Public First’s pub focus group with the Telegraph: ‘Farage is right – nothing works anymore’

This week, Public First held a focus group for The Telegraph – speaking to members of the public in Wolverhampton about the upcoming general election.

In the back room of the Ashmore Inn, voters felt that excitement they once had about Rishi Sunak had dissipated. ” I was quite excited when he got in because he’s quite a young, vibrant person” said Kirsty, 45, a housing officer. “But I don’t think he’s done a good job”.

Before 1987, the Tory’s had not won Wolverhampton. The local conservative MP holds a majority of just 4,000. Once a thriving centre for coal mining, steel production, lock-making and automotive manufacturing, the former Black Country market town has “been in a downward spiral for two decade”, as one local newspaper reported last year.

The feeling about Kier Starmer is equally as unenthusiastic. “He’s lacklustre. He seems a bit bullied and lost” Kirsty said.

Ed Shackle, who moderated the group, says their views are echoed in other parts of the country too: “Keir Starmer may be drifting into Downing Street, but outside of Westminster many ordinary voters find it hard to fathom that he will be PM in a month,” he says. “They simply can’t picture him in the role, meeting world leaders and making the tough decisions. The group – as voters are starting to generally – felt they had a feel for him, and it’s his character that worries them most. People see him as weak and bland, while Angela Rayner is viewed as tough, relatable, and the one calling the shots.”

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