Jeremy Corbyn pledges to ‘win over’ Tory voters with policies for the nation, not just marginal constituencies

160818 Corbyn Smith hustings
It is easier to believe Jeremy Corbyn can win over Tory voters than it is to believe Owen Smith can, for one simple reason.

Mr Corbyn has policies that are intended to appeal to anyone, wherever they are in the UK.

Mr Smith would follow the narrow ‘New Labour’ tactic of trying to wheedle Tory voters away from them in marginal constituencies, with policies tailored for them that have no wider coherence.

It’s a difference that Billy Bragg explored in his recent Guardian article, on which This Writer commented earlier.

He wrote: “Barely a week goes by without one of the Labour rebels demanding that the party ‘get back to winning ways’, as if years of disconnection can be simply resolved by pulling the old levers that worked so well in the 20th century: triangulation not principle; decisions guided by focus groups not members; policies pitched solely to marginal swing seats rather than to the country as a whole and the party’s core supporters taken for granted.”

I added: “Corbyn is popular now precisely because he holds to his principles; he is a ‘signpost’, as Tony Benn famously described great politicians, rather than a ‘weathercock’ blowing in the wind like Owen Smith.

“He is handing greater power to the [Labour] membership – who he holds in high regard – and calculating policies for the good of the whole of the UK, rather than tiny pockets of marginal voters.”

Meanwhile, Owen Smith said Labour couldn’t win power under Mr Corbyn’s “ineffective” leadership.

His strategy is still name-calling, then.

Jeremy Corbyn has insisted he can reach out beyond his core supporters as his leadership rival said Labour was not on a “trajectory to win power”.

At a hustings event, he said his policies would win over “some people that have been tempted to vote Tory”.

Mr Corbyn said his message appeals “all across the piece, all across the country”.

“If you are poor and up against it in Milton Keynes, in Shrewsbury, or anywhere else you are poor and up against it, therefore the message we are putting forward about an economy that doesn’t accept the political choice of austerity, instead invests for all, I think is a very powerful one.”

He pledged to “win over people… by the policies we put forward”, such as decent housing and security at work, including “some people that have been tempted to vote Tory” in the past.

“But we also, I think, win an election by inspiring our own supporters, inspiring those that have supported other parties, but above all reach out to young people in our society, only 47% of whom voted in the last election to come on board with us and try and create that decent society.”

Source: Labour leadership: Corbyn and Smith clash on winning power – BBC News


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6 thoughts on “Jeremy Corbyn pledges to ‘win over’ Tory voters with policies for the nation, not just marginal constituencies

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Absolutely correct.
      Any changes imposed by the Tories will be to their advantage.
      If Owen Smith wins the Labour leadership election, any candidates selected for the new constituencies will be supporters of him and therefore opposed to the kind of democracy supported by the majority of current members – and in fact, that is probably the biggest reason they’re likely to lose.

  1. Zippi

    Why are these New £abour people more concerned with “winning” rather than running the race? Surely, you win because you have something that people want, that’s why they vote for you. All of this nonsense about “electability.” How do they know who is electable and who is not? Do they actually talk to people and ask them what their problems are, what is working for them and what isn’t? What needs to change? Or are they so bent on replicating Tony Blair’s landslide that they they have failed to see that people and circumstances have changed? Brian Cox no longer plays keyboards with D-Ream and things are getting much worse, for ordinary people.

  2. Tim

    Jezza has made a LOT of pledges hasn’t he? Since many of them are obviously undeliverable does that make him foolish, dishonest or delusional?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The same could be said about Owen Smith. Which of those three descriptions would you say fits him?
      Or do they all?

      1. Tim

        Quite possibly all politicians.

        Perhaps it doesn’t matter any more.

        Cameron and Osborne promised all manner of things and failed to deliver, most notably in respect to the economy despite all the cuts, caps and freezes. (Which were, we were promised, supposed to do the trick.) Despite this very few people seem to have paid attention to this catalogue of serial failures or been affected by them voting-wise and the Tories won the last general election because of it.

        Personally I don’t like Owen Smith much really either and don’t see jim doing any better than Corbyn with the added downside of mass disenchantment amongst the grass roots. Both men have dropped unbelievable clangers: Smith stating that he believed ISIL/ISIS should play a part in any settlement in respect to Syria/Iraq and Corbyn intimating that Great Britain might not come to the aid of a NATO ally in its hour of need. Neither of them are much cop as far as I am concerned, I will be interested to see costings as per Corbyn’s proposals if/when they ever become extant.

        I don’t think Corbyn is a liar but fear that he is as naive as a pre-teen boy scout having marvellous qualitative aspirations while at the same time a poor grasp on the quantitative bedrock upon which said aspirations necessarily must be built and I’m very sorry for it.

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