Tories face wipeout in Derby


derby.jpgBy Mark Ferguson / @markfergusonuk

Polling released today by Survation/Progressive Polling suggests that the Tories will suffer for their failure to protect manufacturing jobs in Derby. Job losses at train manufacturer Bombardier threaten to hit the area hard – and crucially for the Conservatives, the anger at the government could turn a marginal Labour seat and a safe Tory seat into two safe Labour seats. The damning poll findings include:

– 87% of all those interviewed (84% of Conservative voters) do not believe the government has acted in the best interest of Britain in selecting the cheapest bid over a UK based bid.

– 41% of Conservative voters interviewed said that the Bombardier decision would cause them to change their vote at the next election.

– 75% of those interviewed agreed with the statement “The government have no loyalty to Derby” 64% of Conservative voters, 85% of Labour voters and 77% of Liberal Democrat voters.

– 79% of those interviewed agreed with the statement “The government are not committed to British Industry” – including 60% of Conservative voters.

– 89% of those interviewed agreed with the statement “The government is out of touch with working class people” – 78% of Conservative voters, 97% of Labour voters and 91% of Liberal Democrat voters.

Speaking to LabourList this morning, Unite General Secretary Len McLuskey said there was a “clear message” for the government from this poll:

“There is a clear message in this poll if the government would care to hear it, and that is that voters are not ready to call time on our magnificent manufacturing industry and consign it to heritage. They want a manufacturing future and they want the government to secure this.

“Bombardier cannot be seen as only another let down in thirty years of UK governments failing this sector. At this moment in our economy, when the experts are baying for growth measures not fiscal retrenchment, then this is the time for government to show that it understands that there are ten thousand jobs and more at risk here.

“It is no good hiding behind the legal argument. Everyone knows that where there is political will there is a way. The question now is what government will do because this is a defining moment – does it think again or does it desert Derby and with it our claim to be a manufacturing economy?”

The results will worry Tory HQ, and have already received attention on Conservative Home. With a third of Tory voters in both constituencies switching their vote from the coalition parties to Labour, will the government think again about the damage they’re doing to British manufacturing?

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