To Win Again Labour Needs Proportional Representation

First Published in the Huffington Post

It is looking extremely hard for Labour to win in 2020. To do so it would need to do the impossible – move in two directions at the same time.

Taking a right turn, as represented by Liz Kendall, would win votes from Tory voters and probably win back a number of seats in the south of the country. However, it would effectively give up on any attempt to win back seats in Scotland, whose voters voted overwhelmingly for a left of centre, anti-austerity party. But this would not be the limit of the losses – Ukip came second in 120 seats, of which many were Labour seats in the north and midlands. A lot of these could go Ukip if Labour take its traditional voters for granted and tacks right. So a Kendall leadership would lead, at best, to the losses and gains balancing out, but could easily lead to a net reduction in seats.

 Taking a left turn, as represented by Jeremy Corbyn, would result in the opposite scenario. Labour would likely take back a number of seats in Scotland and hold off the UKIP threat in the northern heartlands. But it would lose some Labour-Tory marginals, and would be unlikely to win too many seats back from the Conservatives. So once again, the result would be likely to be similar to this election; not the wipeout that the press imagine would take place under Corbyn, but not the transformative victory envisaged by the left either. Continue reading