Lord Ashcroft’s Election Post Mortem

Lord Ashcroft has published an extensive new report this morning examining Labour’s worst election defeat since 1935. Polling and focus groups looked particularly closely at those who voted Labour in 2017 but not in 2019, and compares their reasons for switching away from Labour with party members’ understanding of why they lost. Summarising the report, Lord Ashcroft said:

“As far as many of these former supporters were concerned, then, the Labour Party they rejected could not be trusted with the public finances, looked down on people who disagreed with it, was too left-wing, failed to understand or even listen to the people it was supposed to represent, was incompetent, appallingly divided, had no coherent priorities, did not understand aspiration or where prosperity comes from, disapproved of their values and treated them like fools.”

Guido has compiled some of the juiciest nuggets:

  • Labour members think Jeremy Corbyn was the “best Labour Leader of recent times”. Brits in general think Tony Blair was.
  • Though many voted to get Brexit done, this did not mean they would necessarily now switch back to Labour. The principle that the party had refused to listen to them and implement the referendum result was at least as serious for defectors as the issue of Brexit itself.
  • Contrary to Labour’s official inquiry, Jeremy Corbyn was a major reason for Labour’s loss of support.
  • Many people in focus groups described the 2019 Labour manifesto as “pie in the sky.”
  • Amongst defectors, Labour is seen as now mostly for students, the unemployed, and “middle-class radicals.”
  • Most defectors did not rule out returning to Labour in the future if the party changed. Many emphasised that they would now take each election as it comes.
  • Labour defectors have a different understanding of why Labour lost.

Lord Ashcroft concludes:

“This report is not a road map to recovery: different people can draw sharply different conclusions from the same data, and I’m sure that will be the case with this research. But the first step is to come to terms with your starting point. What follows is a pitiless but objective assessment of where that is.”

The Tories can breathe a sigh of relief that it doesn’t look like Labour are coming to terms with it just yet…

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mdi-timer February 11 2020 @ 09:04 mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer
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