Lib Dems target ‘Waitrose women’ to smash the Tory Blue Wall

'Waitrose Women' are defined as being aged 40 to 60 and guided by a strong sense of 'doing things the proper British way'
'Waitrose Women' are defined as being aged 40 to 60 and guided by a strong sense of 'doing things the proper British way' - LUCENTIUS/E+
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Lib Dems have identified “Waitrose Women” and “M&S Movers” as two key voting groups that could topple the Tories at the next election.

Campaigners have been told the “crucial” demographic groups – whose passions include celebrity chef James Martin and sports broadcaster Gary Lineker – will be paramount in deciding the Conservative Party’s fate in the Blue Wall.

At a strategy meeting to plan for both local and national elections, leaked documents reveal staff were told to target two main groups: “Waitrose Women”, who have tended to vote Tory, and “M&S Movers”, who have been loyal to Labour.

The former are defined as 40 to 60-year-olds guided by a strong sense of “doing things the proper British way”, who are “fed up of Conservative politicians trashing the traditional institutions of the country”, such as the Church of England, the BBC and the National Trust.

The latter, identified as couples aged 25 to 40, are said to have moved from London to the Home Counties after the pandemic to settle down and raise a family. They have climate change “top of their mind” and care deeply about “Gary Lineker and his causes”.

Strategists believe these two demographics at “opposite ends of the political spectrum” have the potential to swing the vote at the next election – and are confident they are “coming to the Liberal Democrats”.

Winning over voters in the Blue Wall is key to Lib Dem plan to stage a comeback at the next election.

It is understood the Lib Dems have not put an exact figure on the number of Conservative seats they want to win. But they count themselves as strong contenders in “dozens” of constituencies, with high-profile targets they hope to unseat including Cabinet ministers Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove and Gillian Keegan.

The plan is to set themselves apart from the Tories by attacking the Government’s record on the NHS, including long waiting lists, and the sewage crisis.

The two target groups, based on data canvassed from local and by-elections, were set out in a presentation to top campaigners at a summit at Lib Dem headquarters last week.

The slides, seen by The Telegraph, define Waitrose Women as traditional Tory voters who have switched to the Liberal Democrats for the first time in recent local polls.

Sewage crisis

They “hugely value their local environment”, spend their weekends walking their dogs in the countryside, and are particularly bothered by the sewage crisis – a key campaigning issue for the Lib Dems. They are also staunch defenders of British institutions including the National Trust.

Their “likes” are listed as dog-walking, Countryfile and Martin, the television chef best known for his BBC show Saturday Kitchen.

Boris Johnson was also said to have identified women who shop at the high-end supermarket as a key target group back in 2022.

The M&S Movers used to vote Labour when they lived in the capital, but now find themselves in Lib Dem-Tory battlegrounds.

While they don’t get their weekly shop from M&S, they have some disposable income – despite feeling the strain of mortgage rises.

Their “likes” include Match of the Day presenter Lineker and the causes he champions.

‘Double whammy’

A Lib Dem source said: “The Conservative party is facing a double whammy in its former heartlands.

“Not only are lifelong Conservative voters deserting the party, but now towns in the Home Counties are experiencing a flock of young families moving in.

“What unites both groups is a desire for change. In these seats, Labour does not exist, meaning it’s between the Liberal Democrats or a desperately tired Conservative Party.”

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 3 months with unlimited access to our award-winning website, exclusive app, money-saving offers and more.