Labour Party

Labour set to hold Oldham East & Saddleworth

By Lord Ashcroft

Labour look set to hold the Oldham East & Saddleworth seat rather more comfortably than they did at the general election. For all the speculation, this by-election was always Labour’s to lose.

(more…)

How to handle Ed?

By Lord Ashcroft

As Ed Miliband returns to work this week after the birth of his son, Conservatives will be wishing his family well – while considering what can be done to ensure the Labour leader’s political fortunes do not prosper. Two schools of thought are apparently emerging: one, that the Tories should subject Mr Miliband to relentless assault in much the same way as Labour treated William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith; the other, that he is proving so uninspiring that we should leave him alone in the hope that he remains in post indefinitely. Both these arguments make the mistake of assuming that Mr Miliband’s success or failure, and how he is seen by the voters, will be determined by what the Tories choose to say about him.

(more…)

Tories must not expect Miliband to leap obligingly into every trap

By Lord Ashcroft

Ed Miliband’s election as Labour leader prompted some Conservatives, and even some seasoned political columnists, to declare that the next election was now in the bag for the Tories, despite the difficult cuts that have dominated discussion at last week’s conference. Many assume that, while his brother was ready to appeal to the moderate voters who deserted Labour in May, Ed’s Left-leaning instincts and union ties will inevitably lead him further from the voters he needs to connect with. I don’t think it will be as simple as that.

(more…)

What Future For Labour?

By Lord Ashcroft

For many years after its 1997 defeat the Conservative Party failed to understand what had happened to it. Too many Conservatives believed not only that the voters had made a terrible mistake, but that the voters themselves would come to realise this and flood back in remorse. Meanwhile, the Tories just needed to stick to their guns. History records the success of this theory in the results of the 2001 and 2005 general elections.

I thought it would be interesting to find out whether the Labour Party is about to make the same mistake. Why does the Labour movement think it lost, and what does it think it needs to do to win again? And how does its view compare with that of swing voters, who supported Labour in previous elections but did not vote for Gordon Brown?

(more…)