Yesterday saw me out again with Nick Hillman and a stalwart band of volunteers canvassing and distributing leaflets in Trumpington. We also contributed to the national Big Tidy Up campaign, collecting rubbish and clearing a green area outside Anstey Way Post Office.
Trumpington is a leafy and generally more affluent ward in the South of Cambridge which formed part of the safe Conservative seat of South Cambridgeshire (Andrew Lansley) until the last boundary reorganisation. Annexing Trumpington ward to Cambridge City would at first sight be an advantage to Nick Hillman and his campaign to be the first Conservative MP to win the seat since 1987, but this would be an oversimplification.
The south of the ward contains several large estates of more modest and ex-council housing with a relatively low percentage of owner occupancy. It is situated close to Addenbrookes hospital and is a favoured area for NHS and other key workers who cannot afford the relatively inflated prices of housing closer in the centre of Cambridge. As you move towards the city centre there is also a high concentration of student accomodation and smaller homes aimed at younger, middle-income families. Only when you get to the northern-most tip of the ward and the boundaries with Coleridge to the East, Newnham to the West and Market to the North do you find a high concentration of traditional Conservative voters.
And this has been reflected in the results of recent local and European elections. Liberal Democrats have held all of Trumpington’s 3 seats on Cambridge City Council and the 1 seat on Cambridgeshire County Council for several recent elections. Conservative candidates have, however, come in a close second in nearly all cases, a far better showing than in the rest of the city.
Our canvassing in the ward has generally been positive with as many “undecided but positive” as confirmed “yes” voters in the north, although we would expect this level of endorsement to soften slightly towards the south. Nonetheless the message we are getting loud and clear is that Cambridge voters want a change in Westminster and they want it as soon as possible. Nick Hillman will bring that change!