Labour in Crisis in Scotland

Corbyn and 'confused' indyref2 position blamed for Labour's 2019 'meltdown'

Jeremy Corbyn, Brexit and Indyref2 were the reasons for Labour’s disastrous 2019 general election result in Scotland, according to a damning new report

THE Labour Together review of last year’s vote, published this morning, says the party’s confused position on constitutional questions has undermined their “credibility and relevance” and given the “impression that Labour did not know where it stood on the most important questions of the election.”

The report will make grim reading for Keir Starmer and Richard Leonard. It claims that if Labour “does not reverse its fortunes in Scotland in a significant way” and win at least 15 seats currently held by the SNP, it would need to win big in England, to the point where it could take the Tory stronghold of North East Somerset from Jacob Rees Mogg.

At the last election Labour retained just 51 per cent of its 2017 vote in Scotland, collapsing to its worst ever vote share.

The report says Scots didn’t like Corbyn’s “perceived equivocation on Brexit” and his “political reputation, which alienated more traditional, especially older, Labour voters.”

It also says “apparent disagreements around Labour’s position on a second independence referendum added to the confused message around key election issues.”

Scottish Labour’s position, the report adds, appealed only “to a tiny proportion of Scotland’s electorate.”

The party’s lack of research meant “Labour’s identification of potentially winnable seats was not properly evidence-based, for example in Scotland, where insufficient resource was being directed to constituencies which might, under different circumstances, have offered opportunities for advance.”

It also criticises the “high level of churn of staff and teams” in party HQ which had a “destabilising impact on the Scottish Party and meant that new staff, who had never run a national campaign before, were immediately expected to run a General Election campaign.”

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Written by

Mark T Connor

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