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 - 192 Responses on “Basingstoke”
  1. Interesting article from The Fabian Society, and a suprising finding regarding this constituency.

    http://www.fabians.org.uk/the-2013-local-elections-in-key-constituencies/

  2. If they have their figures correct, it is interesting indeed.

  3. Another target seat for Bob to get excited about if the Fabian Society’s right.

  4. He won’t be excited. He will say that Maria Miller is toast and insult anyone who dares to disagree.

  5. We did so appallingly here last time, I really don’t know why, because its been predicted for a while that this seat will become a marginal

    Were there any local factors involved?

  6. @Merseymike – The Labour candidate was absent for most of the election, due to illness if I recall correctly. As such Labour barely ran a campaign.

  7. andrew hunter is now writing a book about the bamber shooting case

  8. ‘andrew hunter is now writing a book about the bamber shooting case’

    what’s his angle?

    does he think jeremy bamber is innocent?

  9. yep he thinks the sister did it

  10. i remembewr watching an in-depth program about it a decade or so ago

    initially everyone thought the sister did it

  11. Alan Stone will be the UKIP candidate.

  12. One of the most depressing places in Hants… I go there often and it seems to be five interconnected roundabouts and not much else… Labour got so close here in 2001 and I am not surprised… then they collapsed… its a wonder they don’t put in more effort..

  13. The demography’s going against them now though. At council level they have good areas of strengths in the town but Basingstoke is getting wealthier and wealthier as it’s becoming more of a commuter hub.

  14. maybe it should be a LibDem target.. except that we as a party have failed to cultivate the disgruntled long distance commuter vote.. which I think is ripe for the plucking… but oops… we have the Transport portfolio (supposedly) under our aegis..

    we are so strong in Winchester so much less so here..

  15. 2015 forecast for Basingstoke

    Con 46.5 (-4.5)
    Lab 27.1 (+6.7)
    LD 13.1 (-11.4)
    UKIP 10.6 (+6.5)
    Others 2.7

  16. This is a rare case where there probably will actually be a 5% swing back to labour – the 2010 labour vote being artificially low.

    More or less agree with A Brown (would maybe give a point or two from UKIP to LD)

  17. “One of the most depressing places in Hants… I go there often and it seems to be five interconnected roundabouts and not much else… Labour got so close here in 2001 and I am not surprised… then they collapsed… its a wonder they don’t put in more effort..”

    I’ve never been to Basingstoke and after reading your post probably never will.

  18. There are quite a lot of roundabouts, and people sometimes get confused. I remember going there once and someone came round the roundabout the wrong way, adding some sparkle, so don’t knock it.

  19. sorry bit below the belt – a few beers last night,

  20. The Tories did very badly in 3 of the 5 Basingstoke divisions, being beaten by both Labour and UKIP:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/lv?key=0At91c3wX1Wu5dEtSTDNlVzhGcWl3RF9iMUd3aGJmWnc

  21. In fact in 2 of those 3 divisions they were also beaten by the LDs and therefore came fourth.

  22. Is Labour’s vote artificially low?

    Here are the notional figures going into 1997

    Con 53.5
    Lab 25.1
    LD 20.4

    On what basis was this seat going to become a marginal?

  23. Basingstoke appears to be downmarket from Guildford to me and yet many think it is just another Guildford..

    It’s a commuter town being just at the “pain barrier” of an hour on a fast train from London.. Obviously the people who live at the pain barrier do so because they cannot afford to live closer in… I can definitely say that they are not living in Basinsgstoke for the town’s “attractions”.. the LibDems have not put in any significant effort here… it could be ours if we focussed..

  24. It’s interesting how a town like Basingstoke has a train time to London which isn’t much better than a lot of places in the Midlands like Nuneaton, Coventry, Tamworth. Tamworth is an hour and five minutes, for example.

  25. Winchester is an hour and 15 minutes at the fastest and costs 60 pounds return.. so the pain is twofold in these parts…

  26. I don’t think that is necessarily why people live an hour away. The difference in housing costs between being 10 minutes outside Greater London and being 40 minutes outside Greater London is not always particularly significant. There are other benefits to being further out, such as reduced urban sprawl (especially since a substantial number of commuters will live outside the towns from which they catch their trains.)

    It’s also worth noting that whilst the commuter vote has a real impact, it still only affects a minority of the electorate. Basingstoke is at the core of its own TTWA area, which means that in 2001 at least 75% of the working population of that area worked in or around Basingstoke. That will have changed slightly, but I suspect next year’s figures will still show it as an independent TTWA.

  27. My uncle commutes daily from Tamworth to London.

  28. “The difference in housing costs between being 10 minutes outside Greater London and being 40 minutes outside Greater London is not always particularly significant.”

    Yes but when you head SW of London you go through plush expensive town after plush expensive town (with the exception of tiny bits of Woking). Basingstoke is really the first “ordinary” town you come to (at least on the fast trains…the stoppers do call at Farnborough).

    Think of it as the SW London equivalent of Stevenage. It is a broadly acceptable refuge for commuters on a budget. That said the town (not the Borough) is certainly a net importer of commuters as it possesses a very strong local economy and is surrounded by a very wealthy hinterland. Because of this, high-end estate agents such as Knight Frank are (perhaps surprisingly) represented in the town.

    The fast trains from Waterloo get in to Basingstoke in about 45 minutes, which is comparable to some long-distance tube journeys.

  29. “The Tories did very badly in 3 of the 5 Basingstoke divisions, being beaten by both Labour and UKIP…”

    The Conservatives may have performed badly in Divisions they did not need to win, such as Basingstoke Central, but they held all their 3 divisions in/around the town, including Basingstoke North West. NW indeed was a seat that Labour really should have won.

    Perhaps the result of effective targeting by the Tories?

  30. Very true the comparison to Stevenage.. maybe Petersfield too..

    Axa’s offices are a big job source in Basingstoke… the town even has a cluster or mid-to upscale high rises around the station…

  31. The local election result here suggest that Labour are likely to recover from their poor performance in the 2010 GE. I’d expect the Tory majority in 2015 will be back to around what it was in 2005.

    Con 43%
    Lab 33%
    LibDem 14%
    UKIP 8%

  32. Nothing is certain – and the next election is open.
    As a most likely I suspect the Tory share will be very similar/up
    and there will be a reconfiguration of the anti Tory vote with Labour
    clearly second.

  33. Frankly the second position will go to whoever gets their act together best… the non-Tory forces seems to have ignored this one for too long.. its hard to get one’s head around a local/national crossover issues that might stir the blood and get a campaign hook to hang one’s hat on.. except transport.

  34. ” the town even has a cluster or mid-to upscale high rises around the station…”

    True, although most of the wealthy live in nearby villages (such as Old Basing and Sherfield) and park in the gargantuan commuter car parks attached to the station.

    Have to say the town’s retail offer has also improved considerably in recent years with the refurbishment of The walks into the undercover “Festival Place”, where the likes of Zara, Superdry, Office Shoes etc. are all represented. There could prob be more, if Reading was not so close.

    Stevenage TC by contrast is still extremely unattractive, and its retail offer pants by comparison.

  35. The upscale villages though do not make up the Tory totality or even the majority (which is 15,000).. its those in the rank and file of the town…

    I have started to think that the South actually has a lot of Cs and Ds who are aspirational Tory voters… they get nothing from voting Tory in these seats with do-nothing MPs except some warm inner glow that the have moved into some ethereal rank of the Great and Good.. as one drives through the serried ranks of Ticky Tacky Little Boxes between the ubiquitous roundabouts one wonders what has been put in the water supply to make them think that they’ve “never had it so good”.

  36. “The upscale villages though do not make up the Tory totality or even the majority (which is 15,000).. its those in the rank and file of the town…

    I have started to think that the South actually has a lot of Cs and Ds who are aspirational Tory voters… they get nothing from voting Tory in these seats with do-nothing MPs except some warm inner glow that the have moved into some ethereal rank of the Great and Good.. as one drives through the serried ranks of Ticky Tacky Little Boxes between the ubiquitous roundabouts one wonders what has been put in the water supply to make them think that they’ve “never had it so good”.

    On the first point…indeed…the only such village in the Basingstoke seat is Old Basing.

    On the second…two words…Partisan. Realignment. Areas where people work in the private sector are increasingly pro-Tory, even where the impression is that theses people are employed in “elementary” occupations. It is not so much about “feel good”, more about being proud of being relatively independent from the state, and Labour, with its increased perception as a friend of the Public Sector and state “interference” is simply out of touch with such people.

    They want low taxes, low regulation and the state to “butt out”. It is a sign as to how the UK voting patterns are increasingly starting to resemble those of the US.

    In intellectual, public-sector employment dominated seats such as Leeds North East (or, staying in the same general area, places like Oxford), the reverse trend can be observed with people employed in public services voting for parties of the Left.

  37. If its the Americanisation of the South and you make a good case… then the UKIP is the Tea Party of this process… The Tories are lucky the UKIP are outside the tent…. for now… for once I agree with “Better out than In”.. LoL..

    However, I would also note the Tea Party are now past their prime… most here (but not I) seem to think the greatest glory of the UKIP is yet to come… I receive the ebbtide is already flowing

  38. “If its the Americanisation of the South and you make a good case…”

    It is England generally…not just the South.

    Areas of the North that have more private sector employment are more pro-Tory these days than those that do not.

    Just look at Colne Valley v Leeds North East.

    Increasingly,
    Labour=Public sector workers;
    Conservative=Private Sector Workers.

    Crude, but more accurate than the traditional rich/poor analysis.

  39. Labour=Public sector workers;
    Conservative=Private Sector Workers.

    Somebody made that point to me a few years ago and I’ve always thought it stood up to scrutiny.

    Except in my case, my family are all public sector and I’m no fan of the Labour party.

  40. Also, it depends on the definition. The government have redefined the university sector as private – but I don’t think you’d find many keen Tories in universities these days.

    Perhaps the profit-making/non-profit divide might be more accurate?

  41. RR – some of it is realignment, but it’s also that fewer private sector workers work in large enterprises these days, and small business is particularly strong in the south in particular. Because of Labour’s roots in the union movement, it’s always been comparatively weak in areas where small business dominates.

  42. The Culture Secretary said that she has been, “too busy” to visit the UK City of Culture during 2013.

  43. Who is going to care – the people of Londonderry / Derry don’t have a tory candidate to vote for.

    It seems to win the main qualification is being a total shithole, not to have any culture.

  44. Labour have selected their 2005 (sic) candidate again: Paul Harvey.

  45. I am surprised no-one has commented on this Minister’s travails on the expenses front… The Daily Mail was virtually writing the obituary on her career in a page 2 article today… the expenses concerned are pretty redolent of the bad old days and not inconsequential in size either (90,000 pounds)…apparently the watchdog is going to come out with a critical report….

    never mind the 45 minute commute to Waterloo..

  46. She should be sacked

  47. Women are unsackable in the Conservative party at present.

  48. Unless perhaps replaced by another woman.

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