The general election is now 11 months away. Polls and public consensuses show no signs of a likely future leader of Britain. Lack of courageous policy making is holding the Tories back, whilst Ed Milliband seems incapable of eating a bacon sandwich without transforming into a possessed gargoyle. Both of the main two parties have become complacent, with neither party conducting a campaign adequate enough to convince its core voters. Both parties appear to be content to remain in the ‘centre’ ground, which alientes their loyal supporters. If the Labour party are serious about winning the next election, they must capitalise on this ambiguity from the Conservative party and be the real party of change.

Loyalty: A word that exudes an air of dignity, in an otherwise vacuous world of vanity and narcissism. Yet, when that word is attached with politics it loses its meaning. It implies blind faith. To a party that no longer represents them, which it certainly does when discussing working class support for New Labour. But this is 2014, and the Blair era is over. Ed is reverting the party back to Labour — ditching New Labour — supposedly. Still, I imagine this time next year his manifesto will share more similarities with Tony Blair’s than Clement Atlee’s.

Manifestos, campaigns and party promises all count for nothing when tribal loyalty plays such a fundamental part in which party people vote for. Ed Milliband can talk of big ideas and Ed Balls of his grand strategic economic plan to swing voters, but in their hearts they know loyalist Labour voters will stay  true to their working class routes and vote for the ‘left wing’ party. Which is wrong. Labour have come a long way since the 60s and the anti-Thatcher years, and one of Milliband’s first acts as leader was to relinquish their ties with the unions that bit further.

Partisan supporters of Labour are like no other voters. They stay true to their party, despite New Labour and seemingly — this current Labour leadership’s endorsement of globalisation and neo-liberalism. A partnership that has left behind ‘salt of the earth’ towns in the North, the very towns that voted them in. On Good Morning Britain, Milliband declared the crisis concerning the cost of living is: ‘a profound question on how we run our country.’ Another profound question is: do we forget all about pre-existing ideologies and past triumphs and electing a government on policies?

Milliband and Balls have done very little to brake the shackles of Blair and Brown, to justify to their acolytes in the North that they truly are the party for them. From the policy ideas, we’ve been alerted to the energy freeze, rent controls — a policy idea that really isn’t radical enough — a discussion to at least attempt to address the immigration problem that bothers working class communities, along with a pledge to attempt to keep the NHS public-owned. All policies are favoured by the left and Labour strongholds, but not nearly enough. But is it enough for communities across Britain that are still not feeling the alleged turnaround in the British economy? The success of UKIP in working class towns at the recent election suggests otherwise.

UKIP was the backlash to a campaign that has been devoid of any courage or innovation. The right wing media’s rallying cries of ‘red Ed’ is simply a rhetoric that will disappear. Especially coming up to election time when the Tory party realise the public are to the left of Labour on a lot of issues: 51 percent of the public are in favour of the Robin Hood tax and 68 percent want energy companies nationalised. The list could go on. Excluding of course, immigration, where the public seems to be to the right of Labour. To appease the core of Labour voters, the party will still need to edge further to the left. The constant rally cry of addressing the ‘cost of living crisis’ is still not resonating with voters, however accurate or pertinent the statement is.

Something that was brought to light in the European election was the meaning of the word: democracy. In a political domain where we are often indoctrinated into party allegiances, is it ever possible to vote with free will? Potentially. Nevertheless, what politics is screaming out for are political parties that hope to ‘wow’ all voters, not just those in political limbo. The public need to stress that UKIP wasn’t just a protest vote — regardless of its nasty nature — left all sides of the public spectrum with something to ponder. The main parties need go beyond current modes of campaigning and wow even past loyal voters.  The eradication of political loyalty will make parties work harder, as they will have no choice if they are to win a majority.

Until party loyalty is left in the bygone era it inherits, politics will be stuck in the past — leaving the electorate the losers, once again.