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Politics Home: "Turquoise Tories" could sound the death knell for the Conservatives in marginal seats

Chris Loy

The following article has been published by Politics Home and covers advanced voter research conducted by Stonehaven ahead of the 2024 General Election has been covered by Politics Home.

Around one in six 2019 Conservative voters who want to see action taken on the climate said they will switch parties at the coming election, according to polling data shared exclusively with PoliticsHome.

The consultancy Stonehaven has dubbed Tory voters who agree it is important to tackle climate change, even if it entails higher prices for consumers, ‘Turquoise Tories’.

According to the polling, they represent two million of the 14 million people who voted Conservative in 2019, but who now intend to vote for a different party at the General Election on 4 July.

In September, Rishi Sunak announced a major U-turn on the government’s climate commitments – confirming the UK would push back the deadline for selling new petrol and diesel cars and the phasing out of gas boilers. This was part of a “more pragmatic, proportionate and realistic approach” to reaching net zero goals, and intended as a dividing line with Labour going into the election.

However, since the election was announced, polls have consistently placed the Conservatives around 20 points behind Labour. In the latest blow to the Conservative campaign, an Ipsos Mori MRP poll released this week suggested the Labour Party is on course for a 256-seat majority at the election, leaving the Conservatives with just 115 seats.

While Ipsos also found that 117 seats were considered “too close to call”, Stonehaven’s MRP poll found that ‘Turquoise Tories’ account for at least one in 10 voters in around 50 marginal constituencies. Retaining their vote could be critical for the Conservatives to avoid electoral oblivion.

The data suggests North Herefordshire, North Warwickshire and Bedworth, Wyre Forest and Maldon are the constituencies with the highest density of Turquoise Tories, followed by Louth and Horncastle, South Shropshire and North Norfolk. All but South Shropshire, which has been re-established as a seat at this election, have been held by the Conservatives in recent years.

Polls have also consistently shown that the majority of voters support the transition to net zero, but that support starts to falter when the public incur the costs.

Read the full article, here.

Data tables from the research are available, here. 

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