• BW

Labour's Fundamental Problem And Why They Struggle To Reach No. 10

Whilst the 80s were a vastly different time to now, for the Labour Party, they were in a crisis. As they are now. Michael Foot’s Labour party had just lost an election by the largest margin since the 30’s. This was mainly accredited to the left-wing agenda and multiple scandals. However oddly, they didn’t leak votes to the Tories, but to the soft-Left Liberal-SDP alliance, who gained 25% of the vote, splitting the left vote across and allowing the Tories to slip through. What this shows is that while a left-wing agenda is attractive to some, it is realistically unelectable to the wider British public. 2019 was a similar time for Labour. As the Tories gained little vote share, but Labour leaked votes to the Lib Dems in the south and the Brexit party in the north. However, unlike Thatcher, who was wildly unpopular in Labour’s heartlands, this is where most of Boris Johnson’s seats came from that gave him his landslide victory came from, and it leads Labour stuck between a rock and a hard place. The EU referendum was a controversial decision that shockingly led to the UK leaving the EU. And more oddly, there was different opinions within the two main British parties. After the 2017-19 political gridlock, Labour was campaigning to hold it’s remain seats in London, and leave ones in the north. They campaigned on a mandate to have a second referendum, which was wildly unpopular in the north, whilst Boris Johnson’s catchy “Get Brexit done,” message, shifted the political landscape in the north. The Tories swept through with flying colours and before Covid, acted very much unlike a Tory government. They had the ability to allocate more money in the north, and their popularity only kept rising there. Because the North seats Labour had left are now very marginal, and Boris Johnson has ran off a populist nationalism agenda, Labour’s traditional policies of high spending were now being inherited by their political rival. The liberal policies they hold have never been too popular in the north, and particularly immigration was a focal point there. Labour cannot shift to a lower spending policy, or a socially conservative one, as that would hurt their popularity in their saving grace, London. The demographic of voters in their two regions means Labour may not be able to please both, as well as seats they would hope to gain in the next election. It also shows how Boris Johnson has been able to cover almost all areas of the political spectrum, and left Labour cornered. It is one of the reasons why Keir Starmer has struggled to find a Labour mandate and why the Conservatives are soaring in the opinion polls. It leaves a huge boundary between Labour and Downing Street and could possibly mean they don’t get into government for another decade. If not more. Kind Regards, BW (our new political writer).

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