Keir Starmer 'needs miracle' to regain Scotland red wall says host
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Polling guru Sir John Curtice noted the Labour Party would need to be polling “neck and neck” with the SNP to have any significant chance to regain necessary seats across Scotland. Anushka Asthana questioned the pollster on Labour’s numbers after the Fabian Society published a list of 150 target seats Sir Keir Starmer should aim to win over to secure a spot in Number 10. The ITV political editor told Robert Peston: “The path to power for Labour is jaw-dropping.
“They have to win 123 additional seats, is that even possible? The Fabian have picked 150 seats in a brilliant report this week that they think Labour should be eyeing up.
“It isn’t that cheery if you support the Labour Party. Anas Sarwar said to me earlier this week Scotland was the first red wall to go, and he is right.
“Labour need to win 25 target seats north of the border, with some big SNP majorities there. Now, the Fabians have picked these seats because they’re places marginally opposed to independence so there is some hope there.
“However, we did go to election guru Sir John Curtice and he said it would be a miracle for Labour to get those 25 seats.”
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Sir John said: “To win all the seats on the Fabian list, Labour would need to be running neck and neck with the SNP in the Scotland0wide vote tally.
“It has not been in that position since shortly after the 2014 independence referendum.”
Ms Asthana also noted Sir Keir’s candidates would also continue to face a difficult challenge in Brexit-supporting seats across the north of England.
A graphic extrapolated from the data collected by the Fabian Society showed Labour’s share of the vote in northern areas experienced an exponential decline between 2005 and 2019.
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The Labour Party suffered severe losses during the last General Election against Boris Johnson, losing the long-held constituencies of Rother Valley after 101 years, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Great Grimsby.
Tony Blair’s own seat of Sedgefield passed under Conservative control for the first time since 1935.
Keir Starmer dedicated part of his speech to Labour’s role in Scotland, as he reiterated his commitment to the Union with a series of swipes at Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP’s record in the nation.
He said: “When Nicola Sturgeon took office she said she wanted to be judged on her record.
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“These days, with the poorest in society less well-educated and less healthy and the tragedy of so many drug-related deaths we hear rather less about the SNP’s record.
“The SNP and the Tories walk in lockstep. They both exploit the constitutional divide for their own ends. Labour is the party that wants to bring our nations together.”
Sir Keir continued: “Under the fantastic leadership of Anas Sarwar, Labour is the party of the union. Because it’s not just that divorce would be a costly disruption, though that is true. And it’s not just that our union is in all our economic interests though that is also true.
“It’s that we are more progressive together. We are more secure together. We are a bigger presence in the world together. We are greater as Britain than we would be apart.”
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