Tory members won’t vote for Boris Johnson in crunch Devon by-election

“I don’t think I’d recognise the new candidate, Helen thingy, if she walked past me. She’s made no effort with the [Conservative] Club. We’ve had no leaflets or posters delivered and as far as I can see the party is doing its best to hide her from the voters because its scared of what she might actually say.”

(She’s the one next to Alison Hernandez – Owl)

By David Parsley inews.co.uk

Conservative voters in Tiverton and Honiton are torn on whether Boris Johnson is an electoral asset or liability ahead of the by-election on 23 June.

The resignation of Conservative MP Neil Parish after he was caught watching pornography on his phone in the House of Commons has thrown this sleepy Devon constituency into the national spotlight.

Parish left behind a 24,000 majority, and despite coming in third at the 2019 General Election the Liberal Democrats are hopeful of pulling off their third big mid-term by-election swing in a year.

Nick Sleeman, bar manager at the Honiton Conservative Club, has had enough of the Prime Minister’s antics and will be voting Liberal Democrat in a little of two weeks’ time.

“I’m definitely voting Lib Dem because I’ve had enough of Boris’ lies,” said Mr Sleeman. “He should go.”

However, even if Mr Johnson is forced out of office Mr Sleeman has another reason not to vote Conservative for the first time he can remember. He’s not a fan of the local Tory candidate Helen Hurford, the town’s current deputy mayor and owner of a beauty salon just in Honiton.

“I don’t think I’d recognise the new candidate, Helen thingy, if she walked past me. She’s made no effort with the [Conservative] Club. We’ve had no leaflets or posters delivered and as far as I can see the party is doing its best to hide her from the voters because its scared of what she might actually say.”

He is just one of many lifelong Tory voters in the town who are switching their allegiance to the Liberal Democrats this time around.

Gerry Mills is secretary of the club, and like his colleague Mr Sleeman, is disillusioned with the lack of profile of his Conservative candidate.

“I’m the secretary of the Honiton Conservative Club, and I’m probably not going to vote for our candidate at the by-election. I doubt I’ll vote Lib Dem either, and I’ll probably just stay at home.

Another lifelong Tory voter Carole Corfield is more definitive on the position of Mr Johnson. She will only vote Conservative at the by-election if he is no longer in power.

“I voted for Boris in 2019 to get Brexit done,” said Mrs Corfield. “But he’s lied to us all so much now that I can’t vote for him.

“I’ll go Lib Dem this time unless Boris has gone. I think I’d vote Conservative if there was pretty much any other leader than him there, but I won’t while he’s still in power.”

In contrast to the low key Conservative campaign in Tiverton and Honiton the Liberal Democrats have a big presence in the constituency as the party attempts to overturn the 24,000 Tory majority (Photo: David Parsley)

While the view among Honiton Tories looks bad for Mr Johnson, the view among Tory voters in Tiverton appears more positive.

In the Tiverton Constitutional Club Philip Gibbs does not believe there is a better Tory MP to occupy No 10 Downing Street.

“He’s the best man for the job,” he said. “I can’t think of anyone who could replace him.”

Fellow Tory voter Henry Middleton added “we should keep him because he’s fun,” a sentiment shared by his friend George Williams.

Outside the Constitutional Club there is a whiff of rebellion among the Conservative voters of Tiverton.

Barry Tretherway will be switching his vote to the Lib Dems later this month.

“How can we trust Boris anymore after all the lies,” he said. “Plus, we have a candidate I know nothing about because we’ve never heard her speak.”

3 thoughts on “Tory members won’t vote for Boris Johnson in crunch Devon by-election

  1. It does seem as if the Tory candidate doesn’t wish to be seen. Yesterday The Times showed a picture of the Tory candidate – except that it was not Helen Hurford, but Liz Pole (the big red rosette gave it away!)
    It was not a good day’s reporting for the Times as Seaton had been transformed into Seaford which is in Sussex.

    Like

  2. Interesting that she or her supporters have mailed every constituent a leaflet that looks like it comes from the Lib Dems (printed on yellow paper) whose only content is scare stories and Daily Mail quotes about them. Helen Hurford’s name appears in the minimum font size possible. No mention of her policies, positions, local ambitions. Extraordinary negative campaigning.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.