South Basildon & East Thurrock

2015 Result:
Conservative: 19788 (43.8%)
Labour: 11493 (25.4%)
Lib Dem: 1356 (3%)
UKIP: 12097 (26.8%)
Independent: 205 (0.5%)
Others: 253 (0.6%)
MAJORITY: 7691 (17%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Essex. Parts of the Thurrock and Basildon council areas.

Main population centres: Basildon, Corringham, Stanford le Hope, Orsett.

Profile: The successor to the old Basildon seat, this seat now excludes the centre of Basildon, taking in only the southern suburbs like Kingswood and Vange and the town of Pitsea to the East that forms a conurbation with Basildon. Basildon is the quintessential "Essex man" town, a 1950s newtown regarded as the home of white van man who supported the Conservatives through the 1980s and switched to Labour in 97. The constituency also includes Langdon Country Park and more rural farmland in Orsett ward, the largely working-class commuter town of Stanford and an expanse of industrial marshland along the North of the Thames. The former Shell Haven oil refinery site is currently in the process of massive redevelopment, with Shell and P&O planning a major business park and deep sea container port.

Politics: Basildon is something of a bellwether seat, being won by the party that went on to form the government since it was created in 1992. The old Basildon seat was an iconic victory for the Conservatives in 1992, with David Amess`s successful holding of the seat heralding their ultimate victory. Amess himself moved to Southend West following the 1997 boundary changes.


Current MP
STEPHEN METCALFE (Conservative) Born 1966, Walthamstow. Former Epping Forest councillor. Contested Ilford South 2005. First elected as MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock in 2010.
Past Results
2010
Con: 19624 (44%)
Lab: 13852 (31%)
LDem: 5977 (13%)
UKIP: 2639 (6%)
Oth: 2643 (6%)
MAJ: 5772 (13%)
2005*
Con: 15578 (36%)
Lab: 18720 (43%)
LDem: 4473 (10%)
BNP: 2055 (5%)
Oth: 2315 (5%)
MAJ: 3142 (7%)
2001
Con: 13813 (34%)
Lab: 21551 (53%)
LDem: 3691 (9%)
UKIP: 1397 (3%)
Oth: 423 (1%)
MAJ: 7738 (19%)
1997
Con: 16366 (31%)
Lab: 29646 (56%)
LDem: 4608 (9%)
MAJ: 13280 (25%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Basildon

Demographics
2015 Candidates
STEPHEN METCALFE (Conservative) See above.
MIKE LE-SURF (Labour) Born 1964, Brentwood. Educated at St Edwards School, Romform. Brentwod councillor. Contested Rayleigh and Wickford 2010.
GEOFF WILLIAMS (Liberal Democrat) Associate Mental Health Act Manager. Basildon councillor since 2002. Contested South Basildon and East Thurrock 2010.
IAN LUDER (UKIP) Born 1951. Educated at Haberdashers Askes Boys School and University College London. Tax accountant. Former Bedford councillor for the Labour party. Contested Yeovil 1979. Former Lord Mayor of London. Awarded the CBE in 2010.
STUART HOOPER (Independent) Student.
KERRY SMITH (Independent) Essex councillor since 2013, elected for UKIP. Contested Basildon South and Thurrock East 2010 for UKIP.
NONE OF THE ABOVE X (no description) Born 1958, Stepney, as Terry Marsh. Former professional boxer and IBF light welterweight champion. Contested South Basildon and East Thurrock 2010.
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Comments - 206 Responses on “Basildon South & Thurrock East”
  1. UKIP are now in with a chance again with Kerry Smith as their candidate.

    They should put Hamilton in a less winnable seat.

  2. Last night’s Guardian report on Hamilton’s withdrawal mentions that “Senior figures in Ukip had previously worked hard to successfully prevent the former Conservative MP becoming a candidate in Boston and Skegness, and managed to prevent him from becoming an MEP”. It seems he was sabotaged here as well.

    Looks like UKIP know what most of the above commentors know; that Hamilton should not be allowed within hailing distance of a UKIP candidacy.

  3. It was stupid to deselect him to begin with. I’m not sure what the reason was. If UKIP by some miracle wins this seat (I think they will do very well with a close 2nd place finish) it will give the newspapers with their so-called expertise on the psephology of bellweather seats from 1974 something to write about.

  4. …Referring to Kerry Smith in my first sentence.

  5. UKIP are looking quite amateurish at the moment…but i suppose the Brooks Newmark affair in nearby Braintree hasn’t been that different. The association cancelled the selection only to be told that they had to go through with it. Newmark stepped down from Government and then was panicked into resigning from parliament, which reports say he subsequently regretted.

  6. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30467897

    This won’t help him though, Its this kind of thing which puts off large numbers of voters.

  7. Looks like Kerry Smith is gone (again):

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30473388

  8. This seat is the gift that keeps on giving.

  9. Kerry Smith was a Tory – leading light in CF – previously. Wasn’t his brother a Labour Council leader?

    Although not as infamous as Winston Mc!

  10. I don’t think any of this publicity will necessarily harm UKIP’s chances in the constituency, maybe even the reverse.

  11. Andy may have a point but it is also worth noting that the Tory MP is fairly popular here and is very active so all the UKIP drama may just give him the edge next May.

  12. It’s not exactly been a good week for UKIP.

    They continue to be the most gaffe prone by far of any of the political parties.

    I fully expect their poll ratings to decline to around 10% and the two horse race nature of the election take over in the coming months.

  13. ‘I fully expect their poll ratings to decline to around 10% and the two horse race nature of the election take over in the coming months.’

    Unlikely – and even if it does happen it won’t be because of things like this

    Whilst blaming painkillers for causing someone to make racist statements has to be a new low in implausible excuses, the obese Kerry Smith’s vile statements, the vast majority of UKIP’s supporters would totally agree with 100%

    We need to abandon this myth that UKIP supporters are merely honest, decent people who struggle with the modern world

    They are not – they are out and out racists, intolerant homophobes who would sent every single immigrant living in Britain home if they could

    I’m one of many who feel a great unease that an increrasingly large proportion of the polulation is like this, but polticians do themselves little credit by pretending this isn’t so (as Labour do) or trying to cuddle up to such people in the mistaken belief that if they say what UKIP’s says UKIP supporters will vote for them instead (as the Tories do)

  14. I’ve never been of the opinion that the Tories were that likely to lose this seat anyway. Metcalfe is the sort of Tory MP who tends to appeal to UKIP supporters in many respects, without the homophobia & anti-Chinese racism (the Chinese have been the recipients of several high-profile racial insults in the last fortnight or so – they’re rarely the primary target of racism compared with other minorities in Britain).

  15. “Whilst blaming painkillers for causing someone to make racist statements has to be a new low in implausible excuses”

    I was thinking exactly the same. How can being high on painkillers make you rant on about “fucking poofters” if you weren’t in any way homophobic beforehand? More likely the drugs drop your guard and show what you really think – in that way they have done us all a service.

    This perhaps won’t damage UKIP here – I doubt they’d have won anyway – and as Tim says a lot of their voters will be silently nodding in agreement. What this kind of thing does do, nationally, is prevent them expanding their support base away from the elderly and bigots.

  16. Hmm I rather fancy there’s a degree of ‘hope’ rather than ‘expectation’ in some of these comments.

  17. Maybe you’d care to expand on that?

    IMO it’s not controversial to opine that this was always likely to be a Con hold.

  18. I think writing off your opponents as bigots, geriatrics. ignorant etc. is a pretty smug/foolish thing to do.

  19. UKIP are currently at about 15% in the polls to write off nearly 1 in 6 of the electorate as loons and bigots is insane. not something a mainstream political party can do, though we can from the sequestered and obscure perch of ukpr. since very few, if any!, of us are actual politicians we can say whatever we like. I suspect the political reality is that both the tories and labour need ukip voters to back them in a tight election. sorry folks!

  20. I think even you might accept that talking about fucking poofters does qualify as bigotry.

  21. ok ok…the guy was a loon. He had been a tory, and i know many tories who aren’t that different. trying to draw a ring around ukip and then pointing an arrow indicating that all the bigots vote ukip, while the main parties have all the non-bigots is babyish and inaccurate.

  22. “pointing an arrow indicating that all the bigots vote ukip”

    You seem to have a problem reading and understanding logic. I certainly never said all bigots vote UKIP…I said that UKIP’s support will be restricted to those who are comfortable with bigotry unless the party stops saying bigoted things…surely that can’t be a controversial statement.

  23. ….there are bigots in the conservative and labour parties, as well as UKIP. I think UKIP’s support is restricted to about 20% for many reasons, among which is the reason you cite.

  24. But the bigots in the Labour and Tory parties don’t just come out with their bigotry willy-nilly (I know this isn’t necessarily a good thing), and when they do they are pushed off a cliff, to the point of it sometimes being an over-reaction.

  25. Well said, H.Hemmelig.

  26. ‘I think writing off your opponents as bigots, geriatrics. ignorant etc. is a pretty smug/foolish thing to do.’

    I don’t think anyone is writing UKIP off

    Their brand of populist, right-wing, barely disguised racism has proved quite a hit with certain elements of the population – certainly the white working class in the South and East of the country

    But how can Smith’s comments – and he’s merely one of many UKIP candidates who have mistakenly revealed their true wickedness – be anything other than biggoted, racist and profoundly ignorant

    Hemelig is totally right. MPs belonging to other parties have often got themselves in trouble over controversial statements they have made, and the public reaction ensures that 9 times out of 10 the offending MP has to quit either the front bench or politics altogether, because those parties know there will be public uproar if they don’t

    There is none of that with UKIP – and the reason is because their supporters generally agree with the tone and content of what Smith has said

    It’s not a nice thought toi think that about 20% of the country think this way, but i’d rather mainstream politicians actually tried to correct in that either ignoring it or trying to appeal to such sentiments

    As cringe-worthy as Clegg’s performance against farage was in the European debaate, he and a mere handful of others seem the only poiticians who at least try to take Farage and UKIP on

    Labour pretend they don’t exist (and if they do they are welcome because they onky take votes away from the Tories) and the Tories thinking aping them is the best way to nullify their threat

    Both of them are wrong

  27. “As cringe-worthy as Clegg’s performance against farage was in the European debaate, he and a mere handful of others seem the only poiticians who at least try to take Farage and UKIP on”

    I agree with that. I wish Ken Clarke would have a go.

  28. As I said, lots of rather vain hopes being expressed here. The idea that Clegg or Clarke can somehow neutralise UKIP is risible. Their brand of patronising we-know-best politics is exactly what has created the conditions under which UKIP are flourishing.

    People don’t want to be told ‘this is the liberal view and you simply have to accept it’

  29. “The idea that Clegg or Clarke can somehow neutralise UKIP is risible.”

    That’s not what Tim or I said. We both said that we wished someone would argue with UKIP rather than meekly agree with them even when they are talking rubbish. We are past the stage where anyone can neutralise UKIP – they are here for good now.

  30. “People don’t want to be told ‘this is the liberal view and you simply have to accept it’”

    But it would be good if someone would say “this is the liberal view and you can decide whether you want to accept it or not”. Some people will and some won’t. At the moment none of the liberals dare give the honest liberal view.

  31. Clegg did already that surely – and much impact it had.

    I’m sure the voters are already well aware of what the liberal/establishment views on these things are. We have had many years of being lectured about how wonderful mass immigration is for example, while pro-EU views are put forward by all the main parties, many civil organisations and of course the dear Beeb.

    If you are hoping that just repeating these views over and over again will help, I suspect you are in for a disappointment. The era when people would tug their forelocks and accept that ‘them clever folks in Whitehall & Westminister (sic) knows better than what we do’ is on its way out. And good riddance.

  32. “We have had many years of being lectured about how wonderful mass immigration is for example”

    Which was perhaps the wrong tack. We should have been lectured about how mass immigration is an unchangeable fact of life under the globalised economic model we now live under.

    You are undoubtedly a very intelligent person – I’m genuinely interested to know how exactly you would propose to end “mass immigration”. IMO it is impossible without leaving the Single Market (economically ruinous) and severely breaching human rights (eg. the right to marry a foreigner).

  33. If you think a pat line like

    ‘mass immigration is an unchangeable fact of life under the globalised economic model we now live under. ‘

    will convince any significant number of people then you really are out of touch I’m afraid. You clearly believe it but most people would see that as at best gobbledygook and at worst propaganda.

    And the fatalism it implies also doesn’t resonate either – nothing gets peoples’ backs up more than being told the government simply ‘can’t’ do this and that. It just reinforces their existing view that politicians are a waste of space.

    And it’s telling that you imply that ‘lecturing’ the voters is the right thing to do.

  34. I notice you avoided answering my question though.

    Like UKIP you seem happy to whip people up into a frenzy about problems for which you can propose no realistic solution.

  35. ‘The era when people would tug their forelocks and accept that ‘them clever folks in Whitehall & Westminister (sic) knows better than what we do’ is on its way out.’

    Surely if that were the case, we wouldn’t bother electing MPs in the first place

    The whole principle of any Parliamentary democracy is that the public vote for people who know considerably more about the big issues affecting them and their country than they do, and to make such decisions on their behalf

    That’s how the system works, which is why I oppose referendums full stop

    Through their own behaviour and with big help from the tabloid press- surely the only establishment in the UK less popular than the political one – much of our current crop of MPs have done the cause of Parliamentary democracy no favours whatsoever, which is yet another reason why UKIP’s ‘them and us’ approach to politics has appeal

    but I think when voters do vote for parties precisely because they don’t like ‘poofters’, want to sent immigrants home, will stick two fingers up at the EU, and all the other mean-spirited things UKIP advocate – such votes aren’t worth chasing and mainstream politicians shouldn’t pander to them – but focus on the other 80% of the electorate who find UKIP and their policies politically impractical, fundamentally dishonest and morally repugnant

  36. I don’t think UKIP will gain this. Prediction-
    Metcalfe (Tory)- 39%
    UKIP- 29%
    Labour- 28%
    Lib Dem- 4%

  37. I think the rise of ukip, a party that scored 2.5% in a general election less than 10 years ago, indicates that runnymede has a point.

    Already, people are talking about leaving the EU which was unthinkable 10 years ago. And let’s face it none of the parties were talking about immigration in 2010-2012 before the ‘kippers got a head of steam.

  38. Hemmelig I am not interested in discussing immigration policy in detail with you on this forum, it’s not an appropriate place apart from anything else.

    Suffice to say though that I don’t agree with your notion that mass immigration is somehow an inevitable part of the modern world. I’m not really sure you do either – I think rather that you believe immigration is a good thing and are just looking to rationalise that in a way that you think will keep the peasants quiet.

    I’m reminded of the pompous and patronising tone proponents of the UK joining EMU used some years ago, and thinking further back of apparently intelligent people arguing that high inflation was inevitable, or that trade union power could not be curbed. Or whatever spineless establishment rubbish was current at the time.

  39. “I think rather that you believe immigration is a good thing and are just looking to rationalise that in a way that you think will keep the peasants quiet.”

    You used to work in the City FFS! And now you’re trying to convince me that you’re a peasant!

    And so what if I think immigration is (broadly) a good thing? You make it sound like that makes me into a paedophile or something!

  40. The Clarkes and Cleggs of this world used to argue that joiing the Euro was inevitable – turned out not to be. It does seem to be basically the last refuge of people who know they cannot convince people of the rightness of their preferred policy and therefore seek to neutralise their objections by saying ‘oh well there’s nothing you can do to stop it anyway’. Personally I don’t believe that an island nation is incapable of controlling its borders.
    I’m furthermore surprsed H Hemmelig thinks uncontrolled immigration is such a good thing seeing as on another trhead recently he was suggesting that the massive population increase caused by that was going to leave inevitably to Singapore style draconian restrictions on car ownership and use. So you seem to recognise that it causes problems and are prepared to advocate extreme policies to address the symptoms but refuse to address the root of the problem.

  41. OK I will ask you the same question as Runnymede.

    If you were Prime Minister, how would you “end mass immigration”?

    Note that UKIP policy is to remain within EFTA/EEA, which is conditional on respecting the free movement of people as per Norway & Switzerland.

  42. I dont think the biggest immigration problem in terms of either quantity or quality actually comes from Europe

  43. Wolf’s comment (quite a bit above) is, to put it mildly, tendentious. The Chinese people living in this country are not the people who have been responsible for Maoist atrocities in China. It would be like blaming all Ugandans for the genocidal policies of Idi Amin, or all present-day Germans for what Hitler did. They are all totally unjustifiable & I think Wolf should stop posting if he is incapable of anything other than unpleasantness.

  44. I certainly agree with you there. But controlling non-EU migration isn’t much easier unless you massively restrict marriage/family, which under international human rights norms is practically impossible. Much of the easier stuff (eg dealing with bogus students) has already been done by the coalition.

    I do however continue to note how kippers avoid answering my question clearly, on whichever forum I post it. Does UKIP not expect that the public would expect an answer to this question if it ever gets close to power (or in an EU referendum). In many ways it is exactly like Alex Salmond refusing to answer questions about Scottish independence….if UKIP want the UK to vote to leave the EU they will need to come up with a credible policy or they will be crushed.

  45. “Wolf’s comment (quite a bit above) is, to put it mildly, tendentious. The Chinese people living in this country are not the people who have been responsible for Maoist atrocities in China. It would be like blaming all Ugandans for the genocidal policies of Idi Amin, or all present-day Germans for what Hitler did. They are all totally unjustifiable & I think Wolf should stop posting if he is incapable of anything other than unpleasantness.”

    Indeed and to be honest, Wolf isn’t worth replying to.

    Germans and Ugandans can criticise Hitler and Idi Amin freely. The Chinese people cannot do this with Mao, even those living outside China, if they are worried about their family back home.

  46. “We need to abandon this myth that UKIP supporters are merely honest, decent people who struggle with the modern world
    They are not – they are out and out racists, intolerant homophobes who would sent every single immigrant living in Britain home if they could”

    Well said Tim Jones. The more and more that supporters of the established 3 parties come out to tell the great unwashed how voting for UKIP makes them disgusting, ignorant plebs with unacceptable viewpoints, then the sooner that the general public will realise this, and return back voting for the traditional parties like they’re supposed to.

  47. “They are out and out racists , intolerant homophobes who would send every single immigrant living in Britain home if they could”
    So you declare all UKIP supporters to be this way do you ? , not only am I surprised this didn’t get past moderation, it should also be noted that the candidate here was not supported by the UKIP groups I’m part of (YI specifically). There are people who have concerns about immigration, and who oppose same-sex marriage for religious reasons (and in some cases democratic reasons), that does not mean they’re necessarily racist or homophobic.
    @ H.Hemmelig
    Actually you often find that the Conservative , Labour and Liberal Democrats do come out with bigoted statements on a council level , it’s just that UKIP are more widely reported (look at the fb page Nope,not Hope if you don’t believe me)
    In terms of this seat , UKIP have been dealt quite a bit of damage , but it will be one to watch out of interest , if UKIP get a decent candidate , the problem could be solved for them (6 months is a long time.)

  48. Word is that Nigel Farage might leave Thanet to step in here!

  49. HH – of course Govts can stop mass immigration. I agree with Runnymede – the Clegg/Clarke/Heseltine/Shirley Williams et al QT consensus has failed.

  50. Unfortunately it has actually succeeded inasmuch as we have had mass immigration again, having stopped it before, in the 70s-90s.

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