Vote for renters’ bill today… or pay at the polls tomorrow, Tory MPs told – as polls show party support is in ‘freefall’ among private renters
- Michael Gove has championed the Renters’ Reform Bill to end no-fault evictions
Tory MPs were last night told to back the Government’s flagship reforms today to private renting or risk haemorrhaging votes from one of the party’s major voting blocs.
Housing Secretary Michael Gove has championed the Renters’ Reform Bill, which would end no-fault evictions and strengthen tenants’ rights.
He is likely to face a rebellion from dozens of backbenchers today when it appears in front of MPs for its second reading – but supporters of the Bill have warned rebels against the implication of voting against the law.
New polling has revealed Conservative Party support is in ‘freefall’ among the quarter of their 2019 voters who are private renters, with just 47 per cent now saying they will back the party at the next election.
The Tories are losing renters at a faster rate than any other housing tenure, with 54 per cent of homeowners still indicating they will vote Conservative at the next election.
Housing Secretary Michael Gove has championed the Renters’ Reform Bill, which would end no-fault evictions and strengthen tenants’ rights
Overall, just 15 per cent of the nation’s 4.6million private rented households are set to vote for the Conservatives at the next election, according to the Opinium polling.
Almost three-quarters of respondents said they backed government plans to end no-fault evictions – a 2019 Conservative manifesto promise.
According to research published earlier this year, 87 MPs earn an income from residential property, of which 68 are Conservatives – about one fifth of Tory MPs. Many believe the Bill is anti-landlord and believe it will exacerbate the shortage of private rented accommodation.
But last night some Conservative MPs appealed to their colleagues to back the Government on this issue.
Tory backbencher Richard Bacon said: ‘The effect of not having somewhere secure and affordable is appalling – in the circumstances our housing market is in, some form of reform is certainly required.
‘It is selfish to think otherwise when we have a huge problem with housing in this country – exacerbated by a lack of supply.’
A government source added: ‘It’s absolutely vital that we honour our pledge to voters to deliver a fairer private rented sector for tenants and landlords.’
Introduced in May, the second reading of the Bill has been delayed for months, with campaigners fearing it might be watered down significantly or kicked into the long grass.
According to research published earlier this year, 87 MPs earn an income from residential property, of which 68 are Conservatives – about one fifth of Tory MPs
Last night Shadow housing secretary Angela Rayner said that ‘tenants have been left paying a heavy price for the Government’s inaction’
Tom Darling of the Renters’ Reform Coalition, which commissioned the poll, said: ‘It’s shocking that we are only now at Second Reading of this Bill – in the four years since the promise to end no-fault evictions was first made, more than 100,000 have been put at risk of homelessness as a result of a Section 21.
‘If that isn’t a good enough reason for some of these pro-landlord MPs to vote for this bill, then they should be warned that our polling today shows broad public support for pro-renter measures in the bill and even those that go well beyond the legislation – including from Conservative voters.
And there’s a particular warning for the Conservative party who, perhaps contrary to the received wisdom, had one in four of their voters from 2019 live in the private rented sector. That support is now in freefall.’
Last night Shadow housing secretary Angela Rayner said: ‘At the height of a cost of living crisis, tenants have been left paying a heavy price for the Government’s inaction with tens of thousands threatened with homelessness and receiving visits from the bailiffs.
‘Labour welcomes the long-awaited Second Reading of the Renters Reform Bill, but we will look to strengthen it to ensure it meets the scale of the housing crisis this Conservative government has created.’
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