One All

Not really. Labour beat UKIP in Stoke and lost to the Tories in Copeland in Cumbria. While I have been known to say that one’s enough when it comes to majorities, neither of these results are good. Obviously Stoke is better result than Copeland. I was unable to visit either seat although local comrades did. The expected blamefest has started.

Personally, I’d like to start with this,

I have pointed at work publicised  at the LSE and now reinforced by John Curtice in the New Statesman and the Guardian that Labour’s best chance of electoral victory (or best chance to avoid oblivion) is to court the Remainer vote. This is sort of picked up by Paul Mason in his blog,

Mason makes the point that it was Jamie Reed, the retiring MP that lost the seat, but the Labour vote in Copland (and the whole of the country) has been in decline since 1997. The New Labour governments lost 5m vote between 1997 and 2010, much of this one can assume based on the strategy of ignoring the organised working class. The assumption was they have no where to go; contemporary history suggests that they do. I originally thought that the 3m votes lost between 1997 and 2004 were Tories and LibDems returning to their natural home, it seems now that it was the working class on a route somewhere else via originally abstention. Any way, here’s the numbers from Copeland over time….

There can be also little doubt that Labour’s indecision or lack of clarity on both the EU and Nuclear power must have caused problems in Copeland. Mason is interesting and clear on Brexit, pointing out that the price of Shadow Cabinet unity has been dodging the question as to what to do if the terms offered aren’t good enough.

One All

2 thoughts on “One All

  1. Dave says:

    UKIP did badly, the Tories are eating their lunch. The odds on Nuttal being the next party leader to resign have dropped, his odds are the lowest.

  2. Dave says:

    At a meeting last night, I said something like this….

    Copeland had become a marginal; it has suffered from boundary changes. New Labour across the countries lost 5m votes between 1997 and 2010. Copeland has not bucked this trend. The New Labour strategy was based on the assumption that the working class had nowhere else to go. The events of the last two years show how wrong this is.

    It’s almost certain that Corbyn’s stand on nuclear energy didn’t help. The lesson here, as with Brexit is to trust the members. Labour’s policy is to support the continued use of nuclear energy as part of the UK’s commitment to meet carbon reduction targets. It saddens me to see the new leadership treating conference and the membership with the same disdain as its predecessors. This is equally true for their line on Brexit.

    I am told that the ground campaign was well organised, but there was no web site, no donations page and no emails asking for help. You had to go there to help, although there were a couple of phone banks organised in London.

    In Stoke, the contact rate and data seemed to be poor, allegedly better in Copeland, and probably not as bad as in South Shields when David Miliband resigned it was discovered that the contact rate was 2%. Labour’s reputation in both these constituencies is also impacted by the reputation of the local council. The Labour Council was not popular in Stoke, less sure in Copeland and it’s a piece of folklore that people punish unnecessary polls and these were that.

    Looking at the Stoke result, in particular, we can see the Tories are now UKIP. Those who aren’t “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists” can now vote Tory and do, actually they can all vote Tory. This, by Steven Bush in the New Statesman is an interesting insight into the likely cracking point in May’s new Tory electoral coalition.

    It maybe that “Blue Labour” have something to say to those voters who wouldn’t turn out to defend Jamie Reed and Labour’s majority; my view is that the private sector working class no longer trust Labour’s vision of solidarity and feel alone in facing the economic pressures of a modern (capitalist) economy. (There’s an essay here, I might write it but someone else will get there first.) I am less sure how to reconnect with them, but I don’t think rewarmed New Labour is the answer; the 10 pledges, also approved by Conference are pretty spot on; shame that Labour’s web site still doesn’t publish them as Labour’s policy and promise.

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