Rural Labour guest-edit

Making inroads to our rural supporters

Mary Wimbury  |  27 June 2014

There was a woman who walked nine miles, mostly down a 60-mile-an-hour, windy ‘A’ road because she didn’t have the bus fare and was scared that if she missed her job club appointment her benefits would be stopped. When the Tories announced that they would require claimants to visit job centres daily I wondered how …

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Delivering for coast and country to deliver a majority

Hywel Lloyd  |  27 June 2014

Heartlands, 35 per cent, core vote … most people in the Labour party know where to find many of our voters. And yet when we have won the defining elections of the past 70 years, in 1945, 1964, and in 1997 we have won with Labour votes and Labour members of parliament in seats like …

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Challenging lazy assumptions about rural voters

Andrew Bettridge  |  27 June 2014

We often assume that if you live in an urban part of the country, you will naturally vote Labour and if you live in the countryside you will simply vote Conservative. When you look at the ‘safe’ Labour cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Stoke and ‘rock solid’ blue Tory seats in the Shires, you can …

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Campaigning in a rural area

Denise Burke  |  27 June 2014

The main differences about campaigning in a rural area are firstly the thinly spread population over large geographical areas, and secondly the type of issues and their often very local nature. The first is obvious and requires different types of campaigning. The long distances (it takes almost an hour and a half to drive across …

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Labour must re-engage rural voters

Steve Race  |  27 June 2014

Today, Progress is hosting a special guest-edit with a series of articles concentrating on people who live in predominantly rural communities in the United Kingdom, the issues they face, and how the Labour party might work harder to build a meaningful conversation with them. It is fair to say that the Labour party and the …

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Delivering on the politics of the periphery

Jim Knight  |  27 June 2014

Three years ago in Progress I wrote about the need for what we would now call ‘one nation’ Labour.  Welcome as this approach is, I remain unconvinced that we have a coherent rural and coastal programme to campaign on that makes the new brand credible. While the Tories take their rural heartlands for granted, and …

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We’re the village people!

Richard Howitt MEP  |  27 June 2014

One challenge for Labour in the run-up to the general election is can we really be the village people? Why is rural campaigning important? First, many key seats have rural surrounds and Labour votes in wards we can only rarely win in council elections are still a crucial part of assembling parliamentary majorities. One hundred …

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Austerity hits rural areas hard

Maria Eagle MP  |  27 June 2014

The starting point for Labour’s approach has to be an acknowledgement that there is no single homogenous place that is rural Britain. Communities outside our major cities have different histories, cultures and economic profiles and Labour will not make the mistake of assuming that our national policy offer can be simply imposed on a grateful …

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