Labour lacks support after election

By Ellie Nelson,

Keir Starmer has lost support of voters, shown in Labour’s poorresults last week, resulting in scrutiny from former members and a reshuffling of the shadow cabinet. 

According to YouGov statistics released on 11th May, two thirds of Britons say that Starmer is doing a bad job. Dissatisfaction amongst Labour voters is also nearing that level, as 60% now have a negative opinion of Starmer. 

Several of Labour’s stronghold seats went to the Conservative party last Thursday, including Hartlepool which swung for the first time in its history in their Parliamentary by-election. Labour also lost 8 councils, whilst the Conservatives gained 13. 

Labour was most successful in the mayoral elections, winning 11 out of the 13 races. Sadiq Kahn and Andy Burnham were re-elected as Mayors of London and Greater Manchester, respectively, and the first ever elected Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, was also a win for Labour. 

These small wins were not enough for Starmer to avoid scrutiny, as former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn commented on ITV’s ‘Calling Preston’ podcast this week that “Labour had done too much agreeing with the government when many people’s experience of Covid is one of fear. 

“We ended up being seen as a party that basically agreed with the whole government strategy.” 

Starmer also caused a stir when he reshuffled the shadow cabinet as the election results came in. Angela Rayner was sacked from her roles as party chair and national campaign coordinator. She will remain in her elected position of Deputy Leader, but this reshuffling was poorly received by other members. 

Labour’s former shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, accused Starmer of “scapegoating everyone apart from himself” for their defeat. Corbyn also said sacking Rayner was a “knee-jerk reaction to create different headlines.” 

A lot of work needs to be done to reconnect Labour with the voters they have lost, especially after the 2019 general election also resulted in a crushing defeat.