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  1. Politics
7 November 2014updated 12 Oct 2023 10:42am

“Divided parties lose elections“: Labour is warned to keep it together

How is Labour reacting to its crisis of leadership this week?

By Anoosh Chakelian

Has Labour come to the end of its 48 hours of crisis? And will it be able to regain unity in its party after mutterings about Ed Miliband building up over his four years as leader? The party is now responding to the anarchic cocktail of anonymous briefings against their leader, the telling silence from shadow cabinet members, any remaining dominance in Scotland being eroded, and its plummeting position in the polls.

The party’s general election co-ordinator, Douglas Alexander, has warned his colleagues that, “divided parties lose elections”. Speaking on BBC’s Question Time yesterday, he said:

I think Ed probably was the first British political leader to understand the depth of the change that the financial crisis brought to British politics. Now, he has got challenges, but all of us have got challenges in every political party and every one of us in the Labour party has got to reflect the reality that divided parties lose elections.

Now senior Labour figures have come out in force to defend Miliband. The former cabinet minister Ben Bradshaw said he was “optimistic” about Miliband’s chances of being prime minister; the former Home Secretary David Blunkett called Labour MPs’ attacks on their leader “political insanity”; and the former cabinet minister Peter Hain dismissed his party’s “mutterings” as a “Westminster Bubble” story on the BBC’s Today programme this morning. However, it’s worth recalling the line in George’s piece:

No MP I have spoken to has argued that the Labour leader’s parlous ratings aren’t a problem or dismissed them as a “Westminster bubble issue”.

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