Monday, 20 October 2008

Do we need to look again at targeting Labour seats??

. This question was raised by a comment from 'Cleggs candid friend' on Liberal Democrat Voice. He said that recent polls confirm the 'folly' of targeting Labour seats; while I can see that things have changed in recent weeks that does not to me presuppose a wholesale tactical shift. I have said previously that the party is in real danger of being caught in a pincer motion; losing seats to the Tories but not picking up enough Labour seats to cover the losses.

Ultimately, to my mind it remains the case that in the next general election it is Labour voters who will 'swing' be the ones in motion. This will become especially true if Labour's heartland starts to hurt as a report in today's Independent suggests it soon will; if Brown waits too long (much longer than spring/summer next year) then the bounce will once again become a slide. This is something that if we are making the right noises we can capitalise on; however, we do need to set realistic targets both where we engage in defensive struggles against the Tories and where we attack Labour.

We should assess each seat on a case-by-case basis taking into account all factors including our vote and the strengths of the local party and proceed on that basis.

10 comments:

wit and wisdom said...

Or sit tight with the plan we have and wait to go after the Tories, who are already wobbling badly, just as the leadership is doing to good effect - the latest poll results notwithstanding...

We should not target Labour or Tory seats disproportionately but the ones we think we can win.

Put simply, it is not an 'either-or', zero sum game.

Stephen Glenn said...

Here in Scotland we need to target more than just the Tory seat. ;)

oranjepan said...

I can't really talk about whether the expreience of my local party is the same as across the whole country, so your questions were meaningless speculation.

What I was trying to draw your attention to was the distinction between idle commentary from the sidelines and active participarion - either you are a spectator or a player.

Whatever the stretegy chosen the simple fact is that we need more players on our team.

So all this discussion about ideology or strategy is really only of any benefit if it gets more people involved and doing things which help us win election campaigns.

I admire you tenacity in speaking out and expressing your ideas, but it is dangerous to think that this is enough, we also need to go out and make converts to our cause.

jim said...

"...should assess each seat on a case-by-case basis taking into account all factors including our vote and the strengths of the local party and proceed on that basis..."

Well goodness gracious, and there's me thinking we should pour our all effort into targeting seats like Bolsover...

Darrell G said...

I pretty much agree wit although I think we do have to realise that the Labour vote is likely to be less solid...I dont see any wobbling...true blues will be out in force and even those who temporaily left the fold or sat on their hands...

Oranjepan,

I have explained this on Lib Dem Voice so dont intend on repeating myself here...

Darrell G said...

Oranjepan,

Actually I am going to make a supplementary point. I agree with you wholeheartedly that more people are needed but I would suggest that how long it has taken for me to get intergrated after moving might suggest a slight weakness in this area on a party level may it not??

Tom Papworth said...

I agree we should judge on a case-by-case basis. This should look at a) last elections (national and local)
b) how much work the parties have done locally.

However, we need to recognise the way the wind is blowing. The Tories are going to gain seats and Labour will lose them; Labour are the low-hanging fruit.

I suggest that by-and-large we defend against the Tories and attack Labour. But that is a reference to seat targetting not to our national message, which should be to attack both parties equally (and treat the others as though they don't exist).

Darrell G said...

Tom,

I can see your point about the national message but then again we do need to think how that message will come across in the differing situations....this is my point about the tax cuts for example...

oranjepan said...

Darrell, any weakness in the local party structure should mean there's a big opportunity for a bright young and enthusiastic spark like yourself...

Darrell G said...

Lol...im going to take that last remark as a compliment and leave it there I think...i could yarn endlessly on on it really but its not really a meaningful discussion now is it....