'It’s all a bit vague': Labour's message struggling to cut through in Red Wall constituencies

Bolton North East, a constituency which boasts a tiny Conservative majority, is a must-win seat for Labour - but is Labour's message cutting through? ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen reports.

It’s always difficult for an opposition leader to cut through. We in the media tend to focus on the politicians who can affect people’s lives more immediately: the ones in power.

Today, we travelled to Bolton North East, a so-called "Red Wall" constituency with a very small Conservative majority. There we asked three different business owners about Sir Keir Starmer and his policies.

At Fresh Meat Packs, boss Jake Brandwood is worried about energy bills. His three meat chillers cost £100 a week each to run, but he expects that to treble.

Yet despite actively looking at what Labour has been saying, he feels none the wise about what they might offer.

“It’s all a bit vague,” he said.

Bike shop owner James Moller doesn’t know much about what Labour are offering either and so he’s sticking with the Tories for now. He likes their tax cuts and believes that, despite Brexit making his bikes more expensive, the Tories are the party of small business.

Angelika Searle takes a very different view. In her pretzel bakery - one of the only ones in the country - she tells me that the Conservatives are making such a mess of the economy that a Labour government is much needed.

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She also likes the idea of a state owned green energy company that would put money "back into taxpayers wallets".

Labour party activists here, and in Liverpool, really believe they are set fair to form the next government.

In the marginals, like Bolton North East, it feels as though their ideas can be popular enough when they get heard.

But getting heard is still an issue for Labour and until they have a more comprehensive set of policies, that could remain difficult to change.