Why did Labour fail to win Hastings and Rye? Coastal Action wants to find the answer…

It’s two months since the General Election that saw the Labour Party nationally achieve its worst result since 1935.

In Hastings and Rye there had been a strong expectation that Labour could win the seat back from the Conservatives but, just as across the rest of the UK, many traditional supporters abandoned their usual preference to back other parties. 

This week James Prentice of Coastal Action, who carried out opinion polling in the constituency in the run-up to the election told Hastings In Focus: “A month on, as Labour prepares to elect a new leadership team, there is growing interest in the reasons for the defeat, taking in the issues that need to be addressed in order for the party to regain the trust of former supporters and identifying the leadership candidates most likely to appeal to this group.

There had been an expectation that Labour could win Hastings and Rye… but on the day the Conservatives massively increased their majority in the constituency.

“In Hastings Coastal Action, is exploring what happened here in a marginal seat widely expected to swing Labour’s way, but which, on the night, saw the Conservative Party significantly increase its majority.”

One element of Coastal Action’s work will be hosting a focus group made up of traditional Labour voters who abandoned their usual preference. It will take place in a town central location, during the daytime, over a weekend during February, and will take up no more than 90 minutes of the participants time and organisers say the will be providing refreshments for those taking part. 

If you live in the Hastings, St Leoanrds and Rye area and are one of these voters then Coastal Action would love to hear from you go to this event page to contact us https://www.facebook.com/events/188834092200573/.” 

Have you listened to the great content all about Hastings that is available on Stitcher? Click the link below…

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/hastings-in-focus/the-hastings-podcast

One thought on “Why did Labour fail to win Hastings and Rye? Coastal Action wants to find the answer…

  1. Hi
    I voted Labour in Hastings, but at the time I was very upset by the whole voting process in my area, and wondered whether it was the same everywhere. I know, from those I met at the polling station, that many others had difficulties they wouldn’t normally have.

    First, we were given a different polling address, because apparently the normal station was otherwise booked for an event. (My daughter and I went to that venue on the day, and there was no event going on that we could see.)

    Second, the venue was changed.

    Third, the venue was changed again.

    Then, on the day, going to a polling station we didn’t know, we used our phone app to make sure where were going. Even though we found the right place, a church, it wasn’t obvious where the voting was taking place. There weren’t signs outside. The only sign was in the church door, which said something like, ‘Keep calm and come in’. We thought this was a strange thing to have, but followed another man in, who was also going to vote. It was the inside of the church and there were no tables or voting booths.

    Going out again, we found the voting all was around the side of the church, but it wasn’t signposted (there was a small bit of paper stuck to a wall, which we didn’t see until afterwards). I complained to the people running the voting, saying that we were strangers to using the poll and had great difficulty finding it. I was concerned that
    1)a lot of people may not have been able to find the place, when it wasn’t their usual venue, and
    2) even when they got there it didn’t look like anything was going on.
    3) Those, like us, who had to go further than usual may not all have been able to get there
    4) There may have been confusion about the venue, especially for those who have been going to the same place for years.

    When the results came in, and seeing other places in the country that had discrepencies in the number of votes (more votes than constituents), I felt very strongly that we’d been messed about with, and where my daughter and I had found where we were going and managed to vote (oh, and the hall was shared with another polling area as well, which was another possible confusion) I wondered if these difficulties happened in all Labour constituencies over the country (especially in marginal seats) and also wondered if constituents of Rye (who I imagine are more conservative) had the same number of venue changes and the same difficulties we had. I would bet they didn’t. It’s a question I would very much like answered.

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