'Swathes of the Conservative’s ‘Rural Wall’ are defecting to Labour after years of economic neglect.'
A number of senior Tory MPs in rural constituencies are at risk of losing their seats to the Labour Party at the next election as support for the opposition soars.
Among those at risk are Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, former Cabinet Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg as well as Mel Stride, the Work and Pensions Secretary and Mark Harper, the Transport Secretary as well as Liam Fox.
It comes after a Survation poll carried out for the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) found that support for the Labour Party had soared by 16 points since 2019 in the 100 most rural constituencies, putting the opposition only five points behind the Conservatives.
The CLA claimed that swathes of the Conservative’s ‘Rural Wall’ are defecting to Labour after years of economic neglect.
The Conservatives currently hold 96 of the 100 most rural seats in England, but applying the current trend to the 2019 results would see them lose 20 seats in 2024.
Mark Tufnell, president of the CLA said: “I think the support that people are now seeing coming through, mainly for Labour but some for the Liberal Democrats, is possibly by default, because from the questions that we’ve asked, people are stating that they don’t feel those parties have an understanding (of the countryside) either.
“I think we have seen that any party, whether it’s Labour, the Liberal Democrats or the Conservatives, that wants to show an understanding of the countryside could easily hold and win those seats.”
Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward