Sunday, September 12, 2021

Lib Dems target Conservatives in Blue Wall seats who voted for NI tax rise vote

The Liberal Democrats are stepping up campaigning in Conservative seats across the “Blue Wall”, targeting Tory MPs who broke their manifesto promise by voting for a National Insurance rise last week.

Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey has warned the Conservatives are "losing touch with their votes across the Blue Wall" and that the Liberal Democrats will provide an alternative choice, ahead of the party's Autumn conference later this week.

It also follows the revelation that the Government's own analysis of their NI plan shows it will harm families and that those who are "currently just about managing financially, will see their disposable income reduce."

The party has drawn up a “promise breaker” hitlist, targeting 20 of the 317 Conservative MPs in marginal seats who have been left vulnerable after voting for the unfair tax rise. The targeted campaigns include digital ads and leaflets warning of a “Tory tax bombshell” and highlighting how local Conservative MPs broke their manifesto promise.

It comes as new analysis shows that in 20 marginal seats, it would require only around 10% of NI tax payers to switch their vote from the Conservatives to the Liberal Democrats to unseat the sitting Tory MP. The figures are based on data provided by the Commons Library estimating the number of people who pay National Insurance in each constituency.

It also follows the revelation that the Government's own analysis of their NI plan shows it will harm families.

Seats that sit on a knife edge at the next election include Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in Esher and Walton, and former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s seat in South West Surrey. If just 5% of NI taxpayers switched from the Tories to the Liberal Democrats, Dominic Raab would see his 2,743 majority wiped out, losing by over 2,750 votes. Meanwhile if 10% of those paying NI switched from the incumbent to the Lib Dems, Jeremy Hunt would see his 8,817 majority overturned and lose by over 2,000 votes.

The Party has already selected candidates Bobby Dean and Zoe Franklin in Carshalton and Wallington and Guildford, where Conservative opponents Elliot Colburn and Angela Richardson both voted for the unfair tax hike in Parliament. 

Commenting ahead of their Autumn Conference next week, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

“The Conservatives are losing touch with their voters in the Blue Wall.

“Conservative MPs in marginal seats across the country have broken two manifesto commitments in one day. 

“Thousands of voters will bear the brunt of these latest broken promises, at a time many have seen their household finances squeezed by the pandemic.

“People across the country who feel like this tax hike is unfair and will hit them hard in the pocket have another choice, they can vote Liberal Democrat.”  

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