Listen to Britain!
Campaign launch – We held intensive workshops with 100 candidates and key supporters from across the country at our one-day launch in London in January. We heard views on how to renew local communities and address key problems, before sending them off – motivated and mobilised – to every corner of the UK.
Roadshow – In February and March, Renew party principals James Clarke and James Torrance visited 20 cities and towns to engage with people in all regions, including Mansfield, Manchester, Liverpool, Sunderland, York, Birmingham, Cardiff, Blackburn, Edinburgh, Darlington and Bristol.
Universities – We held 10 debates at universities in Oxford, Cambridge, York, Essex, Royal Holloway, Exeter, City, St Andrews, Durham and Nottingham. We spoke with young people about their future aspirations, student loans, concerns about career prospects, Brexit and other topical issues. Find more details below.
Recruitment – We’re meeting potential parliamentary candidates from all regions, adding to the 1200 applications we’ve received, interviewing aspiring candidates and providing training. We’ve also recruited more than 3500 volunteers and supporters to help build the party.
Campaigning – We’re campaigning in the streets and town centres, speaking with local people about their hopes and fears.
Grassroots engagement – We’re meeting local civil society groups around the country, such as Blackburn’s SLYNC, which seeks to reconcile different faith groups and ethnic communities in the area.
Action Groups & Coordinators – We set up local Renew action groups on social media and face-to-face, headed by Regional Coordinators. These groups are sharing ideas and mobilising teams to engage with their communities on a platform for change.
Surveys – We’re distributing surveys and soliciting responses online – as of April 1st, more than 1000 have been completed. We’ll process this data for a report to be issued in the summer.
Media – We’ve given dozens of interviews and been the focus of reports in more than 200 local, national and international media in order to reach a broad cross-section of people with our party’s goals and values.
Social Media – We’re using a range of social media platforms to engage with more and more people across the country, steadily building our following and provoking lively debates from all sides of the political spectrum.
Policy Development – Information and views we gather are being fed into our new policy committees to help shape a new vision for change over the year.
What have we heard so far?
- While many are still concerned about Brexit, most want to talk about other issues, including the challenges faced every day: access to the NHS, lack of affordable housing, immigration, local transport and jobs.
- Many from the traditional left and right are disenchanted with the current state of the mainstream parties and are extremely responsive to the idea of a new party made up of people from outside politics.
- People are interested in new policies and ideas based on factual evidence and best practice, rather than rigid ideology.
- People feel they haven’t been consulted by any major party on the topic of immigration for many years.
- The North/South divide remains an issue, but so do the divisions between North-East and North-West.
- Transportation, cultural and industrial links are extremely weak for historical reasons, which have not been resolved.
- Efforts such as the Northern Powerhouse were only really adopted in Manchester and should be pushed again.
- Devolution of power from London is a very popular issue, particularly in North-East England and Scotland.
- Lack of local transport in the North-East and South-West is felt to be an important factor in limiting economic opportunities and dynamism. Employers struggle to hire people outside their immediate vicinity.
- Some in the North of England see it as an an area of low-opportunity and low-aspiration, especially for the young.
- Many admit to switching allegiances in the last few elections.
- Many see housing, living standards, the NHS and political representation as key areas in need of reform.
• The future for UK youth if Brexit goes ahead
• What are the key concerns regarding Brexit for students and academia?
• Does the UK need a new party to represent the pro-European centre?
• Has the two-party system failed?
• How would a renewed UK look?
• How can we ensure a better intergenerational deal for young people?
• What is the future for UK youth outside the EU?
• What is the best way to finance higher education?
University Tour Dates - completed
Jan 29 – Durham University
Feb 9 – Royal Holloway University, Egham, Surrey
Feb 14 – St Anne’s College, Oxford
Feb 15 – Essex University
Feb 16 – Cambridge University
Feb 22 – York University
Feb 27 – Cardiff University, Wales
Mar 1 – St Andrews University, Fife, Scotland
Mar 7 – Exeter University
Mar 13 – City University, London