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Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Labour need to widen their appeal says Mandelson

Another day, another siren voice for Ed Miliband. The Telegraph reports that Peter Mandelson believes that the Labour Party is heading for “great self-destruction” unless it broadens its appeal by reaching out beyond its core vote:

Speaking at an event in Westminster, the former business secretary, who helped Tony Blair achieve a string of victories with the creation of New Labour in the 1990s, warned that the party currently lacked enough supporters to win a general election.

He warned that the party could not afford to “not bother” with large groups of the electorate.

The Labour peer’s words came after a respected academic study found that Labour had lost many of its working-class supporters during Mr Blair’s years in power, particularly among those who were put off by the then-government’s immigration policies.

Research by the British Election Study found that hundreds of thousands of voters who abandoned the party at the 2005 and 2010 elections, often going to the Conservatives, were now planning to vote Ukip at the 2015 poll.

I am aware of course that the Liberal Democrats could do much better in the polls but we are in government and suffering from taking difficult decisions. The fact that Labour are not further ahead and are struggling to retain their core vote despite all that has happened over the last four years and despite being in opposition, must be a worry. At least Mandelson recognises that even if Miliband does not.
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