1st Edition

Why London is Labour A History of Metropolitan Politics, 1900-2020

By Michael Tichelar Copyright 2021
    330 Pages
    by Routledge

    330 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book answers the question why London has been a stronghold for the Labour Party for relatively long periods of the last century and continues to be so to this day to an extent that surprises contemporaries.

    The book draws on evidence from history and political sociology as well as the personal experience of the author in London local government during the 1980s. It argues that while changes in the London economy, plus the ability of the party to forge cross-class alliances, can go some way to explain the success of the Labour Party in London, a range of other demographic and social factors need to be taken into account, especially after the year 2000. These include the size of London’s growing black and ethnic minority communities; higher concentrations of well-educated younger people with socially liberal values; the increasing support of the middle-classes; the impact of austerity after 2008; and the degree of poverty in London compared to non-metropolitan areas.

    This book will be of key interest to readers interested in the history of the Labour Party, the politics of London, Socialist politics/history, British politics/history, government, political sociology, and urban studies.


    Part 1: Chronological - From an Imperial Metropolis to a City of Rampant Capitalism

    1. ‘Labour in an Imperial Metropolis’

    2. ‘Labour in a Municipal Social Democracy’

    3. Labour in a ‘City of Rampant Capitalism’

    Part 2: Thematic – Localities, Workplaces, Trade Unions, Class, Socialism, Personal Identity 

    4. Localities, Workplaces and Trade Union Organisation

    5. Voting and Social Class

    6. Party Organisation, Membership and the Influence of Socialism

    7. The Politics of Personal Identity: Gender, Race and Religion



    Michael Tichelar is a Visiting Fellow in History at the University of the West of England, UK.

    "Combining fascinating historical analysis with refreshing sociological insights, this book fills a vital gap in political thinking. Thoroughly researched and fiercely defended, Tichelar draws on geography, race and class to answer one of politics’ unanswered questions."

    Rt. Hon. David Lammy, Labour Party Member of Parliament for Tottenham, 2000-present, UK.

    "This wide-ranging book sheds light on a vital political question: why has London become such a bastion of Labour Party support and radical politics, at the same time that it has become such a central site of global capitalism? In placing London’s profile in long term wide ranging historical perspective, Michael Tichelar offers a valuable account which will interest everyone concerned with the future of left politics in the UK."

    Mike Savage, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.