Holborn & St Pancras

2015 Result:
Conservative: 12014 (21.9%)
Labour: 29062 (52.9%)
Lib Dem: 3555 (6.5%)
Green: 7013 (12.8%)
UKIP: 2740 (5%)
Others: 533 (1%)
MAJORITY: 17048 (31%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of Camden council area.

Main population centres: Holborn, Camden Town, Primrose Hill, Kentish Town, Highgate.

Profile: A long slim inner-city seat, stretching from the fringes of the City of London at Holborn, past the museums and university collages of Bloomsbury to St Pancras and King Cross station, still regarded as a grim red light district despite the regeneration that greeted the new Eurostar terminal at St Pancras. Northwards the seat covers the vibrant trendy areas like Camden Town with its market and music venues, the fashionable victorian terraces of Primrose Hill, the large council estates of Kentish Town and Maitland Park, Gospel Oak and the leafy affluence of Parliament Hill and Highgate. There are extremely high house prices here, but only around a quarter of the population are owner-occupiers, with most of the housing social housing or private rental.

Politics: Traditionally this has been a safe Labour seat and was retained by Labour throughout the 1980s. Almost half the housing is social housing and there is a significant Bangladeshi Muslim population. The more inner-city and southern part of the constituency is solidly Labour. The Greens have some strength in the seat and in 2015 it was contested by their party leader, Natalie Bennett
.


Current MP
KEIR STARMER (Labour) Born 1962, Southwark. Educated at Reigate Grammar and Leeds University. Former Director of Public Prosecutions. First elected as MP for Holborn & St Pancras in 2015. Appointed KCB in 2014 for services to law and criminal justice.
Past Results
2010
Con: 11134 (20%)
Lab: 25198 (46%)
LDem: 15256 (28%)
GRN: 1480 (3%)
Oth: 1581 (3%)
MAJ: 9942 (18%)
2005*
Con: 6482 (19%)
Lab: 14857 (43%)
LDem: 10070 (29%)
GRN: 2798 (8%)
Oth: 152 (0%)
MAJ: 4787 (14%)
2001
Con: 5258 (17%)
Lab: 16770 (54%)
LDem: 5595 (18%)
GRN: 1875 (6%)
Oth: 1631 (5%)
MAJ: 11175 (36%)
1997
Con: 6804 (18%)
Lab: 24707 (65%)
LDem: 4750 (13%)
Oth: 946 (2%)
MAJ: 17903 (47%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
WILL BLAIR (Conservative) Educated at Sherborne School and Oxford University. Associate director of a PR and Communications company.
KEIR STARMER (Labour) Born 1962, Southwark. Educated at Reigate Grammar and Leeds University. Barrister and former Director of Public Prosecutions. Appointed KCB in 2014 for services to law and criminal justice.
JILL FRASER (Liberal Democrat) Born Essex. Works in a chip shop. Camden councillor 2003-2012. Contested Holborn and St Pancras 2005.
MAXINE SPENCER (UKIP) Born Hampstead. Full time carer. Contested Holborn and St Pancras 2010.
NATALIE BENNETT (Green) Born 1966, Australia. Educated at MLC School and Sydney University. Journalist. Contested Holborn and St Pancras 2010. Leader of the Green party since 2012.
DAVID O`SULLIVAN (Socialist Equality)
SHANE O`DONNELL (CISTA)
VANESSA HUDSON (Animal Welfare) Born Sheffield. Educated at Liverpool University. Media producer. Contested London 2014 European election.
Links
Comments - 899 Responses on “Holborn & St Pancras”
  1. There are a couple of internal labour stories that have hit news outlets. Jeremy Corbyn’s application for predisclosure over documents pertaining to the conversations between Mr Corbyn’s team and the LOTO concerning his readmittance was denied. Staffers, whose whatsapp messages about members burning to death and leaking that Diane Abbott was crying in the toilet to Michael Crick, have been readmitted to the party.

    However, one story that has only been picked up by the fringe lwftist outlet sqwarkbox is that the 50 CLP officials suspended after motions on Corbyn were discussed have all be readmitted

  2. In my book, “only picked up by Skwawkbox” = “not true”.

  3. LOL. Those seem very minor stories to me, Matt – certainly on my radar, the big Labour story this week was the leaked report into Labour’s “patriotic” rebranding. Which is probably a “political bubble” story itself, which hasn’t resonated beyond the circles of those who take an interest. The hysterical reaction by the Labour left is a sight to behold though – as if any display of patriotism is anathema to them.

  4. See they seem like minor stories but they reflect who actually power in the labour party atm it might well be true that the last story was made up but Alan Gibbons the sec of Wavertree announced today he’d been readmitted. It might just be him to.

    The report into patriotism as I understand wasn’t commissioned by the Labour Party who just said ‘the flag is of the country Kier wants to be Prime Minister of’ and wouldn’t comment on whether dressing smartly was important. As to the lefts reaction. I can understand it. Patriotism is about more than sitting in front of a flag, talking about family and community. It’s a disservice to working class people to think that’s enough.

    It reminds me of criticism amongst black pundits who said that mainstream pundits viewed white people who voted for Obama as intelligent while saying black people voted for Obama because he’s black. Middle class people aren’t patriotic for some intelligent reason while working class people are patriotic because of flags, community and family.

  5. @ Trade Mark

    The Labour left might have been outraged but I suspect this has also had some impact on the more liberal/centrist/pro EU LOC.

    It is interesting to see that the Guardian in particular (obviously they broke that “story” in the first place) has started running a few pieces far more critical of Starmer than anything they had done to date- in fact I don’t recall reading anything critical of Starmer until this last week.

    From my point of view the story is less about the flag and more about the patronising tokenism of the gesture. It gains nothing and it has the potential to alienate some of the core vote – BME and the young in particular – who are already in some of the lower turnout groups.

  6. It’s worth saying the New Statesman has published at least three articles this weekly fairly critical of Starmer by two of his supporters Stephen Bush and Paul Mason.

    The Times have written an article called ‘the knives are out for Starmer’. Certainly feels like it. A moderate said to me that Starmer is the leader until another viable candidate is likely. I think this has been the strategy all this time. I’ve thought this for a while now. Starmer was the unity candidate but not the preferred candidate of many people. A lot of people came over when Jess Phillips pulled out. Should Starmer falter it’ll be those people that’ll be pulling the strings for a new direction. Nice guy but radical policies in a suit don’t work will be the line

  7. Right. There’s a reason nobody uses the word “Starmerite”.

    I think part of the problem is that his left-wing critics are desperate for some policy announcements, especially after many of them held their noses to vote for him having been swayed by his “ten pledges”; while Keir feels that tone has to come first or the electorate won’t listen to the policy, and that nobody would be listening in the middle of a pandemic anyway.

  8. @Shevii (?)
    What is “pro EU LOC”?

    The report is just suggestions as to what Labour *could* do, surely. Why do people assume that younger and BAME voters are likely to be turned off by patriotism? Apparently the latter group have very high levels of patriotic feeling, although it can be quite an abstract concept. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being proud of your country though, especially if you want to lead it. A lot of the reporting on this story just seems like speculation.

    There was a good article by Nick Tyrone in the Spectator this week, saying that the left should get behind Starmer, because he’s Labour’s best chance of power for a while. Tyrone says the best successors are Yvette Cooper and Hilary Benn, who the membership would never vote for. If Starmer loses they may well elect Rebecca Long-Bailey or Richard Burgon.

    That’s the thing – the party had a leader the membership loved for four years, but in the end they were further away from power than they had been for some time. RLB or RB would go down like a lead balloon with the electorate, I feel.

    If Keir does think that tone has to come first, he’s right. The party needs to be at the stage where people are willing to give it a hearing.

  9. I listened to two interviews yesterday one was Owen Jones interviewing Paul Mason and Michael Walker, the other was Owen interviewing Sienna Rogers and Andrew Fisher. The one thing they all agreed on was policy announcements recently have been really good. For example; Starmer announced Labour would scrap universal credit and replace it with a more generous tax credit, Starmer supports a ban on evictions in the pandemic, no student debt in the crisis Labour would abolish tution and refund students in the pandemic, etc.

    They all also agreed that communication has been poor. None of that messaging has got out. I don’t agree personally that people dont care about policy. Ive asked a couple of my colleagues what they’ve thought of Starmer and one criticism tgat I’ve heard repeated is he doesn’t have a plan. He criticises the government but doesn’t say what he’d do. Clearly he does, I’ve mentioned a few ideas above but it just doesn’t cut

  10. I saw that article on the spectator shared by a Labour friend as a ‘Get behind Labour or else’. The mistake here is as Labour won’t win the next election. The gap is too large for anyone to bridge and I know ‘anything can happen’. But Labour is at least 2 election cycles away from getting over the line. Starmer is Labours last hope is false hope. Sadly I’ve come to the conclusion the writing was on the wall a long time ago. Labour haven’t had an election winning candidate in a leadership election for 30 years. I don’t mean that as in literally Blair was the last leader to win but the candidates in that leadership election were head and shoulders above the candidates in 2010, 2015, 2016 and 2020.

    On young people and BME, I saw a poll recently showing Labours vote dropping slightly in both groups. I’m not suggesting it’s because of Labours rebranding just thought it was worth mentioning. There was also a poll on Labour voters showing the majority don’t see themselves as patriotic. I don’t know if there is a breakdown that includes BME and young people

  11. If I gave the impression that I thought voters don’t care about policy, I didn’t mean to. Of course voters care about policy, albeit they probably care more about the results of those policies on their own wallets than attachment to any particular set of principles.

    My point was that policy is great, but it will get you nowhere electorally without credibility. It is this credibility that Keir is working hard to earn, and to be honest he keeps being undermined by party members kicking off about how him standing in front of a British flag is racist.

  12. It wasn’t members that wrote 3 articles in the New Statesman, 2 in the Guardian and an article in the Times which can be summed up as Labour MPs are briefing against the leader again. Its not Labour members that have a combined readership of a million and half who’ve just read that Labour MPs have their knives out for Starmer

  13. Well, the press, even the left-leaning titles, love this stuff (and let’s be honest, many of us do too). But social media is now almost as dominant. While it doesn’t represent the public at large, left-wing Twitter users are amplified by the traditional media. I haven’t read all the articles you mention, Matt, but the New Statesman has tended to act as a “critical friend” to Labour. The Guardian is ultra-liberal, so they seem to be attacking him from the left. The Times certainly isn’t a Labour-supporting title, so they may have a bit of an axe to grind (maybe our resident Times reader Tim will disagree).

    I agree with Polltroll about credibility. To be fair to Matt though, party staffers seemed to be criticising the patriotism stuff (and presumably leaked it too), as quoted by The Guardian. The produced an op-ed (thinly disguised as a report) which attacked it too. They quoted “one of the party’s leading ethnic minority MPs” (!) Clive Lewis, who is hardly a neutral observer. I remember John Harris spent half the Miliband era knocking the party.

    UnHerd reported a bit on Labour’s “rebranding” here, which includes a reference to polling different groups on patriotism:
    https://unherd.com/2021/02/why-nationalism-matters/
    It’s the tweet by Matthew Goodwin linked in paragraph five. I think I read on here that Starmer’s approval rating had dropped in both BAME/young groups, prior to this story breaking.

    And Matt, you say Labour won’t win the next election. I agree that an outright win (a majority) is pie in the sky thinking, but recent Electoral Calculus seat projections don’t show a comfortable Tory majority by any means. Labour could easily take enough seats to form a minority government.

    Well, yes, both Blair and Margaret Beckett had stature. Of course Beckett was never a serious candidate though, and I say this looking back on events I’m too young to recall. She is a complete moderate nowadays but hadn’t long been out of the Socialist Campaign Group back then. The left of the party (like Corbyn) voted for Beckett. And in any case, David Miliband in 2010 was undoubtedly a candidate with election-winning potential. Whether Cooper or Burnham had that quality, I’m not sure.

  14. I like John Harris, I was interviewed by him once but one of my biggest problems with people like Harris and James O’Brien is they’re just reactionary. The Labour Party is too right wing for them then it’s too left wing for them. There’s an episode of Family Guy where one of the main characters goes from a liberal to a bible bashing conservative and someone calls him a reactionary who moves their position to be in opposition to the government. When Bush was in power he was a Liberal. When it was Obama he was a Conservative. It’s a little extreme but that’s what left leaning pundits are a bit like

  15. I like electoral calculus but I do always take it with a pinch of salt

    Personality I have always thought David Miliband was a bit of lightweight

  16. Trade Mark: “I agree that an outright win (a majority) is pie in the sky thinking, but recent Electoral Calculus seat projections don’t show a comfortable Tory majority by any means.”

    I agree that it certainly shouldn’t be Labour’s primary target to win an overall majority, depriving the Tories of enough seats to prevent them governing will be tough enough. But there’s three years until the next election. If there’s some Black-Wednesday-type event which totally undermines the government between now and then, a Labour majority isn’t impossible.

    Matt Wilson: “…a reactionary who moves their position to be in opposition to the government.”

    Sounds a bit like Peter Oborne!

  17. Amongst 18-24 35% consider themselves very patriotic/fairly patriotic while 53% consider themselves not very patriotic/not patriotic at akk

  18. There’s no guarantee that a patriotic approach would actively turn them off. Bear in mind also that the party needs to keep hold of (most of) its existing support, but also win new voters. This was the flaw in the endlessly repeated argument by the pro-EU campaigners that “most Labour voters voted Remain”. They needed to win over people who hadn’t voted Remain. But that’s another can of worms.

    John Harris is okay, but as you say Matt, it’s as if the Labour Party can never get it right for him. I thought JOB was a die-hard moderate liberal, but I suppose it’s part of his job to be contrary.

    Not sure how much of a swing is needed for Labour to win the next election outright. The electorate does seem more volatile these days. 2019 was Labour’s worst result since 1935. They won the next election following that one, in 1945, by a landslide… but there was ten years and a world war in between. There’s also a Boundary Review to come before the next GE, which is meant to favour the Tories.

  19. Funnily enough, 1935 was actually a huge improvement for Labour, from their disastrous 1931 showing. They gained over 100 seats (although there were only 615 seats back then).

  20. I agree re: Labour needing to target voters other than remain voters sadly i lost that argument. I remember the branch meeting following the European elections which usually is pretty cordial affair being the quite angry and nasty. That was the moment I knew I’d lost that argument. Would Labour held onto its vote had it not pivot to a second referendum. I don’t know. I remember a Lib Dem telling me that Portsmouth South poll with Lib Dems winning was on the money at the beginning of the campaign. If true it shows how soft the remain vote was.

    I think we probably won seats like Hallam, Reading East, Canterbury, Cardiff North, Putney and Bristol North West because of it. Clearly did us no favours in the red wall though.

    I always think the 1935 comparison is a bad one. For the reason you give but also its purely based on seats. Labour got more votes in 2019 than they did under Brown and Miliband. But i get it, until PR seats is the only thing that matters. But also the 1935 comparison also largely ignores that Labour did better in England in 2019 than they did in 1987. I’m not saying Labour did well but the 1935 line actually only is true in one sense and people will say its true in the only sense that matters but what they mean is its true in the sense that convenient for their argument.

    The swing in 1945 was 10% which is why 1935 is another bad comparison because Labour need an 11% swing now. So in that sense we’re in a worse position than 1935

  21. I’m glad you agree about the need to reach out for other voters. I think those Lib Dem Survation constituency polls were a bit dodgy. The sample size is very small, and the polls are possibly produced to lead people in their direction, by making it look like they have a chance of winning. It could have changed over the campaign, but the end result had a huge gap between Labour and the LDs, who were third.

    Who knows if Labour would have done even worse without the 2nd ref policy, quite possibly. But then again it didn’t stop them doing well in 2017 with a policy of respecting the result. Until we have PR (which I very much want), seats are the main thing to go on. Although it’s probably more accurate to look at the share of seats Labour has won (because the number of Commons seats has changed over time), which was 31.1% in 2019… and that’s also the lowest since 1935, when they won 25.0% of seats.

    In terms of vote share overall it was only Labour’s worst result since 2015. 2019 was the first time that Labour had not achieved a higher share of seats than votes since 1959 (ie. in all elections since then, Labour’s seat share has been higher than its vote share). The system isn’t fair, and only very rarely works in Labour’s favour, so they really should adopt PR. I was reading on the Electoral Reform Society earlier that a report commissioned by Labour recommends PR for the Commons, among other constitutional changes.
    https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/activists-are-calling-on-keir-starmer-to-back-ambitious-political-reform-following-a-key-labour-report/

    Under FPTP, seats are the bottom line. Hence the main narrative being “Labour achieve worst result since 1935”. The picture is obviously a bit more complex than that, but seats are what dictates who the government will be. I wonder when Labour have last needed a larger swing than 11% to win an election… but I think a minority government is the most realistic prospect anyway.

  22. I think 2017 was the worst distribution of votes per seat since 1959, worse than 2019 infact. As well as a lower number of seats than votes. Labour got 40.5% in votes cast and 40% in seats won. The problem with the 1935 comparison is the implication is that Labour did really badly and needs to seriously change it’s strategy to win but unless Labour’s poor distribution of votes suddenly ceases to be a problem then your strategy could be the best in the world and Labour would still have a really poor distribution of votes

    I did mean specifically brexit voters, ofc Labour should win over other voters. Unless a tory collapse happens Labour will need to win over other voters. So far Labour have won over Lib Dems in their truckloads but the latest comres poll showed a swing to the tories from 2019 Labour voters. So squaring that problem is important. Starmer is basically the leader the Lib Dems wanted but we now need others to cross 40% and take the lead without upsetting old voters and new

  23. Labour tends to be piling up votes in places where it doesn’t need them. Surely the answer is to appeal to people outside those places. I think the poor distribution of votes was one reason they won the popular vote in 1951 but lost that election on seats.

  24. Yes and it was Labours biggest vote share ever.

    The problem Labour face and have almost always faced is their seats have always been small urban and dense while Tories represent rural seats with sparsely populated voters. There are a lot more of the latter with it taking more voters to make up sparsely populated constituencies. Now it’s easy to say Labour just need to win over voters in those latter seats. However, with the the boundary review increasing the number of sparsely populated seats and reducing densely populated seats that gets harder. Plus deindustrialisation has meant the few rural seats that were Labour have been trending Tory for 20 years.

  25. Two polls have been published today by YouGov and Ipsos Mori both have a tory lead of about 4 points with Labour dropping from level pegging in both.

    This has prompted Chris Curtice from Opinium to write a thread on Labour leakage to the Greens as the Ipsos poll had Greens on 8%. Chris says Greens are easier to squeeze but the window on that as the Greens are on course for significant progress in the local elections. Here in Sheffield I suspect Labour will lose in May and we may have a Green/Lib Dem administration with a new committee system. Could mean significant positions of influence for Green cllrs in one of the biggest metropolitan authorities

  26. “Yes and it was Labours biggest vote share ever.”

    That’s true – they’ve never bettered the 48.8% they achieved at that election (one they ironically lost). The two-party system was probably at its height then. Its much harder now with a multi-party politics in which the progressive vote is split. if you go to the Labour Wikipedia article you can see an elections overview and sort the results by votes, seats etc. All the 1950s general elections are in Labour’s top 10 vote shares. However, Blair was able to distribute their vote in the crucial seats more effectively. If you look at the top 10 Labour seat shares, Blair is 1st, 2nd and 5th. Only two of the four 1950s elections are in that list. Labour’s bottom 10 vote shares includes two elections from the 2010s (Brown and Miliband). However, 2019 was Labour’s 11th worst-ever seat share – and all the elections with worse seat shares are pre-war, from the party’s early period.

    I think I’ve read that Labour wasn’t able to target its vote effectively in 1951. Prospect did an article a few years ago about why 1951 was their best ever vote share (essentially because of class and how industrial the country was then).

  27. Although interestingly, two of the Conservatives’ top 10 worst-ever vote shares were in the 2010s (the Cameron elections), with another two from the 2000s. Their worst-ever vote share was in 1997.

  28. If you see that article again do send it my way

    I’m sure I heard 1997 was the worst result since the 1880s

  29. After Chris Curtice comments Stephen Bush has written another article. It canbe summed up as its too early to say but the Lib Dems might have more to worry about re: the rise of Greens than Labour because Labour don’t have to do much to squeeze the Green vote

  30. Matt, the article is here:
    https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/labour-party-crisis-red-sag-jeremy-corbyn
    It was written in the context of Corbyn’s leadership back in 2017, and “something quite unexpected” did happen – the article was written over a month before May called the snap election. Aside from those bits, I think it gives a really good overview of the difficulties Labour faces today compared to its vote share peak in 1951.

    I wonder if Blair would have done better than 48% without Labour voters tactically voting for the Lib Dems. Of course you then have to offset that with Lib Dems tactically voting for Labour etc, which would probably be a much lower number. Without PR, it’s difficult to say what the “real” Labour vote is.

    The 1997 Conservative result was basically their worst vote share since their formation under that name in 1834. However, it wasn’t their worst seat share – that was in 1906, when they got 19.6% of seats (in 1997 they won 25% of seats). However, in 1906 they actually won 43.4% of the vote (amazingly), higher than Thatcher in 1983 or 1987. The Tory Party (under that name) got 29.2% of the vote in 1832 and 26.6% of seats. Elections before that year don’t seem to have vote shares or numbers of votes cast, probably because there wasn’t a meaningful franchise and we still had “rotten boroughs”.

  31. An interesting read indeed, yes the context is amusing particularly the first sentence given what then happened

    In other news its been announced today that the Forde Inquiry into the culture of the Labour Party will not be released until ICO have concluded their investigation. Martin Forde has written to David Evans that ICO is not only investigating the leaked report into the Labour Party anti semitism unit but the messages passed to the inquiry with potential criminal charges brought.

  32. ICO? Criminal charges for who?

  33. Information Commissioner Office. Anyone who is found to be serious breach of security and data protection I imagine

  34. So I suppose those responsible for doing the leaking would be the ones potentially charged with criminal offences.

  35. I will be honest I don’t know the ins and outs of it all. I don’t know if the party itself would be held responsible or the individuals themselves as it appears ICO is actually calling into the question the decision to hand over these messages to the Forde Inquiry. I don’t know who actually agreed to that.

    From reading between the lines it seems to be the outgoing GS Jennie Formby decision to contact ICO I assume on the advice of the GLU (Labour legal unit). However, it was the current leadership that set up the Forde Inquiry, though tbf who actually gave Martin Forde those messages is not as clear cut. If it was some poor intern who was told to by their boss, while responsible it seems hardly fair to lay blame all on their doorstep

  36. There seem to be a lot of leaks at Labour HQ – the anti-Semitism report, the patriotism stuff, the 2017 manifesto (although was the last one intentional?).

  37. The patriotism report wasn’t actually anything to do with the Labour Party. Some company decided to focus group on the issue and their views on the party. I’m not even sure the party were ever aware of the report.

    The manifesto depends on who you ask. People on the left say a moderate leaked it and it backfired. Moderates say the left leaked it for personal gain.

    Southside (Labour HQ) has been in a bad place for a long time. Labour were planning on selling it because they had no money. It was only the 2 million the party made with 350,000 people joining and 180,000 registred supporters at £25 each that saved it. Party is in fairly bad shape again though, they’ve just sacked all their community organisers because they can’t afford them. Glad they turned me down now for the job

    Regional offices are in worst shape. I got a job in one 4 years ago but was flat out told by colleague that it’s not a good place so i turned it down. The regional office back home ran our selection process in 2019 and it couldn’t have been worse. At first they picked someone on the board of airport expansion, an issue that is so unpopular there that it just showed complete lack of insight. Fortunately they turned it down. Then region picked someone with no link to the area at all overlooking two local candidates because of a complaint and still to this day no one has been allowed to see this complaint.

    I’ve been trying to get in contact with my regional office which has been really difficult and when i did get in touch with someone they weren’t very nice. I was reading last night that the regional office in the south west ran one of Bristol Labours AGMs last night and it took 7 hours. Almost 100 people couldn’t vote including the MP, some people voted twice, some of the ballots you could only vote for one person despite two people standing and one person was told last minute they were ineligible to stand because they were in arrears.

    MPs offices aren’t as bad and tbf separate from party but i understand a colleague was asked in an interview who he voted for in the leadership election which i would have thought was a no no. Constituency Labour Parties are always controversial but its the ones you haven’t heard of that are most worrying. I remember living in CLP that never met, would stack the room with members they’d pay to be there, basically run by the MP and hie mates, you could only be a cllr if you were loyal to the mp, etc.

    Some unions are like this too, I was never invited to my local unite branch meetings and would only find out about who they nominated afterwards. Same with unison

  38. Fascinating stuff, esp from Matt.

    In more general Lab news…now five polls in a row which shows either Labour down and/or Tories increased.

  39. @ Matt Wilson

    Everything I’ve read about Bristol West sounds shocking and because of the suspensions there it is hard not to consider the possibility that this was designed for a “right wing” slate rather than just mismanagement- at least on some aspects to the meeting. We may find this out if the party refuses to run the elections again having got the candidates in place that they are happy with.

    Despite being very much on the left of the party (well shortly not to be in the party I suspect and voting Green) I am genuinely open minded about any given story and can see two sides to some of the stories that the left of the party get upset about. You wouldn’t for example expect the NEC to vote for balanced race/gender sub committees if this meant not having their preferred people on those committees.

    The big problem I think in getting to the truth is that the mainstream press refuse to cover these stories so you do not get a balance to the left wing twitter feed/Sqawkbox and you are left with little option but to believe what you hear if you don’t hear a counter argument.

    The tabloids would have been all over this if it had happened under Corbyn but they don’t want the narrative of Starmer going in hard on the left. Papers like the Guardian do not want to cover these stories because they don”t want their readership to turn negative towards Starmer in cases where him or his allies have been authoritarian.

  40. Yes the polling seems to be a product of two things. A vaccine boost that Labour HQ appear to be briefing will mean a decent showing for the Tories in May. A pretty bad week in the press last week from PMQs to patriotism with numerous articles about leaderehip. The latest survation poll is particularly concerning with Labour down 5 on 33. Almost unchanged from 2019. Most likely an outlier but the underlying numbers; leadership approvals down, best pm rating down, VI numbers down, etc. is on trend.

    If the moderates in the Labour Party were attempting to portray competent, new leadership in Bristol…

    There is an argument that the failure of the print press to offer engaging news coverage has led to alternative media outlets

  41. Update on Forde Inquiry. A group of female black MPs have written demanding release of the Forde Inquiry including 3 front benchers; Marsha de Cordova, Florence Eshalomi and Chi Onwurah

  42. RE: Survation poll. Amongst Men the gap between the Tories and Labour fell from 6 to 2 but amongst women a Labour lead of 2 became a tory lead of 10. Caveat ofc being a subsample

  43. I mean men/women should be relatively robust for a subsample, presumably thethry each have an N equal to half the total sample size. But this does look odd and it’s quite a wide discrepancy to be explained solely by random variation. It’s also an outlier compared to the trend – in 2019 there was a historically large gender gap in voting intention.

    Maybe it’s just a copying error on the report? It would make much more sense if it were women going from -2 to +2 and men going from +6 to +10.

  44. That’s true but I wouldn’t rule out a swing toward men and a swing away from women. The gender gap in the last few elections is because of Labour being perceived as weak on national security. It put off white working class men in particular. The whole image of starmer as looking the part might appeal to those voters.

    While I remember someone saying Cameron tried to make the tories more environmental as a way to close that gender gap by winning over middle class women. Labour have done very well with that group in recent years because of Brexit and they’ve been very strong on the environment. The Tories though have now announced the Green Industrial Revolution, nicking Corbyns words in 2019 word for word. Labour haven’t said a great deal about the environment of recent and there are rumours that they’ll drop their carbon emissiond target

  45. Yes there was a very interesting New Statesman piece recently on the right-wing press’s tentative embrace of a more environmentalist agenda. It made the point that putting a nationalist spin on climate change isn’t at all logical – Britain should rationally want all countries to drop their emissions as fast as possible, it’s not about winning and losing.

    The “zero by 2030” target already seemed unfeasible in 2019, but insofar as the deadline was at all achievable it was predicated on the existence of ten years of Labour government. I doubt the Tories will be on track to meet Labour’s target by the end of the parliament so it would seem reasonable for Labour to push that date back to 2035 in their 2024 manifesto.

  46. Tbf I went to a meeting last night where our environment portfolio holder who is pretty moderate produced a very comprehensive plan to reduce carbon emissions by 90% by 2030

  47. Well then I’m guessing your environment portfolio holder is not Bill Gates: https://amp.theguardian.com/technology/2021/feb/15/bill-gates-carbon-neutrality-in-a-decade-is-a-fairytale-why-peddle-fantasies

    I just feel like this is all a bit like David Cameron’s insistence on dropping migration to 100k per year – a target which the party was never going to hit and probably didn’t intend to. Although, at least CO2 reduction is a good thing to be aiming for.

  48. Another bit of internal party politics has reached the ears of journalists in national press. Yesterday Labour decided to reopen it’s shortlist for it’s selection of candidate for Mayor of Liverpool. Further to that the party has publicly said all three women shortlisted will not be reconsidered

  49. Liverpool Labour Councillors have issued a statement. The only democratic way forward is for Labour to reconsider the three candidates

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