Labour hits reset button with two weeks to go
The Labour party has hit the reset button amid the latest polling saying the Tories are on course to win the election. The party is understood to be changing tack in its campaign, particularly in Leave-voting areas, where it is in danger of losing seats to the Conservatives.
Labour insiders say a key mistake up until now was overestimating the electoral threat from the Lib Dems, and underestimating the likelihood of Leave voters switching from Labour to the Conservatives, the BBC has reported.
Labour’s strategy so far had been – in part – to emphasise that the election is about more than Brexit and to get voters to focus on issues which would unite Labour voters in Leave and Remain areas.
The new plan is designed to appeal to those who voted for Brexit, and to try to convince them that Labour is not attempting to stop Brexit by offering another referendum.
Jeremy Corbyn and party chairman Ian Lavery, who favours leaving the EU with a deal, is expected to tour Leave areas to try to explain the deal Labour wants to negotiate and emphasise that they will protect workers’ rights.
Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner said he has had “no discussions” about a change of tack in the campaign to focus more on Leave areas.
Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme whether the party would shift its focus, he said: “This is news to me this morning. I have not had any discussions on that.
“Obviously what we want to do is to make sure that we keep on, as we have been doing over the past few weeks, narrowing that margin in the polls.”