On a grass verge down a long, winding country lane, where the hilltop views stretch across much of mid-Devon, there is evidence of rural disquiet in the peaceful village of Washfield.
A slumped figure with blond straw hair, his tie askew and suit dishevelled, sits on the roadside next to a table with wine and cheese, and a sign saying “Time’s up Boris”.
“He won the people’s choice vote in the village scarecrow competition,” says David Elston, who lives opposite and is proud to have constructed the winning entry with his wife, Marion.
“The competition was part of our platinum jubilee celebrations,” adds Elston, a retired engineer who comes from a long-established local farming family.
While he sees the funny side, as he poses next to the winning scarecrow, Elston is clear that it also carries a message. He thoroughly disapproves of the real Boris Johnson both for the damage he believes the prime minister and Brexit have done to the rural economy and for his habit of partying in Downing Street during the pandemic.
David, who says he has voted Tory in the past, and Marion will decide which party to put their crosses by in the much bigger “people’s vote” – the Tiverton and Honiton byelection on 23 June – when they attend a hustings this coming Thursday. But it doesn’t seem likely to be the Conservatives.
“His big Brexit deal is a mess, really,” says David. “A lot of price rises have been caused by the increased bureaucracy. The cost of fertilisers and feed have shot up.”