Labour Values voters

9th September, 2009 3:23 pm

By Gus Baker

Since 1997 Labour has only been consistenly ahead in one poll. When voters are asked “Which political party most shares your values?”, Labour comes out on top every time. If we are to prevent a Tory landslide we must reconnect with our values voters. Time is running out.

Gus Chart 1

Gus Chart 2

In the Norwich North by election the Conservatives received 4,000 votes fewer than they did in 1997. Labour’s vote dropped by 21,000. The key problem for Labour is not so much that turnout is down overall, it is that our turnout has been decimated. People are not switching to the Tories, they are switching off all together.

Across Norwich in deprived wards like Crome, our voters stayed at home. Did they fail to vote because they thought that Labour was too left wing? Did they decide to not turn out because they thought that we were too anti-business? Did they stay at home because they believed that public spending was too high? No. These 21,000 lost values voters did not vote Labour because they do not believe we are on their side. We must convince our lost millions that we are.

Labour has to stop talking about “winning Middle England”. We have to stop trying to appear tough on crime and terror with hopelessly unpopular schemes like ID cards and start putting all our energies into helping those who have been left behind in our decade in power.

Here are two ways we could reconnect with these values voters tomorrow:

1 – Index link all state benefits and the minimum wage to RPI by law. Inflation will rise again and we must show we are committed to ridistributing wealth and helping people in need get by.

2 – Levy a tax on second homes (which artificially inflate property prices) and use this money to build social housing on a massive scale. In 1945 government debt was far, far higher than it was today and yet the Atlee government rebuilt almost a tenth of city housing in the UK. We must set our sights high and enact housing plans that are just as ambitious.

To reconnect we must fight the good fight; not the politically convenient one. I hope we’re up to the challenge.

Comments are closed

Latest

  • Comment Featured Trade Union Action Week Unions The Trade Union Bill is an attack on union campaigning and the Labour Party

    The Trade Union Bill is an attack on union campaigning and the Labour Party

    We are witnessing a full-scale attack by the Conservative government on the campaigning work of the trade union movement and on the finances and organisation of the Labour Party. While the government and much of the media framed the Trade Union Bill around curtailing strikes and ballot thresholds, other sections are even more wide ranging in their impact on the labour movement. One clause added only in Committee stage in October seeks to prohibit members from paying their union membership subscriptions […]

    Read more →
  • News Heidi Alexander: “The public has lost trust” in the Tories’ handling of the NHS

    Heidi Alexander: “The public has lost trust” in the Tories’ handling of the NHS

    The junior doctors’ strike is set to go ahead today after last-ditch talks with ministers reached a stalemate. Medics’ trade union the BMA yesterday said there had been “no further movement” by the Government and confirmed that a 24-hour walkout would begin at 8am this morning. The second wave of junior doctor strikes was called following a row over new contracts. The action will result in over 2,800 operations being cancelled. It comes as Heidi Alexander warned the public has “lost trust” in the […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Unions Len McCluskey hits out at Labour MPs: Stop the sniping and get behind Corbyn

    Len McCluskey hits out at Labour MPs: Stop the sniping and get behind Corbyn

    Unite boss Len McCluskey tonight attacked “disloyal” Labour MPs who oppose Jeremy Corbyn and urged them to focus their fire on the Tory Party. The union General Secretary claimed that Corbyn reflected the views “of most Labour supporters” on many of the 500 occasions on which he broke the party whip. And he said his message for “the plotters” is clear: “stop the sniping, stop the scheming, get behind Jeremy Corbyn and start taking the fight to the Tories.” Speaking […]

    Read more →
  • News Trade Union Action Week Unions Wales Tories ready to offer concessions on Trade Union Bill after Labour fight

    Tories ready to offer concessions on Trade Union Bill after Labour fight

    Labour peers and Welsh Assembly Members could be on course to secure a major victory in the fight against the Tories’ Trade Union Bill, as a leaked ministerial letter reveals there are areas where the Government are preparing to climbdown. The letter, written by Business minister Nick Boles, accepts that elements of the bill “will be defeated”, following cross-party agreement in the House of Lords to curb certain aspects. Boles writes that the thresholds provision, which would see strike action banned if it […]

    Read more →
  • News Former Defence minister hits out at unilateralist “myths” over Trident

    Former Defence minister hits out at unilateralist “myths” over Trident

    Former Defence minister Kevan Jones has taken aim at the “myths” promoted by unilateralists following an acrimonious discussion of Trident among Labour MPs. Jones attacked the claim by Diane Abbott, the Shadow International Development Secretary, that the cost of replacing Trident could fund NHS Accident and Emergency Services for several decades and implies she has trivialised the issue by suggesting disarmament would lead to a £100bn windfall for the Treasury. Writing for LabourList, Jones said: “Diane has cited many of […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit