John Harris

Journalist & Author

Can Labour survive Britain’s political realignment? – podcast

After another set of disappointing election results, columnist John Harris asks if Labour can ever reconnect with voters in its former heartlands, where support is increasingly swinging to the Conservatives

Last week’s local elections were the first serious electoral test for the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, whose first year in the job has been dominated by Covid-19. It did not go well. On Friday morning the news came through from Hartlepool that Labour had been beaten into second place by the Conservatives in the hotly contested byelection. And the party had also lost a clutch of council seats in its former heartlands in the north of England and the Midlands. There were gains in key mayoral contests and in Wales but the overall picture was one of a party failing to make the gains necessary to put pressure on a Conservative party in power for more than a decade.

Guardian columnist John Harris tells Anushka Asthana that there are no easy answers for Labour. It must now do the hard work of reconnecting with lost voters in places such as Hartlepool. If it doesn’t, the party could be out of power for a generation.

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