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The ALP hasn’t asked my advice but here’s what I learned after UK Labour lost in 2015

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25.05.2019

The pain of losing an election is excruciating, especially when you are expecting to win. A week on, Bill Shorten and his team will be experiencing an agony that will haunt them for what will feel like an eternity.

I know, because I went through it too.

As chief speechwriter to Ed Miliband, leader of the UK Labour party in 2015, I will never forget the feeling of hollow emptiness on seeing the results roll in. Where once a glorious future beckoned, all of a sudden there is nothing but bitterness and regret.

The questions on everyone’s lips are predictable: how on earth did it happen? How do we stop it happening again? It is obvious why people ask. But the better place to start is: why did no one see it coming?

We had the world’s best opinion pollsters and strategists working with the British Labour party in 2015. The same was no doubt true of Shorten’s ALP team. So why were they both expecting a victory that just wasn’t coming?

These mistakes happen when a political party ceases to be in relationship with people on the ground.

When a party’s membership is too small, its activist base too narrowly restricted and its broader community connections weak then the vital intelligence network on which it depends withers.

If you’re in an everyday relationship with everyday........

© The Guardian