General Election survey reveals what matters most to Devon voters

An official poll card for government elections and a UK photo driving licence as prove of identity
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

Ahead of July 4th, we here at DevonLive have tried to find out what you, the readers, are thinking prior to the General Election. Politicians have their opportunity to make their pitch to the nation, so we felt it was only fair our readers had a chance to have their say too.

Hundreds of people have taken part and given us a real snapshot as to what is important to you. In fact, 33.8% of readers said that immigration, more than any other issue, is the biggest influence in how they would vote in the election. This contrasts to those in Cornwall and Plymouth who said the NHS would be the most significant factor.

However this is not to say that the NHS does not matter to voters here. Stunningly only eight responses said they think the NHS has improved over the last decade, with the vast majority stating things have got worse.

In 2016 Devon, as well as the South West as a whole, voted to leave the EU. However our survey shows over half of readers think Brexit has made life worse for them. This is not unique to people here and is a further indication as to why people may be angry with politicians who they feel have let them down.

Another major contributor to this has been the rise in the cost of living. One reader told us: "We struggle most months, and although we have fairly good jobs, we cannot do the nicer things in life. We wear clothes with holes in so that we can keep what we do have for our son."

This was just one of many responses which included people who have declared bankruptcy or those who have cut down on food in order to pay bills.

Many readers are still reeling from the impact of Covid, and they are aware of that heading into the election. Some say Covid is to blame for the higher taxes they have to pay, or poorer GP services that are available to them. Sadly others cited lost loved ones and the impact lockdown had on mental health for them and especially children. There is no doubt any future government will need to continue to make strides to address some of these issues and to gain back confidence.

Despite everything at stake in this election, people here have followed a larger national trend in that over half the responses believe their vote would not make any difference. This may be because apathy in politics and politicians is at a high, or with Labour so far ahead in national polling that people believe their vote cannot change the outcome one way or the other.

We understand that we do not speak for all voters, and that these findings are not representative of all views in our county. For that reason we would like to encourage all readers to continue to have their say with our survey below. It is not too late to make your voice heard.

If the survey does not load, please follow this link.