Fabian research shows how “Ukip effect” threatens Labour – even in “safe” seats

11th June, 2014 9:23 am

As the general election fast approaches, further evidence has emerged which shows that Ukip pose a threat to Labour.

Farage Miliband

Research conducted by the Fabian Society, some of the findings of which we wrote about last week, shows that if local election results were replicated in 2015, 9 of the parliamentary seats Labour has a lead in would be under threat. The report forecasts that these seats would be divided between Ukip, who would get the lion’s share, taking 6 of the 9 seats, and the Tories who would claim 3, overtaking Labour as Ukip chips away its support. The Independent produced the following graphic showing the level and geographic spread of the problem:

web-ukip-lab-graphic

Deeming this the “Ukip effect” The Fabians think this could undercut the Labour vote in vital Labour-Conservative marginals seats that could determine the election outcome. The report warns:

“If elections are about momentum, then the Conservatives seem to have more reason for optimism than Labour. Labour will need to up its game to have a chance of a majority in 2015.”

Talking to the Independent, Fabian Deputy General Secretary Marcus Roberts explained:

“The greatest threat to Ed Miliband’s hopes is the loss of blue-collar support. The Fabians have laid out how Labour can build a coalition of 2010 loyalists, ex-Lib Dems, new and non-voters and a few Conservative converts to win. But declining blue-collar support eats into its loyalist base and, crucially, the potentially sympathetic 2010 non-voters Miliband can’t do without.

“Labour needs a radical manifesto that deals with blue-collar concerns on issues like immigration and welfare but which also inspires broad public support with ideas like common ownership of railways.” 

These sentiments are echoed by former general election coordinator, Tom Watson MP who referring to this report, explained:

“This must be listened to at the top of the party. I think there is an added problem of the density of former special advisers who speak for Labour in a particular tone that is off-putting. We need more working-class voices at the top of the party.”

When Labour are losing the popular vote to UKIP in Labour held seats (including a few which the party considers safe in 2015) it’s probably time to change course…

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  • JonnyPlymouth

    Just as well the Fabians are neither psephologists or electoral strategists. I’ve never seen such predictive rubbish.

  • swatnan

    A rolling stone gathers no moss but it does create an avalanche. So Labour has much to be worried abouit, particularly in the SE. But its a rightwards surge across Europe; its what happened in the 1930’s when facists and dictators were in the ascendancy. Added to which we have the sideshow of the islamists carving out territory in Iraq and the Levant. The Fabians warned against the rise of Hitler, but nobody listened didn’t listen. Lets hope they’re listening now.

    • obbo12

      The has spent the last 60 years calling anyone to the right of Trotsky fascists. Heard the one about the boy who cried wolf?

      There any many things wrong with David Cameron but to equate a possible victory with the rise of fascism destroys the credibility of the commentator not the target.

    • MikeHomfray

      The Tories have far more to fear in the SE. They hold the seats there.

    • Caps Lock

      “Added to which we have the sideshow of the islamists carving out territory in Iraq and the Levant.” We also have the sideshow of the islamists carving out territory in England for which we have the Fabians and Labour to thank. If UKIP takes seats from Labour at the next GE it’s nothing more than they deserve for their treasonous acts against the British people.

      • Doug Smith

        ” islamists carving out territory in Iraq and the Levant.”

        This is a direct consequence of Blair’s/New Labour’s/Bush’s disastrous military intervention in Iraq.

        Only the arms industry and defence contractors have benefited.

        Will Miliband promise: no more terrorism instigating, military interventions?

      • PoundInYourPocket

        “islamists carving out territory in England”
        I think you meant to say,
        “British citizens practising their faith in their home country”
        Or are you just a mindless racist ?

  • MikeHomfray

    But since when have local elections been the same as national ones? I remember the huge majorities in Council sests we won in the 80’s. Didn’t mean we won the General. We won in 2005 despite atrocious local election results. It all depends on turnout and motivation to vote. Clearly we have a job to do and these point to an idea of where but I don’t think anyone expects a mirroring of local or even European polls in general elections.

    • Doug Smith

      “We won in 2005”

      New Labour lost 4 million votes between the ’97 election and the 2005 election. The writing was on the wall and the stage was set for the 2010 defeat.

      • JoeDM

        “We won in 2005”

        Labour had Phoney Tony at the helm. Many may not like him and his approach, but he was very effective in charming the floating voters into the voting booths and putting an X next to Labour candidates.

  • Doug Smith

    “Labour needs a radical manifesto (…) which also inspires broad public support with ideas like common ownership of railways.”

    Not going to happen though.

    The Labour elite are more concerned with cosying-up to the corporate sector.

    Unfortunately a vote for Labour is a vote for more austerity and out-toughing the Tories on benefits.

    The Labour Party has no vision for a better future.

    • JoeDM

      What else would you expect from the LibLabCon establishment.

      • Jimmy

        LibLabCon, EUSSR, bla, bla, bla.

    • BillFrancisOConnor

      25 ‘up’ votes? Brought your mates with you today then?

      • Doug Smith

        The ‘up’ votes provide evidence of the unpopularity of LibLabCon policies.

        • BillFrancisOConnor

          You know very well (along with everyone else) that the site has been subject to an organised UKIP trolling attack. In normal circumstances nobody gets 31 ‘up’ votes just like that.

          • Doug Smith

            If the site gets lots of visitors it becomes more attractive to advertisers. That means those who run the site get a bigger kick-back, this helps to keep the site going.

            And there’s always going to be a bit of argumentative rough and tumble in politics. You know what they say: if you don’t like the heat…

          • Alexsandr

            do you know why. cos guido has linked this thread today.

          • JoeDM

            Ah That explains it.

            I suppose tomorrow I’ll be ploughing my lonely furrow again.

          • Alexsandr

            Yeah. you guys sit in your ivory tower telling yourselves the electorate are all wrong and they will come back to your party of paedophile apologists, defecit deniers and the ones who opened the door to uncoltrolled immigration led by a funny geek in 2015. Meanwhile in the real world…..

          • PoundInYourPocket

            Wow – one UKIP troll berating another UKIP troll.
            It gets more laughable by the minute.

  • Chalcedon

    “Labour needs a radical manifesto (…) which also inspires broad public support with ideas like common ownership of railways.”

    Many of us of all political shades agree on this point, but this is impossible because of the EU and EU law.

    • JoeDM

      Exit from the EU is the necessary precursor of real economic reform in the UK. By continuing in the EU we remain tied to a failing Europe and ignore the greater global opportunities.

      • PoundInYourPocket

        By “real economic reform” I presume you mean, as Farage says, a more “flexible” work force, which always means weaker rights, longer hours, lower pay and less secure jobs. Not what I would fight for, or what would be popular amongst the ex Labour voters you are selling UKIP to. And as most of our trade is with the EU at present, what happens after you leave ? You hinder business with trade tarifs to enter the EU market.

        • BillFrancisOConnor

          You forgot to remember the lovely projected tax rise they’ve got planned for us with a flat tax of 31% for everyone and paying to see the doctor and even deeper cuts and outsourcing than the current shower are implementing.

    • Paul

      I know that’s accepted wisdom, but it’s not true.

      Article 45 of the Lisbong treaty has provision for restrictions on EU migration for public health and public policy reasons, and this could be implemented if the 2004 Directive which made this exemption applicable only for named individuals, were widened by ordinary legislative procedure.

      This could be done if there was a balancing use of articles 30 to 32 of Lisbon, through which accession countries got a temporary exemption from the freedom of movement of goods and services provisions to allow them the scope to converge economically in a way that the current sinlge market just doesn’t make happen.

      Likely? No. Possible, yes, perfectly. Anyway, John Denham retweeted my recent stuff on this so I am assume Labour and its think-tankery are looking at this as an option as we speak……..

    • robertcp

      I understand that it is easy to get around EU law by always awarding franchises to the public sector company.

  • William Green

    The idea of Ukip winning 5 seats at Westminster doesn’t seem to be a “particular stretch”, pollster http://bit.ly/TDdXp7

  • RavenRandom

    Hardly anybody in politics sounds like the bulk of the population anymore. Too many cultured Oxbridge voices that have never done a real job in their lives, lecturing us about how to live a life they have never experienced. It’s not just a Labour problem, but perhaps affects them more acutely.

    • Jen The Blue

      I agree with RavenRandom. As an ex-Tory I would say this is one of the reasons I switched to UKIP and I guess why many Labour supporters are switching too.

      The lslington champagne socialist elite that runs Labour have little in common with traditional working class Labour voters – in my opinion they are extremely patronising to them. Similarly the current Tory leadership has treated traditional Conservative with contempt by aping those policies.

      I urge you all to join UKIP.

      • Jimmy

        Haven’t you something better to do than troll on LabourList?

        • RWP

          Reads like a fair enough comment to me

        • Caps Lock

          How is that comment trolling? It seems like a reasoned argument and point of view. That’s the trouble with intolerant people like yourself, anyone who has a different point of view is a “troll” or fascist or racist or whatever other “ist” you manage to think up. Jen The Blue has an opinion, listen and you might learn something!

          • Jimmy

            From a Kipper? I rather doubt it. Why is she coming to a Labour website and sloganising about ‘Vote Ukip’? Oh, and some tired old clichés about Islington champagne socialists. Like we’d not heard this stuff for the last 40 years.

          • Caps Lock

            But it’s all true about “Islington champagne socialists”. It’s a fact that not one of the Labour front bench have ever held a job outside politics. I realise that the same can be said about the Tories. The labour party is basically rich people, convincing poor people to vote for rich people, by telling poor people that the reason they are poor is the fault of other rich people.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            But it’s all true……

            You wouldn’t recognise the truth if it were sprayed on your eyeballs.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            But it’s all true……

            You wouldn’t recognise the truth if it were sprayed on your eyeballs.

          • Jimmy

            If you think Labour voters are mostly ‘poor peoplle’ you must be living in the 1950s.

          • treborc1

            So you see being a career politician has being working class or hard working… interesting

          • Monkey_Bach

            How many working class people do you imagine sit at the top table of UKIP?

            Eeek.

          • treborc1

            How many sit at the top table of labour.

          • Monkey_Bach

            Somehow or other my reply has appeared above. Eeek.

          • Monkey_Bach

            My point is that UKIP is no different from any other political party and in fact has even fewer “working class” individuals of significance in its hierarchy than the Conservative Party! The Tories are more the party of the common man than UKIP. Eeek.

          • Web Weaver

            CapsLock is completely correct. I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that so many on the left are in denial about this because it goes to the root of their electoral strategy.
            Well done for saying that.

          • treborc1

            The left what all 14 of them.

          • JoeDM

            From the LL About Us page:: “LabourList is an independent progressive blog providing a platform for
            open debate about centre-left issues and the future of the Labour
            movement.”

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            You think this kind of stuff offers debate?

          • PoundInYourPocket

            In what way do your contributions consist of “debate”. If you’e care to debate your UKIP manifesto pledges , please go ahead. On this site we thrive on political debate….If not you can always return to the Spectator.

          • Alexsandr

            OK debate how we control immigration while in the EU.
            I maintain that its not possible. And the EU wont negotiate on the free movement of people..

          • PoundInYourPocket

            I agree it’s not possible. But I reject your assertion that immigration from the EU is a problem. If you look at the data (ONS poplation survey / Labour Force Survey) , 4% of the population is from the EU and 500,000 of those are from Ireland.

          • Jimmy

            That’s too highbrow. The Express.

          • Alexsandr

            probably cos its true
            Labour and tory have 2 choices.
            1 listen to the electorate and change your policies and attitudes and you may just survive
            2 stick your fingers in your ears and sing la la la while UKIP takes over and the old parties sink.

          • Jimmy

            Really? That’s why Ukip is at 12% in today’s YouGov poll. Sinking fast.

            Shame the Kippers actually lie about none of Labour Shadow ministers having had jobs outside politics.

          • PoundInYourPocket

            You’ll need some policies to get elected. I await with huge delight the grand release of UKIPs 2015 manifesto. Oh lord am I going to love reading that document. Good luck in the election. I hope you keep the 2010 policy pledge to re-paint the trains.

          • Major Plonquer

            Brilliant. A Labour supporter lecturing UKIP on its lack of policies. Made me laugh so much I spilled my cocktail on the lawn.

          • Major Plonquer

            ” Like we’d not heard this stuff for the last 40 years.” You may have heard but you haven’t listened. You certainly haven’t learned.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            What the hell would you know about reason? I’ve seen things at the bottom of ponds that are more capable of reason than you.

          • This is the gu who doesnt like abuse; bottom of pond sounds like abuse to me

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Now Bill, you rightly got angry when I said that I thought my dog more intelligent than you. I am sorry I said that, it was wron to publicly say sog. But you anger with me should also have stopped you from making that comment, or are you (again) applying one standard for yourself and your fellow travellers of what I believe to be an exclusive club of blinker-wearers, and quite another for everyone else?

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            Agreed Jaime I have overstepped the mark but to have the site overrun with a torrent of xenophobes and bigots made me exceptionally angry.

          • Major Plonquer

            What have you got against bigots?

          • Monkey_Bach

            All Jen the Blue has claimed is that she is an ex-Conservative voter who now supports UKIP because the Tories aped Labour policies and both parties are disconnected with working class voters. Presumably to her UKIP seems like a much more right-wing, unsympathetic and hard-line political organisation than any other political party on offer with an extreme right-wing ethos that she finds attractive.

            So what?

            Eeek.

          • Jen The Blue

            I didn’t put my original comment up to discuss the finer details of policy – but I have to say that your analysis in brackets is rather poor.

            The Tories have aped Labour policies. Gay marriage is the stand out example. But if you want economic policies, what about failing to cut public spending in any meaningful way? What about the vast sums we are still borrowing?

            It also seems to be an article of faith among some on the left that right winger are unsympathetic. This is absolutely 100% wrong. We just don’t believe it helps anyone long term to have them stuck on welfare. Now you can argue about whether that view is right but it doesn’t help to doubt our bona fides.

            Are UKIP “hard line”? I am not sure what that means..

            As to UKIP be “extreme, almost facsist”…that it demonstrably untrue. UKIP are a democratic party and a libertarian party not an authoritarian party.

          • Monkey_Bach

            Sometimes I hate being right as far as my judgements and intuitions go but good luck to you anyway. UKIP most certainly represent the nearest thing currently available to your own political ideals. Were I you I would definitely join the UKIP mob. Eeek.

          • Jen The Blue

            I don’t think UKIP will necessarily stand the test of time – their role is to shake up the Conservative Party from its complacent, centrist position and of course, to get control of our own country back from the EU.

            I did enjoy the party on Euro-election night, but I do also feel very sad about where we are heading and pessimistic about the future.

            I think I will leave Labour list to the socialists and go back to Conservative Home where most of us Kippers seem to hang out.

          • Monkey_Bach

            As far as I am concerned all are welcome here but I seriously doubt that your advocacy of UKIP will sway the left-of-centre majority of readers and commentors on this site to side-step to the right of the Conservatives and defect to UKIP.

            (Although there are some who have decided to support UKIP as a protest against the status quo and for various reasons which make no sense to me whatsoever.)

            Give Isabel Hardman’s blog on the Spectator website a go.

            Good luck.

            Eeek.

          • Jen The Blue

            I am sure you are right about that. I suspect the readers and commentors here are pretty committed to Labour.

            But, though Mrs. Thatcher became a hate figure for many in the Labour Party, the fact is she attracted a lot of former Labour voters.

            I suspect it is these UKIP are targetting.

            As general principle I try not to post unpleasant troll type comments on blogs whose rasion d’etra is support of another party.

            The Grauniad and the New Statesman are fair game though.

            Bizarrely though, I feel no such restraint on Tory blogs. I guess that is because of my feeling of betrayal.

        • Dave Roberts

          The Tory past has been explained and the comment is reasoned. The fact that you might not agree with it is neither here nor there.

        • BillFrancisOConnor

          This is the reason why I won’t give a penny to the site.

          • Hamish Dewar

            Exactly why will you not give a penny to the site which allows you and others to voice your opinions?

      • BillFrancisOConnor

        Another brain dead ‘Tory defecting to UKIP’ troll.

        • Caps Lock

          A very reasoned argument. We can see why you vote Labour!

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            What the hell would you know about reason?

        • Everbody you dont agree with is a troll in your book

      • BillFrancisOConnor

        I’d rather stick needles in my eyes than join UKIP.

        • STUEY

          @BillFrancisOConnor. A strange comment, rather immature I’d say. As a successful business person I’ve joined along with many other level headed business people to stop the ex researcher type MP’s from continuing on running the UK in a manner, now, not acceptable. The current policies being outdated and supporting an EU that’s defunct!! Now as you Bill are probably a civil servant, I understand how you cannot think out of the box. Don’t worry when UKIP get voted in i’llshow you.

      • Monkey_Bach

        Which UKIP policies attract you most? Genuine question. Eeek.

        • treborc1

          It’s a great protest vote and I do think people may well come back to vote to show the parties that unless your going to listen then we will vote for Farage.

          Just listen to labour and the Tories it’s like listening to two relatives, the bankers made the mess, who do we blame, easy it’s the public sector so we will clamp down on them because well they are paid the Min wage. Then politicians I know we messed up and put millions onto JSA, but come on if the polish people can work, then why not our lot, so labour is the party of the hard working, or working peoples.

          They have removed the sick the disabled the poor public sector workers anyone who’s in politicians minds are taking money from tax payers like the evil public sector who need to be capped and clamped down , even those these people are the lowest paid, they are evil.

          Everybody knows UKIP has sod all to offer and sod all chance of winning an election but it might just wake up politicians to us, the people.

          • Monkey_Bach

            But the people, in the main, don’t want a rabidly right-wing little Englander agenda do they? How can voting for UKIP make Labour behave more like the Labour Party? Surely if enough people support UKIP all that will happen is that the political centre of gravity will move even further to the right, leading to even more and nastier attacks on the vulnerable and the needy? If you’re left-wing voting for the Green Party makes sense but voting for UKIP is as daft as a turkey voting for Xmas.

            Eeek.

      • PoundInYourPocket

        Why ? Where’s your mainfesto ? What are your policies ?
        After you’ve withdrawn from the EU – then what ?
        Flat tax / reduced public services / privatised NHS / re-paint the trains ?

      • Rex Hale

        There is not a problem anywhere in the country to which Ukip has a serious answer. Ukip is the political equivalent of a sulking teenager slamming the bedroom door.

        • Jen The Blue

          Of course that is a matter of opinion, and something we clearly disagree strongly about.

          But despite a couple of the replies, I am not posting on a Labour site to “troll” in any way. I simply thought readers may be interested in the similar “disaffected Tory” viewpoint.

          In fact I would like to thank all those that defended me from these accusations. I would hope that right wing blogs would be equally fair to any Labour supporters who offered an honest opinion.

          • Monkey_Bach

            I still don’t understand you. Are you saying that you switched to UKIP because you believe that UKIP is more right-wing than the Tories who are too Labour-like for your taste?

            Does this represent your position in a nutshell?

            Eeek.

          • Jen The Blue

            Since you have asked, I will answer. I had been a member of the Conservative Party since I was a student in 1984. I left,largely because I believe the Conservative Party is totally wedded to the idea of a Federal Europe and I want us to leave the EU. This isn’t a left/right issue – I once had an amicable natter with Tony Benn on Chesterfield station about it and we were in full agreement.

            Further though, I am irritated by the way Cameron has defied mainstream Conservative opinion by allowing mass immigration to continue, ratting on his promise of a referendum on Lisbon, his failure to have a free vote on legalising fox hunting and his general cavalier attitude to other civil liberties too…Thinking here of mass internet surveillance. (Though well done to him for ditching Brown’s ludicrous ID card scheme.)

            Where I think there is common ground with UKIP for many working class Labour voters is on the immigration issue, on the use of laws to attempt to ban opinions, on the fact that politicans of both red and blue feel the need to lie so they can be all things to all men and of course, running our own country rather than being run by an anti-democratic foreign institution.

            Someone on this thread said “not all Labour voter are poor”. Of course that is true, – not all working class people are poor either, but there seems to me to be a dichotomy between the professional class “intellectual” Labour supporter (what I called the champagne socialists) – Guardian reading types,- who fret so much about women’s rights and minority quotas of every conceivable type in every aspect of life to achieve this elusive goal of “fairness”, and your typical “working man” who is just as concerned about high taxes as the middle class and is annoyed when his kids cannot get a council house, while he sees streets full of immigrants in council houses.

          • Monkey_Bach

            Thanks. I was in the ball park then. Eeek.

          • Jen The Blue

            🙂

            I would just say that you cannot have it both ways…..elsewhere you call UKIP authoritarian and above you claim they are to the right of the Tory Party.

            Yet on some matters, it is the Tories who are the authoritarian right…..and Labour have also believed in policies of the authoritarian right – the ID card scheme being one.

            UKIP is libertarian and that stance has noble traditions on both left and right.

    • BillFrancisOConnor

      What a load of trolling anti- Labour sh*te. Here’s you contribution from a few days back:

      ‘Labour the party for recent immigrants, welfare claimants, and the public sector. If you are not one of those groups then voting for Labour is against your best interests. That especially includes you working class folk (double trouble if you’re white), Labour takes your votes for granted’.

      Yet another xenophobic UKIP troll with 32 up votes.

      Come on Mark ffs!!!!

      • JoeDM

        But as I have commented before on numerous occaisions when this comes up, LL is NOT just for Labour Party members and supporters, but an open discussion forum about left wing issues. Read the About Us page and deal with the arguments.

        • BillFrancisOConnor

          If I want to read a load of brain dead UKIP rubbish penned by UKIP’s answer to pond life I could go on to The Express site or somewhere like that. Discussion isn’t being offered by your UKIP pals on here- the only thing being offered is abusive ranting which mysteriously gets 30+ up votes from people I’ve never heard of.

          • RavenRandom

            Stay in your silo then and wonder why UKIP is making inroads. I think I know, pretending it isn’t happening does nobody any good.

          • Monkey_Bach

            Why all these nods and winks. Don’t be coy. Tell us explicitly what you like about UKIP, what you think others like about UKIP, and why you believe that UKIP may one day actually wield political power domestically. For example: what UKIP policies do you like best. Although not a clinical psychologist with a professional interest I am personally curious about the Kipper mindset, beliefs and the UKIP phenomenon. Eeek.

          • PoundInYourPocket

            Absolutely, it is noticeable that the UKIP “guests” love to lambast everything to the left but are dismally silent on their own policy. Which could be as they have not yet assmbled their cut&paste manifesto. No policies ? No brain ? No future ? Oh dear.

          • Monkey_Bach

            It is tragic that the country Kippers passionately wish to see created will almost certainly turn out to be hostile and inimical to their own interests and those of their families. The enthusiasm of some of the most fervent UKIP supporters reminds of black slaves who purportedly cheered for the Confederacy who were battling the Union (who wanted to free and emancipate slave workers) during the American civil war.

            Eeek.

          • Alexsandr

            1. control immigration. SE eEngland is overcrowded. Look at schools, housing, health, roads and rail – all full to the gunwales.
            2. you cant control immigration while still in the EU. the free movement of peoples is not up for negotiation. So we have to leave
            3 get back the right to govern ourselves.

            that do for a start?

          • PoundInYourPocket

            We’ve debated and debunked this toss many times before on this site. Probably best to re-read old posts so you can re-build your so called policies. We believe in evidence based policy as well rather than knee-jerk policy founded on raw ignorance and prejudice.
            “SE eEngland is overcrowded. Look at schools, housing, health, roads and rail – all full to the gunwales.”
            are they really so overcrowded ? data please.
            And if so, will this reduce if we leave te EU – No.
            “you cant control immigration while still in the EU. the free movement of peoples is not up for negotiation. So we have to leave” OK that’s your choice, but I think it’s a backward step as I’d rather be in a prosperous EU with open borders.
            “3 get back the right to govern ourselves.”

            We do, via our elected representatives in Wesstminster AND MEPs in Brussels, it is a democratic parliament that would work better of Tory & UKIP MEPs contributed.

          • Monkey_Bach

            So in essence UKIP boils down to reducing immigration and allowing British politicians to tell us what to do, yes? Eeek.

          • Alexsandr

            same old tired argument that we have to be a member of the EU to trade with people there. Which is pants. we import more from the eu than we export there, so I think they need us rather more than we need them.
            and would BMW, Audi, Bosch, Sieimens, french wine etc allow the EU to start a trade tariff war with the UK?
            and having UK politicians running the UK is what democracy is about. Hopefully we can start on the road to smaller government.
            Oh and the EU hates the city, and want to see its function moved to Frankfurt. Or filled off by their transaction tax.

          • Monkey_Bach

            Wrong.

            What I am talking about is British influence in respect to Europe’s future evolution ( economically, socially and internationally) as a small island nation compared to the clout that Great Britain enjoys as a significant element of a much bigger European collective. Of course Britain outside of Europe could trade with Europe, on their terms, and Europe would quite happily continue to sell their goods and services to us like there was no tomorrow. Its trade in the other direction that worries me. If we were foolish enough to leave Europe precipitously European companies and European individuals would almost certainly stop buying British goods and services and begin sourcing such things from within their EU itself or abroad pretty much from any other country than the UK. Britain would cease to be a magnet for inward investment and its banking, legal and financial centres would absolutely and certainly be hit with London becoming ever more peripheral and unimportant to individuals and businesses interested in exploiting and selling their wares into European countries.

            Outside of the EU Britain would be nothing more than another small island nation, forty times smaller than North America, struggling to survive in a competitive globalised world with next to no influence internationally and no friends east of the English Channel.

            Eeek.

          • ToffeeCrisp

            And why would anyone want to come on a an ” independent progressive blog providing a platform for open debate about centre-left issues and the future of the Labour movement”, if they can only expect to read comments such as:-

            “Another brain dead ‘Tory defecting to UKIP’ troll.”

            or

            “You wouldn’t recognise the truth if it were sprayed on your eyeballs.”

            or

            “What the hell would you know about reason? I’ve seen things at the bottom of ponds that are more capable of reason than you”

            Quite frankly you’re a disgrace to the Labour movement and if you think that what you type in any way contributes to any debate, then you’re sadly deluded. I still occasionally consider re-joining the Labour Party. But I honestly wonder “why bother” if this is the calibre of the people still supporting the movement. And the comments on the Guardian website, below the line, are all too similar.
            I’m sure there are many people still within the Labour movement who must really despair when they see their fellow party members behaving like you.

          • PoundInYourPocket

            Just to quote your good self again Mr ToffeeCrisp:

            “How dare you point the finger of accusation at the Tories ”

            Not the words of many a left-winger.

          • ToffeeCrisp

            Why not try putting it into context? If I was a Tory supporter, I think I would probably have called them Conservatives.
            As I’ve said before, I’m a lapsed Labour Party member. If you have nothing better to do than analyse my previous postings, you’ll see that I scatter them liberally with anecdotes from my time in the party. Do you think that I make them up to amuse you?
            Now, why don’t you try treating people with a little honesty and consider that they are being equally honest?
            Or are you a BNP supporting troll, here to cause chaos and foment argument? Because I see little constructive in your posts.

          • PoundInYourPocket

            I accept that you were an active Labour Party member and its a shame you felt it necessary to take such a vigorous role in opposing it, as you say.
            “I despise what has become of the Labour Party”
            Many of us, me included, are highly critical of New and present Labour, but you seem to despise Labour with such a passion I don’t understand why you read this site or “contribute” to it. Time to move on perhaps ?

          • ToffeeCrisp

            I do despise what has become of the Labour Party and a lot of that is because of the intolerance and name calling by those who claim to be Labour supporters.
            Do you seriously think calling the UKIP leadership racists and bigots is a clever way to win back support for Labour? Or do you possibly think that it will simply re -enforce the sense of abandonment which traditional supporters now feel about the labour Party, which is possibly why they are now ex-labour voters? If this tactic continues, it will simply consolidate their sense of disenfranchisement.
            But, why listen to me? I’m just a UKIP / LibDem / Scot Nat / Tory / BNP / Fascist / Entryist / Capitalist Running Dog / Revisionist / New Labour / Progress / Militant / Hard Left / Soft Left / Chewy Centre* Troll, aren’t I?
            * Please delete as self bigotry dictates.

          • PoundInYourPocket

            If someone is a bigot or a racist it’s fair to call them that. I don’t suggest at that “all” UKIP supporters are bigots or racists, that would be unjustified.But we have seen and heard numerous examples of such behaviour from both the party leadership and local councillors. From knocking on doors as Labour party member I’ve had many encounters with UKIP supporters and their main concern has been immigration with a lack of definition as to what constitutes an “immigrant”, this is often based on unfamiliarity or colour rather than being specificaly about EU immigration. So I know that a number of people who support UKIP do so as they see UKIP as a solution to their “immigrant” problem. That is at best biggoted and at worst racist.

          • ToffeeCrisp

            “If someone is a bigot or a racist it’s fair to call them that.”

            And you have an infallible bigot detecting machine which can see into other people’s minds do you?

            ” I don’t suggest at that “all” UKIP supporters are bigots or racists, that would be unjustified.”

            Good, I’m glad you appreciate that. It might give us something to work with.

            “But we have seen and heard numerous examples of such behaviour from both the party leadership and local councillors.”

            I’ve heard many comments from members within my former Labour CLP. Does that entitle me to condemn all Labour Party members as racist bigots.

            “I’ve had many encounters with UKIP supporters and their main concern has been immigration with a lack of definition as to what constitutes an “immigrant”, this is often based on unfamiliarity or colour rather than being specificaly about EU immigration.”

            And everyone who might have concerns about the high recent levels of immigration, who cannot frame their concerns within language as measured and constrained as the current back-peddling Labour leadership, is in your opinion a racist bigot? Why can you not accept that most ordinary people do not follow politics very closely and will term their concerns in the vernacular (the language of the people). That doesn’t make them bigots to be belittled by those who consider themselves superior.

            “So I know that a number of people who support UKIP do so as they see UKIP as a solution to their “immigrant” problem. That is at best biggoted and at worst racist.”
            Why not stop pointing the finger and accusing and try listening? There are many valid concerns to be had over immigration. From population growth, to pressed local services, housing stocks and transport links to legitimate concerns about religious incompatibility within a parliamentary democracy. And if the language is sometime direct, then that’s possibly because those people are being direct with you.

          • PoundInYourPocket

            “There are many valid concerns to be had over immigration. From population growth, to pressed local services, housing stocks and transport links to legitimate concerns about religious incompatibility within a parliamentary democracy”
            I agree that these are valid concerns and ones that warrant debate. But I faill to see how UKIP address these issues, given that they have no clear policies or manifesto pledges other than leving the EU. How does “leaving the EU” address any of these issues in a meanigful way ?
            EEA immigrants form 4% of the poplation, that’s not insignificant but it’s not the main cause of the issues you mention. I’d rather UKIP focused on the real causes, which are under investment in infrastructure and training. Leaving the EU will not resolve any of these issues. Which leads me back to the question of why Farage has chosen to make an issue out of EU immigration ? I think he has chosen to light the anti-immigrant touch-paper as a cynical means of garnering support for his cause, which is to leave the EU and dismantling the welfare state. I think his use of inflamatory language supported by the hysterical press is a disgrace and threatens all our communities. However it does seem that the only way to the Farage genie back in its bottle is to give him his referendum and make the case for being in the EU. I hope Labour have the courage to do this.

          • I guess these guys would call me a racist, but in my job I have to deal with many ppl and when you call at houses several times a week and you cant deliver because ppl cant speak English or say they cant and that means you cant do your job I wonder how these ppl can expect to get jobs if the cant speak the lingo. If thats racist then I am a racist. You get on the tube and there are ppl begging – don’t you guys ever see any of that?

        • Jimmy

          Most of us on this site are Labour supporters and not interested in Kipper propaganda.

        • PoundInYourPocket

          Why wase your and our time splurging out your right wing bile. As said, and should be obvious, the focus of this site is Labour related policy issues. Yes – the site is open to anyone with a keyboard. But you add exactly nothing to the deabte that would flow if you were to f*ck off back to the Telegraph were you normally live. We all know your inner thoughts as evidenced by your recent posts:
          “It just makes me more determined to vote UKIP !!!!”
          “Gove is clearly the pick of the bunch”
          “More Thatcherite than Thatcher, That statement is praise indeed!!”

          Back into the sewer please.

      • Doug Smith

        Perhaps you should sign up for some therapy sessions where you can be helped to respond reasonably to those whose opinions are different from your own.

        You’re not doing yourself any favours by losing your rag all the time.

        • PoundInYourPocket

          No he’s right and he’s doing us a service, just look at what these people post on the Spectartor and Telegraph. They range from extreme racism to disenfranchising the poor. They have no interest in anything other than the disruption of this site. I’m happy to read the views of any reasonable and informed poster of any political persuasion. But not the politically illiterate that would vote for Caligular.

          • Alexsandr

            oh I see. you only want to hear from people who agree with you.

          • PoundInYourPocket

            No – and if you’d actually read what I’d written you’d know that. If you can manage it, please re-read my post. Do you need an adult to assist ?

          • Alexsandr

            You can tell the lefties. they always resort to insults when they are losing the argument.

          • Jimmy

            Oh yes. The kippers are so polite.

          • Doing you a service by bullying ppl and using swear words??

      • RavenRandom

        “Come on Mark” what… ban me for having an opinion different to yours? Also quite a non sequitur, I believe we’re talking about politicians not sounding like their constituents. Not a UKIP supporter, former New Labour supporter though. Good of you to troll through previous posts, bit obsessive, bit thought police. But that seems to be your aim.

        • BillFrancisOConnor

          Your previous stuff is positively racist. Here’s what you wrote yesterday:

          ‘The problem is Islam, why pretend otherwise, why bring other faith schools into it? The Trojan Horse schools scandal is a symptom of the disease of radical Islam’.

          and last week you wrote:

          ‘It’s not race it’s culture. An alien culture. If you move to Britain yet import everything and demand everything be the way it was in the country you left, then why leave? Moreover we’re the host society, make an effort to adapt.
          No more illiterate African Muslims thank you’.

          As a Labour supporter I don’t want to read your sh*te. I know where it comes from and I have rejected it.

          • RavenRandom

            First another huge non sequitur. The subject is the political elite’s disconnect from ordinary voters. Second you seem a tad odd, desperate to attack on points different to those we’re debating. Third again you struggle to understand people have opinions different to yours.
            Bowing to your deflection for a moment, I do feel Islam is the root cause of a number of problems, factually indisputable in the Trojan scandal, subjective on the second point, I do think illiterate Muslim immigrants are a problem, I accept your right to disagree… so disagree don’t call for bans, get rude or pretend you have a monopoly on truth.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            I’ll say whatever I want.

          • PoundInYourPocket

            It’s the limit when someone that IS left-wing has to defend their right to speak on a Labour site , in the face of a legion of right wing bile spewers.

          • ToffeeCrisp

            Most of the bile on this thread is from Bill and you. In fact, It’s just about all I can do to prevent myself from typing such expressions as “swivel eyed”, “spital flecked” and “foaming at the mouth”. Now where have I heard those sort or descriptions before?
            No, don’t tell me. It’ll come to me eventually…

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            Cheers for your support PIP – it’s appreciated.

          • PoundInYourPocket

            Your being swamped as there’s a link from the bafoon Gweedo Foolks. It’s intersting how they affect you as I’m not actually that pro-EU, I just feel compelled to reject their inane ranting. I expect they’ll go back to looking at porn tommorrow as politics is too difficult.

          • RavenRandom

            Quite right too. Up to and including denying anybody else the right to an opinion, using non sequiturs, insulting debaters and failing to even attempt to refute arguments. Ad hominem attacks are not an argument.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            What would you know about presenting an argument ffs?

          • RavenRandom

            Clearly more than you, as you’ve failed at any point to present one, preferring attacks, insults and swearing. Do you enjoy the spluttering angry man persona, does it help persuade people that your points are rational and reasonable?

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            When are you going back under your stone?

    • MonkeyBot5000

      I think it affects Labour more because the Conservatives were traditionally the party of the elite so it’s not such a pronounced change for them.

  • walkingintodarkness

    Nothing Labour can do about the rise of UKIP. There’s no message Miliband can come up with to attract migrating voters back from UKIP without alienating certain sections of the core Labour vote. Better to get rid of Miliband sooner rather than later and put the poor chap out of his misery

  • Edward Carlsson Browne

    Not just a terrible argument, but an incompetently presented one. Note that in two of the seats listed on their graphic, there was a swing to Labour from the 2010 local election results, so how that’s supposed to be evidence that we’re going to lose the seats I don’t know. If they want to push this argument, it’d be nice if they produce any datasets that stand up to thirty seconds examination. They haven’t done that yet.

  • hereward

    Miliband will do nothing about mass immigration or rule by the EU disaster area .
    His main concern is to get into number 10 D street . Not acceptable I am afraid .
    UKIP offer real change and Lord knows that is what is needed . The status quo (LibLabConEU) is now totally undesirable to anyone that wants a better Britain .

    • Jimmy

      Yawn…

      • hereward

        Brilliant comment. Why not change your name from Jimmy to Airhead ? Any reason ? LOL .

        • BillFrancisOConnor

          Ya boring predictable tw*t.

          • LeeMatthews

            Evidence?

        • Alexsandr

          dunno why we bother. what a load of airheads on here. Bye.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            Yeah go on Fork off – back under the stone you hid under.

  • NT86

    The biggest problem they have suffered from in traditional former industrial towns in the north is the inability to remain relevant or meaningful to the lives of those who used to vote for them. After these areas lost industry, Labour did nothing to keep up with these voters, their problems, etc. New Labour won the hearts and minds of vast swathes of the country, but what did they do to look like anything other than a London-centric middle class public sector pressure group? The suited and booted university educated shadow cabinet and SpAds have nothing in common with the man or woman in Rotherham. Plus they had no industrial strategy for these areas, which could have meant that the north didn’t have to rely on the City as the country’s only big employer/sector.
    With the exception of the likes of Alan Johnson or Clive Efford who have worked in regular jobs, a considerable number of Labour’s intake from 1997 onwards cannot say the same. Even some of the working class candidates selected for 2015 often brag on their campaign websites about how they were the first people in their families to attend university. How many of them go onto becoming policy wonks or Parliamentary researchers?
    Labour needs to stop chirping uniform national slogans to specific areas and concentrate on humanising those seats. They could also reflect on the fact that not everyone attends university and can be just as if not more capable as politicians.

    • corinium

      I have two words for you – smoking ban. That sums up the Labour party these days, a bunch of joyless prodnoses that like telling people to stop doing things they enjoy. The Labour MPs of old, the miners, the dockers, the steel workers wouldn’t have dreamed of taking beer and fags from the working man, the modern Labour party instead makes pariahs of drinkers and smokers. And they wonder why their former rock solid voter base is leaving them in droves. What does Ed Miliband have in common with a factory worker, any more than Cameron does? Nothing of course, they’re both Oxford educated multimillionaires who have never had a real job outside politics. At least Cameron doesn’t pretend to be a man of the people, Miliband can’t even eat a bacon sarnie without the veneer slipping.

  • TRAV1S

    Maybe Labour shouldn’t have rubbed their voters noses in diversity and branded them bigots. Did you think your Ethnocide of traditional Labour voters would be popular?

    • Jimmy

      Sid Labour kill these people then?

  • Dave Roberts

    The most important point in all this is where the UKIP vote is going to go next May. Faced with having do do something beyond gesture politics the vote will go somewhere else. It’s likely to go to the Tories as they will have taken on the anti EU mantle no matter how much Labour might strive to clothe themselves in it.

  • Paul

    As ever, the so-called expert analysis appears gender blind. It’s male votes being lost to Labour, and Labour’s response needs to reflect this male ‘rage’ factor. Both Phil (last year) and I have written about it : http://averypublicsociologist.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/ukip-and-masculinity.html and http://thoughcowardsflinch.com/2014/05/30/labour-ukip-and-the-crisis-of-male-rage/ Don’t suppose the experts are interested though, say I, in a disempowered rage.

  • Mike B

    Labour has a raft of policies that can be shown as popular and relevant to a huge part of the population. On the NHS Labour will ensure it stays free at the point of delivery and will be properly funded.. The coalition parties have revealed their record on the NHS and the UKIP leadership have said they believe in a private insurance scheme. Just how popular would that be with working class voters? Labour has committed to a huge (affordable) home building programme. Labour will freeze energy prices and scrap unpopular legislation such as the bedroom tax and Ian Duncan Smith’s benefit abominations. Labour will also get large corporations to pay their taxes. These and many other policies are opposed by UKIP and the coalition. It is for Labour to show what can really be achieved in government and what our opponents real agenda is.

    • llanystumdwy

      You say Labour would commit to house building, yet, Brown and Blair’s Labour had the worst record since the war on house building which is why so many first time buyers have been priced out of affordability. Also, Labour were terrified of closing tax loopholes for the super rich for fear of looking anti-business, and they also brought in private equity meaning the super rich were paying less tax than their office cleaners. A record to be ashamed of, so why should it be any different with their former ministers in charge? We have been here before. Once bitten, twice shy.

      • Mike B

        The previous Labour government did some very good things such as SureStart (Children’s Centres), the minimum wage, rebuilding much of the countries infrastructure etc. It must be said that much was left undone as well. Politics is not a static thing though and hundreds of thousands of Labour party members and supporters have recognised many past deficiencies and the current policy development is dynamic and sensitive to Britain’s needs. This is in stark contrast to the coalition parties and the backward looking desperation of right wing simplictic solutions put out by UKIP. Labour still has a way to go in policy development but progress is being made. Take as an example the recent publications from the Fabians on environmental issues. These are important and realisable developments. As you have taken the effort to read a Labour supporting website you should seriously consider the positive and optimistic future Labour is offering.

  • Monkey_Bach

    As Ye Sow, So Shall Ye Reap. Eeek.

    • BillFrancisOConnor

      Gone all Biblical like our fanatical Catholic friend from Brent?

  • keith

    The Labour party have for many years taken the working class vote for granted, even now, just look at how the little prince’s and princesses of ex-leaders and cabinet ministers are parachuted into safe seats without any thought about are they what the local party want, of course its partly local party who should be screaming about things, but why the silence ( knighthoods down the line i guess), is it that the local parties have lost touch with the grass roots too and have spent to many years naval gazing in a type of Korean one party state in their area. Like Scotland were the SNP have taken what used to be Labours core vote, through Labours arrogance, the same is now happening in England were UKIP seem to be articulating what the working class are thinking.
    Labour will not win back the voters by using tired old slogans like “we are listening” “we hear what your saying” and tinkering with policy will not work, the electorate are now willing to be talked down to anymore, they want concrete promises, they know Labour promising to do something about immigration but refusing to oppose the free movement of labour across Europe is not going to solve their problems and that is the dilemma for labour, the metropolitan elite who run the party, cannot face up to that problem and saying you will do something about immigration in 50 different ways but still mean the same thing will not work anymore, as Robert Zimmerman said “the times they are a changing”

  • MrAngryUK

    I shall vote Ukip just to annoy Bill Francis O’Moron

  • uglyfatbloke

    It’s not just the density of special advisers – former and current. There is the matter of doing what the people want, not what the political class wants the people to want. It is no use saying ‘we’re listening to the people’ and then ignoring them. In Scotland most people want FFA; what are they offered? A choice of independence (which most of us do not want) or a firm commitment to possibly something rather less that is either desired or makes sense. Same with lots of things – Trident, NHS privatisation, the Lords, a decent minimum wage, the ability to get rid of useless MPs. Most people would probably approve of a scheme to get the 400-odd MPs (and the Lords of course) who got caught stealing to go to trial and jail like anybody else would….that’d be a real vote-winner, but don’t expect any action since so many MPs would be nicked.

  • PoundInYourPocket

    Isn’t it time you Trolls were tucked up in bed ? The adults would like their site back.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      I imagine that you are laughing as you think of your own cleverness with that comment. Perhaps I am wrong.

      But, to take your own analogy, lights out for you in 5 minutes. It is grown up time now.

      • PoundInYourPocket

        having read the comments made below by an army of UKIP trolls, my comment is fully justified. Still awake.

        • jaime taurosangastre candelas

          Well, I can certainly see very many pro UKIP supporters posting, but I am not sure that they are “trolls”. Not because I voted UKIP in the Euro-elections, which I did and said on LL that it was to send a message to the proper parties, and that they had no hope of my vote in the General Election.

          No, I do not believe they are trolls simply because they post on LL. I actually welcome vigorous debate, I believe that it enrichens our politics. If LL was solely an echo-chamber of conformist thought, it would I think be poorer both for solid Labour supporters, and for us nationally.

          I learn a lot from reading challenging views, because I have no monopoly of experience or opinion. I think the same could probably be said of Lib Dem Voice or Conservative Home, but I do not post there and only read them very occasionally. I like LL as it is open, and because I “might” vote Labour again as I did from 1997 to 2005. I want to know what Labour thinks, not just the policy sound bites on the news, but also what Labour supporters think.

          You might think me entirely wrong, that is your right, but I would vote again easily for the Third Way and the hope of Tony Blair. I am yet to be convinced by the Ed Miliband, indeed daily grow more doubtful, but at least I listen and want to engage with Labour.

          • PoundInYourPocket

            Jamie – as I’ve posted below – I welcome and enjoy and learn from contributions made by all parties, providing it is informed debate and not just mindless ranting. Their is a clear distinction between a UKIPer putting their ideas and policies forward for debate and someone who just rants about “an Islamicist takeover of England” as you’ll read below.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            It’s the 41 up votes etc that show that it’s a co-ordinated UKIP deluge of the site. Jen the Blue’s remark: ‘I urge you all to join UKIP’ received 51 ‘up’ votes on a Labour site. However, for all the ranting, fury and anger displayed above I’m not sure we really learnt anything more about UKIP policy.

  • lojolondon

    Labour is no longer a party that represents British working people, it now represents people who do not want to work. They have 100% of that demographic, but they have turned their backs on their core vote.

    • PoundInYourPocket

      Benefits for those not in work reduced to the lowest level for a generation under New Labour, if you doubt that google the joseph rowntree report on benefit comparisons 1979/1997/2010. New Labour focused on “in-work” benefits, child benefit and retirement pensions, which were higher than ever under New Labour. So Labour do not enjoy 100% support amongst the unemployed, many of whom don’t vote anyway.

  • derekemery

    “Labour needs a radical manifesto that deals with blue-collar
    concerns on issues like immigration and welfare but which also inspires
    broad public support with ideas like common ownership of railways.”

    Good luck with that. Only around 2% of journeys are made by train and that figure is boosted by London.
    If you asked most people outside of London to choose a form of transport that would not affect them if closed down they would choose rail which plays an insignificant part in their lives

    • ToffeeCrisp

      Unfortunately, that rings all too true.
      Last year, as a family we planned to spend a couple of days in Edinburgh and I really wanted us to travel there by train. The cheapest I could get tickets for was well in excess of £330 and that was booking 4 or 5 weeks in advance. With taxi fares added on at either end, it would have cost us well over £400. Instead, we drove there and back, door to door, for the cost of £50 in diesel.
      I love travelling by train, but it’s not really feasible for a family anymore which is a great shame.

  • Theoderic Braun

    UKIP supporters appear generally to be rather ill-informed and unintelligent with their views based on faith, belief and emotional response, rather than rationality and logic, much like religious fanatics. Does anybody know if any contemporary research exists which correlates IQ with voter intention?

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