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The Surrey set

Guildford, Surrey. The heart of Tory Britain. It has just elected a Liberal Democrat-the left-wing party, right?

By James Purnell   July 2001

I grew up in Guildford. My grandparents have lived there for over 60 years. They have never missed an election, always voting Labour, and always seeing a Tory elected. It takes a certain kind of masochism to head to the polling booths for over half a century, knowing your candidate will lose.

As a child, I could never understand why Guildford kept on returning Tory MPs. My family was horrified by Thatcherism, and I couldn’t grasp why anyone else would fail to see what she was doing to the country. Then, one day my grandfather sat me down to explain…

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