Progress submission to the Labour Together general election review

Read the full election review submission here.

Read Nathan and Joseph’s article on Labourlist: ‘Labour’s task of renewal goes beyond its next leader.

And here’s the slide show version:

The 2019 general election was a catastrophe. It was our 4th defeat on the hoof, losing 60 seats and giving Boris Johnson the Tories’ biggest majority since 1987. We need to win 123 seats next time to gain a majority of one. The new leader has an electoral mountain to climb.

The campaign was unfocused based on the monumental strategic mistake that we were fighting an offensive election. We lacked a strong narrative arc. Our messaging was largely negative, based on stark, binary visions of politics and country. We need to reach out.

There was too much in our manifesto and voters questioned our credibility. The document was also stuck in the past. We need to tackle twenty- first century problems with twenty- first century solutions, not hark back to prescriptions from the 1970s and 1980s.

Our contorted Brexit policy ended up pleasing no one. Remainers, leavers, the shadow cabinet, party members, ordinary voters. We weren’t trusted on this fundamental issue of national importance – and we left the EU because of it.

We went into the election with the most unpopular leader of the opposition since records began. Longstanding allegations of cronyism and intolerance finally cut through on the doorstep in the latter half of 2019.

There is no escaping the fact that Jeremy Corbyn, and the politics he represents, alienated the general public. He made no effort to reconcile his political and world view with those of our voters, particularly given the patriotism of our traditional base.

All of these issues collided together to create the poisonous crisis of Labour party antisemitism. It was raised with us on doorsteps from Wales to London, in Wolverhampton and in Canterbury, serving as a totemic issue to describe and explain the party’s descent and defeat.

Antisemitism is not a factional issue. It is not an ideological cause, the importance of which ebbs and flows. It is a fundamental matter of dignity and humanity, and the leadership’s failure to confront it came to define us. The new leader needs to sort this ASAP.

1 Comment

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