Last week, I undertook a study on whether the One Nation Labour ideals set out by Ed Miliband resonate well with the residents of Stoke On Trent, the choice on location was partly based on convenience but also allowed me to explore an interesting dynamic- Are the values changes that Labour are using to pursue the vote of undecided voters alienating parts of Labour strongholds?
Firstly I will outline my methodology, I surveyed the area of Stoke Town in Stoke On Trent, the questionnaires were given to residents of Stoke On Trent in order to avoid having non residents skew the results of my survey. The survey consisted of questions ranging from their political party of choice (46 Lab 2 Con 1 BNP 1 Undecided) . This then allowed me to only take the Labour voters results into consideration for this part of the research. Labour voters were then asked as an open question as to whether One Nation Labour appeals to them (the 3 values outlined were ‘More opportunity, less privilege;reward for what you put in, not how much you can take out' 'Change because we have to; conserving where we can’ and ‘A country where everyone is seen to play by the same rules’). These questions evoked a large amount of debate, however I will condense the main points for the purposes of this article.
With regards to the results, it was evident that all 46 Labour supporters were supportive of the 3 aims outlined earlier and that it did not have any bearing on the strength of their support. However when questioning support further on each value there were some areas of disagreement. On ‘More opportunity, less privilege;reward for what you put in, not how much you can take out' 15 members stated that the wording seemed very much "Conservative" and that it made it seem like the Labour party were bowing under Tory pressure to challenge benefits. However 31 respondents stated that it was a positive move, 1 citing that it is a challenge to the privileged and it should be welcomed. Many others also pointed out that it seemed to challenge "corporate fat cats and bankers. In conclusion this value seemed to have a largely positive response.
The second value 'Change because we have to; conserving where we can’ recieved a largely positive response with 44 respondents finding it a positive change. This is because they saw it as a "safe pair of hands" approach that with less changes and more structure success is found, they also saw it as a direct attack at the Conservative rhetoric about Labour being the wrong choice to lead the country. It also raised positive connotations of change, which for the area of Stoke On Trent, is a concern for many of the residents there.
The third value ‘A country where everyone is seen to play by the same rules’ received a unanimous positive result. This was mainly because the respondents were annoyed with how people in high positions got away from the law and in some cases circumvented the law to profit themselves. This also allowed respondents to share their thoughts on the political system already in place, where many believe that if all things were equal that people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds can make it to the top. This again was a positive outcome outlined by respondents.
BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS
In conclusion it is evident that Ed Miliband has gone a long way in strengthening support from strong Labour heartlands, and it is also clear that One Nation Labour has the potential to be a successful rebrand. However there is still a long way to go and even then it is not wholly clear whether the rebrand will appeal to the undecided voter. Overall the Labour party's race for the undecided voter has not impacted on the support from safe seats with regards to my study.