General Election 2015: Jeremy Hunt (Conservative)

Post length: 569 words, about 2 and a half minutes.


Full name: Jeremy Richard Streynsham Hunt
Party: Conservative


Jeremy Hunt is the sitting MP in South West Surrey, and was the Secretary of State for Health in the previous government. A quick look at the current polling data and the constituency’s history shows just how safe the seat is for the Conservatives and there is little doubt that Hunt will retain the seat. Perhaps it is for this reason that the Conservative freepost didn’t arrive at our house. It is also not available on I did, however, get a paid-for addressed leaflet at the weekend, and so I’ll take a look at this, with consideration that it doesn’t compare to the leaflets I have reviewed from the other parties.

Strikingly the front page focusses, albeit briefly, on local issues: Godalming flood protection, changes to Farnham town centre, and local superfast broadband. Of course as the sitting MP Hunt has a track record he can call on — both as a local MP and as a cabinet minister he has had much more power and influence than the other candidates in their “grass roots” campaigning.

The inside of the leaflet continues the local theme, talking about Hunt’s campaigning in the constituency and what he perceives as a number of victories locally: parking at Haslemere station, some progress towards pedestrianisation of Farnham town centre and putting together a programme of accessible sport for young people in the area.

It is only the very back that the leaflet mentions the issues of Government. It attempts to compare the current Conservative government to a potential Labour government. In order to do this is takes cuttings from various papers. It’s worth noting, although not all that surprising, that all of the quotes are taken from right-leaning papers; The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Express and The Sun all feature. It is not really a surprise that these papers carry positive Conservative messaging and negative Labour messaging.

It’s also strange that a leaflet this late in the campaign would carry a photo of what is refered to as a “rainbow coalition” with Ed Miliband as the leader but featuring Nigel Farage. Labour have categorically ruled out a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU. For this reason UKIP have said they would not consider working with the Labour Party in government. Indeed UKIP are far more likely to agree to a deal with the Conservatives who have said they would be open to an EU membership referendum.


As one might expect from a Conservative minister the leaflet is pretty slick, but worthy of note is the focus on local issues. While there is some coverage of national issues mixed in, the majority of this leaflet focuses on what I feel other campaign material has been lacking — local issues. Of course it’s unfair to compare this leaflet with the freepost leaflets which I have reviewed previously, but I do think both presentationally and content wise this is superior. It’s no secret, of course, that the Conservatives have more money to put into election campaigning, and this shows. It is a shame however that on the back of such a good leaflet the party turns to apparent scaremongering over what a coalition could look like should they lose the election by putting together images of leaders who have categorically ruled themselves out of working together.

Posted on Wednesday 6th May, 2015 at 8:43 am in Obiter dicta.
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