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Broken Heartlands is a political road trip through ten constituencies that tell the story of Labour's 'red wall', from Sebastian Payne an award-winning journalist for the Financial Times.
The red wall formed the foundation of Labour's vote in the Midlands and the North of England but these places backed Brexit and then dramatically turned Conservative for the first time in living memory at the 2019 election, redrawing the electoral map in the process.
Originally from the North East himself, Payne set out to uncover the story of the red wall and issues that turned the seats blue. While Brexit and the unpopularity of opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn are factors, there is a more nuanced story explored in Broken Heartlands of how these northern communities have fared through generational shifts, struggling public services, deindustrialization, and the changing nature of work. Featuring interviews with people from the red wall and the viewpoints of major political figures from both parties, Payne explores the role these social and economic forces, decades in the making, have played in upheaving the political landscape.