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Labour's route to power

In the run up to Labour Party Conference, Trafalgar Strategy will be diving into Labour’s policy process and the pledges it is making to win over voters ahead of the next election

In the first instalment of our series, we set the context and look at Labour’s route to power.

On the 8th October, Labour Party Conference will begin.

If our clients and contacts are representative of the UK’s business, politics and media community then it’s clear that it will gain significant interest due to the general consensus that Labour is going to win the next election.

It’s true that the Labour Party has enjoyed a consistent poll lead over the Conservatives since January 2022, with a recent regression poll from electoral calculus showing a Labour landslide of 460 seats - including taking the scalp of the PM’s seat.

However, Labour’s lead in the polls is sliding and Starmer’s lead over Sunak is sliding too. We are also (potentially) a long way from an election. Much can change.

Despite the prevailing narrative that Labour will win, many of the fundamentals which decide elections are also stacked against Labour.

  • Labour need to gain over 120 seats to turn around from 2019, their worst election result in 80 years.

  • A boundary review will gift the Conservatives a couple of extra seats.

  • Looking to historical data, Labour only tends to win when the country feels robust (it isn’t, the public finances are a mess).

  • Economic incompetency isn’t a surefire indicator that an incumbent will lose either. Look at Thatcher’s successive election victories amidst sky-high unemployment. Instead, voters back incumbents who support their economic interests (rather than the counties).

Dive below the headline polling numbers and it gets worse for Labour too. A recent focaldata poll found that undecided voters, about an eighth of the electorate, are likely to lean Conservative. On current polling numbers, if they turn out that would transform a Labour victory into a hung parliament.

You have to feel bad for the Leader of the Labour Party. He’s about to face huge scrutiny as the electorate weigh up whether he can provide a vision for the country. And although Starmer would probably have beaten Truss and Johnson - neither of whom the polls show the public liked - with Sunak he faces a tougher adversary.

The question for Starmer as he plans his party’s election campaign is whether he goes bold or not. He may secure victory if he keeps his head down, but he could also fail if he fails to set out a bold vision for the future.

To date, the country has been squarely focussed on the Conservatives and their failings. But now they will look to Labour. Scrutiny is coming, so we thought we’d kick it off.

Over the next two weeks we will cover:

  • How the Labour policy process works

  • What Labour’s Five Missions are

  • And dive into their existing policy programmes, from Labour’s industrial strategy to making the UK a clean energy superpower

If you want to discuss how to engage in the Labour policy process, or what a Labour government could mean for you, get in touch at


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