A view from the left

A view from the left

Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party has been announced victorious in the 2024 General Election. Many voters are breathing a sigh of relief at the end of Tory rule, but there are many more still holding their breath to see what Starmer sets out as his vision before they decide if the country made the right decision.

Whilst a landslide victory, it is important to note that the sheer lack of faith the public holds toward Labour is shown first and foremost in the low vote share won by the party, at just 33.8%. An increase of just 1.6% from Corbyn’s historic loss in 2019, and down from 2017, leading to questions as to whether this victory is not due to a strong campaign from Starmer, but rather a campaign riddled with missteps and pleading from Sunak.

 For those on the left, it is clear that there are many positives to look forward to in Starmer’s first 100 days in office. The Rwanda policy, stymied several times by the Supreme Court for its breach of the Human Rights Act, will be immediately removed and replaced with a Border Security Command. The Command will allow Border Force to hold counter-terrorism powers to disrupt smuggling gangs; we can expect for there to be cross-partisan support for this – and the electorate – as many voters disagreed with the Tory policy, though those who turned to Reform last night may question whether this is enough.

There is also an outlook that Starmer is making an effort to appeal to core Labour voters with his other immediate policies. Streeting, the incoming Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has promised to meet with striking junior doctors. A move such as this will of course appeal to the unions who are no doubt optimistic about the Labour Victory. Elsewhere, Starmer’s announcement to add VAT to private school fees will of course be popular with left-leaning voters. Time will tell what impact they have – but nevertheless, his desire to deliver these policies immediately will be welcomed by those on the left and may make his time in Government easier and less turbulent.

However, Starmer has an uphill battle to convince those who reluctantly voted for his party the right decision was made, especial since there was harm caused by those on the left who did not stay the course and support Keir’s Labour Party.

Labour were also damaged by pro-Gaza independent candidates standing in Labour safe seats which saw the shock defeat of Labour’s Jon Ashworth, an MP regularly seen on the morning round to attack the government. Ashworth lost his majority of 22,000 to the independent candidate, and Wes Streeting, tipped by commentators to be the next Labour leader also narrowly avoided a similar fate by just 500 votes. Both of these results give examples of where the hard-left are disillusioned with the current Labour Party and their position on difficult issues.

But for now, the mood in the Labour Party is jubilant – and rightly so – after 14 years, many voters such as myself cannot remember a time before Tory rule. There is a feeling of having a chance to enact real positive change by delivering useful policies that affect ordinary people, after a period where politics only seemed to be about internal party politics (see Brexit and four leaders in five years!)The frontbench of Starmer’s party has been carefully cultivated over the last 18 months to include only allies of Starmer; one can hope that some consistency in vision in the Party might allow for meaningful conversations and policies pushed through the Commons.


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