Wales politics

Labour must tackle vote share slide, says Harriet Harman

Harriet Harman Image copyright Getty Images

Labour must address a fall in its share of the vote in Wales, despite winning the 2016 assembly election, the party's former deputy leader has said.

Harriet Harman said Labour's position was "not good enough" to take power at the next general election in 2020.

Victory in Wales and the London mayoral poll showed the need to appeal beyond traditional supporters, she said.

Labour only lost one seat in Cardiff Bay, but its vote share fell 7.6% in the constituency ballot.

Speaking on BBC Radio Wales, Ms Harman congratulated Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones, who is expected to be re-nominated as first minister when the new assembly meets for the first time on Wednesday.

But she added: "In Wales we've seen a fall in our share of the vote, which we are obviously concerned to address and understand people's concerns about us, what we should be doing more of and differently."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had acknowledged that Labour has to do "very much better" to get into government at Westminster, Ms Harman said.

She said: "What [new London mayor] Sadiq Khan was saying - and no doubt this is echoing what Carwyn has been saying - is that you have to reach out beyond your traditional supporters."

Labour must "broaden our appeal. We can't simply be a narrow party just appealing to our traditional base," Ms Harman added.

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