‘Everything went wrong in Labour campaign’

Everything which could go wrong in the Labour party’s campaign for the European elections did so, according to an official report into the party’s electoral collapse.

Labour lost four of its seven seats in the June 4 vote and was overtaken by Geert Wilder’s anti-immigration PVV party.
A working party led by junior education minister Sharon Dijksma concluded that Labour did not have a proper message, strategy or sense of urgency during the European election campaign. There was a shortfall in funding, political management and conviction, the report said.
The report does not comment on a number of controversial statements made by party stalwarts after the vote. Labour leader Wouter Bos not only said that campaign leader Thijs Berman was his fifth choice for the job but also admitted he had not voted for him.
And former aid minister Jan Pronk stated publicly that the Labour party needed a strong leader.
Dijksma said the party has to work hard to restore its fortunes ahead of next year’s local elections.
‘We are going to do better in March 2010,’ Bos said.
Research showed that most Labour voters who deserted the party went to the Liberal Democrats D66 and left-wing green party GroenLinks. Both parties made gains in Europe.

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