Tuesday 18 April 2017

The die is cast (once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more)

The die is cast, nearly. It must be a formality that the June 8th General Election will be agreed in Parliament, and so the race begins.

Whilst The Prime Minister has talked of a quick campaign, at eight weeks (because it really did begin today) it will be quite a long campaign, and this could work to Labour's advantage.

There is no hiding the fact that Labour's polling is poor. Yet, faced with the reality of a ballot paper people often behave differently to the inquiries of a pollster. That has got to be the hope, because if today's polling is reflected in the voting on June 8th then Labour is in for a tough time.

However, each General Election, despite the pseudo-presidential presentation by the media, is actually an aggregation of 650 little battles. Small victories are there to be had, and if there are enough of them then a big victory is possible.

Whatever the outcome in June, this is a chance of Labour to set out its policies, to argue for them on the doorstep, and to reap the rewards. Every election is not an end-point - it is but a part of a long line stretching forwards, and if we fail this time we can still use the experience, and data, to build towards the next challenge.

In the meantime I expect unity to break out in Labour ranks, which should mean that if nothing else we will have the largest activist base of all the parties to help get our message out. We need all members, newly-joined as well as the long-in-the-tooth, to roll up their sleeves and work for social justice, fairness, public serves, and a Brexit the works for working people.

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