Cambridge

2015 Result:
Conservative: 8117 (15.7%)
Labour: 18646 (36%)
Lib Dem: 18047 (34.9%)
Green: 4109 (7.9%)
UKIP: 2668 (5.2%)
Others: 187 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 599 (1.2%)

Category: Ultra-marginal Labour seat

Geography: Eastern, Cambridgeshire. Most of the Cambridge council area.

Main population centres: Cambridge.

Profile: Covers almost all of the City of Cambridge. While Cambridge is best known for its university, it is also an important regional and retail centre and a home to much hi-tech industry and engineering. Around one in five of the adult population are in full time education and the seat has an well above average proportion of graduates, with just under half of adult residents holding an undergraduate degree.

Politics: All three of the main parties are competitive here, it was held for the Conservatives by the historian Robert Rhodes James until 1992, then was a Labour seat for thirteen years before, like many university seats, swinging strongly to the Liberal Democrats in 2005. The 2005 Lib Dem victor, David Howarth, served for only one term before successfully passing his seat onto Julian Huppert. In 2015 it was regained by Labour.


Current MP
DANIEL ZEICHNER (Labour) Educated at Trinity School and Cambridge University. Former trade union officer. South Norfolk councillor 1995-2003. Contested Mid Norfolk 1997, 2001, 2005, Cambridge 2010. First elected as MP for Cambridge in 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 12829 (26%)
Lab: 12174 (24%)
LDem: 19621 (39%)
GRN: 3804 (8%)
Oth: 1702 (3%)
MAJ: 6792 (14%)
2005*
Con: 7193 (17%)
Lab: 14813 (34%)
LDem: 19152 (44%)
GRN: 1245 (3%)
Oth: 1166 (3%)
MAJ: 4339 (10%)
2001
Con: 9829 (23%)
Lab: 19316 (45%)
LDem: 10737 (25%)
GRN: 1413 (3%)
Oth: 1541 (4%)
MAJ: 8579 (20%)
1997
Con: 13299 (26%)
Lab: 27436 (53%)
LDem: 8287 (16%)
Oth: 1055 (2%)
MAJ: 14137 (28%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
CHAMALI FERNANDO (Conservative) Barrister. Sought Liberal Democrat nomination for London mayor in 2007 before defecting to the Conservatives in 2009.
DANIEL ZEICHNER (Labour) Educated at Trinity School and Cambridge University. Trade union officer. South Norfolk councillor 1995-2003. Contested Mid Norfolk 1997, 2001, 2005, Cambridge 2010.
JULIAN HUPPERT (Liberal Democrat) Born 1978, Cambridge. Educated at The Perse School and Cambridge University. Research scientist. Cambridgeshire county councillor 2001-2009. Contested Huntingdon 2005. MP for Cambridge 2010 to 2015. One of relatively few scientists in the House of Commons, Huppert has been prominent as a defender of science, evidence-based policies and as an opponent of pseudoscience.
PATRICK O`FLYNN (UKIP) Born 1965, Cambridge. Educated at Cambridge University. Former Daily Express journalist. Contested MEP for Eastern region since 2014.
RUPERT READ (Green) Educated at Oxford University. Academic. Norwich councillor 2004-2011. Contested Eastern region 2009, 2014 European elections, Norwich North 2009 by-election.
KEITH GARRETT (Remove the Politicians)
Links
Comments - 990 Responses on “Cambridge”
  1. This was written by Phil Rogers who is a blogger/commentator on all things Cambridge :

    “….I do think John Hayward will increase the Conservative vote share slightly. My best guess is that he’ll end up on 18%.

    Rounding Keith Garrett down to 0%, that leaves 76% of the vote for the two leading candidates, Labour’s Daniel Zeichner and Julian Huppert.

    Both are battle-hardened campaigning veterans with large and effective teams of activists behind them. How will they fare this time?

    As noted above, while there are a lot of similarities with the 2015 contest, a great deal has changed too. One of the most significant factors in Cambridge election results is the extent to which the Lib Dems manage to “squeeze” the Conservative vote by persuading natural Conservative supporters to lend the Lib Dems their vote in order to keep Labour out. My impression this time is that the Conservative vote was a bit less squeezable at the start of the campaign, with Brexit clearly a factor, but has softened somewhat as the campaign has gone on and Labour have reduced the gap in the national polls.

    In terms of “feet on the streets”, there has been plenty of activity from both main parties. My impression is that, as usual, Labour have probably done more canvassing, and the Lib Dems are ahead in leaflet delivery. There seem to be more Labour posters on display across the city, but that was also the case in the last two General Elections, and in any case, as we saw with the Greens in 2010, posters don’t necessarily translate directly into votes. One noticeable change from 2015 is that the Labour student organisation, CULC, while still active, hasn’t been quite so prominent in the campaign this time – hardly surprising with University exams underway at the moment.

    So my best guess for the result of the 2017 General Election in Cambridge is… aggravatingly, not going to be revealed until the polls close at 10pm on Thursda… But here’s a prediction to keep you going until then: I think it could well be even closer than the 1.2% margin of victory in 2015.”

    So basically he’s saying “I don’t know”.

  2. Pretty pathetic way of saying “I haven’t the foggiest”…much more interesting when people have actual views.

  3. Peter,

    I believe he has predicted a very small swing to LD in Cambridge. Predicting a result closer than last time is one of the most precise predictions I have seen in this election, hardly sitting on the fence!

  4. Phil’s probably a fairly reliable source on this stuff, I’d trust his judgement – I do think it’s going to be immensely close. My student-age colleagues have definitely swung heavily to Labour here, but I’m getting more of a sense than I was that postgraduates and permanent residents may be edging back to Huppert compared to 2015. CULC not being prominent is a real concern for Labour; to hold on they’ll need to ramp student turnout as high as possible, and they were extremely active in 2015. I’m getting some murmurings that the Tory and even Kipper votes may be squeezing quite well on an anti-Corbyn basis, but I think Labour’s national momentum may carry them over the line here nonetheless.

  5. BBC reporting at the count that Labour is likely to hold this seat

  6. Labour not only hold, but utterly flatten Lib Dems in their best result here since 1997. Hugely galvanised student vote and national swing to Labour in all the right demographics for the seat – a very bruising defeat for the local party, and almost certainly sees Zeichner safe for a long while to come, though the LD organisation locally will see them continue to be the challenging party and I certainly wouldn’t rule out seeing Huppert vs Zeichner round four sometime down the line…

  7. Lab 29,032 (52%)
    LD 16,371 (29%)
    Con 9,133 (16%)

    Good to re-read the lengthy local “expert” opinion above saying it might be even closer than the 1% majority last time…

  8. awful result for the LDs here, who will no doubt improve in the next election but won’t threaten, i suspect seats like this is where Farron’s remarks about homosexuality etc went down like a led baloon.

  9. Speaking as a Lib Dem this was the single most heartbreaking result of the night from my perspective. The fight was certainly bitter here, but I think it was mostly an impression that Labour was in some way the “more anti-Tory” vote more than a vote against the Lib Dems or motivated by eg fees. I think both here and nationally the Lib Dems struggled to get positive policy messages out, and in Cambridge that really hurts you, doubly so given Zeichner’s Europhile stance which hampered any chance of my party’s Brexit line sinking in.

    We’ll be back, certainly, though I suspect we might not win this and similar university seats until such time as Labour get into government again – they have a massive structural advantage simply in being untarnished by actual decision-making processes, which is hard for us to overcome.

  10. James Baillie, your own party enjoyed the advantage of “being untarnished by actual decision-making processes” for far more years, and some would say they then made a hash of it when that long, long period ended…… odd that you overlook Labour’s years in power, 1997-2010.

  11. I don’t at all overlook those years – that’s the point I’m making, as that’s when we actually took Cambridge and seats like it. I think University seats, left-leaning and with high population churn, are perhaps less forgiving than others of mistakes made in government (and I’d agree we made a hash of government and might use some rather stronger language than that to describe some of the decision making involved!) Since 2010 the aspects of Labour policy that grate worse in places like Cambridge have been fairly invisible, since they’re also things that the Tories would never countenance implementing. Miliband and Corbyn both successfully managed to carve out a moral high-ground strategy that has been very successful in seats like this one; Labour haven’t really been tested on immigration, civil liberties, or even Brexit, and have managed to get liberal-leaning MPs in seats like this who can fend off questions via their personal record. It’s proving a good opposition strategy, but it’s one that may have problems if it comes into contact with the business of government.

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