Perhaps the most interesting findings from the most recent LabourList leadership survey are the answers that were given to the non-leadership questions. As well as asking about your voting intentions, we were also keen to discover what your policy interests were – and what your feelings are on some of the most contentious political issues for Labour today – Trident, Afghanistan, Proportional Representation and ID cards to name just a few.
The answers are interesting, both for what they show about LabourList readers and perhaps what they indicate about the views of party members as a whole. These answers should be considered in tandem with our previous analysis of the leadership contest to give a rounded view of what LabourList readers (as a broad and diverse readership) think. Do you think that these results reflect genuine opinion within the party, or does it show the LabourList readers views are stronger, or perhaps contrary to those of the wider party, or the leadership?
General Policy Interest:
The economy/employment tops the list of LabourList readers areas of interest, with 73.8% of respondents listing it. Education, housing and health also featured highly. However policies with a wider public appeal, such as immigration, transport and families, scored some of the lowest marks. Parliamentary/constitutional reform, so often an area of real debate in the party, was only listed as a main area of interest by 22.9% of respondents.
LabourList readers are against Trident renewal, with only 30% of respondents in favour of renewal compared to 52.6% against. However with a significant proportion of respondents saying they didn’t know, the debate certianly isn’t finished.
51% of respondents said that they’d like to see troops withdrawn at the earliest opportunity, compared to 36.6% who disagreed – however it’s important to consider the different interpretations of “earliest possible opportunity” here.
This was the most universally policy put forward, supported by 78.1% of respondents and opposed by only 15.3% – it was started but not completed by Labour in government, and it’d be an open goal for any leadership candidate seeking an issue popular with the membership.
These were nearly as unpopular as Lords reform was popular. Only 27.6% of respondents are in favour of ID cards, with 63.6% against. However as they become less of an issue on the domestic stage it will be interesting to see if feelings change.
This is the issue on which our readers are most evenly split – with opinion divided almost completely down the middle. 43% of respondents are in favour or PR whilst 42% oppose it. Is it possible for any future leader to make a case for further electoral reform when the party is so divided on it? And how popular is AV?
Labour Party primaries:
There’s support for primaries in our survey, with 47.8% of respondents in favour of using them in some form to choose candidates. However 1/5 people said they didn’t know one way or the other. Primaries are popular so far, but perhaps the case hasn’t quite been made just yet.
What do you think of these responses? Do they represent grassroots opinion in the party? Have your say in the comments section below.