Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Why did so many Labour voters turn against the party in December? Coastal Action wants to know.

Why did so many Labour voters turn against the party in December? Coastal Action wants to know.

Rebel Labour voters invited to explain why at focus group

Are you a traditional Labour supporter who switched your vote  in December’s general election? If so, local pollster Coastal Action invites you to bare your soul at a focus group to be held next Saturday and throw light on why the party lost the seat so badly. Nick Terdre reports.

As Labour prepares to elect a new leadership team, Hastings-based electoral research organisation Coastal Action is looking into the reasons why the party suffered such a heavy defeat on 12 December in a marginal seat widely expected to swing its way.

“…there is growing interest in the reasons for the defeat, taking in the issues that need to be addressed in order for the party to regain the trust of former supporters and identifying the leadership candidates most likely to appeal to this group,” it says.

As part of its research it is inviting traditional Labour voters who abandoned their usual preference to join a focus group on Saturday 29 February and discuss the reasons for their decision – a phenomenon which was repeated in many Labour strongholds and led to the party’s worst general election performance since 1935.

The event will take place at a central location and will last no more than 90 minutes; refreshments will be provided. Would-be participants are asked to contact Coastal Action via Facebook.

Poll gets it right

A poll of local voting intentions conducted by Coastal Action in the early days of December foresaw a significant swing back to the Conservatives. Leaving aside undecided voters, it predicted that the Tories would take 46.8% of the vote, Labour 36.3%, the Liberal Democrats 14.8% and the independent candidate 1.9%. It cautioned that there was still a large number of undecided voters.

In the event the Tories polled better than forecast, with 49.6%, and so did Labour, with 42.1%. The Lib Dems took 7.3% and the independent 1%.

The poll provided a reality check on Labour optimism, but provoked incredulity and indignation in some party  members when revealed at a hustings shortly before polling day, HOT hears.

CA focus gp poster 350The party, along with many other people, is still trying to decide what went wrong and who would be the best leader to take over from Jeremy Corbyn and fix it. The choice has been narrowed down to three: Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Keir Starmer.

So if you are in a position to throw light on the wave of disaffection that swept through the ranks of traditional Labour voters in December, sign up for Coastal Action’s focus group on Saturday.

Posted 14:05 Monday, Feb 24, 2020 In: Politics


Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. Patrick Burton

    I can’t attend the meeting and am not on Facebook.
    In the past I have been an active Labour Party member and in Hastings I have canvassed for the Party and have always voted for it. Most reluctantly I did so this time.
    In my view the causes for Labour’s predicted and predictable defeat are several. Jeremy Corbyn was a divisive figure, and many, but not all, of the policies devised by him and John McDonald were remnants of 1950’s ideology. Perhaps Labour should have stuck to three or four key policies that we could have all agreed on, including running the economy properly.
    Corbyn was not credible as a Prime Minister. He proved unable to unite his party and include all sections of it within his leadership, and was unable to effectively shut down issues like anti -semitism within the party. You can’t imagine Alastair Campbell allowing this to rumble on, but they expelled him!
    The Labour leadership denigration of the thrice time election winning New Labour and its many achievements must have alienated many Labour voters.
    All Labour leaders and the Party get it hard from the mostly right wing press, and the Tories are usually well financed and are usually a well organised election winning machine. Labour lost the previous election under Corbyn, but having lost the plot under May, the Tories nearly lost it too, giving Labour members the illusion that they could do better next time.
    Corbyn was always Eurosceptic. The referendum was a calamity and mishandled by Labour under his leadership (and by Cameron under his). Labour should never have agreed to the referendum, nor Article 50 triggering of negotiations to leave, nor later an election which it couldn’t possibly win.
    But above all, the Tories had learnt the lesson of the previous election. They had people of proven tactical and electioneering experience and achievements, an election winning leader, loads of money and a really simple message.
    Labour can’t change anything without gaining power, probably a shared power. A big membership and fantasist leftist policies are no substitute for that. The real losers, as always, are ‘the people’.

    Comment by Patrick Burton — Thursday, Feb 27, 2020 @ 11:28

  2. Erica Smith

    The chairing of the hustings at Sussex Coast College was poor, and I don’t think it was appropriate to end it with an unannounced poll of a small number of local voters . That was what caused incredulity and indignation from the AUDIENCE – I’m sure you weren’t able to do a poll to see that it was all ‘party members’.
    Personally, I’m not going to attend your meeting but I think it’s fairly obvious why the electorate was turned from voting Labour – a prolonged and financially well supported national campaign to demonise Jeremy Corbyn, and a three word slogan which promised to answer over three years procrastination over Brexit.

    Comment by Erica Smith — Thursday, Feb 27, 2020 @ 10:09

Leave a comment

(no more than 350 words)

Also in: Politics

More HOT Stuff

    HOT is run by volunteers but has overheads for hosting and web development. Support HOT!


    Advertise your business or your event on HOT for as little as £20 per month
    Find out more…


    If you like HOT and want to keep it sustainable, please Donate via PayPal, it’s easy!


    Do you want to write, proofread, edit listings or help sell advertising? then contact us

  • Subscribe to HOT