— Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) August 26, 2013
According to the press, today we’re going to see the start of a new phase of the Tory campaign targeting Ed Miliband as weak by comparing him unfavourably with Neil Kinnock.
Today, Michael Gove will say
“The contrast with Neil Kinnock â€“ who originally faced down the Militant Tendency over entryism is striking â€“ and not at all flattering to Ed Miliband. While Kinnock moved bravely and remorselessly to eradicate Militant’s influence, and Militant-sponsored MPs, from Labour, Miliband has done nothing to stop the takeover of his own party.
The Conservative approach does present a few risks to them
1) Focussing upon Labour’s membership, is extremely risky considering the Conservatives aren’t releasing their own membership figures because it is reported that their membership has fallen under one hundred thousand under Cameron’s leadership. The narrative could focus back onto that.
2) Ed Miliband is still largely in control of events regarding the Unions via his special conference, he can come up with a solution to his recent unions travails, that the voters may like, which risks making the Conservative approach backfire, his conference speech (or his upcoming speech to the TUC) could be as powerful as Neil Kinnock’s conference speech was in 1985
Clearly the Tories have decided Ed is Labour’s weak point, this strategy appears to be working in some respects, as evidenced by his falling personal ratings in recent months and a recent narrowing in the polls, but the great irreconcilable for the Conservatives is that Labour’s share of the vote remains in a largely consistent 36-40% range with actual voting intention polls, despite all of those attacks on Ed and his falling ratings. If Labour’s share of the vote doesn’t move from this range, will the Conservatives continue with this approach?