David Miliband Is Wrong. The Tories Can’t Win the Next Election

If Michael Burke’s projection is correct, Ed Miliband can afford to be braver, adopt socialist policies, and reject the Austerity policies and the Deficit Lies which are currently being touted.  If it is fear which is preventing the Labour leadership announcing policies which the people would be so pleased to hear – for example renationalisation of railways and utilities, then he can be reassured, and silence the Blairites preventing Labour’s move leftwards. On the other hand, if he is ‘keeping his powder dry’ and waiting for the right time to attack the Tories and present socialist policies, like in 1945, then, I hope we don’t have long to wait to hear.

 David Miliband Is Wrong. The Tories Can’t Win the Next Election

By Michael Burke (Socialist Economic Bulletin) 

Miliband’s parting shot before leaving Britain was an interview with Andrew Marr where he argued that the Tories can win a majority at the next general election. At the same time, serious forces inside the Conservative Party argue that they have no hope of winning in 2015. They can’t both be right.

SEB has argued over a prolonged period that the Tory Party is in decline. In 2009 and 2010 articles published here correctly forecastthat the Tories would be unable to gain an overall a majority, even though they had recently been running very strongly in the polls. From the same analysis it is possible to predict that the Tory vote will fall below the 36% secured at the last election and indeed the Tories will have difficulty in gaining substantially over 30% of the vote in 2015. As a result David Miliband is completely wrong, the Tories will be unable to form a majority government.

The analysis of the Tory decline is based on long-established trends. These trends reflect changes in British society and its role in the world. In effect the Tory party expanded beyond its strongholds in the shires – especially in the South and South-East excluding London – as Britain expanded its role in the world. As Britain’s imperial role declined and society altered, so too did the electoral support for the Tories, with some time lag. Tory electoral support is being pushed back to its original heartlands in the south outside of London.

The full basis for this analysis first appeared in 1983 in John Ross’sThatcher and Friends. This can now be found in its entirety on this blog here. The chart below shows the declining trend in Tory support in actual general elections rather than opinion polls.

This key fact, so routinely ignored by innumerable political commentators now including David Miliband, was first identified in 1983. 30 years later it still holds true. If the Tories vote in 2015 were strictly on trend, and they suffer an electoral defeat, it will fall back to 30.3%.

The siren song of David Miliband, and others on the Labour right, that the Tories are most likely to win in 2015 is coupled to an argument that they only way to prevent this is for Labour to adopt Tory policies. This is entirely false. The consistent decline of the Conservative votes shows that Tory policies have been unattractive, not attractive, to voters. It has been Scottish and Welsh Nationalists, and the Liberal Democrats, that have gained votes. Labour’s recent swing towards Tory policies has therefore completely foreseeably led to no increase in support at all – but will demoralise a significant number of potential Labour supporters.

Miliband and the Labour right’s argument are pitted against not just the current opinion polls but against the whole post-war trend in Tory support.

10 thoughts on “David Miliband Is Wrong. The Tories Can’t Win the Next Election

  1. Pingback: David Miliband Is Wrong. The Tories Can’t Win the Next Election | Think Left | this 'n that

  2. Pingback: Why, shares in the Home Secretary, Mrs May, dropping like a stone — and the UKIP rocket taking off again with a fresh injection of fuel.’ – Dave B. extended [ Labour, Tories, they are all employees of the Crown, not the people. ] |

  3. So right [pun intended].
    The attack on union funding, and directly on UNITE, will only cause more people to wonder exactly which politics Ed supports.
    One supposes he is intelligent, but intelligent people tend to be blinkered.
    The 2015 election is labours to lose, and they seem, in the guise of Ed, to be actively trying to do that. I wonder what bad news they know that I don’t. If the tories try the same I will know the fan is obscured by ordure.


  4. This is the Kinnock moment again, lets go home get ready to govern, can Labour lose the next election yes, if not enough people vote Labour and one look at Scotland will warn people of what can happen to a Labour party if it forgets who it’s voters are.

    Labour’s problem at the moment if your not in work on benefits sick disabled or just unemployed, then hard luck you may as well vote UKIP.

    If you have a job which is easy, then Tories are the party for you, Labour only wants hard working people, and if your middle class in work and working hard then Newer Labour is the party for you.

    Labour’s problem are simple over the years it tried to remove the Tories by becoming the Tory Lite party under New Labour, saying to us New Labour is dead is fine, proving it is another issues which has not been proven. In fact over the past year Labour has moved back into the New Labour Progress type of politics.

    Can Labour lose the next election oh yes, will it, at the moment I’d say yes it will because it has the same problem as in 2010 it’s not talking to the voters, it’s trying to be a Tory lite party again and why would you want a Tory lite when the Tories are in power.


  5. Labour need to challenge the coalition properly on the flagship policy Big Society. If they do not do this then they don’t deserve to be voted in as they are Tory Lite, they are helping cover-up where the Tories took and distorted their flagship policy from.

    To date Labour has not challenged the coalition properly at all on Big Society. It originated from work called Big Strategy that was taken without pay from consultants..

    The coalition have given 10 differing accounts of where the policy originated. No media have questioned this. The only correct reference was made at the 2010 Conservative Party conference. Ie. being inherited from the filing cabinets of “Dusty New Labour”.

    It is no coincidence that Big Society has not been mentioned by any senior Tories for over two years. (Since the original innovators of Big Strategy moved back to the UK.)

    If Labour questions them now, then the truth behind how this policy has been distorted from a strategy that can help every family in this country can become finally appreciated, the cronyism, spin and favoritism to Oxbridge graduates that has taken place can finally be seen for what it is and accurately reported in the media. The graduate of one university paying for, researching and producing work so that an Oxbridge graduate can take that work and call it their work, is utterly disgraceful. The Media have lied to the public, led by the BBC and the public were told a pack of lies over the flagship policy.

    The work we produced in the 1990’s, Big Idea for community ended up as Tory policy, only because New Labour allowed it. Labour if they are really separate from the coalition must question the coalition on this then they are a already a part of a coalition.


  6. New Labour moved steadily to the right at the end of their time in government, and the Conservatives nipped between their legs to be slightly “lefter”.
    The rest is history.
    The Conservatives have never given a rats ass about anyone without money, they never will. But there is nobody to say that anymore. Even Labour is silent: Ed is bemused.


  7. This is stupid thinking -. of course the Tories can win the next election, and articles like this can only create the complacency that could well ensure Labour doesn’t win. We have lots of work to do – and that’s before the Tory election machine goes into action (tax give away anyone?). It’s the sort of thinking that has lost us elections before. 1970 comes to mind, the one that was ‘in the bag.’


  8. I think David Milliband is right and his comments are intended to wake us up a bit. We just can’t assume we’ll win because the Tories are so unpopular. Michael Foot took a bold left approach in 1983, we must learn from the past or face another 18 year period out of power!


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