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The GE2015 campaign will come down to the party with the weirdo leader versus the party that’s still toxic

July 12th, 2014

Get ready for what’s likely to be the most negative campaign ever

It’s become the norm in recent general elections that a large part of the campaign is fought on almost totally negative grounds and we should expect nothing different in the run up to May 7th.

Labour believes that the Tory brand remains toxic and a huge turn-off to key segments of voters. In the marginals the message will be that only LAB can stop CON.

We saw this already ahead of the May 22nd Euros. Labour barely mentioned anything about the EU but focused almost entirely on anti-CON and anti-LD messages.

The Tories, meanwhile, believe that. Labour’s big weakness is its leader and will be doing all it can to get over the message that EdM is not fit to be PM. They will try to make the election a choice of leaders focusing all the time on portraying Miliband as “weak” and “weird”.

    What’s unique about GE20105 is that both LAB and CON will not be putting too much effort trying to win converts from each other’s supporter bases.

This is in sharp contrast to the Tony Blair approach in 1997 where a huge effort was made to portray New Labour as a party that traditional CON voters could comfortably support

Miliband’s objectives are to keep the party’s 2010 voters on board, retain the 2010 LD switchers and attempt to encourage tactical voting. Relentless attacks on the Toxic Tories become the heart of the campaign.

The polling suggests that LAB is just about retaining the LD switchers but is failing to pick up more votes from those who had been saying that they hadn’t made up their minds.

For the Tories the priority is to win back much of the support that has seeped to UKIP repeatedly highlighting the dangers of letting Miliband in.

Looking at the way local by elections are shaping out my reading us that some Tories are coming back home when the party is in a serious battle with LAB. It is where there the outcome is seen as a foregone conclusion that UKIP will flourish picking up votes if not seats.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble