Sir Keir Starmer is keen to detract any blame from himself on the historical Labour defeat of the 2019 general election.
Sir Starmer claims Jeremy Corbyn came up on the doorstep more than Brexit, however, the reality is Labour lost their MPs in 60 constituencies, many long-perceived as safe red seats, 52 of those seats were Labour leave voting seats.
No matter how you spin it or try to use post-truth facts it was Labour’s vote losing Brexit policy and specifically the second referendum aspect that witnessed those 52 seats not voting Labour.
Where Sir Keir Starmer has declared that the 2019 result was down to the unpopularity of one person – Jeremy Corbyn – and that Labour’s left-wing policies meant that the party was unelectable. The reality is he is perpetuating a lie. By repeating this lie an establishment slur it helps to shovel dirt on the Left wing agenda of the Labour Party and socialism in general.
Confidential Labour election report reveals 1.2m party voters just stayed at home
The official 44-page report revealed the party lost 2.6m voters between elections.
The post-mortem and official report found it would be “unrealistic” not to say its policy to hold a second Brexit referendum played a “decisive” role in Labours’ defeat
It said the party’s eventual position of proposing a second Brexit referendum alongside an option to leave on a newly-negotiated deal by Labour, aimed to reach across the country, “but was largely unsuccessful”. LINK
While the authors accepted there were “negative views” of the outgoing leader they did not lay direct blame at his door.
Far from being a weak or divisive leader, they concluded instead that he was the victim of four years of unrelenting attacks on his character. This was an “assault without precedent in modern politics”, they said.
The problem with this is that Labour’s policies are, in fact, overwhelmingly popular: significant majorities of voters support funding the NHS, raising the minimum wage, building council homes and a necessity in a modern country free broadband that would allow the poorer sections of society access to wider learning, all good social democratic policies.
While the evidence shows that Corbyn’s leadership was unpopular, this sense of leadership was profoundly linked to his Brexit position, gifting the Conservatives the “dither and delay” line they were able to use so effectively. And I believe this – Brexit – provides the most plausible way of summing up Labour’s defeat in one word.
Precisely, the problem was that Labour massively underestimated how much leave voters wanted Brexit, while overestimating how much remainers wanted to stop Brexit. Millions and millions of people still want Britain to leave the EU
In 2017, Labour won 41% of the vote by winning the support of 55% of remain voters and 24% of leave voters. In 2019, according to a post-election poll by YouGov, Labour won 49% among remainers (-6pts), with 21% of remainers voting Liberal Democrat (+9pts) and 19% supporting the Conservatives (-6pts). Labour’s lead over the Tories among remainers in 2019 (30pts) was thus exactly the same as in 2017 (30pts). But among leave voters, the Conservatives’ lead over Labour increased from 41pts to 60pts, with the party winning 74% of the leave vote (+9pts), and just 14% voting for Labour (-10pts). Just 17% of the voters who supported remain in 2016 and Labour in 2017 voted for an explicitly pro-remain party in 2019, that is to say the Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru, SNP or Green. But 39% of those who voted leave in 2016 and Labour in 2017 supported an explicitly pro-Brexit party in 2019.
Meanwhile, of the 54 seats that the Conservatives gained from Labour, 52 of them were in areas that voted leave in 2016
The Labour Party lost 2.6m voters between the 2017 and 2019 general elections, a major internal report has found.
Around 750,000 former supporters switched to the Lib Dems while a similar number went to pro-Brexit parties, primarily the Tories.
However, senior Labour figures claimed a further 1.2m Labour voters from 2017 decided just to stay at home.
Party strategists say that as turnout overall only went down slightly it was a “reasonable assumption” that non-voters who had turned out in 2016 to back Brexit, had come out again to get the job done.
‘Have you been listening to the red wall?’
Neil astounded as Starmer backs free movement has left Labour leadership frontrunner Sir Keir Starmer stunned after the BBC host accused the shadow Brexit secretary of “not listening to the red wall” over his immigration plans.
Andrew Neil challenged Sir Keir on his claim to be able to unify the Party and rebuild the Red wall of the Labour Heartlands. Asked how he could now reconcile Sir Starmer’s own policy of Freedom of movement with the Brexit supporting former Labour seats:
Sir Keir said: “Well we talked a lot of free movement in those areas.”
Mr Neil interrupted by saying: “And you want it to continue.”
Sir Keir said: “Actually when we had the discussion, again got past the gritty bit, there is a lot of respect people have – when you have a conversation with them.
“There is a lot said by people about what people think, but actually I would say go and spend some time – have those conversations.
“When we got to the nitty-gritty bit of it, which is should people in this country be able to go and work in Europe, should those in Europe be able to come to work here, most people thought that was a good idea.
“When we got to should families be able to live together, broadly speaking most people agreed with that, and when we got to should people in this country be able to study in Europe.”
Mr Neil then stated Sir Keir’s plans all add up to freedom of movement and nothing would change under his leadership.
The BBC host said: “All that adds up to is free movement.”
Sir Keir then responded by saying: “But Andrew you’re missing my point in those communities, where I had those discussions, actually we were, I am not saying everybody.”
Mr Neil said: “So people up there who voted Tory, used to vote Labour, voted Tory.
“Immigration being a big issue, there’re now all in favour of free movement, have you been listening to the red wall?”
Sir Keir Starmer then insisted the question of immigration was not as simple as yes or no and involved a much deeper conservation.
He said: “I have, I am trying to explain to you what I have been doing for the past three years.
“Which is actually going and having those conversations and getting past these sound bite do you want immigration yes/no.
“And having a discussion, going on often for an hour or so about the sorts of things that matter to people, and I have done that out of real respect and wanting to engage with people.
“Because if in the end it just boils down to do you want immigration yes or no, you are going absolutely nowhere.”
Sir Keir is up against shadow Business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey and backbench MP Lisa Nandy in the Labour leadership contest.
Labour members began voting for their next leader on February 24.
The next Labour leader will be announced on April 4.
This reporter would suggest that Sir Keir Starmer, like many politicians, is in the habit of not listening he seems to be hearing what he wants to hear and disregarding the rest.
Where’s your money coming from?
Neil was relentless in pursuing the question of Starmer’s donations accusing him of hiding behind process asking what was he trying to hide as both Lisa Nandy and Rebecca Long-Bailey had both shown their full listings of donations.
Related articles: The FBU released the first in a series of videos criticising Sir Keir Starmer and Lisa Nanny, starting with one that highlights the participation of their failed 2016 ‘coup’. LINK