Voter Who Backed Tories For 45 Years Tells Question Time He Will 'Never' Vote Conservative Again

“The Conservative Party have treated the country with contempt."
An audience member said he planned to "never" vote for the Conservative Party again
An audience member said he planned to "never" vote for the Conservative Party again
BBC Question Time

A long-time supporter of the Conservative Party told BBC Question Time that he will “never” vote for them again on Thursday.

Speaking during this week’s debate in Bradford, West Yorkshire, the audience member said: “I’ve voted for the Conservatives since 1978, and if my maths is right – as Rishi wants me to do – that is 45 years. Never again.

“The Conservative Party have treated the country with contempt, they’ve treated me with contempt, and it’s about time the country had a chance to vote to put the Conservatives on the opposition benches for a few years so they can reflect on what they’ve done and the damage they’ve done to this country.”

The audience broke out into a round of applause once he finished.

In response, the local government minister Lee Rowley said: “There’s absolutely no doubt that the Conservative Party has made mistakes in the last year. Absolutely no doubt.”

There was laughter in the room, while Rowley just spoke over host Fiona Bruce as she asked him to “single out” any particular errors from the Tories’ time in government.

Rowley just pressed on, saying: “There are two big challenges which Rishi is trying to deal with.

“One, a whole heap of large-scale challenges, many of which other democracies around the world are going through – inflation, challenges with regard to foreign policy – I won’t go through now.

“All of these things, our government is trying to go through, but it is taking time.

“And some of those things we wish were things that hadn’t happened, especially after Covid, but we’re trying to work through those on a step-by-step basis.”

He said he wants the “opportunity” to show improvement next year to the country.

Rowley pointed out that now Sunak has attempted to stabilise the country – citing the Windsor Framework and trying to make progress with trade deals – the “second challenge” was to “show you what he wants to do over the next five years”.

“I know a lot of you are cynical,” he said, as the camera panned to the audience member who renounced voting Conservative. “I know a many of you feel the Conservatives have not done well over the last few years.”

But, according to Rowley, the job of his party now was to show the “sensible” centre-right policy – adding that he still believes the Tories can improve the country.

Unless Downing Street decides to call an early general election, the current term of parliament will end in December 2024 – meaning voters would hit the ballot box in January.

The prime minister did release a video this week which appeared to indicate that the next election would happen in a year, but nothing has been confirmed.

Meanwhile, the Tories are trailing in the polls, and just lost another two by-elections in Tamworth and Mid-Bedfordshire.

A recent YouGov survey also revealed half the public believe Sunak has been either “poor” or “terrible” during his first year on the job, while barely one in 10 rate him “great” or “good”.


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