After announcing itself as the party of the countryside in 1997, Labour is still the political party of inner cities. With the loss of the Copeland by-election, the number of rural seats in Labour hands in England and Wales has tumbled to just 29 out of the 199 seats designated rural in government statistics. If recent polling translates into votes in a general election, Labour could lose another nine of them. This includes Bishop Auckland and Workington: two of Labour’s three most rural seats.
This magazine, Country Squire Magazine, tends to sway blue when it comes to politics. However, we have promised our readers that there will be balance where feasible and appropriate. Since Labour is now asking its members what the party should be campaigning for in rural areas, we think it only fair that our readers get a chance to contribute their thoughts.
The Fabian Society is the society carrying out a research project on the Labour party in rural areas. They are exploring political priorities in rural areas and rural attitudes towards the Labour party, and will begin to sketch out what a successful Labour approach to rural areas might look like. Findings from this survey will be presented in a research report at the end of the summer.
The link to the survey is below: