…has for the last 14 years been the None Of The Above Party.
Ever since we wrote this post last weekend, we’ve been wading in UK general election stats, testing our theory that the closer together the main UK parties get ideologically, the more voters are turned off, and the harder it becomes for Labour to win.
(Because the people who are driven away as Labour moves to the “centre”, which in practice means the right, in pursuit of Tory swing voters are predominantly those who would in the past have been part of Labour’s core vote – the poor, the young and the low-paid working-class.)
We’re not going to ramble on and on at length this time, because the graph pretty much speaks for itself. This is a recent development – the “none of the above” party would have won every election after 1997, when New Labour parked its tanks on the Conservatives’ lawns under Tony Blair, but none before.
What that striking graph shows, much more clearly than we managed to do in 2000 words last week, is that there are FAR more votes to be won from the disenchanted who now feel no party speaks for them and see no point in voting than Labour can ever hope to capture from the Tories by being basically the same as them only less competent and less ideologically principled.
(In 2015, the SNP gained 1 million votes in Scotland compared to 2010, but the three Unionist parties only lost 550,000 between them. Part of the reason the SNP won, and won so spectacularly, was that almost half a million extra people who hadn’t bothered to turn out five years earlier felt there was now a point in going to the polling booth.)
To have a chance, Labour must be MORE different, not LESS. It’s as simple as that.