Is ‘loveable buffoon’ on course for big victory?

2nd December 2019

Veteran Southport journalist Martin Hovden writes: The left-leaning Channel 4 News came up with some fascinating pre-election views of Labour supporters on Monday night.

Political editor Gary Gibbon revealed the findings of a special focus group of 12 pro-Brexit Birmingham residents who all voted Labour in 2017.

When asked for their views on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn all were critical of him, claiming they felt let down over Brexit and had no idea what Labour stands for these days. One declared: “At least Tony Blair was a good leader”.

As for Tory leader Boris Johnson (pictured with his dad Stanley), one voter said “If he can lie to the Queen, he can lie to anybody”. However, when another voter said Mr Johnson is a natural leader, adding he’s a “loveable buffoon”, they all agreed it was an accurate description.

The most interesting finding came when they were asked if they are going to vote Labour on 12 December. No one put up their hand. Asked if they would consider voting Tory, all hands went up.

Channel 4’s Gary Gibbon pointed out that Labour was most probably attracting new support from other sources who will replace voters who are switching to the Conservatives.

The group were not asked if they would vote Liberal Democrat.

If this result is repeated across the country, it would see Mr Johnson back in Number 10 with a healthy majority.

And it also has implications for Southport. Tory candidate Damien Moore has a 2,900 majority. He faces tough competition from Labour’s Liz Savage, who came second in the last election, pushing the Lib Dems into a surprising third place.

She’s hoping to get support from Lib Dems in the town who are going to vote tactically to stop the Tories retaining Southport. But will that be enough to compensate for her own pro-Brexit supporters who won’t vote Labour while Mr Corbyn is leader?