— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) January 11, 2015
The grassroots collapse that threatens the Tories
In the article David Cameron’s former chief of Staff, Alex Deane, makes this observation and predictions about the general election:
“”The basic scenario in this Parliament has been clear for a while and remains unchanged in 2015: UKIP up, dividing the right, Lib Dems down, uniting the left.
This becomes stronger as the election nears, because Labourâ€™s ground game with unionists, volunteers and activists is far better than the Tory machine, which has been hollowed out at a local level â€“ no amount of solid by-election campaign efforts can plaster over that collapse in the grassroots when facing the challenge of a general election.“
The ground war and the need to have skilled and motivated volunteers out there working for you is something that always seems to get by-passed in political coverage. Yet with turnout levels down in the 60s from the 70s that we saw 20 years ago, is even more significant now and if LAB is really stronger than CON could be decisive.
As far as possible whenever I assess a seat I try to get information on the organisational capabilities on the ground of the leading contenders. The Westminster bubble seems to focus on leaders and policy issues and never gets itself into this area which is a reason why I am highlighting Mr. Deane’s comments.
I don’t know whether his assessment of the state of the Tory grassroots is accurate generally but in the super-marginal where I live and vote my assessment is that LAB is in a better position than CON.