Sunday, 13 May 2012

Why Labour won the Election in Ipswich

The election now seems ages ago but it was just 10 days ago that the people of Ipswich put their trust in a Labour run administration in the town.

A number of other local websites have already posted and debated why Labour did so well or as in most of their blogs – how bad the Tories and Lib Dems did!

There is no doubt that the national political picture helped Labour in Ipswich and the Ipswich Tory website is already blaming their defeat on the economy and other Tory bloggers on ‘mid-term blues’. But even after 12 years of a Labour Government, we were still holding our own in Ipswich. The Tories have only been in (shared) power for 2 years.

It can be quite amusing for us to watch the other political groups tear each other apart as they look at someone to blame. We have the former Ipswich Tory Chair blaming Cameron and closer to home Cllr Terry, we have the Tory Gipping candidate blaming the wet day and then launching a very personal attack on the former Tory activist who writes for Ipswich Spy and then to top it off we have the independent candidate blaming the mother of the Lib Dem candidate.

The Lib Dems got their excuses in before polling day, blaming the heavy rain for their lack of door knocking – nothing to do with a lack of members then?

As I said before there is no doubt the weak budget and the poor leadership of Cameron did cause the Tory vote to stay at home and many will now believe in Ipswich that the Lib Dem vote will never recover from joining the Tories in a coalition. In most of the Borough they now find themselves in fourth place behind the Greens.

But the success of Labour in Ipswich can also be put down to the hard work we put in, not just in the 5 week ‘short’ campaign but every week since 2010, in fact we had increased our work and started more focusing campaign in 2004.

We had an increase in members and activists after the General Election defeat in 2010 and it was good to see a number of those who joined IN 2010 elected to the Borough Council last week. But I would also put down our success to our discipline, we do not agree on everything but our arguments/discussions are kept within the Labour Group room, compare that to the latest Tory in fighting and the reported in-fighting over the Bixley candidate selection.

That loyalty and feeling of being a united group helps create a great campaigning team- each day of the campaign (even in the rain) we had up to 20 members out all over the Borough, and on a number of occasions we had over 35 members out. The national party also helped with the visits of two ministers and our MEP. We saw the Tories out on the doorstep but obviously short in numbers (and morale). The most I ever saw was 7, and they looked very disorganised. There may be more Tory supporting blogs but even on the Social Media front we were way ahead, the Lib Dem website only re-launched a few weeks before the campaign and the Tory website never had any mention of the election or candidates – it still has Tanya Maclure down as a councillor.

On twitter- we kept our supporters updated on local news and on how the campaign was going. We even had twitter followers join us out on the doorstep.

I do not want to give the Tories (and Lib Dems) advice on how to campaign and win elections but maybe they just have to see what we were doing yesterday- 20 of us out in South West Ipswich delivering leaflets- just 9 days after the election and the Lib Dems can’t even use the ‘heavy rain’ excuse this weekend for their lack of activity.

So why we may amuse ourselves smiling at the Tory in-fighting we will continue to campaign hard with the Suffolk County Council elections and the 2015 General Election as our next two key targets.


Anonymous said...

Another important aspect that i learn't from my Grandfather was a comment he made to my father during an election many years ago. He said "Son, why do even consider voting conservative when you have nothing to conserve!"
The Tory Party is for people who own assets and will do eveything in their power to protect them.
Many kid themselves that they are Conservatives, Buying homes. Owning shares and sending kids to private schools. but then take away the loans, the credit cards and the company car and the net assets are worth? Yep not much.
Nothing to conserve. So why vote Tory.

Paul Norton said...

Already given up on the next election in Ipswich then Alasdair? In November? Don't just assume the Tories would walk it, especially if Labour do choose Jane Basham...

Alasdair Ross said...

Not giving up - we have two good candidates - but County then 2015 are our long term targets