North East Cambridgeshire

2015 Result:
Conservative: 28524 (55.1%)
Labour: 7476 (14.4%)
Lib Dem: 2314 (4.5%)
Green: 1816 (3.5%)
UKIP: 11650 (22.5%)
MAJORITY: 16874 (32.6%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

Geography: Eastern, Cambridgeshire. The whole of the Fenland council area and part of East Cambridgeshire council area.

Main population centres: Wisbech, March, Whittlesey, Chatteris, Littleport.

Profile: This seat broadly covers the historic Isle of Ely (indeed, the seat was called the Isle of Ely until boundary changes moved Ely itself out of the seat), a old administrative unit covering the marshy fenland around the tiny city of Ely. This is a rural area, a wide stretch of flat agricultural land reclaimed from marshland in centuries past. The electorate is concentrated in a handful of market towns like Chatteris, Wisbech and March and the economy remains built upon the food industry, basic agriculture but also food processing, storage, packaging and distribution..

Politics: The old Isle of Ely seat was won by the Liberals in a 1973 by-election and represented by Sir Clement Freud, the chef, columnist and television and radio personality. After a surprise by-election win he held the seat for fourteen years through, he used to say, trawling through birth, deaths and marriages in the local paper and writing to congratulate or commisserate with constitutuents at every such opportunity, funded by the money he won backing himself to win the initial by-election at 33 to 1. After Freud was finally unseated in 1987 Liberal support in the seat rapidly faded, becoming once again a safe Tory seat.

Current MP
STEPHEN BARCLAY (Conservative) Born 1972, Lytham St Annes. Educated at King Edward VII School, RMA Sandhurst and Cambridge University. Former Solicitor and army officer. Contested Manchester Blackley 1997, Lancaster and Wyre 2001. First elected as MP for Cambridgeshire North East in 2010. Government whip since 2015.
Past Results
Con: 26862 (52%)
Lab: 9274 (18%)
LDem: 10437 (20%)
UKIP: 2791 (5%)
Oth: 2700 (5%)
MAJ: 16425 (32%)
Con: 24181 (48%)
Lab: 15280 (30%)
LDem: 8693 (17%)
UKIP: 2723 (5%)
MAJ: 8901 (17%)
Con: 23132 (48%)
Lab: 16759 (35%)
LDem: 6733 (14%)
UKIP: 1189 (2%)
Oth: 238 (0%)
MAJ: 6373 (13%)
Con: 23855 (43%)
Lab: 18754 (34%)
LDem: 9070 (16%)
Oth: 1110 (2%)
MAJ: 5101 (9%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
STEPHEN BARCLAY (Conservative) See above.
LUCY NETHSINGHA (Liberal Democrat)
ANDREW CHARALAMBOUS (UKIP) Born 1967, Highgate. Educated at William Foster School and Queen Mary College. Non practicising barrister. Contested Tottenham 1992, Edmonton 2010 for the Conservatives, Feltham and Heston 2011 by-election for UKIP.
Comments - 70 Responses on “Cambridgeshire North East”
  1. Indeed.

    It is worth adding that the Tories also regained Ryedale in 1987 having lost it to the Liberals in a by-election the previous year. The Conservative held the seat by 5000 over the Liberal Democrats in 1997. It would be interesting to work out how Rydeale would have voted in 2010 and 2015 actually.

  2. I am almost certain Labour would have won in Fulham in 1997 (the Conservative majority was about 16%) but there wouldn’t have been much in it.

  3. Probably similar to Putney I would guess.

  4. Clement Freud revealed as a paedophile.

    His wife has apologised to the victims who have passed information to police.

    He shared an office at Westminster with Cyril Smith.

  5. How on earth could his wife stay with him, let alone have children with him. It’s mind boggling.

  6. There’s a conspiracy theorists answer to that, and a sensible one. The term paedophile has been deployed very liberally these days, describing people at the Jimmy Saville end of the spectrum right across to cases which are grey areas and more a reflection of different attitudes and different times.

  7. Of the 11 Liberal MPs by the time of the 1974 election, two were paedophiles, one would be accused of conspiracy to murder, and one wound up the party.

  8. Steve Barclay has been appointed Brexit secretary – but with a reduced role focusing on domestic preparedness for Brexit.

  9. By rights the role should have gone to the cabinet’s last available ultra May loyalist Brexiter (Grayling). She clearly thinks he’s not up to the job.

  10. Plus he is not exactly the most popular member of the cabinet – which may be partly because of reasons May thinks he is not up to the job.

  11. Stephen Barclay voted against extending Article 50 this evening. How on earth is he meant to go to Brussels tomorrow and negotiate to do just that?

    I know it was a free vote, but still, how can he possibly stay in place?

  12. With Dexu being wound up will Barclay get a new cabinet position or be sent back to the backbenchers. Being from Lancashire might well be what keeps him in the cabinet.

  13. Barclay was another Tory who was returned with over 70% of the vote – not a bad result in what used to be one of the liberal’s most reliable seats – albeit because of Clement Freud

    Once he got the boot the Tories became very well entrenched but 70% for a non-local candidate is still quite remarkable

  14. I think Wisbech is the main town and there were very many EU Eastern Europeans came to work round there in the horticultural industries, like Boston in Lincs, so local reaction, high leave vote.

  15. “not a bad result in what used to be one of the liberal’s most reliable seats – albeit because of Clement Freud”

    Different boundaries – for most of Freud’s time his seat stretched far enough south to take in Ely which to this day remains much more friendly to the Liberals/Lib Dems – today IIRC the city of Ely is in SE Cambridgeshire where the Lib Dems tend to perform respectably.

    Ely was removed in 1983 and Freud lost his seat at the following election. Since then, Cambridgeshire NE boundaries have shifted even further north, further away from any area of Lib Dem strength.

  16. Cathedral cities as a whole seem to be places for liberal middle class people.

  17. I didn’t realise the old isle of Ely seat included Ely itself although I guess it’s name gives it away a bit.

    North Cambridgeshire of course is very different to south Cambridgeshire. The Tories got big swings in all the north Cambridgeshire seats, whilst going backwards in those in the south.

  18. Arguably it was the shiny new A14 widening scheme between Cambridge and Huntingdon, which opened pretty much on polling day, which nudged the Tories over the line in South Cambridgeshire. Must have bought a few votes among the middle-class folk commuting to Cambridge who had previously had to endure traffic jams every day.

  19. The Lib Dem’s really showed their limitations by not winning here. Demographically it’s cut out of them with the added bonus of a woeful and unpleasant Tory candidate – and yet they still f**ked it up

    By losing her seat Swinson has avoided would what have undoubtedly been instant removal. And yet it all looked so good for the Lib Dem’s back in the spring

  20. By here I meant south cambs

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