Basingstoke

2015 Result:
Conservative: 25769 (48.6%)
Labour: 14706 (27.7%)
Lib Dem: 3919 (7.4%)
UKIP: 8290 (15.6%)
Independent: 392 (0.7%)
MAJORITY: 11063 (20.8%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Hampshire. Part of the Basingstoke and Deane council area.

Main population centres: Basingstoke, Old Basing, Newnham.

Profile: Basingstoke was once a small market town, but has rapidly expanded since the 1960s, first seeing the development of council housing for the London overspill and more recently becoming a site of major private development to cater for commuters into south-west London. It has also become a prosperous economic centre in its own right, with high tech and service industries. The growth of the town has seen its boundaries drawn ever tighter around Basingstoke itself. Until 2010 it included the rural hinterland to the north and south of the town, but the current boundaries reduce the seat to just Basingstoke itself and a few villages close to the east of the town, including Old Basing and Newnham.

Politics: The seat has returned a Conservative MP since the 1920s, though in the 2001-2005 Parliament was briefly in the unusual position of being a mainland British seat represented by a Northern Irish political party when the then MP Andrew Hunter joined the DUP, having intended to relocate to Northern Ireland.


Current MP
MARIA MILLER (Conservative) Born 1964, Wolverhampton. Educated at Brynteg Comprehensive school, Bridgend and LSE. Former marketing consultant and director of an advertising company. Contested Wolverhampton North East 2001. First elected as MP for Basingstoke in 2005. Under-secretary of state for disabled people 2010-2012, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 2012-2014. Resigned in 2014 after becoming involved in an expenses scandal.
Past Results
2010
Con: 25590 (51%)
Lab: 10327 (20%)
LDem: 12414 (25%)
UKIP: 2076 (4%)
Oth: 247 (0%)
MAJ: 13176 (26%)
2005*
Con: 19955 (41%)
Lab: 15275 (32%)
LDem: 9952 (21%)
UKIP: 1044 (2%)
Oth: 1897 (4%)
MAJ: 4680 (10%)
2001
Con: 20490 (43%)
Lab: 19610 (41%)
LDem: 6693 (14%)
UKIP: 1202 (3%)
MAJ: 880 (2%)
1997
Con: 24751 (43%)
Lab: 22354 (39%)
LDem: 9714 (17%)
Oth: 310 (1%)
MAJ: 2397 (4%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
MARIA MILLER (Conservative) See above.
PAUL HARVEY (Labour)
JANICE SPALDING (Liberal Democrat) Born Newcastle. Educated at Gosforth High School and Huddersfield University. IT project planner.
ALAN STONE (UKIP) Antiques dealer.
OMAR SELIM (Independent)
Links
Comments - 199 Responses on “Basingstoke”
  1. It won’t be Nigel Farage. As per this – http://www.ukip.org/ukip_leader_nigel_farage_keynote_speaker_at_ukip_public_meeting_in_basingstoke_tonight – the UKIP candidate here is a fella named Alan Stone.

  2. yes…that makes sense. I thought Farage had taken leave of his senses. I think Folkestone is a good bet for his candidature in 2015.

  3. “are there more wwc voters here than in thanet south, folkestone, thanet north, medway, sittingbourne and about half a dozen other seats in kent?”

    Probably not, but more crucially the WWC voters in the seats you mention will be substantially poorer (and probably older) than in Basingstoke. This will make them more likely to vote UKIP.

  4. HH – you assume that all MPs live in their constituencies though. But I take your point.

  5. “I hear Nigel Farage is on his way to Basingstoke to make an announcement at 6pm. I expect it’s ‘recall her’ and call a by-election or he’ll stand there next year. Either way, it seems he’s chosen the seat to fight.”

    The report was completely wrong — Farage was going to Basingstoke to support the existing UKIP candidate.

  6. Yes, Andy JS. Apparently the announcement was to make Basingstoke a target seat with extra funds.

  7. Am I the only one who is getting pretty bored of almost every seat being speculated to be having either Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage as a candidate? They can’t stand everywhere you know. Indeed arguably Johnson can’t stand anywhere.

  8. I have to agree with Barnaby here.. Boris is everywhere and yet nowhere… one wonders if Cameron hasn’t put some sort of a curse on Boris… if the Tories are out of government then its very hard to see a defeated party going with yet another Bullingdon Club Old Etonian … though one has to admit that Boris’ one-liners would quickly turn Ed M into (more of) a laughing stock at PMQs…

  9. “Maria Miller says she wouldn’t rule out all-women shortlists if the Conservatives don’t make progress in redressing the balance.”

    That’ll make her popular with the grassroots…

  10. I wonder whether Labour (or the LibDems) will ever pick up the cudgel of rail fares in the ring of towns in the London commuter belt… Towns like this one (St Albans, Watford, Guildford etc) aren’t stockbroker belt like Haslemere and yet there seems to be almost zero pushback against the cosy relationship with the rail operators who have been allowed to indulge in over-inflation fare creep with impunity.

    Train fares at 6,000 pounds per annum from some of these places make the issue potentially a hot button one which could be grasped by the game and used to lash the Tories (who almost universally hold these seats).

  11. Have I read rightly that the Green nomination has been rejected as they put two candidates down on the nomination form?

  12. Yes, they tried to do it as a job-share. Which they can’t do. And then they were surprised when it got rejected and said about how working full-time jobs would get in the way of their right to a private and family life.

  13. Personal view time – while job-sharing for MPs would be a nice idea as it would mean one in Westminster and one in the constituency, I don’t see how it would ever work. You’d have two different people with different views (being in the same party doesn’t guarantee they will vote the same way on something), and all you’ll end up with is a clash of agendas, with two different representatives wanting a different outcome from the same thing.

  14. Shot themselves in all four feet…

  15. I find that pretty hard to believe. But apparently, my incredulity is unjustified.

  16. Conservatives are going to have quotas of women? I think that is rubbish. We just want the best candidates whatever sex and whatever colour. Going up that road could lead to quotas of black, white, Asian, Islamic etc. which is nuts.

    Maria has let Basing down by driving this Gay marriage thing when it wasn’t in their agenda and nobody was asking for it. UKIP are far more sound in democratic principals in my opinion.

  17. Conservative Hold. 5,000 maj.

  18. If Labour take no seats from the nats and lib Dems they need to take this to get a majority.

    That’s quite a mountain.

  19. I strongly suspect this seat with be split down the railway line and become a Basingstoke East and a West for 2020. The eastern part will subsume part of NE Hants… and the Basinstoke & Deane BC parts of NW Hants (Tadley, Overton and Whitchurch) will be added to the Basingstoke West entity..

  20. “If Labour take no seats from the nats and lib Dems they need to take this to get a majority.

    That’s quite a mountain.”

    Joe – Which Labour leadership candidate is most likely to win a seat like this for the party? For me, Kendall is the only one that will chime with aspiratipnal voters in this type of seat. Burnham would go down like a lead balloon in a seat of this nature.

  21. Judging by her Twitter, looks like Theresa May has the backing of the former Culture Secretary. I guess Maria Miller’s endorsement would’ve meant a lot more if she was still in the cabinet.

  22. Given Con Estimates frequent ramping of certain seats that are trending Tory I think I can be forgiven for inquiring about one that appears to be going the other direction.

    A reasonably respectable swing to Lab in this seat last time which stands out amongst the nights results and the SE in general. With the rapid development of Basingstoke it seems inevitable it some future boundary review that this seat will shave off its last rural ward (Basing) indeed even on current electoral figures the seat would remain in quota without Basing, the fact that the ward happens to be the Tories best in the seat means changes in that department would significantly help Lab (I believe removing Basing would shave 4 points off Miller’s majority) Throw in the strong set of locals for Lab in May which saw them run the Tories pretty close in seat wide vote share despite not standing in one ward and the question arises could Lab win this at some future date?

  23. No – it will clearly be a Lib Dem gain.

  24. @Rivers The boundary changes in 2010 made this seat significantly more Labour and on these boundaries they would have won it in ’97 and ’01 and been less than 5% behind in ’05. Shaving off Basing as well would have made it very close in ’05 but the Tories would have narrowly prevailed. In a scenario where Labour are on track to win at least a comfortable majority they’d have a shot at this seat, otherwise no. To give Labour a realistic chance in an even year the population would have grow enough for the seat to lose at least a couple of the wards where Labour get obliterated: Chineham, Hatch Warren, Rooksdown, Kempshott in addition to Basing which isn’t likely in the foreseeable future.

    ”Throw in the strong set of locals for Lab in May which saw them run the Tories pretty close in seat wide vote share despite not standing in one ward”

    Well the ward that they didn’t stand in was Chineham where their support is derisory anyway and the Tories vote share in that ward is severely depressed at a local level because of a strong independent vote. But more importantly Eastrop and Grove didn’t vote. These wards are fairly reliably Lib Dem locally with the Tories second and Labour pretty much nowhere. Though these wards are typical of Lib Dem wards in the South where the Lib Dem vote probably comes primarily from middle class voters that are much more sympathetic to the Tories than Labour.

  25. Looking at the GE results here I’m not sure I see any particular ‘trend’. Maria Miller’s reduced majority in 2015 was mainly down to LD>Lab switching – despite her expenses issue her own vote declined only 2%.

  26. Yes I agree. Miller can hardly be described as a popular incumbent.

    Basingstoke is one of the numerous large southern towns which I would describe as “ugly but very prosperous”. Major similarities to Reading and Crawley in that regard. Such places are highly unlikely to vote for a Labour MP unless Labour are campaigning on a Blairite platform, even though a sharply rising ethnic minority population helps them demographically.

  27. Pepps
    Of course I didn’t mean could Lab win this as the seat currently stands what I meant was will the demographic trends that have nudged this towards Lab continue. For example Buckskin used to be a reliable Con ward but it appears to have shifted into a reliable Lab ward in recent years and Winklebury has certainly got significantly weaker for the Cons as well to the point one can conceivably see it returning Lab councillors in the next few years. Will those trends persist in other wards and erode the Tory strength further?

  28. Con Estimate
    “Full list of conservative seats trending Lab”
    You forgot Worthing East and Altrincham though it will be quite a few cycles before Lab could seriously challenge in them.

    “Labour seats trending Conservative”
    I’d dispute a few of those.
    Copeland and Stoke South aren’t really trending Tory its just the UKIP rise hit Lab very hard in both. Copeland in particular, the Tories routinely hit 40%+ in 2015 they were below what they achieved in 2001!!!

    Tooting despite gentrification isn’t really moving much at all thanks to the increase in minority voters.

    Newport West definitely isn’t trending Tory, they are still well below the 40% that was common for them in past years, Lab have slumped in recent years but that hasn’t correlated with a boom for the Tories. Look at the 92 election for example, Lab are down 12 points, if the seat was going blue you expect at least modest Tory rise but no they’re down 3!!! That isn’t indicative of a blue trending seat.

  29. “For example Buckskin used to be a reliable Con ward but it appears to have shifted into a reliable Lab ward in recent years”

    It’s sometimes hard to separate out underlying trends from the fact that governments naturally perform worse and worse in local elections the longer they remain in government. And from local issues which impact results in particular years. For example I fully expect a sizeable swing away from the Tories in West Sussex local elections next year but I won’t conclude from that that the county is trending away from the Conservatives.

  30. Con Estimate
    “Full list of conservative seats trending Lab”
    I also forgot Bury North, Brighton Kemptown, Croydon Central and Bedford but their less of a surprise given their marginality.

  31. There are some seats where there is probably an underlying trend to Labour despite the Tories increasing their majority in 2015 – Broxtowe is a good example

  32. Also numerous good examples from London – Harrow East, Hendon, Finchley all had an increased majority in 2015 but are on an underlying trend to Labour if you compare with 1992

  33. HH
    Totally forgot about Broxtowe, classic edge of conurbation drift territory. Hendon and Harrow E though? I was under the impression they were seeing some pretty massive redevelopment and the 2014 locals were not anything special for Lab, actually quite worrying given the results in the rest of London.

  34. Beckenham is much better for Labour these days, on 1992 boundaries the Tories would be below 40% of the vote in 2015 compared with 56% in 1992.

  35. Will Labour ever manage to win any of these seats in the near future?

  36. The Results
    Who knows too many variables, boundary changes amongst them, Its just good to know where the wind is blowing re certain seats.

  37. Most of these seats are in London and are undergoing demographic changes to the Tories’ detriment by and large.

  38. Yes, there is big development in Hendon that should help the Tories. Overall in Barnet I think you have several different changes happening which overall just about cancel each other out – the council estates are undergoing major gentrification, presumably to the Tories advantage, but there is some suburban decline in formerly safe Tory wards in the east of the borough and the south of the borough is rapidly becoming more of a liberal young professional hot spot, which may not be good news for the Tories post-Brexit. The one constant that means the Tories are likely to maintain a hold on the council and parliamentary seats is that the wards in the north of the borough – Mill Hill, Totteridge, Hugh Barnet, Oakleigh – are as rock solid Tory as they’ve ever been and are likely to be so for many years to come.

  39. @CE

    Yes, probably. Of course it was very close to falling in 1997 and 2001. If Sir Sydney Chapman, the relatively popular incumbent who had held the seat since 1979, hadn’t stood at those election it probably would have been gained by Labour. Even in a more modest Labour majority it could conceivably be in play, depending on the boundaries – the initial proposal would take it out of reach for Labour but that may change given the disquiet from both David Burrowes and Mike Freer about the Finchley and Southgate proposal.

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