Anti-Trump protests, ‘Land for the Many’ policies and our latest survey

Sienna Rodgers
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Good morning – we’re back! The LabourList morning email has returned to your inbox and MPs have returned to parliament on the day that President Trump’s UK visit really gets underway. After attending the state banquet last night, the Boris Johnson-backer will hold a joint press conference with our outgoing Prime Minister this afternoon, which should be interesting. Journalists are set to grill the President on Brexit, Huawei, Iran and Jeremy Corbyn.

Before even touching down at Stansted Airport, Trump was attacking Sadiq Khan via tweets that described London’s Labour mayor – who has the largest personal mandate of any politician in UK history – as a “stone cold loser”. In more recent posts, Trump says his trip is “going really well”, adding: “Haven’t seen any protests yet”. That will surely change today. Corbyn will address the Trafalgar Square rally at 11am, then thousands are expected to march down Whitehall, coinciding with Trump’s Downing Street tour at lunchtime. Other speakers include Emily Thornberry and the TUC’s Frances O’Grady. It will be unmissable.

Today is also the launch of ‘Land for the Many’, a report commissioned by the Labour Party that sets out bold policies for making land and developments more accessible, affordable and accountable to communities. Among other reforms, it recommends publishing all information about land ownership (i.e. who benefits most from our current unequal arrangements), giving councils the power to sell vacant land by public auction and boosting democratic participation in planning processes. There are lots of radical proposals, all aimed at “delivering a fundamental shift in wealth and power from the few to the many” and all of which will be considered for the next manifesto.

There will be comment soon on LabourList about those ideas. But as for what to check out this morning, our latest survey results make for a very interesting read. A huge number of readers took part – 9,286 – including 7,650 self-identified Labour members. A substantial 32% voted against Labour in the European elections, readers are divided over whether Alastair Campbell should be readmitted to the party and pessimistic about Labour’s chances of winning the Peterborough by-election this week. They overwhelmingly want an online ballot to consult Labour members on Brexit, but also think Tom Watson – who has been promoting just that idea – should be subject to a deputy leadership election this year (while Jeremy Corbyn should not face a leadership contest).

It’s worth reading the full results for a thorough breakdown. The usual caveats apply: this is a self-selected sample and the data relating to members is unweighted. (We don’t know the specifics of how old members are or where they come from.) But our surveys have acted as accurate temperature checks in the past, for instance showing early on in 2015 that Jeremy Corbyn was the most popular of the leadership candidates.

The overall impression, I would say, is that our readership as a whole is still pro-Corbyn, pro-EU. Or, to put it differently, majority pro-EU and majority pro-Corbyn. Our readers are polarised, as one might expect, with those who would like to see a 2019 deputy leadership race take place (61%) overlapping fairly neatly with those who don’t think there should be a leadership election this year (60%) according to our data analysis. I think the results show that, difficult as it is to edit, this is an important time for LabourList as a non-factional site offering a platform to contributors from across the movement.

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