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Strategy: It seems Wakefield wasn’t such a random choice for a Boris Johnson speech. The town is on the Tory list.

Remember the Tory ‘towns fund’, supposedly dedicated to helping areas that have been left behind due to post-industrial decline, austerity and long-term under-investment?

Well, the first 100 communities to benefit from the £3.6 billion fund have been announced – and the Manchester Evening News paper has done research the points to a sinister reason for these choices:

It’s called “pork-barrel politics” – choosing an area to benefit from funding because the government wants to retain it, or win it, at the next election.

Consider:

94 out of the 100 towns are in Leave-voting areas, mostly in the north or midlands.

The remaining six Remain-leaning towns … are all in marginal Conservative constituencies set to be Liberal Democrat targets, or in the case of Morley and Outwood, a Labour target, having been very narrowly lost by them in 2015.

In fact nearly a quarter of the 100 towns serve some of the most knife-edge seats in the country – those requiring a 1pc swing or even less to move them from Labour to Tory, or vice versa.

Those include … towns … in, or serving, equally perilous Tory seats that the government will need to defend from Jeremy Corbyn.

At least 62 – just under two thirds – of the towns are in, or serve, constituencies with Labour or Tory majorities of under 5,000 votes. In some cases … they have two potential marginals on their doorstep.

There are also at least five towns in seats where UKIP ran the Tories very close in 2015.

To This Writer, it seems to be a ‘nudge’ strategy, pointing out to the wider electorate how they can hope to get support from a future Tory government.

It has been said – in the MEN article, for one, that the Tories need to win 35 seats in areas they have never won before, just to break even.

This list – with the implied bribes for marginal and Leave-voting areas – might indicate some of their targets.

Don’t you agree?

Source: Why Boris Johnson’s choice of ‘left-behind towns’ may have also laid bare his election masterplan – Manchester Evening News

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