Labour Party members and supporters had millions of conversations with the public this election. We were out on the doorstep in the cold, leafleting, phonebanking, tweeting, sharing, fundraising and we did everything we could to get a Labour Government.. and it wasn’t enough.
It's a hard thing to reconcile ourselves to this defeat and it's harder to try to understand it. There's going to be a lot of talk in the media, from the commentators and the pundits about why we lost, but we as a movement need to understand this together. Our starting point for a Labour recovery can’t be to pick the things we like and blame the things we don’t. Some want to say our defeat was all about Jeremy Corbyn; others that it was only Brexit. Both are wrong. Our losses were about both and much, much more.
We must now undertake a real, meaningful review with everything on the table, and no no-go areas. It must start from a place of humility which acknowledges Labour got it wrong rather than the voters, with a process that involves the whole of our movement, and those who feel we’ve left them behind. There’s no quick fix. Until we collectively go through this reconciliation and contrition together, we can’t start the long road back to winning elections again.
To win again we need to understand what worked and what didn’t. Some of the questions will be about the country and Labour’s ability to win over the public, while others will be about our movement and how we organise.
What we do know is that this review cannot just be conducted from the top but must also include all our voices and perspectives. From the doorknockers, to the phone bankers, to the community organisers, to the people running our social media operations, our members were the people on the ground and together we can help each other piece together the picture to understand what happened in this election. We are a people powered movement so your perspectives matter. We need you to take part. We’ve all got a lot to face up to here. It’s not easy but every one of us must face truths we’ve been ducking, accept our preferred path isn’t working or that we’ve lost touch with those we think we are in politics to represent.
It is only through being honest with ourselves and each other that will enable us to move forward and win in 2024.
As part of our review we will:
Survey our members.
Listen to the voters.
Running Listening events in the heartland seats we lost will help us to understand the perspectives of those voters and why they didn't feel they could vote for us.
Analyse the results, objectively.
A deep, objective analysis of the data and results will help challenge factional narratives.
Engage MPs who lost.
Talking to defeated candidates in previous Labour seats can help us to work out what might have gone wrong beyond just the campaign.
Create a space for differing viewpoints to be shared.
Engaging groups from across our movement (from Progress to Momentum) to submit their thoughts and analyses, will help us to develop a shared understanding.
Labour Together's Independent Review of Labour’s 2019 election campaign, will be managed by our cross-factional Learning the Lessons Commission who are drawn from across our party and represent the different parts of our movement.
Sienna is the editor of LabourList. During the election campaign she toured the country speaking to candidates, activists and voters.
Advisor to John McDonnell
James is an economist and former advisor to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and is currently writing a book on an economy for the many.
MP for Doncaster North
Ed was leader of the Labour Party from 2010 until 2015. Since then he has hosted Reasons to be cheerful a podcast to explore new ideas on the left.
Former MP for Leigh
Jo was elected the first female Labour MP for Leigh in 2017 and lost the seat in 2019 to the conservatives - a seat held by Labour for almost 100 years.
MP for Manchester Central
Lucy is a member of Labour Together's MP group and was vice chair of Labour's 2015 general election campaign.
A not-for-profit worker’s co-operative
Working directly with grassroots activists to design digital tools that make radical change possible. During the 2019 election campaign Common Knowledge built Vent Your Rent with Generation Rent and assisted Momentum with the development of their suite of activist organising tools like My Campaign Map. Their focus will be on organisational and operational matters, particularly where these concern the interaction between grassroots activists and digital systems, and the relationship between electoral activities and wider social movements.
Pollster and Campaigner
Marcus is Director of International Projects at YouGov. He has worked in campaigns for the Labour Party and the Democrat Party and has written on campaigning organisation and culture.
Former General Secretary of the Co-operative Party
Karin was General Secretary of the Co-operative Party. She has worked extensively in the world of open data as founder of Publish What You Fund, she has been an Executive Director of Open Knowledge International.
Director, The Campaigns Company
Daniel works primarily with local government, helping councils better understand and engage with their communities. He has run focus groups and polling across the country, including in the general election.
Ellie Mae O'Hagan
Ellie Mae is a freelance journalist writing mainly for the Guardian and Independent. She has also worked for the Centre for Labour and Social Studies, on Labour's Green New Deal work and as a Unite Community Organiser.
Cllr Louise Gittens
Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council
Louise has been a councillor elected to Cheshire West and Chester Council since 2011. In May 2019, was elected as Leader of the Council. As leader she wants to continue to empower local people and communities to be at the heart of decision-making; building on the work and ethos of inclusive democratic models such as the Poverty Truth Commission.
General Secretary of the TSSA
Manuel is General Secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association, the the UK's second-largest rail union. He has a long history of working within the trade union movement across the public and private sector. He has been General Secretary of the TSSA since 2011.
Parliamentary Candidate for Wrexham, 2019
Mary stood as a candidate in the formerly Labour held seat of Wrexham in Wales in the 2019 General Elections. Though a marginal seat in recent years, Wrexham has had a Labour MP since 1935.
Parliamentary Candidate for Inverclyde, 2019, 2017
Martin stood as a candidate for Labour in Inverclyde in 2017 and 2019. In 2017 he managed to cut the SNP majority to just 384.