Map shows how WASPI women could swing the next election – see seats at risk in your area | Personal Finance | Finance


WASPI women could swing key seats in a General Election if they mobilise to use their votes as a powerful lobbying group. Any party that promises to back meaningful compensation in their election manifesto would give high profile candidates a golden ticket to the House of Commons.

The votes of WASPI women could be decisive in as many as 170 seats, according to Reach plc’s Data Unit.

Among the list of MPs who could lose their seat to the WASPI vote are three Cabinet members – Justice Secretary Alex Chalk, Minister without Portfolio Richard Holden, and Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack.

High-profile Labour MPs who could lose their seats if WASPI voters turn against them include deputy leader Angela Rayner, Yvette Cooper and Ed Miliband.

See if your MP’s seat is at risk by entering our postcode in the widget below:

Our analysis has shown that there are more than two million WASPI women living in constituencies won by the Conservatives at the last General Election and one million in seats won by Labour.

There are also 166 marginal constituencies where the number of WASPI women is larger than the parliamentary majority at the 2019 election, which means their votes could be decisive when Britain goes to the polls later this year.

Half of these constituencies (81) were won by the Tories in 2019, with another 56 won by Labour. This means the Conservatives have more to fear nationally. For example, in Derby North, which the Conservatives won by just 2,500 votes in 2019, there are 5,000 women affected by the pensions scandal living in the area.

But in some constituencies, such as Weaver Vale in Cheshire, the opposition faces just as much election risk. Weaver Vale is home to around 6,000 women affected by the pensions scandal, enough to overturn Labour’s slender majority of fewer than 600 votes 10 times over.

Neither the Conservatives nor Labour have committed to pay compensation to the WASPI women after the watchdog said last week that 1950s-born women who weren’t properly notified that the state pension age was rising should be handed payouts. The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman said ministers should address the injustice caused to more than 3.6 million women due to failings by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

WASPI campaigners say many of these women found out too late to alter their retirement plans and have been left “in dire financial straits”, with one in three in debt as a result.

Waspi chair Angela Madden said: “The ombudsman’s report shows clear maladministration by the DWP and recommends compensation to be paid urgently to the 3.6 million affected women.

“With the numbers of Waspi women outnumbering the majorities of nearly 170 MPs, it’s clear the votes of those affected will have a big impact in a general election that could happen within months.

“What we need now is all parties in Westminster to make an urgent commitment to delivering fair and fast compensation and for the Government to allow a debate on the proposals so all MPs can have their say.”

Campaigners say research shows that 60% of WASPI women have yet to decide how to cast their vote – so the response from the major parties could be crucial. Draft letters have now been prepared to send to parliamentary candidates demanding a “clear political commitment to fair and fast compensation”.

Among the list of MPs who could lose their seat to the WASPI vote are three Cabinet members – Justice Secretary Alex Chalk, Minister without Portfolio Richard Holden, and Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack.

Other senior Tories who could fall foul of WASPI voters include ex-Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, prominent Brexiteer Steve Baker, the Northern Ireland Minister and former chair of the European Research Group (ERG), and Theresa Villiers, the former Environment Secretary.

Lee Anderson’s Ashfield seat could also be swayed by the WASPI vote, but after leaving the Tories to join Reform he is unlikely to be tarnished by a government failure to commit to compensation.

High-profile Labour MPs who could lose their seats if WASPI voters turn against them include Angela Rayner, Yvette Cooper and Ed Miliband.



Source link