After its defeat in 2015, Labour is at risk of throwing away the next general election. Why did it suffer such a devastating loss of support and can it learn crucial lessons in order to recover the trust of voters?

Our election postmortem was a key piece of analysis looking at what went wrong in the lead-up to 2015. Drawing on original polling, two key factors emerged: Labour made no inroads since 2010 on its key weakness – economic competence,  and the public did not perceive Ed Miliband as a credible prime minister.

Patrick Diamond, Ben Bradshaw, Gideon Skinner (Ipsos Mori), Peter Kyle and Joan Ryan debated the report at Labour party conference:


Politics in the 'high-risk, high-opportunity' era

In 2015, Policy Network held high-level policy and political seminars in Berlin, Oxford and Paris. Partners have included the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, the SPD, the Fondation Jean-Jaurès, the Center for American Progress and the Foundation of European Progressive Studies (Feps).

Read our collection of essays on facing up to fear and reclaiming hope, featuring Peter Mandelson, Sara Hobolt, Catherine de Vries, Frank Stauss, and Andrés Velasco.

Listen back to discussions at our Oxford conference:


Jeremy Cliffe sparked an important debate on the need for progressives to embrace pluralism and reach out to young, aspiring generations in order to secure electoral success in the future.  

Cliffe argues that big-picture demographic, social and economic changes are together forging a more plural, open, fast-moving, post-industrial country. Mainstream politicians should embrace "cosmopolitan change", as a strategy of "reconnecting with traditional voters" is actively counter-productive.

Listen back to the launch event, featuring Jeremy Cliffe, David Aaronovitch, Sarah Sackman, David Goodhart and Sunder Katwala:

The paper led to a vigorous debate, prompting a series of responses. Read the reactions of Philippe Legrain, Maria Sobolewska, John Halpin, Ruy Teixeira, David Goodhart, Sunder Katwala, and Jeremy Cliffe's supplement to the paper.

"It is a mistake to conflate 'mainstream' and ‘metropolitan’ liberalism. Politicians should ignore the cultural anxieties of the average voter at their peril"  – David Goodhart

"Britain is becoming more like London: its people are increasingly diverse, urban, university-educated, international, and socially liberal. This cosmopolitan future is overwhelmingly a good thing, and one which today's politicians neglect at their peril."
– Philippe Legrain

      In 2016, Policy Network will
       continue work on centre-left renewal with leading European and American politicians and thinkers. We look forward to our next Progressive Governance conference in Stockholm.