Tory voters reveal why they ousted Conservatives for Labour in massive Tamworth and Mid Bedfordshire by-election results upset
Voters who helped oust sitting Tories in two massive by-election upsets have said the results should be a ‘wake-up call’ for the Conservative Party.
Labour gained Mid Beds, which was vacated this summer by former Cabinet minister Nadine Dorries, for the first time in the constituency’s century-long history.
The party also routed the Tories in Brexit-backing Tamworth, smashing the 19,600-vote cushion from the 2019 general election.
In media interviews today, Sir Keir Starmer said he is remaining ‘humble’ despite experts saying the results put him on track for a landslide.
And it seems that approach would be wise, with voters telling MailOnline they were more frustrated with the Tories than enthused by Labour.
Conservative voter Giles Warner, 48, (left) who lives in the Bedfordshire village of Clophill, said he didn’t see ‘any’ Tory canvassers in his local area. Kate Saunders (right) said she hoped the party’s loss would be a ‘wake-up call’
Brad Bramley, 31, works at Coates Butchers in Tamworth and is a Conservative voter. He said he prefers Boris Johnson to Rishi Sunak
Ampthill – pictured today – is one of the largest towns in the largely rural Mid Beds constituency
In Mid Beds, Labour’s Alistair Strathern took the rural seat that has been Tory since 1931 by 1,192 votes.
Dorries and Johnson were blamed by Conservative voters for the defeat, while residents were just glad the Tories had lost.
READ MORE – Keir Starmer boasts he can ‘follow in footsteps’ of Tony Blair after by-election victories
Rosie Child, 64, who is retired and from Toddington, said: ‘I voted Lib Dem, my husband voted Labour. I am pleased with the result. We just wanted the Conservatives out. I am glad they didn’t win.’
An Ampthill man, who described himself as a floating voter, said: ‘We said we had enough of an MP who was no longer here.
‘There are a lot of other things that annoyed me about the Conservatives – things like partygate. That’s why I voted Labour.
‘I met the Tory candidate and he came over very convincingly, but the Conservative adverts were all about the terrible things Labour would do. I thought it was a bit negative.’
Mother Emma Scott, 38, from Flitwick said: ‘I switched to Labour. Anything has got to be better than the last MP.’
Paul Cresswell, 50, from the village of Steppingley in the mainly rural constituency, said: ‘I am very surprised by the result to be honest. I voted Conservative.
‘I normally vote Conservative, but this time round I actually did think very hard about the Lib Dem’s. I made a late decision to go with the Conservatives.’
Mother Emma Scott, 38, from Flitwick in Mid Beds, said: ‘I switched to Labour. Anything has got to be better than the last MP’
Mid Beds voters Paul Cresswell (left) thought about switching from the Tories but eventually stuck with them, while Rosie Child voted Lib Dem
In Mid Beds, Labour’s Alistair Strathern took the rural seat that has been Tory since 1931 by 1,192 votes
Conservative voter Giles Warner, 48, who works in finance in London and lives in the village of Clophill, said: ‘Labour spent a fortune in the constituency. I did not once see a Conservative canvasser. Labour were all over the place.
‘I must have had five or six knocks on the door from Labour. They were outside Flitwick station last night asking people if they had voted. They deserved to win because of the effort they put in. Fair play to them.’
‘The Conservatives have been disappointing for the last few years with Boris Johnson. They have lost the trust of the community short term. Whether they can get it back. I don’t think so.’
In the village of Westoning, 60-year-old nurse Kate Saunders said: ‘It’s very sad but I think the Conservatives had it coming. Whether it will be the same in a General Election I don’t know.
‘I hope it is a wake up call for the Conservatives. I did vote Conservative, but I am not surprised Labour got in. Nadine Dorries did not do us any favours. I think she lost the plot.’
Amanda Stafford-Neal, a 57-year-old sales account manager from Tamworth, dediced not to vote
The centre of Tamworth in Staffordshire pictured today
The Tamworth contest was triggered by the resignation of former Tory deputy chief whip Chris Pincher after he was found to have drunkenly groped two men in a posh London club.
Labour candidate Sarah Edwards defeated Tory rival Andrew Cooper by a majority of 1,316 votes. He also made a swift exit from the count without listening to her speech.
Tory chair Greg Hands said he was ‘disappointed’ but blamed ‘specific circumstances’ in the constituencies and said their voters had simply stayed at home.
Comments from Amanda Stafford-Neal, a 57-year-old sales account manager, seemed to support his view.
She said: ‘I didn’t vote for anyone if I’m honest. I have voted in the past but I tend not to as I have no confidence in any of them.
‘I would never vote for the Conservatives again after the last few years with the pandemic and everything else.
‘I’ve read a bit about the new Labour MP and she seems alright. I’ll most likely be voting Labour in the General Election’.
Tamworth Labour voters Alan Porter, 76, and Lynda Jones, 59, were happy with the party’s win
Darren, 63, said he voted Labour last night, adding: ‘The Conservatives aren’t doing anything anymore. I think there needs to be a Labour government’
Brad Bramley, 31, works at Coates Butchers and is a Conservative voter.
He said: ‘I’m not particularly happy with the outcome, but it was less than a 50% turn out. You’re not going to get an accurate representation.
‘I’ve always voted Tory and like a lot of their policies. But I prefer Boris to Rishi Sunak – he’s down to earth.’
Darren, 63, said he voted Labour last night.
He said: ‘The Conservatives aren’t doing anything anymore. I think there needs to be a Labour government.’
His wife Denise, 64, also voted Labour and said: ‘We’ve always voted Conservative but they aren’t doing anything.
‘Kier has to have a chance. I’m not going to vote Conservative.’
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