REDt'BLUE is a fascinating insight into Mansfield's political revolution.
REDt'BLUE is a documentary short (23mins), focusing on how, and why, the ex-mining town constituency of Mansfield swung from the Labour party, which had held it for a consecutive 94-years, to the Conservative party in the 2017 snap-election. A party which had not claimed the seat since its creation in 1885.’
REDt'BLUE begins its’ first act by recounting the town’s history, Mansfield was born off the back of the coal industry, and was once a centre for coal, and fabric production for the whole of the north. All that changed when Margret Thatcher came to power in the 1980’s, sparking riots, closures, and an end to life as we once knew it, in Mansfield.
REDt'BLUE then jumps into an examination of the various factors which led to Mansfield finally changing blue, in 2017.
Beginning with the 2015 election, and the rise of UKIP in Mansfield. Through to the 2016 Brexit Referendum, of which Mansfield returned the 7th highest LEAVE vote in the whole country, at 70.9%. Ending in 2017, when Ben Bradley, a hungry young Conservative campaign manager sought to win the town, turning it blue for the first time in its’ history. His strategy of Brexit, and the lack of progress made by then sitting Labour MP Sir Alan Meale, began to resonate with the disenfranchised voters of Mansfield. On June 8th 2017, Mansfield would become one of the first ex-pit town’s to flip to the Conservatives, shocking the nation, and seemingly turning its back on the Labour Party, and the town’s troubled history.
The film final act kicks off by asking the question, ‘Did Mansfield stay blue, or was it won back by the Labour Party, in 2019?’
This question is answered by joining Mansfield parliamentary candidates out on the campaign trail in November 2019, and seeing if then two-years of Conservative rule had really changed the area for better, or for worse. Our film ends by returning to the people at the heart of our story, the ex-pit workers who made Mansfield what it is today, they each make their case for why they vote for the party they do, and if Mansfield is truly better off under a Conservative banner. Mick Newton ends the film by giving a reflective, but hopeful speech towards our towns heritage, it’s legacy, and our future, hopefully finalising the answer asked at the start of our film, ‘Why did Mansfield finally change, from red to blue?