Aldershot

2015 Result:
Conservative: 23369 (50.6%)
Labour: 8468 (18.3%)
Lib Dem: 4076 (8.8%)
Green: 2025 (4.4%)
UKIP: 8253 (17.9%)
MAJORITY: 14901 (32.3%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Hampshire. All of the Rushmoor council area and two wards from the Hart council area.

Main population centres: Farnborough, Aldershot.

Profile: A seat firmly associated with the military, Aldershot contains the Aldershot Barracks, Farnborough Airfield and the headquarters of QinetiQ, the defence research company privatised in 2006. The military vote itself is over-estimated, although the Garrison is an important local employer. In the 2011 the area had the highest proportion of Bhuddists of any part of the UK, a somewhat surprising finding explained by the number of former Ghurkas settling in the town.

Politics: Aldershot is reliably Conservative, having returned a Conservative MP ever since its creation in 1918. Past MPs include the noted Parliamentary wit Julian Critchley, who represented the seat for 27 years.


Current MP
GERALD HOWARTH (Conservative) Born 1947. Educated at Bloxton School and Southampton University. Former international banker. MP for Cannock and Burntwood 1983-1992. First elected as MP for Aldershot in 1997. PPS to Michael Spicer 1987-1990, Minister of State for the Environment 1990-1992. Minister for International Security Strategy 2010-2012. Howarth is a trenchant right-winger, a former member of the Monday club, a member of the Freedom Association`s council and a founding member of the Thatcherite No Turning Back group. In the 1980s he successfully sued the BBC for accusing him of having links to the far-right.
Past Results
2010
Con: 21203 (47%)
Lab: 5489 (12%)
LDem: 15617 (34%)
UKIP: 2041 (4%)
Oth: 1034 (2%)
MAJ: 5586 (12%)
2005*
Con: 20572 (43%)
Lab: 9895 (21%)
LDem: 15238 (32%)
UKIP: 1182 (2%)
Oth: 1254 (3%)
MAJ: 5334 (11%)
2001
Con: 19106 (42%)
Lab: 11391 (25%)
LDem: 12542 (28%)
UKIP: 797 (2%)
Oth: 1479 (3%)
MAJ: 6564 (14%)
1997
Con: 23119 (43%)
Lab: 13057 (24%)
LDem: 16498 (30%)
Oth: 1477 (3%)
MAJ: 6621 (12%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
GERALD HOWARTH (Conservative) See above.
GARY PUFFETT (Labour) Educated at Leicester University. Fire safety advisor and former firefighter.
ALAN HILLIAR (Liberal Democrat)
WILLIAM WALKER (UKIP)
CARL HEWITT (Green) Born Farnborough. IT project manager and former pilot.
Links
Comments - 140 Responses on “Aldershot”
  1. The other thing is that if it looks like being genuinely too close to call as the results come in, nobody will know who wants to call for recounts, and there are no real grounds to call for one in any specific area. Certainly for the Scottish referendum, there was no provision for a national recount, and, I assume, once the early areas had declared, there would be no possibility of recounting in those parts. Then again, it’s pretty unlikely that it would actually be so close. Even a win by 0.1% gives a majority of around 30,000.

  2. A full recount would be pretty pointless anyway. No reason to have more confidence in what they’d come up with than the original result (in fact tired counters probably mean it would be less accurate).

  3. If the margin is less than 5,000 votes it would probably end up in the courts.

  4. Does anyone know at what level the results will be declared? For example would it be by local authority?

  5. You’d need a lot of evidence to go to court down 4,000 votes. Just saying it was close isn’t really going to cut it.

  6. James E: votes will be counted by district/borough in England, Wales and Scotland. A single count will take place in Northern Ireland and Gibralter.

  7. Simon: there are 382 counting areas and it’s quite likely that at least 10 votes will be disputed in each area, so that immediately takes you up to nearly 4,000.

  8. AndyJS –
    Many thanks

    It occurs to me that the last areas to finish counting may be Northern Ireland and the most sparsely populated parts of Scotland and Wales. All of these are of course strong areas for ‘Remain’.

    Depending on the order in which other district announce their results, we could well get a lead for ‘leave’ even if the outcome is a narrow win for ‘remain’.

  9. Actually some remote/island areas have small electorates and could declare early. Judging by general elections, it might be some London boroughs/met districts we’ll have to wait for.

  10. Northern Ireland seats are normally the last to declare in General Elections, as they don’t count votes overnight.

  11. @James E

    That wasn’t the case in 2015. NI results were in quite early. St. Ives was last – I assume because the votes from the Isles of Scilly can’t be brought over until the morning. At the referendum I guess Isles of Scilly will have their own counting area so that won’t be a problem. NI might be last because of the size of the counting area, or maybe large rural councils in England.

  12. St Ives was counted on the night in 1987 and 1992.

    London is often first, with boroughs like Wandsworth leading the way, so you may get an early lead for Remain.

  13. I think areas like Fareham and Aldershot will be OUT.

  14. Scilly Isles will be early. NI has counted overnight since 2010.
    Yes Wandsworth but a lot of London boroughs are slow.

  15. & JJB

    Yes, I’d agree with that. There was quite a contrast between the 18% UKIP vote here in 2015, compared to 7-10% in larger southern town such as Guildford, Reading and Wycombe.

    With apologies for making an obvious point, the past UKIP vote is likely to be probably the best indicator as to which areas may back ‘leave’.

  16. It would probably be a useful exercise to arrange all the boroughs in England & Wales by their 2015 UKIP vote, to provide a guide to what we might expect in the referendum. This would at least provide some guide as to which boroughs might be considered strong territory for one side or another.

    I think this should work well in the South and Midlands, but perhaps less so in the North. There were a number of strong UKIP performances, especially in the North-East, in Labour’s safe seats where Conservative voters were probably more susceptible to supporting UKIP because of the dynamics of the seat.

    In general terms, I’d see anything with a UKIP vote above the national average of 13% as somewhere ‘Leave’ might realistically hope to win.

  17. “It would probably be a useful exercise to arrange all the boroughs in England & Wales by their 2015 UKIP vote, to provide a guide to what we might expect in the referendum.”

    That’s not easy because constituencies and districts/boroughs are usually different. But you could use the 2014 Euro election results which were also counted by district/borough. That’s what I’ve been looking at recently. I’m also using census statistics, with age, education and ethnicity being the main indicators to take into account IMO.

  18. There was some YouGov data in the Sunday Times today showing Ceredigion as the ‘most Europhile’ and Havering as the ‘most Eurospectic’ council areas. I don’t think this was a proper poll though, just data from ‘YouGov profiles’. It did mostly match expectations, despite the unexpected most Europhile area. Having said it’s unexpected Ceredigion is one of those weird remote places that seems to defy all electoral logic regularly.

  19. Apart from electing an LD MP and neither the Tories or Labour being competitive, what makes Ceredigion even weirder is that Plaid have won the Assembly seat comfortably with Elin Jones every time it’s been contested. Given that, the LD’s problems (including enormous collapses in neighbouring seats) and it’s recent history of sending a Plaid MP to Westminster, you might have expected it to be an easy gain last May. But it wasn’t to be. It seems personalities play more of a role here than in most ‘normal’ constituencies.

  20. Ceredigion contains at least two universities at Aberystwyth and Lampeter which is usually an indicator of being pro-EU.

    Havering will be anti-EU but not as much as places like Tendring (Clacton) and Thanet for example.

  21. Jack Sheldon @ “what makes Ceredigion even weirder is that Plaid have won the Assembly seat comfortably with Elin Jones every time it’s been contested. ”

    Elin Jones’s majority was just 1,777 (6.0%) over the Lib Dems in 2011, down considerably from 10,249 (32.1%) over Labour in 1999.

    2011 also marked the beginning of the Lib Dem collapse but they seem to have advanced in Ceredigion and the expense of Plaid.

  22. Wasn’t really expecting to see this but curiously for election geeks Rushmoor already have a ward breakdown of the referendum up. Anyone know if everywhere will be doing this eventually and if it will be centralised anywhere?

    For what it’s worth, leave carried everywhere except Empress and Knellwood, two fairly middle class wards in the centre and east of Farnborough with a lot of commuters and young families.

    Leave won by about two to one in Cherrywood and Alsershot Park.

    http://www.rushmoor.gov.uk/article/9210/EU-Referendum

    http://www.rushmoor.gov.uk/article/9210/EU-Referendum

  23. Wasn’t really expecting to see this but curiously for election geeks Rushmoor already have a ward breakdown of the referendum up. Anyone know if everywhere will be doing this eventually and if it will be centralised anywhere?

    For what it’s worth, leave carried everywhere except Empress and Knellwood, two fairly middle class wards in the centre and east of Farnborough with a lot of commuters and young families.

    Leave won by about two to one in Cherrywood and Aldershot Park.

  24. It probably won’t be centralised anywhere. Amateurs like me usually have to spend huge amounts of time collating the data and putting it in one place.

  25. Do you think many LAs will bother Andy?

  26. Not everywhere counted by ward. Barking and Dagenham did not.
    Birmingham did through ( seen the selly Oak figures) so hopefully It will published online. I think Bristol did as well.

  27. Interesting results here, as mentioned above with Leave winning massively in the 4 Labour wards (3 in Aldershot and 1 in Farnborough by a margin of 2 to 1 but the Conservatives winning in Empress and Knellwood.

    Aldershot’s two Conservative wards registered closer results than Rushmoor’s average of 58% to 42%. 56% to 44% in Manor Park and 57% to 43% in Rowhill. Closer results than the borough average also in a number of Farnborough Conservative wards (St Johns, St Marks, Cove & Southwood).

  28. Sir Gerald Howarth is standing down.

  29. A dispute has broken out in the Conservative Association here as Dan Hannan fails to make the three people shortlist to replace Sir Gerald even through he is wanted by the Association. Of Course this is the only Tory vacancy in the South East of England and non of the possible gains from Labour would ever be safe seats or Best suited ( In Oxford East and Hove he would be a slight drag on the Tory vote) for Dan Hannan.

  30. Con 55% (+4)
    Lab 32 % (+13)
    LD 7% (-1)
    UKIP 4% (-14)

    Swing Con to Lab 4.5%

    While there will be much comment on how Labour surged in University seats, galvanised the under 30 vote, students, and Remain voters, the fact remains that they also achieved a well-above -average swing in some seats such as this.

    Aldershot was a 58% Leave constituency. Public sector employment is below national average, Ethnic minority population a little below English average, and there are relatively fewer graduates than most places. And yet Labour achieved a swing here of double the national average of 2%, and appeared to benefit disproportionately from the UKIP collapse.

    Any thoughts?

  31. I would be very surprised if the Aldershot constituency had an ethic population below the national average because it has a Nepalese population of over 10%. It is also a very compact urban constituency with very little countryside.

  32. It is also by South East standards quite a working class constituency – particularly in Aldershot proper.

    Labour appears to have been able to consolidate its grip on a quite substantial non-Conservative vote – but the Conservative vote actually was at its highest level since 92.

  33. ‘ but the Conservative vote actually was at its highest level since 92.’

    As with the Lab vote, this is mostly a reflection of our return to two-party politics.

  34. Fair point to Dalek that this is a compact, urban constituency. But the ethnic minority population is around the 15% average, and hasn’t increased much since the last GE two years ago, surely.

    I’m quite struck by the fact that this seat now has a similar voting pattern to Dartford. While the two seats might have a similar socio-economic profile, Dartford was until recently a classic marginal, while this is a long term Conservative stronghold.

  35. Labour was only 17 votes behind the Tories in Dalek’s ward this year. Hopefully he can hang on next year.

  36. I will try my hardest Joe.

  37. Best of luck Dalek, you may well need it.

    The timing of next year’s local elections couldn’t be worse for the Tories, just a few weeks after the Brexit deadline of 29th March.

    Either we’ll have crashed out and be in the midst of food shortages, or we’ll have agreed to a crap deal and a big chunk of your voters will be crying betrayal and voting UKIP.

    Either way we may see the worst local election results for the Tories since 1995. In that year quite a few Tory councillors avoided the chop by standing as independents.

  38. The Tories won’t lose more than 500 seats next year i.e. merely a reversion to 2011. I am certain of that.

  39. They could lose a few councils though. They gained about 23 in 2015. Here in Hertfordshire their majorities looking pretty waifer thin in places like Hatfield & St Albans.

  40. Possibly, not sure many shire councils or met councils will change control.

    LDs could gain Vale of White Horse from the Tories.

    Lab could gain High Peak and Amber Valley

    In terms of Met districts Labour are virtually certain to win overall control of Trafford and Calderdale.

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