Our region’s blue wall is crumbling: the Conservative seats facing wipe-out

Photo by Jeff Rowley on Wikimedia Commons

The rumour mill is going nuts, with MPs increasingly alarmed by Lettuce Liz and Kamikwasi Kwarteng and the destruction and havoc being meted out on the country by their crazy far-right ideology and batsh*t policies. It’s taken the party long enough to catch up with the public, who have been screaming their disapproval via the polls for a while now.

The Financial Times’ Whitehall editor, Sebastian Payne, commented:

Liz Truss has addressed the 1922 committee of Tory MPs this evening. The PM told MPs they should focus on the energy price guarantee and “highlight the devastation that would have been caused to small business had we not acted”

Truss also told Tory MPs that Labour “has no plan beyond the next 6 months” and no plan to help businesses.

Tonight’s [12.10.2022] 1922 meeting sounds pretty dire. One MP said: “the mood was honestly funereal, horrendous. I was shocked at how brutal it was”.

Truss took sharp criticism on mortgages, polling and her economic record. Another MP, “there was a sense this just can’t go on”

MPs present at the ’22 say Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow, accused Liz Truss of “trashing workers’ conservatism” and “everything the party has stood for over the last decade”. The PM looked shocked and denied that was the case.

Several MPs say tonight’s 1922 was the worst they experienced and it failed to calm the mood.

One said that the mood reflected that Truss had “no authority” among MPs:

“At least a couple of times, there was a ripple of chatter going on at back while she was still talking”

Originally tweeted by Sebastian Payne (@SebastianEPayne) on 12/10/2022.

The latest polling has been directed at the so-called ‘blue wall’ – that mass of seats that have been on auto-Tory since forever. Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset boast a fair few of these, where we joke (somewhat bitterly) that a cowpat with a blue rosette on it could get elected. We operate in an ocean of blue, now heftily polluted with physical and metaphorical sewage.

No doubt the Conservatives hoped that the massive swing in the Tiverton and Honiton by-election, which resulted in a gob-smacking LibDem victory in what was once an absolute Tory stronghold, was a freak result.

It wasn’t. And it won’t be.

Here is polling expert and political commentator, Naomi Smith of Best for Britain, expanding on the poll results:

‘LESS THAN HALF of 2019 Conservative voters [polled] say they would vote Conservative again. 20 per cent say they would vote for Labour, 6 per cent would switch to the Liberal Democrats, and 4 per cent would support Reform UK. 20 per cent are undecided.

47 per cent of Blue Wall voters may vote tactically for a party other than their first choice in order to ensure a party they dislike does not win in their constituency. 65 per cent of 2019 LibDems, 60 per cent of 2019 Labour voters and a stonking 41 per cent of Con 2019 voters would do so.’

Even if there are no pacts, no ‘progressive alliances’, it’s clear that voters are prepared to sort out tactical voting for themselves to keep the Conservatives out. For many that we have spoken to, there’s a demand that goes with this pragmatism: electoral reform, so that people do not feel they have to game the first past the post system ever again. But that’s a whole other issue…

Right now, who are the Tory MPs who should be setting aside their safe seat complacency and, instead, polishing up their CVs and considering alternative careers? Well, if the mutterings from the Tory backbenches are anything to go by, there isn’t a single Tory constituency that they themselves consider to be safe; but here are the seats in our area that were covered by the poll of 42 blue wall constituencies, and which could, as things stand, actually be lost if an election was held today (and, let’s face it, tomorrow will in all probability be worse for them as Trussonomics trashes a bit more of the economy):

  • Bournemouth East (Tobias Ellwood…one of the better Conservatives who sometimes exhibits a backbone)
  • St Ives (Derek Thomas, who very occasionally says boo to a goose)
  • Taunton Deane (useless ex-under secretary for food and farming under Johnson, Rebecca Pow)
  • Totnes (the ambitious, Sunak-supporting Anthony Mangnall)
  • Truro and Falmouth (Cherilyn Mackrory, Johnson loyalist)
  • Wells (Truss-backer James Heappey)
  • West Dorset (the ‘delightful’ Chris Loder, Truss fan)

At the national level, we can expect to say a fond farewell (hoho) to Johnson, Raab and Brexit hard man Steve Baker, amongst many, many others. Couldn’t happen to nicer blokes.

Fair restores your faith in humanity, don’t it?