2015 Result:
Conservative: 15122 (30.7%)
Labour: 23965 (48.6%)
Lib Dem: 1331 (2.7%)
Green: 1006 (2%)
UKIP: 7865 (16%)
MAJORITY: 8843 (17.9%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

Geography: East Midlands, Nottinghamshire. Part of the Bassetlaw council area.

Main population centres: Retford, Worksop, Harworth, Misterton, Carlton in Lindrick, Langold, Beckingham, Walkeringham.

Profile: The northern part of Nottinghamshire, the seat consists of the towns of Worksop and Retford and several small villages. Retford is a traditional market town, Worksop and the surrounding villages a former coal mining area that has suffered economic difficulties since the decline of the industry, including problems with heroin addiction. Major employers include Wilkinsons and Premier Foods, which produce Oxo in Worksop..

Politics: There is significant Conservative strength on Bassetlaw council (they had overall control of the council until 2011), but the Bassetlaw constituency is safely Labour, held by the party since before the Second World War.

Current MP
JOHN MANN (Labour) Born 1960, Leeds. Educated at Bradford Grammar School and Manchester University. Former trade union officer. Lambeth councillor 1986-1990. First elected as MP for Bassetlaw in 2001. PPS to Richard Caborn 2005-2007, PPS to Tessa Jowell 2007-2010.
Past Results
Con: 16803 (34%)
Lab: 25018 (50%)
LDem: 5570 (11%)
UKIP: 1779 (4%)
Oth: 407 (1%)
MAJ: 8215 (17%)
Con: 12010 (30%)
Lab: 22847 (57%)
LDem: 5485 (14%)
MAJ: 10837 (27%)
Con: 11758 (30%)
Lab: 21506 (55%)
LDem: 4942 (13%)
Oth: 689 (2%)
MAJ: 9748 (25%)
Con: 11838 (25%)
Lab: 29298 (61%)
LDem: 4950 (10%)
MAJ: 17460 (36%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
SARAH DOWNES (Conservative)
JOHN MANN (Labour) See above.
LEON DUVEEN (Liberal Democrat)
Comments - 209 Responses on “Bassetlaw”
  1. I don’t know, the posh ones tend to have better manners but that doesn’t make them nicer people.

  2. It gives me no pleasure in saying it but most Private schools teach a whole set of skills that leave you far better prepared not just to get by in life but to succeed and even people who aren’t particularly nice – take Boris Johnson, or to a lesser extent, David Cameron – know how to look the part and come across well.

    You used to get that to an extent in some the grammar schools but they have ceased to be engines of social mobility and are now little more than a cartel for rich people too mean to send their kids to private schools.

  3. Relatedly, back in December, when many commentators were observing how much more working-class the new cohort of Conservative MPs was, I made the point that that didn’t necessarily mean they would be any less right-wing. (Which for me was a strange oversight from much of the commentators considering how the breakdown of the connection between class and left-right politics had also been a recurring them of theirs for the past several years.)

  4. You did Poll. I naively assumed that as so many of them were gay, they would necessarily be more socially liberal than many of their counterparts. That was a lazy assumption as most of them are waaay to the Right of their better educated colleagues.

    Working class Conservatism does by its very nature have a nasty edge to it – and I wonder how many more of the middle class will dessert the party in fright

    Actually to be fair this is perhaps the only occasion where the Tory Party’s innate snobbery does its country a service

  5. I mean, the 2019ers are more socially liberal than the likes of Christopher Chope, for sure. If I had to place them, they are Whigs with a penchant for culture warring, but more than any particular ideology what unites them is their ambition, their desire to climb the greasy pole. This explains why they have been so reluctant to step out of line.

  6. I think you could make a case for saying every Tory MP is more socially liberal that Chope – except for the real headbangers like Baker, Bridgen and Davies – but that’s a inapt measure

    They strike me as passionate Brexiteer English nationalists who are quite significantly to the Left of their colleagues economically as a rule, although it doesn’t apply to all of the – like this MP whose making a pitch for the lunatic racist Right

  7. “These comprehensively educated Tory MPs do seem to have a much ‘nastier’ edge to them compared to their privately educated counterparts – a point that shouldn’t be lost on all those lefties who complain about a ruling class” (Tim Jones)

    It may be that those Tories from an ‘unusual’ background have something like the zeal of a convert, and feel an extra need to prove themselves. A number of the BAME Tories are especially right-wing – a point that shouldn’t be lost on lefties complaining about white privilege. Perhaps Tories from untypical backgrounds also like to rub the left’s nose in it.

  8. Tories from those humble backgrounds do seem particularly keen to extol their right wing leanings – hence Clarke-Smith’s double edged attack

    For a party whose members mostly earn six figures salaries those from council estates like Clarke Smith are viewed with extreme suspicion. Attacking out of work single parents and black footballer Marcus Rashford seems a good way of getting them onside

    That’s how I imagine Clarke Smith saw it at least

  9. I can’t remember the name for this statistical phenomenon, but this sounds like a variation on the “ugly girls have nicer personalities” bias, which comes from sampling (if the woman you are dating is physically attractive, you’re more likely to tolerate her being personally unpleasant in a way you otherwise wouldn’t, so the plainer women in your sample are on balance nicer because you don’t accept ugly and obnoxious women).

    Similarly, if you’re working-class, you otherwise have to be *really* right-wing to still join the Tories.

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