Jeremy Hunt’s Surrey constituency view: ‘Everyone is in crisis’ | Fall 2022 statement

The immediate outlook for the country looked bleak with Jeremy Hunt returning to his seat in the House of Commons after making his fall statement on Thursday afternoon.

Hunt’s prospects in his constituency look similarly tenuous, if opinion polls are to be believed. The South West Surrey seat, which Hunt held comfortably at the last election, is now a target for the Liberal Democrats.

The level of anger toward the government was evident among some Hunt voters on Thursday, even though they live in one of the least deprived areas in the country.

“We are in crisis. Most of my family have used food banks at least once or twice this year,” said Kelly Clarke, 38, shortly after the chancellor finished speaking in the House of Commons. “Everyone is in crisis, [the price of] Everything rises. With the country in recession, we’re screwed. In my opinion, it is “feed the rich, starve the poor.”

“The economy is going crazy,” said Colin Coleridge, 61, a former recovery coach for people dealing with drug and alcohol addictions. “There seems to be more crime because people can’t have what they need to live. They can’t afford to eat. Living standards are going down.” The decline. Living standards are getting poorer for young people. Growing up, they don’t stand a chance.”

Colin Coleridge: We grew up, [young people] I don’t have a chance. Photograph: Martin Goodwin/The Guardian

A woman who recently left university said she was about to start a business in London. The woman, who asked not to be named, said she would have to swallow living with her parents and be challenged with a three-hour round trip because housing costs in the capital were so high.

The state of public services was also a source of alarm. Dave and Cathy Allen, pensioners who live in Dorset and were visiting their daughter and grandson in Godalming, have grieved over the growing difficulty of seeing a doctor. “You phone if you want an appointment and sometimes it takes three weeks,” said Cathy, 62.

Where did he hold each of them responsible for the country’s economic problems? They said primarily with the government.

Hunt was one of several senior Conservatives recently identified as being at serious risk of losing their seat in the next general election. A poll of the Trades Union Congress conducted at the end of Liz Truss’ presidency indicated that Labor had won a landslide nationally, with Hunt, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Therese Coffey among the ministers in trouble at the time.

Kelly Clark
Kelly Clark: “In my view, it feeds the rich and starves the poor.” Photograph: Martin Goodwin/The Guardian

In normal times, the majority of Hunt’s 9,000 people seemed safe enough. But this is not an ordinary atmosphere. Coleridge gave Hunt a 50-50 chance of keeping his seat. Clark said it was unlikely she would vote at all.

Charlotte Smith, 47, who works in accountancy, said she believed Hunt and Rishi Sunak were trying to distance themselves from the failings of their Tory colleagues – a tactic she thought might work so far.

“They’re trying to make it look really bad so that when their measures are in place they can say ‘Look what we’ve done about it,'” she said of Hunt. “He’ll try to take credit for any improvements.”

“I would be surprised if he lost it because there are a lot of older voters who would vote for him here… I’d like to see a Tory nose bloodied, sure. But I’d be surprised if they lose the round here. There’s a bubble here in which there’s an awful lot of people who live very comfortably.” “.