A survey suggests the Conservatives are on course to win the key Labour seat of Workington, seen as crucial to the Prime Minister’s hopes of victory on December 12.
The Tories are set to win the seat in Cumbria by more than 4,000 votes, according to the Survation poll for the Daily Mail. It would be a complete reversal of Labour’s 3,925 majority at the 2017 election.
The Conservatives have 45 per cent support in Workington, with Labour on 34 – a swing of ten percentage points to the Tories in two years.
Boris Johnson is poised to make big gains from Labour in its northern heartlands, a new poll suggests
A survey suggests the Conservatives are on course to win the key Labour seat of Workington, seen as crucial to the Prime Minister’s hopes of victory
If this trend occurs on a wider basis on polling day, the Tories could gain dozens of seats in the North.
A large swathe of the political map could change from Labour red to Tory blue for the first time.
The Conservative breakthrough with ‘Workington Man’ appears to be down to two factors: support for Mr Johnson personally and his pledge to ‘get Brexit done’ – and dislike of the Labour leader.
A total of 19 per cent of people in Workington who voted Labour in 2017 say they intend to vote Conservative in the election; 5 per cent who voted Tory say they intend to vote Labour.
The survey is also a slap in the face for Nigel Farage, who yesterday called on Mr Johnson to form an electoral pact.
Two women chat in an alleyway in Workington town centre, identified this week by the think-tank Outward as a vital battleground in the election
The Brexit Party leader scoffed at Tories who thought they could win in areas like Workington and said he planned to visit it next week.
But of those surveyed in the Mail’s Workington poll, just as many disaffected pro-Leave Labour supporters say they plan to vote for the Brexit Party as disaffected Conservatives.
To have any chance of success on December 12, the Tories must win pro-Brexit, traditionally Labour seats in the North and Midlands to make up for anticipated losses in pro-Remain areas such as Scotland, London and parts of the South East and South West.
Northern towns such as Workington were identified this week by the think-tank Outward as a vital battleground.
According to the Survation poll, Workington voters back Mr Johnson. Asked who would make the best prime minister, 52 per cent choose Mr Johnson; a mere 11 per cent opt for Mr Corbyn; and 11 per cent prefer Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson.
A total of 45 per cent of Workington voters say Brexit is the most important election issue
Asked who has the best Brexit policy, 39 per cent favour Mr Johnson, followed by Mr Farage on 14, Mr Corbyn 11 and Miss Swinson 9. Labour support could drop further in the run-up to polling day.
A total of 41 per cent of voters in Workington say that if they change their mind before December 12 they would consider switching to the Tories; only 25 per cent would consider switching to Labour.
A total of 45 per cent of Workington voters say Brexit is the most important election issue.
Workington’s Tory candidate, Mark Jenkinson, 37, deputy leader of the local Allerdale Council, is hoping to take the seat from Labour MP Sue Hayman. Survation interviewed 506 adults in Workington online on Thursday and yesterday.
Mail poll proves Farage effect hurts Labour more
IF Boris Johnson is worried about losing his election gamble, he should head 300 miles north and visit Workington on the edge of the Lake District.
To call Workington a Labour stronghold is an understatement. It has returned a Labour MP in every general election since 1918. The Tories have held it for just three in 101 years after winning it in the 1970s in a by-election – where wild swings are commonplace.
Workington Labour MP Sue Hayman romped home with a 3,925 majority over the Conservatives in the 2017 election and gained a whopping 51 per cent of the vote.
Workington has returned a Labour MP in every general election since 1918 and is a Labour stronghold
The poll suggests that the result could be reversed, with the Tories winning by 4,000 instead.
The Cumbrian town has found itself the centre of attention this week after a Right of Centre think-tank, Outward, identified ‘Workington Man’ as the key to the result on December 12.
Boris Johnson is poised to make big gains from Labour in its northern heartlands
Along with other Northern towns, which like Workington, have a rugby league team, many of its voters are over 45, white, non-university educated males.
They value security above freedom and feel the country’s economic and social culture no longer represent them, said a report by Outward. Which is why 60 per cent of people in Workington voted to leave the EU, it concluded.
‘Workington Man’ is crucial to Mr Johnson’s hopes because the Tories are resigned to losing seats in pro-Remain Scotland, London and parts of the South. So they have to grab seats from traditional socialist areas in the North and Midlands who voted Leave, do not trust Labour to deliver it and have no time for ‘Islington Man’ Mr Corbyn’s Left-wing views or style.
According to the Survation poll, the leader who can expect a warm welcome from ‘Workington Man’ is Mr Johnson. A study of the individual responses of those who said they were switching from Labour in the 2017 election to Conservative on December 12 is revealing.
Asked why she was voting Conservative, a 35-year-old woman, who voted Leave in the 2016 EU referendum and Labour in 2017, cited Mr Johnson’s slogan: ‘To get Brexit done.’
Support for the Brexit Party in Workington is at a modest 13 per cent, roughly the same level as the party commands nationwide
The Prime Minister will be even more buoyed by the 41-year-old Workington woman who voted Remain in 2016 but said she intends to switch from Labour to the Conservatives ‘because of the NHS’.
The poll also challenges the received wisdom of political pundits who say Mr Johnson could lose as a result of Tory voters backing Brexit Party candidates.
Support for the Brexit Party in Workington is at a modest 13 per cent, roughly the same level as the party commands nationwide. Moreover, its votes in the town are made up of almost exactly the same number of former Labour and former Tory voters.
It suggests the risk of Mr Farage handing Mr Johnson’s No 10 crown to Mr Corbyn on a plate is not as great as claimed.
We’ll cut tax so you keep more of what you earn, vows Michael Gove: Tory plan to raise national insurance threshold could leave workers with £460 more each year
Michael Gove has promised tax cuts to leave people with ‘more of what they earn’
The Tory election manifesto will promise tax cuts to leave people with ‘more of what they earn’, Michael Gove declared yesterday.
Exact details of the document are still being thrashed out by ministers ahead of its publication later this month.
But Mr Gove said that, as well as heavily trailed investment in schools, hospitals and the police, it would also include tax cuts and help with the cost of living.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, he said that there would be ‘significant new policy in a number of areas, designed to ensure that people who are worried about the cost of living know that the Government is on their side’.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster declined to comment in detail, but ministers are known to be working on plans for a massive extension of free childcare for working parents.
Mr Gove said: ‘It’s about making people’s lives better.
‘And that means taking steps to ensure people can keep more of what they earn. And that people can deal better with some of the cost of living challenges that we face, but also making sure that we have proper investment in public services.
‘Boris throughout the leadership campaign made the point that you need a dynamic economy to fund public services but you also need strong public services in order to ensure people have the skills they need and the peace of mind they require in order to contribute.’
Tory tax plans remain a closely-guarded secret.
But Mr Gove confirmed officials are trawling through Mr Johnson’s leadership campaign pledges as they put together the manifesto.
Ministers are working on a package of measures to bolster ‘responsible capitalism’ in response to Jeremy Corbyn’s attacks on business
These include plans to raise the starting threshold for paying 40p tax from £50,000 to £80,000 and raising the threshold for national insurance from £8,632 to £12,500.
The first would be worth an average £2,400 to the better-off, while the second would be worth around £460 a year to all workers earning more than £12,500. That would also take 2.4million low-paid workers out of the national insurance system altogether.
Experts have warned the two massive tax cuts could cost £20billion. And while Mr Johnson is keen to push ahead with both, he is facing resistance from the Treasury at a time when it is being asked to fund big increases in spending on schools, hospitals and the police.
Mr Gove said there would also be a string of measures on the environment. And ministers are working on a package of measures to bolster ‘responsible capitalism’ in response to Jeremy Corbyn’s attacks on business.
Mr Gove likened the PM to the late US President Ronald Reagan, saying the two leaders shared the ‘rare gift’ of being able to ‘bring a smile to people’s faces’ because of their own natural optimism.
He added: ‘I think people have often underestimated the extent to Boris is – and people use different words – a progressive or one-nation, or centre-ground Conservative.
Mr Gove likened the PM to the late US President Ronald Reagan
‘He is an optimistic person who believes in the potential of each human to succeed in life and, you know, that’s one of his great gifts.
‘There are some politicians who bring a smile unprompted to people’s faces because they think their country will be better under someone who’s got that sense that the sun will rise on a better country tomorrow. Ronald Reagan had it, and Boris has it. It’s a rare gift in politics.’
In the 2016 leadership campaign, Mr Gove torpedoed Mr Johnson’s bid by warning he was ‘not capable’ of uniting the country or the party.
But, speaking on the campaign trail in the key target seat of Bristol yesterday, he said he ‘already been proved wrong’. He acknowledged he would like to see a return for all 21 of the MPs exiled from the party for opposing No Deal, only ten of whom have so far been allowed back.
But he said Mr Johnson had been a ‘good team captain’ who had proved wrong even harsh critics such as former international development secretary Rory Stewart by securing a Brexit deal.
Mr Gove said he was ‘sorry’ the UK had failed to leave the EU on time on October 31. But he said Brexit would be delivered ‘within weeks’ of a Tory victory, and by January 31 ‘at the latest’.
By Jason Groves, Political Editor for the Daily Mail
Corbyn ‘already in bed with Sturgeon’s SNP’
Jeremy Corbyn is ready to ‘throw the UK under a bus’ by forming a coalition with the SNP that would break up Britain, Michael Gove has warned.
Mr Gove told the Mail that the Labour leader would give Nicola Sturgeon free rein to ‘smash up the UK’ in his bid for power – and would quickly become her ‘glove puppet’.
He warned that Labour and the SNP were now ‘in bed together’.
Jeremy Corbyn is ready to ‘throw the UK under a bus’ by forming a coalition with the SNP that would break up Britain, Michael Gove warned
It came as Miss Sturgeon said that she would interpret a strong SNP result in December as an endorsement for another referendum. She will demand the power to stage a second poll on Scottish independence just days after the General Election.
Mr Corbyn this week confirmed he would not ‘seek to block’ another Scotland vote – although Labour insisted it would not be an ‘early priority’. The idea of caving in to Miss Sturgeon’s key demand was first floated by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell in the summer, but was played down by Labour.
Mr Gove, who was born in Scotland, said: ‘It clearly wasn’t a gaffe – that was clearly the fluttering of their eyelashes at the SNP and now they are in bed together. And Corbyn and his team have made it perfectly clear they will offer the SNP a referendum.
‘The SNP exist for only one reason – to smash up the United Kingdom, to separate friends and families, to make sure that my children think that their grandma and granddad are foreigners, to break up our NHS, to break up the BBC, to create a situation where you’ve got border posts at Berwick and you can’t even use the pound sterling in Stirling.’
Miss Sturgeon said that she would interpret a strong SNP result in December as an endorsement for another referendum
When asked at an election rally in Leith, Edinburgh, yesterday if she believes Labour would grant a Section 30 Order to enable a vote, Miss Sturgeon answered emphatically: ‘Yes.’ Explaining her confidence, she said: ‘I’m a believer in the power of democracy.’
While Miss Sturgeon has held talks with Mr Corbyn recently, she said they did not discuss independence.
But she added: ‘I don’t think Jeremy Corbyn is under any illusions, though, about my position around independence and a referendum.’ Claiming that there is a ‘huge appetite’ for a second Brexit and Scottish referendum in 2020, Miss Sturgeon said she would send a letter ‘before Christmas’ to whoever is in No10 requesting powers for another poll.
Sources said a vote would not be approved in the first year of a Corbyn government.
But Mr Gove predicted: ‘The truth is that in that relationship, it would be Nicola Sturgeon who would have the whip hand.
‘She’s a smarter and more focused politician, she would be wearing the trousers in that relationship, she would be in the driving seat. And it wouldn’t go well for the future of our United Kingdom.’
By Jason Groves and Daniel Martin for the Daily Mail
- Tory rebels warn Boris Johnson prolonging the UK's coronavirus lockdown could unleash a 'tidal wave of human misery' as they urge the PM to ease restrictions 'as quickly as possible'
- Boris Johnson channels Churchill to say we are near the 'end of the first phase' in fight against coronavirus - but lockdown MUST go on - and pledges 'open and transparent' debate with Opposition and business leaders to get Britain back to work
- Commuters could be told to check their temperatures before leaving home as Boris Johnson plans to get Britain back to work by MAY 26 but three-quarters of Brits say they don't want to lift coronavirus lockdown
- Boris Johnson is using threats against his MPs: they should ignore him
- 'We are past the peak': Boris Johnson says the UK is on the 'downward slope' but urges the country to 'keep going' with lockdown as he heads No10 press briefing for the first time since recovering from coronavirus
- Boris Johnson’s three-pronged blueprint will reveal ‘roadmap’ back to normality — but lockdown stays until June
- Boris Johnson showed why Britain has missed him — no one conveys hope better
- Boris Johnson returns to lead coronavirus fight - but what's your plan Prime Minister?
- Six urgent items in Boris Johnson's inbox as he returns
- 'Superspreader city' London faces total lockdown in DAYS as Boris Johnson says he 'rules nothing out' and 20,000 troops are put on standby to enforce new laws - after UK's daily death rate DOUBLED to 33 in 24 hours
- Boris Johnson is FINALLY set to U-turn and overrule control-freak public health chiefs by asking independent science labs to join 'Dunkirk-style' bid for mass coronavirus testing
- Boris Johnson says lockdown must go on - but we’re ‘beginning to turn the tide’
- Will it be Wilfred or Winston? Bookies unveil their picks for Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds' baby name with George, Alexander and James also among the favourites
- I clapped the NHS ‘like crazy’ from my hospital window wearing nothing but my boxer shorts, reveals Boris Johnson
- New fatherhood could make Boris Johnson MORE likely to ease lockdown restrictions after his illness brought on an 'emotional epiphany' about the importance of physical contact for families, psychologist claims
- Coronavirus UK LIVE: Boris Johnson set to unveil lockdown exit strategy this week as deaths hit 28,446
- Where is Boris Johnson and will he be hosting the coronavirus press briefing?
- Coronavirus: Boris Johnson raring to get 'back in the driving seat' at No 10
Workington Man IS backing Boris Johnson: Poll finds Tories are on course to win the key Labour seat - seen as crucial to PM's hopes of victory have 2836 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at November 1, 2019. This is cached page on Auto News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.