It might be controversial but Labour needs a Blair

Tony Blair

Whether or not Ed Miliband was the reason Labour did so badly is up for debate, but it arguably played a part.

As Labour prepares for a leadership battle it needs a slick, shiny, election winning machine. Whatever one thinks of Tony Blair he was just that. And whilst Labour might not want to go down the same policy roots as Blair they certainly need someone with the style.

Policy and substance are of course important, but the public saw David Cameron as the far better leader compared to Ed Miliband and that was arguably one of the reasons people backed his party in their millions as they went to the polls. Policy and substance do matter - and they should matter the most - but in the age of 24/7 media, new media, political pundits watching every move and constant polling it cannot be denied that style has a role to play.

Labour unveiled a budget responsibility lock - to show economic competence - but that was not reflected in Ed Miliband. And whilst he made some progress in the campaign, it was already too late.

There will be those thinking that this is cynical, saying that politics needs men and women with substance over and above style. But in this day and age parties at least need to be led by friendly, competent faces, and people that can articulate the party’s messages.

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It might not be such a big deal if David Cameron was not such a big personality with style and approval higher than his own party's, but the lesson from 2015 that can be learned is that someone with Ed Miliband’s approval ratings, up against David Cameron’s approval ratings, will struggle to win.

Tony Blair had high approval ratings for a lot of his Premiership. He was an election winner, someone that people could openly and proudly back (for a while at least). Maybe in different circumstances Ed Miliband could have won, but in the circumstances as they were it is undeniable that personality played a role.

Furthermore, if David Cameron keeps to his word we know that he will be stepping down before the 2020 election. However, for Labour that brings in an uncertainty, and it gives the Conservatives an advantage as they will know who their opponent is for their new leader. However, in all likelyhood it will be  Boris Johnson, Theresa May or perhaps George Osbourne.

For Labour to have a chance in 2020 they will need a strong, positive and competent leader, combined with a strong, positive and competent message and a plan for the country.

For Labour to win, the party needs a Blair.

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