Sat. May 28th, 2022


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First the Red Wall, now the BLUE Wall crumbles: How Boris is losing the heartlands

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Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party have enjoyed a run of success in the polls, sweeping up at the 2019 general election and all but obliterating Labour Party strongholds. But nothing in politics lasts forever, and a new poll has shown how much work the Prime Minister needs to do to keep his lead before Britain heads to the polls once more.

A poll, conducted by YouGov for The Times, shows Tory support has collapsed in ‘Blue Wall’ heartlands in the southeast and east of England.

The poll surveyed 1,141 adults in 53 Blue Wall constituencies between July 20 and 28, 2021, and the results will make for difficult reading for Mr Johnson.

The Conservative rating is down eight points in these Blue Wall constituencies, the poll showed, while the party could lose up to 17 seats in the next general election.

The seats polled are all currently held by the Tories, all voted for Remain in 2016, and have a higher-than-average concentration of tertiary degree holders in the population.

The results of the poll show that current voting intention in these constituencies currently stands at 44 percent for the Conservatives, 24 percent for Labour, 18 percent for the Liberal Democrats, nine percent for the Greens, and six percent for other parties.

This represents a change of -8 points for the Conservatives from their 2019 performance in these constituencies, +4 points for Labour, a surprising six-point drop for the Liberal Democrats, and a sizeable seven-point gain for the Greens.

The Conservatives are falling almost twice as fast in the Blue Wall as they are nationally, with the latest YouGov poll showing them five points down on their 2019 general election showing.

Constituencies that could abandon the Tories include Wycombe, Chipping Barnet and Chingford and Woodford Green.

A large drop in the Conservative vote share would also severely threaten four other Tory constituencies, including current Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in Esher and Walton as well as Cambridgeshire South, Cities of London and Westminster, and Guildford.

The YouGov poll results said: “While it would not be anywhere near enough to offset the ]Labour] party’s losses in the so-called Red Wall in 2019, Labour punching holes in traditional Tory foundations will send alarm bells ringing across Conservative Associations and MPs in the South.”

The concerns cited by the Blue Wall voters included the Government as a whole, Brexit, Tory housing plans and HS2, among others.

Some 54 percent of Blue Wall residents disapprove of the Government’s record to date, with just 30 percent approving.

And 47 percent of the Blue Wall believe that the Government is taking the country in the wrong direction, with a majority of 54 percent believing the Government does not listen to people in their area.

When asked if they believed the Conservatives are in or out of touch, 25 percent believe the party is “in touch”, while 55 percent believe it is “out of touch”.

Meanwhile, 24 percent of Blue Wall voters support the development of HS2, while 46 percent oppose it, another 22 percent neither support nor oppose.

Furthermore, while they believe that more houses are needed nationally, they are less keen to see homes built in their local area – 43 percent support, 52 percent oppose houses being built in their areas.

On Brexit, Blue Wall residents would vote to re-join the EU in a hypothetical referendum by a slim margin: 47 percent say they would vote for the UK to return to the EU, while 42 percent say they would vote to remain outside.

Voters in these constituencies think the Government has handled Brexit badly and that it was the wrong decision to leave in the first place.

Patric English, a research manager for YouGov, said: “The results of the blue wall poll highlight just how difficult a job Boris Johnson has in balancing his new voter coalition.

“The exact sorts of policies and priorities on issues such as Brexit and investment which are winning him support in the north and midlands are costing him and his party in the south and east.

“This divergence and the political realignment which follows has only been growing stronger in recent years, as the OCnservative’s contrasting fortunes in the Hartlepool and Chesham and Amersham by-elections earlier this year show.”

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