By Matthew Barrett
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Derby County football players recently wore 'Save Our Rail Industry' T-shirts in solidarity with local Bombardier workers.
Survation, for the Daily Mirror/Progressive Polling, has new polling out today, showing the impact of the Government's decision not to award a contract to train manufacturer Bombardier. As we reported in early July:
"Last month the Canadian-owned train manufacturer Bombardier lost a tendering process to build 1,200 railway carriages for the Bedford to Brighton 'Thameslink' service. The winner of that bidding process was the German-based Siemens. Today it's been announced that 1,400 jobs will be lost at Bombardier's Derby factories - many of them hi-skilled engineering posts."
The result of these questions should be of concern to Philip Hammond, the Transport Secretary, as well as Number 10 (The margins are big enough to be meaningful, despite the fact they are loaded questions):
- Do you believe that the government has acted in the best interest of Britain in going for the cheapest bid over a UK based bid? Yes 7% / No 87% - including 84% of Conservative voters
- Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has said reviewing the bid is not possible. However other politicians have said similar contracts have been reviewed in the past. Do you believe a review is possible? Yes 83% / No 4% - including 86% of Conservative voters
The poll also included questions about party voting. Findings included:
- 41% of Conservative voters said that if there was not a re-evaluation of the decision by the Government, the probability of their vote being affected would be 4 or 5 out of 5 (with 5 being the most likely)
- 79% of those interviewed agreed with the statement "The Government are not committed to British Industry" - including 60% of Conservative voters
Most disturbingly for the Government, Survation found that in Derby North, only 23% of people would vote Conservative in a general election tomorrow, compared to 51% for Labour. That represents nearly a 10% swing away from the Conservatives, and nearly a 20% swing to Labour. However, the swing to Labour will be greatly influenced by the swing away from the Liberal Democrats. Last year, the Lib Dem vote in Derby North was 28%, but this poll finds only 10.7% support for them in a general election tomorrow.
In South Derbyshire - a seat with a Conservative majority of 7,000 - Survation found only 31.9% of people would vote Conservative in a general election tomorrow, while 45.9% would vote Labour. That would mean a 13.6% swing away from the Conservatives, and a 14.6% swing to Labour. There is also a 6.8% swing away from the Lib Dems.
> How ConservativeHome reported the Bombardier decision at the time: Eurosceptic Hammond seeks way of giving UK manufacturers a better chance of winning UK government contracts