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Again and again and again and again

Anthony King has given his thoughts on why Labour aren't breaking away from the Tories in the opinion polls. Speaking on The Guardian's Politics Weekly podcast, the Essex University professor argues that successful campaigns repeat the same message over and over again for several years. It is something the Tories have been partially successful at, pointing out that in 2010 the country was "on the brink" even though it really wasn't (the crash happened in 2007-8 and Britain had come out of recession in good time before the general election). Labour, meanwhile, have not stuck at anything - One Nation Labour sounded good but little flesh was added to the bones.

Over the past five years, Ed Milliband has talked a bit about predatory capitalism, a bit about the "squeezed middle", and a bit about everything else before moving on to other hobbies. This is not to say that he is not having a good "short campaign", but that he is having to make up for the failure of not having a long one. He is having to spend the campaign introducing himself to an electorate he should have already introduced himself to. Imagine if, five years ago, he would have adopted Elizabeth Warren's assertion, that the system is rigged in favour of the rich, and that he was the man and that Labour was the party to fix it? Instead he allowed to Tories to set the tone. Too many people still believe that further austerity is necessary, and that is solely down to the failure of Labour to create an alternative narrative over the past five years.

If Labour are not in government after 7th May, it will be because of this.



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