Tory Campaigners Describe Being "Lambasted" On The Doorstep Over Parties And The Economy Ahead Of Local Elections
Conservative campaigners have described being “lambasted” on the doorstep during “grim” campaigning sessions in the final days leading up to Thursday’s local elections.
Tory staffers, insiders and activists, particularly those based in London and southern counties, told PoliticsHome residents are infuriated by the cost-of-living crisis and say that the partygate scandal is still being brought up as a matter of concern.
“If the elections are anything short of a mauling it will be a success,” a Conservative source based in the south east told PoliticsHome.
“We’re hearing a lot of 'I voted for Boris, and I can never vote Conservative again,'” they added.
“It remains to be seen how much this trickles down to local elections, which typically have a much lower turnout, but I'm very worried.”
One campaigner based in London described Tory council candidates as being “angrier than MPs”, with those standing for election being “lambasted on the doorstep over partygate”.
“No local issues coming up at all, just Boris,” they said.
Concerns over the impact of partygate were echoed by another local government figure, who described the doorstep as “really really grim”.
They told PoliticsHome residents have made “no mention of local services at all”, instead referring to just “partygate, lying and integrity”.
Polling conducted by YouGov last week placed Labour six points ahead of the Conservatives in national voting intention.
The same survey also found that Boris Johnson trails Keir Starmer by nine points in the public’s view of who would make the best Prime Minister.
National politics has been described by pollsters having a significant impact on local election voting intentions.
A poll conducted by Survation last week found the economy to be the most important issue in Britain right now, with 72% of constituencies in Britain describing economic matters as the issue they care about most.
A Tory source based in London told PoliticsHome some residents have linked the government’s approach to the economy with partygate.
“Partygate is still directly coming up but not as much as before,” the source said.
“However, people are now linking partygate to the fact that the government are out of touch and do not understand the concerns of ordinary people when it comes to economic issues and cost of living,” they added.
The source described “Boris’s brand” as being “completely gone," with locals demonstrating “very little trust in him".
“In the past a lot of people used to find him funny and felt like he was on their side, they no longer feel like that is the case.”
In the north of England some Tory campaigners have described far less harsh doorstep receptions.
One activist who has been campaigning in Stokesley in Richmond said: “It might be because the area is traditionally very blue, but reaction on the doorstep has been surprisingly positive.
“National issues haven't really popped up and when we had Rishi Sunak out he received a very warm reception from residents.”
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