Blackpool South by-election defeat and broader polling shows how the political tide is turning at the coast

With Thursday’s seismic by-election defeat in Blackpool South adding to the woes of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak research conducted by the left-leaning Fabian Society has confirmed the size of the Labour lead across a swathe of coastal constituencies in England and Wales.

The polling, which was conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Fabian Society shows that in the 108 constituencies in England and Wales that contain at least one coastal town, Labour has 52 percent of the vote more than double the Conservatives (21 percent) and over three times that of Reform (14 percent).

George McGregor, Bacta’s Executive Director Government Relations, Regulatory Affairs and Communications believes that the battle to win coastal towns and communities, dubbed the ‘sea wall’ by commentators will be pivotal in the race to win the general election, as a consequence opening a strategic window of opportunity for Bacta to extend its political engagement programme. 

He explained: “The by-election in Blackpool South which was called when the incumbent Conservative Scott Benton was forced to step down after it emerged he had offered to lobby ministers in return for payments, has demonstrated the potential that the Labour Party has to turn the political tide at the coast and win wave after wave of seats from the Conservatives.

“What this means is that candidates campaigning to win seaside seats are likely to be highly motivated to meet with Bacta members whose businesses are in their constituencies. What better way to demonstrate the role that our industry plays in providing value for money family-friendly entertainment than to invite Labour candidates to see the industry at work delivering the ‘serious business of fun’?”

He continued: “The key coastal battlegrounds that Bacta has identified include Bournemouth East, Blackpool North and Cleveleys, Thanet East, Dover and Deal, Hastings and Rye, Llandudno, Southport, Great Yarmouth, Workington, Clwyd North as well as many other seats.

“Bacta is very much on an election footing and I would encourage any member wanting guidance or insight into who and how to contact their prospective parliamentary candidates to email me on I will be delighted to assist.”