People in the party’s new seats are not all as old and badly off as stereotypes suggest
In the weeks since the election, the Westminster agenda has been focused on the politics and economics of place. That’s because of some very specific locales: the 50 seats across north Wales, the Midlands and the north that switched from Labour to the Conservatives. These seats, in what was once Labour’s “red wall”, and is now being described as a “blue wall”, put Boris Johnson’s government into office. And it is the desire to hold on to those seats that lies behind its programme of tackling Britain’s damaging geographic divides – what it calls “levelling up”.
But defining that programme means understanding those constituencies. Crucially, it means getting beyond stereotypes. Too often we hear these former Labour strongholds characterised as poor, left-behind towns that the young are leaving in droves, when the reality is far more complex.