The Fall of the Red Wall: 'the Labour Party No Longer Represents People Like Us'

Front Cover
Independently Published, Jul 15, 2020 - 298 pages
Why did thousands of lifelong Labour voters in the party's heartland seats abandon the party in the 2019 General Election? Simple explanations like 'Brexit' and 'Corbyn' dramatically underestimate the importance of longer term trends, and the changing public narrative in these communities. This is the story of one of the most remarkable shifts in British politics.In the Red Wall constituencies, parents and grandparents had passed down stories of the Labour Party standing in solidarity with local working people. These were Labour towns and Labour people. This public narrative shaped the collective memory, identity and politics of these communities for a hundred years. It also sustained the Labour vote.This book explains how this public narrative changed and why it matters. As Labour became increasingly disconnected from its traditional working class communities, these voters shared stories of being left behind, ignored, taken for granted, looked down on and betrayed. Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn's leadership accelerated this process and a new public narrative emerged 'the Labour party no longer represents people like us'. By 2019 a 'never Tory' generation had become Conservative voters.The fall of the Red Wall highlights the risks of failing to understand and respond to public narratives. It also provides crucial lessons for political storytelling. Drawing on analysis of long term trends, extensive academic research, election results, focus groups and interviews in forty-one Red Wall constituencies, this book sets out key principles to guide Labour's development of a new political narrative. It is essential reading for political communicators and activists, analysts and researchers, from across the political spectrum.

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