Labour Values voters

September 9, 2009 3:23 pm

Author:

Share this Article

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

  • Featured The Labour Party is a moral crusade or it is nothing – and now’s the time to fight.

    The Labour Party is a moral crusade or it is nothing – and now’s the time to fight.

    Every day matters. Every single day between now and 7th May, thousands and thousands of Labour activists will be out on the doorsteps fighting this general election one street at a time. But through the cold and the rain and the dark nights, this fight isn’t just about the Labour Party, it’s about the millions of people we got into politics to represent. It’s about the people whose doors we knock on – the young woman worried about whether her […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Future Jobs of Britain: Ensuring everyone has a stake

    Future Jobs of Britain: Ensuring everyone has a stake

    We believe a Britain where everyone can do well for themselves and achieve their aspirations – where the next generation does better than the last – is the right vision for Britain.  We can only realise this goal if we build an economy which raises living standards for all working people, not just a few at the top. We certainly haven’t seen this under a Tory led Government, but we are clear that this is the destination of the next […]

    Read more →
  • News Labour announce they’ll break “the stranglehold” big private bus operators have over services

    Labour announce they’ll break “the stranglehold” big private bus operators have over services

    Labour have announced that they would stop five companies from dominating the bus service market, by making it easier for not-for-profit operators to run services. At the moment, Stagecoach, Arriva, Go-Ahead, First Group and National Express control 72% of local bus services. It’s said, Labour are looking at groups such as Hackney Community Transport – a social enterprise that provides transport to London and certain areas of Yorkshire. Founded in 1982, the company has no shareholders and looks to invest […]

    Read more →
  • Comment ‘I would have been angry too’

    ‘I would have been angry too’

    Labour needs to learn to let go, says Jim McMahon in exclusive interview with Liz Kendall and Steve Reed for their new pamphlet with Progress ‘If we had gone into marriage guidance counselling at that point,’ says Jim McMahon of the relationship between Oldham council and its residents two years ago, ‘the counsellor might have said: “Do you know what, it might just be time to part ways”.’ Oldham was not, says the man who has led it since May […]

    Read more →
  • News Majority of LabourList readers agree with statement from left-wing MPs

    Majority of LabourList readers agree with statement from left-wing MPs

    At the start of this week, 15 MPs issued a statement calling for an alternative to Labour’s current deficit reduction plans, a policy that would see the railways returned to public ownership and a more robust collective bargaining powers for workers, including better employment rights in the workplace. These proposals are not Labour policy and it’s unlikely that they will be before the election (or at least the first two won’t make it into the manifesto). But what do LabourList […]

    Read more →