Ice cream political colours Credit BFBS 28.11.19.jpg

General Election 2019: What's Your Political Flavour?

Forces News has taken the BFBS ice cream van on the road to get the political tastes of the public.

Ice cream political colours Credit BFBS 28.11.19.jpg

In the run-up to the General Election, Forces News has taken its BFBS ice cream van on the road to get a taste of how the public will vote.

It visited three locations: Portsmouth, Amesbury, and Lincoln.

The idea is simple, offer the public a free ice cream with a sauce of their choice.

What sauces are on offer as toppings? The flavours are categorised into political parties:

  • Blueberry - Conservative Party
  • Strawberry - Labour Party
  • Lemon - Liberal Democrats
  • Mint - Green Party
  • Bubble-gum - Brexit Party
  • Blackcurrant - UKIP

For its first outing, the BFBS ice cream van visited Portsmouth.

First Stop: Portsmouth

A historical city steeped in military history.

On the eastern shore of Portsmouth Harbour sits Her Majesty’s Naval Base Portsmouth and it is home to two-thirds of the Royal Navy's surface fleet.

There are around 17,000 people in both the Navy and wider industry employed in the city.

The first stop for the ice cream van was at a community centre with military families.

Out of seven votes, the Conservative and Labour party resulted in a stalemate, scoring three points each and the Lib Dems fell short with just one vote.

Ice cream test for political parties Credit BFBS 28.11.19
Military wives were first to choose their flavours.

Yhamel, a military wife, opted for the blueberry sauce, suggesting she will vote for the Conservatives.

"Some of it I do agree with, some of it I don't," Yhamel said.

She said there have been so many surprises in government, and she hopes the Conservatives will surprise her in the best way.

Alice chose the strawberry sauce (Labour) for her ice cream topping, saying it is part of her roots to vote Labour.

"I'm from the north, the north supports Labour - we're the working class, it's where my vote's going," Alice said.

"I don't agree with every single part of their manifesto, at all, and I'm not saying I really like Jeremy Corbyn but I can't give the vote to other people," she added.

Zoe was the one spouse that went for the lemon sauce, choosing the Lib Dems as the party she will likely be voting for.

"Because they're supporting the Armed Forces Covenant and they're looking to support veterans more with their mental health issues," Alice explained.

The Conservatives currently hold 47 constituencies in the southwest - 85% of the seats available.

Next up: Amesbury, Wiltshire

It neighbours the infamous military training ground Salisbury Plain and is just 10 miles from the Larkhill and Tidworth Camps.

For this round, the BFBS ice cream van pulled up outside a veterans' breakfast club to see how they will be voting in the General Election.

With many going for the blueberry sauce, it seemed the Conservatives won this round with an 85% majority.

But two veterans said nobody met their requirements.

"There are three things that they all need to be talking about: defence, health, and education. All of those things are not being spoken about," said veteran Brett.

Military veterans choose their political flavour Credit BFBS 051219.jpg
Military veterans choose their political flavours in Amesbury.

Veteran Laurie said: "They're all coming up with the same lies."

Some of the veterans chose the Conservative party because of their promise to keep Britain's nuclear deterrent, Trident.

When questioned about Labour's promise to renew Trident, veteran William said they would only renew it "to a point."

Chris, another veteran, said once Brexit was out of the way, defence would be more of a focus.

"Once we get Brexit sorted out, then we can concentrate on what the rest of the country and the rest of the policies and the veteran side of it," Chris said.

Final Destination: Lincoln

For its final stop, the ice cream van made its way to Lincolnshire.

Surrounded by almost 10 air force bases and home to the iconic Red Arrows, the ice cream van made the journey to Lincoln to find out how the public there will be voting.

Local resident Paul was first to choose his political flavour from the BFBS ice cream van.

He went for a blueberry topping - the Conservative party.

"I think they're going to look after the guys that are currently serving now and hopefully look after them in the future," he said.

Sam went for plain ice cream, saying he did not know who to trust:

"I feel like it's hard to trust what has been said. Half of the time you don't know what is real and what is not. Without talking to someone who is in that political state, it's difficult to come to a decision. I'd feel bad making the wrong decision."

Red Arrows over RAF Scampton
The Red Arrows have been at RAF Scampton for more than 30 years, but the base is set to close (Picture: MOD).

Another local resident also called Sam opted for a strawberry topping - Labour:

"I think the Labour Party traditionally promises a lot of money for various causes, although I don't know much about their attitudes to the defence budget I'd say that's the most likely to be beneficial to defence," Sam said.

From this round, it seems the Conservative party came up top.

Between six servings, three chose the Conservative party, one went for Labour and two were unsure.

Our poll was not scientific - it was just ice cream. We will find out what the public really thinks when they take to the polls on Thursday, 12 December.