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Why Labour lost - Leavers and Remainers

(16 Posts)
noblegiraffe Sun 15-Dec-19 11:41:31

I found this pair of blog posts really interesting, written by the guy who led the Labour campaign on the Isle of Wight (one of the few areas to see an increased vote share for Labour). He talks about two elections, one for Leave votes and one for Remain, both of which Labour lost.

He’s a Corbyn fan, so while he doesn’t admit that people had any reason to hate Corbyn, the fact that they did hate him was a huge issue. He also points to an inability to get people out to vote, and a scattergun manifesto of freebies as an issue.

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Gentlygrowingoldermale Sun 15-Dec-19 17:08:39

Just wanted to say thanks for your post, noblegiraffe. Illuminating and I've passed it on to friends. Thank you.

BubblesBuddy Mon 16-Dec-19 11:23:32

I think that’s spot on. With a Labour Party run by Momentum and huge union influence, Corbyn looked like a puppet and a dinosaur. Labour made the huge mistake of not being Remain from the get go. Sitting on the fence never works and too many I’ll thought out policies which tax payers shied away from wasn’t good enough either. Labour need to review what’s most important, regain the centre ground where the votes lie and stop listening to their left wing socialists. They need a mix of policies to attract s wider spectrum of society.

Alanis126 Mon 16-Dec-19 12:25:24

I would have liked Labour public spending policies with the Lib Dem revoke article 50 policy. I simply cannot see now how Conservative Leave MPs can represent people like me who desperately wanted Remain

lovesmarties Tue 17-Dec-19 20:41:40

I would have liked Labour public spending policies with the Lib Dem revoke article 50 policy. I simply cannot see now how Conservative Leave MPs can represent people like me who desperately wanted Remain.

Then you are in the minority, on both counts. That's why you lost.

noblegiraffe Tue 17-Dec-19 21:47:19

He has written his third blog post about how he increased the Labour vote share

Interestingly, he says that they made the decision not to canvas at all.

The social media stuff is really interesting.

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noblegiraffe Tue 17-Dec-19 23:00:13

Interesting series of tweets here from Peter Kyle MP about why Labour lost Brexit votes well before they decided to go for a second referendum - the first major error was to whip for Article 50, pissing off Remain voters and then having no coherent policy after that, leaving Theresa May to do her own thing.

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thetoddleratemyhomework Wed 18-Dec-19 23:15:56

I personally think labour could have kept some of the leave vote. Labour could have spent 3 years promoting a second referendum if it had wanted to. And I believe it could have done so whilst not alienating some of the core vote that voted Tory and by winning lots of centralists who balked at their socialist vision. It could have gone into the Brexit labour heartlands, listened to people and considered what factors made people vote out and considered what measures could have been put in place to assuage some of those concerns. This is not far fetched - immigration was obviously a concern. But my personal view is that some of the people who voted out voted that way because they were tired of being told by politicians of all persuasions that there was nothing that could be done for them because of the EU. This is total rubbish - my parents live in France - you do not get access to healthcare on day 1, nor can you just start as a self employed contractor on day 1 - in each case, you have to prove that you can support yourself without reliance on the French state and have a tax record before you qualify for state support. The same goes for many other countries in the EU - I have friends in Denmark who have had to prove their resources before renting and before accessing state services (like healthcare/childcare - they both work). These other countries are not racist and they are all acting in accordance with EU laws. It is the fault of all parties that the debate has been presented in the Uk as a choice between an EU immigration free for all in which people who rely heavily on state support worry that they might lose out if there is less in the pot vs. leave the EU and close the borders. Labour could have won by addressing the debate about managed immigration head on. It could have put together a centralist remainer package that involved a rebalancing towards regions outside London and made a genuine offer to its heartlands that involved membership of the EU whilst meeting some of people's concerns and explaining why its approach worked better for everyone. But it didn't bother. The party leadership, sat in north London, decided that a part of its core base would always vote labour when it came down to it and if a few didn't then it didn't matter, they were stupid racists anyway. And it preferred ideological purity over genuinely centralist ideas.

BubblesBuddy Thu 19-Dec-19 08:34:49

The EU was made a scapegoat for everything! Local politicians have also failed to improve their areas significantly. Although it’s a joke that EU money was spent and no one noticed or cared.

Leave voters in poor areas just wanted to give the establishment a kicking. They also were not going to be persuaded by a second referendum. They voted once. They wanted the vote upheld. That was loud and clear.

The labour candidates knew it was problematic but Momentum didn’t care. It’s just a left wing project for them and listening to other voices isn’t what they are about.

Having said that, leave voters in the north and remain voters in London meant Labour had to sit on the fence and it pleased no one. The Labour offer was way too generous but a lot of leavers who are doing ok really don’t care about much else! They just want out - remember.

cdtaylornats Thu 19-Dec-19 08:34:59

Labour made the huge mistake of not being Remain from the get go

You Remain voters just don't get it - if Labour had been Remain from the start they would have lost even more.

noblegiraffe Thu 19-Dec-19 08:49:32

I don’t think they would. They lost Leave voters to the Tories which was inevitable, but they failed to keep their Remain voters. If they hadn’t lost the trust of Remain by pissing around for years (coming out for a second referendum was way too late for many) they might have kept them.

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LillianGish Thu 19-Dec-19 09:03:51

In many places they lost because the anti-Tory vote was split and both they at the Lib Dems refused to countenance working together. The Tories did not win an outright majority of votes - they just won more seats. Brexiteers didn’t want another referendum because they feared they might lose - so much for the voice of the people. At least the Northern Irish can apply for EU passports, Scotland will be sheared off before long and then those new northern Tories will be stuck with the Conservative government forever. Brilliant work.

noblegiraffe Thu 19-Dec-19 09:15:06

True that the lack of a Remain alliance lost them seats. The Green Party lost them Stroud, the Lib Dems lost them Kensington, I’m sure there were others.

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ReadtheSmallPrint Thu 19-Dec-19 12:05:46

DH and I were discussing ‘tactical voting’ before the GE. He has always been a Lib Dem voter. I asked him what he would do if the LDs had pulled out in our constituency so as not to ‘split’ the anti-tory vote. He said he wouldn’t have voted. He did not support the Labour Party manifesto and he hated Corbyn. I think he’d rather have voted tory (even though he’s never voted for them) than Labour. He definitely falls into the ‘rather risk Brexit than Jeremy’ camp.

Labour and the Lib Dems are too fundamentally different on everything other than Brexit to be able to push voters between them.

SingingLily Thu 19-Dec-19 13:14:16

I read all of the blogs because I genuinely want to understand the perspective of those campaigning for Labour. The writer doesn't spare his own feelings and I salute his honesty on this. However, in the apparent monstering of Jeremy Corbyn by the usual right wing media barons and the willingness of people to believe the alleged bias of the mainstream media, there is no mention of the wholly documented (with photos and all) of Corbyn's less savoury words and behaviour around terrorists and anti-semites or indeed about his whole handling of the concerns of Jewish people. That must surely have been a factor with many voters when deciding whether this man could really be trusted with the keys to No. 10.

SilverySurfer Fri 20-Dec-19 14:40:42

I simply cannot see now how Conservative Leave MPs can represent people like me who desperately wanted Remain

Alternatively, opposition Remain MPs could never represent people like me who desperately wanted to Leave?

The bottom line is that Leave won and we are going to leave the EU. Parliament has been discussing the Brexit Bill this morning and it has just been passed with a large majority.

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