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Bellwether Britain: A deep dive into the seats that will decide the next election

15 March 2024
| by Field Team

‘Bellwether Britain: A deep dive into the seats that will decide the next election’.

With the General Election edging ever closer, Field’s research team embarked on a tour of focus groups across the nation's political battlegrounds. From the bustling streets of Glasgow East to the beaches of Bournemouth West and the industrial heartland of Mansfield, these discussions served as a captivating snapshot of the electorate's ever-shifting mood. Particularly in Dartford, a bellwether seat steeped in political tradition, where voters didn't mince words about their frustrations with the status quo and hunger for change. The conclusions were stark: voters want hope from their politicians, they are not 100% sold on Starmer – but most of all the rot has set in and the Tories face losing even more ground the longer this shadow campaign rumbles through the year. During the event, Vincent urged party leaders to seize the moment, emphasising the electorate's thirst for optimism. Speculation about the timing of the election soon followed, with Will championing a late autumn showdown.  But amidst the political chatter hung an air of unspoken dread within the Conservative ranks, as Will, ever the Conservative optimist, spun tales of hope, redemption and the Tory party line, suggesting there was still time for a miraculous comeback for Rishi.  As our panel delved deeper into the nuances of the report's findings, they couldn't help but offer a chuckle at the missteps of Boris Johnson, a walking, talking cautionary tale of PR blunders and hair-raising moments. The ghost of 'Partygate' casting a permanent shadow over both focus groups and panel discussion, serving as a stark reminder that a scandal a day keeps the voters away. Noa was quick to offer her insight and shed light on how backbench MPs yearn for effective leadership. Stating how it only takes a quick one lined WhatsApp to learn an MPs true feeling about our current Prime Minister.  Meanwhile, John waded into the shallow end of personality politics, highlighting the stark contrast between Starmer's lacklustre charisma and the magnetic appeal of his counterparts. So as the bacon sandwiches cooled and the coffee lost its warmth, our panel concurred with our focus groups that this election is truly Starmer's to lose.

Set against the backdrop of bacon sandwiches and coffee, our Bellwether Britain event was a lively exchange of political banter and insightful debate, courtesy of our dynamic panellists: John Stevens, Political Editor at The Daily Mirror, Noa Hoffman, Political Correspondent at The Sun, Will Quince MP, former Conservative Minister and retiring MP for Colchester, and our very own Vincent Fabri, Head of Field Research.

View full report here

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