“Unexpected and uncalled for”

The Guardian contacted all the Tory members of Mid Devon district council’s cabinet but only one, Colin Slade, gave a comment. “We are all devastated by the result; it was unexpected and uncalled for,” he said. He refused to speak about Johnson’s position.

However, Owl thinks that this result is an accumulative combination of both National and Local politics.

A retired assistant teacher from Tiverton voted Lib Dem for the first time after becoming “fed up not just nationally, but locally” with the Conservatives. (The Times)

Tories in denial – extracts from the papers

“I have to get on with the job of delivering for the people” – Guardian

Johnson struck a defensive tone at a press conference in the Rwandan capital of Kigali, where he is attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit, refusing to admit anything about his own behaviour was to blame for the byelection calamities.

“I genuinely, genuinely don’t think the way forward in British politics is to focus on issues of personalities whether they are mine or others,” he said. “No doubt people will continue to beat me up and say this or that and to attack me.”

He added: “In the end, voters, journalists, they have no one else to make their complaints to. I have to take that. But I also have to get on with the job of delivering for the people of this country and that’s what I was elected to do.”

Why did the girls speak out? Parish should never have stepped down – inews

Back in Westminster, MPs were shellshocked by the heavy defeats – not so much in Wakefield, a classic marginal where Labour was always expected to win easily, but more in Tory stronghold of Tiverton & Honiton.

“They are going bloody mental on the WhatsApp group,” one veteran backbencher commented. “We didn’t think for one moment that we were going to lose that. Voters are lying on the doorstep, like they did in 1997.”

The by-election was triggered by the resignation of former MP Neil Parish, who quit in disgrace when female colleagues saw him watching pornography in the House of Commons chamber. It was “not an ideal situation to put your standing as a party on the line”, one of the Prime Minister’s closest allies admitted.

Some Tories believe Mr Parish should never have stepped down – and even blame the women who reported him. “Parish shouldn’t have resigned,” one MP said. “He should have just gone away with his wife for a few weeks and then come back to the job. I don’t know why the girls had to speak out like that.”

Another suggested the witnesses would “feel like a turd in the swimming pool” after the party’s defeat in Tiverton – remarks likely to inflame tensions within the party, where many women already feel sidelined.

‘Anyone but Boris’ majority could doom the Tories to electoral oblivion – Telegraph

Nightmare scenario of tactical voting could put several Cabinet ministers’ majorities at risk, including the Prime Minister’s……

The electorate, rather than political parties, formed a pact with each other to do whatever it took to defeat Boris Johnson’s party. If the same were to happen again in a national poll, the result could be seismic……

Anyone wanting to know how to use their vote to topple a Tory candidate can now enter their postcode on tactical voting websites, which helpfully recommend which party they should vote for at the click of a mouse…..

Tiverton will be held up at the next election as a rallying cry in all of those safe seats where apathetic voters have stayed at home, believing their vote “won’t make any difference”. …….

Martin Shaw, Chair East Devon Alliance issues following statement on Tiverton and Honiton election

Seaton and Colyton matters

The East Devon Alliance of Independents warmly congratulates Richard Foord on his election as Tiverton and Honiton’s new MP and the Liberal Democrats on their excellent campaign. This historic victory results from a progressive alliance among voters in this part of Devon which has seen many Independent, Green and Labour voters backing Richard. I and other members of the East Devon Alliance of Independents are proud to have played a part in his success and look forward to working with the Lib Dems and all opposition forces in the new era for Devon politics which it opens up.

Martin Shaw

Chair East Devon Alliance

Collapse in Tory support threatens ‘Celtic Fringe’ in South-West, poll finds

[These figures were released on Thursday before the by election results were known.]

A collapse in Conservative support across the South-West of England could see the party lose 11 seats in a general election – and come within a hair’s breadth of losing the constituency of Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Public News Time publicnewstime.com 

YouGov found that Tory vote share in the seats which they dubbed the “Conservative Celtic Fringe” has dropped a remarkable 19 points since the 2019 general election, leaving Boris Johnson’s party on 38 per cent in the region.

The figures were released on the day of a by-election in the Devon seat of Tiverton & Honiton, where Liberal Democrats are hopeful of overturning a massive Conservative majority in an area which has been “true blue” since 1923.

Out of 41 West Country seats which have been in Tory hands since 2015 and voted Leave in 2016, some 11 would fall to Labour or Liberal Democrats if the YouGov findings were borne out in a general election, with a further four on a cliff-edge.

Among those most at risk of loss are environment secretary George Eustice’s Camborne and Redruth, which was held by both Labour and Liberal Democrats under its pre-2010 title of Falmouth and Camborne.

Based on the YouGov figures, Mr Rees-Mogg’s North East Somerset would be at risk, but the Cabinet Office minister would be expected to scrape back into parliament by a slim margin.

As well as Camborne and Redruth, Labour would pick up both Bournemouth constituencies and the seats of Gloucester, Kingswood, and Swindon South.

The Liberal Democrats would re-take Wells, Chippenham, Taunton Deane, and St Ives.

And East Devon would be at risk to an Independent who has stood in the past three elections on a pro-NHS ticket and ran Tories close in 2019.

In the 41 seats studied by YouGov, Conservatives took a 57 per cent share of vote in 2019, with Labour and Lib Dems neck and neck on 19 per cent.

Polling of 813 voters across the constituencies saw the political landscape transformed, with Tories on 38 per cent (down 19 points), Labour on 24 (up 5) and Lib Dems on 22 (up 3).

YouGov associate director Patrick English said: “The scale of losses which might occur in the Conservative Celtic Fringe do not come anywhere close to those in the Red Wall in 2019.

“But if the Tory seat total takes a hit from its South-Western flank at the same time as it does in the Red Wall former Labour heartlands and across the new Blue Wall front, this Labour and Liberal Democrat pincer movement could become very costly to the Conservatives indeed.”

Consultation over future of town centre and seafront

Consultation launched in bid to shape the future of Exmouth’s town centre and seafront

Dan Wilkins www.exmouthjournal.co.uk

People in Exmouth are being asked to share their thoughts on how the regeneration of Exmouth’s town centre and seafront should look. 

A new consultation is being launched in the form of a series of public workshops and an online questionnaire – both aimed at gauging ideas on how the town and seafront should look. 

A Placemaking in Exmouth Town and Seafront Group has been created – led by East Devon District Council (EDDC) – and is looking to gather opinions of residents and visitors on shaping future developments in the town. 

The online questionnaire went live on Thursday (June 23) and will close near the end of August. 

Two workshops will be held at Ocean, in Queen’s Drive, on Thursday, July 14, from 7pm and on Sunday, July 31, from 10am until 12.30pm. 

Two further workshops will be held for stakeholders and officials. 

South West Research Company will also be conducting 400 on-street face-to-face interviews in July and August – 150 and 250 interviews respectively, on behalf of the council. 

All the views gathered will be used to help shape developments in Exmouth town centre and seafront in the future. 

Councillor Paul Arnott, EDDC leader, said: “Exmouth is by far the biggest community in East Devon, and it is vital to listen to the opinions and wishes of local people.   

“We are very grateful indeed to all the town councillors, local residents and stakeholders who have advised us on how best to approach this new consultation and now look forward to hearing what everyone wishes to say. Thank you for taking part.” 

Councillor Nick Hookway, portfolio holder for tourism, sport, leisure and culture, said: “At the first stakeholder session, which was held last Monday, there were many comments on how Exmouth needs to unlock the puzzle that visitors often experience when moving around the town centre to get to the Seafront.  

“Exmouth is blessed with a superb seafront and together with the Exe Estuary Exmouth is an attractive place to visit.  

“Exmouth is a lovely place to live and work in as well. However, there is a need to develop new places that will enhance the town, improve the visitor experience and provide better amenities for residents. New developments will lead to economic growth and provide job opportunities.  

“EDDC would like to hear the views of residents as these new placemaking proposals are put forward. May I encourage as many residents as possible to take a few minutes to complete the consultation.” 

Anyone who wants a copy of the consultation on paper should email exmouthconsultation@eastdevon.gov.uk or call 01395 519960 by Friday, 12 August to discuss. 

To take the questionnaire, visit https://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/exmouth-consultation-summer-2022/