By the time of the next General Election Labour will have gone through three major policy reviews in ten years; two major membership drives; a series of consultation exercises; an ideological statement, a re-examination of principles, and finally the reform of Clause IV; significant changes to its policymaking structures; and numerous launches and relaunches. They will also have failed to win a General Election for over 20 years; have failed to achieve 40 per cent of the popular vote in a General Election for 25 years; and needed to overturn a Conservative lead of 7 per cent on the popular vote. From this perspective Labour’ s renewal and subsequent modernisation hardly appears an unalloyed success. Nonetheless, Labour has been involved in a series of ambitious attempts to address the serious problems with which they have been faced. The ambitious elements of these reforms have been overshadowed, indeed intentionally overshadowed, by short-term electoralism. This domination of electoral concerns in fact reinforces, rather than addresses, Labour’s core problems.
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