Thursday, 20 April 2017

Labour activists will battle for every vote, the Tories must match them

Let me tell you something about Labour Party activists; something every Conservative, Liberal Democrat and UKIP member needs to keep in mind as June’s General Election approaches.

Labour Party activists, and I’m not talking about the Momentum / Corbynista keyboard warrior brigade here but the real battle hardened ones carrying the scars of countless election campaigns to prove it, are ferocious. Labour Party activists will go out in all weathers knocking on door after door after door and day after day long before any formal ‘short campaigns’ start.

They are decent principled people who care passionately about their party and will give up vast amounts of their time for their cause. It just so happens, now more than ever, that there cause is the wrong one.

The last thing that Britain needs now is the chaos of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour when it can have the pragmatic maturity of the Conservatives; steering the nation through the tough times of BREXIT negotiation that are bound to be ahead, but that’s an argument for another day.

No, there is a very good reason I raise the subject of Labour Party activists and it is this: they and Labour should not be underestimated.

Sitting here seven weeks out from polling day it is very easy indeed to think that this General Election is a foregone conclusion.

Conservatives can look at the polls, both headline figures and all of those interesting supporting tables, and think ‘this is going to be a walk in the park’.

We can read predictions of notional majorities around the 140 seat mark and get complacent; ‘surely no one of sane mind would vote for Corbyn?’

But the simple fact is that if that happens all of the time Tory supporters are sitting on their hands; whether it’s activists not turning out or Tory voters thinking ‘well, someone else will do it’, Labour will be out in numbers putting the groundwork in and motivating their core support.

Yes, we can argue that Labour's ‘messaging’ is a mess; it patently is.

We can believe that their petard will be will and truly hoisted by that horrible habit that they have of telling voters what they should believe rather than listening to what they do.

But they will be out there until 10.00pm on Thursday 8th June working for every vote they can get.

The reason I say all of this is important. I have an experience of the Labour Party that I simply don’t of the Tories. I am sure there are many amazing Conservative activists too.

No, the reason is a that there is danger of complacency resulting in a hard fought, unprecedented victory feeling a tad lacklustre.

Imagine if at dawn on a warm June Friday morning the news crews are reporting a majority of ‘just 60’. In real terms that would be an astonishing achievement but if you were expecting 140 seats? What then?

Labour, Liberal Democrat and UKIP activists will be working hard over the coming weeks to prevent a Tory win.

The polls will inevitably get closer.

And the Conservatives? If we want a win that will be remembered for generations then we will have to go toe to toe with them all.

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