Progress | Centre-left Labour politics

The Last Word: Be counted

Join the Progress team this weekend out on the #labourdoorstep in the West Midlands, Hove, Wirral and across London – Progress director Richard Angell has this week’s Last Word

This is going to be one of the strangest general elections ever. We all know how 2015 went when Labour started the campaign ahead in the polls but behind on leadership and economic credibility. Labour is currently 24 points behind the Tories and national security will play a part in the media narrative not seen since the 1980s. But Labour is pulling together, progressives are stepping up to help their local Labour MPs elected or to give Labour voters a choice in every seat in the country. 

Conor Pope reminds of how bad the last 20 years could have been had Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Robin Cook sat out the 1983 election. Equally ‘Mo Mowlam’s failure to even get selected did not stop her help broker the Good Friday agreement 15 years later.’ Labour needs candidates in ever seat – it could be you. Start applying now. 

Labour MPs across the country deserve our support and all shoulders to the wheel as they try to hold their seat for this party. We can all help defy the polls and get leaflets through doors, good arguments to key voters and MPs talking to vital voters. 

While much will seem bizarre in this election, remember the old rules will largely remain unchanged. Tory voters count as double, voters move between the two main parties and do not reside in politics’ outer edges, every vote counts and it is not over until it is over. 10 seats defied all expectation and took seats from the Tories at the last election. They could do the same this time and will with your help. 

We know this country needs a Labour government and that Theresa May is calling this contest not to bring forward to 2020 election but to delay the first post-Brexit election. She knows what we know: she will not be able to get a deal that delivers the prosperity Britain needs and the warped idealism of the Ukip-hardliners in her own party. Every day we should highlight her shortcomings and put forward the best of what it means to be Labour. 

This Saturday we have a three seat challenge in the West Midlands. We are helping Ian Austin, Pat McFadden and Emma Reynolds. Every Labour member and supporter is welcome. Training will be provided for those that have not canvassed before. For those that have, why not bring along a friend?

On Sunday, I will be in Ilford North, Matthew Doyle will be in Hove, Conor Pope will be in Wirral South, Jerome Neil will be in Tooting and Laura Griffiths will be in Enfield North. Feel free to contact us on Twitter if you would like to join us out on the doorstep.


Richard Angell is director of Progress. He tweets at @RichardAngell



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Richard Angell

is director of Progress

1 comment

  • “But I wouldn’t vote for Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister,” announces someone called John Woodcock. Who died and made him Queen? Like Theresa May, who thinks that Opposition is unconstitutional, Woodcock has no idea how a parliamentary system works. And why is he still a member of the Labour Party? How is he still a member of the Labour Party? Is he still a member of the Labour Party? If so, then just what, exactly, do you now have to do in order to be expelled from the Labour Party? That same question presents itself in the case of Tony “Vote Lib Dem Against Labour Brexiteers” Blair.

    With whom, though, might Woodcock be replaced as a Labour candidate in the time available? Even May’s own party is struggling to fill vacancies that it had thought, not least because she had repeatedly assured it, that it had three more years in which to fill. The term itself ought to come down to four years, in line with everything else in this country. There is no reason why the elections to the Scottish and Welsh devolved bodies could not be held on the same day as those to the House of Commons. But unless the Government lost the confidence of the House, then there ought to be no permissible deviation from the fixed term of Parliament.

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