A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Poll Entrails

For those of you interested in the detail, the regional, social class and age splits etc. of yesterday's YouGov poll are online here: http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/results.htm

Change since April is a bit less regionally polarised than in the YouGov poll two weeks ago, indicating the further 2% lift for Labour is coming as one might logically expect, from voters beyond Labour's historic core support:

Scotland +8% (i.e. Labour doing 8% better than in April this year)
North +8%
Midlands & Wales +2%
South +7%
London +11%

The relatively weak Midlands performance makes me think we need to be saying more about how we will support manufacturing, which is still crucial in this region, through the current economic situation.


Blogger E10 Rifle said...

"The relatively weak Midlands performance makes me think we need to be saying more about how we will support manufacturing."

We don't need to say it Luke, we need to DO it. Politics is actually about action not appearance all the time.

4:14 pm, October 13, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Actually John Hutton announced a really good manufacturing strategy just a few weeks ago, including loads of direct support. The problem with BERR is that they carry out a lot of action to support industry e.g. launch investment for Airbus safeguarding thousands of jobs in Bristol and N Wales, but we never give it the profile we give "cuddlier" policy areas.

5:21 pm, October 13, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke do you think there is much manufacturing left in the midlands?

It's nearly all gone Luke, the last remaining stronghold I think Is Erewash because of the furniture industry....which from what I hear is doing ok. But you walk around these factories and most of the employees are from Eastern Europe....local workers have been forced out by cheaper imported workers.

8:18 pm, October 13, 2008

Blogger Duncan Hall said...

I think the point e10rifle makes here is pretty fundamental. We're in government, our response to polls, etc. should not all be focused on the 'message' and the 'narrative'. The problem, of course, is that New Labour (whether the Progress, Labour First or Compass branches) are entrenched in an opposition mindset... (ducks from missiles coming from all directions...)

10:01 pm, October 13, 2008

Blogger E10 Rifle said...

Indeed Dunc. If there's one word I want banned from all Labour party discourse it's "narrative". If I want a narrative, I'll read a novel. Politics isn't about telling stories, it's about doing things, preferably in accordance with a coherent and principled set of values.

11:03 am, October 14, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...


you live in Derbyshire don't you?

What about Rolls-Royce in Derby, one of the world's largest and best aero engine plants?

Or Toyota in South Derbyshire?

E10 and Duncan

I wish you were right and all that one had to do was govern and do things, and not worry about communicating or establishing a narrative about them.

Unfortunately if you don't "tell the story" all the polling evidence is that people assume their improved local school or hospital is a fluke and exception, and that there has been no national improvement.

As Bill Clinton set out, governing and communicating/campaigning are intrinsically linked: what you do in government all contributes to your prospects of re-election, and the way you communicate as a party gets you the permission from the electorate to govern.

1:47 pm, October 14, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I live on the river dove which borders derbyshire and staffordshire. Yes you are right there are still big names in this region but we have also lost a lot in recent years.

Manufacturing tends to support other businesses and when one goes others follow. We are pretty lucky to be honest as we still have a lot of work in and around the region but it is drying up as more companies head abroad.

The biggest problem for most busineess is the cost of land. Manufacturing requires large amounts of space and this costs money. In recent years the property boom has outpriced many companies...

Some would argue that wages and HSE regulation are too blame but to be honest in my experience good wages are repaid ten fold by hard work and health and safety pays for itself by the lack of claims.

11:41 pm, October 14, 2008


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