Wear Primark and Win a Vote, Say U.K. Labour Campaigners

LONDON — Britain’s Labour Party won big in Thursday’s election, and part of that success might just have come down to campaigners’ fashion choices.   

According to a leaked WhatsApp message from a Labour campaign group in Canterbury, England, door-to-door canvassers were told to tailor their look to the specific neighborhoods where they were campaigning.

“Good afternoon everyone. Are people dressing for demographic when canvassing? Primark, rather than Seasalt, in Spring Lane? These things matter,” said the message, which appeared on the London-based political website Guido Fawkes.     

Spring Lane (like much of Canterbury) is filled with students, and young, part-time workers. The street is also the location of a Canterbury College campus, student housing and multi-bedroom properties for rent.  

So what better way to woo a late teen or twentysomething voter than with a pair of Primark wide-leg jeans and a cropped T-shirt, or strappy tank top?

Labour is also well aware that Seasalt, with its flowery midi dresses, cozy knits, and sensible shoes might play better in another, more mature, part of town.

Screenshot 2024 07 05 at 16.37.32

The Pier View dress by Seasalt.

WWD has reached out to Primark and Seasalt for comment.

Labour’s strategy worked — at least in Canterbury. The party’s candidate Rosie Duffield won her third consecutive term in office, beating rival Louise Harvey-Quirke by 8,659 votes.

Overall, the Labour Party won an overwhelming majority in the July 4 general election, gaining 214 seats in the House of Commons and bringing their total number of members of parliament to 412.

The Conservatives, as expected, suffered huge losses after 14 years of running the country. They gained 121 seats in Parliament, and lost 251, while the Liberal Democrats, the nation’s third-largest party, gained 63 seats to bring their number of MPs to 71.

On Friday afternoon the new prime minister, Sir Keir Starmer, said in his maiden speech that “politics can be a force for good,” and that Labour’s time in charge would be about “rediscovering who we are” as a nation. He added that his time at prime minister would be marked by “stability and moderation.”

The message was so compelling, maybe it didn’t matter what anyone wore after all.  

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