Floaters and voters

Floaters and voters

The Times report that

Three quarters of the 100 constituencies worst hit by sewage spills last year are held by Conservative MPs.

Environment Agency data showed that discharges of raw sewage into seas and rivers doubled in duration last year to a record 3.6 million hours.

Among the top 100 constituencies in England worst affected by the dumping, which typically happens when sewers are overwhelmed by heavy rainfall, 75 were held by Tory MPs. Three of the seats were held by the Liberal Democrats, and the rest by Labour.

Rishi Sunak’s seat in Richmond, North Yorkshire, was the tenth worst on the list. Yorkshire Water spilt sewage for almost 42,000 hours from storm overflows in the constituency. The water company was the second worst nationally last year for sewage discharges, with almost 78,000 across its region. Water companies have blamed the high spills on wet weather.

Torridge & West Devon, held by the Tory MP and former attorney-general Sir Geoffrey Cox, was the worst-affected seat in England. South West Water, which last year reported a half-year profit of £85.9 million, was responsible for almost 100,000 hours of spills in the constituency, a 65 per cent increase on 2022. The Liberal Democrats, who conducted the analysis, said Tory MPs would face a “reckoning at the ballot box” from Conservative voters angry over sewage pollution.

The party has made the state of rivers and seas a top campaigning priority before the general election. Sir Ed Davey, the leader, seized on the issue after crediting it with helping the Liberal Democrat Sarah Green win the by-election in Chesham & Amersham, Buckinghamshire.

If and when the bookies open individual constituency markets then it might be worth revisiting the Lib Dem analysis here. I suspect sewage in the rivers might be as iconic as rubbish piling up and the dead going unburied during the winter of discontent.


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