Can Labour win? Southern discomfort, intensified
29 September 2015
Beachview Restaurant, 135 Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 2HX
After 7 May, Labour is left with a mere eight seats in southern England – the same amount as in 2010. Over the past five years, the party has done little to overcome this challenge, which is tougher now. New polling for Policy Network’s major report on ‘southern discomfort’ finds that only 34 per cent of voters say Labour is close to people in the south, compared to 55 per cent in 2011.
The key finding of the report is that Labour has not made inroads since 2010 on its key weakness: economic competence. Only 11 per cent of voters in the south trust Labour the most on the economy. Another challenge is that, while nationally voters trust Labour more to achieve greater equality and social mobility, southern voters trust the Tories more to achieve these aims.
Labour has an even tougher mountain to climb now than it did in 2010. The party has no chance of winning a majority government without gaining support in southern England.
- How can Labour appeal to voters in the south while maintaining its support in London and the north of England, let alone revive its stronghold in Scotland?
- How can Labour regain its reputation for economic competence with voters throughout Great Britain?
- What does it need to do to regain trust on immigration and welfare?
- How does Labour address the issue of 'English votes for English laws'?
Ben Bradshaw MP
Patrick Diamond, vice-chair and director of research, Policy Network
Gideon Skinner, head of political research, Ipsos MORI
Peter Kyle MP
Chair: Joan Ryan MP