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An ad van drives past a grassy area in a town, with an image of Jeremy Hunt under the words "what are you going to do about it Chancellor?" on the other side it are words including "struggling, worried, concerned, expensive"

Mar 2nd, 2024

Jeremy Hunt’s own constituents want Jeremy Hunt to invest in the NHS instead of giving away tax cuts

By 38 Degrees team

Voters in Jeremy Hunt’s constituency of Godalming and Ash, in Surrey, are facing a tough time in the cost of living crisis, and a third have struggled to get the care they need from the NHS. And by a margin of 3-to-1, they want their MP to prioritise investing in public services over cutting taxes when he stands up to deliver his budget next week. That’s all according to a new Survation poll of Hunt’s constituency, paid for by hundreds of 38 Degrees supporters.

Jeremy Hunt is reportedly considering tax cuts ahead of next week’s budget. At a time when people are desperate for help with the cost of living crisis, and with the NHS on its knees. We decided to find out what Jeremy Hunt’s own constituents think – and how they’re faring. We asked respected pollster Survation to run the poll, and the findings are stark.

  • Asked what the main issues determining their general election vote would be, ‘Health and the NHS’ (34%) came top amongst voters in Godalming and Ash, followed by ‘Cost of Living’ (27%) and ‘The Economy Generally’ (19%).  By contrast, just 4% of the Chancellor’s constituents said tax was a key election issue.
  • Offered the choice between tax cuts and increases to public spending, the verdict of his intended constituents was crystal clear: nearly 7 in 10 (67%) people said increasing funding for public services like the NHS would be more important in determining their vote at the next general election. In comparison,  just 25% said tax cuts would be more important. 
  • The Liberal Democrats are currently on course for victory: 35% of local voters would vote for the Liberal Democrats if an election were held tomorrow, compared to 29% who would vote Conservative, whilst 23% would vote Labour.
We asked people in Godalming and Ash what how they felt about the Cost of Living Crisis. This is what they had to say.

With the NHS and the cost of living top of minds in Godalming and Ash, the poll dug into  locals’ experiences of these issues – revealing concerns that may suggest why voters are turning away from the Chancellor. In the past year alone:

  • 1 in 3 (33%) of constituents had waited six months or more for NHS treatment, while 28% had shelled out for private healthcare. 46% said a loved one had waited 6 months or more for treatment and 41% said a loved one had paid for private healthcare. 
  • Nearly 6 in 10 people (59%) say close friends or family had experienced difficulty in booking a GP appointment and almost half (47%) had struggled to book an appointment themselves. 
  • The majority of people (63%) felt their “quality of life is deteriorating” due to the cost of living crisis. 46% of constituents said they’d reduced spending on ‘basic necessities, like food’, while 38% had worried about paying essential bills, like rent or mortgages.
  • Even more had cut back on the little things that make life enjoyable – 66% said they were reducing spending on non-essential activities like dining out and going to the cinema.

The poll is covered by the Observer newspaper and is sure to make waves in Westminster. 

This is the bottom line: the dire state of the economy on Jeremy Hunt’s watch is driving voters away from him in his own backyard. His constituents feel their quality of life is deteriorating, and they’re watching loved ones languishing on NHS waiting lists. It’s no wonder they are jumping at a chance for change, to fix our NHS and address the cost of living crisis, so they can get back to living a little.

As in constituencies up and down the country, voters in Godalming and Ash back the NHS and will vote to protect it. And when they’re feeling their daily lives getting worse, they expect real, concrete cost of living support from their Government – not sticking-plaster tax cuts.

This election is a chance for change and all parties need to listen up: the public want our NHS to be saved and they want help with the cost of living – they don’t want cheap tax tricks to buy votes and ruin our essential public services.”

If you’d like to learn more about the poll, you can dig into the full tables here.


Sample size: 507 respondents aged 18+ living in the new Godalming and Ash Constituency

Fieldwork dates: 16th-20th February 2024 

Data was collected using a survey conducted via telephone interview and online interview. A combination of landline and mobile data were used.

Data were weighted to the profile of adults aged 18+ in wards comprising the new Godalming and Ash Constituency. Data were weighted by age, sex, ward area, highest level of qualification, notional 2019 GE vote, and notional 2016 EU Vote.

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