After the rigours of the Country Tour (some 650 miles supporting eight CLPs – from Lydney to Darwen) the tube and train swept me westward to spend Saturday supporting Tony Clements, our PPC for Beaconsfield (yes another Tony standing in that interesting part of Buckinghamshire!). Given the response on the door-step and the street stalls he is well on his way to a good showing, and a reasonable prospect of polling well above the 3,884 votes (10.4% of the vote) achieved by one Tony Blair in 1983.
Some colleagues have argued with me about going to such seats – ‘they aren’t our voters’, ‘they won’t vote for us’ . . . y’know, the usual stuff. Thankfully, most of my comrades aren’t omniscient, and some might be surprised at quite how many Labour voters were born in, have moved to and continue to live in coastal and countryside parts of the UK; and that came to talk to us during the day. They might also be surprised at quite what you can find in local charity bookshops, including a Summary of the 1947 National Assistance Bill, a key plank of the emerging Welfare State created by Attlee’s government.
Being a national party, being the party of Labour and of the people I think we have to stand in every election and provide our supporters with the opportunity to vote for the positive future we offer wherever they live; and as my fellow campaigner Ian Parker put it, with such a tight election commentators, leader writers and the press will make a lot of the number of seats we win AND the number of votes cast in our favour. The higher the vote and vote share the greater the ‘moral high ground’ in our favour on May 8th.
Every vote does count in the emergence of a new Labour Government.
Hywel Lloyd is a Co-founder of Labour: Coast & Country
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Labour: Coast & Country.