now although Corbyn may just about hold vote share by piling up votes in safe Labour seats, he may well take a metaphorical knife to the stomach in doing so and sacrifice seats to the Tories that would have been thought unthinkable even 20 years ago.... it can get worse!
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    Excellent post. From my perspective the most frustrating thing as you say is that at best, this government has at best lukewarm support from the public.
    This is a party making fairly unpopular cuts, making enemies of the doctors, lawyers, teachers and other sectors. It's a party about to tear itself apart over europe but labour is failing badly to offer an attractive alternative. I'd say 2015 was similar to 2005, an unpopular government facing an even more unpopular opposition. That remains the case.

    There is no easy answer for labour. How can it win back votes in Scotland without losing them in England?
    How can it win back working class poor votes back off ukip without losing middle england votes to the Tories?
    How can it win middle england votes off the tories without leaking votes to the greens and snp?

    There are no easy answers, whatever options it has to win votes off one group seems to lose them off another in equal measure.

    At the moment it seems like we will have to wait until the tories become so unpopular and Labour get a new charismatic leader. When that will be is anyone's guess.




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    labour's problem is that they have had poor leaders since Blair. If they manage to get a much better charismatic leader i think they will have no trouble coming back. The tories haven't even got a big majority and they are not very popular imo Problem is Miliband and Corbyn are horrible leaders...possibly the worse you could have.

    I think Corbyn will do even wose then Miliband if he stays on to 2020 imo.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    If we're brutally honest here Labour do know how to make an election winning cocktail (Blair+anti-immigration+anti-welfare), it's just that they are horrified that they ever drank it. Until Labour frankly 'man up' and accept reality (that Blair is largely where the country still is) then the Tories can go as far as they like. Chances are that the Tory majority will be sufficiently large in 2020 that they'll be in power until 2030.

    The last part is what alarms me about the mentality of Corbyn supporters.. they think that it can't get worse. Looking at the electoral map though you see that is far from true and that Labour are bleeding and failing to close the wound... Labour is 3200 votes from losing the entire Welsh border.. 4 seats including Wrexham (a heartland traditionally) all have slim majorities due to this bleed. In West Yorkshire the Tories incredibly require just a 1.5% swing to take Wakefield and are 500 votes away from turning Halifax (an old mining town) blue for the first time in a century.

    These towns are places that used to be winnable by anybody wearing a red rosette and yet now although Corbyn may just about hold vote share by piling up votes in safe Labour seats, he may well take a metaphorical knife to the stomach in doing so and sacrifice seats to the Tories that would have been thought unthinkable even 20 years ago.... it can get worse!
    Corbyns not the man for sure. But politics can change quickly. In 2001 people were saying the tories were finished. And the tories then had 180 odd seats.
    If osbourne replaces cameron and Labour replace Corby with Jarvis things could look a lot rosier.

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    Is anti-austerity not a vote winner? What if Labour turned into a patriotic anti-EU anti-austerity party? Could that be a vote winner?

    One of the strangest things about Corbyn as a leader is that large numbers of young people are inspired by an old man. Take Blair. A core selling point in the mid 1990s was his youthfulness compared to former Labour leaders and the 'grey man' John Major.

    Dan Jarvis resonates with the white working class and middle England better than Corbyn and Milliband does but then that throws open potential doors for parties representing the interests of the poorest 10% clobbered by austerity and the Muslims who can't stomach a military man.
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    (Original post by Arran90)
    Is anti-austerity not a vote winner? What if Labour turned into a patriotic anti-EU anti-austerity party? Could that be a vote winner?

    One of the strangest things about Corbyn as a leader is that large numbers of young people are inspired by an old man. Take Blair. A core selling point in the mid 1990s was his youthfulness compared to former Labour leaders and the 'grey man' John Major.

    Dan Jarvis resonates with the white working class and middle England better than Corbyn and Milliband does but then that throws open potential doors for parties representing the interests of the poorest 10% clobbered by austerity and the Muslims who can't stomach a military man.
    It's wierd but although support for austerity is weak, the electorate generally still blame Labour (Tories cleaning up their mess). Additionally the macroeconomic picture is good enough that Osbourne has a good lead.

    In a FPTP system Labour can afford to lose votes to protests parties and they'll have to sacrifice to have a chance of taking the Tory marginals.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    In a FPTP system Labour can afford to lose votes to protests parties and they'll have to sacrifice to have a chance of taking the Tory marginals.
    It could be argued that Labour is trapped between a rock and a hard place because they are forced into a dilemma of sticking with traditional principles but being unelectable or sacrificing traditional principles in order to win sufficient support in the marginals to win a majority in Parliament.

    I was discussing this matter with a member of the Green Party who said that the Blairite faction of Labour would probably be willing to lose between 5 and 10 historically safe constituencies such as Liverpool Riverside, Manchester Gorton, and Sheffield Central to the Green Party in exchange for winning between 50 and 100 marginals in the suburbs and the shires that are required to form a majority in Parliament.

    What hasn't been discussed yet is how Labour will perform under a charismatic lefty like Hugo Chavez. Corbyn might have won the anti-austerity vote but he is not charismatic like Chavez was.
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    (Original post by Arran90)
    Is anti-austerity not a vote winner? What if Labour turned into a patriotic anti-EU anti-austerity party? Could that be a vote winner?
    So you're going to spend 20 years smearing everyone who was any of anti-EU, patriotic, questioned the undying love Labour have for mass low-skilled immigration (ie driving down the wages of your voter demographic. Why the hell would a gas engineer love a load of people doing his job for less money?!) as bone-headed, small-minded racists and then campaign on this?

    While it's true that such a thing is a goer, it cannot come from Labour anymore because the people know what the Labour MPs and higher ups truly think of them. Last campaign Miliband tried that crap and people saw right through it as being completely fake. Then everyone wonders why UKIP nicked so many of their voters.....and a lot more than the Greens nicked I might add.

    Labour need to realise that people want a fair shake to be self-sufficient and earn a crust to support themselves and their families. What they don't want is to be molly coddled and categorised as helpless. Screw the dossers, get out of the way of the triers, stop condescending them as bigots when they complain when you're trying to undermine their earning capacity by importing millions to compete with them and you might be on to a winner. Oh and drop this "pacifist, give back the Falklands, terrorism is all our fault" BS. Nobody except social justice warriors want to hear that crap. Your voter base isn't the idiots in the NUS.
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    The EU is also a potential sticking point. Corbyn is pro-EU (whereas many Old Labour figures of the 1970s and 80s were anti-EU) but if the outcome of the referendum is to leave the EU then will he be willing to change his stance? There are many rank and file members of Labour who hold the view that the mature and intelligent approach for the party is to accept and respect the decision of the public in this referendum then adopt this as party policy for the foreseeable future. If the decision is to leave then EU then they should go along with it. Anything else will have the potential to result in civil war in the party and totally alienate the public. The Lib-Dems can have a policy of vote us and we will rejoin the EU because hardly anybody supports them but Labour cannot.

    Pro-EU and anti-EU are not synonymous with right or left, or old Labour and new Labour.
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    (Original post by Arran90)
    It could be argued that Labour is trapped between a rock and a hard place because they are forced into a dilemma of sticking with traditional principles but being unelectable or sacrificing traditional principles in order to win sufficient support in the marginals to win a majority in Parliament.

    I was discussing this matter with a member of the Green Party who said that the Blairite faction of Labour would probably be willing to lose between 5 and 10 historically safe constituencies such as Liverpool Riverside, Manchester Gorton, and Sheffield Central to the Green Party in exchange for winning between 50 and 100 marginals in the suburbs and the shires that are required to form a majority in Parliament.

    What hasn't been discussed yet is how Labour will perform under a charismatic lefty like Hugo Chavez. Corbyn might have won the anti-austerity vote but he is not charismatic like Chavez was.
    I don't see that as a hard choice at all really and neither should they. People come into politics to make lives better and to do so you must achieve power. If i have to make a sacrifice to ensure that half my manifesto policies are enacted in government then that's a very easy decision to make in my mind.

    Indeed and so they should (though it's unlikely the Greens would even get 10 anyway).

    It's worth 2-4% of the vote i'd say. Britain is simply generally not a radically socialist country and very rarely votes for significant change (45 and 79 being the two exceptions, all other elections have been mostly status-quo and even before WW2 the country had been falling to the left since the 1890's). The left only really have 2 chances.. 1) Elect a socialist in sheeps clothing and become ever more left over successive terms... 2) Wait for a Great Recession to arrive again and hope that unlike Cameron the public are angry enough to throw their entire weight behind you. Neither seems likely anytime soon.
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    Socialist and anti-austerity are two completely different things in practice. It's technically possible to be anti-austerity whilst also being patriotic pro-British and anti-EU. There is no logical or technical reason why anti-austerity has to go hand in hand with gay rights or an open door immigration policy. Remember that Labour in the early 20th century owed more to Methodism than Marx.

    Again, I repeat: Is the issue with Corbyn more to do with his defence and foreign policies and less to do with his economic policies?

    There is also the possibility of a generational gap resulting in a conflict of interests. Has it become a numbers game where the interests of the youngsters are effectively scuppered by the interests of the baby boomers simply because the youngsters are outnumbered at the ballot box?

    Something I am wondering is what the political situation will look like when half of the baby boomer generation are dead and the 'grey' vote carries less weight at the ballot box than it currently does. Will the demographic climate then disfavour the Conservatives?
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    (Original post by Arran90)
    Again, I repeat: Is the issue with Corbyn more to do with his defence and foreign policies and less to do with his economic policies?
    Yes, as well as 'terrorist sympathiser' smears.

    There is also the possibility of a generational gap resulting in a conflict of interests. Has it become a numbers game where the interests of the youngsters are effectively scuppered by the interests of the baby boomers simply because the youngsters are outnumbered at the ballot box?
    Yes, this is pretty well-established.

    Something I am wondering is what the political situation will look like when half of the baby boomer generation are dead and the 'grey' vote carries less weight at the ballot box than it currently does. Will the demographic climate then disfavour the Conservatives?
    There is evidence that throughout their lives people become more likely to vote; so there's no reason to believe this won't happen with the current generation as well.
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    Some excellent posts in this thread. I'll try and be objective:


    I think simply that Corbyn wouldn't stand a chance against most possible Tory PM's, particularly somebody like Boris. There needs to be a coup against him like the Tories did for IDS and elect somebody agreeable to the wider public (So not Corbyn or his acolytes) and agreeable to the Labour Party (Nobody from before 2010, or being perceived as a Blairite (Rightly or wrongly)- Stella Creasy would be the ideal candidate I think.

    Even then I think they are unlike in 2015 only going to get into power by forming some sort of electoral pact with the lib dems, greens and the Celtic nationalists. I think they're going to have to do a Cameron and agree to Referendums on PR and Trident.
 
 
 
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