Is Labour’s Invisibility Harming Remain?

A study by Loughborough University has found that Labour is being “practically ignored” in media coverage of the EU Referendum. An analysis of May and June found that “Labour voices are present in less than 4% of TV and just 8% of print coverage of the referendum”, and no Labour politicians are among the top 10 most frequently reported individuals. Indeed, Jean Claude Juncker has gained more newsprint and airtime than any Labour politician. The report lends weight to critics of Jeremy Corbyn, who warn that his lukewarm and lethargic approach to the Remain campaign, and his refusal to appear alongside Conservatives, has undermined Labour’s presence in the debate. Andy Burnham weighed in saying that Labour voters defecting to Leave could lose the referendum for the Remainers and Labour MPs are gloomily reporting poor canvass returns in their constituencies.

But this is not borne out by polling evidence which shows Labour voters splitting roughly 2:1 in favour of Remain. The answer could be that Labour MPs are right about their own constituencies. Because of the very poor election result last year, Labour MPs represent core working class voters, many of whom are tempted by Brexit. It could be that Labour voters in seats the party failed to win are a lot more pro-Remain.

By Lexington Communications