Clare Moody of the Labour Party has been elected as a SW Member of the European Parliament. Thanks to everyone who took part in the campaign in Central Devon and helped make this happen!
However, we all know that some people feel left out of the economy and ignored by our politics. The votes for UKIP are a reflection of that, and a reflection of the public’s dissatisfaction with the EU which does need to change to work for Britain.
Labour has beaten the Tories for the first time in 20 years in a European election, and it builds on a clear story of progress in key battleground seats in the local elections – confirmed by Lord Ashcroft’s poll. These results taken together show we can win the General Election if we take the right steps between now and next May.
The way we do that is with real answers to the deep problems in our economy. Ed Miliband has been leading the argument for change in our economy to make it work for working people and deal with the cost-of-living crisis. In this campaign alone we’ve set out plans to:
Give renting families more security and stopping them being ripped off
Ban exploitative zero hour contracts
Guarantee GP access
Raise the minimum wage
Ed Miliband has consistently attacked UKIP on policies that would harm working people –higher taxes, removing basic rights at work and damaging our NHS. And we have called them out for unacceptable comments.
But you can’t tackle anti-politics sentiment with the old politics of calling each other names or by ignoring the public’s concerns. You tackle it by showing you can make a difference to people’s lives and by reconnecting with voters. Ed has been leading the argument for big changes in our economy, and changed our party on immigration so we address people’s concerns rather than dismiss them.
And our party is reconnecting with voters conversation by conversation, doorstep by doorstep, street by street. We have knocked on 7 million doors in this campaign. And, even though UKIP and the Tories have outspent us with seven-figure sums, Labour had more activists out on polling day than all the other parties combined.
David Cameron spent this campaign showing his weakness with UKIP and his backbenchers by talking about an EU referendum that he can’t even tell us which way he’ll vote in. Rather than tackling the problems in our economy the Tories look set to carry on banging on about Europe – we’ve already seen several Tory MPs calling for an electoral pact with UKIP and others calling for the Tories to shift their position on a referendum.