Why Labour lost the general election: Party's losing candidates give their verdicts

Party failed to persuade voters on subjects from the economy to immigration

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Indy Politics

Sally Keeble  (Northampton North)

“Our biggest challenge is projecting economic competence… What we didn’t offer was a coherent big picture, so our opponents painted one for us, and painted us into a corner with three big scare stories to frighten people into voting Tory. Ed Miliband. The deficit: how could you trust people who crashed the economy and left a note joking about it? And the SNP: the idea that Nicola Sturgeon would tell a Labour government what to do spoke to the ‘it’s not our country any longer’ resentments and segued into the issue of immigration and the Ukip attack that it was Labour that opened the floodgates.”

Luke Pollard (Plymouth  Sutton and Devonport)

“When it came to the crunch, it was a case of better the devil you know with Cameron than the uncertainty of change with Miliband.”

Will Straw (Rossendale and Darwin)

“Ed Miliband famously forgot to mention the deficit in his 2014 conference speech. He didn’t even plan to talk about the welfare system. During his entire time as Labour leader, he made only one major speech on the topic... Wherever I turned there was a palpable sense that the [welfare] system was devoid of any sense of contribution...”

Rowenna Davis (Southampton Itchen)

Labour “started with a fundamental distrust of people… [and] seemed to assume that people were either needy, greedy or irrelevant.” She calls for greater humility and trust of English people and says that Labour must appeal to people’s “sense of identity as well as their pay cheque”.

Polly Billington (Thurrock)

Labour’s immigration policy addressed only economic concerns and not cultural issues, she says. Labour was wrong in “denying people a say on our membership of the EU”.

Jessica Assato  (Norwich North)

“There are many reasons why we never got credit for our time in government... But the constant apologies and ‘burying’ of our record in government by Ed Miliband contributed to it too. So the response I had quite often on the doorstep was, ‘if we can’t trust you on immigration, the economy, expenses, why should we believe your record on the rest?’”

Source: Fabian Society

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