So, poor old Nadine Dorries has been given the boot from I’m a Celebrity and seen her dreams of sharing pearls of political wisdom with ITV’s prime-time viewership turn to dust.
A sad state of affairs, to be sure. But sadder still for her is the fact that, judging by the results of a new voter survey, she’s going to face rather a frosty reception from her constituents when she returns to Mid Bedfordshire.
Yes, according to a poll conducted by conservative peer Lord Ashcroft, the people of Mid Beds aren’t best impressed with their MP’s antics over the past couple of weeks. 58% of 1500 voters polled by the peer expressed disapproval of Dorries’s decision to enter the jungle, while only 16% said that they approved of her actions.
Unsurprisingly, older voters were the most disapproving, but even the under-25s weren’t overawed by Dorries’s foray into the world of reality television, with a majority of young voters also expressing either mild or strong disapproval.
57% of respondents said they felt that Dorries would not be able to get any more attention in Westminster for the issues she cares about following her stint on the I’m a Celeb, and 54% opined that giving away her ministerial salary to charity was not enough to make up for abandoning her constituents without warning.
Asked whether David Cameron was right to suspend Dorries from the Conservative Party following her unannounced jaunt to Australia, 58% of those surveyed responded in the affirmative.
While 46% of Tory voters among the survey’s sample said that Dorries’s I’m a Celeb appearance wouldn’t affect their decision to vote for her in the future, 31% said that they’re now much less likely to put their crosses in her box come the next election.
And, as a final insult, when voters were asked to rate a series of political figures on a scale of 1-10 (1 being strongly negative, 10 firmly positive), Dorries came out with an apparoval rating of just 2.82 – lower than Nick Clegg, Ed Milliband and UKIP’s Nigel Farage.
Writing on his website, Lord Ashcroft said: “There is a long way to go to the next election and voters can be forgiving. But however well-intentioned, Nadine’s publicity stunt does not look like the triumph she hoped for.”
It was reported today that Dorries is already trying to win back some credibility by turning her Australian hotel room into a working office. If this poll’s anything to go by, she may have to go a little further than that to ensure they’ll throw a street party in Luton town centre on her return…