I went canvassing yesterday for a local council by-election and was struck by two things. Firstly, the revival of the Lib Dem vote was strong and of course, from my point of view, most welcome. But what really stood out was the the position of the Labour Party and it was not good news for them!
Yes of course I came across a few tribal Labour voters who have voted Labour all their lives and will continue to do so no matter what Labour stands for. I suppose you categorise them as Labour’s right wing. Most of them will not actually be Labour Party members but their loyalty to Labour is absolute.
Compare that with the actual membership of the Labour Party these days; predominately left wing, socialist and very much behind Jeremy Corbyn.
These two groups are all but incompatible and to add to the mix you have the vast majority of Labour’s MP’s being in neither camp! Yes of course some will be from Labour’s working class tribal right and some will be Corbynites but the vast majority of them are stuck somewhere in the middle. They will be seen as being social democrats in polite company and as Red Tories by their own Party membership.
So what about Prescot? Well Labour-run Knowsley Council is clearly about as popular as snow at harvest; even Labour supporters who expressed a view about their local council were hardly complimentary. But what I noticed, if you take away Labour’s tribal supporters, is that the rest are hardly enthused about Labour at all these days.
Obviously I don’t know how the Prescot by-election will turn out but what I could clearly see on the doorsteps of Prescot was that the national trend of Labour support slipping away whilst Lib Dem support rises is being replicated.
As I often say, hey I’m a Liberal, most Labour folk seem too right wing to me.
PS. BTW I personally did not come across anyone who said they were a Tory supporter.