M5

Tales from the campaign trail: no no-go areas for Labour

First publihsed on Progressonline

The first two days of the Labour three seats challenge have centred around the M5.

Ben Bradshaw represents Exeter, the start of the duel carriageway. Labour holds two of the Bristol members of parliament, but otherwise you have to get all the way to Birmingham to find your next Labour parliamentarian. Since 2010 there are no Labour MPs representing the people who currently live on its banks. It is, however, the home of the once symbolic Worcester woman – all important to winning the 1997 election and now hosts six target seats that will be key in determining whether Ed Miliband walks into No 10 this May.

The M5 is the only single digit motorway that does not originate in London. For this reason Labour MPs rarely pass through. This is not the case with marginals on the M1, A1 and M4 as they return to Labour’s heartlands in the north, Scotland and Wales. This can have an impact on how the party relates to these voters and best supports its candidates. (more…)