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Backstabbing slur an own goal for the Conservatives

Claims by the Conservative party that Ed Miliband "stabbed his brother in the back" in the 2010 leadership contest may have worked against them, according to Professor Justin Fisher.

Brunel University London’s Professor of Political Science told Sky News that the comments by Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, who added that the Labour leader was stabbing the UK in the back over the Trident nuclear deterrent, were indicative of tactics used in US politics.

Prof Fisher said that calling Ed Miliband a backstabber had been "an own goal for the Conservatives" because personal attacks on individuals are less effective in the UK.

He added that people were generally more interested in bread-and-butter issues such as the economy or education than Trident, but single issues could still find some traction among voters. 

However, he added: "This sort of thing will matter to people. It mattered in ’87, for example, when the Conservatives majored on Labour’s nuclear policy, which would seem to have been a vote-loser for Labour back then."