Ceredigion among ‘Tory heartlands’ and is a ‘marginal seat’ reports Telegraph
Ceredigion is among the “Tory heartlands” and faces a “three-way battle” at the next election, according to a Telegraph article that gauges the mood of Conservative members across the UK.
Despite Plaid Cymru incumbent Ben Lake having increased his majority to 6,329 at the last election, the newspaper said that Conservative members there were hopeful of capturing the “marginal seat”.
The Conservatives last won Ceredigion in 1874 but lost it at the subsequent 1880 election.
The article ‘Inside the Tory heartlands that could crown the next prime minister’ looks at Ceredigion, Chichester, Bromsgrove, Totnes and Bishop Auckland.
It reports on concern in Ceredigion that choosing multi-millionaire Rishi Sunak could hurt the party’s chances in what is a “poor seat”.
Chairman of Ceredigion Conservatives Patrick Loxdale, whose branch has some 110 members, said he feared what impact the election of a new Prime Minister would have on the party’s hopes there.
“All in all, our membership is a very mixed bag, but this is generally a poor area and my personal view would be that choosing a leader [in Sunak] who is a multimillionaire during a cost-of-living crisis is going to give our opponents a big stick to beat us with,” he said.
He also told the Telegraph that he was unhappy with how the leadership election had been conducted so far.
“They ripped into each other instead of a mature, sensible, good-natured discussion,” he said. “What they needed was the men in suits to have taken them to one side beforehand and remind them of Ronald Reagan’s remark in 1979: ‘Never speak ill of any fellow Republican’.
“But we are short of men in suits at the moment.”
He added that a minority of members in Ceredigion still belonged to the “Boris Johnson fan club” but that many had been put off by the Owen Paterson affair and Partygate.
Conservative membership had grown since Boris Johnson promised to resign, he said, but he wasn’t sure if they realised that only those who had been members for at least three months before the leadership race began could vote.
“However unsatisfactory the system is, it is the only one we have got – but of course, I am asking myself, as a believer in democracy, ‘How democratic is this?’” he said.
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