Labour’s rural challenge

Renewal - ISSN 0968-5211
Volume 29 Number 3 (2021)

Labour’s rural challenge
Ben Cooper pages 26-35


Labour has a mountain to climb to win the next election. But there is no route to power without rural communities. Labour has a rural problem. The 2021 local elections saw Labour underperform in rural areas, compared to the rest of the country: Labour’s share of the vote was just 23 per cent in wards classed as ‘village or smaller’, compared to 45 per cent in wards in ‘core cities’. But this is just the latest evidence of a longstanding problem.Since Labour historically underperforms in rural communities, it may be tempting to suggest they and their voters are out of reach, and not a priority for resources. If Labour wants to win an election, you could argue, the party should look elsewhere. But this is wrong: Labour must win rural voters to win the next election; and Labour can win rural voters – with a bit of work.

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To cite this article
Ben Cooper (2021) Labour’s rural challenge, Renewal, 29(3), 26-35

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