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Labour would do better being anti-austerity, anti-war and anti-corporate says poll

SYRIZA Labour logoAccording to new polling evidence from YouGov, not just Labour voters but also the party’s swing voters prefer “a leftist Labour Party than a Blairite one” as Stephan Shakespeare, YouGov’s CEO puts it, adding: “People are not as attracted to the mushy centre as they were five years ago“. The poll shows big majorities for an agenda which is anti-austerity, anti-war and anti-big-business – in Shakespeare’s words “three trump cards that might deliver them a victory to Labour in the general election“:

Anti-austerity

Sixty-nine percent of Labour voters prefer “A Labour party that commits to spending more money on the NHS and other public services and does not make the deficit a priority” rather than one “that is committed to tackling the country’s deficit through making spending cuts and increasing taxes” which is the preferred option of just 11%. Swing Labour voters prefer the anti-austerity approach by the lower but still overwhelming margin of 57% to 15%, Lib Dem by 50% to 19% and even UKIP by 32% to 19%.

Anti-war

Fifty-five percent of Labour voters prefer “A Labour party that is less subservient to the USA, does not get involved in American wars and instead is more positive about Britain’s role in Europe” to one “that maintains a strong relationship with the USA and pushes for reform in the European Union” which is the preferred option of just 20%. Swing Labour voters feel the same way by 51% to 20% and Lib Dems by 57% to 15% – unsurprisimngly, UKIP take an anti-EU position.

Anti-corporate

And 70% of Labour voters prefer “A Labour party that does more to stand up to big business, supporting ordinary people against overpowerful corporations” to one “that is positive about big business, supporting British business and encouraging investment from abroad” which is the preferred option of just 18%. Swing Labour voters feel the same way by 56% to 22%, Lib Dem by 52% to 27%, UKIP by 47% to 20%.

Stephan Shakespeare’s conclusion is clear:

The figures in our poll are powerful. It’s as if the electorate are saying: give us some meat, we’re sick of austerity and we don’t want politicians battening down the hatches for the next three months. Admittedly, Britain is not Greece, and the radicalism that won a surprise victory over the weekend will not work here. But something in the electoral arithmetic has changed, which may embolden campaigners to take some risks: in the past, you needed 40% to win an election. Today, 35% is probably enough. One thing is for sure: while not many voters are swinging between Labour and Tory, these policies would win back most of the Greens, hold on to most of the LibDems who have moved across to Miliband, and even attract a few anti-establishment Ukippers.

This is the most important and useful poll evidence of this campaign. Let’s hope someone in the leader’s office is reading it.

9 Comments

  1. john reid says:

    the worse election result Blair had was 35.2%,THE TIME WERE WERE ANTI WAR, ANTI AUSTERITY, in 1983 we got 27,5%

    1. Rod says:

      And how did pro-war, pro-austerity Labour do in 2010, John?

      1. Robert says:

        John cannot help it if you attack Blair you attack him, it’s a love affair

        1. John reid says:

          Well your trolling Beats the usual of you saying I read books about liking hitler

      2. John reid says:

        Well after 13 years in power,and being burnt out of ideas, we still didn’t let the tories win

        1. Rod says:

          It wasn’t you or the Labour Party that didn’t let the Tories win. It was the electorate.

          The Labour vote had declined catastrophically. It had been declining from 2001 onwards.

          Even Kinnock in ’92 received more votes than your New Labour in 2001.

  2. Barry Ewart says:

    I believe democratic socialists should have a VISION of how we want the World to be. We should share this to unite diverse working people of all religions and none internationally. We should offer this to humanity and not depend on the swings and roundabouts of economies. The tragedy of socialism it could be argued was that its early bourgeois leaders from Lenin (to would be leader Trotsky who would have) to mass murderer Stalin took the power for themselves when true democratic socialist leaders would have been faciltators – keeping the power with the masses. It is the labour of the working billions which creates the wealth and that makes societies work so we should not be afraid of redistributing wealth and getting our share back. We need a global living wage, global shorter working weeks (to free time poor working humanity), global early retirement, more global democratic public ownership, better global health & safety at work, free global public transport, greater global taxes on the rich and TNCs, more global environmental action- I want the UN to set up a Global Trust to fund solar panel farms in the World deserts to harness the free energy of the sun- we could use the proceeds to address global poverty and develop decent health services in Africa etc to be proactive against potential future Ebolas! We need a grassroots, bottom up, participatory, peaceful, democratic socialism. Yours in hope and international solidarity!

    1. Robert says:

      I think we need to start a bit smaller and have an EU living wage and then we can look at global.

      How about a EU welfare state and benefits.

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