There’s a quiet revolution brewing in rural England. And Theresa May should be very worried.

Emily Apple

Much has been made of the potential landslide Theresa May is predicted to gain on 8 June. But a new poll reveals that it’s far from a done deal. In fact, if the figures are right, the Conservative Party could be almost wiped out in a whole county.

Cornwall turned blue in the 2015 general election. Previously, the six seats were divided between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems. But figures suggest that the Lib Dems could gain seats back, and that Labour could even make a historic breakthrough. The last time Labour had an MP elected in Cornwall was in 1997.

Could this really happen?

This polling comes with a massive caveat. It was carried out by Cornwall Live through Google Surveys. But it was answered by 3,000 people across the county. It’s also important to note that 32% said they hadn’t made up their minds.

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Labour is leading the polling in two areas. In Redruth and Camborne, the party leads 25% to 20% for the incumbent Tory MP. And in Truro and Falmouth, the party could unseat a Conservative minister, Sarah Newton. 25% have said they will back Jayne Kirkham as their MP as opposed to 18% for Newton.

St Ives is looking like the most likely place to oust a sitting Tory. 38% said they’d vote for Lib Dem Andrew George compared to just 20% for the Conservative MP. And St Ives is one of the places where the Green Party has withdrawn its candidate. This could make a significant difference. In fact, if everyone who voted for the Green Party in 2015 had voted for the Lib Dems, the Tories would have lost.

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And the gap is narrowing in other areas, too. The only area where the Conservatives look to have a comfortable lead is in South East Cornwall.

Corbyn and Cornwall

Polling issues aside, the figures are interesting. And given Labour’s previous results in the region, they show really strong support for Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. Although this isn’t necessary surprising given the thousands who turned up to hear him speak during the party’s leadership contest in August 2016.

Corbyn proved then that he understands the issues faced by the people in Cornwall. He stated:

The lowest wages are in Devon and Cornwall across the whole of the UK. The need for infrastructure and other investment is nowhere greater than in Devon and Cornwall.

And he addressed one of the biggest problems facing local people:

It’s not right in seaside towns and areas where the tourist industry is at its strongest the only time you can rent a decent flat is in the winter months when there’s no holiday lets available and then you have to move out and try and survive somewhere else. There has to be an investment in housing all across the region.

Let’s make this a reality

Nationally, Labour is narrowing the gap in the polls. The majority of people say they support Corbyn’s policies. And while this is just one poll, in one county, this shift shows there could be something positive for Labour going on. A combination of tactical voting and increased support for the party could produce a very different result. And whatever the mainstream media would like us to believe, May’s ‘landslide’ is not a done deal by any stretch of the imagination.

Get Involved!

– Register to vote in the 8 June general election.

– Discuss the key policy issues with family members, colleagues and neighbours. And organise! Join (and participate in the activities of) a union, an activist group, and/or a political party.

– Also read more Canary articles on the 2017 general election.

Featured image via author’s own and Wikimedia

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