Here at The Nopebook, we believe firmly in educating people about politics so that they can make free and informed political choices. This post is part of our Politics 101 series, where we aim to equip people with the information they need to make sound political decisions.
The Labour party is the main opposition to the current leading party in Britain, the Conservatives. They were last in power from 1997 to 2010.
A Brief History
The Labour party grew from the socialist parties and the trade union movement of the late 19th century, becoming the main opposition to the Conservatives in the early 1920s. Labour was part of the wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945 under then-leader Clement Attlee, who would later become the UK’s first Deputy Prime Minister.
Jeremy Corbyn was elected Leader of the Labour party and Leader of the Opposition in 2015. He has been a Member of Parliament for Islington North since 1983, and is a long standing anti-war and anti-nuclear activist. Before entering politics, Corbyn was a representative for various trade unions and helped establish the Stop the War coalition in 2001. According to his website, Corbyn prioritises the needs of the poor and protecting human rights.
Labour’s current manifesto is “for a better, fairer Britain”. Their key policies include;
- Creating an economic strategy that delivers a “fairer, more prosperous society for the many, not just the few”. They want to “rewrite the rules of a rigged system, so that our economy really works”.
- Creating a “unified National Education Service (NES) for England to move towards cradle-to-grave learning”, that is “free at the point of use”. They also wish to “extend the 30 free hours to all two- year-olds” and “[extend] maternity pay to 12 months”.
- Investing in the NHS, giving patients the “modern, well-resourced services they need for the 21st century”. They will also “focus resources on services to provide care closer to home” and work on a new model of community care that takes into account “not only primary care but also social care and mental health”.
- Performing a “gender audit all policy and legislation for its impact on women before implementation”. They will also “bring the law on LGBT hate crimes into line with hate crimes based on race and faith”, and “seek to build a society free from all forms of racism, anti- Semitism and Islamophobia”.
- Investing to build “over a million new homes”, so that by the end of next Parliament we will build “at least 100,000 council and housing association homes a year for genuinely affordable rent or sale.” Additionally, they will “insulate more homes to help people manage the cost of energy bills, to reduce preventable winter deaths, and to meet our climate change targets”.
Who Do They Appeal To?
Demographics that voted for the Labour party in the 2017 general election were typically;
- Under the age of 45 (between 49% and 62% aged 18 to 44 voters, versus 25% to 40% aged 45 to 65+ voters)
- Slightly more female than male (40% male and 42% female voters)
- More C2 and DE social grade than AB and C1 social grade (between 41% and 47% C2/DE and 37% to 40% AB/C1)
Demographics that voted for the Labour party in the 2015 general election were typically;
- Under the age of 45 (between 35% and 43% aged 18 to 44 voters, versus 23% to 33% aged 45 to 65+ voters)
- Slightly more female than male (30% male and 33% female voters)
- Privately or socially rent their home (39% to 50% of voters versus 22% to 31% of voters who own or mortgage their home)
- BME (65% of voters versus 28% of white voters)