Labour’s Brexit betrayal gives the Conservatives an opportunity

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks at the Rally to Remain campaign event, at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, in Westminster, London.

Roughly two-thirds of Parliamentary Constituencies that currently have a Labour MP voted to Leave and almost all of these Labour incumbents saw their majorities dropped significantly. Looking at some of the strongest Vote Leave areas currently held by Labour Members of Parliament you can see some startling results.

Great Grimsby (71.4% Leave) and Stoke-on-Trent North (72.1% Leave) both saw the Labour incumbents majority cut by around a half whilst Dudley North (71.4%) saw a majority of over 4000 votes cut down to just 22 votes. Most dramatic by a large margin was Ashfield (70.5%) which saw Gloria De Piero’s majority of 8820 votes reduced to 441 votes and of course Walsall North(74.2%) and Mansfield(70.9%) were both Conservative gains in the 2017 General Election despite both being considered Labour safe seats.

Despite all this, what we are seeing in Parliament today is a Labour party intent on derailing Brexit and abandoning 17.4million votes, many of whom reside within their own constituencies. It all began with Jeremy Corbyn issuing a 3 Line Whip to vote against invoking Article 50 and it has culminated with Labour backing the amendment from the Arch Remainer’s designed to overturn Brexit (although all it does it make No Deal more likely, No Brexit already lost that vote!).

But what impact is this going to have on the next elections, particularly if the Conservatives deliver a successful Brexit? In Mansfield (full disclosure I was on the Conservatives Campaign team here!) I met with many voters of all political flavours. Many hardcore tribalistic Labour voters were planning to vote Conservative for the first time purely off the back of Brexit, “lending you a vote” they called it because they did not trust Labour to deliver the Brexit they voted for. I found plenty of the same brand of voters who still reserved hope for Labour, they still trusted them to deliver Brexit, although for many of them that trust was wavering right up until the finishing line.

Labour’s new position of being quietly yet officially Leave yet loudly and unofficially seeking to sabotage efforts is going to cost them. In June 2017 Labour stayed very quiet on Brexit as they knew it was their weak point, but they did say they would “follow the democratic vote of the people”, and because of that position many Labour voters still retained hope, but Jeremy Corbyn (or his successor) will not be able to play that trick again. Voters have seen consistent and undeniable evidence that Labour seeks to ignore their views, that they seek to disregard their voice and overturn their decision.

Labour’s new position of ignoring their core voters (who were already wavering in their support) will cause them a lot of trouble for the next General Election. Some of the strongest Vote Leave seats are in the hands of Labour MPs and some very marginal Conservative seats have an electorate of Eurosceptics. Labour’s current direction will lock down their seats in the cities, but will cost them the shires for a long time. Labour are betraying the public and betraying their voters, the Electorate might be fickle, but it has long memories.


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