Labour was out of touch in 2015, says Cruddas’ final election report

23rd May, 2016 10:07 am


Labour lost the general election because it had “marched away from the views of the country” on key issues such as social security and immigration, according to a painful new report from Jon Cruddas.

The party’s former policy co-ordinator warned Labour had become “toxic” in parts of the South of England as he published the findings of his independent inquiry.

Labour’s Future: Why Labour lost in 2015 and how it can win again sets out how support for the party dwindled over the course of two elections because of falling public trust on the economy as well as a loss of support among social conservative voters.

Labour is becoming an “exclusive cultural brand” which puts “abstract” principles before pragmatic values such as family, work, security and fairness, Cruddas says today in an article for LabourList.

“The evidence revealed a party becoming progressively more out of the touch with the electorate. In England and Wales, pragmatic minded voters abandoned Labour because they did not trust us on the economy. On a series of crucial issues such as welfare, public services, immigration and business, Labour in both 2010 and 2015 had marched away from the views of the country. The party has become as toxic in the south of England as the Tories are in the north. Amongst the over 60s it is the most toxic party. Socially conservative working class voters who value family, work, fairness, and national security are the most likely to have deserted the party.”

Cruddas report is is the outcome of a year-long inquiry he carried out with Nick Pecorelli and Jonathan Rutherford. It follows the publication of interim findings, last summer, which contained the verdict that Labour lost because voters believed it was anti-austerity and that the Tories triumphed not in spite of austerity, but “because of it”. Cruddas’ conclusions appear to set him at odds with Jeremy Corbyn who won the leadership after an overwhelming surge in favour of his anti-austerity policies.

Today Cruddas sets out the challenges for Labour in building an “election-winning coalition” that ensures the party’s offer goes beyond the need to protect public services. Instead he demands political renewal based on “family, work, fairness and decency”.


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