Keir Starmer has to do more if he wants to get a foothold in Downing Street

FINALLY Wednesday, I heard a Labor spokesman claim that there had been an earthquake in the opinion polls in our favor.

My immediate reaction was to think, “I wish.”

In a poll for The Sun today on Sunday, Labor leader Keir Starmer remained faltering


In a poll for The Sun today on Sunday, Labor leader Keir Starmer remained falteringCredit: Getty
In his confrontation with Boris Johnson, Sir Keir polled 36% to the PM's 35 points


In his confrontation with Boris Johnson, Sir Keir polled 36% to the PM’s 35 pointsCredit: Getty

The relative improvement in Labour’s fortunes is, quite frankly, the bare minimum we should have expected given what is happening with the Prime Minister and his Government.

In a poll for The Sun Today on Sunday, Labor leader Keir Starmer still faltering.

He will know that his ratings need to improve if he is to get a foothold in Downing Street.

Against Boris JohnsonKeir polled 36% to the PM’s 35.

When the public vote in a general election, they often do so with the shape of the economy – and how much cash they have – in mind.

Remember the saying: “It’s the economy, it’s stupid.”

A formation of Boris and the Chancellor Rishi Sunakagainst Keir and his chief financial officer Rachel Reeves sees them with a very narrow one-point lead.

This is where Labor needs to make it count to win an election.

For more than 18 months after the December 2019 election, Boris Johnson appeared to be absent.

No matter what he does or says, whatever wrongs have been made and cheaters committed, the shine never seems to fade from this “naughty boy”, as the members The older member of the constituency showed up to see him.

Tens of thousands of people have died in care homes, billions have been wasted on failed Test and Trace systems, friends of friends have been awarded contracts for PPE.

The relevance of all this is that while the disastrous legacy ofBy Jeremy Corbyn The leadership of the Labor party is gradually being replaced by trust, and the hearings for Labour’s front bench are increasing, with only a narrowing of opinion polls – so much so that the two major parties are antiquated. doctor.

It was only after the startling revelations became – to use Boris’s favorite phrase – a wave of accusations about Downing Street parties that polls gradually turned in Labour’s favor.

But in my view, sadly nothing is needed to topple the Conservative majority and give Labor the chance to lead an alternative government.

While the optimists among Labor supporters only led the polls 38-32, 41-33, I recall that, before the Labor election occurred in 1997, Opinion poll ratings are 15% and even 20% are registered.

The prime minister is under police investigation, and former Conservative ministers have publicly called for his resignation.

All of this comes at a time when National Insurance is expected to increase from April, inflation is causing real pain for the lowest paid and people have to borrow money to try. reduce the impact of a staggering £693 increase on energy prices.

All this is nothing short of a weak response from the Government.

However, the Conservatives still hold a third of the electorate.

In my experience of more than 50 years in public life, what is Labor supposed to do?


This is not an easy question.

The recently reshuffled Shadow Cabinet, who, if Labor is elected, form the government, are appearing sharper, more hungry for success and more media savvy.

Get Labour’s Lisa Nandy to respond to Michael Gove’s announcement of what the Government calls an “upgrade”.

Fiery, energetic and with the harsh words that any Opposition desperately needs if they are to topple incumbents.

However, even Lisa, with all the announcements already made about the announcement of the Upgrade White Paper, could not come up with a detailed plan for Labour’s replacement.

Five principles that no one can disagree with, but without appreciating real change in the lives of millions will only happen through a massive shift in education and skills.

With unprecedented vacancies after nearly a million European workers have returned home, the promise of a jobs revolution is only fitting if there is real progress from a low-paid starting point to opportunity. really to climb the ladder and aspire to be rewarded.

Keir Starmer cannot imitate Boris Johnson’s messy, sometimes manipulative, sometimes pretentious actions.

Postwar Labor Prime Minister Clem Attlee cannot match the stature and speech of Winston Churchill in 1945.

But what Labor had, at the time, was a program of simple transformation and response to the great challenges that existed at the time.

Today’s parity is the challenge of the future world of work.

The revolution in artificial intelligence, robotics and digital innovation.

But beyond that, a truly lasting answer to the enormous challenge of climate change and how we sustain each other’s aging – supporting caregivers, whether family or neighbours, and ensure personal dignity and support tailored to what people need instead of asking people to give what is offered.

This has implications for Labor.


Older people vote in far greater numbers than those under 40.

The call to voters needs to consider the values ​​and principles that will provide the foundation for success.

It also needs to understand what convinces people to vote – to win back the millions of over-65s who didn’t vote for Labor in 2019, while also winning the confidence and trust of young people, who people need to be inspired to think there is a better future for them and their families.

Keir Starmer has broken the legacy of Labor’s total disconnect between 2015 and the 2019 General Election.

However, trust, empathy, a feeling of “they are on our side”, as well as visionary and symbolic policies that capture the imagination, will all be needed when Partygate goes down in history.

Remember that if Boris Johnson is replaced, there will immediately be a honeymoon period for a new Conservative Party leader.

It happens when John Major take over after Margaret Thatcher was overthrown. It happened when Boris Johnson took over Theresa May.

Each person manages a huge trick of pretending that their predecessor is somehow in a different party, and this is a “fresh start”.

Even today, as we approach 12 years of a Conservative-led government, some sections of the electorate believe they have just taken over.

Boris Johnson managed to write off 9 and a half years.

For Keir Starmer, and Labor – and myself included – the challenge is huge.

Fear of change, readiness for the sake of doubt, the innate conservatism of at least British voters, all must be overcome for a Labor victory to be in sight.

What’s happened in recent months has given Labour the green light: The government’s ability to expose the current government’s abuse of power, hypocrisy and incompetence.

But for Labor to win, skeptic voters need more than that.

The challenge for Labor is to define, then deliver, of what is possible

There is still time to do this but with the uncertain political climate in which we are working, time may be running out.

  • Lord Blunkett was a Labor MP for Sheffield Brightside from 1987 to 2015 and held the Cabinet posts of Education Secretary, Home Secretary and Work and Pensions Secretary from 1997 to 2005.
Lord Blunkett held the Cabinet posts of Education Secretary, Home Secretary and Work and Pensions Secretary from 1997 to 2005.


Lord Blunkett held the Cabinet posts of Education Secretary, Home Secretary and Work and Pensions Secretary from 1997 to 2005.Credit: Alamy Keir Starmer has to do more if he wants to get a foothold in Downing Street


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