The body of literature emerging that suggests what Labour should and should not do ahead of 2015 is vast.
There are a number of ways we can maximise our chance of winning in 2015. We need to develop strong campaigns that resonate with people far and wide; demonstrate we are capable on areas people think we are weak on, like the economy; and run a truly 21st century campaign drawing on expertise from key figures in the Democratic campaigns like Arnie Graf and Alec Ross.
Kirsty McNeill recently wrote on LabourList 10 tips for the shadow cabinet. It covered all bases, from engaging with business, and unions, to getting out and about in the constituency, and encouraged ‘getting under the skin’ of the British public.
We have had some great campaigns recently – the cost of living and energy drive has really hit home and resonates with people across the political spectrum.
Another area we seem to be dominating is issues affecting women.
Labour has always been the party of women, both in representation and in supportive policies. The Tories’ policies are disproportionately affected women, and thus they could be key to our success.
The result of the 1997 election was groundbreaking for Labour, not only because it broke the wilderness years and we won a landslide victory, but also because of what were dubbed ‘Blair’s Babes’.
120 women were elected members of parliament in that election, exactly double the number five years earlier. 101 of those women MPs were Labour party politicians; the Conservatives contributed a mere 13. This was a massive triumph for the party and showed we were serious about representation of women in politics.
Now, 17 years on, we are still leading the way. We have more women parliamentary candidates than ever before and we have received positive media coverage for this. Women do not only appear on our backbenches either – we have women in top jobs in contrast to the pretty much all male Tory frontbench.
Only recently on Question Time Philip Hammond demonstrated just how out of touch the Tories are when he called Liz Kendall Rachel Reeves a number of times.
The electorate are fragmented and we are not going to win merely by winning the ‘wimmin’, but we can use it as a major strength.
We need to further empower the great women the party has, we should build the profile of women PCCs and MPs so the public can see just how representative and ‘in touch’ we are. At a grassroots level we should train young activists as part of a two-way relationship where they gain something too, and we should encourage them to bring their friends so Labour can build its women’s network.
Beth Miller is women’s officer of Young Labour. She tweets @BethMillr
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