Labour must make this a Christmas election, not a Brexit election

Joe Ryle

If a Christmas election is confirmed, Labour will have the opportunity to create the most fun and exciting general election campaign ever seen in this country. It would be during the season of goodwill – the time of year when people most give to charity, volunteer to support the homeless and give back to their community. If Labour can capture this spirit, a Christmas election could be the perfect time to put Jeremy Corbyn’s positive vision to the country.

Of course there are downfalls – the impact on the student vote at the very end of university term time and the cold and dark nights will make it harder for people to hit the doorsteps and to vote. But there are also opportunities to have lots of fun and to take Labour’s message to people in ways that we’ve not been able to do before.

I’m thinking red ‘Vote Labour’ bobble hats, mulled wine in flasks on the doorstep, Christmas jumpers and all manner of creative ideas that Labour’s membership of half a million people are ready for.

There’s been a 165% increase in homelessness since the Tories took power in 2010 and with 8 million people in working households living in relative poverty, millions of people are going to be feeling the strain this year and the pressure to buy presents and provide an enjoyable Christmas for the family could tip many over the edge.

It’s against this harsh backdrop that Labour has the chance to put their economic agenda front and centre – a £10 an hour real living wage, taking on the multinational tax dodgers and taking back ownership of the gas, water, rail and postal services that we especially rely on at Christmas.

Perhaps there is no better time of year to test Labour’s ‘for the many, not the few’ narrative as Christmas provides ample visual opportunities to bring this narrative to life. The challenge for Labour is to make this the Christmas election, not the Brexit election. In 2017, it took a few weeks for Labour’s campaign to really take off, but this time we know what we need to do and can hit the ground running immediately.

It was the creative DIY can-do spirit that very nearly lifted Labour to victory last time – all the homemade memes and videos, Twitter campaigns, street art, and so much more. In a Christmas election, these interventions could easily take on a life of their own.

We know that in recent times, more voters are willing to switch their allegiance than ever before. We shouldn’t doubt the huge impact that a thriving, creative campaign could have on the final outcome. The message to Labour members should be: forget about the doom and gloom of parliamentary Brexit procedure – come together to channel all of our Christmas cheer and spirit into this election.

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