Neil Kinnock doubts Labour can win a majority and fears shy Tory voters

Guy Bentley
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Kinnock doubts Labour majority (Source: Getty)

Former Labour leader Lord Kinnock doubts Ed Miliband can win a majority and believes Labour will have to reach out across party lines to get its agenda through.

In an interview with the New Statesman, the man who was soundly beaten by both Conservative leaders Margaret Thatcher and John Major said:

I think the most likely result is that Ed becomes prime minister and that he follows a fairly conventional course in the House of Commons.

You gather majorities for specific issues, whether they are big statutory requirements, like the Queen’s Speech or the Budget – in some senses they are the easiest things to get majorities for – or amendments on bills.

Kinnock's remarks suggest Ed Miliband will head a minority government and not enter into a formal coalition with one of the other the parties.

"I don’t think there are many other options [to minority government] that are realistic or desirable. Patently, [there can be] no coalition or concession to the Nats; and any arrangement with the Liberals would have to be on Labour terms," he added.

The failure of Labour's 1992 campaign when Kinnock was ahead of the Tories in the polls right up until election night still haunts the Labour die hard. Kinnock says Labour has run a strong campaign ahead of Thursday's election, as he did himself in 1992, but it still ended in failure.

The Labour peer fears there is still a danger to the party with so-called shy Tory voters who may swing to David Cameron on election day itself. But he hastens to add he doesn't think the shy Tory vote will be as big a factor in 2015 as it was in 1992.

Visit our General Election poll tracker to see how the polls changed in the build-up to election day. 

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