Corbyn, Brexit and a messaging failure on the policies are the main things blamed.
Since Thursday’s crushing election result, there’s been a spate of post-mortem hot takes.
We thought it was useful to put 16 of them together in one place and see what themes come out of them.
The two most common themes emerge as Corbyn’s personal unpopularity and Labour’s Brexit policy – which is considered either too pro-Remain or too ambiguous.
Several commentators also say that, while Labour’s manifesto promises are popular as individual policies, voters didn’t think Labour would or could deliver on them. Plus, there were too many of them and they came out of the blue – Labour should have spent years arguing for them. Nobody though said that they were too left-wing or radical.
Others make the point that Labour’s decline in the seats it lost goes back decades – with New Labour occasionally blamed for taking these areas for granted, failing to invest in them and parachuting outsiders like Tony Blair or the Milliband brothers into them.
Sienna Rodgers also makes the point that Labour’s hordes of enthusiastic activists are disproportionately London and big city based – perhaps partially explaining why the London vote held up better than Northern, Midland and Welsh towns.
- Simon Fletcher, who ran Corbyn’s leadership campaign, blames the leader’s unpopularity and how individually popular policies were packaged together in the manifesto.
- Caroline Flint, who lost her seat in the Don Valley, blames Corbyn’s unpopularity and Brexit.
- Lisa Nandy, the Wigan MP who will run for the leadership, says Labour hasn’t listened to Northern towns for years. It should have focussed on buses not trains, for example.
- Jess Phillips, who may also run for the leadership, says Labour isn’t trusted to deliver its radical policies.
- Sienna Rodgers, LabourList editor ,blames the Brexit Party standing down, the effectiveness of the ‘Get Brexit Done’ message, geographical disparity of activists and ineffective messaging
- George Eaton, of the New Statesman, blames Corbyn’s unpopularity, Labour’s ambiguous Brexit policy and a lack of credibility to deliver the party’s popular policies.
- Duncan Thomas says Labour weren’t considered credible – voters thought they wouldn’t or couldn’t make peoples’ lives better.
- John Harris says Labour lacks roots in its supposed heartlands and hasn’t got involved in working-class self help groups.
- Nesrine Malik says many Leave-voters feel Labour/Remainers look down on them and accuse them of xenophobia.
- Richard Seymour says Labour’s radical policies felt abstract because we’re not used to hearing about them.
- Adam Ramsay says Labour failed to rage against the hated political system.
- Aditya Chakrabotty says Labour has taken the areas it lost for granted for decades and Corbyn failed to reverse this trend.
- Jonathan Freedland blames Corbyn.
- Gary Younge blames a lack of message discipline and a failure to shift the debate away from Brexit.
- James Mcash, a councillor in Southwark, says that neither Brexit or ‘too left-wing’ are convincing explanations – although he says he doesn’t have the answer himself.
- Kate Proctor, of the Guardian, blames Corbyn, not making the case for long enough for the manifesto’s policies, Brexit and Labour’s frontbench being too London-centric.
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