In the Bridgwater and West Somerset Constituency the Tories are faultering and the Lib Dems are failing to make ground while Labour have been boosted by a rise in the national polls which bodes well for the final week of campaigning. In this ‘safe tory seat’ – which means ‘taken for granted’ by the Tories, a new survey by Change.org has put local Conservative MP Ian Lidell-Grainger as 623rd out of 650 Members of Parliament when it comes to ‘judging what makes a good MP’. Their ‘people power index’ assesses members on their openness and responsiveness to their constituents. A spokesperson said “The People-Power Index should be viewed as a health check of how Parliament is working and how our MPs are listening to, and engaging with, their constituents.”
However, this is something local people have known for years. ILG coming so close to the bottom of the list will come as no surprise to anyone. But there it is now in black and white.
Lib Dems scuppered as Tactical Voting Websites Recommend Labour
Local Lib Dems have also been struggling to make inroads. In a highly dubious ‘leaflet and bar chart’ campaign designed to prove they are ‘the best placed to challenge the tories’ and appealing for ‘tactical voting’ no matter how much they spin the wording on their leaflets, 3 out of 4 Tactical Voting websites have now clearly called ‘Labour’ as the tactical vote in Bridgwater and West Somerset with their strong 2nd place in 2017 and their powerful dominance in local government in the Bridgwater area. Labour Town Council Leader in Bridgwater Cllr Brian Smedley says “As far afield as Dulverton and Porlock voters are coming round to realising that their vote isn’t pointless and will go into the same box as the thousands of Labour votes in Bridgwater where we run the town council and are the main opposition on Sedgemoor. They need to get out and vote Labour”
Oliver’s Army of Volunteers criss-cross the Constituency
Labour’s candidate Oliver Thornton has already got through 4 repeat print runs of leaflets and helpers are working flat out to meet the increased demands in the poster war. Teams of Labour supporters have been popping up in unlikely places flying the red flag from Woolavington to Williton and from Watchet to Weston Zoyland.
Oliver has spoken at hustings across the constituency including the NFU at junction 24 where farmers gave the Tory a hard time, and warmed to Mr Thornton’s reference to his own background in farming communities, while the Lib Dem shuffled nervously.
Whilst Liddell-Grainger – or should that be ‘little stranger’ – is making a point of avoiding as many public appearances as possible, Oliver Thornton is taking every opportunity to march towards the gunfire. In the next few days he has 4 back to back hustings for students in Bridgwater and Cannington Colleges, environmental activists in Minehead and a major Sunday night event at the Bridgwater Arts Centre organised by Somerset loves Europe (7pm Dec 8th all welcome)
Oliver hits the airwaves and our TV screens
First off the mark with a BBC radio interview, Oliver Thornton is also to be featured on BBC South West politics show on Sunday 8th December when he goes head to head with the ex Tory Ann Widdecombe and soon-to-be ex Tory MP Johnny Mercer. Plus some Liberal.
As the final week approaches Labour has steadily reached 35% in the polls with Lib Dem support dropping every time Jo Swinson appears on TV and Green voters switching to Labour after being stitched up by the Lib Dems in the ‘Remain Alliance’.
New Voters Register in their Millions to ‘tip the balance’
One key hope for Labour is the registration campaign which has shown that of the 3.2 million new people registered to vote, more than 2/3rds are under 35. This is a significant figure and a major inroad into the 9 million people who didn’t vote at the last election.
By bringing into play the new voters, alongside the people sick of austerity who recognise that it was both Tory and Lib Dem alike who brought it in, the people who realise that Brexit is only one issue and pales into insignificance in the face of Climate Change, the Future of the NHS, Homelessness, Foodbanks and the deep inequality that runs through Tory Britain, and the people who want change and know that their vote can actually win this, then the future is Labours. And that means the future is there for all of us.