2015 Result:
Conservative: 25797 (56.1%)
Labour: 8470 (18.4%)
Lib Dem: 1467 (3.2%)
Green: 1216 (2.6%)
UKIP: 9074 (19.7%)
MAJORITY: 16723 (36.3%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: Eastern, Hertfordshire. The whole of the Broxbourne council area and one ward from Welwyn Hatfield.

Main population centres: Cheshunt, Hoddesdon, Cuffley, Goff`s Oak, Waltham Cross.

Profile: A very affluent commuter seat just to the north of London. Tesco have their national headquarters here in Cheshunt, but it is mostly made up of leafy suburban dormitory towns.

Politics: An extremely safe Conservative seat, held by the party since its creation in 1983. The only area with any significant Labour support is Waltham Cross, at the far south of the constituency against the London border.

Current MP
CHARLES WALKER (Conservative) Born 1967, Oxfordshire. Educated at the American School in London and University of Oregon. Former director of Blue Arrow. Wandsworth councillor 2002-2006. Contested Ealing North 2001. First elected as MP for Broxbourne in 2005.
Past Results
Con: 26844 (59%)
Lab: 8040 (18%)
LDem: 6107 (13%)
BNP: 2159 (5%)
Oth: 2508 (5%)
MAJ: 18804 (41%)
Con: 21878 (54%)
Lab: 10369 (26%)
LDem: 4973 (12%)
BNP: 1929 (5%)
Oth: 1479 (4%)
MAJ: 11509 (28%)
Con: 20487 (54%)
Lab: 11494 (30%)
LDem: 4158 (11%)
UKIP: 858 (2%)
Oth: 848 (2%)
MAJ: 8993 (24%)
Con: 22952 (49%)
Lab: 16299 (35%)
LDem: 5310 (11%)
Oth: 782 (2%)
MAJ: 6653 (14%)

2015 Candidates
CHARLES WALKER (Conservative) See above.
ANTHONY ROWLANDS (Liberal Democrat) Contested Hertsmere 2010.
Comments - 67 Responses on “Broxbourne”
  1. CON HOLD MAJ : 28%
    CON 51
    LAB 23
    UKIP 12
    LD 9
    GRN 3
    OTH 2

  2. That Liberal Democrat vote is a bit high there WOC for Broxbourne , but I don’t think that you are that far off with your prediction. Also, I doubt that the Greens will put up a candidate here.

  3. Also, Anthony Wells you can hardly describe this constituency as affluent. It is an extension of Enfield and I wouldn’t describe places like Waltham Cross and Cheshunt as leafy.

  4. This is a seat with a significant right-wing vote in terms of UKIP and the BNP. This vote was divided last time, but if the BNP implodes, or continues to implode, this could be one of UKIP’s better targets.

  5. The BNP is in enough trouble as it is but it’s been announced today that Griffin is bankrupt, as well.

  6. 111

    You have clearly never been to Cuffley, Goffs Oak, West Cheshunt and the more saloubrious bits of Broxbourne.

  7. L Bernard, I have many friends who live in the area. I know this constituency extremely well.

  8. It is all very nouveau riche and very much fertile UKIP ground as a result. There is money in the area but it is without a shadow of a doubt not the nicest place to live in Hertfordshire.

  9. The area is very much an extension of London now. A shame really, as the constituency used to be a very nice area to live in.

  10. So when exactly was the seat not an extension of London? Surely most of the seat has been just that for decades, even generations. There are villagey bits as LBernard says but for the most part it’s basically outer suburbia in all but name.

  11. I tend to think of places like this seat and Epping Forest as essentially flash git territory with lots of gas guzzlers, Sun readers and new money.

  12. Although I would not use such pejorative terms I think Mike is broadly right. If you look at the census data for this constituency you will see that:

    (1) 16.4% of residents aged between 16 and 74 are intermediate workers (21st highest out of 578 English and Welsh seats);

    (2) 12.3% are small employers and own account workers (77th highest out of 578)

    (3) There are only average numbers of managers, directors, and administrative officials in this seat (in fact there are below average professionals).

  13. Further to the above, just 19.9% of residents have Level 4 qualifications, 453rd out of 578!

  14. The only other thing I’ve noticed is that it’s usually one of the first Tory seats to declare at general elections.

  15. It is true that in many respects this seat has always been an extension of London, but it’s character has changed enormously over the last 30 years or so to become on the whole a highly urbanised conurbation. It now has more in common with places like Enfield and Haringey than with places like Hertford and Ware just outside this constituency to the north.

  16. …..except politically. It’s poles apart politically now.

  17. I am very surprised that the place isn’t moving more towards Labour, as a seat with such demographics would be unlikely to be such a seat with a 40% Tory majority.

  18. The political situation in this seat is very odd actually. You would expect Labour to be about 20% behind here at the most.

  19. Places like Waltham Cross should really not be electing Tory Councillors. Though obviously I can’t complain about that!

  20. 111- I disagree. In fact I’d say the seat’s demographics are tailor made for Conservative success: there is money but it’s ‘new money’; there are above average number of builders, secretaries, and small businessfolk among the electors; there are below average numbers of public sector workers and nothing approaching a liberal intelligentsia; and the population is 90% white (which is why I am puzzled at your comparison of this place with Enfield). I am not remotely surprised that such a constituency would elect a Conservative with a 41% majority- not in this age when social categories are so much more complicated.

  21. Broxbourne is like Enfield used to be about 30 years ago. It is, and never has been, a particularly attractive area I the main (though there are some pretty bits). But since the partisan realignment spurred by Thatcher in the 1980s, the bedrock of Conservative support in the UK is now builders and small business-people, not Oxford dons. Hence this seat is, unless the demographics shift like they now have in Enfield, ironclad Conservative territory.

    Compare with the much weaker Tory position in pretty pretty St. Albans..

  22. ‘But since the partisan realignment spurred by Thatcher in the 1980s, the bedrock of Conservative support in the UK is now builders and small business-people, not Oxford dons.’

    That is the critical point. The absence of university-educated professionals does not necessarily mean a Labour seat-in certain circumstances, quite the opposite.

  23. May 2013 county council results

    Con  8880 49.8%
    UKIP 5136 28.8%
    Lab   3059 17.1%
    LD       636  3.6%
    Grn        74 0.4%
    BNP       52 0.3%

    My forecast for 2015

    Con 46 (-13)
    Lab 23 (+6)
    UKIP 21 (+17)
    LD 5 (-7)
    Others 5

  24. ‘The absence of university-educated professionals does not necessarily mean a Labour seat-in certain circumstances, quite the opposite.’

    Absolutely – and the Toryness of working class/lower-middle class BUT affluent seats like this one show it

  25. A Brown

    Why do you think the tories will do so much worse than 2013 (surely better would be logical?)

  26. I think that UKIP will gain seats here on the local council in the next couple of hours. Hodges don North and Rye Park will be UKIP’s strongest ward here.

  27. Hoddesdon not Hodges don

    Damn spellcheck

  28. And the wait is on! Broxbourne council results expected by 11:45.

  29. Will be interesting to see if Labour can hold Waltham Cross. I went to the town centre 3 years ago. Not exactly Rodeo Drive but if it’s turning into a commuter town (given its proximity to London) I do wonder how long Labour can hold the three seats there. They didn’t manage to gain the relevant division (IIRC) at last year’s Hertfordshire election.

  30. I am pretty sure that this will be where UKIP make their first gains tonight. It will be great publicity for the local UKIP branch as the media will swan over it.

  31. UKIP are doing extremely well in Broxbourne according to a good source of mine.

  32. Although the General Election looks a foregone conclusion here, it’s the Council elections on the same night that will make for interesting reading I believe.

  33. The MP here threatens to leave Tories if they dally with UKIP:

  34. It looks like this MP’s speech tonight will be well remembered. Good for him (even if it is on a matter that the vast majority of the public won’t understand/ couldn’t care less about).

  35. He’s a sound Parliamentarian Charles Walker, and deserves credit for being one of a mere handful of Tory MPs who despite being quite right-wing himself sees UKIP for exactly what they are

  36. What was his speech about? I keep hearing how wonderful it was but don’t have a device for watching videos at the moment.

  37. He was upset because he thought that Hague and the Whips had misled him about their “last minute” attempt to vote in a motion that would have the Speaker elected by secret ballot. Actually a good idea – the Deputies are so elected.
    I’m sure as Tristan says the public won’t understand/could n’t care less but I believe it’s very important to have a Speaker who’s impartial and respected by all of the House.

  38. Charles Walker supports the idea – his committee put out a report advising that the change be made. However, it also stipulated that it shouldn’t be done quietly on a Thursday afternoon, because it’d be a major change that deserved proper scrutiny. He was therefore annoyed that Hague and Gove had decided to do exactly that and without informing him beforehand. The government lost the vote not just because a majority disagreed with them, but also because many MPs (probably more than the opposition majority) agreed with the idea but disliked the underhand tactics used.

  39. Conservative Hold. 15,000 maj.

  40. UKIP finished second-predictable to be honest. This is the only part of Hertfordshire where UKIP is reasonably well-organised in my opinion.

  41. I have just seen Charles Walker suggested as a possible candidate for Speaker on another thread on this site? Any comments?

    One might have thought that if Charles Walker wanted to go in this direction he might wish to be on a select committee (Health?), ideally as Chairman.

  42. I only just spotted that this MP’s vote and share both fell.

    I like him, but I can see how he could easily annoy people. I’m not sure some MPs realise their forthright manner can come across as arrogant.

    I recall seeing an experiment once – possibly featured on Newsnight – where candidates were viewed with the sound muted. So it didn’t matter what they said, the impression was due to their body language. I forget which seat/by-election was featured, but the Tory looked arrogant etc even though he was from a WWC background and the LD woman looked friendly even though he was a bit dim ha.

  43. “I only just spotted that this MP’s vote and share both fell”.

    Surely down to UKIP winning a fifth of the vote.

  44. @FS

    Charles Walker chairs the Procedure Committee, not an especially high profile role but a good base from which to burnish his credentials as a ‘House man’. He’s also a twice winner of the Spectator’s Parliamentary Speech of the Year and once one of the Spectator’s Parliamentarians of the Year. He’s a very non-partisan politician which is of major benefit if you need to win a whole House vote

  45. Thanks, Jack. Good points. I am not sure how non-partisan Charles Walker is. He looks pretty right-wing to me, even by Conservative Party standards, on the slender basis of what I have read in the last day, I imagine he could put his personal views aside as Speaker – probably better than Bercow can!

    My apologies for overlooking Charles Walker’s chairmanship of the Procedure Committee. That is an important job.

  46. Wasn’t it Charles Walker that filibustered his own party’s attempt to unseat the speaker at the end of the last parliament? Or am I thinking of someone else?

  47. @Polltroll

    Not a filibuster. He made an emotional speech saying he’d been taken for a fool – the government were justifying their motion on the grounds that his committee had recommended it, but the recommendation being used was very old and not very clear. His speech probably carried some votes and contributed to the motion being defeated.

    As a side note I’m not sure the government really did want to unseat the Speaker, and even had the motion been agreed it is hard to see the new parliament then having used their secret ballot to unseat him whether the government wanted that to happen or not. In fact I think it was all just a bit of a cock up – not the only one of Michael Gove’s brief career as Chief Whip!

  48. It’ll be interesting to see whether the Tories can finally take the Waltham Cross ward from Labour in this year’s local elections, the only ward that Labour can win in Broxbourne. Last year their majority was down to 192 votes:

  49. According to someone on Twitter, Lab held Waltham Cross with an increased majority.

  50. Leave wins 66-34- a bit better for Leave than was expected I think.

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