Beaconsfield

2015 Result:
Conservative: 33621 (63.2%)
Labour: 6074 (11.4%)
Lib Dem: 3927 (7.4%)
Green: 2231 (4.2%)
UKIP: 7310 (13.8%)
MAJORITY: 26311 (49.5%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Buckinghamshire. The whole of the South Bucks council area and part of the Wycombe council area.

Main population centres: Beaconsfield, Gerrards Cross, Marlow, Denham, Flackwell Heath, Burnham, Stoke Poges.

Profile: An extremely properous part of the London commuter belt, located in South Buckinghamshire just outside Greater London, the M25 runs through the east of the seat. The constituency roughly corresponds to the area between the M40 and the River Thames. It is an area of affluence, picturesque villages, grammar schools and good transport links into London. Pinewood studios is based in the east of the constituency at Iver Heath, and is home to the largest soundstage in Europe. The studios have been used for many major film productions, including the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the Aliens films, Bond films, Pirates of the Carribean and the Hobbit. The constituency also includes Dorneywood, one of the grace-and-favour homes reserved for senior cabinet ministers lies within the seat near Burnham. John Prescott was famously photographed here playing croquet during the last government, but it is more normally used by (and, indeed, is currently used by) the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Politics: This is an extremely safe Conservative seat, the Tory share of the vote here was one of the five highest in 2015 and their majority almost hit fifty percent. At the local level all but one of the councillors on South Bucks council were Conservative in 2015. The seat covers much of the area of Stoke and Burnham Hundreds... better known as two of the three Chiltern Hundreds, the Stewardship of which Members of Parliament are appointed to in order to resign from Parliament.


Current MP
DOMINIC GRIEVE (Conservative) Born 1956, Lambeth, son of Percy Grieve, former MP for Solihull. Educated at Westminster School and Oxford University. Barrister. Hammersmith and Fulham councillor 1982-1986. Contested Norwood 1987. First elected as MP for Beaconsfield in 1997. Shadow Attorney General 2003-2009, Shadow Home Secretary 2008-2009, shadow justice secretary 2009-2010. Attorney General 2010-2014.
Past Results
2010
Con: 32053 (61%)
Lab: 6135 (12%)
LDem: 10271 (20%)
UKIP: 2597 (5%)
Oth: 1434 (3%)
MAJ: 21782 (41%)
2005*
Con: 24126 (55%)
Lab: 8422 (19%)
LDem: 8873 (20%)
UKIP: 2102 (5%)
MAJ: 15253 (35%)
2001
Con: 20233 (50%)
Lab: 9168 (23%)
LDem: 9117 (23%)
UKIP: 1626 (4%)
MAJ: 11065 (28%)
1997
Con: 24709 (49%)
Lab: 10063 (20%)
LDem: 10722 (21%)
Oth: 2510 (5%)
MAJ: 13987 (28%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
DOMINIC GRIEVE (Conservative) See above.
TONY CLEMENTS (Labour)
PETER CHAPMAN (Liberal Democrat)
TIM SCOTT (UKIP)
DAVE HAMPTON (Green)
Links
Comments - 196 Responses on “Beaconsfield”
  1. ”The middle aged and middle class of today, the boomers, most are homeowners (homeowners being slightly pre-disposed towards the Tories)”

    Homeowners are more than slightly more predisposed to voting Tory, homeownership is a very strong indicator of voting patterns particularly if people have no mortgage:

    Vote by housing type in 2015 as per YouGov:
    Owned Outright: Con + 24
    Mortgaged: Con + 13
    Privately Rented: Con + 2
    Social Housing: Lab + 25

    From a purely cynical political point of view it is in the Tories best interests to encourage the growth of home ownership as much as possible, something which they are currently failing to do and also to decrease the proportion of social housing something which they are. Falling home ownership is the biggest long term problem the Tories face which they urgently need to do something about.

    ”This all suggests that us millennials are not going to be in quite the same position when we turn 40 as our parents were when they hit 40. The less fortunate amongst us might not have even moved out by then!!! And yet most people presume there won’t be ANY impact on voting intention from all this? I think Maxim’s right in that it won’t prove to be an existential threat for the Tories, what they lose amongst younger voters they’ll probably make up for at least somewhat by making inroads amongst minority voters.

    It just seems so unbelievably short sighted for the Tories to shoot themselves in the foot like this”

    Yes the Tories will undoubtedly carry on improving with ethnic minority voters as said minority voters integrate into the mainstream and thus their voting behaviour becomes similar to what is typical for their age/profession/wealth/gender etc. But more importantly what the Tories are probably banking on is the retired section of the population growing (a section of society that is increasingly Tory) and people naturally drifting right as they age which is something that happens to all generations.

    Introducing compulsory voting could help Labour in the short term but I imagine ‘none of the above’ would have to be an option in this scenario which I imagine would be exceedingly popular amongst the non-political, disengaged youth who currently don’t vote. However yes it would force the Tories to take young people’s issues more seriously.

  2. MPR: I did consider that compulsory voting might be a fillip for UKIP, but then I remembered quite how many working-class leavers turned out for the EU referendum. I’m not sure differential turnout is currently adversely affecting UKIP all that much – UKIP voters are angry, and anger is a powerful motivator.

  3. ‘Perversely I imagine my generation will one day look back in fondness at tuition fees when the next generation is facing fees of £18k plus a year!!’

    My generation is even more grateful given I graduated in 96 when tuition fees had been discussed and dismissed as too Right-Wing a policy by the underrated Major government

    Have to say at the time the idea never even crossed my mind, although it was after that when the damage had been done by Blair’s ludicrous idea of wanting 50% of those leaving school to attend university – rather than reserving it for the academic elite as it was intended

  4. “I don’t see the country swinging against the Tories overall because of 3 factors:
    1) Ageing population
    2) Labour losing ground among WWC voters
    3) BME voters more open to voting Conservative”

    I agree 3) to a point, it depends on which type of BME voters, in South London BME areas such as Mitcham and Morden, Lewisham East and Croydon North I say no because those places will remain Labour if a cheese sandwich stood as a candidate.

    However in places Harrow West , Brent North, Ealing North (to a degree), Ealing Central, Brentford and Isleworth and even Feltham and Heston (nowhere near enough to win) you could see a swing to the Tories in those seats in the next election picking up the aspirational socially conservative Middlesex metroland Asian vote.

  5. ‘you could see a swing to the Tories in those seats in the next election picking up the aspirational socially conservative Middlesex metroland Asian vote.’

    That remains to be seen

    It’s worth remembering that places like Brent North and Harrow West were reliably Conservative for most of the post war period, despite having a significant BME population for the last 40-50 years, which suggests it is, or rather was pre-2015, going the other way

    The election of Corbyn certainly does give the Tories a better opportunity at targeting these voters but one leaked racist joke, post or tweet is all it’s taken in the past to knock this strategy off course

  6. ‘One of the main problems for the Tories in those seats is they have a propensity to put up white, male, middle-aged candidates whereas Labour’s choices tend to reflect the diversity of said constituencies.
    I don’t see it as a decisive factor obviously but I do think it’s symptomatic of a Tory failure to “understand” these communities.’

    Absolutely, although to be fair the Tories have made a lot progress with regards to reforming the way their candidates are selected although there is definitely still a massive preference for rich, upper middle class, middle-aged white males in pinstriped suits who are either bankers or lawyers.

    This reflects the preferences and prejudices of the type of people who dominate local Conservative Associations but I agree that both Labour and the Lib Dems, even UKIP and the Nationalists, seem far less reluctant to select ordinary everyday people, many of whom are local champions, and I think the Tories definitely lose out because of this

  7. @Tim the current Harrow West is more similar to the old Harrow Central (which true was also a Tory seat prior to its abolition in 1983) than the Harrow West that existed at any time in the post war period. Indeed if the current Harrow West was on any of the boundaries it had pre 2010 it would be comfortably Conservative.

  8. ‘There was an article about how the Tories put up 3 straight, white, middle-aged men as candidates in Brighton & Hove in 2015.’

    Despite its well-founded reputation as being the UK capital for homosexuals, it’s worth remembering that the clear majority of people living in Brighton & Hove are still straight – 87% of over 16 year olds them according to the latest survey – although that same survey found that over 70% of people who worked for B&H council weren’t – an astonishing figure by any measure

    The Tories BME candidates are a real mixed bag ranging from the good like Sam Gyimah and Alan Mak to the mediocre like Priti Patel and Nus Ghani to the utterly atrocious like Adam Afryie, who thinks he should be leader of the Tories despite achieving virtually nothing during his 10 years in Parliament

  9. It is also worth saying that, though he isn’t gay, Simon Kirby in Brighton Kemptown is a very colourful character and a long way from the archetypal heterosexual middle aged Tory.

  10. “that same survey found that over 70% of people who worked for B&H council weren’t – an astonishing figure by any measure”

    If that figure is true I’m astounded it hasn’t been given national media attention. I would have thought it virtually impossible without some kind of deliberate positive discrimination. Perhaps the survey was of dubious quality and/or the “non-straight” percentage included a significant chunk who refused to say (I would certainly refuse to answer such a question despite being happily married with kids – none of their business and feeds the identity politics agenda).

  11. ‘If that figure is true I’m astounded it hasn’t been given national media attention. I would have thought it virtually impossible without some kind of deliberate positive discrimination. Perhaps the survey was of dubious quality and/or the “non-straight” percentage included a significant chunk who refused to say ‘

    It was in a survey done for The Argus – the astoundingly atrocious local newspaper for Brighton & Hove – and was actually a couple of years back

    However in 1998 – okay almost 20 years ago – I was doing some temping there for a couple of weeks and the only other straight guy in the department was another temp from the same agency, although there were plenty of straight women.

    As you say though, having said I’d imagine to get a figure quite that high you would have to include the presumably many who refused to answer

  12. ‘The Tories did try a homosexual candidate in Hove in 2005 and he didn’t go down so well’

    They tried it in Pavilion for years earlier – with journeyman David Gold whose contested quite a few marginal seats but has never won

    And in 2010 they picked some young gay Doctor fellow but he pulled out before polling day for one reason or another and the batton was passed to the mundane Charlotte Vere

    My point is that having a gay candidate is unlikely to make a jot of difference – certainly not in a positive way

    The Lib Dems selected an ex Playboy model for KempTown in 2005

  13. While I certainly think its important that an MP should reflect their constituency and that we need more openly gay MP’s I don’t believe you can target gay MP’s for certain seats in the same way you can ethnic minorities and such.

    As HH says even in the seats with the highest proportion of gay people they struggle to get over 10%. Gay people are found in every corner of the country and I think regardless of the area if there is a local, high quality candidate (who happens to be gay) it doesn’t matter if its Brighton or some ultra conservative shire seat they should be considered. If you start targeting gay MP’s for supposedly “gay friendly” seats it just becomes silly. Should Calder Valley always have a lesbian MP cos of that rumour regarding Hebden Bridge? These days I highly doubt an MP’s sexuality makes a huge difference.

  14. Maxim
    Agree re the Tories needing to be more pro active re BME candidates in certain seats, that’s one area where Lab selections have been very sensible.

    Where Lab need to improve is on the character and class of their MP’s, they really need to stop parachuting upper middle class metropolitan types into gritty WWC seats. Tristram Hunt in Stoke Central is the worst example of this…

    Also both parties need to improve re selecting truly local candidates, still far too much in the way of parachuting in my opinion.

  15. I’m kind of neutral on open primaries, I like the democracy of them but I’d always wondered what’s stopping voters from other parties picking the candidate that most resembles their own parties views (resulting in lots of totally wishy washy moderates on both sides) or picking the worst candidate in the hope they get selected and then lose in the real election.

  16. Britain has experimented with open primaries – notably Sarah Wollaston was elected through one in 2010. She also happens to be that rare MP that commands respect from most of the political spectrm (I recently heard her referred to as “the Guardian’s favourite Tory”). Successful experiment, no?

    I’m all for open primaries personally – in safe seats (the majority) candidates are chosen by a highly unrepresentative party membership (or worse still by a party central office). Why not open up democracy?

  17. Dominic Grieve’s amendment (giving MPs a “meaningful” vote on the EU deal) squeaks through by four votes. Can’t remember when the last commons defeat for the government was (excluding opposition day motions, of course). Might have been Sunday trading laws, well before Theresa May became PM.

  18. The last I can recall was the one on purdah?

    An absolute shambles that was.

  19. Syria bombing or Bedroom Tax?

  20. Either way, government defeats don’t happen very often, even in parliaments with arithmetic as precarious as this one.

    In fact, perhaps governments this weak actually put a leash on rebels. When Tony Blair was Prime Minister, Labour’s position was so dominant that MPs could pretty much do what they liked without fear of undermining a government that could take the odd defeat in its stride. People were free to rebel over Iraq because they could be pretty damn confident that, even if the government were defeated, it would not result in Iain Duncan Smith sweeping to power.

  21. For those interested, 12 Tory rebels: Heidi Allen, Ken Clarke, Jonathan Djanogly, Dominic Grieve, Stephen Hammond, Sir Oliver Heald, Nicky Morgan, Robert Neill, Antoinette Sandbach, Anna Soubry, John Stevenson & Sarah Wollaston. 2 Labour rebels: Frank Field & Kate Hoey.

  22. Stephen Hammond has been sacked as vice chairman

  23. To be honest I’d have voted against the government here.

    Parliamentary sovereignty was a key plank of the arguments of many leave voters, and therefore it must be applied 100% of the time, otherwise the rampant Brexiteers risk being lumped in with snowflakes and free speech deniers on the extreme left.

    Of course this is being interpreted as a vote to block Brexit… whencinstead it is parliament holding the govt to account.

    In reality this is more about procedure than any victory for ‘remoaners’ or the establishment.

  24. On a different note I think this will bring the day of reckoning for Jeremy Corbyn, on Europe, much closer.

    Until now he’s been in a comfy position of sitting back and slagging off the Tories from the sidelines… now he is going to come under pressure from lots of people to consider a second referendum, as part of his policy framework.

    Swearing allegiance to the EU is anathema to him…

  25. Luke, you are the only Brexiter online tonight who hasn’t gone completely crazy over this. I commend you for being a reasonable person among a swarm of nutters.

    Quite apart from being, well, a bit mad (see, eg, the ever-moderate, senior leaver’s reactions are politically suicidal. What’s to gain from shouting “we are losing” when, on balance, you are still winning the argument? This is even odder when those same Brexiters largely got behind the much bigger concessions the government made only last Friday, to move on to trade talks.

  26. Nadine Dorris’s take is particularly level-headed:

    https://twitter.com/NadineDorries/status/941036751266762752

  27. It’s depressing.

    Once Daniel Hannan comes on and starts calling people traitors perhaps I’ll start losing it…

    I wonder if the reaction would be different if it wasn’t the usual faces like Soubry and Morgan lining up against the government…

    If Mogg rebelled, or someone like John Redwood?

    I must admit I’ve taken a liking to Soubry. Morgan just rubs me up the wrong way on every level, always has done.

  28. Lukes thoughts outline perfectly why Labour Brexitiers who usually vote with the Gov like Ronnie Cambell voted for the amendment

  29. I’m open to all options really, as long as we leave the customs union.

    If someone makes a good case for the single market I’ll listen. Freedom of movement… if we had a thriving economy few people other than perpetual, self proclaimed victims would care much. The main argument against is infrastructure planning.

    The financial and democratic price of the EU are my main issues…

  30. I think we come from a similar place. I voted remain but was concerned about democracy, etc. and under other circum might havr voted leave.

  31. In fairness, while their hysteria can’t hold a candle to the most rabid of Brexiters, certain high-profile arch-Europhiles are also overreacting to this news. Andrew Adonis says this is “the first step towards defeating Brexit”. That just validates the “deep-state establishment protecting itself from the people” narrative of Farage & co. It’s like throwing raw steak to hungry lions.

  32. I think a second referendum is very unlikely….the key time will be in about 9 months and whether it looks like a deal is likely

  33. Dominic Grieve has confidence vote at Beaconsfield Conservative Association by 182 to 131 votes. Means he will likely be deselected before the next election.

  34. ~lost

  35. That’s outrageous especially considering the person organising the de selection bid was Jon Conway who stood as the UKIP candidate against Grieve in 2017 – and got 2.9 % of the vote

    It shows you what a nasty bunch of chavs the Tory members have become since the 2016 referendum

    Theresa May’s moribund leadership seems to have breathed and after later of nastiness to a party that lets be honest was never particularly nice in the first place

  36. Your regular reminder that Christopher Chope’s local party are entirely okay with him.

  37. Sad. He’s a very intelligent and brave man.
    Presumably the association in neighbouring Wycombe are happy with their MP….although Wycombe did vote remain.

  38. Democracy is “outrageous.”

    I suspected Tim J thought that but it’s the first time he has admitted this is what he believes so plainly.

    Looking back it shows how unrepresentative those who held high office were – and they did in Cabinet for much of each of the Cons Govts from Ken Clarke, Hezza & this son of an MP.

    People used to attack Tory MPs for being chinless wonders, but I always find the real hatred is aimed at rightwingers from ordinary backgrounds. At least Change UK can unite around that narrative.

    Change Democracy – the People are Chavs could be their description if they want to gain Tim’s vote.

  39. There may have been a vote locally but Grieve will not be deselected. CCHQ will suspend or overrule the Beaconsfield Conservative Association.

  40. I guess Lancs’ idea of ‘representative of the people’ is JRM or Boris Johnson.

    And it’s certainly true that poor Tories- like Runnymede and yourself- are definitely the nastiest of the lot. Something about trying to claw your way up despite a total lack of talent I suppose.

  41. That’s true – you do tend to find that it’s the poorer Tory supporters – those who have gained absolutely nothing from the right wing policies they advocate – who are the most extreme and nasty minded of the lot. The obviously see joining the Conservative Party as an effective way of channelling their bigotry. It happened to the Republicans in the US who have become so extreme all reasonably minded people now vote Democrat just because they are not the Republicans. The problem is that reasonably minded people aren’t necessarily the dominant bulk of the electorate you might expect…

  42. …as the likes of runnymead and lancs observer are testament to

  43. Runnymede always gave the impression that he was well off and well educated. I got the feeling he was a Farage golf club bore type, not a “poor Tory” as you put it.

    If you want to see “poor Tories” in all their splendour I recommend taking the train to Clacton, as I did last week. The very whiffy old couple who got on at Chelmsford and sat next to me were particularly memorable…Alf Garnett with BO, and unlike the real Alf his wife agreed with him.

  44. Is there that much of a difference in political opinions between working-class and middle-class Tories? Because as the class gap in voting intention disappears, this is inevitably going to affect the sort of platform that the Conservatives can win on.

    Of course, Labour has this problem too, and they have a clever strategy – convince middle-class people that they are actually working-class (which they largely are in the Marxist sense of not owning the means of production). The Tories don’t have that option, though.

  45. “Of course, Labour has this problem too, and they have a clever strategy – convince middle-class people that they are actually working-class (which they largely are in the Marxist sense of not owning the means of production)”

    And to claim that these voters won’t have to pay more tax to fund the promised spending splurge, despite the fact that many of this group earn more than £50k per year.

    I actually welcome McDonnell’s proposals to replace the tax-free allowance with a fixed payment to all (despite being opposed to the idea) as it is at least far more honest than claiming that 80% of taxpayers won’t have to pay more.

  46. I think the problem with the tax allowance is that it’s cost about 17 billion and given everyone about £600 back in their pocket but to pay for it we’ve seen a dramatic reduction in money for local services. I really like an extra £600 but I also miss my local library and £600 isn’t going to help me get a new one

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