Tiverton voters have been having their say on the crunch vote in the constituency tomorrow. The Liberal Democrats remain favorites according to the bookies, however one in the town center today said that after speaking with people in the town he predicted a ‘narrow win’ for the Tories.
William Kedjanyi from Star Sports Bet has been outside Tiverton Town Hall speaking with passers by and noted the support for the Conservatives, despite a lot of noise from the Liberal Democrats.
He explained: “I think the mood is uncertain in the sense that a lot of people, particularly from outside Tiverton presumed that the Lib Dems would pick this up and make it the third big by-election swing.
“I’d be cooler on that opinion having spoken to people here. I’m noticing that there is more of an openness to consider Lib Dem candidate Richard Foord and the Libs Dems as there may be in a different situation, but I also think a few people are still set to stay Tory and there is a strength of feeling with that. They are not floaty blue voters but die hard Tory supporters whether they like Helen Hurford or not.
“Quite a few people were fond of Neil Parish and were upset he had to go, even though they believe he had to.”
“The favorite is still the Lib Dems but we’re taking more money on the Tories. The lowest price on the Tories deliberately we’re looking to even our book out and looking for people to come out for Lib Dems with the biggest odds.
“Our gauge and odds are telling us the Tories will get between 30 and 40 per cent of the votes. Those options in the voting share markets are narrowing. If I had to say something based on the money I’ve seen, a narrow Tory win would be where I’d land.”
In the town centre, people were busy enjoying the sunshine, but took time to speak to Devon Live with their views. Former mayor of the town, Wally Burke hoped the vote would ‘see a change’
He said: “There needs to be a change because it’s been under the same lot for too long. Perhaps it would give Boris Johnson the idea to get off his ass and go.”
Business owners also had their say, with one, Guy Anderson, a former Conservative member, now hoping the Tories would lose.
“I’m hoping Lib Dems win,” he said. “I wasn’t going to vote at all in this election as I did not see a purpose in voting, but then I saw Helen Hurford on tv, and now I’m determined to vote Lib Dem so she doesn’t win.
“Helen seems to be everything we don’t need, she’s avoiding people, and contact with the public. She spouts about being a local girl but I’ve never seen her and I don’t think she deserves it.”
However, Conservative cabinet member for Mid Devon, Chris Daw said Helen would be the right choice. “I think Conservative will win. I have been out with Helen, met with her, and she’s very positive. She has been speaking with MPs and has spoken top them about specific things bothering us here in Tiverton such as the police situation, housing, and education. She is determined to get a new school in Tiverton and is the only party who has gone and lobbied ministers.
“We’re upbeat as we believe in our candidate. People have questions, but when they meet Helen they say they will vote for her, and will vote Conservative no matter what is going on, and a lot liked Neil Parish too.”
Kayleigh Diggle from Liznojan bookshop said “All the media seem to have been heading to the bookshop. I’ve had CNN, the BBC, RTE and now Devon Live too. Everybody wants to hear what we want to say.
“Tiverton seems to be a focal point for the media recently which is understandable, and a lot of the questions seem to be about what way they think it’ll go.
“From my experience of speaking to people and the community, there’s a lot of backing for the Lib Dems, so you never know. Are we just in a bubble and surrounded by people who think this is going to happen and again the Tories will get it? If we all stick together, hopefully it will send ripples out through the rest of the country, by getting rid of a Tory where they have held the seat for a very long time.”
Others, who would normally vote for other parties, have said they would ‘hold their nose’ to vote for the Lib Dems seeing it as the best way to oust the Conservatives. Tony Wheeler, a former Tiverton Town Council member and usual Labor supporter will not be backing the Labor candidate Liz Pole this time.
“I think the Tories are going to lose. I am going to hold my nose and vote Lib Dem as a chance to get the Tories out. The area is so Torified, they won’t vote Labor out of principle.
“The Labor candidate Liz Pole is a woman of great principle who would do well for the area, but unfortunately the Tories would rather vote anyone but Labour.”