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Meopham North by-election survey reveals green belt voting pattern

PUBLISHED: 11:48 12 October 2011 | UPDATED: 12:37 12 October 2011

The Meopham village sign welcomes people to the rural community

The Meopham village sign welcomes people to the rural community

Archant

A research survey reveals the Conservatives are likely to suffer in marginal seats with rural areas in the next general election if they develop on green belt land.

Survation interviewed more than 300 people in Meopham North, a Conservative-held council ward which has been identified as an area for green belt development, in the lead up to a by-election due to take place tomorrow. (13)

The ward is known as a Bellwether constituency as it has voted for the winning party in each election since 1951, except the 2005 general election.

Public opposition to the plans has been strong, and according to the survey could lead to a switch in voting intention.

Current voting intentions of those surveyed in Meopham North indicate that Conservatives would receive 52 per cent of the vote, UKIP would receive 26 per cent and Labour 20 per cent.

This represents a 19 per cent drop in the Conservative votes since the 2010 elections when they obtained 71 per cent of the vote in comparison to Labour’s 28.9 per cent.

Over a sixth of Conservative voters at the 2010 general election (17%) said they plan to switch to UKIP in this by-election. Around a third (32%) of respondents said green belt plans were likely to affect how they voted. Among these respondents, UKIP have a clear lead in voting intention with 56 per cent while Conservatives follow with 36 per cent.

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