Is Labour losing the battle to be called “progressive”?

Is Labour losing the battle to be called “progressive”?


Why’s Mandy’s message not getting through?

Early last week we saw a furious outburst from Peter Mandelson following the use by his old foe George Osborne of the term “progressive” to describe the Conservatives. We ran a thread on it.

This is a description that seems to touch a raw nerve within the Labour movement which was probably the back-ground to Mandy’s move.

So what will the parties make of this new poll from PoliticsHome? For if Labour thought that “progressive” was for its exclusive use then the findings don’t look encouraging. The scores were: LD 22%: CON 22%: GRN 17%: LAB 12%. The rest said either that no parties were progressive or that another party could be described as this.

So how much does it matter? Well not that much except that you cannot devise political rhetoric which is too out of synch with public opinion. If this poll is in anyway accurate then Labour needs to think again.

The poll results also suggest that ‘progressive’ does not have strong liberal or left wing associations for a majority of voters. Thus 12% understand it to mean ‘liberal’, and 7% to mean ‘left wing’.

Progressive is most commonly understood to mean ‘reforming’ (63%), ‘modernising’ (61%), and ‘enterprising’ (45%).

Other polling this week: There might just be a voting intention poll in the next 24 hours. I am still trying to confirm.

Mike Smithson

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