An interactive map of Labour’s problems

May 18, 2015

Below is a map of the problems that the Labour Party faces.

This an interactive map of all the constituencies in the UK which shows which party made the biggest gains. You can click and hold to drag the map around, zoom in or run the cursor over a constituency to see the details. If you have a problem viewing the map try reloading the page and make sure your Flash plugin is up to date by clicking here.

In the election not only did the Labour Party fail to make any significant gains but in the process it began to lose big chunks of of its old core vote. The years of treating Scotland as a sinecure run by a cynical, sometimes corrupt, and mostly complacent Labour establishment meant that it was destroyed by the SNP. But just as serious was the erosion of its old English working class base, especially in the north of England. Labour’s domination in many communities was intimately bound up with the culture and community of the old Labour movement, old industries and trade unionism. Those pillars of the Labour Party have all but vanished and Labour, taking those voters for granted, did little to rebuild new roots or create new organic connections to those communities. Labour believed that it had a solid raft of support because there were lots of people who would never vote Tory, its entire election strategy seemed to consist of simply saying “we are not nasty Tories”. But it turns out that those voters from old Labour communities did have a non-Tory and non-Labour alternative in the shape of UKIP. As I have said before the decision by many people to vote UKIP was both rational and effective because if they hadn’t who now would be discussing what those people want, what they are worried about, what they are angry about.

If the leadership struggle inside UKIP results in a less old fashioned form of rightism, if it remains cultural conservative, English nationalist, but also opposed to big business, the greedy bankers and the remote London cosmopolitan elite, then UKIP could be a formidable force of disintegration inside Labour old heartlands.

The only strong island of success for the Labour Party was London. Its odd, isn’t it, that the city whose entire economy is built around global banking, the city with the highest incomes and property prices in the UK and the city that has received by the far the most foreign migrants in the last couple of decades is the one region in the UK that saw the Labour vote grow by a substantial amount.

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