One week to go in Tiverton and Honiton!!!

I rarely use exclamation marks when writing, but it is getting exciting! Next Thursday voters in Tiverton and Honiton will be heading to the polls. And the polls say we are only a couple of per cent behind the Tories. Although, the bookies have us as favourites, there is no room for complacency. It is time to get to Tiverton and Honiton if you can.

The HQs will be open from 9am until 8pm:

  • Tiverton at 8-9 Mountbatten Road, Tiverton EX16 6SW
  • Honiton at 118 High St, Honiton, EX14 1JP

If you need or can offer a lift for volunteers on polling week, please complete this form.

Campaigning next week won’t be helped by the national rail strike. Although notionally for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, services are expected to be disrupted for the entire week and overcrowded when they operate. Cue traffic jams at the usual bank holiday pinch spots to am from the south west. However, we Lib Dems are not put off by such matters. We are at the point of winning and we must win. We must pull off the hattrick of three by-election wins in a row.

 

No one can have missed the pickup in spirit and a sense of “will do, can do” among Lib Dems after the victories in Chesham and Amersham and North Shropshire.  And now we hope, Tiverton and Honiton will add to the growing momentum to of support for Lib Dems as voters recognise we have the best policies and are committing to representing the electorate rather than our egos.

The Mail reports that a Redfield and Wilton Strategies survey showed the Lib Dems now have 15 per cent support in a poll of national voting intention, up 2 per cent. A Savanta ComRes survey, commissioned by the Lib Dems, found that 43 per cent of rural Conservative voters think the party took rural communities for granted. This was higher among Conservative voters living in villages (48 per cent) and all adults living in rural communities (49 per cent). Ed Davey commented: “This Conservative Government simply doesn’t care about rural parts of the country.”

The Tory candidate for Tiverton and Honiton seems to be struggling a bit. The i has a cute story about her greeting Richard Foord for the first time and saying: “It’s really hard work this by-election thing isn’t it?” Speaking to a meeting of the local NFU, Helen Hurford seemed to be reading from her campaign leaflet. Richard Foord had a more confident and generous approach. Speaking of the disgraced MP, Neil Parish he said; “For all his faults Neil Parish knew his farming. He is a loss to farmers in this constituency. He fought hard for your interests.”

The Guardian reports a survey by the Lib Dems which suggests that of people intending to vote on the day of the Tiverton and Honiton byelection, the Conservatives have 46% support and the Lib Dems 44%. That’s close. It’s close enough to overturn North Shropshire style. A Lib Dem party [no, not that kind of party!] source said:

“The momentum is definitely with the Liberal Democrats in Tiverton and Honiton, but it is not by any means over the line. If we get an army of activists knocking on doors this weekend, we can do it. Whatever happens it’s going to be a very close-run thing.”

* Andy Boddington is a Lib Dem councillor in Shropshire. He blogs at andybodders.co.uk. He is Thursday editor of Lib Dem Voice.

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5 Comments

  • Yeovil Yokel 16th Jun '22 - 10:11pm

    The campaign needs volunteer drivers in particular – many activists arrive by train and don’t have the means to reach the smaller towns & villages. I shall be contributing my 4 wheels to the struggle at the weekend and on polling day itself. The weather has been kind and the atmosphere down here is good.

    With Helen Morgan’s visit today, it looks like all of the Party’s MP’s have contributed to the campaign. If Richard wins next Thursday, he’ll be buying quite a few rounds in the Commons bar.

  • David Evans 17th Jun '22 - 6:38am

    Quite simply this is a by-election we have to win, and based on my experience on the doorstep we can, but we need more people out canvassing and on election day. There are thousands of votes to be won, in particular on council estates where people have got totally used to being trodden on and ignored over many, many years and need to be given hope that things can be changed.

    We won’t get them to vote for us just by telling them Boris Johnson is a bad man. We will win if we persuade them that we will do a better job – Face to face.

    It’s a beautiful part of the country. Get out there and help us win.

  • Just being pedantic: it was our alleged canvassing returns which put us 2% behind, something we tend to say at this time in most by elections where we are challenging.
    The only poll I know of was the local NUB one, 340 voters in Seaton, Axminister, Honiton area which placed us almost 19% ahead, 51 to 32, Labour on 8.
    Let us get there and make it 60-20!!!
    Just a thought, by perhaps building the Tory vote up we could well stiffen their resolve, and they are treating this election better than Chesham and North Shropshire.

  • Mick Taylor 17th Jun '22 - 2:54pm

    Sometimes you can take things too far. I understand the value of a good bar chart, but it can, as Theakes suggests, work both ways and convince wavering Tory voters to go out and vote for their candidate.
    I do agree thoroughly with David Evans that face to face canvassing will win the seat, not deluging it with leaflets. There can be too many leaflets and we nearly lost the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election because of leaflet fatigue.

  • Matthew Parris has a piece about the by election in today’s Times. He’s actually been down there to ‘sniff the breeze’. It’s behind a paywall so I’ll summarise. He says, in no particular order:
    1. As of now, he’d vote for us (not just in the by election, but generally);
    2. the seat is not ‘leafy’; Tory-held seats in the SW are more ‘hardbitten’ than those in the home counties.
    3. he met, and likes, Richard Foord; thinks him ‘capable’ and ‘widely-liked’.
    4. he thinks it’s closer than most observers do. ‘A Tory win here may be under-priced’;
    5. There’s a reference to his own resignation by election in West Derbyshire in 1986, which nostalgic veterans here will enjoy. He points out the Tory majority in 1983 had been 15325, then in the by election it was 100, then in the 1987 election it was 10527.
    6. The main thrust of the article is to tell us that, longer-term, we need to appeal to Tory voters by being more… well, Tory. Or at least Tory-lite.
    Anyway. Interesting enough piece. (Get down there to help if you can!)
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/to-win-lib-dems-must-be-nicer-to-tories-llzh2zfcd

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