The way ahead


We believe there is a way ahead for Labour to win the next election, but the road is hard and the journey will not be easy. The broader labour movement needs to have a shared understanding of what has gone wrong, how Labour can win again, and what kind of opposition it will face.

In Chapter 7, our Commission sets out the scale of the challenge facing Labour. Chapter 8 looks at how we can bridge the divide between our voter coalition and embark on some first steps of a necessary winning political strategy. This chapter analyses how we can unite different groups of voters, and sets out our recommendations for action to deliver on this new strategy. Chapter 9 lists our recommendations for how we must change our organisational strategy as a Party and movement to re-engage proactively with the British people and bring our capabilities up to date.

As a Commission we set ourselves the challenge of looking to the future at how Labour could build a majority coalition. This was no easy task, but we believe there are grounds for optimism, and the ground-breaking work we commissioned provides the potential basis of a political strategy moving forward. However, it will require further development, not least because of the unprecedented public health and economic crisis caused by Coronavirus. Though this report focuses on what Labour can affect and control,  Chapter 5 in particular has shown us that Labour needs to generally be more aware of external shifts in the political environment and in particular play closer attention to the Conservative’s evolving positioning, tactics and strategies.

Our Commission’s view is that our 2019 loss should be mobilising, not paralysing. Labour can be the party of big and transformational change for our country and our communities at the next election, as long as this is believable and rooted in people’s lives. But Labour cannot afford to be complacent about the seats it currently holds and we must be mindful that if we do not fundamentally overhaul our mindset and our mission there is further that we could fall.

Our political strategy, organisation and campaigning infrastructure (on the ground, and in the digital space) needs major reform and revamping. We must not shy away from necessary and tough choices if we are to rebuild our relationship with the country, and revolutionise the way we engage and listen to voters.

To achieve our winning political strategy, we need to reform our Party and our movement to meet this challenge.


The findings in these chapters are based on a broad range of independent analysis, including bespoke work commissioned for this review, including:

  • a deliberative Citizens’ Panel bringing together different groups of potential Labour voters by Britain Thinks in March 2019
  • Extensive and bespoke analysis of Labour’s Core Voter Groups from Datapraxis
  • YouGov research
  • analysis of the new electoral landscape provided to the Commission by Greg Cook, Labour’s Head of Political Strategy from 1995 to 2019
  • early data and analysis from the 2019-23 British Election Study shared with us by Professor Edward Fieldhouse, Dr. Chris Prosser and Dr Jonathan Mellon of the University of Manchester
  • an extensive review of relevant published data and research, including that highlighted in submissions to this Review
  • Work commissioned from Common Knowledge on organisational change and digital transformation
  • Interviews with Trade Unions conducted by TSSA as part of their submission to the review
  • Submissions from groups including the Community Organising Unit, Momentum, Progress and others
  • Conversations with staffers, organisers and people working within the party.
  • The views of Labour members who took part in our General election survey