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Hustings review by West Midlands Party Members
Counter Cut asked certain Conservative Party members what they thought of the hustings. Here is what they thought.
Counter Cut has been doing some local reporting at the Birmingham hustings. The Conservative Party leadership election is to determine who the next prime minister will be so Counter Cut asked members what they thought of the event and who they are leaning towards.
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Paul Smith (Local Campaigner and Activist) –
“I have not yet voted before the hustings as I wanted to listen to what both candidates had to say, and if possible ask my own question. Originally I was a strong supporter of Penny Mordant and am frustrated that we wasted given the chance to vote for her. I’m leaning 80/20 towards Liz but after the hustings I’m now 70/30. Liz has improved in speaking and seems more confident. Rishi has always been a good speaker, but I still feel he’s not in touch with the wider voting population. I do think we need to be cutting taxes and he is unwilling to do that. Corporation tax needs to be lowered considerably.”
Andrew Hardie (Association Chairman) -
“I was impressed by the positivity shown by the audience, as well as the depth of questions asked. The two participants gave excellent presentations, as did their respective supporter introducers, Nadhim Zahawi and Andrew Mitchell; all reminded me as to why I joined the Party in the first place, albeit with different takes/slants on ‘Conservatism’. As one who hadn’t voted prior to the hustings, there was plenty to think about, and I was very pleased I went.”
Alex Hall (Liz Truss Supporter) –
“I have been an active member of the Tory Party for most of my adult life (15 years as professional Agent and 3 time council candidate) and went to the hustings in Birmingham on Tuesday.
First off two confessions: Neither candidate was my first choice or my second or third. Truss vs Sunak was my fourth choice vs my seventh. Secondly I had already voted by the time I got there having accepted that I couldn't see any circumstances where I switched to Sunak on account of my profound disagreement with his economic platform.
But I went along nonetheless and was impressed with the set up and the depth of the questions. I know members who switched their vote afterwards and far more who felt happier in their vote having seen their preferred candidate up close. So clearly the debates were worthwhile and in that sense a success.
Now I was one of those people who felt happier in my vote; I started a reluctant Truss voter because Nadhim Zahawi, Kemi Badenoch and Penny Mordaunt had been knocked out. But I have found myself growing more convinced by her. And one answer on Tuesday nailed it for me! A friend of my mine put a question to Liz Truss that she had already put to Rishi Sunak in a previous hustings about children with special educational needs. As a parent of two children with SEN this matters to me. In short Rishi dodged the question and flunked the answer. Liz nailed it.
We probably already know the result. But whether the hustings changed your mind or reassured you, the system clearly works.”
Daniel Morris (Young Conservative, Solihull) -
“The Birmingham Hustings allowed us to hear directly from both candidates to make a more informed decision on whom we’re giving the keys to Number 10. John Pienaar asked questions on the cost of living and crime. For me, Liz Truss was more appealing, talking about growth and lowering taxes instead of giving out handouts. The best part of the hustings was when the audience got to ask questions. The standout question for me was on HS2 when the woman broke down in front of Rishi Sunak while talking about the ‘devastating effect on Staffordshire’ For me, it was Liz Truss who edged it out, although Rishi did well. I expect the contest to be close. Support in the hustings for either candidate was somewhat even.”
There appears to be a definite leaning towards Liz Truss however Rishi supporters may be staying quiet. Polls point to a Liz Truss win but we will see.
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