Frank Field MP
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On whom the sun shines?

Labour last week understandably played down the loss of The Sun's endorsement. But an understandably laid back response shouldn't hide the seriousness of this loss of support.

Look at Peter Kellner's piece in the current issue of Progress. Kellner is vice president of YouGov and has analysed the difference between those voters who previously voted Labour, and who say they won't this time around, and those who have remained faithful.

Kellner, I believe, misjudges his main conclusion. He emphasises that most ex-Labour voters have not been attracted to the Opposition, so not all is lost.

So why aren't these voters putting their X against Labour candidates? The finding is pretty damning. 78 per cent of the one-time Labour voters say Labour used to care about their concerns while only 14 per cent still believe so.

This is a more important conclusion I believe than the finding that these ex-Labour voters are not positively being attracted to the Conservatives. Analysts who pushed this line seem to forget that it is the government in power and who makes the news, reminding us of their presence 24 hours a day.

This is where the loss of The Sun's support is so important. Of those reading a morning paper over a third are The Sun or The Star readers. In other words a third of one-time Labour voters will be reading a newspaper that shares their view that the Government doesn't act for people like them.

By all means let's cheer ourselves up by publicly saying that the loss of The Sun's endorsement doesn't matter that much. But don't let's be fooled by our own propaganda.

We have a Herculean job on our hands to win back those one-time Labour voters. Prattling on that we are the underdogs and that we have got a fight on our hands mustn't hide from us the basic fact that voters want us fundamentally to change if they are to support us.

And if you still need persuading here is one last point. Nearly thirty per cent of those who remain loyal to Labour do not believe the Government cares about people like themselves.

Over to you Gordon Brown.
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Showing comments 1 to 4 of 4

The problem for many of us is that we could never vote for the over privileged Conservatives and we also remember the sleaze of the last Conservative Government and of course we get constant reminders from the likes of Derek Conway and others how it would be if they got in. Sadly many of us see that New Labour, despite an optimistic start, has been no better. As Greg Dyke put it we thought we were getting something new but then Tony Blair turned out to be just another politician and his successor, while coming across well as Chancellor, now seems bumbling and inept. I do not approve of not voting but I cannot see any party that I want to vote for so what should I do? Your loyalty to the Labour cause does you credit Frank, but I have lost faith.
Comment by Anonymous on 15 Jul 2011
I heard Frank on Sky news yesterday talking about people who have worked all their lives and then find themselves unemployed this year but then find the benefit system slow and not very helpful. This is me and as I am now on hardship allowance because of a misunderstanding at my 13 week review, Frank spoke to me and seem to understand the situation I am in.Listening to the Conservatives also yesterday they are making a big policy about invalidity benefit and getting the false claimants back to work. They seem to be forgetting me and the 2.5 million that probably want a job.This brought back all the memories of them picking on the most vulnerable in society so the Labout Parties policy of attacking the Tories constantly about their savage cuts maybe patronising but may work and I am not sure the General Election is a foregone conclusion next year.Paul Nelson
Comment by Anonymous on 15 Jul 2011
I believe that, as always, you put a balanced view forward. The people- the voters - have good cause to feel alienated, and The Sun has picked up on this and has lost faith with what is widely regarded as a failing government. Full credit to you for having the guts time and again to point out those failings, at great political expense to yourself,in order that the voice of the ordinary voter be heard.We can but highlight the very real problems with mass immigration via an open border policy or the duplicity of Blair/Brown in pushing an unwanted EU Constitution, sorry Lisbon Treaty, upon us all without a referendum. It will come as no surprise to anyone that the voters have lost faith with (New) Labour, as the government has not kept the faith with them. At the next General Election Labour are poised to become the opposition for the foreseeable future,and it will be no ones fault but their own. Mr Field you may alone be one of those who do not deserve this burden of defeat,a great many will remember this.
Comment by Anonymous on 15 Jul 2011
That the election is not settled is indeed true but that does not mean Labour will benefit, though they will delude themselves over the coming months. Their time has come and gone! Europe and the referendum will play a major part in deciding the election in May 2010 but it will mean votes split by tories and UKIP. Instead of Labour electing a new leader and changing they will delude themselves they are still in with a shout and so will will be obliterated. If only Labour had the courage to elect somebody the majority of voters trust such as Frank (only labour mp I would vote for but not in my constituency) maybe just maybe they might hold onto something for the future but I am certain their cowardice and self service over the needs and views of the electorate has sealed their fate! Here comes a hung parliament! Labour just does not GET IT.
Comment by Anonymous on 15 Jul 2011

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