Labour’s report into their loss in the 2015 UK elections is brutal

The Tories cleaned out Labour in 2015 in the UK, and as a result Labour held an inquiry into why they lost.

They even produced a public report into their findings, which is more than can be said for NZ Labour and their report into the 2014 loss.

The report summarises the ten main findings:

The Independent Inquiry has ten messages and three lessons.
Ten messages
  1. A tsunami of aspirant voters sank Labour and the pollsters. Voters abandoned Labour because they believedLabour lacked economic credibility and the perception was that it would be profligate in government. In contrast, they trusted the Tories with their economic security.
  2. Labour lost because voters didn’t believe it would cut the deficit. The Tories didn’t win despite their commitment to cut spending and the deficit: they won because of it.The Tories were trusted to manage the country’s finances, Labour was not.
  3. Labour is losing its working-class support and UKIPis reaping the benefits. Since 2005 it has been socially conservative voters who are most likely to have deserted Labour.
  4. Labour hasn’t been this far from the electorate for a generation. In each of the last two general elections, but particularly in May 2015, Labour has marched away from the views of voters on a series of issues that are fundamental to the party’s electoral prospects – including welfare,public services and business.    
  5. Labour is becoming a toxic brand. It is perceived by voters as a party that supports an ‘open door’ approach to immigration, lacks credibility on the economy, and is a‘soft touch’ on welfare spending.
  6. Scottish voters are more ‘progressive’ than those in England and Wales but they do not inhabit a completely different universe. Scottish voters are not the same as those in England and Wales, but many share the same concerns.An anti-austerity message has more potency in Scotland than in England and Wales, but it still remains a minority position and did not appear to be the main reason for theSNP’s electoral success.
  7. Surprisingly, Labour is still the least toxic party in Scotland. Despite Labour’s electoral calamity in 2015, our poll suggests the party has some hope of recovery.
  8. Identity underpins the SNP’s success. Scottish identity is not only very important to more voters than English or Welsh identity is to the English and Welsh; it is also seen as important across a wider range of values groups.The SNP has succeeded in attaching patriotism to ‘progressive’ values.
  9. Voters unambiguously heard a clear message about economic stability from the Tory campaign, but were much less certain about Labour’s message. WhateverLabour thought its message was, the public was either unclear about it, or saw it as being about protecting public services.
  10. Labour is on life support in England and Wales, without signs of resurgence in the areas needed to build a winning coalition. It faces a monumental challenge in Scotland.

All of those messages apply in various forms to New Zealand and to Labour.

The three lessons UK Labour have identified are equally important to New Zealand.

  1. Labour must be economically radical, fiscally prudent. Labour did not recognise the fact that the electorate is both economically radical and fiscally prudent – but fiscalr esponsibility trumps economic reform. If people do not trust Labour with their taxes they will not support it,however much they might agree with its economic policies.
  2. Identity and belonging drive politics. Labour has to stop patronising socially conservative UKIP voters and recognise the ways in which UKIP appeals to former Labour voters. To build enough bridges to get its voice heard again amongst these voters, it needs to develop a politics that is radical on the economy and small-c conservative – supporting the values of family,work and country.
  3. Labour is becoming an exclusive brand. The desertion of socially conservative voters in England heralds a broader trend of working-class voters’ detachment from Labour. The Labour Party is now largely a party of progressive, social liberals who value universalist principles such as equality, sustainability and social justice. It is losing connection with large parts of the voter population who are either pragmatists in their voting habits or social conservatives who value family, work,fairness and their country.

As you can see those are three lessons the NZ Labour party has failed to learn.

If Nigel Haworth would concentrate more on his role as party president than trying to wreck the fishing industry he could start with copy/pasting this and putting it in a NZ context.


– UK Labour

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