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General Election: Target Towns voters on why details and decency matter | Politics News

“It’s usually My Way by Frank Sinatra.”

Neil welcomes us onto his allotment in Grimsby with a cheerful explanation about the background music.

His vegetable plot is next to the cemetery, so the funeral soundtracks regularly drift over the hedge while he tends to his seedlings.

“I sometimes think they have Sinatra stuck on repeat,” he laughs.

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This is where the retired RAF engineer loves to escape and contemplate life – he’s been thinking a lot about the prime minister’s apology after leaving the D-Day commemorations early.

“Every man and his dog could have made that decision. And got it right,” he says, still clearly angry about it.

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“I think that’s left him (the PM) in trouble – it could be what he’s remembered for.”

What is Target Towns?

Sky News’ Target Towns series aims to tell the story of the upcoming election from the perspective of voters in the new constituency of Great Grimsby and Cleethorpes.

We’ll hear from locals all the way through to election night to understand the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, and to discuss how the future could look depending on which political party is elected into power.

The constituency is high on Conservative and Labour target lists, lying right at the heart of the ‘Red Wall’ that the Tories smashed to take the election in 2019.

Once again it promises to be pivotal to both leaders’ ambitions.

Neil is looking forward to the next leaders’ event on Sky News – The Battle For Number 10 – on Wednesday night which will come live from his adopted hometown here in north Lincolnshire.

“You want a competent leader, somebody who is all over the facts,” he says.

“If you see him stumble, or is taken by surprise, you know he is not all over his brief.”

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All of the latest news from Sky News Target Towns

Neil is an undecided voter and is yet to be convinced by Sir Keir Starmer.

“He has said he is the son of a toolmaker lots of times, he has said the NHS is in his DNA quite a bit,” he says.

“But I want to know what he is actually going to do,” Neil adds.

“I haven’t heard that yet.”

In a polytunnel at the far end of the Peakesfield allotments we find a Women’s Institute (WI) coffee morning.

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They started an allotment here during lockdown and love the collaborative nature of the project.

They welcome us in for a cuppa and a slice of homemade cake.

“I like honesty,” Wendy Croft tells us.

The retired hotelier tells Sky News: “I like honourable people to put their hands up when they’ve done wrong.

“I think it’s a very difficult job and it’s a thankless job and thank God somebody does it.”

The WI can be a tough crowd.

Tony Blair was famously slow hand clapped by a Women’s Institute audience when a speech he was giving became too political in 2000.

It is a good litmus test for any politician.

Josephine Kweka, a retired health visitor
Josephine Kweka, a retired health visitor

WI member Josephine Kweka is a retired health visitor – she tells us she wants to hear more about the leaders’ plans for the NHS and tackling poverty.

She tells Sky News she is also very wary of sales pitches from politicians.

“At my age you don’t trust everything.

“If people are willing (to serve) I will be listening, but I don’t have to believe everything.

“Whoever is elected is going to try harder, better… they won’t just do business as usual. They will work hard.”

She tells Sky News about the qualities she is watching out for.

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“When people are truthful, and they have a proper plan and then follow the plan.

“Listening and sharing leadership are important too,” she adds.

The Battle for Number 10

The Battle For Number 10 will be hosted by Sky’s Political Editor Beth Rigby live from Grimsby on Wednesday night at 7:30pm and will feature in-depth interviews with both Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer as well as extended Q&A sessions with the audience.

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