Leaked report reveals 'powerful' negative views about Labour from swing voters
Labour lost the general election thanks to “deep and powerful” negative perceptions about the party and its economic record, a damning leaked report has said.
Among these is a belief in Scotland that Labour and the Conservatives are indistinguishable, with the only difference being that the Tories are seen as more competent.
It also argues that swing voters see the party as in denial about a “dismal” and “appalling” economic performance when last in office.
According to the report there are several key areas for the opposition to address if it is to return to power – including “atoning for its past” and ensuring it is not seen as a party of “down and outs”.
The report, which was leaked to ITV News, was written by the Britainthinks polling consultancy, headed by former Labour adviser Deborah Mattinson.
Her work was based on focus groups with former Labour supporters who had switched to either the Conservatives in England or the SNP in Scotland.
These voters told the pollsters they perceived Labour as “wasting money” in government and having an undue focus on “people on benefits rather than hard-working families”.
One summary of respondents’ views was that “nowadays Labour is the party for down and outs, not ‘people like me’”.
It comes soon after another report on Labour’s general election performance, published by Margaret Beckett, which was branded a “whitewash” by Ms Mattinson.
She said Dame Margaret had failed to include any of her polling analysis and ended up with a report that was “quite apologetic” and “defensive”, rather than one that faced up to the party’s problems.