Open Left is about rediscovering the Left’s idealism, pluralism and appetite for radical ideas. It starts from a belief that the future of the Left requires a new openness for a new era of open politics:

·      Idealism: open about its political values and goals

·      Pluralism: open about disagreement and debate

·      Radicalism: open to new ideas and policies

We want to hear views and ideas from across the family of the Left, whether people identify with a political party or not. We welcome debate about political values and goal, and don’t presume to have a monopoly of knowledge about how to bring about effective and enduring change.

Open Left is engaging with Labour's leadership candidates and challenging them to open up their debate beyond the boundaries of the Labour Party. Open Left doesn’t want to see Labour’s leadership election become a beauty parade or a contest of personalities. Open Left wants Labour’s next leader to be elected on the strength of their ideas, not based on the differences in their character.

We ask the challenging questions about Labour's record in Government to identify unfinished business and new areas of reform. Open Left is seeking to rediscover the Left’s idealism, pluralism and appetite for radical ideas. The project is engaging with the new generation of MPs elected in the 2010 cohort and the voices of the Left beyond the party: in the wider labour movement, in the cooperative movement, amongst voluntary and community organisations and the left-wing blogosphere. 

Open Left has conducted a major post election poll of 45,000 voters with YouGov to discover voters changing attitudes to social issue, the role of the state, levels of public spending and taxation and the brand reputations of the major political parties. The poll allows Demos to compare the outlook of voters Labour lost since 2005, with the ones they retained at the last election.

For more information and to get involved go to or contact Richard Darlington.



Society of equals
Graeme Cooke
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The quest for greater equality is a central mission in Labour politics, but the party needs a new egalitarian agenda to broaden and deepen its attack on inequality. The goal should be a Britain of powerful people in a reciprocal society – rooted in an understanding of shared fate and the ways a more equal society benefits us all.

We mean power
James Purnell, Graeme Cooke
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James Purnell MP and Graeme Cooke edit this collection which explores the ideological history and future of left-wing politics in Britain.

The politics of perpetual renewal
Anthony Painter
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This paper, part of the Open Left project at Demos, aims to sets out a picture of the country that will go to the polls this year.

Liberation Welfare
Graeme Cooke, Paul Gregg
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This report proposes a new approach to the benefits system based on the idea of 'Liberation Welfare'.

16 Days
Alexis Zorbas, Helen McCarthy, Rachel Briggs, Charles Leadbeater
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With the changing nature of global conflict, the idea of the Olympic Truce - a global ceasefire lasting for the duration of the Games - is more relevant than ever.

City Limits
Kitty Ussher, Jonathan Edwards
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City Limits seeks to improve the clarity of thinking surrounding the banking sector in Britain and offer some policy lessons to be learned from the crisis, as witnessed first-hand by the author as City Minister.


Apr 21

Welfare must liberate

Graeme Cooke lays down the guiding principles of Open Left's new collection Liberation Welfare.

Mar 24

A complex electorate

Anthony Painter and Ali Moussavi sum up the new report from Open Left.

Feb 16

We mean power

Graeme Cooke argues that the goal for the centre-Left should be a Britain of powerful people in a reciprocal society.

Jan 15

Jobs guarantee puts Labour on the right path

Graeme Cooke supports Labour's reported adoption of a jobs guarantee.

Jan 11

We never forgot society

James Purnell says that society has always been the heart of Labour in the Guardian.

Sep 17

A stretch too far

Open Left's Graeme Cooke responds to Nick Clegg's pamphlet The Liberal Moment.

Jul 20

Demos Launches Open Left

20/7/09   Graeme Cooke, Head of the Open Left project writes on what it means to be...

Jun 20

Research finds voters in south have same concerns as the north

Labour's John Denham quotes Demos poll that shows voters across the UK share views on a range of political issues.

Jun 16

What should the Labour party do next?

Kitty Ussher suggests a way forward for Labour in opposition in the Observer.