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Monday, June 06, 2011

Labour in crisis?

With the Coalition Government under constant fire almost since its first day in office, Labour should be riding high in the polls. The fact that they are not and the problems that Ed Miliband is having in establishing himself as leader, has led to a sense of crisis. So much so that according to the Daily Telegraph, Ed Balls and Harriet Harman have been forced to stop attacking the Government so that they can go on the media to deny there is a problem. It is not just Sepp Blatter who is in denial.

The paper points out that Labour lost its opinion poll lead over the Conservatives for the first time in seven months last week, despite the Government's austerity cuts and a flatlining economy:

Mr Balls said the party was not guilty of showing "arrogance" in the wake of last year's defeat, but he admitted that Mr Miliband needed more time. The shadow chancellor told Sky News: "Ed is leading us in the right direction. There's more work for all of us to do, we've got to be out there and the people have got to say on the economy, on crime, look, Labour are the people standing up for us, they are the party of government who happen to be in opposition."

Miss Harman, the deputy leader, denied that Labour was facing a financial crisis. She said: "It's not true [that] we have a huge funding problem. It absolutely isn't."

Reports in the Financial Times seem to contradict both politicians. Not only does Labour have a funding problem but it also appears to be suffering a credibility gap as well.

They say that private and company donations to Labour have plummeted to a 10th of their pre-election average in the first six months of Ed Miliband’s leadership:

Many former donors have turned their backs on the opposition party, leaving it increasingly reliant on unions, which provide the bulk of its private income.

Labour’s corporate and individual donations of £248,577 for the half-year to March were dwarfed even by those to the Liberal Democrat party, which received £871,019, according to data from the Electoral Commission. Instead, the majority of Labour’s income was from unions (£4.7m) and the taxpayer’s contribution to opposition party costs (£5.7m).

The trend partly reflects the fickleness of donors for a party that entered opposition last year for the first time in 13 years. But it comes amid uncertainty among corporate leaders and former donors over whether Mr Miliband is genuinely pro-business and understands their concerns.

It may not be a full-blown crisis yet but it is drifting that way.
Labour have a funding issue? True but Lib Dems have losed Short Money, members and tens of deposits in Wales and Scotland. I don't know how you are surviving to br honest.
It is made clear in the article. We have cut staff to meet our means but also we have raised more money than Labour in donations.
Well whatever you think about them Union donations are real money. A serious point is that it does some a little unfair that all Short money should be taken from a junior party in a Coalition.
"We have cut staff to meet our means..." Well, in the case of Dr. Christopher Wood, he would be happy to work for FREE as a special advisor on Innovation (especially protecting Welsh innovation)!
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