I will be spending much of today studying Lord Ashcroft’s latest report, in which he examines the reasons for the Labour Party’s electoral failure at the 2015 general election. The report draws on substantial evidence from both detailed polls and a number of focus groups.
There’s a lot in the report to consider. There are also some missed opportunities – in particular, I am both very surprised and rather disappointed that while Lord Ashcroft looked at detailed evidence on those voters who shifted from Labour to the Conservatives, and to UKIP, there is little comparable evidence presented on those in Scotland who moved to the SNP.
But one thing in the report struck me as very pertinent – and not only to Labour supporters but to those in all parties. That was the following quote, summarising some focus group findings:
“Several participants noted that Labour supporters on social media, including their own friends, had been unpleasantly aggressive in their comments about the Conservative Party and people who voted for it. While this sometimes made them less likely to admit how they planned to vote, it never made them more likely to vote Labour – and in one case strengthened their resolve to back David Cameron.” (P.17, emphasis added).