Why @UKLabour lost & what needs to change? #Corbyn4All #Owen2016 #ImWithCorbyn #CorbynMustGo


Everyone has had their pet theories as to why Labour lost. Why not check them against the evidence in this document and see how close you got to the truth?

Currently, no leadership candidate is talking about the conclusions set out in the Smith Institutes’s report as to why Labour lost the 2015 General Election.  It will not matter who wins that contest, because if they do not use the data in that assessment as a starting point for mapping out the journey to the next General Election, then Labour will lose again in 2020.

Some highlights from the Smith Institutes’s conclusions:

“Labour’s defeat in 2015 was comprehensive. The task at hand to win again (even without a parliamentary majority) is thus not simply about winning over one group or another. Labour has to win votes from 2015 Conservative voters to stand a chance of winning in key constituencies. It must also win back the trust of those voters who turned to UKIP and the SNP, while ensuring there isn’t a ‘Green surge’ (or Lib Dem revival) over the coming five years.

This means retail offers” (which all of the Labour leadership candidates are making) “to one group or another will not be enough. Indeed, it would prove extremely difficult to imagine how this could be done without jeopardising the (prospective) support of other groups of voters. Nevertheless, a new policy agenda has to focus on areas where Labour performed poorly.”

“Labour’s defeat in many respects was due to older voters staying and indeed turning to the Conservatives. The Conservatives gained twice as many votes amongst this group as Labour. What’s more there will be relatively more older voters in 2020 than in 2015.

The Conservatives have protected older voters relatively more than those of working age. Appealing to older voters who in the round have largely been unaffected by the government’s economic and fiscal policies will not be straightforward. One of the totemic Conservative promises was the triple lock to ensure pensions rose by at least 2.5% a year. Attempts to raise the state pension further will not be cheap and would require savings to be made elsewhere (or tax rises).

Of course all older people’s are not the same. And within this group there are different generations, backgrounds and incomes. The NHS is natural terrain for Labour to furrow, which around three quarters of older voters see as an important issue. But older people also saw the economy/deficit and immigration and patriotism as important issues and were more critical of Labour’s record in office and less likely to see Labour as competent.

Forming popular policies for this group (or indeed groups within older people) should be seen as an electoral priority. However, policies which could be perceived as undermining the interests of older people could easily become counter-productive. For instance, issues affecting younger people, not least access to decent housing, can become about reducing the value of homes. Equally inheritance tax and previous attempts by Labour to improve adult social care can easily be painted as draconian ‘death taxes’. A rise in interest rates offers a double edged sword for the government amongst this group – with savings and pensions likely to rise with negative impacts on house prices.”

“… with five years until the next general election, the immediate task for Labour must be to show first and foremost that the party can be a credible and competent opposition.”


6 thoughts on “Why @UKLabour lost & what needs to change? #Corbyn4All #Owen2016 #ImWithCorbyn #CorbynMustGo

  1. The others see the NHS as an important issue, but not enough in 92 when the Tories nearly destroyed it to turn that election,and the electorate rightly or wrongly think the Tories are handling the .nhs OK
    Some good points on older voters increasing but it’s impossible to compare ex labour who went Ukip,with those who went SNP


  2. David Pearce

    I don’t want a Red Conservative Goverment. We must inspire the working class to vote Labour through policies that help the poor. That is what Labour is for if not we might as well stick wi Dave


    • So you propose ignoring the evidence of which voters Labour lost and why, in the hope that some unguided inspiration will put Labour into Number 10? We will end up sticking with Osborne, if we do not get our heads around the objective analysis available to us as we develop policies to improve the condition of the masses. Labour serves no purpose if it cannot win and working class voters will not, on their own, put Labour in, even a coalition government, in 2020. And free university tuition fees will do next to nothing for the working class!


    • We would make a good start on the road to a Labour Government, if people like your self stopped calling people with whom they disagree, Red Conservatives, Blairites etc. It is childish and counter productive, however good it may make you feel so to do!


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