There is no question amongst commentators of the UK election, left leaning or right leaning. This year’s general election is going to be a close one, with the rise or further strengthening of other parties as well as dissatisfaction with the Tories and New Labour. But the election is still winnable for Labour. And it all depends on Ed Miliband.
As sited in previous posts, Ed Miliband has made efforts to move Labour back to the left with policies to criminalise zero hour contracts and to raise the minimum wage to 8 pound an hour, which in New Zealand dollars is around $16. However, the stains and shadow of New Labour still harass the party, with many still registering it as a right wing party.
The issue of regaining the trust of the British public will still remain, but we cannot wait for that to happen. All polling shows that neither party have a large enough vote to dominate the House of Commons. Both the Tories and Labour have their votes in the mid-thirties and have been losing votes to the Scottish Nationalists and UKIP, a party I despise.
If Miliband wants to end five years of Tory rule, then there is one area he must dominate. The leaders’ debates. We all know how crucial the debates can be. Last year, David Cunliffe’s stellar performance on the TVNZ and 3 News Debates brought up Labour’s ratings and his preferred PM ratings. Whilst he did not win, it does demonstrate how one televised debate can change the tables. And Ed Miliband is in a perfect position to take the debates.
David Cameron refused to take part in the debates as broadcasters are involving the other minor parties, rather than a usual three way debate between himself, Miliband and Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats. Miliband has already capitalised on Cameron’s cowardice, which brought up support in the polls for Labour, but the debate performance is the most crucial. He’ll be up against a tough opponent in Nigel Farage, but if he can triumph over Murdoch, surely he can triumph over him too. A strong performance can swing voters back to Labour. Crucial votes needed to get Labour back into power. If enough voters were to swing away, Labour could come on top of the BBC’s exit poll just short of a majority. If Ed wants to avoid a coalition agreement, he needs to do this in order to secure Labour’s presence in Number 10.