Labour’s performance in leave areas shows wisdom of Corbyn approach – and centrist damage


From the early results in the local elections – which were primarily in leave-voting areas where the Tories expected to do relatively well – a pattern seems to be emerging in terms of who is winning UKIP’s collapsed vote base.

Leave areas like Plymouth and Swindon, which Jeremy Corbyn has visited often, have seen Labour pick up a major share of UKIP’s losses compared to 2014. Labour took control of Plymouth council – and won more than half of the former-UKIP vote share in Swindon and Portsmouth.

A small group of back-bench, right-wing Labour MPs have ignored party policy to push calls for a second referendum – along with the idea that electoral success lies in abandoning leave voters to appeal only to remainers by nailing Labour’s colours to the mast of ‘defeating Brexit’. The voices of those MPs have been massively over-amplified by the ‘MSM’.

In leave areas Corbyn has not been able to spend as much time – and where the dominant perception of voters will therefore have been driven by the media/press – the Tories have hoovered up a majority of the ex-UKIP share.

Last year the SKWAWKBOX highlighted – and even the ‘MSM’ had to recognise – Corbyn’s intelligent and skilful handling of the Brexit issue. Labour stunned the Establishment by making gains in leave-voting constituencies as well as remain.

But in these local elections, the damage done by undermining back-bench MPs shouting about the idea of preventing Brexit can be seen.

That damage has not been accidental.

Labour MPs who are, intentionally or idiotically, helping the Tories by making a big noise about Brexit – instead of letting the Tories’ incompetence bring them down while Labour focuses on the NHS, jobs, wages and other more important matters – have no place in the party.

Last year, the SKWAWKBOX lauded Corbyn’s handling of the thorny Brexit issue – and he was proven right at the General Election.

Where he has been able personally to carry that message across to voters, Labour have performed strongly in eating up former UKIP votes – a situation that would be far more widespread in a general election period with its more impartial coverage.

The responsibility for the areas where Labour took less of those former-UKIP votes sits squarely on the shoulders of the same right-wing ‘usual suspects’ who have taken every other opportunity to undermine Labour’s electoral prospects, just as they have done in this case.

They cannot be allowed to continue – but the way forward for genuine Labour activists and supporters is clear as far as the Brexit issue is concerned:

Focus on the immediate, societal issues and pains that people are suffering under the Tories – destroyed services, a collapsing NHS, increasing insecurity, soaring crime, the deaths of our vulnerable and the anguish of those who need help.

Let the Tories drown in the Brexit mess of their own making. Anything else prolongs the torment of our most vulnerable by driving leave voters to the Tories.

To do what undermining back-benchers have done was always – and probably wilfully – foolish. To continue to do it, now that the results have been demonstrated, will be unforgivable.

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  1. Tory cuts to Labour council budgets being generally greater and sometimes MUCH greater than cuts to Tory councils has an effect.


    People know less funding means poorer services and higher council tax because they’re not stupid.

    Tories will spin tonight as a win but it’s more of a draw – and we can work smarter.

    John Ashworth let James Cleverly blame Labour for the ’08 crash, then push the anti-Semitism lie, then blame Jeremy and Momentum for tonight – all without challenge.
    Liam Fox pretended shocked and angry offence at Dawn Butler claiming Tory institutional racism (fine for Tories to claim Labour anti-Semitism of course).

    We need to give our people the tools to slap Tories down for this crap.
    Every time.

  2. I see this as a good result , naturally I’d prefer to have a stonking win across the board for Labour , but , this leaves May in control and a great target for Labour going forward. AND all those idiots who voted CONs and now have a Local Conservative council instead of a Labour one simply means all the SHIT that they are now going to suffer cannot be in anyway blamed on Labour .
    Vote Tory get SHIT and now the Labour Party hierarchy MUST deal with the Red Tory MPs in our party as it is evident the damage they have caused as their CLPS seam unable or reluctant to de-select them.

  3. David McNiven it is almost uncanny that before reading your post and having watched the BBC coverage overnight I made the same points to my wife over breakfast almost word for word. I long for Labour politicians to take a more assertive stance but fear whilst there are so many trying to undermine the leadership that we will continue to offer apologies for manufactured controversies.

  4. All the Jewish Labour members in Barnett that supported the Tories cannot call themselves Labour members anymore.

    1. Correct Jenny.
      They are and probably always have been neo lib Blairites who now long for a Tory lite govt . Best off without them as they cannot be trusted to support a socialist Labour at least we now know what we are up against in Barnett.
      In fact the very same can be said more so for the Red Tory MPS who have done so much damage this time round with their manufactured controversies.
      We are NOT stupid we know Marc Wadsworth always was innocent of anti-Semitism the video clearly showed this , but that didn’t stop Smeeth and the lynching mob of MPs gunning for him .
      Such utter destruction will ensure a defeat at the GE and give the State Of Israel and it’s MPs here in Labour what they want , the opportunity to carry on destroying Palestine and its fuck all to do with real anti-Semitism.

      1. “Such utter destruction will ensure a defeat at the GE and give the State of Israel and its MPs here in Labour what they want”.

        Don’t forget the British arms industry, too, who undoubtedly have a dog in this fight as they would lose out BIG TIME under a Corbyn government…

  5. These results are a pitiful outcome for labour – where is the evidence of progress towards a general election victory – there is none – the british electorate is so ignorant

  6. Why are we concentrating on the ‘Brexit’ aspect here when right under our noses is the real reason for doubts in some voters minds about the Labour Party? It is the incessant and determined effort by the Zionists and their enablers on the right to prevent Jeremy Corbyn from becoming PM. To do that they have decided to split the Party with their phony AS accusations.

    We can ignore it if we want and don’t do anything about it in the hope it will go away, which it most certainly won’t, or we can decide once and for all to do something about it.

    Do we want another leader like Blair who sucked up to the Zionists to keep them quiet and as a consequence involved our country in an illegal war in Iraq on behalf of Israel or do we want a leader like Corbyn who recognises the way our country is being used as a pawn to prop up Israel’s apartheid State? It’s crunch time and we have to make a decision.

  7. I can see one factor that we couldn’t help because we’re not arseholes. The campaign had the backdrop of the Windrush scandal. This put Labour MPs like Dawn, David and Dianne front and centre fighting for Jamaican-born British citizens, while the Conservatives got the chance to dog-whistle about illegal immigration while shedding crocodile tears (that would be one weird animal).

    In Amber Valley we gained in a mostly middle-class Belper area, a town with a strong branch and year-round canvassing. However we lost three to the Tories, including two in Heanor that the BNP won in 2008.The borough had a solid 20-30% UKIP vote in 2014 but they fielded no candidates at all this time.

    I think we have to accept that doing the right thing can have negative consequences in certain parts of the country, and use the mass membership on the ground in these areas as a counterweight. Scare tactics and stats are losing their power to change hearts and minds – a more practical approach might work better.

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