The Media Relations Manager for the Alliance, Tom Hunt, has written for the Conservative Home website about his experience as a candidate in the General Election and new research that has been published by the leading polling company, ORB International. Tom Hunt refers to polling which demonstrates that, contrary to certain news stories, hunting as an issue had a negligible impact on the way people voted at the election.
“As someone who stood as a Conservative parliamentary candidate in an urban constituency at this election, I was surprised by claims suggesting that “Conservative candidates” (as well as those “campaign chiefs) were suggesting that hunting was a key issue.
“It was only mentioned on the doorstep three times during my own campaign. I was very open regarding my pro-repeal position and my employment with the Countryside Alliance. I even enjoyed a positive swing towards me on a night when the national swing was towards the Labour Party. Kate Hoey, Labour MP for Vauxhall, formerly President of the Countryside Alliance and a prominent pro-hunt supporter, also increased her vote share by 3.5 per cent, despite the Liberal Democrats making her support for hunting a central issue.
“The reality is that, to the vast majority, hunting is of virtually no significance to how they vote. It’s a wildlife management issue – and should be treated as such. The Hunting Act remains an unworkable and illogical law that does nothing for animal welfare. It was right and proper that the Conservative Party, as it has done in its previous three manifestos, pledged to hold a debate and free vote on the future of the law.
“I will readily admit that animal rights activists do a good job in using social media and left-wing campaign websites such as 38 Degrees to create the impression that public opposition to hunting is far greater and more widespread than it actually is. During my campaign, I must have received something like 60/70 identikit emails from the 38 Degrees website. I responded to each email stating my position, but only once received a response. Other Conservative candidates may be interested to know that ORB polling also shows that 80 per cent of regular 38 Degrees website users will never, or are unlikely to, ever vote Conservative – and that only three per cent of Conservative voters when asked said they were regular users of 38 degrees.”
To read the full article, please follow this link: http://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2017/06/tom-hunt-fox-hunting-i-was-a-candidate-in-an-urban-seat-and-i-can-tell-you-that-it-did-no-real-damage-to-our-support.html