Medway Council taken by Labour after 23 years of Tory rule
Nigel Farage, former Ukip leader, has analysed the local election results and suggested that Red Wall-style voters are shifting their allegiance back to the Labour Party.
Farage highlighted Labour’s recent victory in Medway Council, Kent, where the party secured control for the first time in over 20 years. Medway, once a “very strong Ukip voting area,” indicates that Red Wall-style voters who had backed Boris Johnson in the 2019 general election are now returning to Labour.
“The evidence says to me that Red Wall-style voters are going back to Labour. That’s the big takeout I’ve got so far,” Farage said, commenting on the early local election results. Medway’s change of control after 23 years of Tory rule exemplifies the potential shift in voter preferences.
Following Labour’s victory in Medway, Conservative councillor Alan Jarrett lost his position as leader of the council. Jarrett urged Downing Street to “get their act together on a number of fronts.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer visited Medway to celebrate the local election results, stating that the party was “on course for a Labour majority at the next general election.” Starmer mentioned other Labour victories in key areas like Plymouth, Stoke, and Middlesbrough, claiming there have been “fantastic results across the country” in “places we need to win.”
Despite disappointing results for the Conservatives, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak claimed it was “hard to draw firm conclusions” from the initial outcomes, with only around a quarter of councils having declared. Sunak noted the Tories’ progress in electoral battlegrounds like Peterborough, Bassetlaw, and Sandwell, but did not see a “massive groundswell of movement towards the Labour Party.”
The local election results reveal a shift in political loyalties as the potential 2024 general election approaches. The Conservatives have suffered losses in the North, South, and Midlands, while Labour has gained ground in key battlegrounds. Farage’s observations suggest that Red Wall-style voters may be a driving force behind these changes, as the electorate re-evaluates party allegiances and considers the implications of recent political developments.
As both major parties strategise for the upcoming general election, the behaviour of Red Wall-style voters will be crucial in determining the electoral outcome. Farage’s analysis underscores the importance of understanding and addressing the needs and concerns of this voter demographic.