Tony Blair urged Labor to “categorically refuse” to get up and push the hard-left factions of the party “to the sidelines” if it wants to win power again.
Former Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer urged to continue to bring Labor back to the center.
And he warned that “reversing to the far left … will never be electorally successful” in the wake of the 2019 election in which Jeremy Corbyn’s Labor Party lost – its worst performance since 1935.
His call is a prelude to a report suggesting that Labor will need a larger vote swing to win the next election than seen during Blair’s landslide victory in 1997.
Blair said that the electoral image of the Labor Party has worsened in recent years due to the waning loyalty of the working class to the party.
A Deltapoll poll — which questioned more than 2,500 former Labor voters and more than 3,000 who remained loyal — found that more than 11 million former Labor voters did not in 2019, with 5.5 million turning to Conservatives.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair (pictured) has urged Sir Keir Starmer to “categorically reject” the Wake and continue to bring Labor back to the center
Mr. Blair argued that the party had a “cultural problem with many working-class voters” and a “credibility problem” with those in the middle of the political spectrum.
Laying out a four-point plan for how Labor could return to government, Mr Blair – who has been in Downing Street for a decade – said leader Sir Keir should “continue to push the far left into the party’s margins”.
He also argued that the so-called “vigilante” views should be rejected.
Mr Blair said: “We must publicly adopt liberal, tolerant but rational positions on issues of ‘culture’, and categorically reject the ‘wake-up’ of a small, albeit vocal, minority.
He said any future political agenda should focus on “understanding how the world is changing,” noting that “the technology revolution must be at its core.”
Mr. Blair also lobbied to encourage “the best and brightest of the younger generation” to run as Labor candidates.
In what is likely to read as a vote of confidence in the current leadership, Blair, 68, predicted that Labor could ‘do it again’ and return to power for the first time since 2010.
Its leadership today is capable of governance and confidence is returning. The angle is flipped.
The comments came in a report, commissioned by the Tony Blair Institute, outlining Deltapoll’s research findings.
Peter Kellner, in the executive summary of From Red Walls to Red Bridges: Rebuilding Labour’s Coalition of Voters, said the “scale and urgency of the task” for Labor was “hard to overstate”.
His call comes in a preface to a report suggesting that Sir Keir (pictured) would need a larger vote swing to win the next election than seen during Mr Blair’s landslide victory in 1997.
The former YouGov chairman said: ‘To secure a majority in the next general election, Labor needs to get more than 120 seats.
“This would require a 12 percent lead in the popular vote – and a bigger swing to Labor than it was in 1997. The party is just beginning to climb the mountain it has to overcome.”
While recent opinion polls show the Conservative Party’s lead over Labor is shrinking or even capping, Mr Kellner suggests they are not yet in a strong enough position to beat out Boris Johnson’s working majority of around 80.
“There has never been a successful opposition as successful a mid-term winning position as there is now in Labour,” Mr. Kellner said.
The research found that Labor had failed to adapt to the loss of its historic core electoral base — manual workers in heavy industry, affiliated with a trade union and living in a council house.
Education has become a dividing line in terms of party support, the report said, with job performance doing best among students and graduates under 30, and worst among non-graduates over 50.
Mr Kellner suggested that Labor needs a two-part strategy to regain – and retain – the “red wall” seats it lost in its traditional strongholds.
“The first is a nationwide campaign to win back the support of older voters without college degrees,” the former journalist said.
This will yield the greatest gains in places with the highest concentration of these voters, such as Red Wall cities.
“Second, future labor government needs to ensure that these same cities attract the graduates and young families who are increasingly congregating in the larger cities.”