SSTIE have now campaigned 5 times in Swanley since January 2018, 3 times with the focus on a Brexitometer and twice distributing leaflets as in Saturday’s visit on the 9th February.
We now have a very good idea of the demographic of Swanley with respect to the EU. All shades of opinion are represented here from the staunch Remainer to the equally staunch Leaver with the balance tilted heavily towards the Leave side.
On Saturday about 400 leaflets were accepted by Swanley shoppers in the Town Centre Precinct ; some finished in nearby bins but others were accepted with comments like “it is good to see you out here”. Some of our team had more positive experiences than others, indeed some were very positive and we recruited a new member. However, by far the biggest response was from those who have come to hold the EU in contempt for a variety of reasons including the perception that it is run by Germany.
Right wing political attitudes were very evident. It is also clear that the attitude of many is very negative towards Brexit, the Government and to Parliament.
From our point of view, turning up in Swanley is important in a number of ways :
- We encourage those who are in the minority
- We can support those who now believe that the vote they cast in 2016 was wrong : as one elderly lady who voted leave said “ the world has changed since then, with Trump and Putin and we need to be in a strong block”.
- We can shore up the views of Remain voters who are tempted along the line of “let’s just get it done”
- We let the hard Leave side see that there is local support for Remaining in the EU, which perhaps is why they are so vocal in condemnation of the EU.