After an utterly disastrous election, is there a future for the Labour party as a political force?

Ed Miliband resigned as leader of the Labour party following last week's General Election (Source: Getty)

Chris Rumfitt, chief executive of Corporate Reputation Consulting, says Yes.

There is no understating the scale of Labour’s defeat last week. Almost wiped out in Scotland, the party fared little better in England, where it barely made inroads into the Tories – even against the low water mark of 2010.

But Labour can bounce back from this. The similarities between 2015 and 1992 are striking. And what followed 1992 was the election of a young, fresh Labour leader who ditched the socialist rhetoric and pitched Labour squarely at Britain’s aspirational middle ground.

The world has changed since then, but the coalition of traditional support and middle England can be rebuilt. Labour needs again to marry its desire for social justice with an understanding of people’s material aspirations. It also needs to show that the relationship with the unions is healthy and that no Labour leader is in debt to any vested interest. The choice of next leader is vital. But as the rebound from 1992 proved, write Labour off at your peril.

Brian Monteith, communications director of Global Britain and a former member of the Scottish Parliament, says No.

If Labour is to become a power in the land again, it must become electable to a broader spectrum of the British population. It must adopt the language of prudent housekeeping that the public understands, allowing the party to be trusted again on the economy.

It must recognise that denying the British people the hope of an EU membership referendum was a strategic mistake. Better to let the people vote Labour to get their say, and then campaign one way or another, than let the Tories appear the more democratic party.

Labour must now embrace city and nation-based federalism as the only way to become relevant across the whole of the UK and revive itself in Scotland. And it must embrace aspirational wealth creators as the engine of jobs and prosperity, rather than demonise them. But I doubt Labour can adopt any of these prerequisites, and it will consign itself to oblivion for a generation.

Related articles