Labour’s Crisis PR
Somewhat counter intuitively, the Labour Party’s current messaging is actually going pretty well. The downside is that they sound like they’re completely on the wrong side of public opinion
Some are probably wondering why there are Labour MPs, shadow cabinet members, and even Ed Miliband coming out and using the media to bash Cameron for using his veto in Brussels.
The Labour Party isn’t especially Europhile, and not only do the majority of Labour MPs and supporters not want to be in the Euro, the accepted likelihood is that a Labour PM would have had to get out of the EU treaty much in the manner that David Cameron employed.
The polls may differ (swinging between 62 to 57 percent in favour), but it is undeniably the case that the majority of the British people support the Prime Minister for his actions. A YouGov poll on voting intentions for the Sunday Times had the Conservatives within one per cent of Labour for the first time in several months – with the blues up two points and the reds down two.
In fact any pollster worth their salt, from the sadly departed Philip Gould to No.10 ‘guru’ Andrew Cooper, could tell Ed and his party that they are placing themselves on the wrong side of public opinion with this one.
But now imagine something else. Imagine Dougie Alexander wasn’t on the Marr Show on Sunday saying ‘Cameron’ and ‘failure’ every few seconds… but then admitting that he would probably have also activated the veto.
Imagine the Labour Party said “we agree with Dave, he did the best thing for Britain” and had given him his defining moment; the moment that every centre-right-wing (and some not right-wing) commentator is currently giving him.
Those polls wouldn’t be 62 percent; they’d be up around 75. The papers would have to dwell on the Lib Dems – who are an especially Europhile party and have been striking a course of ‘disengagement’ with their coalition brethren since Dave and Nick were heard mumbling about how much they agree with each other on a sadly forgotten lapel mic.
It would be a disaster, for the council elections this May (on which Ed is really counting after last year’s disaster) and for the next general election.
So, somewhat counter intuitively, the Labour Party’s current messaging is actually going pretty well.
The small downside is that they sound like they’re completely on the wrong side of public opinion, and it is unlikely that the voters are going to forget it.
Sometimes Ed and Ed just can’t win.
Dylan Sharpe works in political PR and is the former Head of Press for the NO to AV campaign
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