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Let’s put an end to this rubbish thinking about LAB being vulnerable in its Leave Westminster seats

May 29th, 2019

"There is some chatter in the Labour groups about the party adopting a radical Revoke and Reform policy at a September General Election. Not the usual suspects, this comes from Corbyn supporters. In which case Labour better prepare for annihilation by the Brexit Party in its Leave seats in the North and Midlands and Wales even if they hold onto London and other big cities and university towns"

The majority of its GE2017 gains from CON were in seats that voted for Brexit

One of the ongoing narratives that makes me want to scream is in the the above comment on the previous PB thread. The idea that Labour is vulnerable in Leave area presented as some immutable “law” that doesn’t stand up to serious examination.

Firstly the polling after the last election showed that FIVE times as many CON voters had made Brexit main reason for voting as they did at GE2017 as LAB ones. Brexit is a much much less of an issue for LAB ones than Tories.

This is backed up if you look at the pattern of the results from that election. Corbyn’s LAB made 28 gains from the Tories the majority of them in seats which had voted leave.

These were:

Bedford
Bury N
Weaver Vale
Warrington South
Stockton
Portsmouth South
Plymouth
Peterborough
Lincoln
Keighley
Ipswich
High Peak
Derby North
Crewe and Nantwich
Gower
Clwyd

Note with the by-election in mind that the list of LAB gains from CON includes Peterborough.

The Conservatives offset some of their losses making 20 gains overall just seven of which were in constituencies which had voted Leave. The rest were Remain. That, admittedly, is distorted by the 12 gains in Scotland from the SNP all but one of them had voted Remain.

The Tories also regained from the Liberal Democrats Richmond Park as well as taking Southport, both Remain areas. Tim farron’s team made 5 gains from the Conservatives including one, Eastbourne, which had voted Leave.

Mrs May called the 2017 general election and tried to make it all about Brexit. She lost her majority because that wasn’t a sustainable position to carry her party through the campaign. Other issues came into play.

Just because the headbangers are obsessed with Brexit doesn’t mean that everybody else is.

Labour might be vulnerable at the next election but it will be the party’s leadership rather than Brexit that will be the problem.

Mike Smithson