Friday 24 September 2010

New leader needs to speak to the voters again

Whoever wins the Labour leadership election, one thing is very clear from today's Times/Populus poll: the public, especially Labour voters, want the new leader to follow the outward-facing approach of Tony Blair. They don't share the leadership candidates' predeliction for bashing Blairism. The poll finds that 60% of all voters and 70% of Labour voters believe that the new leader should adopt a similar approach to that adopted by Tony Blair. Of course, that doesn't mean no changes to policy: but it does mean developing policies with broad appeal and seeking to rebuild the coalition of voters that won Labour three elections.

In his first speech, the victorious Miliband would do well to follow Philip Collins's sage advice (£) in today's Times - support some government policy so that your wider critique is heard:
The new leader would be [well] advised to find an area of policy on which he intends to support the coalition — education is the obvious example — and then, in the slipstream of this concession, go in hard on Andrew Lansley’s chaotic health plans, vague Hague’s international retreat and the absence of a coalition plan for law and order.

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