Camborne & Redruth

2015 Result:
Conservative: 18452 (40.2%)
Labour: 11448 (25%)
Lib Dem: 5687 (12.4%)
Green: 2608 (5.7%)
UKIP: 6776 (14.8%)
Mebyon Kernow: 897 (2%)
MAJORITY: 7004 (15.3%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: South West, Cornwall. Part of the Cornwall council area.

Main population centres:



Current MP
GEORGE EUSTICE (Conservative) Born 1971, Penzance. Educated at Truro School. Former Strawberry farmer, director of the No campaign against the Euro and press secretary to Michael Howard and David Cameron. Contested South West region for UKIP in 1999. First elected as MP for Camborne & Redruth in 2010. Fisheries Minister since 2013.
Past Results
Con: 15969 (38%)
Lab: 6945 (16%)
LDem: 15903 (37%)
UKIP: 2152 (5%)
Oth: 1524 (4%)
MAJ: 66 (0%)
Con: 12644 (26%)
Lab: 14861 (31%)
LDem: 16747 (35%)
UKIP: 1820 (4%)
Oth: 1943 (4%)
MAJ: 1886 (4%)
Con: 14005 (30%)
Lab: 18532 (40%)
LDem: 11453 (24%)
UKIP: 1328 (3%)
Oth: 1502 (3%)
MAJ: 4527 (10%)
Con: 15463 (29%)
Lab: 18151 (34%)
LDem: 13512 (25%)
Oth: 2972 (6%)
MAJ: 2688 (5%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Falmouth & Camborne

2015 Candidates
GEORGE EUSTICE (Conservative) See above.
MICHAEL FOSTER (Labour) Literary and media agent.
JULIA GOLDSWORTHY (Liberal Democrat) Born 1978, Camborne. Educated at Truro School and Cambridge University. MP for Falmouth and Camborne 2005-2010. Contested Camborne and Redruth 2010.
ROBERT SMITH (UKIP) Psychologist. Contested Devon and Cornwall Police Commissioner election 2012.
GEOFF GARBETT (Green) Educated at Glamorgan University. University lecturer. Contested Taunton 1979.
LOVEDAY JENKIN (Mebyon Kernow) Educated at Helston Grammar School and Cardiff University. Lecturer. Former Kerrier councillor, Cornwall councillor since 2011. Contested Camborne and Redruth 2010.
Comments - 404 Responses on “Camborne & Redruth”
1 2 3 9
  1. Would this seat have the potential to be a 4-way marginal in 2015?

    Both Coalition parties would seem to have the vote somewhat under threat by current polling. And Lab did hold this seat as recently as 2005.

    Also its the kind of seat I would have thought UKIP would be able to gain some traction in. One to watch I would have thought.

  2. A big pointer will be the UA election in May. The Euros not so in many respects as UKIP always do well in the SW which never translates at Westminster level (well not so far, anyway!).

  3. Lib Dems hold up in Tory/Lib Dem battlegrounds and that is where their strength lies. Also, Euroscepticism and UKIP is very popular in the South West. I reckon that UKIP might take enough votes off the Tories that Camborne and Redruth could fall to the Lib Dems.

  4. It’s a bit of a difficult one this.

    Labour are way back in third place and pretty much out of contention, it’s knife-edge between Eustace and Goldsworthy and there is a more than significant UKIP vote in fourth place- If UKIP do take votes off the Tories, will this indeed let the Lib Dems back in? I think personally that if enough Labour voters could be convinced that they are too distant at the moment here to really come close, that a few of them might tactically go Lib Dem- It’s not been unknown…

  5. Based on the County Council elections, and considering that Labour held Falmouth and Camborne before 2005, it could be possible that Labour could up their game and take votes off the Lib Dems. My guess is that due to Lib Dem local strength and the fact that Labour won’t take the seat, UKIP will take more votes from the Tories and probably double their share of the vote at least. I’d say:
    CON – 33%
    LIB DEM – 33%
    LAB – 21%
    UKIP – 10%

  6. Totally agree that this is a hard one to predict – any of the three parties would have a chabce

    I had assumed that the removal of Falmouth would be advantageous to the Lib Dems and Labour – basing the seat on the two more working class towns of Cambourne and Redruth.

    But it’s these types of towns that tend to be Tory-voting in 21st century UK, and with Labour at their lowest ebb it’s no real surprise that Cornwall’s nost working class seat went tory in 2010

    Whether it will stay that way is anyones guess

  7. I don’t think the Tories will hold because of the rise of UKIP. UKIP’s strength is in the South West, because that is where Euroscepticism is very strong – they even came third in a number of seats in this region in 2010. Lib Dems do well in Tory/Lib Dem marginals. I don’t think Labour will take this seat, but it is anyone’s guess you’re right – this could possibly become a three-way (or even four-way) marginal in 2015.

  8. I think that the Tories will hold on with an increased majority (even with a significant drop in their vote) because the Lib Dems will do even worse.

    I could see Labour regaining second place, with the share of the vote being something like Con 31, Lab 23, LD 20 and UKIP 12.

    Labour will not do as well as they could have under the old F & C boundaries.

  9. Funny that the South West has both the highest support for both the Lib Dems and UKIP – two parties that take opposing views on every single topic of the day

    If UKIP do maintain their current poll ratings in the 2015 general election, without taking any seats, might Nigel Farage liaise with the army and attempt a Hitler-style London putsch

    I wouldn’t want to bet against it

  10. @Dalek – I know, it’s me saying this, but as much as I would love that to happen. I doubt they will. The South West is very fertile ground for UKIP and they will take loads of Tory votes. Labour will take votes from the Tories and Lib Dems too, which will increase their share of the vote but remember Lib Dems will hold up in most areas where they are up against the Tories, because there is no threat from the left. UKIP will probably take 1,000s from the Tories – look at Eastleigh.

  11. UKIP took votes from the LDs in Eastleigh as well as they will also in Cornwall. The view that UKIP takes votes solely or even mainly from the Tories is always too simplistic but is especially so in this county

  12. But Pete, you take votes mainly from disaffected Tories – that is not without any doubt. You will take more votes from Tories here than you will with Lib Dems, you know that! How do you think you preventing the Tories from taking North Cornwall in 2010?

  13. Wasn’t there a poll after the Eastleigh byelection which suggested UKIP took almost as much support from Labour and Lib Dems as from the Conservatives?

    Also I remember 2 Lib Dem to UKIP defections just before the byelection (one of which was a former mayor of Eastleigh).

  14. Interesting to note that the Survation poll of the other day which saw figures of Lab-37, Con-24, UKIP-22, LD-11 yielded UKIP 1 seat on Electoral Calculus and it was this one of Camborne and Redruth.

    I would certainly think this should be a big UKIP target for 2015 and if they do take it it will mean all 4 parties will have held the seat since 1997.

  15. The response to this is that electoral calculus is a joke. UKIP being 6 or 7 times above their 2010 base would mean that a uniform swing is not a viable approximation. (It would presume that UKIP would get at least 22% in Scotland or in West Ham for example)

    Most likely in non-metropolitan England UKIP would have to be around the 30 mark to poll 22. That would clearly be seat winning territory and not just 1.

  16. Pete Whitehead is absolutely right about Lib Dem-UKIP defectors, especially in the South West where it’s been well observed behaviour for several cycles of Euro elections. The simple arithmetic in Eastleigh tells you that more or less half of the increase in the UKIP vote came from the Lib Dems, and more or less half from the Tories – that’s in some rather odd circumstances and with a diabolical Tory candidate, but still.

  17. The 2005 notional result was as follows:

    LD: 13,830
    Lab: 11,097
    Con: 9,874
    UKIP: 1,833
    Others: 1,943

  18. Yes Pete is right – there is a widespread misconception that Lib Dem voters are all either sandal wearing vegans, hand wringing middle class types or ‘old Labour’ defectors/tactical voters. The truth is far more complex and often defies conventional left-right analyses, especially in the SW.

    This is one reason that the Tories’ ‘love bomb’ approach had such patchy results last time around. Attracting the voters of Lib Dem-inclined teachers in Cheadle might well put off a lot of Lib Dem voters in Camborne.

  19. ‘This is one reason that the Tories’ ‘love bomb’ approach had such patchy results last time around.’

    That happened because the Tories are so out of touch with, as they would describe, the lower orders

    Many contributors to this site – many of whom I wouldn’t even give the time of day to – were saying way before the general election that the Torires should be targetting WWC voters, so many of whom had become so obviously disenchanted with Labour

    But no – Cameron and the dimwits who advise him, decided to focus on hugging hoodies, putting out pics with huskies, and shaking a few hands with the odd gay person here and there – all of which of course he’s completely abandoned now in government, except for his bizarre decision to legalise gay marriage – and look how many problems that’s caused him with his own side – thinking that that would result in winning back all the votes they had lost to Labour – and the Lib Dems – in the mid 90s

    I’m not saying that had he resorted to the core vote tactics that saw his pary deseverdly mulklered in of 2001 and 2005, they would have fared any better – Cameron needed to detoxify the party – but it just highlights how stupid Tory statregists are not to recognise a trend that people on here were taliking aboiut two and three years prior to the election

    And to think that these people get paid

  20. Well Cameron’s no Lord Salisbury, though, I think.

    I wouldn’t go as far as the some of the more splenetic posters on this site on this subject, but I do think there is a problem – not just confined to the Tories – that a large part of the political class just struggle to understand that most people in the country are NOT like them.

    This is all the more surprising in the case of MPs given that so many of them complain endlessly about the burden of constituency work that their job supposedly entails.

  21. well of course they shouldn’t even think of complaining about that, whichever party they belong to. That is what their position is all about, representing their constituents whether they voted for them or not.

  22. Indeed Barnaby, and yet they do complain endlessly – I can’t help feeling one reason for this is that they actually don’t want to be involved in that kind of work at all.

  23. The Conservative Party did not and does not need detoxifying.

  24. ‘The Conservative Party did not and does not need detoxifying.’

    Say that up North and in Scotland.

  25. the north and scotland need to forget about mrs thatcher she went years ago

  26. There was nothing wrong with pursuing gay marriage, except for showing the reactionary element is alive and well, if it wouldn’t be legalised before 2015, it would definitely have under the next Labour government so why not do something progressive instead of holding back the inevitable by five years, besides in the country it has wide and rising support (admittedly its not the biggest priority of anyone but there was national consensus in all age groups except those who will largely die out after the next couple of elections). Many Tories spend a lot of time talk ing to themselves, as an undecided centrist living in a Welsh marginal thats a shame.

  27. A quick calculation for the constituency’s 19 unitary divisions in May’s local elections suggests UKIP v strong, Labour resurgent and the Lib Dems much weaker:

    UKIP: 5006
    Independents: 4746
    Conservatives: 4074
    Labour: 3760
    Liberal Democrats: 1418
    Mebyon Kernow: 1138
    Green: 265
    Liberal: 143

    The Lib Dems only had candidates in 5 of the 19 divisions, which depresses their vote share but also points to organisational weakness on the ground.

  28. I think that Eustice will probably hold this seat in 2015, largely because the Lib Dem vote will go down at Labour’s expense, but not enough for Labour to challenge the Tories here.

  29. I think Eustice will hold because for exactly the reason the Results states. Nevertheless, I am reluctant to make predictions about vote shares because I think it will be mightily hard. For example, it is not clear how much LD to Labour unwind there will be. I would say that there will be more unwind than in other south west seats but it will still be difficult to put figures on it. Then you have the question of how well UKIP will do and at whose expense.

  30. UKIP squeezing the Tory vote might perhaps be a bigger factor than Labour squeezing the Lib Dem vote. The local elections back in May saw Labour regaining some ground in Cornwall, but their vote is so dispersed across the county. Judging from the election map, there’s no defined Labour territory in Cornwall. This is in contrast with other counties like East Sussex where their vote is heavily concentrated in Hastings or West Sussex with all their strength in Crawley. Furthermore the south west is one of the Lib Dems’ areas of strength.

    Candy Atherton (who is a now a councillor in the area) was the MP for Falmouth and Camborne for a couple of a terms. Boundary changes meant that they were split into two new seats so any Labour vote would be split between this seat and Truro and Falmouth.

  31. I think the 2005 notionals had Labour on 28-29%- slightly ahead of the Tories and about 2-3% down on what they actually got in Falmouth and Camborne. I don’t know what others here made of the accuracy of those notionals. But assuming they are not far wide of the mark, we can conclude that there is some Labour support here.

  32. I wonder if Goldsworthy will be reselected as the Lib Dem candidate here?

  33. I spent a lot of time thinking about the Cornish seats and, like most people, was quite stunned by the success of UKIP, not least in Camborne, and its environs. PArt of the reason it is hard to divine too accurately from these results is that Cornish ovters, more than any others, can switch between party labels quite easily, creating remarkable swings and unexpected results. What is true of these results is that Labour has shown it can target seats and rebuild a base, UKIP can pick up traditional Labour and Lib Dem voters (as well as the Conservatives) with remarkable success and that the Liberal Democrats unbelievably withdrew from most of their former stronghold. This, as much as anything else, is why they are unlikely to regain the seat in 2015. I expect Labour to become the main challengers, UKIP to put up a strong campaign and the Conservatives to hold on.

  34. I refer of course to the UA elections – I apologise for the spelling mistakes; I am pretty shattered.

  35. The odd thing about the Cornwall elections this year was that if anything Labour did better in Penzance (in the St Ives constituency) than here. Penzance’s Labour vote has long been dormant but it’s much more recently been a feature in the towns of Camborne & Redruth themselves.

  36. Yes, Penzance was stunningly good for Labour, but there had always been a Labour vote there. Added to this, UKIP had already reached its high watermark in Penzance due to the efforts of the Faulkner clan so their hopes were somewhat less.
    The Liberal Democrats were pushed out here and the centre-left Independent, Jim McKenna, won a stunning victory in Promenade.
    If Labour could get its act together, St Ives, along with much of Cornwall, should be competitve for them.

  37. As an outsider admittedly to Cornwall, would I be correct in assuming that Labour have struggled in the majority of the seats in recent years because most of their natural voters tactically support the Lib Dems?

  38. It isn’t just that what Labour supporters there are in Cornwall have often voted tactically Lib Dem in the past, at a more basic level the labour movement – by which I mean, the trade union movement – never gained much traction in Cornwall. Without that movement, the Liberals back in the day were able to retain the loyalty of the lower classes, and that carried on for the Liberal Democrats. So, it isn’t a case of tactical voting, it’s also largely a case of Labour just never making much inroads into Cornwall over its history.

  39. @Van Fleet
    Oh right thanks I see.

    It’s just I wondered given that at one time before 1974 both St Ives and Truro weren’t bad seats for Labour, and they often finished behind the Tories in both.

  40. IIRC Falmouth & Cambourne was Labour until 1970.

    I would imagine though that the trade unions and hence Labour were stronger in that constituency with tin miners in Cambourne and dockers in Falmouth.

  41. I was surprised to see Julia Goldsworthy lose in 2010 – I assumed she was one of their bright young things who would be here a long time
    and that they’d lock the Labour vote in.
    But I didn’t expect much Tory recovery in Cornwall
    but was disappointed on the other hand
    not to make more progress in the seats
    around Somerset and dotted around near Bristol.

  42. I think Camborne and Redruth will be a seat where the Lib Dems do very badly with a Labour rebound – the Lib Dems pretty much pulled out of the County Council elections here suggesting a collapse in the local activist base. This could help the Tories but a strong UKIP vote could drag them down. If Labour come back strongly enough, they have some hope of being in the hunt but I would see C & R as a fairly comfortable Conservative hold. The UKIP vote could also have a detrimental effect on labour’s growth as many of the votes for UKIP were in divisions Labour would have hoped to do much better in.
    At a guess (for now):
    Con 36%
    Lab 28%
    LD 21%
    UKIP 10%
    others 5%

  43. Labour won’t be in the hunt here- not from a starting point of 16%. I think Eustice will hold reasonably comfortably on about 37% of the vote because of highly fragmented opposition.

  44. I don’t believe they will gain it, just that they will bounce back and be in a strong position for the next GE.

  45. On what grounds do you think that? I don’t doubt that could well happen but I’m interested to know your reasoning.

  46. As stated above, the unitary elections aren’t that encouraging for Labour here. The vote will go up, but not by as much as suggested.

  47. The Labour Party in Camborne and Redruth is in a better state than it was, the Liberal Democrats have pretty much shut down and much of this will be because of the unpopularity of the coalition with the Tories – Labour voters have often supported the Liberal Democrats in the past but this seems less likely now. Labour’s drop in the notional share of the vote since 2005 was mostly to the Lib Dems and with no defending MP this time, there is no personal vote for the Lib Dems to hold onto.
    Labour will be disappointed not to have done better in some of the divisions in the UA elections, but against the appalling base of 2009, they did well. In Redruth, the surprise strength of UKIP , as with in much of the area, probably cost Labour two gains, but the share of the vote was up significantly on the last elections.
    In Camborne, UKIP did spectacularly and unexpectedly (to their successful candidates as much as anybody else) but Labour still polled well and the former sole UA Labour councillor (and former parliamentary candidate), Jude Robinson, lost her seat with one of the strongest Labour shares of the vote in the whole Cornwall, whilst managing to significantly increase her vote share on her byelection gain. Malolcom Moyle gained a seat on a strong vote in Pool and Tehidy.
    On the face of it UKIP should be the main challengers, but that is very unlikely.
    I believe Labour’s strength will give them the edge to have a good showing in second place in 2015.

  48. I have an almost masochistic interest in the politics of Cornwall and it is a place designed to give you nightmares when it comes to predictions, especially in local elections.

  49. Is being made a Minister a blessing or a curse if one is in a marginal seat?

    Does it detract from the constant work required to keep the swinging voters on side?

    As for Eustice himself, one might wonder whether being an ex-UKIPPer himself will mean he has to pull his punches against this group on the hustings..

    Was he seen in 2010 by some UKIPpers as a UKIpper in Tory clothing and thus an acceptable alternative to voting directly for a UKip candidate?

    If what CatholicLeft has to say about the UKIP strength here is correct then if Eustice leaves the “shop untended” they might get 8-10% which might be rather fatal for him.

  50. My guess is that it’s usually a curse. Low ranking ministers outside the cabinet get no real publicity anyway whilst, as you say, they are able to spend a lot less time campaigning and on constituency business.

1 2 3 9
Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)