Hemel’s Labour candidate gives his views of the 2015 election defeat

rosettes for election trail ENGSUS00120130305152021
rosettes for election trail ENGSUS00120130305152021

The man who tried to win back Hemel Hempstead for Labour at this month’s general election has given his thoughts on why the party lost.

Former teacher Tony Breslin stood unsuccessfully against incumbent Tory MP Mike Penning in the Hemel Parliamentary seat.

However Mr Breslin did increase Labour’s share of the vote, and improve the party from third to second place in the poll.

And in an interview with New Statesman interview he has given his view on the party’s future.

He said: “Hemel Hempstead ought to be natural Labour territory.

“In 1997 and 2001 it elected a Labour MP, Tony McWalter, with substantial majorities and, in the 1970s, Robin Corbett had represented Hemel on the Labour benches. Penning’s majority in 2005 had been 499, making the constituency the third most marginal seat in the UK.

“However, in 2010 it enjoyed the biggest swing to the Conservatives in the country.”

Mr Bresling admits in his piece that Ed Miliband’s leadership was “an issue” for some voters, but he reckoned that fundamentally the party needs to appeal to “aspirational” voters, both in Hemel and across the UK.

He said: “Labour must always be the party of social justice, of inclusiveness and of equality of opportunity.

“But it must also find a narrative that binds those who have ‘succeeded’ to it - a narrative that acknowledges their concerns, celebrates their success and embraces their ambitions and aspirations; these were the issues we found on the doorsteps of Hemel.”

The full article can be read here.