The commentators 13-05-15
...on the Labour party
Parliamentary government requires a robust opposition. It is not in the country’s interest for the defeated parties after an election to be unable to present an alternative vision to that of the ruling party, or unable to make the government pay for its mistakes. Yet that is the situation as things stand. This newspaper may have wanted a Conservative victory this time, but it does not want a Conservative monopoly. Even without being wiped out in Scotland Labour would have lost badly. Its leader was not an asset, and his policies did not resonate with the voters he needed to win round.
- The Times
Labour now has a big EU-shaped problem. Most of the party is instinctively pro-European. It fought an election opposing a referendum but lost, shedding a good few votes to Ukip along the way. If it handles the coming campaign badly, it could further alienate former supporters who feel culturally and economically marginalised by what they see as the arrogant, liberal, metropolitan elitist impulses of the EU “in” camp.
- Raphael Behr, The Guardian
No party ever wins again unless it knows why it lost. Two reasons for Mr Miliband’s failure have been identified. The public did not warm to his leadership, and they did not trust Labour on the economy. It is not clear whether a mesmeric figure might emerge from the current field, or that any new leader can formulate an economic plan that commands the support of workers and businesses alike. On both scores, however, the party knows what is required.
- Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph
The volte-face among Ed Miliband's erstwhile cheerleaders is deeply unedifying. Foremost among the offenders is Mr Miliband's elder brother, David, whom he ruthlessly vanquished in the 2010 Labour leadership contest. One can see David may feel justifiably sore about being beaten by his younger sibling, but a more gracious and forgiving man would not have rushed towards the first BBC microphone waved in his direction. As is usual on such occasions, David Miliband strove to appear generous and statesmanlike. Unfortunately he could not conceal his disdain, and his bitterness and resentment shone though.
- Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
Labour are talking about class but this election has shown that most Britons don’t vote on vowels any more. They may not have had much in common with Mr Cameron, but they didn’t recoil from his patrician background in the polling booth. Class may not be dead, but it is increasingly irrelevant in politics.
- Alice Thomson, The Times
Politicians have decided that they don't need us any more. They are connecting directly with the voters.
Comment archive, 2015
Scottish National Party
Depression and killer pilot
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