A Northamptonshire market town's residents tell us what they really think of Boris Johnson
NN Journal headed out to Oundle following MP Peter Bone's insistence on national television that residents in the area still back Conservative PM Boris Johnson
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Partygate and the prime minister’s attendance at a Downing Street Party during the first lockdown in May 2020 has been dominating the conversation and media coverage in recent weeks.
However despite calls from the opposition and some of his own MPs to stand down Boris Johnson is still in Number 10 and may well ride out this latest scandal.
Wellingborough MP Peter Bone told Channel 4 news on Saturday night (and BBC Newsnight last night) that while out canvassing in a ‘heavily Conservative’ election area earlier that day (which we understand to be Oundle, not part of his own constituency but rather his colleague Tom Pursglove’s) he could not find a single person who told him they did not like the PM or would not vote Conservative again.
Seeming to be against the polling (the Conservatives are currently ten points down against Labour) and the national mood of many voters, NN Journal reporter Sarah Ward headed out to Oundle’s market town yesterday morning to discover whether local folk are backing Boris Johnson as Peter Bone insists, or whether the party is over for the Conservative PM with some of the electorate.
Conservative voter, Graham Blagden, retired
“I supported Boris Johnson at the general election two years ao as I was a Brexit supporter. He got Brexit done but as soon as Covid hit I increasingly lost faith. He did not seem to be sufficiently aware of what the issues were with Covid. So I have now changed my view on him. I think he should go and at the next election I will vote on the issue rather than with a party.”
Floating voter, Richard Charters
“Boris needs to go, in fact he should have gone a year and a half ago. Why I say that is his complete contempt for public opinion. We’ve seen that with his handling of the Priti Patel bullying issue, with Barnard Castle, Owen Paterson - it is just unbelievable. He is toxic.
“I’m much more inclined to vote Labour now.”
Former Conservative voter and school matron Caroline Smith
“I think the man is a moron. I have had people who have lost loved ones in this pandemic and who have not been able to go to funerals. In the past I have voted Conservative and voted for Margaret Thatcher, but the way the Conservative Party is behaving at the moment is not a representation of what could typically be called the ‘English spirit’. I don’t think it is just a question of getting rid of Boris. I think it is a case (for the Conservative Party) of cleaning up its act.”
Labour voter Tim Richards
“I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him at the moment. It is one rule for them and another for the rest of us. My mum lives in one of Oundle’s alms houses and I had to speak to her through the window during lockdown while those in Number 10 were partying.”
Floating voter Tricia Shingles, retired teacher
“I think he is a complete tosser. Yes, I think it is time he went.”
What Peter Bone told Channel 4 news about his door knocking session on Saturday:
“The really interesting thing was there is huge support for the Conservatives and the prime minister and I didn’t have a single person say ‘I don’t like the prime minister, I’m not going to vote Conservative again.
“I’m only telling you what my constituents have said to me on the doorstep. This isn’t part of the twittersphere and it’s not part of the media bubble and it’s not part of the Westminster bubble.
“Was I surprised when I got back to my constituency? Yes, because I live in the Westminster bubble and thought everybody was talking about that.
“It’s a shame that Channel 4 was not following us around today because you might have had to report on a different picture. I can only tell you what my constituents said.”
We tried to call Peter Bone for a response but we could not get through.
We found the exact opposite to what Peter Bone had and whereas the MP could not find a single person who was critical of the PM’s behaviour in Oundle, we could not find one in favour. Many had choice words to describe the politician leading the country.
Perhaps, the real test of how the Conservatives are doing in the area will be at the unitary by election for Oundle which will take place on February 17, following the resignation of absent Conservative councillor Annabel De Capell Brooke who recently moved to Norfolk.
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