The December general election saw a tectonic shift in our country’s politics. Across the nation including here in Crawley, we saw thousands of people vote Conservative for the first time, many of whom had previously always voted Labour.
Academics will be looking at the general election results for years to come, but one indisputable driver for the huge change was that Labour had given up trying to appeal to the centre ground. Under Jeremy Corbyn they moved to the far left, leaving moderate Labour voters looking for an alternative.
Under Boris Johnson, we Conservatives are a broad church with a wide appeal. Boris himself is a unifier, which was evident from his two terms as London Mayor from 2008 - 2016. London is the UK’s most diverse city and it was by having that broad appeal that Boris was twice elected Mayor. This is now happening nationally with Boris being elected Prime Minister.
Recognising that you must be interested in representing more people than only your core vote is something that my Conservative colleagues and I take seriously in Crawley. Our town is diverse, made up of people from a wide variety of backgrounds with a wide range of views and concerns. ‘Ideological purity’ that only caters for one group of people at one far end of the political spectrum is not the way to go, if you genuinely want to represent our entire town when running our local Council.
Labour has been going that way ever since Jeremy Corbyn became their leader in 2015 and it doesn’t look like this will be changing in Crawley any time soon. Last week, Crawley Constituency Labour Party met to nominate their preference for the new Labour Leader and Deputy, who will take over in April.
For both positions, they nominated the most far-left candidate, namely Rebecca Long-Bailey and Richard Burgon who are both widely regarded as the ‘continuity Corbyn’ candidates, with Long-Bailey recently giving Jeremy Corbyn 10/10 for his leadership of Labour. Regardless of whoever eventually wins, it’s clear in Crawley that Labour and the Conservatives are heading in very different directions.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
12th February 2020