Goodbye Miliband. Here’s where you went wrong
You’ve got to give it to Ed Miliband. From the interview with Russell Brand to almost becoming a youth icon with his “Milifandom” crew, he did everything it takes to try and claim a victory.
After holding his seat in Doncaster, Miliband said: “This has clearly been a very disappointing and difficult night for the Labour Party.
“We have not made the gains we wanted in England and Wales, and in Scotland we have seen a surge of nationalism overwhelm our party.
“I want to say to all the dedicated and decent colleagues in Scotland who have lost their seats that I am deeply sorry for what has happened.”
Here’s where the Labour Party went wrong:
1. Wrong leader?
In a blog post headlined “We got it wrong”, Alastair Campbell wrote:
“Perhaps one of the reasons we are in this position is because we took so long to elect a new leader after Gordon Brown lost in 2010 that we allowed the Tories to frame the politics surrounding the economy for the entire parliament, and we did not rebut their attacks on our overall record with sufficient clarity or vigour …
“But whereas I thought we took too long to elect a leader last time, perhaps the debate about the party’s future this time should be even longer. Because perhaps one of our problems is that we did not in reality have the debate that we should have had, with ourselves and with the public, from the moment Tony Blair made way for Gordon Brown.
“After a result as awful as this, there has to be real deep soul-searching, and honest analysis about how and we have gone from being a party identified as the dominant force across UK politics over a decade and more, to where we are today.
“These are not questions that can, or should, be answered in a hurry.”
2. Ed Balls ballsed up
Better Capital founder Jon Moulton: “Can you trust Ed with the economy? As long as he has Mr Balls as his chancellor you would justifiably be terrified. Mr B had a big hand in the 2008 Budget which predicted a budget surplus in 2010 – he was only wrong by nearly £200bn. I know we should be forgiving but there are limits.”
3. Labour doesn’t get the economy
Will King, founder, King of Shaves: “It’s the economy, stupid. Put simply, people want the security of employment to pay bills, enjoy the occasional holiday & plan for the future. People have long(ish) memories. The note Ed left is what ballsed it up for him. The fight between brothers over who’s the Alpha. And the Sturgeon strategy of “Let me look after the Scots”.
“It’s the money, stupid.”
4. Legacy and the UKIP factor
Antal International founder Tony Goodwin: “At last people started to realise and feel the benefits of an improving economy. Employment is going up. Sure there is still work to be done on this and there are areas of the country and sector of industry that still need to pick up but generally speaking people either felt it or believed that the conservatives were making a difference and doing a good job. George Osborne and the team have reaped the benefits of sticking to their program and it has worked, there is no question about that now.
“Ed Miliband improved along the campaign trail but was dogged by the factor that Gordon Brown had been in charge when the economy collapsed. The fact that Ed Balls had been part of that government only hindered their credibility. That said his brother David would have made a better contender against the Conservatives.
“UKIP have performed remarkably well in total share of votes but haven’t taken all their support from the Tories they have plundered all parties because of their simple message that we can survive with being in the Eurozone, controlled immigration is a sensible policy and NHS tourism must be stopped.”
5. Tories’ big win
Stephen Fear, founder and chairman of Fear Group: “In my opinion Labour didn’t so much lose the 2015 general election as the Conservatives won it!
“George Osborne has done a remarkable job as Chancellor and has overseen a stunning recovery from the debacle of the financial crisis. Factually both Miliband & Balls were members of the last Labour administration that left the country with a huge debt to repay.
“Everyone has to live within their means and that includes nations too! Cameron is a very effective leader who managed the previous coalition government very well. I think he will manage this Tory one even better!”
Dr Stephen Fear