Skip to content

One Nation, disconnected party: The evocation of One Nation aimed to unite the nation, instead it highlighted the Labour party’s divisions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-448
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Politics
Issue number3
Early online date14 Jul 2017
DateAccepted/In press - 27 Mar 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 14 Jul 2017
DatePublished (current) - Aug 2017


This paper explores Ed Miliband’s evocation of One Nation in his 2012 Labour party conference speech. It first surveys the views of members of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) and key advisors to Miliband on One Nation, with a focus on the debates surrounding its purpose and substance. What becomes clear is the amount of confusion amongst backbenchers and shadow cabinet members of the PLP regarding its purpose. Second, the paper explains the respective, and drastically different, positions of the Policy Review team and Ed Miliband and his leadership team over the purpose of One Nation. Third, this paper highlights that there was a fundamental disconnection between the two principal centres of policymaking under the tenure of Ed Miliband’s leadership and that this ultimately undermined One Nation by allowing Ed Miliband quietly to drop it for a ‘cost of living’ narrative. It concludes that the evocation of One Nation was a missed opportunity for the Labour party, which subsequently allowed the Conservatives to reclaim that territory.

    Research areas

  • ideas, Labour Party, Policy-making, Ed Miliband

Download statistics

No data available



  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Palgrave Macmillan at . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 540 KB, PDF document


View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups