Blackpool North & Cleveleys

2015 Result:
Conservative: 17508 (44.4%)
Labour: 14168 (36%)
Lib Dem: 948 (2.4%)
Green: 889 (2.3%)
UKIP: 5823 (14.8%)
Others: 57 (0.1%)
MAJORITY: 3340 (8.5%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

Geography: North West, Lancashire. The northern part of the Blackpool council area and part of the Wyre council area.

Main population centres: Blackpool, Bispham, Cleveleys.

Profile: Blackpool is a famous seaside resort that boomed in the nineteenth century as the favoured destination for Lancashire`s industrial working class. The attractions of Victorian Blackpool remain to this day - the Blackpool Illuminations, the piers, the pleasure beach and the Tower. Like most seaside towns it has suffered economically from the growth of cheap foreign package holidays, but tourism remains the dominant part of the economy. The majority of Blackpool`s tourist area is in the southern seat, Blackpool North and Cleveleys is more the residential suburbs of Blackpool like Bispham and the contiguous town of Cleveleys to the north. The far north of the seat stretches up to the Wyre estuary and the industry of the former ICI site at Burn Naze.

Politics: Both the Blackpool seats are marginals between Labour and the Conservatives. Blackpool North was a Tory seat until the Labour landslide in 1997, and was won back by the Conservatives in 2010, helped somewhat by boundary changes that removed the Labour voting town of Fleetwood.


Current MP
PAUL MAYNARD (Conservative) Born 1975, Crewe. Educated at St Ambrose College and Oxford University. Former Conservative party advisor and speechwriter. Contested Twickenham 2005. First elected as MP for Blackpool North & Cleveleys in 2010. He has cerebal palsy.
Past Results
2010
Con: 16964 (42%)
Lab: 14814 (36%)
LDem: 5400 (13%)
UKIP: 1659 (4%)
Oth: 1754 (4%)
MAJ: 2150 (5%)
2005*
Con: 15558 (36%)
Lab: 20620 (48%)
LDem: 5533 (13%)
UKIP: 1579 (4%)
MAJ: 5062 (12%)
2001
Con: 15889 (37%)
Lab: 21610 (51%)
LDem: 4132 (10%)
UKIP: 950 (2%)
MAJ: 5721 (13%)
1997
Con: 19105 (36%)
Lab: 28051 (52%)
LDem: 4600 (9%)
Oth: 288 (1%)
MAJ: 8946 (17%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Blackpool North & Fleetwood

Demographics
2015 Candidates
PAUL MAYNARD (Conservative) See above.
SAM RUSHWORTH (Labour) Educated at Hodgson High School and Manchester University. University tutor.

SUE CLOSE
(Liberal Democrat)
SIMON NOBLE (UKIP) Solicitor. Lancashire councillor 1993-2001 for the Conservative party. Contested North West region 2014 European elections.
JOHN WARNOCK (Green)
JAMES WALSH (Northern Party) Ecologist.
Links
Comments - 93 Responses on “Blackpool North & Cleveleys”
  1. Richard @ it could be possible to create a solid Labour ‘Blackpool Central’ and a strongly Conservative ‘Blackpool South, Lytham & St Anns’ and a very competitive ‘Blackpool North, Cleveleys & Fleetwood’.

  2. The good burghers of Lytham St Annes won’t want to be in with Blackpool, generally speaking.
    In general, I don’t have much time to wonder about fictitious constituencies, no matter to whose benefit they would be drawn. I prefer to worry about the constituencies which exist at the time, and the ones proposed by or to the Boundary Commission.

  3. Joining Blackpool to Lytham St Anne’s is a big no-no

  4. “In general, I don’t have much time to wonder about fictitious constituencies”

    Thats a pity Barnaby because if there is one thing doktorb and I agree on it is that there is no more enjoyable activity than playing with constituency boundaries. Dalek and Richard are clearly fans also.
    One thing I do not agree with doktorb about is is mantra about Lytham St Anns not going with Blackpool. Lytham St Anns was included in the Blackpool seat up until 1945 and (I’m not so sure but think it was included in the new Blackpool south seat created that year until 1950).
    Lytham St annes clearly is more closely tied to Blackpool than to many areas with which it currently shares a constituency, not least the Lea area of Preston (another of doktorb’s bugbears I believe)
    In fact taking the area of Lytham St Anns, Poulton le Fylde, Thornton Celevelys, Fleetwood and Blackpool is just the right size for 3 seats on current quotas. Blackpool Central though would take in 13 of the 21 wards in Blackpool with 6 joining with Lytham St Anns and just 2 linking with the Wyre district areas

  5. I grew up in St.Annes and my parents still live there. Lytham and St.Annes (along with the other areas that make up Lytham St.Annes) would on the whole be pretty miffed at being lumped in with part of Blackpool – whereas most of them wouldn’t even realise that Fylde constituency already stretches into outer Preston.

    The problem would be the name, rather than the actual boundaries – for example, if they continued to call the constituency Fylde, but put the south parts of Blackpool into it, no one would care. Well, almost no one.

    I’m not predicting overthrow of the government if a name change were to happen, but you’d certainly get some active residents groups and petitions causing a fuss. Of course, as in all these things, it would be a vocal minority and most people wouldn’t even know a change was happening…

  6. One of the early proposals of the boundary commission for the new Blackpool Borough Council Unitary Authority in the 1990’s was to extend Blackpool to include the whole of the Fylde peninsula which is Blackpool and the urban parts of Wyre and Fylde.

    As Pete suggests, this new authority would ultimatly have been revised as three constituencies with Blackpool Central taking in most of the wards from the pre-1990’s Blackpool Council area. Techically Wyre would be the true predecessor constituency to the new Blackpool North and Fylde the true predecessor constituency to the new Blackpool South.

  7. “We are not Blackpool people”

  8. To inject a little bit of humour and a bit of history, there was a saying in Blackpool:

    “When Oldham wakes, Blackpool sleeps”

  9. my predictions will be kept to the seats I know along the Fylde Coast so this is my 1st one. I know the mp and his team and are very capable and popular. So I think the conservatives will hold this one by about 1500 to 2000 votes

  10. Like most seaside towns Blackpool has always been far more Tory that its social composition.

    Labour made a breakthrough in 1997 but had been making large advances in 1987 and 1992.

    Although Blackpool has swung significantly to Labour over the past few decades the constituencies remain still far more Tory than their compositions suggest.

    Blackpool South is still marginal despite having a concentration of the poorest wards in the country.

    While the Tory traditions have clearly receded in this town they have not receded enough to deny the Conservatives victory on the North Coast and Cleveleys.

  11. CON – 43
    LAB – 38
    UKIP – 13
    LD – 4
    GREEN – 1
    OTHER – 1

  12. A miserable 0.5% swing to Labour. Compare with 4% further up the coast in Morecambe. I don’t know the area at all (well visited the illuminations many years ago….) so would be interested as to why people think this seat seems to be showing so little movement.

  13. Not sure what caused this but Bookies now go 1/2 on Conservative hold.

    It was just below evens 1/1 when I last checked last Sunday.

    P.S I believe the MP here in 1992-97 is a PPC – H Elletson – who is standing for the “Northern Party”.( anti franking, powers devolved to ‘The North’..et al)

  14. Surely this seat (which only needs a 2.7% swing to Labour) will fall. I know that Gloucester and Worcester which need similar swings are looking dodgy prospects for Labour to gain, but this seat up in the North West? Predictions of a 0.5% swing are baffling.

    Much of the really chronic and grinding deprivation in Blackpool is in the other seat, but still….

  15. Well, virtually most believe now this is a CON hold.

    Bookies go 1/2 CON:

    electionforecast.co.uk and MAY2015.com have both predicting (narrow <5%) CON hold.

    electoralcalculus.co.uk favour a very narrow LAB gain.

  16. Thanks for that – will be one to watch closely on election night.

  17. I have had BLACKPOOL NC as a CON hold since November.

    ASHCROFT March15:
    CON..42%
    LAB…37%

    UKIP were high and LD very low suggesting the CON win margin will be higher than the 5% headline margin.

  18. Ashcroft and the bookies project a Conservative hold.

  19. Harold Elletson is an Old Etonian who defected from the Tories to the Lib Dems. l hadn’t heard that he’d joined the Northern Party.

  20. Con hold 1700- a good candidate for most impressive Con hold of the night given the deprivation in parts of the seat but the signs they could pull it were off were there as early as 2013 with that strikingly good Con performance in Cleveleys in the CC elections.

  21. Conservative hold. 2,000 majority.

  22. Another seat that Labour would be expecting to win if they were in confident mood.

  23. Always had this as a CON hold.

  24. CON hold 1750

  25. The Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens were in Blackpool North from 1945 to 1997 since when they have been in Blackpool South.

  26. This seat was never Labour before 1997. However, the Liberals cut the Conservative majority in the then Blackpool North seat to under 1,000 (973) in a by-election in 1962.

    The Liberals won the undivided Blackpool seat in 1923, after a near-miss in 1922, but lost it in 1924.

  27. For comparison, in 1945 the Conservatives won the then Blackpool North seat with a majority of 12,394.over Labour.

  28. I was passed a Conservative leaflet from here which was red. Apart rom the fact I’ve no idea why it was sent to myself, is this the norm here, ie Conservative and emblem both in red as well as the header?

    I’d heard they were red in Birmingham too.

  29. The pre-1997 Blackpool North would have been won by a much wider margin by Labour in 1997 than Blackpool North & Fleetwood and would have remained Labour ever since.

    In 1997 Blackpool South gained 4 of the 11 old North wards, and these have in turn made South stronger for Labour.

    In 2010, 2 of these 4 wards were returned to what became Blackpool North & Cleveleys, but the longterm impact of the boundary changes has still made South better for Labour.

    If the current boundary review made Blackpool North the core Blackpool constituency extending South to cover the whole of the central area while Blackpool South formed a cross border constituency with Lytham St Anns, I wonder if Gordon Marsden would switch to Blackpool North and Paul Maynard would switch to Blackpool South & Lytham St Anns (assuming Mark Menzies was selected in a Fylde & Wyre constituency).

  30. It is the old story of either one gets one safe Labour seat in central Blackpool, with the rest safely Conservative, or alternatively one has two seats for Blackpool North and Blackpool South which are both more or less marginal.

    Times do change, however. In the old days Blackpool was hugely safe for the Conservatives.

  31. Yep….the current Blackpool South would have been Tory up till 1997.

    1987 and 1992 saw large swings to Labour in both Blackpool seats though they were relative swings to Labour in 1979 and 1983. By relative swing I mean that although there were still swings to the Tories in 1979 and 1983 they were less than the national swing therefor relative swings to Labour.

  32. @Frederic I think the seat with one seat in the middle of Blackpool with the leftover 3 wards in the South of the city going into Fylde and the remaining two wards in the north forming a seat with Fleetwood, Cleveleys and Poulton is the most sensible one. The electorate in the borough of Blackpool is too small now to really sustain 2 constituencies.

    Incidently the seat in Blackpool would have a notional Labour majority of ~4,000 so relatively safe but probably winnable for the Tories in a landslide. The Fleetwood-Cleveleys-Poulton (+those two north Blackpool wards and some rural wards) seat would have a notional Tory majority of ~7,500 so probably only winnable for Labour if they are well ahead of the Tories nationally. The Tory majority in Fylde would fall a little bit due to the addition of those 3 South Blackpool wards but would obviously still be a safe Conservative seat.

  33. The Conservatives have actually fallen back quite a bit in Fylde since 1979, when South Fylde was the safest Conservative seat in Britain and North Fylde not far behind.

    In the whole of the Fylde area, the Conservatives have suffered because a Conservative generation (stereotypically the seaside landladies) died out. They have also had quite a lot of local difficulties over the years.

  34. “In the whole of the Fylde area, the Conservatives have suffered because a Conservative generation (stereotypically the seaside landladies) died out. They have also had quite a lot of local difficulties over the years.”

    Were the Blackpool and Fylde constituencies not always massively Tory compared to their social & economic composition? While there has been some economic decline some of the wards in Blackpool are considered the most deprived in the UK but constituencies are still a Tory and Labour marginal.

    If Blackpool South was in Merseyside or Greater Manchester it would be a solid Labour seat so being a seaside town still makes it more Tory than its demographics would suggest – though not as much as historically?

    Its fair to say that Hastings is poor but has a Tory MP and its also notable that the Conservatives have maintained Ayr longer (the still hold the Holyrood constituency) than they have held onto affluent suburbs of Glasgow and Edinburgh.

    My view is that seaside towns are not as Tory as they use to be but still remain much more Tory than there social economic composition or regional location would suggest.

  35. I grew up in Southend, another town that rather conforms to type: an unglamorous, not particularly prosperous seaside town that is solidly Tory. I always thought that the two Southend seats must have been two of the less affluent seats to stay blue in 1997 (certainly Southend East at least).

  36. What’s really strange is that the Fylde peninsula is covered by 5 constituencies –

    Blackpool North & Cleveleys (North Blackpool and Cleveleys)
    Blackpool South (South and Central Blackpool)
    Lancaster & Fleetwood (Fleetwood)
    Wyre & Preston North (Poulton Le Fylde)
    Fylde (Lytham St Anns)

    It seems that the boundary commission have worked on the principal that the Fylde constituency was sacrosanct and all the other constituencies needed to accommodate around it.

    Under the new electoral quota, the Fylde peninsula could form three core constituencies.

    When Blackpool became a unitary authority a proposal to extend its boundaries to include the whole of the Fylde peninsula was rejected.

    Sad…because I think that it would work well as a unitary authority.

  37. Both Lancaster and Fleetwood and Wyre and Preston North contains areas of Fylde and areas which are very definitely NOT in Fylde.

    Lancaster and Fleetwood is a particularly insensitive constituency geographically as communication links between Fleetwood and Lancaster are practically non-existent.

    It is to me surprising that there are not basically four Fylde constituencies: two for Blackpool, one for Fylde and one for Wyre.

    By the way can I add North Thanet (particularly) and South Thanet to the list of poor constituencies that currently vote Conservative. North Thanet in particular is one of the most impoverished constituencies regardless of party. Have you visited Margate or Cliftonville recently?

  38. True.

    Plus don’t forget the infamous Jaywick of Ch5 fame etc in Clacton. The poorest ward in England on some stats was one of the UKIP gains from Labour.

    Whereas the joint poorest ward in England from memory was Everton in Liverpool where Labour can poll 70% of the vote on an albeit 15% turnout.

    FS – Fylde has had MANY problems involving the local Tories in the same way Southport has. Even before both the Fylde MP and a Fylde Tory Cllr were both involved in gay sex scandals involving drugs and foreign rent boys and gay porn on council laptops respectively. Neither would aid getting out the Tory vote here especially if they’re from an older and small c demographic.

  39. Lancs Observer. I agree with you; but if the voters of Fylde did not turn on the Conservative candidate ar the last election- although admittedly an Independent saved his depoist – it is hard to see what would make them do so.

  40. Re poor wards and seaside towns being Tory – Rhyl has the poorest ward with the highest crime rate in Wales.

    Of course it now also has a Tory MP.

  41. A bit of trivia: Paul Maynard appeared on the quiz show Fifteen To One in November 1995 as a nineteen year old. He’s contestant number 11. I just happened to be watching this show and recognised him.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlX6PipoiPA

  42. Warbreck Ward By-election result:

    Conservative 728 55% (+18%)
    Labour 468 35% (+ 6%)
    UKIP 75 6% (-13%)
    LD 57 4% (- 3%)

    Cons Hold.

    27% Turnout

  43. Paul Maynard has been appointed Courts minister.

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