The General Election result of May 6th was a disaster for the Labour Party; there is no running away from that. There is a need for real and tangible change. We can’t just rely on the ConDem Coalition being unpopular as the way I see it is that people will simply not bother voting unless, that is, we can provide a realistic and different prospect of change.
That’s why for me we have to sever ties with New Labour and the Brown/Blair split as represented by Ed Balls and David Miliband, and move forward with either Ed Miliband or Andy Burnham.
This document makes for shocking reading,
However there are several positives to take. The Others vote was the highest since the War meaning that there are 2 million votes potentially up for grabs from people who deserted us but didn’t go for the Tories or even the Lib Dems.
In addition our 29% share should have seen a total collapse in the number of seats won. We won more seats than the Tories in 1997 because where we did work hard our vote held up well. Evidence our incredible result in Haltemprice and Howden, and in Kirk Ella where we won an unprecedented 1,200 votes.
Some of the points raised in the report merit serious reflection from the Leadership Candidates.
We got battered in all categories but most shockingly out vote totally collapsed amongst Social Class C2 (the working poor) where our share decreased by a massive 12%. And amongst voters aged 35-44 we lost 10% points. But women 18-24 deserted us in droves; the vote share fell by 15%.
The C2 breakdown is a massive headache. They are Labour’s core vote who feel we have let them down over the 10p tax fiasco and (there is no getting away from this) immigration. Plus this group suffered the most in the recession through unemployment.
C2 men voted like this; C 40% Lab 28% LD 22% and C2 women went; C 41% Lab 25% LD 25%.
This group are the ones we will need to get to grips with if we are going to return to Government. Their main issues are affordable housing, security at work and immigration so I will be looking carefully to see who is addressing these issues in the Leadership Race.