Author Archives: Dan Whitehead

The Liberal Democrats are back and the electoral opportunity is huge

I’m not a Lib Dem. I’m Labour and I hope that in voting as I did I will help the Labour Party see sense and do the right thing for the country.

This was Alistair Campbell tweeting about his support for our party on Sunday night, following the European election results.

In some ways history is repeating itself. Through his work in convincing the Blair government to go to war in Iraq, Campbell was also partly responsible for the last great surge of support from Labour to the Liberal Democrats. What we learnt from that episode in our history is that …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 50 Comments

What can we learn from the US election?

 

There are few feelings worse than those that follow losing an election. The crippling sense of disappointment; the frustration of finding out that your vision for the future is not shared by the majority of the electorate. As liberals we have had to become accustomed to this over the past two years, but the Trump victory feels of greater significance to the geopolitical order than anything that has come before it – even Brexit.

It is vital that our anger is channelled into learning from the mistakes that become retrospectively apparent in our defeat. So what can we learn from the US election that can be applied to our campaigns? Here are a few of my initial thoughts:

Movements win elections

The strength of the Clinton campaign’s state-by-state ground game was long acknowledged as a major advantage that the Democrats would hold over the Republicans on election day. Whilst Clinton had millions of volunteers, thousands of field offices and huge financial strength, Trump’s campaign was an operation regularly accused of amateurishness.

Yet no party’s get-out-the-vote strategy can compete with the enthusiasm of a cause. Trump’s supporters were inspired by his anti-establishment appeal and promise to “Make America Great Again”. The Clinton camp, by comparison, struggled to find a consistent message that was memorable and of mass-appeal to the electorate. Instead her stump speeches were filled with technocratic policy ideas and often felt unfocused.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 24 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarGary J 23rd Feb - 10:31pm
    An evocative surname for those who recall the TV soap Brookside. I hope Jimmy, Billy et al will be campaigning for Andy.
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 23rd Feb - 9:43pm
    " Let’s show that we do have the passion to fight the ills that we can clearly see." Yes, Katharine, it's clear and very obvious...
  • User AvatarMalc Poll 23rd Feb - 9:42pm
    Wait a minute here Tony ! (And that's the polite version ) 1 I am a card carrying member of the party I'll put my...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 23rd Feb - 8:27pm
    Yes, expats, we do need outrage, at what the poorest and unluckiest people of this country are suffering, and sadly are likely to suffer more...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 23rd Feb - 7:37pm
    Much as I enjoy trying to categorise political thinking, Tony, I don't see many politicians in either the Tory or the Labour party actually fitting...
  • User AvatarJohn 23rd Feb - 7:07pm
    Little englanders have been forecasting the end of the EU since early EEC days of 6 countries in the early 70's