Login Register

Ed Balls: Gloucester will set tone for the nation at 2015 general election

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 30, 2014

Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, visited Gloucester for a Labour Party fundraiser

Comments (16)

Whichever party wins in Gloucester in 2015 is likely to form the next government, the shadow chancellor Ed Balls has said.

The result in the city constituency has matched the overall outcome of every general election since 1979.

And Mr Balls has told The Citizen he not only believes Gloucester will set the tone for the nation come polling day next year but also that he has every faith Labour’s candidate Sophy Gardner will be able to turn the city red once again.

“I think Gloucester will be a bellwether again and I think we are going to win,” he said.

“We have got a brilliant candidate in Sophy Gardner and I know from everything I am hearing that she is winning support right across the city, from traditional Labour voters, from businesses and obviously she has a massive track record in public services in our armed forces.

“We have a great candidate and I think at the moment people are hurting with living standards falling and they want things to be done differently for the future and I think we have got a set of policies on jobs, on investment, on fairness in deficit reduction which I think will strike a chord with people in Gloucester.

“We have had good Labour MPs here and some real improvements over the last 15 years and I think we are going to have a great MP in 2015.”

The current MP for the city, Richard Graham, won the seat for the Conservatives in 2010 after Labour had controlled it since 1997.

Mr Graham secured the seat with a majority of just over 2,400 and a swing in the voting of close to nine per cent.

Mr Balls is bullish about Labour’s chances of overturning the Tory majority.

“Totally confident,” he said.

“It’s absolutely do-able. The thing about politics though is that you must never take anything for granted.

“The only poll that matters is the poll on general election day.

“If people thought we were being complacent, I think they would think we were foolish.

“The reason we are working so hard is because every vote counts in Gloucester.”

Mr Balls spoke to The Citizen while attending a Labour Party fundraiser at Kingsholm Stadium, the home of Gloucester Rugby, on Thursday evening.

Read more from Gloucester Citizen

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters


  • Mike_Smith_Gl  |  February 07 2014, 3:32PM

    @ Jemmy. And, of course his predecessor wasn't much better. Also a government bag-carrier. He said one thing in Gloucester and voted for the opposite in Westminster. Post Offices, Ghurkhas & Fire control centres come to mind. Come back, Sally!

  • JemmyWood  |  February 07 2014, 3:19PM

    And lets just remember HOW the current incumbant in Gloucester won his seat shall we... by using members of the Cotswold Hunt he is/was part of to do all of his leg work (but he will deny going hunting to the hilt) People voted for a Dave and Gloucester was lumbered with a Dick. Dick Graham has been completely inneffectual as an MP, preferring to spend his time in China as a government bag carrier. He has failed to deal with major local issues, has not spoken at all about the incinerator or backed his constituents who are fighting against it, he has lied on twitter about service in the Armed Forces, he has championed low risk causes for PR purposes and failed to help tackle the real issues people of Gloucester face. He has voted against Food Banks despite visiting the one in Gloucester, he voted for the bedroom tax, which has directly afected people in this city... the list goes on and on and on and on.................When it comes to the Ballot Box next year.. don't think which political party will serve me best, think which person will serve Gloucester best... and I can virtually guarentee you that you won't chose Dick Graham. The sooner Dick is shoved on his bike out of Gloucester and back to his cosy Cotswold village, the better.

    |   5
  • Mike_Smith_Gl  |  January 31 2014, 10:11PM

    @RoadWombat. Thank you for reminding me of one of my favourite books. If I remember rightly the Royal Family had to leave the country because of years of left-wing, republican leaning government. They went to Commonwealth countries that remained loyal to the Crown.

  • Aletheia  |  January 31 2014, 6:17PM

    Just what did Labour do for us in the 13 years they were in power? They could be described as war mongers because they took us in to one war after another. Wars that had nothing to do with us and they even did it on a lie. When it came to education they decided it would be really clever to have 50% of the population getting a degree. Well, they managed to get 47% of youngsters in to university but sadly, because they didn't realise that you cannot create intelligence, they had to reduce the quality of degrees. As a result we have ended up with a degree qualification in this country being totally devalued and meaningless. When it came to the NHS they thought they would demonstrate how caring they were by building new hospitals. All very well but they did not have the intelligence to find a way of sensibly funding them through private money and signed up to private finance initiatives that have left some hospitals paying over 50% of their budget to their landlords. As for law and order, they created the early release scheme whereby criminals end up serving less than half of their sentence. As regards our power industry they unbelievably made no provision for the fact that nuclear power stations were running out of their lifetime and would soon need to be decommissioned. There is a real possibility that we will have power cuts in the future because of no investment. Lastly, when the Tories took over in 1979 the UK was bankrupt. Thatcher and her party turned it around and left us in 1997 as arguably the strongest economy in Europe. By the time that Labour left 13 years later they had bankrupted us for the second time in my lifetime. So, to sum up, they screwed up education, health, law and order and our economy. Just what sort of moron would vote for that again?

  • derekmd  |  January 31 2014, 5:38PM

    walker100e...We can't all be political masterminds but we do all have the right to vote and that's the way it must stay.

    |   6
  • jackson99  |  January 31 2014, 5:14PM

    Im still amazed that people voted for our present MP.

    |   7
  • Walker100e  |  January 31 2014, 5:01PM

    Derekmd, why does asking people to ensure they have a basic political knowledge before being permitted to vote imply we would be living in a dictatorship? Surely you would want your government selected by people that had at least a basic knowledge? Do you really want your government voted for by someone who cannot even name the leaders and chancellors of the three main parties?

    |   -17
  • SELINA30  |  January 31 2014, 4:09PM

    Sophy Gardner will win Gloucester back at the next election even if it means Gloucester bucking the national trend. There is a reason the Tories haven't won an outright General Election for over twenty years. They are still out of touch and just represent the 1%. The end is in sight.

    |   4
  • IsitJimKerr  |  January 31 2014, 1:19PM

    I've listened in horror at the gaffes this idiot has made over the years, and I have to say he is wrong again, Sophie Gardner will NOT regain Gloucester for the Liebour party. But back to Balls, his latest gaffe last week about 50% tax just shows how out of touch he is. I have reckoned for years that the more you earn the more you pay, no, not as a higher percentage, just pure maths. I looked up a tax calculator on t'interweb, and here are the results; 'The argument is that the rich should pay more, well they do, MUCH MORE! Take average salary of £25k ....at present, they will have deductions approximately of £3k Tax £2k NI Conts Take someone on £150k ....at present, they will have deductions approximately of £53.5k Tax £6.2k NI Conts So there it is in black & white, someone on 6 times the average wage pays TWELVE times the amount in tax. But not only that, if you go back to Liebour's last year in power Someone on £150k .........back then had deductions of £50K Tax £5.2 NI Conts So in fact under the Tories, the rich are paying about 10 percent more than Liebour's last year in power'. They are doing what they accused the Tories of last time, ie, populist measures.

  • Glos_Lad34  |  January 31 2014, 10:58AM

    Either way, Labour and the Conservatives have ruined the country now and in the past, time for a new party to come in. UKIP all the way for me and most of the people I know vote for them.