Political parties do not win elections by mathematical formula. They succeed by winning the argument, capturing the imagination of voters, or, at times, simply by offering an alternative that is not as frightening or as risky as the alternative.
Voters are drawn towards aspirations and ideals more so than against fear and risk.
But today, political strategy is often about triangulation, setting out your stall in relation to other political parties or political opponents. It is about forensically targeting voters, on a street-by-street basis, gambling on getting these voters out and not bothering too much about the rest. (See Labour’s 35 percent strategy as identified by blogger Dan Hodges on his Telegraph blog.) It is about having a policy position that does not induce fear and uncertainty, especially amongst the press and interest groups.