ANALYSIS – Three factors were responsible for the defeat of Labour at this year’s general election – Scotland and the rise of the nationalists, the collapse of the Lib Dem vote which saw most of those seats going to the Conservatives and the rise of UKIP whose anti immigration agenda hurt Labour in its heartlands and often at the benefit of the Tories.
So the question is could the Labour hierarchy have seen this coming?
Ed Miliband ran a campaign that refused to be like that of Tony Blair’s – which was high on style with very little in terms of substance, but the problem is that succeeded and gave Labour three resounding wins. The campaign ran by this year’s Labour didn’t anticipate or want to understand the level of opposition to Miliband’s policies within the Tory press and that translated on the ground in a two prong strategy – first to encourage Scottish nationalism north of the border whilst scaring angry Lib Dem voters into voting against the prospect of a Labour/SNP government. That can be addressed in time for the next election – however what is going to be more difficult to overcome is the voting for UKIP which is now a legitimate way for people to address their anger about immigration at the ballot box.