The first big domestic political issue of 2024 has been the astonishingly vindictive and punitive treatment of sub-postmasters by the Post Office. An issue which started just up the road from us for Hampshire sub-postmistress Jo Hamilton, from South Warnborough.

It’s an appalling story of abuse and bullying. And successive government ministers, including leader of the Lib-Dems, Ed Davey, have been rightly forced to account for their role in this unedifying travesty.

In rather less well publicised news, the people of Wellingborough in Northamptonshire successfully made a stand against a very similar sort of abuse of power. While we were getting the Christmas shopping in, they were shipping out their MP. They signed a recall petition after their Conservative MP Peter Bone was suspended for gross misconduct.

The most obvious lesson from this is that people are fed up with Tory politicians who abuse their power, whether it’s the profiteers, like Conservative Peer Michelle Mone, the people with only very loose relationship with the truth like Boris Johnson, or the sexual misconduct and bullying of Peter Bone MP (editor’s note: Mr Bone was suspended from the House of Commons by the Independent Expert Panel after a report found he had “committed many varied acts of bullying and one act of sexual misconduct” against a male member of his staff, which the former MP denies).

The second is that it demonstrates just how keen people are to get rid of this chaotic, incompetent, out-of-touch government. 

This is supported by the fact that in by-election after by-election, huge Conservative majorities have been overturned. People are transferring their allegiance to the Labour Party in unprecedented numbers, and deserting the minor parties.

That this is so is both an indictment of the Tory party, and a tribute to the work Kier Starmer has done to modernise the Labour Party.

The relevance of this locally is that with Conservative party support in free-fall and the popularity of the Labour Party improving, there’s now a chance that we could wake up with a Labour MP after the next general election in this entirely new constituency of Farnham and Bordon.

Labour’s national 24 point poll lead has seen a really significant drop in support for the minor parties, with the Lib Dems losing 11 per cent in the polls by the end of 2023. 

Several credible research studies now show that Labour is chasing very hard and standing in second position here. The latest by Lodestone Communications, shows that if people vote tactically, Labour is within a hair breadth of winning this new constituency. I imagine this is why Ed Davey decided not to come here in his recent tour of target seats.

I must admit that, as welcome as this news is, it surprised even me. Opinion polls should obviously always be taken with a pinch of salt, but it’s increasingly clear a political earthquake is underway here.

There’s no room for complacency. It will be important that people don’t waste their votes on the minor parties. For many, it will be the first time you will have voted for a Labour candidate.

But we, the electors of Farnham and Bordon, can make history here. It could be every bit as significant as the upset in Wellingborough, and the long delayed vindication for the sub-postmasters.

So, why not make a late New Year’s resolution to vote Labour in the General Election this year?