The & # 39; red wall & # 39; of work creaks when loyal voters consider other parties | UK news


West Bromwich, United Kingdom – Something unusual is stirring in this red brick market, and Ed Renyard feels it.

Looking down the main street, he predicts an electoral malaise while the United Kingdom rushes toward its early election on Thursday.

"A defeat here could teach the Labor Party to wake up and listen to the people," says the 27-year-old former Labor supporter, with his flat cap that protects him from the rain.

"I have lost faith in them. They have broken their promises … the country voted in favor of Brexit but they have moved away from that."

He is not alone. Here, in West Bromwich East, home to 65,000 inhabitants, and throughout the so-called "red wall,quot; of the post-industrial strengths of Labor in the Midlands and northern England, the old political loyalties seem to be about to change as the Brexit transforms the elections. battle lines

Labor confrontation faces in heartland

The UK's drama-filled commitment to depart from the European Union has fueled hope in the Conservative Party of Prime Minister Boris Johnson that he could unite a series of victories at the heart of his main rivals.

Johnson says a conservative government "would end Brexit,quot; and remove the United Kingdom from the EU at the end of January 2020, a message designed to consolidate support between its base and attract disgruntled voters and pro-Brexit workers to change on the side

His message seems to be gaining ground, as YouGov data suggests that 44 seats will go from being Labor to conservatives, including West Bromwich East, and other constituencies that voted for Brexit in the 2016 referendum.

Ed Renyard says parliamentarians are it is supposed to serve people and in many cases, "clearly not,quot; (David Niño / Al Jazeera)

A readjustment on that scale, analysts say, could give Johnson the victory he craves to catalyze EU exit from the United Kingdom with its withdrawal agreement.

"If conservatives can make a profit in the Midlands and northern parts, then the game for Labor is over," says Tim Bale, a professor of politics at Queen Mary University in London.

"That's where the swings seats are for the conservative … (And) it seems that years of Labor vote legacy are about to crumble.

"I think the combination of making Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn has proven to be too much for some people."

& # 39; I want Brexit to be done & # 39;

Corbyn, Labor’s leftist leader, has tried to appease the two Brexit camps, graduated and remaining, pledging to renegotiate a softer divorce agreement than Johnson’s and submit the aforementioned withdrawal agreement to a referendum, together with the option of staying, within six months.

But that position has been difficult to sell to voters in areas favorable to licensing such as West Bromwich East, a position represented since 2001 by Tom Watson, former pro-EU deputy leader of Labor, who recently he retired as MP.

Almost seven out of 10 locals voted to leave the EU, compared to 52 percent nationwide.

Many here are angry because almost three and a half years in Brexit are still not delivered, and they see Corbyn's promises as confusing.

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More than 68 percent of voters in West Bromwich East voted to leave the EU (David Child / Al Jazeera)

"That's why they are potentially going to vote in a way that appeals to someone who does," says Renyard, pausing the campaign for George Galloway, a former Labor politician and pro-Brexit independent candidate.

"A lot of people are looking at conservatives. IThree years have passed, it should have been done and dusted. "

Market trader Dave Jones is among those who turn to conservatives.

A floating voter who describes himself, the 62-year-old man says he has backed the Labor Party in the past and voted for the Brexit Party of leader Brexiteer Nigel Farage in this year's European parliamentary elections.

Now, however, he supports Johnson for Brexit.

"I want it done, and I trust Boris (Johnson) to deliver it if you can win this election directly, "says Jones, while nearby shoppers flutter between the stalls that sell saris, jewelry and equipment from West Bromwich Albion Football Club.

"Returning to the other parts, Jeremy Corbyn can't decide what he wants to do. There is for and against Brexit, but all I want to recover is our control of our borders … and I think we should be able to deal with our own laws. "

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Dave Jones says he will vote for conservatives, who he believes will deliver Brexit and control immigration (David Child / Al Jazeera)

Conservatives are currently tracking ten percentage points without work, according to add polls, with 43 percent of voters saying they would vote for Tory if elections were held tomorrow.

An important YouGov study published last week predicted that the party was on its way to winning 359 seats, including West Bromwich East for the first time in history, in the House of Commons with 650 seats.

Such a result would give Johnson, who had promised to deliver Brexit "do or die,quot; at the end of October before being forced to step back after a series of defeats in Parliament, a comfortable working majority.

In West Bromwich East, where Labor won by a 20 percent majority in the general elections of the United Kingdom in 2017, party activists and supporters who occupy the headquarters of the local campaign admit they face an unprecedented battle.

"I would be very surprised if we didn't win, but I don't think it will be a landslide in any way," says Laura Rollins, 36, a volunteer volunteer for communications and social networks for a new location. Ibrahim Dogus candidate. "I think it will be close."

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The Labor Party has maintained West Bromwich East since the formation of the constituency in 1974 (David Child / Al Jazeera)

Jackie Taylor, a local Labor councilor and lifelong Labor advocate, also hopes to reject the conservative challenge in West Bromwich East headed by Nicola Richards, but warns that Labor should make sure voters "see the wood of the trees "in Brexit.

"Brexit is the main theme and is the theme (for the voters) of & # 39; we voted and his party is not listening & # 39;" says Taylor, 58, while Dogus and a group of volunteers prepare for another day of doors.

"People are warm with that personality, the lack of complications and simplicity in Johnson's message: that he is the man to do Brexit and he will."

"However, Brexit is not simple, we are dealing with the complexities of people's lives and that is what we need to convey to citizens not only of West Bromwich East, but of the whole country."

Voters are great in Corbyn

In addition to Labor's headaches in his heart, the party is struggling to sell Corbyn to hordes of seemingly great voters with his leadership credentials; Surveys suggest that it is very unpopular.

According to YouGov, about 61 percent of Britons have a negative opinion of him, compared to Johnson's 47 percent. However, the Labor leader is seen as more reliable than Johnson.

"Although people talk about Brexit being a problem for the Labor Party, I don't think it's as big a problem as Jeremy Corbyn's," Bale explains, adding that some former Labor voters were "bothering." Your leader evaluations.

"They see him as un patriotic, weak, unpleasant, indecisive and incompetent … almost any type of negative you can think of, that's what they will say about him."

"Although we live in a parliamentary, non-presidential system, leaders are important because of the way people vote and you cannot have a leader who is perceived negatively and wins a majority in general elections."

The leader of the opposition Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn, points to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Corbyn and Johnson have presented radically different visions for the future of the United Kingdom (Jeff Overs / BBC / Brochure via Reuters)

Back in West Bromwich East, former Labor supporter Reynard is criticizing Corbyn, who pledged after the 2016 referendum to "accept the vote and move on."

"Jeremy Corbyn for much of his life supported Brexit, but he has broken promises about it," he says. "Many people wonder, if he comes to power, what else will he accept."

Corbyn, a long-time Eurosceptician, has pledged to shake the UK economy if he wins, with proposals such as income tax increases for those who earn the most and a nationalization program.

Meanwhile, at the headquarters of the local Labor campaign, Rollins is unswerving in its support.

"Jeremy (Corbyn) has spent his entire life fighting against injustice and for equality," says Rollins, who admits to having a small cardboard cut of 70 years in his living room.

"When the manifesto came out, and it could be due to lack of sleep, but in fact I cried … If we can do half of what is in it, we would improve everyone's life," he says, pointing out the "high levels of deprivation,quot; in the area that was once known for its coal mining industry.

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Laura Rollins says that Brexit has created a & # 39; toxic environment & # 39; in UK politics (David Niño / Al Jazeera)

Fragments of loyalties

Despite the friction unleashed by Brexit, analysts say it remains to be seen if a decisive number of Labor voters will leave the party when leaving their mark on the privacy of the polling station.

Some predict low participation in "red wall,quot; groups, where conservatives have been widely detested.

"There is a cultural and generational sense of loyalty to the Labor Party even today, when, in most of the country, and among most voters, volatility has become the order of the day, "says Matt Cole, historian and expert in British party politics at the University of Birmingham.

"British voters used to be more supporters of soccer teams; you don't choose it, you inherit it by geography, family or friendship group, and you never leave it, anyway not with any respectability.

"It doesn't matter if the owner is a scammer, that the manager is an idiot or that the players are lazy. You may not go to so many games or always go out, but you never support another team: aand that spirit of constant loyalty and unwillingness to support the opposition remains strong in a large number of Labor seats. "

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In case the & # 39; red wall collapses & # 39; of the workers, the conservatives would have a considerable majority (David Child / Al Jazeera)

For some, however, Brexit's charm is too tempting.

"People used to vote for Labor because they took care of the working-class man years ago, but as I get older I am doing my thing, "says Jones behind his market position.

"If Corbyn had made a decision and said that we are going to leave, yes, then he would have accepted it and maybe he would have voted for Labor. But now I can't, not with him as leader."

"Besides, I already voted by mail, and voted conservative."