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 | 49 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 AvatarTonyH 20th Jul - 11:32pm
    Here is the poll. I total agree with Paul - it's nice to see us so far ahead but this is very far from over....
  • User AvatarPaul Barker 20th Jul - 11:25pm
    The Poll is great news but it will allow The Tories to use the classic "Wasted Vote" argument against The Brexit Party; this is along...
  • User AvatarYeovil Yokel 20th Jul - 11:22pm
    Joseph, I don't share your heady enthusiasm for manned space travel, particularly when self-interested private corporations become involved. As for the New World, it wasn't...
  • User AvatarGaryE 20th Jul - 10:10pm
    An Opinion Poll tonight puts Jane 15% ahead of the Conservatives...
  • User Avatarinnocent Bystander 20th Jul - 9:01pm
    Joe, Many thanks again for your efforts and I downloaded, and read through tear stained eyes, as much of the 5MB as I could stand....
  • User AvatarJames Pugh 20th Jul - 7:18pm
    @John Marriott """"I vividly remember the problems we had on our local District Council with a paper candidate, who got elected, and who struggled, because...