Labour: the hard facts

Good column by Eunice Goes on The Conversation:

So far, no one has shown that they understood the causes of Labour’s defeat in 2015 and the problems social democracies have had all over the world following the global financial crisis. Instead, they have preferred to talk about micro policy ideas, such as free childcare and sex education policies. None seem to fit into a larger narrative.

The truth of the matter is that the Labour Party is stuck in a very deep hole. Research from the Fabian Society shows that in order to secure a majority in 2020, Labour needs to gain at least 106 seats in very different parts of the country. Considering the forthcoming constituency boundary changes and the advent of truly multi-party politics, that task seems like mission impossible.

In order to win, Labour needs to find an electoral formula that attracts Tory voters in the south of England and UKIP voters in the Midlands and north-east of England. In Scotland it needs to attract SNP voters and the south-west and English urban centres cities it needs to pull in Liberal Democrat and Green voters. None of the current contenders to the leadership of the Labour Party has so far shown that they are able to pull off this very difficult electoral trick.

That’s true. The bigger question, though, is whether the Labour party could ever pull off this trick without being rebuilt from the ground up.