Fringe Box



On The Campaigns: Tory Candidate Angela Richardson Says ‘It’s Too Close to Call’

Published on: 3 Dec, 2019
Updated on: 4 Dec, 2019

In the fourth of our campaign series, Hugh Coakley walked the Bushy Hill Drive area with Angela Richardson, the Conservative candidate, and her doorstepping team.

The Guildford Dragon NEWS has toured with the Peace Party, the Labour Party and the Independent candidate as each canvassed our constituency.  We have also asked the Liberal Democrats to allow us on their campaign.

I was walking towards the Conservative team on the Drive, when a resident sweeping leaves called: “Are you the Conservatives? Boris is the only one. We don’t want Jeremy Corbyn here.”

Angela Richardson, the Conservative Party candidate for Guildford, marching out with her focussed canvassing team in the Bushy Hill Drive area. The team included Raj Singh, a Reading councillor, Dr Ben Simpson, Conservative candidate for Runnymede and Weybridge and Igor, 14, from Guildford.

With that starter, Ms Richardson seemed likely to face a welcome in this area. “But it’s too close to call,” she said, on a note of caution. “Anne Milton and I are fishing in the same pool.”

“I have already voted Conservative. Good luck, Angela,” said one voter on the doorstep.

But the “fish” were friendly to a lady articulate and direct, deeply focused on getting around as many houses as possible in the time available. “I am realistic enough to know that I’m new,” she told me. “People aren’t voting for Angela Richardson, they are voting for a party.

“I am good at getting things done. I am a driven person and I lead from the front. I am a sergeant in the trenches, not a general behind the lines.”

Igor, 14, on an inset day from St Peter’s School, is one of Angela Richardson’s younger supporters. He told The Guildford Dragon NEWS that he would like to be an MP.

Ms Richardson’s aim is to be a local MP working for the whole constituency. “Guildford needs investment, it needs some love especially the Stoke ward, Westborough and Bellfields.”

Showing a tactical sense, she added: “There is more to life than Brexit.”

But Brexit and the Scottish referendum brought her into politics. “I’ve always been a Brexiteer,” she said. “It’s being a New Zealander. We are proud and I see similarities to the UK. Initially, it was sovereignty but now it’s trade that convinces me.”

Another person who said she would be voting for Angela Richardson.

Canvassing that morning was concentrated on households where the database indicated there were Conservative or wavering voters and she had a welcome wherever she called. “But even when we have knocked on all doors, such as Westborough, we have had a great reception,” she said.

There wasn’t much opportunity to try the policy arguments because “I will vote Conservative” was the most common response she had. Many had already sent in their postal votes.

Dr Ben Simpson, Conservative candidate in the safe Tory seat of Runnymede and Weybridge, is a friend of Angela Richardson and was lending his support in Guildford. “It’s all about teamwork.” said Angela.

One man, who said he would vote Conservative, gave his priorities as, “the economy, defence and education”. He added: “I am also concerned about anti-Semitism.”

I raised proportional representation with her. “It suits both main parties not to have PR, whether it is right or wrong,” Ms Richardson said.

Her local view? “The Conservative councillors did a great job on the council. People voted R4GV and Lib Dem [in May] as a protest about Brexit and frustration with Theresa May. Good councillors lost their seats.”

“Under Corbyn, it’s gone to communism.” said one determined, long term Conservative voter talking to Angela Richardson.

Her position in the political spectrum? “I am a centrist, a Thatcherite on economics and socially liberal.”

After her street circuit, the verdict was that it had been a positive day “A good strike rate,” said the campaigners.

Ms Richardson added: “We are out canvassing every day. This afternoon, we will be in Stoughton, knocking on doors. If I lose, I will be devastated because I’m putting my all into this.”

Young Igor, with all of the confidence of youth, told her: “But you won’t lose.”

Below is the official list of all candidates standing on December 12:


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Responses to On The Campaigns: Tory Candidate Angela Richardson Says ‘It’s Too Close to Call’

  1. John Perkins Reply

    December 4, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    Angela Richardson is mistaken if she thinks that people voted R4GV and Lib Dem as a protest against the handling of Brexit.

    Firstly, the Tories lost about two-thirds of their support – rather more in number than either the local Remain or Leave votes. It’s quite an achievement to annoy both sides in a debate. Secondly, support for the Lib Dems was not increased, so they could not have benefited from a “protest” vote.

    The main reason so many people voted R4GV was hostility to the Local Plan and the apparent lust of the Tory party for building over green belt while failing to do much for Guildford itself. Also, it’s probable that the nastiness directed at councillors who resigned deterred at least some voters.

    Not all councillors who lost their seats were “good” and, in my opinion, not enough of the bad ones were kicked out.

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