Residents in Conservative stronghold express their voting preferences ahead of election

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A South London stronghold for the Conservative Party is predicted to swing to Labour in the upcoming election, with voters claiming the current state of services in the country is ‘insulting’.

Residents of Bromley and Biggin Hill will find themselves being represented by a new seat for the July 4 General Election.

The new boundary consists of the area between Grove Park and Biggin Hill while also including Bromley town centre and Keston. Former constituencies such as Bromley and Chislehurst will be partially covered by the new boundary, which was represented by former Conservative MP Bob Neill for nearly 18 years.

Trevor Hersey, 76, has lived in Bromley Common for 55 years. He said locals had great confidence in Bob Neill and voted for him as a candidate based on his contributions to the area, rather than for the Conservative Party itself.

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “I would have thought the seat would be safe but Bob Neill was such a good MP that he’s going to be a hard act to follow.”

Mr Hersey added: “To be honest, I don’t really have faith in any of them. I’m soon to be 77 and I have never not voted but this time I won’t bother because I don’t feel like I’ve got anyone to vote for. I’ve traditionally voted Conservative but I don’t feel I can because I would feel I’ve been endorsing what they have done and I’m not happy with what they’ve done. But on the other hand, I can’t bring myself to vote Labour.”

Conservative candidate Susan Hall was also favoured in Bexley and Bromley at this year’s London mayoral election, receiving 111,216 votes compared to 48,952 for Sadiq Khan who ultimately won.

Elaine Greenwood, 73, has lived just outside Bromley town centre for 20 years and cited immigration and schooling as two of her priorities for the upcoming General Election. She said she feels that Rishi Sunak has a ‘wonderful’ mind for the economy, but needs more statesmanship.

Elaine Greenwood, 73

She told the LDRS: “I’m a bit wary of promises without anything to substantiate them, and I feel that there’s an awful lot of that with Labour so far. I think the things [Keir Starmer] said that worried me was this whole business about free breakfast for all children. I don’t know whether he could sustain that.”

At the time of writing, data from Electoral Calculus suggests the Labour Party could claim the Bromley and Biggin Hill seat in this year’s election by a slim 5.1 per cent majority. Catherine Merriman, 74, has lived in Bromley for six years and said she felt it was time for the ruling party for the constituency, as well as the country as a whole, to change.

Ms Merriman told the LDRS: “The trouble is even if Labour get in, which I do hope they do, they’ve got 14 years to clear up.” She added: “I am a Labour person, I have been all my life. But at the moment, Keir Starmer to me is not a leader.”

Kathryn Guest, 58

Kathryn Guest, 58, said she felt like it has never been worth voting for Labour in South East London. She said topics such as immigration have been blown out of proportion by modern politicians to appeal to right-wing voters, when more pressing issues such as schools and public services have been ignored.

Ms Guest told the LDRS: “Cost of living and public services generally [are my priorities]. The state of everything is just depressing and it’s insulting to the people. This is our country, we pay our taxes… All of our public services have been rounded down until there is nothing left to cut. There’s really nothing left and I think it’s disgusting.”

She added: “It’s an insult to the people of Britain. I’ll tell you what I don’t care about and that’s immigration. I think it’s a total misdirection. I think that there’s a group of people trying to get people’s attention on immigration because it’s emotive when it isn’t really a serious issue compared to the really serious issues.”


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