RECENT CWU POLITICAL INTERVENTION – HARTLEPOOL POLL
You may have seen that the Union recently made a high-profile political intervention relating to the Hartlepool by-election due to be held in May. This intervention was about much more than the current Labour leadership and this LTB is intended to offer a brief overview of why the poll was commissioned and the role that it plays as part of our wider political strategy.
Representatives and members who attended the CWU Engagement Event last year, will be aware of the importance that we placed on the need for the trade union movement to assert its own agenda and lead the way in reconnecting with the working-class communities that Labour lost in the 2019 general election. It is widely accepted amongst political analysts/commentators that reversing this trend – which has been decades in the making – will require a fresh approach and some serious self-reflection across the Labour movement.
This point is at the heart of our political strategy and the independent Survation poll we commissioned in Hartlepool was designed to take this work forward in three key areas.
Firstly, to see what voters in the so-called ‘Red Wall’ were thinking about key policies that support our own members’ jobs and that connect the CWU industrial and political agendas.
Secondly, it was designed to strengthen the call for trade unions to come together with our own distinct agenda and build support for the New Deal for Workers campaign.
Thirdly, it was to help assess where people in this ‘Red Wall’ seat are with Labour since the leadership change and a year of the challenges we have all faced from the pandemic. National polls have shown that Labour is losing support across the country, with the public complaining that they do not know what the Party stands for. We are hearing this reflected from members who are becoming disillusioned with Labour. This isn’t about disaffiliation from the Party – it is about making serious interventions that can help them change course towards a better strategy that connects with working people.
We wish to make clear that the Hartlepool constituency poll was independently undertaken through a high-profile national polling company, namely Survation. The poll was conducted by telephone and weighted to match the demographics of the seat itself, with a representative sample providing a valid polling result that reflected the constituency. The lead for the Tories of 7% has been reflected in recent national polls that show a similar lead for the Party over Labour. More recent polling has actually shown the Tory lead to be greater than this, including up to 14% in the latest national YouGov poll.
Our intervention received widespread national and regional coverage, with the call for the trade union movement to play a leading political role receiving newspaper and broadcast coverage across the country.
The full results of the poll and the text of the Times article that I produced to accompany the results are attached to this LTB. We want this information out there so that we can have a serious engagement with Branches about the political strategy of our union.
Alongside our work on developing a renewed political focus, we are keen to meet and engage with Branches, representatives and members on all the issues covered in this LTB and we welcome any Branch contacting my office through me or our National Political Lead, Liam Young, to arrange these meetings.
We are also looking to set up a national political event in the near future where we will be able to discuss these issues in depth with some key guest speakers who can elaborate on all these subjects. This work also ties in with the New Deal for Worker’s campaign and how we see the union expanding its influence in our Regions and local communities and we will update you on this in due course.
Any enquiries on the above LTB should be addressed to the GS Office – firstname.lastname@example.org.