Amber Valley

2015 Result:
Conservative: 20106 (44%)
Labour: 15901 (34.8%)
Lib Dem: 1360 (3%)
Green: 1087 (2.4%)
UKIP: 7263 (15.9%)
MAJORITY: 4205 (9.2%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

Geography: East Midlands, Derbyshire. Part of the Amber Valley council area.

Main population centres: Alfreton, Ripley, Heanor, Somercotes, Swanwick.

Profile: The Amber Valley constituency is in the east of Derbyshire, north of Derby itself. It mainly covers the towns of Alfreton, Ripley and Heanor and the surrounding countryside. All three towns are former coal mining areas, now largely replaced by light industry and the service and retail sectors.

Politics: The former coal mining towns here all tend to vote Labour, but the more Conservative rural sections of the seat balance this out to an extent, making the seat a marginal. It was won by the Conservatives on its creation in 1983, fell to Labour in their 1997 landslide and was won back by the Tories in 2010.

Current MP
NIGEL MILLS (Conservative) Born 1974, Jacksdale. Educated at Loughborough Grammar School and Newcastle University. Former tax advisor. Amber Valley councillor 2004-11. First elected as MP for Amber Valley in 2010. He was the partner of Gillian Shaw, the Conservative candidate in 2001 and 2005 who died in 2006.
Past Results
Con: 17746 (39%)
Lab: 17210 (37%)
LDem: 6636 (14%)
BNP: 3195 (7%)
Oth: 1171 (3%)
MAJ: 536 (1%)
Con: 16318 (34%)
Lab: 21593 (46%)
LDem: 6225 (13%)
BNP: 1243 (3%)
Oth: 2012 (4%)
MAJ: 5275 (11%)
Con: 15874 (36%)
Lab: 23101 (52%)
LDem: 5538 (12%)
MAJ: 7227 (16%)
Con: 18330 (33%)
Lab: 29943 (55%)
LDem: 4219 (8%)
MAJ: 11613 (21%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
NIGEL MILLS (Conservative) See above.
KEVIN GILLOTT (Labour) Educated at Henry Fanshaw Comprehensive School. Solicitor. North East Derbyshire councillor, Derbyshire county councillor.
KATE SMITH (Liberal Democrat) Museum worker and communications trainer. Contested Amber Valley 2001, 2005.
JOHN DEVINE (Green) Former serviceman, nurse and enforcement officer.
Comments - 137 Responses on “Amber Valley”
  1. As have said before on here, Nigel Mills is regarded locally as a pretty good MP. I don’t think this will have much effect.

  2. HH – I don’t post when I should be at work! My job requires me to work mainly evenings & weekends, and not all that much during the day. I certainly don’t play games when I should be working. The only online game I play to any extent is chess.

  3. This seat like at least 20-30 others – one where the CON/UKIP/right wing split will hand LAB a win.

    Is it possible Nigel Farage will try a rapprochement between the Tories?? and UKIP & decide not to put candidates in seats where there’s a eurosceptic Tory??.

    He did this of course in Clacton and Rochester for GE2010 and has indicated in the past that he may do this nationally (in selected seats)

    Let’s look at 14 ‘eurosceptic’ CON MPs who defied a 3 line whip, in Oct2011, on a motion demanding an EU referendum in 2013 – so they are genuine eurosceptics (at least).

    They face losing their seats to LAB by small margins (predicted 4-10% because of a significant UKIP vote in the seat). These 14 MPs are:-


    So do you think Farage not fielding a UKIP candidate in these seats is:-

    a) very likely
    b) probable
    c) not very likely
    d) c’est impossible
    e) horseshit


  4. d)

    UKIP have said time and time and time again that they are going to fight every seat this time

  5. thank you

  6. John Devine is the Green Party Candidate for Amber Valley

  7. First day on the campaign trail. Typical crisp spring late-morning day in Ripley. Will do abit of canvassing in Heanor if I have time in the Afternoon.

    Expect a Labour gain here so lets start today with an easier battleground.

  8. Lab gain, majority 1600- I’m not convinced that Lab is going to do all that well here- second Ashcroft poll last July put them only 4% ahead. Nonetheless, I think they’ll have enough to win it.

  9. Really need to see another poll here.

  10. I think it could be within 1000 here either way again. No BNP PPC this time but there is a Green. Mills seems popular on immigration and has helped constituents battling the failings of the DWP.

  11. Another important West Midlands marginal. Red meat Tory who can squeeze Ukip but still Looks labour gain , but agree with LANC, by the narrowest of narrow margins – sub 1000 majority

  12. If the UKIP vote gets squeezed enough, Labour could be in for a better majority, but overall I’d say Tory’s prediction looks pretty accurate.

    Labour should probably be doing better in the circumstances. The boundaries of this seat changed at the last election, making it much more favourable and the candidate is from NE Derbyshire which isn’t far from this constituency (an improvement on Mallaber).

  13. This one is mighty tight, I was in the area last weekend and nobody can call it. The UKIP vote is quite firm and in this seat it kills Labour just as much if not more so than the Conservatives.

    A genuine 50/50 call this seat, I have a feeling Mills might pull off a victory against the head for the second time, if he fails to do it it will be the narrowest of margins, this seat will be a three figure win either way.

  14. General Elections are not applied local elections (a fact that we psephological nerds should never forget), but local election results (particularly the Derbyshire CC elections in 2013) have been atrocious for the Tories here.

  15. Labour Gain. 2,000 majority.

  16. Hoping for Tory win please- economically speaking – keep up the good work

  17. LAB gain 750

  18. This was indeed a Tory hold, in line with what happened in most of the Conservative held marginal seats outside London Labour were hoping to gain- the only exceptions outside the capital were Wirral West, City of Chester, Dewsbury, Lancaster and Fleetwood and Wolverhampton South West- most of those were down to demographic changes and university influence.

  19. …and Hove

  20. And Hove as well. All the gains Labour made from the Tories outside London were mainly down to demographic factors that have changed those seats politically over the last five years- I think most of those gains will be seats that will trend to Labour in the long-term.

  21. I forgot to mention Hove as the incumbent MP had stood down- But it goes without saying I think that Hove is going to go become a fairly reliable seat for Labour in the future, and that’s before you factor in Peter Kyle’s incumbency factor in 2020.

    I think most people will understand that Wirral West is going against the Tories in the long-term because of The Merseyside Effect progressing down The Wirral, and that City of Chester and Lancaster and Fleetwood being taken back were mainly motivated by the considerable student vote in both seats, as well as a slight Merseyside Effect in Chester perhaps. In all the seats Labour did gain, however, it is notable that all the sitting Tory MPs and Graham Cox in Hove did manage some sort of vote share increase of their own even in losing to Labour- the increase for Paul Uppal in Wolverhampton South West was much less, though, suggesting that seat will quickly turn into a fairly safe Labour seat in the future.

  22. Looking at census statistics for the East Midlands just now, I thought I must have spotted a mistake when I noticed that the proportion of people with degrees in Amber Valley is higher than Nottingham or Leicester. But the explanation must be that Belper — which is in the Mid Derbyshire constituency — has an especially high level of people with higher educational qualifications.

  23. Last week’s elections in Amber Valley allow some conclusions to be drawn as to how Labour might have done in two key divisions had there been elections to Derbyshire County Council this year. Labour will almost certainly need to hold both Belper and Ripley West & Heage to retain control next year.

    Ripley West and Heage was won comfortably by Labour in 2013 by over ten percent, albeit with a large UKIP vote. Only two of the three wards that make up the division polled on Thursday. Labour won Ripley & Marahey, but lost Heage & Ambergate by a greater margin. With reliably Tory Wingfield not voting I don’t see any much doubt that Labour would have lost Ripley W & Heage had it been contested last week.

    Belper Division is harder to call as only one of the two wards making up the division was up for election. Labour won both Belper Central (which is in the division) and Belper North (which is in Duffield division) in what was a strong performance by them in the town. They could well have won Belper East too had it been contested, thus outpolling the Tories in Belper, while finishing behind them in the Ripley W & Heage division they won by a greater margin in 2013.

    The Tories probably need to perform better in Belper next year if Labour are to lose control of Derbyshire.

  24. The only boundary change in this seat in 1997 was that Crich ward was added from Derbyshire West, the ones in 2010 were much more radical

  25. The proposed boundaries for this seat would probably put it out of reach for Labour outside a landslide year.

    The seat would lose in the north territory around Alfreton that is overall evenly split Labour/Conservative (Alfreton town itself being Labour and the surrounding area Tory). It would gain in the south the strongly Conservative Derby City ward of Allestree, and two also very Tory Erewash wards (Little Eaton & Stanley and West Hallam & Dale Abbey). The addition of Allestree alone is worth a net extra 2-3,000 Tory votes in any GE.

  26. The main point I think is that it gains the mainly Conservative voting town of Belper which has always been in the Amber Valley district but never in the constituency.

  27. Labour has been doing pretty well in Belper, see results in the posts above, while at the same time struggling in other parts of this seat where they’ve historically been strong. Not that that negates Kieran’s point, in the context of 2020 this is likely to be a 5-figure Tory majority seat.

  28. Talking of Belper I’ve just finished George Brown’s My Way. He represented Belper since 1945 in a multi member constituency. The other member was union backed but Ernest Bevin wouldn’t let the transport union back George Brown and he had to appeal to the NEC to get the backing. He continued to represent Belper until 1970 when he lost the seat after boundary changes included 10,000 members mostly Tory voters.

  29. Labour have been doing well in Belper in recent contests, but they would never beat the Tories out of sight there. It’s always been a fairly marginal town, consequently its presence in any seat doesn’t really give either Labour or the Tories a decisive advantage.

    In contrast the three wards mentioned above always vote Tory, more often than not by substantial margins. I don’t think Allestree has ever elected a Tory with a majority of less than a thousand, even on a local election turnout.

  30. I think this was one of the Tories’ best holds of the night in a marginal seat.

  31. Prediction for Amber Valley council

    Lab gain from Con

    Belper C
    Belper E
    Belper S
    Belper W

    Lab 24
    Con 21

  32. Labour gains Amber Valley from the Conservatives. Looks like the Belper wards have helped them get over the line. Some more results still to be announced.

  33. Incidentally I think this is the first council of the evening that has gone directly from Con majority to Lab majority, rather than any NOC-type stuff.

  34. I think so too. Not sure they will be any others.

  35. This is clearly Labour’s best result of the night. Middle-class places like Trafford are trending Labour anyway, but this one bucks the received wisdom that former coalfields are slipping from Labour’s fingers.

  36. It does seem that way.

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