Ashfield

2015 Result:
Conservative: 10628 (22.4%)
Labour: 19448 (41%)
Lib Dem: 7030 (14.8%)
UKIP: 10150 (21.4%)
Others: 153 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 8820 (18.6%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

Geography: East Midlands, Nottinghamshire. The Ashfield council area and part of the Broxtowe council area.

Main population centres: Sutton-in-Ashfield, Kirkby in Ashfield, Eastwood.

Profile: Ashfield is a former mining consituency in West Nottinghamshire. With the closure of the mines came the economic difficulties often associated with the decline of the mining industry, and the area is now gradually transitioning towards being more of a commuter area for Nottingham. The area was aligned with the Union of Democratic Mineworkers during the 1980s miners strike.

Politics: Ashfield has a history of being a very safe Labour area, though it was briefly held by the Conservatives in the 1970s after a by-election win and became a marginal at the height of Tory popularity in the 1980s, and at the height of Lib Dem popularity in 2010. In 2015 Labour re-established their strong lead in the seat with the Liberal Democrats dropping to third place.


Current MP
GLORIA DE PIERO (Labour) Born 1972, Bradford. Educated at Yorkshire Martyrs Catholic College and University of Central England. Former political correspondent for GMTV. First elected as MP for Ashfield in 2010. Shadow Minister for Women 2013-2015. Shadow Minister for Young people since 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 10698 (22%)
Lab: 16239 (34%)
LDem: 16047 (33%)
BNP: 2781 (6%)
Oth: 2431 (5%)
MAJ: 192 (0%)
2005*
Con: 10220 (24%)
Lab: 20433 (49%)
LDem: 5829 (14%)
Oth: 5569 (13%)
MAJ: 10213 (24%)
2001
Con: 9607 (24%)
Lab: 22875 (58%)
LDem: 4428 (11%)
Oth: 2440 (6%)
MAJ: 13268 (34%)
1997
Con: 10251 (20%)
Lab: 32979 (65%)
LDem: 4882 (10%)
Oth: 595 (1%)
MAJ: 22728 (45%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
HELEN HARRISON (Conservative) Educated at Our Lady and Pope John School and Liverpool University. Physiotherapist.
GLORIA DE PIERO (Labour) See above.
PHILIP SMITH (Liberal Democrat)
SIMON ASHCROFT (UKIP) Business consultant.
MIKE BUCHANAN (Justice for Men and Boys) Born 1957. Writer and publisher.
Links
Comments - 325 Responses on “Ashfield”
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  1. lib dems have held up well esp as there a few lib v lab battles

  2. hats off to the lib dems the county labour party were expecting a lot more from here in fact in most seats the lib dems held they gained vote share(ok it fell to bits in the seat they seat lost and a tiny bit down in eastwood) still an easy labour hold in 2015 but the lib dems will hold on the 2nd place.

  3. Can I just thank myth11 for his good local analysis, and say that his willingness to give credit where it’s due for a party’s good result is a good quality. Some others here would do well to follow.

  4. Yes, a good performance for LibDems.

    I think it was in Labour interest (for the medium term) to eradicate their local base. Because before threatening for the parliamentary seat again (assuming a comferable Labour hold in 2015), they should have rebuilt the local base first.

    Taking top candidate per party in each division, the aggregate vote on Thursday was
    Lab 37.3%
    LD 27% (missing 1 division)
    UKIP 10.7% (5 divisions out of 9)
    Con 9.66% (7 out of 9)

  5. Is there some rapid demographic change taking place here? Or is the local Labour party completely inept, or unpopular locally? I was under the impression that this was exactly the kind of area where the Lib Dems would fall to pieces in response to the Coalition.

  6. nope ashfield is still a wwc seat and labour did not get a great turnout from group in this election . labour did win in the 2011 d.c election with 45.3% of vote. I could give reasons why but i fear as i am working class i fear i will be written off. (sorry i been reading reasons “why we lost votes to ukip” and a lot of it is way out)

  7. So the LibDem candidate is Jason Zadrozny…

    targetting the Polish community that the UKIP and Tories like to kick (not to mention Chris Bryant’s dog-whistle anti-immigrant “facts”) would be a good strategy….

    The town of Boston in Boston & Skegness (C) has over 3,000 Poles living there…

  8. how many of them can vote in a GE?

  9. Long game to be played here…. how many will be voters two elections out… ?

    look how the Latinos in the US remember who kicked them in the teeth…

  10. Well if any are voters two elections out they’re likely to be vociferously complaining about ” ****ing Romanians / Ukranians coming here taking our jobs and ruining our neighbourhoods “.

  11. Ashfield has very few Eastern Europeans, though there are more in the seats closer to Nottingham and also in neighbouring Amber Valley.

    Like Mansfield it’s one of those ex-mining seats that time forgot, with the immigrants generally preferring to avoid it.

  12. On an anecdote basis there seems to be a trend in Doncaster and Rotherham of the former inhabitants of inner and middle suburbia moving out to pit villages.

    Something which wouldn’t have happened a generation ago and perhaps wouldn’t have happened a decade ago.

    The underlying causes being the general physical deterioration in inner and middle suburbia and the immigration into them.

    I wonder if we might see something similar in the East Midlands.

    I would certainly agree that there are very few immigrants in mining areas.

  13. Yes you may be right.

    Most people in Ashfield today work in Nottingham, Derby or Sheffield.

    When I was a young boy 30 years ago most people worked locally, many in the pits.

    People encounter immigrants close to their work but few where they live.

  14. I wonder if that explains the respectable (and in one or two cases rather promising) performance of the Conservatives in the seats Richard describes.

  15. This trend has only occurred in the last few years so I’m not sure if it will have had any real electoral effect yet.

    Two other demographic trends which have been occuring in mining areas since the 1970s are the building of middle class commuter estates (especially in areas with good road communications) and the dying off of the mining vote. These have definatly had an electoral effect.

  16. I agree on low immigrant component at Ashfield.. I was thinking more of places like Boston & Skegness (and even South Coast constituencies).. Soton has a small Polish Town even…

    Its a pity we cant put some sort of metatag or link between constituencies we comment on that might be made on one constituency but refer to others also…

  17. That’s a good idea

  18. Shock horror to people who might think I want the Lib Dems to disappear(!)-

    I actually think Zadrozny could hold up better than some might expect here- there is at least the potential for him to restrict De Piero’s lead within the mid four figures given the Lib Dems not doing too badly locally.

  19. Jason Zadrozny reselected for LDs.

  20. Surprise surprise.

    I suspect most of us on here knew it anyway.

  21. There’s a difference between believing something is very likely and it actually happening.

  22. Waiting until the candidate has actually been selected is normally the best policy but in this instance it wasn’t a shock given Zadrozny’s profile in Ashfield.

  23. Thanks Andy. Welcome news here.

    Counting chickens before they are hatched is a risky business.

    The shadow of health falls over all of us at some time or another.

    (It may well not be a shock until the unexpected happens … )

    BR

  24. But I didn’t say he’d already been selected. In any case I can assure you I wouldn’t say someone’s been chosen if they haven’t.

  25. Might some of the Tories “go tactical” here next time around?

  26. Good question.

    It’s not impossible, nor is it altogether implausible, but I would say that Labour will hold this against Zadrozny for certain.

  27. Gloria, who you all admire so much, has been given a shadow portfolio (women and equalities).. Chance to strut her stuff.. unless it was only to get the proportion of women in the shadow cabinet up to 44%… in the US they would call that a Christmas Stocking stuffer.. but perish the thought that its what was intended here…

  28. It’s been a good day for GMTV presenters-turned-politicians.

  29. I see a couple of you have beaten me to it.

    I agree with the discussions on the other threads – I don’t think you need very high academic intelligence or a degree to be a good, thoughtful and effective MP.

    But I have not heard this particular MP say anything thoughtful, perceptive or intuitive – all I’ve heard is endless soundbites and generally vacuous bluster.

    This isn’t a partisan point – there are some distinctly lightweight MP’s on the Tory side (step forward the members for Shipley as a good example) but surely Labour must be able to do better than GDP.

  30. I’m not sure Philip Davies is a lightweight, Chris. Of course no one would mistake him for a philosopher (and he certainly wouldn’t want to be seen as one) but he certainly doesn’t bleat the party line or use phrases like ‘the global race’ (one and the same thing, arguably).

  31. GdeP managing to catch some more limelight today…

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/oct/17/gloria-de-piero-press-hunt-topless-pictures

    Ed must be regretting his reshuffling of her already…

  32. It’s a nothing story which will be forgotten by the weekend

    Labour needs MPs like De Peiro, as prior to 2010 they were totally lacking in glamour – save for Caroline Flint

  33. Not sure where it came from… a real media hound would have started the rumour herself… oops, forgot I was a Minister..

  34. My life-long Labour-voting friend voted Tory in 2010 as he was exasperated with the government, thought de Piero was a shocking candidate for the area and did not expect the Lib Dems to run them so close.
    He is full of regrets now but it shows you how much Labour had made itself unpopular with its voters.
    Of course, we just call him ToryBoy now and blame him for what he now believes is bad government policy.

  35. ^If he’s in Ashfield, surely he noticed the vile Geoff Hoon was the local MP for nearly 20 years before Gloria was elected.

  36. I don’t like Hoon one little bit but is this really the place to call him “vile”?

  37. My prediction for 2015-
    Labour- 45%
    Liberal Democrat- 30%
    Conservative- 18%
    UKIP- 4%
    Others- 3%

  38. UKIP on only 4?!

    They topped the poll in 2004 EU elections here and probably will again next year.

  39. A Brown is right.

    There’s also a strong BNP support here which UKIP will largely hoover up. I think Labour will struggle to get over 40% here.

    My guess

    Lab 39
    LD 27
    Con 20
    UKIP 11
    Oths 3

  40. I’ve revised my prediction-
    Labour- 43%
    Liberal Democrat- 29%
    Conservative- 18%
    UKIP- 8%
    Others- 2%

  41. Will be interesting to see what LD support is like in the EU elections next year here.

  42. Well they’ve held up relatively well locally considering where they are in the polls. But as you say A Brown it will be interesting to see the Lib Dems’ vote here in 2014 given how they traditionally under-perform in the Euros.

  43. a soundbite that came out of yesterday’s LibDem Federal Executive meeting was that there was a quadrupling of membership in Ashfield. Presumably it was a decent move.. I would hope that going from 2 to 8 members wasn’t what they meant.. LoL

    If it is something more substantial then maybe Gloria may want to be thinking of spending less time on the ministerial treadmill…

  44. At the end of 2012 Ashfield & Mansfield LD association had 82 members. At the end of 2011 they were 65.

  45. so if they have quadrupled from either of those numbers, it is impressive indeed…

  46. Was Unite recruiting in the wrong party?!

  47. we may be a broad church, but we would draw the line at them… they can meet in the crypt..

  48. I would imagine there might have been a very creative Lib Dem bar chart behind those figures.

    I keep a good link back to Ashfield, having grown up there. The Lib Dem success appears based on a few highly committed individuals, some of which started out as Labour and became independents through disillusionment with the complacency of the local Labour party. Andrea’s figures more or less bear that out.

    The Lib Dems will hold up quite well here and won’t experience the kind of collapse that seems likely in many traditional Labour areas. It is my expectation that they will keep de Piero’s majority down to 5000 or so, however barring a Falklands moment there is zero chance of them “winning here” in 2015.

  49. The figures quoted above by Andrea show an increase by a quarter.

    I wonder if this is what was meant by “quadrupled”.

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