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 - 197 Responses on “Beaconsfield”
  1. Thatcherite seats

    Broxbourne
    Epping Forest
    Romford
    Hornchurch and Upminster
    Bexleyheath and Crayford
    Old Bexley and Sidcup
    Bromley and Chislehurst?
    Epsom and Ewell?

  2. Bromley was certainly Thatcherite in the 1990s but today its Toryism is more upmarket, ethnically diverse and liberal….ie in the 90s it was closer to Romford but today it is closer in outlook to Putney or Wimbledon.

    This raises a further complication – in terms of the most Thatcherite seat, are we using the demographics of the 80s/90s or today?

  3. I don’t think Castle Point is a contender, for the same reasons as Clacton. I very much doubt Canvey Island is a hotbed of neo-liberalism.

  4. ‘Many who became arch-Thatcherites such as Bernard Ingham and Woodrow Wyatt were previously Labour, and there were many voters from working class backgrounds like that as well.’

    The best example is The Sun newspaper – a staunchly working class and Labour-supporting newspaper that converted to Thatcherism hook, line and sinker in the early 1980s, up until the inevitability of a Labour landslide in 1997, when they gave their backing to ‘Boy Blair’, after he had ditched most of Labour’s socialist policies

  5. “Neo-liberalism” is a difficult term to pin down, which is why people here are at cross purposes. South Essex – nationalistic and socially conservative – is not in the least neo-liberal as I understand the term, not any of it.

    It’s here you find people favouring nationalization of the railways, stauch supporters of the NHS, hostility to competition. “Neo-liberals” are to be found in places like Battersea, and indeed, where this thread started, in Beaconsfield. However this is a minority trend, as pointed out, amongst prosperous conservatives generally.

    Most people haven’t a clue about economics actually, and can’t cope with the extended time spans over which it operates. To be a “neo-liberal” requires some economic understanding, but of course the converse is not true. The proportion of “neo-liberals” in the population is therefore really quite small.

  6. “Neo-liberalism” is a difficult term to pin down”

    I think some people are equating Thatcherism to neo-liberalism – which of course in truth is only part of the philosophy of Thatcherism

    Another part is the social Conservatism, unashamed patriotism and the belief in a strong (but not big) state – which certainly resonated with the types of WWC voters in South Essex and beyond

  7. Most anti-Corbyn seats

    Carshalton and Wallington
    Eastbourne
    Eastleigh

    As a county – Kent

  8. Thanks, Tory.

    I suspect Dave also was well aware of his failure to carry enough of the voters who put him in office with a majority in 2015. He was, as was shown in the result, too reliant on SNP, Labour, Green and Lib Dem votes to win the referendum. I had thought that the tory vote would split 50-50 in the referendum. Ashcroft’s post poll investigation showed that tory voters split 58-42 in favour of leave; hence the large votes for leave all across suffolk, essex, lincolnshire, midlands etc…. and England generally. Brexit was more of a tory revolt against the status quo than people give credit for.

    The fact that these were many of the very people, who gave the tories a majority in 2015 begs a lot of questions. Were they always eurosceptic? had they grown disillusioned with Dave in the last year? Did they just vote Tory because they hated labour. the question of tory brexiters is the interesting exam question to answer, since it was a tory Prime Minister that they were effectively bringing down, many labourites voted brexit simply to stick it to dave, so the tory brexit vote is and interesting case to investigate.

  9. I think its hard to describe any county that contains a safe Lab seat as being the most anti Corbyn. Now how you define a safe Lab seat is also up for debate but I think we can all agree Luton North would be described as such and thus that probably rules out Hertfordshire.

  10. ‘Luton North would be described as such and thus that probably rules out Hertfordshire.’

    Luton is in Bedfordshire Rivers

  11. As for the most Corbyn friendly seats I wouldn’t say their all in London, any inner city, studenty, ethnically diverse, seat with a big public sector workforce would fit the bill. That would include seats like…

    Manchester Central
    Liverpool Riverside
    Leeds Central
    Newcastle Central
    Nottingham East
    Sheffield Central
    Bristol West

  12. Most anti-Corbyn seats?
    Cornwall
    Dorset
    Hampshire
    Kent
    Essex
    Lincolnshire
    Hertfordshire
    Buckinghamshire
    Basically Tory fortresses along with UKIP-friendly coastal areas

    West Sussex and Berkshire surely deserve a mention as does Northamptonshire

  13. Tim
    “Luton is in Bedfordshire Rivers”

    Is it???
    Oops my bad I take it all back XD

  14. I think it would be Surrey actually as it is the county in which Labour is naturally weakest. It will be predisposed to dislike any Labour leader and naturally the more left wing you get the more it would hate them.

  15. Maxim
    The problem with some of those seats is that they are too middle class in parts or as a whole. This normally translates into a better Tory vote for one thing but mainly this means some of those seats (like Cambridge, Hornsey or Norwich South) are more “social democratic” rather than “socialist” basically not as economically radical as some of the other seats available.

  16. But it rather depends whether you are taking about being more anti-Labour than is typical with Corbyn at the helm or generally the most anti-Corbyn Labour:

    Most anti-Corbyn Labour: Surrey
    Worst underperformance in popularity compared to generic Labour leader: Essex or Kent

  17. “As a county – Kent”.

    Corbyn definitely doesn’t go down well here in Kent. Labour lost one of their seats on the county council in Gravesham E a couple of weeks ago. If in the all out elections next year they lose the other Gravesham E seat and every other seat they hold by a smaller majority they’ll have only three councillors left.

  18. As for the most Corbyn constituency I would say Hackney South and Shoreditch deserves a mention (North would be a contender though it probably contains too many hisidic Jews to come top) as you’ve got the deprived inner city bits coupled with the hipsters who are much more radical than the ‘social democrats’ of Islington South and Finsbury.

  19. ‘Though it doesn’t have a Labour MP I imagine Brighton, Pavilion is pretty Corbyn-friendly’

    It is and fits the Corbyn demographic very neatly indeed

  20. Sheffield Central includes Walkley and the Manor, which while Labour voting are definitely not Corbyn friendly.

  21. Strongest Conservative areas aren’t neccasarily most anti-Corbyn for example especially in London. Most of Wimbledon and Wandsworth is staunch Tory however amongst those wealthy bankers type are also private renters some of people that work in the public sector (teachers, nurses etc) who are more likely vote for Corbyn than the WWC demographic (and once Labour stronghold) of Northern Carshalton for example.

  22. This must be quite similar to the discussion we had on this site a while ago about what seats have highest/lowest number of Sun readers. With exceptions I would have thought having lots of Sun readers would correlate pretty strongly with being anti-Corbyn.

    In terms of the depth by which Corbyn underperforms compared to what an “average” Labour leader would manage, I’m thinking the parochial, WWC areas that voted to leave the EU – Stoke, Wigan etc. Though I guess the “average” Labour leader probably wouldn’t connect in those areas either.

  23. I think there are probably a fair number of seats with high Guardian readership and low Sun readership that are nevertheless not Corbyn-favourable. A lot of the South West, for example.

  24. Maxim
    I think its hard to define seats like Thurrock as “we hate Labour” its one of Labs primary target seats, yes you can argue the majority is misleading or whatever but still compared to the seats where Lab barely hold their deposit? Indeed all of those seats Lab have held fairly recently or came within touching distance of winning.

    What you have essentially listed there is the most WWC Tory held seats and while it can be argued that demographic is drifting away from Lab or is averse to Corbyn categorising it as “we hate Labour” is a tad dramatic. Its certainly a vastly more Labour friendly demographic than say upper middle class retirees (Christchurch thus springs to mind)

  25. “MAXIM PARR-REID
    The WE HATE LABOUR AND CORBYN dozen
    Clacton
    Boston and Skegness
    South Thanet
    North Thanet
    Sittingbourne and Sheppey
    Thurrock
    South Basildon and East Thurrock
    Castle Point
    Rochester and Strood
    Hornchurch and Upminster
    Romford
    Basildon and Billericay”

    These are very much “England for the English” working class seats

  26. Well Rivers10 is right those won’t be the kind of seats which hate Corbyn’s Labour the most. The title for that would go to the usual suspects i.e monolithically Tory seats like North East Hampshire, Windsor, Beaconsfield, Maidenhead and the like. But these seats would typically hate any Labour leader regardless, but seats like Basildon South and South Thanet are not necessarily going to hate any Labour leader by default. However Corbyn literally the worst possible fit for the kind of seats that Surrey Politics lists so these kind of seats will be far more anti-Labour than is typical with Corbyn at the helm. Whereas in a seat like North East Hampshire Corbyn would only underperform a generic Labour leader a bit seen as Labour is already hated in that kind of seat so there is only so much further Corbyn could plunge them.

    People need to distinguish between ‘most anti-Corbyn’ and ‘worst underperformance compared to a generic Labour leader’.

    So
    Most anti-Corbyn’s Labour: Wealthy monolithically Tory seats in the home counties.
    Worst underperformance by Corbyn compared to a generic Labour leader: the ‘white van man’ constituencies.

  27. ‘So
    Most anti-Corbyn’s Labour: Wealthy monolithically Tory seats in the home counties.
    Worst underperformance by Corbyn compared to a generic Labour leader: the ‘white van man’ constituencies.’

    I think that analysis was right

    One thing I would be interested to know is that prior to 97 where did all the public sector, university-educated, liberal middle class votes go

    I recognise such people are a lot more numerous today than they were back then but all the evidence suggests such groups spilit their loyalties fairly evenly between Labour, the Tories and the Liberal alliance/SDP

  28. What is this “analysis” based on? The 2016 local election results in Rotherham, Sheffield and Barnsley, including those areas in the seats listed by Maxim, were in line with the 2012 results. Not great, but absolutely zero evidence that Corbyn is going down worse than Miliband in these areas.

  29. Tim
    “all the evidence suggests such groups spilit their loyalties fairly evenly between Labour, the Tories and the Liberal alliance/SDP”

    Indeed that was the case, as recently as the 80’s there was a clear pattern that the more educated you were the more inclined you were to vote Tory, that pattern has all but disappeared, in fact while its too early to tell there is some evidence to suggest the trend is continuing and soon things will be totally reversed i.e the more educated you are the more likely you are to vote Lab, we’ll have to wait and see on that one but voting patterns can shift massively, the most glaring example being the male/female breakdown, traditionally women broke primarily for the Tories, today they break primarily for Lab.

  30. Speaking of anti-Labour in general, what is the longest a parliamentary seat has gone without a Labour councillor within it’s boundaries? Sutton and Cheam last elected 2 (very narrowly) in Sutton East in 1974 but are there any constituencies I imagine there maybe some rural ones somewhere, that better/worse (depending on your political allegiance) than that excluding Northern Ireland of course.

  31. “soon things will be totally reversed i.e the more educated you are the more likely you are to vote Lab”

    I suspect that’s rubbish, but even if it’s true it says nothing more than much fewer people went to university amongst older age groups.

    “traditionally women broke primarily for the Tories, today they break primarily for Lab.”

    You are stuck in the Blair era. The Tories won the female vote in both 2010 and 2015.

  32. HH
    “I suspect that’s rubbish, but even if it’s true it says nothing more than much fewer people went to university amongst older age groups”

    I did say its too early to tell definitively.

    “You are stuck in the Blair era. The Tories won the female vote in both 2010 and 2015”

    I meant traditionally Lab did better amongst men than women and the Tories did better amongst women than men, now its reversed though with Lab doing better amongst women than men and the Tories doing better amongst men than women, not commenting whatsoever on who did best overall since for two demographics that make up roughly 50% of the population each obviously the largest party nationally would carry them.

  33. The survey of the voting intention of final year students at the time of the last GE that I’ve posted on here before had overall figures of Lab 31, Con 31, Lib Dem 6, Green 25, UKIP 1.

    Among the general population aged 18-24 IPSOS-MORI’s figures for the 2015 election are Lab 43, Con 27, Lib Dem 5, Green 8, UKIP 8.

    No indications there that graduates are likely in future to be more Labour inclined than the general population. The Greens though look set to do well among graduates in the coming years, but then they probably already do better among graduates than non graduates.

  34. “I meant traditionally Lab did better amongst men than women and the Tories did better amongst women than men, now its reversed though with Lab doing better amongst women than men and the Tories doing better amongst men than women”

    Is that still the case since Corbyn has been leader?

  35. Kieran
    The claim that graduates are drifting Labs way (which I’m only semi defending since as I said its too early to tell) is based on the array of data which shows comparative to earlier years Lab over performing amongst that demographic (comparative to the national results)

  36. HH
    “Is that still the case since Corbyn has been leader?”

    Not sure I don’t know of any reliable data (all we have is cross breaks amongst polls which are dodgy)

    I imagine so though since the underlying factors that led to the shift are still very much present. Traditionally Lab drew its support from the unionised industrial working class (miners and the like) and they were primarily men thus leading to Lab over performing amongst men. With those industries gone though Lab has lost that advantage only for it to be replaced with women who are disproportionately employed in the public sector (a demographic we know leans Lab)

  37. @rivers10
    The case of Labour doing better with more educated voters is simply a function of the Tories doing better with older voters of whom the vast majority left school at 16 or 18.

    As generational churn happens the Tories will start doing better with ‘educated’ voters as the population as a whole becomes more educated and the current young generation drifting right as they age. Thus Labour educated, Tories not is really rubbish. For example Labour will always do well with deprived, very uneducated, inner city voters while the Tories will always do well in the highly, educated well to do countryside which will have higher and higher proportion of people with degrees as times wears on.

  38. Unless the Tories go down the US Rupublican-esque culture war road (which they won’t) they will continue to do decently with educated voters. Especially seen as many of their core demographic industries (except of course retired people or business start up) require degrees while many of Labour’s core demographics (benefit claimants, low paid public sector workers) do not.

  39. Level of education will probably down the line have no correlation with how left or right wing somebody is. On the other hand things like your parents political views, your chosen industry/profession/lifestyle, how wealthy you, age, public/private sector etc. are and will continue to be very strong indicators of someone’s political views.

  40. I agree with that last post – although it has been argued that people’s level of education was the decisive factor in the EU vote

    I don’t know if I would describe benefit claimants as Labour’s core vote, particularly so if you bring pensioners into it as collectively they take more money of the state than any other group

    I would imagine a good proportion of non-pensioners on state benefits don’t actually vote and the WWC shifting away from Labour ever more, I think their core vote as it currently stands is probably BME voters, public sector workers – both rich and poor, and the low paid from urban areas

  41. But EU membership isn’t a strictly Left/Right issue

    Another example is capital punishment and interestingly a friend mine said he saw some private polling on the death penalty and with regards to England and Wales the map was almost exact replica of the brexit vote

  42. 25% of students voted Green in 2015? I must know the wrong kind of students…

  43. @TimJones but the once that do vote would be near unanimously Labour though. Plus saying BME voters are a core Labour demographic is being very over simplistic as BME is a term that encompasses so many vastly different people that it can’t/shouldn’t really be used (I had a rant about this yesterday). Yes all evidence shows that Black and Muslim voters are solidly Labour though the pollsters probably underestimate the support for the Tories because when they poll these specific ethnic/religious groups they go to areas where they are highly concentrated and such areas tend to be very poor, they never really poll these kind of voters in wealthy majority white areas where they would be massively more inclined to vote Tory than their counterparts in poor urban constituencies. Also I believe it has been shown that ethnically Chinese voters (albeit a rather small section of the whole) are an extremely pro Tory voting block and Hindu voters apparently split 49%-41% in the Tories favour and Jewish voters are not know nowadays for their love of Labour. So its really far more complicated than non-white, non-Christian/no religion = Labour.

  44. I disagree with Pepperminttea here. Education is an extremely important variable, and it would seem increasingly so. Whilst I accept that level of education doesn’t necessarily define people’s views on many strictly left-right issues it is an extremely strong predictor of views on many of the major issues in politics at the moment – most notably Brexit/the EU and immigration, which ranked one and two in the last Ipsos MORI issues index. And consequently a very big factor in likelihood to vote for UKIP. Labour, meanwhile, has tended to leak their less educated voted more than those in sympathy with their socially liberal views on immigration etc.

  45. On students if you assume (not unreasonably) that most of the Greens would choose Labour over the Tories in a two-horse race that’s a big lead for the left. Correlates with my experience as somebody who has spent the last few years at universities in various capacities.

  46. I’ve got a lot of stick for suggesting this in the past and truth be told its not based on anything other than anecdotal evidence (which even I admit should basically be dismissed outright) and a bit of common sense but the present lead for “the left” (Lab/Greens) amongst young people should be alarming for the Tories.

    I know that people drift rightwards as they get older and this lead has always been there to some extant but there is one unmistakable fact and that is the lead is growing. Since 1945 the Tory (or rather the collective right wing) vote share amongst young people has been drifting downwards while for the collective left its been rising. What’s more this trend appears to be accelerating somewhat with the Tories actually losing ground amongst the 18-24 and 25-34 year old categories in 2015, the only two age groups where their vote share fell and the first time the Tories have lost support amongst an age demographic in an election where their overall vote went up.

    Taken with the big increased support for “the left” amongst this group (primarily due to the collapse of the Lib Dems) the gap is bigger than its ever been.

    So just to keep things steady the Tories would somehow have to accelerate the “rightwards drift” that takes place as people get older to make up the current shortfall but does anybody seriously see that happening? One thing most people seem to be in agreement on is that young people have bore the brunt of the current governments polices which have bordered on vindictive at times. Everything from being the first generation to be poorer than their parents, to student debt to “generation rent” young people are going to have some serious scars that will probably be with them well into their 50’s or 60’s. Its almost as if the Tories have given up on young people which in the short term makes complete sense since most of them don’t vote but down the line…

  47. Rivers: but you make the mistake of assuming young people are ideologically Labour voters, whereas many of them are just acting in rational self-interest (even if you weren’t particularly against them from a moral standpoint, why would you want to pay tuition fees?) And then these people get older, get jobs, have to pay taxes and… you know the rest. They end up voting Tory to protect the nest-egg for their children, who initially vote Labour, but then grow up…

    It depends on what happens to millennials. I somehow doubt they will continue to get crapped on for the rest of their lives. Also the really Tory-hating ones seem intent on leaving the country anyway, so they won’t be voting in the future 😉

  48. I certainly hope they don’t get crapped on for the rest of their lives because I’m one of them. Rational self-interest and all that…

  49. Polltroll
    “but you make the mistake of assuming young people are ideologically Labour voters”

    Well on that point in particular the Tories have essentially pushed many into becoming so.
    Speaking more generally about your overall point its undoubtedly true to an extent but it works on the presumption that magically the bulk of millennials will grow up to be secure and middle class, many will of course but policy decisions made by governments today though are likely reducing the numbers who end up that way.

    The middle aged and middle class of today, the boomers, most are homeowners (homeowners being slightly pre-disposed towards the Tories) compared to the millennials who are being priced out of the market and have become “generation rent” (renters we know favouring Labour) also how many of the boomers got secure comfortable, well paid jobs with good career prospects? (well paid middle class professionals favouring the Tories) Compared to todays youth who are facing a life of insecure, low paid, dead end work (the low paid favouring Lab) Or the boomers who were able to enter that workplace debt free and with various forms of state assistance (a recipe for success and entry into the middle class) compared to the youth of today who are entering with big debts and little to no assistance (a shackle that impedes entry into the middle class)

    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,

  50. Other long-term threats to the Conservatives to consider:

    Decline of commercial media which is loaded in their favour.
    Automation of job market, which will eventually impact Tory white-collar professionals.
    Decline in socially conservative attitudes due to instant communication/cheap travel broadening people’s horizons.

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