Tories set to lose 'Sea Wall' of coastal seats

The Conservatives are set to lose the “Sea Wall” of coastal seats, new polling has showed, as most think the Tories don’t understand their communities.

New research from the Fabian Society and YouGov found that Labour is overtaking the Government in 108 coastal town constituencies.

What it calls the first ever analysis of the “Sea Wall” shows that Labour is ahead by 6 points, overturning a 22-point lead at the 2019 election.

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Three years ago the Conservatives had 51 per cent of the support in these seats, ahead of Labour’s 29 points.

Blackpool is one of the Tory-held seats being targetted by Labour ahead of the next electionBlackpool is one of the Tory-held seats being targetted by Labour ahead of the next election
Blackpool is one of the Tory-held seats being targetted by Labour ahead of the next election

Now Labour leads by 38 per cent to the Tories’ 32, and while it is lower than Sir Keir Starmer’s party’s lead across than the UK as whole it has seen a 14 point swing away from the Government.

In 2019, just 24 of these seats elected Labour MPs.

Fabian Society research, as part of the ongoing “Winning 150” series, shows that Labour must retain the 23 seats they currently hold, win back Hartlepool and add a further thirty of these coastal town seats.

However, Labour still has work to do in many seats, with more people believing the party doesn’t understand people in their area compared to people who believe the party do.

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Fabian Society Senior Researcher, Ben Cooper said: “The tide has turned in the Tory-dominated ‘sea wall’. A majority of voters in coastal towns believe the Conservative Party does not understand people in their local area nor share their values.

“Labour is now on the path towards a broad national mandate at the next election. Coastal towns are often overlooked, but they will be a key part of Labour’s election-winning coalition.

“Labour needs a unifying, ‘one nation’ platform and must address specific concerns in coastal towns. The good news is, it can do that without losing ground in other marginal seats across the country.”

It comes as a new report from Onward which warns that without bolder action to secure green jobs, UK manufacturing is set to lose out “forever” to economies in Europe, Asia and America.

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The think tanks said that there is an urgent five year window for the UK to save nearly 250,000 jobs at risk concentrated in Red Wall seats.

The report has been backed by senior MPs including John Stevenson, the chairman of the Northern Research Group of Tory MPs, and the former levelling up secretary, Simon Clarke.

It called on the Government to look at bring in targeted tax breaks for companies investing in green factories, and providing cheaper energy costs for industries, such as that offered in France and Germany.

Ed Birkett, Head of Energy & Climate at Onward, said: “The green industrial revolution is a big risk for UK factories that make cars and steel, and for workers in the UK’s oil and gas industry.

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The Government must work night and day to secure the green factories of the future, or there’s a risk that we’ll lose industrial jobs forever.”

“We need to make the UK an attractive place to invest in green factories. This means cheaper energy, lower business rates, cash incentives, a carbon border tax to stop offshoring, and more.”