The Labour Party has three big problems that have the potential to cause irreversible electoral damage. The first is their leader. Ed Miliband is an insipid waffler. He lacks charisma, energy and passion. He’s annoying to look at, listen to and even think about. Mean? No, simply true. To date Ed Miliband’s approval ratings are as low as Nick Clegg’s, a club no one wants to be in. The truth is he’s probably a nice guy, and I am in no doubt he often means well. Freezing energy prices, attacking zero-hour contracts and shouting about the struggling NHS are issues that matter to real people everyday. But however much you support such policies the moment they get announced, supported or defended by Ed Miliband they lose credibility. The problem is you don’t look at Ed Milliband and think leader – you just think loser.

The second big problem for Labour is the unstoppable power of UKIP, a political force that the Labour Party have failed to take seriously. When Nigel Farage announced the other week that UKIP was ‘targeting all voters’, he meant it. The recent Heywood and Middleton byelection should have been a walk in the park for the Labour Party, not only were they defending a 6,000 majority but also they are in opposition and should be reaping the electoral awards that come with such a position. But this byelection was no walk in the park; it was quite frankly a disaster. The good news for the Labour Party is that they won – there ends the good news. A majority of 6,000 was slashed to a measly 617. Yet to my amazement the Labour Party celebrated this appalling result. The party faithful were paraded in front of the cameras around the country to jeer the Tories and applaud their successful campaign in the hope of kidding us into believing it was a victorious day for Labour, but the only people they were kidding were themselves. This result should not be celebrated; instead they should be rightfully panicking, going on the attack to win back their loyal supporters. If UKIP can dismantle a Labour safe seat that effectively in a byelection what damage could this cause at the next election? UKIP are not a party of the right that Labour desperately wanted them to be, they are the party of the fed up, the disengaged and the ignored and their next target is the North.

The third big problem for Labour is their economic credibility. The Labour Party still carry the scars of 2010. It is true they have changed, but they just haven’t changed enough. They are simply not trusted with the economy. Businesses don’t trust them; the public don’t trust them and many people in their own party have their doubts. This tarnished reputation is the sad reality of being the governing party during one of the worst economic recessions in modern times, and although they are not necessarily to blame, people are cautious. The Conservative’s out poll the Labour Party on the economy time and time again and by a significant margin. Until the Labour Party regain their economic credibility many will struggle to trust them with the keys to number 10.

But these thee big problems can be solved with one simple solution – lose the next election! Obviously to some this advice seems mad, why would a political party deliberately lose an election? Because by losing the next election you solve the three biggest problems keeping them out of power. In 2015 if Labour loses, Ed Miliband would without a doubt be replaced along with the rest of his uninspiring team. Currently the Labour front benches are made up of a patchwork of political faces all washed up from yesteryear: Balls, Eagle, Alexander – all players in the previous labour government and all tainted by that previous administration’s mistakes. Losing the next election will breathe new life into the Labour leadership giving time for a new younger crop to grow: Stella Creasy, Chuka Umunna, Rachel Reeves and other younger, fresher faces.

This untainted group are the future of the Labour Party but the key word here is ‘future’, as yet much of this group lack the experience and gravitas required to take the party forward. Secondly, given time the UKIP problem will also resolve itself. UKIP’s biggest electoral attraction is that they are not part of the so-called ‘Westminster elite’. However, following the inevitable election of several UKIP MPs in 2015 this claim will be void. Furthermore, they may even have to take on the responsibility and sacrifices of a government if a coalition requires a shade of purple, revealing their true colours to the benefit of the Labour Party. In addition, if a referendum on Europe does happen, the very platform which UKIP presents itself will be whipped from beneath them, undermining their appeal further.

Finally, the issue of Labours economic credibility will be resolved or at least improved by 2020. Not only will the bad memories of 2010 have faded but also by then a Tory government of some form will have been in power for nearly ten years. The austerity days will be over, but the austerity policies of low public spending will remain. The Conservatives don’t like spending, but during an economic upturn the public want to see investments in public services. The promise of new schools, roads and hospitals is a commitment only Labour can make, surely only to the delight of an austerity-weary electorate.

Losing in 2015 will save the Labour Party. Three big problems, one simple solution.

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