Bedford

2015 Result:
Conservative: 19625 (42.6%)
Labour: 18528 (40.2%)
Lib Dem: 1958 (4.2%)
Green: 1412 (3.1%)
UKIP: 4434 (9.6%)
Independent: 129 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 1097 (2.4%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

Geography: Eastern, Bedfordshire. Part of the Bedford council area.

Main population centres: Bedford, Kempston.

Profile: The constituency is drawn tightly around Bedford, the commercial and administrative centre of the area and the adjacent town of Kempston. A diverse town, Bedford has a large population of Italian descent and also has a large Asian population..

Politics: A tight marginal between Labour and the Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats retain some strength at a local level despite the collapse in their vote in Parliamentary elections. On the same day they lost their deposit in the general election the Lib Dem elected mayor Dave Hodgson won re-election.


Current MP
RICHARD FULLER (Conservative) Born 1962, Bedford. Educated at Bedford Modern and Oxford University. Former venture capitalist and management consultant. Contested Bedford 2005. First elected as MP for Bedford in 2010.
Past Results
2010
Con: 17546 (39%)
Lab: 16193 (36%)
LDem: 8957 (20%)
UKIP: 1136 (3%)
Oth: 1270 (3%)
MAJ: 1353 (3%)
2005*
Con: 14174 (34%)
Lab: 17557 (42%)
LDem: 9063 (22%)
UKIP: 995 (2%)
Oth: 283 (1%)
MAJ: 3383 (8%)
2001
Con: 13297 (33%)
Lab: 19454 (48%)
LDem: 6425 (16%)
UKIP: 430 (1%)
Oth: 973 (2%)
MAJ: 6157 (15%)
1997
Con: 16474 (34%)
Lab: 24774 (51%)
LDem: 6044 (12%)
Oth: 149 (0%)
MAJ: 8300 (17%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
RICHARD FULLER (Conservative) See above.
PATRICK HALL (Labour) Born 1951, Birmingham. Educated at Bedford Modern School and Birmingham University. Planning officer. Bedfordshire councillor 1989-1997. Contested Bedfordshire North 1992. MP for Bedford 1997-2010.
MAHMUD ROGERS (Liberal Democrat) Educated at LSE. Accountant. Bedford councillor 2006-2009.
CHARLIE SMITH (UKIP) Educated at Pilgrim Upper School. Consultant and property landlord.
BEN FOLEY (Green) Born 1966. Educated at Newcastle University. Academic. Contested Mid Bedfordshire 2005, Bedford 2010.
FARUK CHOUDHURY (No description)
Links
Comments - 173 Responses on “Bedford”
  1. ‘Indeed if what McDonnell said was true, there’ll be no point voting Labour in Scotland anymore if you’re a Unionist.’

    The Lib Dems are actually the only genuinely unionist party left

    Most Tory voters hate the Scottish, and want nothing more to do with them, Labour for purely opportunistic reasoning is now backing a 2nd referendum on independence, the SNP’s raison d’être is independence

  2. Yet another reason why I’m currently sitting in the yellow column.

  3. “Most Tory voters hate the Scottish, and want nothing more to do with them”

    Any concrete evidence for that ?

  4. “HH – you certainly wouldn’t vote SNP if you lived in Scotland. Wacky cybernats typify their membership and several Cllrs & PPCs have been caught supporting the IRA etc.”

    That’s a bit presumptuous of you to assume you know what I would do. Though as I made clear at the start of my comments on this, I’m personally opposed to independence. All parties are now dominated at grassroots level by wackos, whether wacko Brexiters, wacko Corbynistas, wacko Greens or wacko cybernats, I personally don’t consider the SNP worse than other parties on that score.

    “Perth is also a bad example to cite, as 60% don’t vote SNP there and I’m glad to see that they’re now realising you have to vote tactically to vote them out.”

    The SNP have held Perth continually since 1995 and was one of only very few former Tory areas in Scotland that they didn’t win back in 2017. Only a halfwit would say it was a bad example.

  5. ““Most Tory voters hate the Scottish, and want nothing more to do with them”

    Any concrete evidence for that ?”

    I think the polling evidence is that the vast majority of English voters of all parties don’t care all that much…those that do tend to believe (as I myself argued) that it is a matter for the Scots alone and not our business to interfere. It’s only the politicos in England, by and large, harping on about the value of the union. But I don’t think vast numbers of English hate the Scots.

  6. TJ – except here we are talking of voters in Scotland, where of course Tory voters are very Unionist and gained a dozen seats at the GE for that very reason. [Not that I agree with your presumption, as Tory voter are very Unionist indeed in parts of England, although I realise this tends to be places such as Southport, Corby, Portsmouth and so on].

    Robb is right – Tory, indeed most English voters hate the settlement Scottish voters receive in cash terms and the resultant no tuition fees or prescription charges and so on.

    HH – you said you’d vote SNP if they stood in England. I was merely pointing out that you wouldn’t if you lived in Scotland, as you’d hear daily some of the horror stories I referred to (which I can only assume aren’t making the news in the South of England).

    Perth was a bad example indeed, as 60% of voters there vote against your proposition! I concede Wishart was very lucky indeed to hang on by 21 votes, but I would never cite such a thing as evidence that most Unionists voters in Perth don’t detest the SNP.

  7. “I think the polling evidence is that the vast majority of English voters of all parties don’t care all that much…those that do tend to believe (as I myself argued) that it is a matter for the Scots alone and not our business to interfere. It’s only the politicos in England, by and large, harping on about the value of the union. But I don’t think vast numbers of English hate the Scots”

    Theres a significant difference between indifference or recognising and respecting the decision of the people of Scotland and all hating the Scottish and wanting nothing more to do with them. Most of the above seems credible, the original statement definitely did not.

  8. ‘Not that I agree with your presumption, as Tory voter are very Unionist indeed in parts of England, although I realise this tends to be places such as Southport, Corby, Portsmouth and so on’

    In the past that was true

    Indeed – the Tories were able to hang onto unlikely seats like Wallasey as a result of their commitment to the Union, but that was about 40-50 years ago

    Today’s Tory voters are of an entirely different ilk, being much less posh, considerably less intelligent and more bigoted in their opinions of other people whether they be Muslims, Europeans, Scousers or the Scots

    Of course today’s Tory voters would deny this at every opportunity but it’s an unmistakable shift

  9. Tim J – lol you cannot have it both ways. The less posh (and bigoted in your words) are the most Unionist Tory voters. The Wets never were.

    Wallasey isn’t the best example of that, as whilst until now it’s mainly been in the locals (as that’s where Ian Lewis ‘runs the shop’), it’s the most successful Cons Assoc in the North West and gained all but one of the wards against the trend over the past 20 years and unlike neighbouring seats they stand as Local Cons or Cons & Unionist candidates.

    Barry Porter would have been a better example to cite, as he was very Unionist indeed and won neighbouring Wirral South throughout the Thatcher era. Although again, not for the reason you suggest: he was a rightwinger and Wets have underperformed as PPCs there since.

  10. Barry Porter was relatively moderate by today’s standards of Tory MPs – many of whom would give the likes of Terry Docks a run for his money when it comes to vulgarity – but yes, like most Tory MPs he was a staunch Unionist

    But I’m not talking about Tory MPs but Tory voters, who for the moist part are no-deal supporting Brexiteers who view the Scots much as they view Muslims and Europeans – with great scepticism at best, and most of these people want nothing to do with Scotland

  11. I think that feeling is continuously growing.

  12. YouGov describing my home seat as a “tossup”, with the notional one-point lead for the Tory candidate well within the margin of error.

    I am currently deliberating – not so much over my vote, but whether to watch the result on TV or potter along to the count, should be quite exciting…

  13. Brexit on 6 here and Green on four here so plenty of votes for both parties to squeeze. Lib’s on 11 but their local strength means it’s less likely they can be squeezed.

    The figures through now have a two point not one gap – have they changed them I was sure it was one as well.

  14. If Richard Fuller ran here again instead of NE Beds, do you think this would have been a Tory gain rather than a narrow Labour hold?

  15. Tough to say. The literature I got here from the Tory candidate made him seem like a relatively decent bloke, better than Fuller anyway.

    Pleased Yasin hung on though, he’s been pretty visible in the seat while I’ve lived here.

  16. @PollTroll

    Thanks for that – personal votes only account for so much nowadays (Bolsover anyone?)

    Fuller is a Leaver though, so he could have got a few of those Brexit Party votes, but could have done worse against Yasin (who got first time incumbency, what us Australians call sophomore surge) – we’ll never know at the end of the day.

  17. Personal votes only count for so much, but that “so much” probably exceeds the 150 majority in this seat.

  18. I am told that Mohammed Yasin has just given Richard Burgon the last nomination he needed to limp onto the ballot paper with five minutes to go until the deadline.

    I don’t think I’ve ever felt worse for having voted for someone…

  19. Idk you didn’t vote for Keith Vaz I felt particularly sick after that

  20. He’s a bit odd politically Fuller – member of the Tory Reform Group, said that he never was and never will be a Thatcherite, yet had a very right wing voting record and is a staunch Brexiter

    So it very much looks like he’s followed the route taken by messers Ancram and Spicer – from the Left to the Right of the Tory party. I can’t imagine Alister Burt being particularly happy about his successor

  21. Not for the first time: David Nuttall in Bury North won the seat back after Burt lost it in ’97 then went down south. The new Tory MP in Bury is a Leaver too.

    IIRC it was Burt’s wife who wore the trousers: she went on tv arguing to retain the wives on the payroll – as IPSA wanted to abolish them – even though she was one of them.

    Ancram just held every position within the Party, although the Ken-Redwood alliance remains the most amusing failed leadership pact.

    I’m not sure whether I feel sorry for some Tory Assocs or its their fault for their woeful selections. Stamford comes to mind at least twice. Totnes too, although I’m told both were CCHQ’s fault re the latter.

  22. “Totnes too, although I’m told both were CCHQ’s fault re the latter.”

    Wollaston was selected by open primary, so it’s the voters fault in her case.

  23. Sadly yes – but only after the CCHQ shortlist acc to ConHome in both her case and the previous expenses’ troughing MP for Totnes.

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