Its not often I agree with the Guardian’s resident lefty Owen Jones but his assessment that were Labour to lose next month’s Hartlepool by-election it would be an “absolute catastrophe” is spot on.
Labour has held the northern town since 1959 but are now 49%-42% behind in the latest Survation poll. With a pandemic that has killed more people per thousand than any other country in the world, and an economy dip bigger than anywhere in Europe how is it that Sir Keir Starmer isn’t romping home in one of traditional seats?
The reality is that Labour hasn’t changed while its traditional ambitious working class voter has changed. Just ask your plumber which way he voted in the last General Election.
Labour has only been in power for 24 years of the last 70 and for ten of those year it was thanks to Tony Blair. And incredibly the Left hated him for winning and turning the country into North Korea.
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The polls will improve for Starmer as Covid becomes a distant horror but as long as Labour remains a broad church which embraces BLM at one end and capitalism at the other it will never have a clear message for the voters. And on that basis can’t win.