Labour’s path toward election day goes higher than in 2017, before Parliament dissolved to begin formal election period. Grassroots – and MP – discipline is key
Largely unmentioned by the media – like Boris Johnson’s disasters of his campaign so far – Labour’s polling has begun climbing – even before the official general election period begins and so-called ‘mainstream’ media have to follow balanced reporting rules.
The Times’ Matt Chorley did notice, at least partially, and tweeted a chart of the parties’ trajectories – pointing out that Labour is rising while the Tories are ‘well short of [the] same point’ in 2017:
The missing link
However, Chorley had not included the latest ICM poll – and if he had done so, it would have shown Labour not only ‘enjoying an uptick’, but ahead of where they were at the equivalent point in the 2017 campaign:
In the ICM poll, Labour has hit 31% – and has closed to within just 7% of the Tories, after weeks of media pundits and pollsters talking about huge double-digit Tory leads.
If this sounds familiar, that’s because it is – the same scenario was repeated in 2017, but this time around the media know Labour surged in 2017 but have almost entirely omitted to mention it, in their search for a ‘no hope’ narrative.
But now the pattern is being repeated – and early signs are that it will go even further than it did two years ago.
All this has taken place even before the official election period has begun. In 2017, Labour’s surge began as soon as election rules forced broadcasters to achieve some semblance of balance in their reporting. But in 2019, it has started earlier.
Discipline vs desperation
The key to this has been message discipline among the grassroots – and to a more patchy degree among MPs. Activists are focusing on policies and on the issue of what kind of country people want to live in. Many MPs have done the same, although a few front-benchers have been slow to bring themselves in line.
Even so, the discipline has worked – and will work better if it is continued.
The message from Labour’s senior campaigners is essentially this: policies, policies, policies.”
Of course, the trend will not have gone unnoticed by the Tories and their media allies – even though they have refused to mention it. As the Establishment reacts to try to halt and reverse Labour’s trajectory more, bigger and more desperate smears will be thrown at Labour in an attempt to bait grassroots campaigners into no-win arguments, or to bog down MPs in damaging, defensive tactics.
The right response
Because Labour’s positive, policies- and vision-based approach is working, it’s even more essential to maintain it – and to refuse any distraction.
If we succeed in that, the surge will continue – and once reporting rules kick in and the broadcast-watching public starts to hear real Labour and not just media-filtered versions, it will even accelerate.
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