Talk of the towns: the key battleground of the next election

Towns used to be great places to live with a strong sense of community, thriving high streets, lots of green spaces and good local amenities.

But while our cities are booming, the towns have become left behind. 

Too often our towns have ageing populations, a lack of jobs and opportunities and boarded up shops.

And there is growing anger that political parties don’t understand their residents’ needs, ambitions and frustrations.

In this week’s Ayes to the Left podcast Labour MP Lisa Nandy and Ros Wynne-Jones talk to Jason Beattie about the neglect of our towns and why they hold the key to winning the next general election.

While Labour is piling up votes in the major cities it is losing ground in towns such as Basildon, Nuneaton, Bolton and Wigan.

Lisa says this presents a real challenge for her party.

“Whoever starts to address the issues people are raising in our towns wont just win the next general election it will win the one after that.

“It’s a warning for Labour that the vote which has come out for us in 100 years is not guaranteed,” she says.

We discuss what Labour needs to do, how towns can be turned around and why politicians ignored the warning call from the EU referendum. For information regarding your data privacy, visit