Labour has been trumped by the UK Independence Party as the party of the white, working class voter according to a new poll. In a recent poll, YouGov asked voters which party they thought was the party most in touch with the white, working classes. They found that 27 percent of voters thought it was Ukip, against 21 percent who thought it was Labour.
The poll was commissioned by the Times in the wake of the ‘WhiteVanGate’ scandal involving ex-shadow minister Emily Thornberry, who was forced to resign last week after Tweeting a picture depicting a house draped in England flags, with a white van parked on its driveway. Thornberry said that she had tweeted the picture because she had “never seen anything like it before.”
Her comments immediately provoked criticism from within her own party, with Member of Parliament Simon Danczuk telling the press “It’s like the Labour party has been hijacked by the north London liberal elite and it’s comments like that which reinforce that view.”
Her leader Ed Miliband was forced to apologise, stating “that tweet conveyed a sense of disrespect.” When asked what goes through his mind when he sees a house with English flags, he replied “What goes through my mind is respect.”
It appears that his words have fallen on deaf ears, as the YouGov poll showed that just 21 percent of voters believe that Labour is in touch with the concerns of their traditional support – the white, working classes of Britain. In contrast, 27 percent of voters said that Ukip, which was originally founded in opposition to EU membership but has since broadened its platform to be a fully-fledged political party, was now the party for white, working class people.
That gap widened amongst working class voters themselves, to 29 percent who thought that Ukip best represented them, against 20 percent who thought it was still Labour. 27 percent of white working class voters thought that no party was in touch with them, whilst just 9 percent thought it was the Conservatives, and a mere 1 percent said it was the Liberal Democrats.
A UKIP spokesperson told Breitbart London: “People are beginning to realise that both the Labour and the Tory parties are completely out of touch with normal people. UKIP on the other hand is run by, represented by, and campaigns on behalf of normal people.”
Following the Thornberry incident Labour has had to fight off allegations that it has shifted from being a party for the working classes, to being the party of the public sector elite. As a middle class millionaire who holds a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Corpus Christi College, Oxford, Ed Miliband’s leadership is held up as a sign that the Labour party is no longer in touch with its roots. He worked as a policy advisor to Harriet Harman and later as a Special Advisor to Gordon Brown in the Treasury before entering Parliament himself.
Criticism of Labour’s elite image has come from within the party as well as without. Speaking on the BBC’s Today program, senior Labour politician Hazel Blears said: “I did a bit of research. In 1979, three per cent of all MPs came through that path, the ‘transition belt’ I called it, of being a special adviser, getting a safe seat ending up in the government.
“At the last election in 2010 it was 24 per cent and rising. There is a genuine issue here. People right across the spectrum do feel that politician who have never done a different job somehow cannot be in touch with their lives.
“I think the public are onto something. Politics has changed quite dramatically in the last 30 or 40 years.”