2015 Result:
Conservative: 26808 (50.5%)
Labour: 9970 (18.8%)
Lib Dem: 5178 (9.8%)
Green: 2252 (4.2%)
UKIP: 8881 (16.7%)
MAJORITY: 16838 (31.7%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

Geography: Eastern, Norfolk. Most of Broadland council area and part of North Norfolk council area.

Main population centres: Wroxham, Acle, Aylsham.

Profile: Broadland is a long sprawling seat, meandering through rural Norfolk to the North and East of Norfolk, consisting of part of North Norfolk and the majority of Broadland District council, including the market towns of Wroxham, Acle and Aylsham, and part of the Norfolk Broads to the East. The seat also contains Walsingham, the site of a catholic shrine and a destination for many pilgrims.

Politics: The seat was created in 2010, but is actually a continuation of the old Mid Norfolk seat (that is, more of the old Mid Norfolk seat went into this constituency than went into the seat that still bears the name Mid Norfolk). The seat is comfortably Conservative, as was its predecessor.

Current MP
KEITH SIMPSON (Conservative) Born 1949, Norwich. Educated at Thorpe Grammar School and Hull University. Former lecturer at Sandhurst and military historian. Contested Plymouth Devonport 1992. First elected as MP for Mid-Norfolk in 1997. Opposition whip 1999-2001, agriculture spokesman 2001-2002, shadow defence minister 2002-2005, shadow foreign affairs minister 2005-2010. PPS to William Hague 2010-2014.
Past Results
Con: 24338 (46%)
Lab: 7287 (14%)
LDem: 17046 (32%)
UKIP: 2382 (5%)
Oth: 1623 (3%)
MAJ: 7292 (14%)
Con: 23564 (43%)
Lab: 16004 (29%)
LDem: 12988 (24%)
UKIP: 2178 (4%)
MAJ: 7560 (14%)
Con: 23519 (45%)
Lab: 18957 (36%)
LDem: 7621 (15%)
UKIP: 1333 (3%)
Oth: 1118 (2%)
MAJ: 4562 (9%)
Con: 22739 (40%)
Lab: 21403 (37%)
LDem: 8617 (15%)
Oth: 1469 (3%)
MAJ: 1336 (2%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Norfolk Mid

2015 Candidates
KEITH SIMPSON (Conservative) See above.
STEVE RILEY (Liberal Democrat)
STUART AGNEW (UKIP) Born 1949, Norwich. Educated at Royal Agricultural College. Farmer. Contested Mid Norfolk 2001, Norfolk North 2005, Broadland 2010. MEP for East of England since 2010.
Comments - 48 Responses on “Broadland”
  1. UKIP are not fielding a candidate at the Aylsham by-election on 4 July. A bit surprising given they allege a membership of 146 for the combined North Norfolk / Broadland association.

  2. I’ve seen a few local by-elections around the country where UKIP have neglected to field a candidate, despite many of those by-elections happening in places where they could get alot of votes. It speaks to the fact that they’re not a very organised party. And I don’t mean that as dismissive, it’s quite understandable considering the very rapid gain in support. But they need to get things together, because after some of the stories casting bad light on some of those elected councillors, UKIP can’t afford to have so lax a candidate selection next time as a way to compensate for being disorganised in getting more people.

  3. A reasonable estimate?
    CON 40
    UKIP 21
    Lab 18
    LD 16
    Grn 5

  4. No. Far far too low for the liberals.

    Maybe more like

    Con 44
    LD 25
    Lab 18
    UKIP 9

  5. I

  6. I’m guessing my UKIP vote is too high then?

  7. I think thats very plausible – UKIP maybe slightly higher and Lib Dem slightly lower

  8. What my estimate Matt?

  9. No, I was referring to Joe R – I don’t see UKIP getting 21% at a GE in 2015 here.

  10. This constituency most be more similar to the pre-1974 Norfolk Central than the post 1983 Norfolk Mid.

  11. I suspect it’s even more similar to the pre-1950 East Norfolk.

  12. Estimate 2015

    Con 47%
    LD 24%
    Lab 19%
    UKIP 8%
    Green 2%

  13. CON HOLD MAJ : 19%
    CON 41
    LD 22
    LAB 20
    UKIP 11
    GRN 6

  14. 6% Green vote? You’re havin’ a giraffe. I’ve been courteous to you but I am starting to feel an H.Hemmelig- or Pete Whitehead-style horseshit coming on.
    Having said that, however, I think the prediction is closer re the Conservative vote than that of Joe James B above it.

  15. There is a high LD vote to attack here, which will be a lot less solid due to a lesser amount of tactical voting due to the dip in LD popularity. In such a rural area, some 2010 Conservative voters especially will go Green. Left-leaning Labour supporters who see that Lab are not really a rival to the Tories and want an alternative which the LDs used to provide could also switch their support.

  16. I agree with Barnaby here on that 6% Green vote share, 3% I expect.

  17. How did Labour go from nearly taking this seat to a distant third place in 2010? Even in 1992 they finished in second.

  18. Well it’s not quite the same seat as the former Mid-Norfolk. Some of the more promising Labour areas in that seat have remained in Mid-Norfolk.

  19. Th Green predictions that are being trotted out in constituency after constituency are essentially gibberish – and based on ignorance or wishful thinking. They are best ignored.

  20. @Winds of Change

    The Greens used to have an activist in Aylsham but they’ve no base here now.

  21. @Wolf
    That makes more sense now- if there was ‘an’ activist and none now. I was thinking perhaps there’d be a small core of activists which, if working hard, *could* get there. In that case, I’d put them on 3% as that’s the national average share I’d expect, and in the East around Norfolk the Greens don’t do too badly at all.

  22. “That makes more sense now – if there was an activist and none now” – sorry this is nonsense surely?

    Apart from the fact I’m not quite sure what it is that “makes sense now”, surely this exchange shows how pointless your predictions are?

    You predicted 6% which your answer implies was based on an illusory activist base – you then drop it to 3% once you are informed that there are sod all activists.

    But given that the Greens only got 1.4% last time, and there are no activists, surely this would suggest a below-national average performance (even using your assumed national vote share of 3% for the Greens, which I don’t agree with).

    Like Barnaby, Van Fleet, it all seems a bit woolly to me and I’m not sure it’s moving anything forward?

  23. ‘Well it’s not quite the same seat as the former Mid-Norfolk. Some of the more promising Labour areas in that seat have remained in Mid-Norfolk.’

    Labour haven’t really been competitive here at all for decades – not even in the Lancaster wards – and much of the working class vote seems to go to the Lib Dems, whose big increase in 2010 is best explained by the wards this seat acquired from the safe Lib Dem constituency of Norfolk North

  24. Labour was quite close to winning Mid-Norfolk in 1997. Obviously their vote has declined sharply since then, and I was referring to the areas where Labour would have done well at that time. One I should have thought would be (East) Dereham which remains in Mid-Norfolk after the 2010 boundary change.

  25. Dereham would have been the strongest part, but it’s not a big enough town to have made it close without Labour having been reasonably strong elsewhere. To judge from the 2005 notionals, in 1997 they might have been above 30% on the current boundaries.

    Obviously in the 1990s we were rather more competitive in rural Norfolk than we are now, as the legacy of the NUAW vote still hadn’t quite disappeared.

  26. Looking at the council results for this seat in 2010, the LDs held up surprisingly well (unlike in, say, Norfolk SW) – they seemed to actually suffer a bit less than the Conservatives, and thus ended up taking Hevingham & Spixworth. They even increased their vote in Wroxham, though they suffered more at the southern end, around Acle.

    On that note, does anyone have good advice on the best way to work out border comparisons between council and Westminster seats? Annoyingly the council results map doesn’t include a Westminster-superimposition option for psephology geekery…

  27. Fantastic, thankyou John 🙂

  28. Okay, in-depth because I was bored, turns out my above post was actually horse-dung at least for the seat as a whole.

    In terms of seats the LDs held up okay, losing Fakenham but gaining H&S. The Tories took Fakenham but lost H&S and Melton Constable for a net one seat loss.

    The vote totals were, however, far worse for the Liberals overall.

    2009 15739 (49.5%)
    2013 10204 (36.8%)

    2009 10284 (32.4%)
    2013 4751 (17.1%)

    2009 2856 (9.0%)
    2013 4685 (16.9%)

    2009 532 (1.7%)
    2013 7038 (25.4%)

    2009 2377 (7.4%)
    2013 534 (1.9%)

    2009 0 (0.0%)
    2013 550 (2.0%)

    The Liberal holds/gains seem to mostly be where CON -> UKIP proved a big enough swing such that the Conservative fall was greater than the Liberal one. In safer Conservative areas this was especially pronounced, collapsing to under 20% of their 2009 vote in places like Acle (18%) and Blofield (15%) but holding up at 80% of it in H&S, 70% in Aylsham, 54% in Reepham. Fakenham was the one that bucked the trend, with a catastrophic collapse that put them fourth. The CON loss in vote share was more standard, all of them bar two sitting between 30% and 45% of the vote lost.

    Wrt other parties, UKIP obviously did fairly well and took Melton Constable, though Broadland is probably mostly too affluent for them. Labour regained some strength, much of which may be down to the collapse in the Green vote – they only fielded half their 2009 total of candidates last year, and those did worse on average.

    My suspicion is that there were quite a lot of Liberal voters in particular staying at home – about 4000 more people voted in 2009 here and if we assume that the Green losses from 09-13 went Lab to a decent extent and that a lot of UKIP’s support here is ex-CON, that implies Liberal losses mostly involved people not going to vote to start with. I imagine this would be repeated at a GE as Liberal ground troops will be packed in to ensuring NN is held and more likely fighting the vain battle to save Norwich S.

  29. Lib Dems have selected Dan Roper to fight this seat again in 2015.

    One of the few Lib Dems in whole of UK to gain a county council seat for them last year.

  30. Dan Roper just withdrew as the PPC for the LibDems here.. that was quick! Less than a month….

    Dan Roper @Broadland_Dan · 27m

    I have withdrawn as a Lib Dem PPC for 2015 & will not be a candidate at the General Election. Am sure NCC will keep me busy enough

  31. I don’t get why this is happening as often as it had recently. If you don’t want to do it, or can’t, why apply?

  32. I would agree… circumstances change.. but within a month? It takes forever to chose candidates so then its back to the drawing board and more months lost..

    He is a Brownite, I gather (Jeremy, not Gordon.. LoL)

  33. James Baillie – a late thanks for that analysis. It is very well put together and intriguing.
    I hadn’t realised the LDs had gone backwards so much actually in 2013.

  34. Conservative gain from LD in Wroxham:

    Con 400
    LD 386
    Lab 103

  35. Mr Roper a “Brownite”? On Norfolk County Council he is to the left of the Labour group. Maybe someone higher up the Lib Dem ladder realised.

  36. Lib Dems have selected Steve Riley to fight this seat. Mr Riley is Broadland a District Cllr for Aylsham having won the seat off the Tories in by election in 2013.

  37. Conservative Hold. 13,000 maj.

  38. Very good Tory result here- It’s now gone from what looked like being a semi-marginal with the Lib Dems to being solidly safe with over 50% of the vote. It did take part of North Norfolk I think when it was created, perhaps accounting for the Lib Dem position here once upon a time.

  39. Am I the only person to find the boundareis of this seat bizarre? It essentially consists of a long strip of land, not more than five to ten miles wide, running West to East across Norfolk and with no focus of population. It runs inland of Northolf NOrth which is runs similarly for many miles laong the coast from West to East, and contains no towns over 10,00 people?

    Regardless of the political implications, woould it nnot be better to look at thes seats together and to create new seats one consisting of their Western parts and one of the Eastern parts?

  40. By the way, a correction to the profile for this seat. The massive Christian presence at Walsingham is notiionally “ecumenical”. It has Roman Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox pllaces of worship. It does not have a non-conformist place of worship partily because non-conformists do not believe in shrines and partly because the Anglicans, in my view absolutely disgracefully, kowtow to the Catholic view on ecumenicalism which exclude the non-conformists.

  41. You’re not wrong. North Norfolk runs over 40 miles along the coast, with Broadland inland. The problem is very small centres of population – small market towns and villages spread us Norfolk folk far and wide.

    In my youth, North Norfolk stretched from the coast at Cromer to the Norwich boundary, so the current boundaries have completely altered.

  42. A west/east split here would mean the two constituencies lost their distinctiveness certainly – in terms of each being a coalition of interests, economies, and terrain, the coast and the broads are very distinct areas as is pretty obvious when visiting either. The question I suppose is whether that is something to be sought for or avoided in a parliamentary seat.

  43. Some good news here for Lib Dem supporters, as they take a district council seat in by election –

    Not much of a surprise in Norman Lamb’s backyard, and could be good news for him if boundary changes move his constituency in this direction.

  44. “The massive Christian presence at Walsingham is notiionally “ecumenical”. It has Roman Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox pllaces of worship. It does not have a non-conformist place of worship partily because non-conformists do not believe in shrines and partly because the Anglicans, in my view absolutely disgracefully, kowtow to the Catholic view on ecumenicalism which exclude the non-conformists.”

    Frederick – This is not only untrue, as you will see from the link below, has been verifiably untrue for well over 200 years.

  45. The Tory candidate Nick Conrad has had to withdraw here, after the revelation of a series of rape-apologist comments, in particular that women should “keep their knickers on” to avoid being raped.

    It’s so, so depressing that this is the sort of person British politics currently attracts.

  46. I agree….and there are already four or five Labour candidates under fire for “remarks”. What’s even more depressing is that other people actually select these people, they don’t get there on their own.

  47. The new Conservative candidate is Jerome Mayhew, son of former minister Patrick Mayhew.

    He finished 3 (out of 3) in the original selection. However, the runner up was Alicia Kearns who already got Rutland and Melton in between Conrad’s selection and resignation.

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