Tories face fierce ‘Bombardier backlash’ in key marginals

Conservatives face a dramatic drubbing in Midlands marginals at the next election due to the handling of the Thameslink rolling stock contract which Derby manufacturers Bombadier was competing for.

By Neil Foster of Progressive Polling

The Government’s decision not to award the Thameslink rolling stock contract to Derby-based train manufacturer Bombardier has caused widespread anger and disbelief according to a new opinion poll.

Progressive Polling and The Mirror commissioned Survation to explore voters’ reaction in two Derbyshire constituencies affected by the decision – one with a Labour MP and the other represented by a Conservative.

Opposition is spread evenly across the supporters of all political parties and in both constituencies (See full tables here). As a result of the degree of opposition to the decision the Conservatives face a dramatic drubbing here at the next election.

 97% of those surveyed in the Derby North and South Derbyshire constituencies were aware that German firm Siemens had been awarded the contract  over Bombardier based in Derby.

This reflects the significance of the decision as well as the high profile campaign led by Chris Williamson, MP for Derby North alongside Unite and RMT unions. Meanwhile local media outlets such as the Derby Telegraph have played an active part  in keeping the issue high profile.

More than fifth-sixths of those polled believed ‘the Government has not acted in the best interests of Britain in going for the cheapest bid over a UK based bid’. This was consistent across all 3 major political parties.

Almost four in five believe that the Government is not committed to British industry and just 4% believe Secretary of State Phillip Hammond’s claim that reviewing the contract is not possible.

There is a little to cheer for Hammond from those who voted Conservative at the last election either with just 6% supporting his stance that it is too late to change matters.

The poll reveals a profound disconnect between the people of these two constituencies and the government. 3 in 4 voters believe ‘the Government has no loyalty to Derby’.

89% conclude ‘the Government is out of touch with working class people’ over half are ‘not at all optimistic’ about Derby’s future in light of the decision.

The political fallout from this is dramatic. Last month 10,000 people took part in a significant protest in Derby.  Our poll findings show that the protest will also be felt at the ballot box.

South Derbyshire, a Conservative seat represented by Heather Wheeler MP with a 7,128 majority would be wiped out and lost to Labour as roles are reversed.

In 2010 the Conservatives won with 46% of the poll against Labour’s 31%. Our poll shows the roles would now be almost identically reversed. 46% intend to vote Labour with 32% opting for the Conservatives.

In Derby North, Chris Williamson’s modest 613 majority stands to be increased substantially as 26% of voters there say they would desert the Coalition parties and make Labour the main beneficiary.

The wider lessons from the poll are significant for all political parties. In tough economic times people expect their government to consider the wider importance of growing industry and creating jobs in all its decision-making.

They reject the short-sighted view of cost and instead want decisions made in terms of ‘what’s best for Britain’. The political challenge for the Coalition Government is that 87% believe they could reverse the decision if they were minded to.

Further inaction means they risk paying twice for this controversial and unpopular decision. Ministers would be wise to pause, reflect and then think again.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.

33 Responses to “Tories face fierce ‘Bombardier backlash’ in key marginals”

  1. Wikiminster

    Tories face fierce 'Bombadier backlash' in key marginals: http://t.co/QQtaA6O : writes Progressive Polling's @neilrfoster

  2. David Carter

    Tories face fierce 'Bombadier backlash' in key marginals: http://t.co/QQtaA6O : writes Progressive Polling's @neilrfoster

  3. William Slater

    RT @leftfootfwd: Tories face fierce 'Bombadier backlash' in key marginals: http://t.co/k0uDxRm : writes (cont) http://t.co/PiUP9Qz

  4. John Edginton

    RT @leftfootfwd: Tories face fierce 'Bombadier backlash' in key marginals: http://t.co/k0uDxRm : writes (cont) http://t.co/PiUP9Qz

  5. neilrfoster

    Tories face fierce 'Bombadier backlash' in key marginals: http://t.co/QQtaA6O : writes Progressive Polling's @neilrfoster

  6. Gagging Order

    Tories face fierce 'Bombadier backlash' in key marginals: http://t.co/QQtaA6O : writes Progressive Polling's @neilrfoster

  7. Dundee

    Tories face fierce 'Bombadier backlash' in key marginals: http://t.co/QQtaA6O : writes Progressive Polling's @neilrfoster

  8. Progressive Polling

    Our analysis of today's poll on the 'Bombardier Backlash' at @leftfootfwd http://t.co/LQIMX2C

  9. Political Planet

    Tories face fierce ‘Bombardier backlash’ in key marginals: Conservatives face a dramatic drubbing in Midlands ma… http://t.co/byBVASX

  10. Protestwatch.org.uk

    #Protest Tories face fierce 'Bombadier backlash' in key marginals: Last month 10000 people took part in a signif… http://t.co/MrtnqVk

  11. CiaranNaidoo

    Tories face fierce 'Bombadier backlash' in key marginals: http://t.co/QQtaA6O : writes Progressive Polling's @neilrfoster

  12. Robert

    And yet silence when Brown who stated we will go green it will make thousand of jobs for British workers.

    he gave the wind turbine contracts worth a billion to Siemans and a Dutch Company so far not much work has gone to British firms.

    Also this Idea that Bombadier is a British firm it’s not it’s Canadian for god sake, it has to have more ideas of gaining work then one contract at a time.

    Also if Siemans now loses this contract not forgetting Siemans has more staff working in the UK then Bombadier will ever have.

  13. Anon E Mouse

    How ironic that Labour drew up the contracts that allowed this disgraceful situation to arise.

    British jobs for British workers I say…

  14. Matthew McGregor

    Interesting read, and a good poll RT @progpoll Our analysis of today's poll on the 'Bombardier Backlash' at @leftfootfwd http://t.co/LCDHHqw

  15. Stephen W

    Labour were entirely responsible for this mess. They set up the tender framework the contract was decided on. Once this was done it became totally illegal for the government to award the contract on any other basis.

    It is utterly cynical, hypocritical and ridiculous for Labour to now campaign on this as though it were some evil Coalition plot. It is yet more evidence of the utter incompetence of the last Labour government and nothing more. They should all hang their heads in shame, from Ed Balls and Ed Miliband on down.

  16. Michael Chick

    RT @leftfootfwd: Tories face fierce 'Bombardier backlash' in key marginals http://t.co/dhPCsYV

  17. pauline doyle

    RT @leftfootfwd: Tories face fierce 'Bombardier backlash' in key marginals http://t.co/7W0qVIu

  18. Chris Williamson

    RT @leftfootfwd: Tories face fierce '#Bombardier backlash' in key marginals http://t.co/pk9lp5M

  19. Mike Le-Surf

    RT @leftfootfwd: Tories face fierce '#Bombardier backlash' in key marginals http://t.co/pk9lp5M

  20. william haymes

    RT @leftfootfwd: Tories face fierce 'Bombardier backlash' in key marginals http://t.co/xsYjfFC

  21. Kevin Richards

    Heather in this instance a weeks not a long time, time the avenger Tories face fierce 'Bombardier backlash' in marginals http://t.co/yLfsDJo

  22. Dave Citizen

    My god we really are in trouble – we need to move beyond petty party tribalism and quick if Britain is to rescue its future. New Labour, the Tories, Nick Clegg, who cares. We need to start turning around decades of madness that stemmed from a major delusion: that rigidly doing what the global free market economy was willing to pay us to do is the best way to build prosperity.

    Turns out the global economy is happy to move well paid skilled manufacturing jobs to wherever the most profit can be made and if that leaves Britain with mostly low skilled jobs then be grateful you’ve got a job. That’s what happens when you turn a relatively well off country over to the interests of international capital – a few do well, most are too expensive.

  23. Chris Williamson

    @HouseofTwits @Alex_HustonNI He'll be kicking himself some more if he doesn't reverse plan to build trains in Germany http://t.co/pk9lp5M

  24. House Of Twits

    @HouseofTwits @Alex_HustonNI He'll be kicking himself some more if he doesn't reverse plan to build trains in Germany http://t.co/pk9lp5M

  25. John Band

    Wow. Only 4% of people in Derby aren't stupid: http://t.co/TfZZRsW – reversing contract is impossible w/o significantly delaying Thameslink

  26. Anon E Mouse

    Dave Citizen – Which sounds great but the reason these jobs are going is down to the contract LABOUR drew up and no one else…

  27. rtfirstcc

    Wow. Only 4% of people in Derby aren't stupid: http://t.co/TfZZRsW – reversing contract is impossible w/o significantly delaying Thameslink

  28. Tom White

    I presume by the same logic, you disapprove of Thatcher’s sell offs…

    Good luck with the trolling.

  29. Anon E Mouse

    Tom White – I certainly do disapprove of certain portions of Thatcher’s sell off’s (and expected Labour to reverse State sales).

    Infrastructure stuff I’d have kept – trains, post office, water – that type of thing. (Not phones though)

    As for the remainder I’d have made it law to only sell to British companies plus I’d would have broken the print unions and the miners and reformed the businesses to make them profitable instead of scrapping them and laying the workers off.

    But then with 400 years of coal not 10 miles from me I wouldn’t have bought into Maggie Thatcher’s “Global Warming” nonsense and would have used British Workers to do the British jobs.

    You can’t have it both ways…

  30. Leon Wolfson

    Yes, Mouse, of course you’d have had sparked large legal cases ending up with the UK being heavily fined, and the contracts going elsewhere anyway. Yawn.

    Under the terms, the government COULD have chosen Bombardier. Pretending otherwise and blaming anyone else is, as usual, a refusal to rule by the Tories.

    And still on the science-denial kick I see.

  31. Anon E Mouse

    Leon Wolfson – I would have hauled whoever shafted those workers and the UK taxpayers up in front of a Parliamentary Committee to find out why they did it.

    I’d also be interested to know who spent £billions on a flawed ID Card scheme without asking us.

    I don’t deny science as much as you deny the truth…

    MMMMWWWWWWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  32. Bombardier decision threatens thousands of supply chain jobs | Left Foot Forward

    […] The government decision to award Siemens preferred bidder status for the Thameslink train manufacturing contract has already caused a great deal of consternation. Last month we highlighted the potential political consequences to the government’s stance on the Conservative party in Derbyshire. […]

  33. neilrfoster

    Desperate Dave has gone to Derby in the Tory party political broadcast. They must fear the Bombardier backlash: http://t.co/I6O9aM1I

Leave a Reply