Keep an eye on which of the three ‘Marmite’ leaders visit Southport

14th November 2019

Veteran Southport journalist Martin Hovden writes: There’s just a month to go to election day and one way of gauging how confident a party is of victory is whether their leader visits your constituency.

Such visits provide a high-profile plug for your town and lots of Press interest. However, if your leader is a Marmite public figure (you either love or hate them), there are lots of risks if the visit goes wrong.

In this election, all three leaders are such figures. They attract praise and anger equally. So, will any of the parties risk sending their leaders to our resort?

If Boris comes, the Tories clearly think they are going to retain the seat and will use the visit to consolidate their support. Or it could mean they’re losing support and they need a “Boris bounce”.

Labour face a difficult decision with Jeremy. Of the three leaders he has been the most vilified in the right-wing Press. Reminds me of the 1980s when some Tories complained of the TBW effect on the doorstep – TBW (that bloody woman) was Margaret Thatcher.

The Lib Dems have nothing to lose by inviting Jo. They came third in the last election and they know the country is split on Brexit. Such a visit would be welcomed by Pro-Remain voters – but anger Pro-Leave supporters

Let’s take a closer look at the leaders’ public profiles:


FOR: Perceived by some as the man who believes in the Referendum democratic process who has rescued Brexit and is committed to taking us out of Europe by the end of next year; a larger than life personality, he draws the crowds

AGAINST: Will ruin our country if he takes us out of Europe; will abandon workers’ rights and sell off the NHS to big private companies


FOR: Perceived by some as an honest, sincere man who has brought compassion back into politics; believes in democracy and will give residents a second referendum on a Labour-renegotiated deal; will back the rights of all workers

AGAINST: Perceived as a Marxist who will ruin our economy with extreme-left policies; is not clear on where he stands on terrorists


FOR: Perceived as a fresh, confident and inspiring face at the top of her party; has made it absolutely clear she will keep us in Europe and supports a second referendum

AGAINST: Has over-inflated opinion of her abilities, describing herself as the “next Prime Minister of Great Britain”; unclear whether she would implement a second referendum result if people again voted to leave

Whatever your view, don’t waste your view on Thursday 12 December.