Marginal Difference – Who Labour needs to win and where

Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Articles, Progress | 0 comments

Marginal Difference – Who Labour needs to win and where

Over the summer of 2012 a debate took place within Labour circles about electoral strategy.

To put it most simply: where should the party be focusing its energies in trying to expand support from the low share of the vote that it gained in 2010? Where did the voters who left Labour’s coalition between 1997 and 2010 go? And what is the best way of getting them back?

My paper for Progress is a contribution to and a commentary on that debate. I hope it can provide some facts, and some analysis and thoughts about what these facts mean. I am not committed to any particular school of thought in the debate and, although Robert Philpot of Progress commissioned this work and Progress has made other useful contributions towards a Labour victory, I have also benefitted from the help of Emma Burnell and Stuart Wilks-Heeg. Part of the purpose of this paper is to argue that the debate is ill-served by a simplistic polarisation between ‘missing millions’ and ‘Tory switchers’ positions. A successful strategy should use both sets of insights, complex though it is to synthesise them into a coherent overall narrative and set of policies.


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