Under a new leader Labour can rebuild: what must they do in 2016?

Andy Burnham Labour

By the end of this year Labour will have a new leader. Whoever it is will have a tough task in rebuilding support in 2016.

Firstly, Labour went backwards in terms of seats in the general election. They made marginal gains in England, but the Tories did better and Labour suffered in Scotland. However, the party did increase its vote share in 2015 compared with 2010 (albeit marginally). Nonetheless, the party, whether it is led by Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, Liz Kendall or even Jeremy Corbyn, has to do well in the numerous elections in 2016 to prove its worth in the future.


Boris Johnson is not standing for Mayor next year. Boris is a bit of a big personality and he has name recognition factor. Without him in the election to be London Mayor, Labour will likely have a better chance. To show that the party is making progress Labour must win the Mayoral election and also do well in the Assembly. 


Labour are the largest party in the Welsh Assembly. To show progress the party will need to at least keep the same number of seats it has or even increase its presence in the Welsh Assembly. Gains

English Council Elections

Numerous Council elections are being held next year across in England. To show progress Labour will need to do well in areas they have struggled in in recent years, especially Conservative areas. A year into a Conservative majority government will likely help Labour in terms of gaining protest voters, as governing parties usually suffer in the middle of their time in office in Council elections. But what Labour will need to do is hold onto these protest voters and appeal to them to encourage them to vote Labour in the next five years. 


Whichever way one looks at Scotland, politically, it has changed dramatically. Labour will be very hard-pressed to make gains in the 2016 Scottish elections, particularly as the SNP are in a stronger position now than when they won a majority in 2011. But if Labour can frame the debate right, if they can convince the public that Labour can be a strong opposition voice inside Holyrood then the party could exceed expectations. Furthermore, Scottish Labour will have a new leader by then, and she or he could make a big difference.


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