Almost three-quarters of people in the Eastbourne area believe David Cameron will be Prime Minister after this year’s General Election – according to a survey carried out by the Herald.
With less than four months left until May’s election we asked people a series of questions on their voting intentions (see the results at the bottom of this story), and of the 296 respondents who expressed a preference only two-fifths picked Mr Cameron as their top choice to be Prime Minister after May (41 per cent).
But UKIP leader Nigel Farage was respondents’ second choice with 22 per cent just ahead of Labour’s Ed Miliband who was preferred by 21 per cent of people, while Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party, and Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg were level on eight per cent.
Almost three quarters of people thought Mr Cameron would be Prime Minister after May (74 per cent), with just 20 per cent expecting Mr Miliband to take the country’s top job.
Asked what issues would have the most bearing on how they would vote 84 per cent of those who expressed a preference picked health policy, followed by immigration policy (67 per cent), approach to Europe and the EU (60 per cent), welfare policy (56 per cent), support for the elderly (53 per cent), and economic policy (51 per cent).
UKIP candidate Nigel Jones said, “It’s results bear out what we in UKIP have been finding in our doorstep canvassing in Eastbourne and Willingdon. The two top issues that most worry voters here are those that separate UKIP from all the other parties: only we oppose uncontrolled immigration and our increasingly disastrous membership of the EU.
“We are the sole party offering hope for regaining control of our country, and as the survey makes clear we believe that we can and will win in Eastbourne.”
Andrew Durling from the Green party said, “I agree that health policy is the biggest issue that will affect voters locally.
“The NHS is in crisis, a crisis caused by the failed austerity policies of the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition Government. We in the Green Party would solve this crisis by scrapping the 2012 Health & Social Care Act, reversing the privatisation that is causing so much damage to front-line services, wasting so much taxpayers’ money. We would significantly increase funding for the NHS, and for adult social care, to ensure that health, social care and welfare services can meet the needs of an ageing population.”
Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd, the Lib Dem hoping to retain his seat in May’s General Election, said, “I was struck by how health was the most important issue identified in the survey. With the almost daily battle we face defending our own DGH, GP and community NHS, I am absolutely passionate about fighting for local core services.
“I’m glad the economy also scored highly as I genuinely believe the coalition government have made the right, tough calls over the last few years, which is why we as a country have come out of the recession better than any other country in Europe! Locally, a priority for me has been pushing the jobs agenda and encouraging the constituency to feel confident in the face of a difficult economic climate. And it’s worked. Eastbourne has come through the downturn superbly and is set to fly. ”
Jake Lambert from Labour said, “It is clear that the Lib Dems are a spent force in our town. Eastbourne residents have a clear choice between five more years under the Tories or a Labour government that will save the NHS and build a fairer society.
“This survey hugely under-represents the most progressive and undecided group, the 18-44s, including not a single woman under 25. I will work tirelessly to make the case to them for a Labour future for Eastbourne.”
And Conservative candidate Caroline Ansell said, “Clearly we need a national conversation about Europe, and then a say. That’s why the Conservatives pledge of a referendum is so significant.
“And the NHS? That’s in my political DNA and my top priority for local people. But, like Education, the NHS can only be delivered by a strong economy. For that reason, we need to improve transport links and digital skills to create well paid jobs.”
• The survey is not an official opinion poll and is not necessarily representative of the entire Eastbourne electorate.
Did you vote in the 2010 General Election?
1% I can’t recall
Were you eligible to vote in the 2010 election?
Are you interested in politics?
23% I have a strong interest in politics
51% I’m reasonably interested in politics
18% I’m occasionally interested
6% I don’t tend to be interested unless it concerns specific subjects
2% No, I’m not interested in politics
The general election is on May 7. Do you think you will use your vote?
90% Yes, I’ll vote
7% I’ll probably vote
2% I might vote but might not
0% It’s unlikely I’ll vote
1% No, I won’t vote
Whilst it’s a while away yet, do you know how you will vote in the election?
63% Yes, I’m pretty sure I know how I will vote
27% I have an inclination for a particular party or candidate but might consider voting for somebody else
9% No, I don’t know how I will vote
What are the issues that will have the biggest bearing on how you might vote? Tick as many options as you wish.
37% Education policy
67% Immigration policy
13% Support for arts & culture
84% Health policy
51% Economic policy
60% Approach to Europe and the EU
56% Welfare policy
53% Support for the elderly
16% Business policy / support for businesses
24% Defence policy
28% Transport policy
33% Environmental matters
Following the general election, which of the following party leaders do you think will be the Prime Minister? And which would you most like to see (or least dislike to see!) as Prime Minister?
David Cameron (Conservative) 74 per cent (think he will be PM), 41 per cent (would like to see him as PM).
Ed Miliband (Labour) 20 per cent (think he will be PM), 21 per cent (would like to see him as PM)
Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrat) 1 per cent (think he will be PM), 8 per cent (would like to see him as PM)
Nigel Farage (UKIP) 5 per cent (think he will be PM), 22 per cent (would like to see him as PM)
Natalie Bennett (Green) 1 per cent (think she will be PM), 8 per cent (would like to see her as PM)
Finally, please indicate your age and gender:
1% Male, under 25 years of age
0% Female, under 25 years of age
4% Male, aged 25-44
9% Female, aged 25-44
21% Male, aged 45-64
24% Female, aged 45-64
19% Male, aged 65-74
14% Female, aged 65-74
6% Male, aged 75 or over
3% Female, aged 75 or over