As SKWAWKBOX has warned for months, centrist claims of shift to remain in working-class heartlands are a fantasy – and Labour must now discard notion of new referendum
The SKWAWKBOX – like many Labour MPs and activists in leave areas – has warned for many months that centrists are fooling themselves in their claims that leave areas of England and Wales have shifted to remain – and that the Labour Party cannot afford to humour the fantasy by continuing to talk about a new referendum if it wants to avoid huge damage in its working-class heartlands.
Early results in tonight’s local elections – with losses in leave-voting heartlands such as Sunderland and Hartlepool – underscore those warnings emphatically.
While the balance is likely to shift somewhat as results from further south start to come in – Labour has gained share from UKIP in a number of Essex seats, for example – the losses in vote-share relative to UKIP and even the incompetent-but-still-seen-as-pro-Brexit Tories, even in many seats that Labour has held onto in its working-class heartlands show the damage that has been done by Labour’s remain-hungry centrists.
That damage was captured eloquently by Sunderland council leader Graeme Miller, as he reported on the loss of ten Labour councillors – and the noisy calls for a new referendum by MPs in a Labour leave stronghold:
Losses to the LibDems and Greens in some seats, accentuated by poor turnout, also confirm that Labour’s nuanced position – of holding a new referendum as a last resort to stop a hard Brexit – has not cut through well enough to the electorate.
It’s time to state a clear and unequivocal position – with any notion of a new referendum clearly and firmly jettisoned and Labour’s vision for a better UK post-Brexit writ large and unencumbered.
Accommodating centrist fantasies and obsessions is a luxury in which the Labour Party cannot indulge.
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