Although the Labour Party’s performance at the recent local elections was by no means poor (they gained 291 seats), they were predicted to do better and with the current state of the coalitio
Although the Labour Party’s performance at the recent local elections was by no means poor (they gained 291 seats), they were predicted to do better and with the current state of the coalition, shouldn’t Labour be doing a lot better?
The recent surge of popularity towards UKIP hasn’t strengthened Labour’s position either. This made me wonder what exactly Labour’s problem was and really it’s pretty obverse. Ed Miliband isn’t really the strongest leader the Labour Party has ever had.
So, I had to ask myself—does Labour have any chance of winning the next general election with him in charge? Miliband was the surprise victor of the leadership elections after Gordon Brown resigned, with many predicting his older brother David would win.
So far his leadership has been underwhelming to say the least, and his approval ratings aren’t exactly blossoming right now. But then again, none of the party leader’s ratings are.
The problem that a lot of people have with Miliband is that he’s often perceived as being a bit weird and out of touch with the public, and when you’re the leader of the Labour Party, which is often viewed as the party of the working class, this is a big problem to overcome.
He’s also often cited as being weak when it comes to defending Labour’s policies or when he attacks the opposition. This view has also leaked out into the public over time. Even former Prime Minister (and Labour leader) Tony Blair recently spoke out about his lack of faith in Miliband’s ability as a leader, basically stating that he’d turned Labour back into a simple opposition party and not really come up with any alternatives to the current Coalition government.
His recent chaotic interview on BBC Radio 4’s The World at One also didn’t help his public image either. During the 15 minute interview, Miliband didn’t really give any straight answers which, considering he’s a politician, isn’t all that surprising. But, he also clearly got very rattled by the interviewer and didn’t present himself very well.
Although that’s not to say he couldn’t turn things around in time for the general election in 2015, though it clearly won’t be easy. Despite the recent gaffes and the underperformance in the local elections, Labour is still in a reasonably strong position, and if Miliband really wants to lead Labour to victory, he’s got to get moving now.
It’s difficult to not agree with Tony Blair’s criticism despite what you might think of him as a prime minister. Labour simply opposing the Coalition on everything and not actually giving an alternative to how they would do things if they got in power doesn’t give undecided voters much faith in Labour.
So while at the moment I don’t honestly see Ed Miliband as the man to take Labour to victory, that could still change, but only if he acts fast and gets going. Otherwise, I think Labour could find themselves sitting on the opposition benches once again.