Richard Willis's Blog

First for local news and first for comment

Has Labour Given Up on Reading East?

labourToday the national Labour Party published its list of 106 target seats which it wants to gain at the next General Election in order to achieve an overall majority of 60 seats. Unsurprisingly the list includes the Reading West seat, which Labour only lost at the 2010 election but which now needs a swing of over 6% to win back. More surprising was the absence of the Reading East seat from the list. Rob Wilson gained the seat from Labour in 2005 with a tiny majority but consolidated his position in 2010 gaining a substantial majority (7,605) and pushing Labour into third place.

Seats designated as “target seats” by the major parties receive extra campaigning resources and visits from senior party figures during the run up to and during the election campaign. Whilst the press release does say that the list will be kept under review, Reading Labour Party members in the West will get extra resources, and once again members in the East will be the poor relations. This will be a big blow for their local Councillor candidate who has already crossed swords unsuccessfully with Rob Wilson MP.

Perhaps Labour has concluded that with their candidate in third place last time and a popular and active local Conservative MP readopted unanimously their chances in Reading East are slim. It does seem so!


January 8, 2013 - Posted by | Local, National


  1. Not being a member of the Labour Party I cannot comment on your assertion but would imagine they will concentrate locally on regaining Reading West in 2015.

    Every party has finite resources so will target the seats they are most likely to gain rather than their own safe seats or those safe to the other side. I would think the Conservatives would employ more resources in trying to win Wirral South or hold Wirral West than waste effort on Liverpool Riverside.

    It is a tribute to Rob Wilson that he has transformed his seat in Reading East from a marginal to one that whilst not ignored is not on Labour’s hit list.

    Comment by Steve Foley | January 8, 2013 | Reply

  2. Thanks Richard. Not sure I fully support your analysis. I think it is probably a combination of Mr Wilson’s majority, the Green stronghold in Park Ward and the Lib Dem stronghold in Woodley. Rest assured though, the Greens will keep working hard for Reading East.

    Comment by Rob White | January 9, 2013 | Reply

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