Gobsmacked Dover residents slam Natalie Elphicke's defection leaving locals totally p***ed off

9 May 2024, 13:48

Dover residents were left baffled by the defection of their local MP from the Tories to Labour
Dover residents were left baffled by the defection of their local MP from the Tories to Labour. Picture: Getty/LBC
Henry Riley

By Henry Riley

If you thought the surprise defection of Natalie Elphicke from the Conservatives to Labour shocked the ‘Westminster village’, it absolutely gobsmacked her Dover constituents.

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Speaking to LBC voters here used words such as “traitor”, and accused the politician of “having a mid-life crisis” - with one lady saying “she should have just bought herself a Jaguar and gone to the South of France”.

Others lambasted the news telling LBC “surely that is a joke, you can’t just switch”

Whilst one theory from a number of residents was that the MP was “doing it to wind up her ex-husband Charlie Elphicke” (who was also the former Conservative MP for the area convicted of sexual assault).

In Dover town centre people’s views of Ms Elphicke do not ameliorate at all - instead they seem to intensify.

Speaking with punters at the Eight Bells (Wetherspoon) pub, just about everybody seemed to be hacked off.

One Labour voter told me they were “totally p***** off” with the news, whilst many boasted about the fact that they don’t bother to vote anymore.

Two elderly gentlemen at the bar told me they “don’t care anymore”, adding “they’re all the same” about politicians”.

Ian, who has lived in the area for over 40 years told me “she ain’t much cop”, whilst David - who was completing the iPaper’s crossword (accompanied by a pint of Ruddlers Best) explained that it was a swing seat with good former MPs. When asked if he would put Natalie Elphicke into that category he said “I don’t necessarily think so, no”.

On Dover Beach I met the Liberal Democrat candidate for the constituency Penelope James who was scathing of the Labour Party.

Natalie Elphicke slammed by residents in Dover, as voters look for an alternative

She told me “I was absolutely shocked... she [Elphicke] is not a centrist, she has been a far-right Conservative Party Member"

The former London personal relations consultant-turned politician added "I just don't get it, I don't understand why Labour has accepted her, voters here in Kent were split on the idea of Reform UK."

One man tells me he “is fully behind Brexit, and everything they [Reform] stand for” whilst another woman reacted in horror saying "Oh no, no no no no no, no, no, definitely not. Farage took us into bloody Brexit".

She also confessed that she had not heard of party leader Richard Tice.

Reform will have to act quickly if they are to have maximum impact, given the party still does not have a candidate for the constituency.

The key issues raised by almost all of the voters I spoke with in this bellwether seat consisted of small boats, cost of living and housing - with many crying out for politicians to take seriously a town which feels very left behind.