‘Red Wall’ constituencies which helped deliver Boris Johnson’s election victory by flipping from Labour to Conservative face serious economic and political consequences if the PM fails to deliver his promised European trade deal, according to new research.
A new report assessing the views of those who switched from Labour to the Conservatives concludes that, not only are Red Wall areas particularly vulnerable to the double economic shock of a No-Deal Brexit on top of a Corona recession, but that voters of all persuasions in the Red Wall overwhelmingly want a deal to be struck with the EU.
90% of Red Wall voters want Johnson to deliver on his promise of a ‘Great new deal’ with the EU, says new report
No-Deal Brexit likely to be felt most acutely in Red Wall constituencies both economically and politically
Most voters expect basic living costs to rise if a robust deal is not struck
Majority of all voters prioritise working with EU rather than US
The report, combining economic analysis, polling data and switch-voter interviews, was compiled by cross-party advocacy group Best for Britain, whose Chief Executive, Naomi Smith said:
‘Red Wall constituencies will be among the biggest losers if the Government is unable to agree a comprehensive trade agreement with the EU. Their local economies are most exposed to the double whammy of Corona recession and No Deal – though it should be stressed that all parts of the country will feel significant pain.
‘If that does not give ministers pause for thought, then they should consider that a huge majority of Red Wall voters want a good deal struck – even among lifelong Conservative voters, and those who switched away from Labour at the last election, that figure is consistently more than 90 per cent.
‘These battleground constituencies are sending out a crystal clear message to the Prime Minister: Boris, keep your promise.’
The report also finds widespread worry that the cost of living is going to be driven up if Britain leaves the EU without a good trade deal, even among Conservative voters. More than two-thirds of Red Wall voters anticipate that the price of ‘daily essentials’ will rise under a No-Deal Brexit.
These pressures will be in addition to the economic and social stresses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
New suggests poorer households will bear the brunt of the economic fallout from coronavirus, and the double impact of a No-Deal Brexit and Covid-19 is likely to be too much for some individuals – and businesses too.
Naomi Smith said:
‘As Nissan’s announcement about Sunderland last month makes clear, voters in Red Wall seats are among those most at risk if No Deal is needlessly heaped on top of coronavirus.
‘Business and public services only have the bandwidth to cope with one crisis at a time. Exiting the EU without the promised good deal in place will simply pile pressure upon pressure.
‘Yes, coming to an agreement with the EU will be difficult, but important things often are. Switch voters in the Red Wall placed trust in Boris Johnson’s pledge to deliver a proper deal. They know that, without it, the Red Wall levels down, not up.’