South Cambridgeshire

2015 Result:
Conservative: 31454 (51.1%)
Labour: 10860 (17.6%)
Lib Dem: 9368 (15.2%)
Green: 3848 (6.3%)
UKIP: 6010 (9.8%)
MAJORITY: 20594 (33.5%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

Geography: Eastern, Cambridgeshire. Part of South Cambridgeshire council area and one ward from Cambridge council area.

Main population centres: Great Shelford, Sawston, Cottenham, Haslingfield, Comberton, Girton, Bar Hill, Cambourne.

Profile: A mostly rural seat to the East of Cambridge. There are few significant centres of population, with most of the electorate scattered across many small and prosperous villages. Cambridge itself is too large for a single seat so one ward, the affluent Queen Edith`s with includes Addenbrooke`s Hospital, is included in this seat. Notable settlements include the purpose built new villages of Bar Hill and Cambourne, Duxford which houses the Imperial War Museum`s aviation museum, and Great Shelford, an affluent village that in 2009 was traced back as the home of Barack Obama`s ancestors.

Politics: A safe Conservative seat, held by the party on various boundaries since 1950.

Current MP
ANDREW LANSLEY (Conservative) Born 1965, Hornchurch. Educated at Brentwood School and Exeter University. Former civil servant and head of the Conservative Research Department. First elected as MP for South Cambridgeshire in 1997. Shadow health secretary 2003-2010. Secretary of State for Health 2010-2012, Leader of the House of Commons 2012-2014. Awarded the CBE in 1992 for political services. Suffered a minor stroke in 1992.
Past Results
Con: 27995 (47%)
Lab: 6024 (10%)
LDem: 20157 (34%)
UKIP: 1873 (3%)
Oth: 3007 (5%)
MAJ: 7838 (13%)
Con: 23676 (45%)
Lab: 10189 (19%)
LDem: 15675 (30%)
UKIP: 1556 (3%)
Oth: 1552 (3%)
MAJ: 8001 (15%)
Con: 21387 (44%)
Lab: 11737 (24%)
LDem: 12984 (27%)
GRN: 1182 (2%)
Oth: 1051 (2%)
MAJ: 8403 (17%)
Con: 22572 (42%)
Lab: 13485 (25%)
LDem: 13860 (26%)
Oth: 466 (1%)
MAJ: 8712 (16%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
HEIDI ALLEN (Conservative)
DAN GREEF (Labour)
SEBASTIAN KINDERSLEY (Liberal Democrat) Contested South Cambridgeshire 2010.
SIMON SAGGERS (Green) Contested Cambridgeshire South 2010.
Comments - 247 Responses on “Cambridgeshire South”
  1. Probably the most well known person in CUK is an household name – but only in Poland. The rest are not really known – Rachel Johnson surname is of course well known but she herself is not an household name.

  2. Lots of people will have seen Gavin Esler on TV but fee would probably be able to put a name to him.

  3. So last nights ‘Have I Got News For You’ was pulled due to concerns over impartiality (Heidi Allen was a guest). Bit of a cock up by the BBC…particularly as I fear they will be shoving Farage in our faces for the next couple of weeks.

  4. They’re on just 3% in the latest poll for the Euros. They’ll end up as an asterisk if they’re not careful.

  5. What a political flop.

  6. Anna Soubry is the new leader of Change UK – Chris Leslie, Joan Ryan, Mike Gapes and Ann Coffey have also remained in the party.

    Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Heidi Allen, Gavin Shuker, Sarah Wollaston and Angela Smith have left the party.

  7. I can’t imagine why the MPs involved would ever think this would work. A huge flop, and pretty embarrassing for them.

  8. It could have worked, they just made a total mess of it.

    The Brexit party shows us that a new party with a crystal clear USP can succeed.

    CUK should have become the Stop Brexit party from Day 1, using the several million signatures on the Revoke petition as their core voter base and quickly built from there.

    Muddying Brexit together with internal Labour party issues like the anti-Semitism scandal was a big mistake from Day 1.

    Also the marmite nature of some of the members, Chuka and Soubry especially. Personally I couldn’t bring myself to vote for a party with Chuka in it, doubtless many people on the left would never vote for a party with Soubry in it.

  9. What’s your problem with Chuka? He’s the sort of bland, inoffensive politician that I wouldn’t expect to put off anyone except for purity-obsessed headbangers (and racists, I guess).

  10. He’s just the kind of vacuous narcissist I detest. On policy we probably agree on a lot but I just can’t stand him personally.

    Many Labour people will feel the same in reverse about Tories such as Clarke and Heseltine.

  11. The Antisemtism scandal was why Change Uk got their best result of the country in Barnet

  12. Rather inevitably, Heidi Allen has joined the Lib Dems.

    I suspect she has a good chance of holding South Cambridgeshire.

  13. Agree with PT on both points

    Like Wollaston, Allen has always seemed a more natural fit for the Lib Dems, particularly now Johnson is moving it to the populist Right

    Also think she can hang on here. The Remain vote was disproportionately high in this particular seat, and coupled with the incumbency boast, it should be enough for Allen to hang on

  14. Plus the Lib Dems are already in control at the council level.

  15. ‘Plus the Lib Dems are already in control at the council level.’

    I’m not sure that’s necessarily beneficial

    I remember the Lib Dems lost Newbury in 2005 which was blamed on an unpopular local LD council, and whilst they were publicly delighted to more than double their tally of seats in 1997, privately they expected more gains and thought that unpopular local LD councils – that got elected between 92-97 – cost them about a dozen or so more seats

  16. Might explain why the Lib/Lib Dems have never won St Albans despite running the council for half of its existence sometimes with stonking majorities. In 96 i think they had 38 seats out of 57

  17. Agree with the above posters that Heidi Allen is one of the few defectors who has a pretty good chance of hanging on to her seat.

  18. Heidi Allen is not contesting her seat at the general election.

    Penny for the thoughts of the already-selected Lib Dem PPC who graciously stood aside for her a few weeks ago…

  19. ‘In an open letter to her constituents, she says she is “exhausted by the invasion into my privacy and the nastiness and intimidation that has become commonplace”.’

    I don’t think she is alone in feeling like this. Being an MP must be a particularly vile job at the moment, especially for women.

  20. Equally, a lot of ‘one term wonders’ just weren’t up to the job or hated the lack of power a backbencher has.

    Just look at how long Mensch et al lasted.

    Indeed, in South Ribble, the second A Lister has just stood down after the first underwhelming one also only lasted 4 years before announcing her retirement. Both are young for MPs and travelled 200 miles to get the nomination so it’s not as if they were local cllrs who weren’t ambitious.

    No doubt Heidi will crop up again, given that she craves publicity.

  21. Every politician should “crave publicity”. If nobody knows who you are, you’re not doing a very good job as a politician!

  22. True, but not for the sake of publicity, such as going into the Jungle etc.

    I can see why centrists don’t like Wets stepping down, but Amber Rudd, Heidi Allen, Alan Duncan were hardly experienced grandees or widely respected [whereas Soames was]. Quite the opposite in fact!

    Most who have ‘gone early’ [the one-term wonders] have been those who have been overpromoted ie joined a Party and ended up as A Lister PPCs after a year or less.

  23. Early days, but IMO the Lib Dems are going to underperform expectations when it comes to scooping up Tory Remainers (if my views are in any way representative of the group). I always thought that Swinson was a lightweight with a bad hairstyle and a wardrobe that wouldn’t look out of place on Hi-de-Hi, so I guess I was hardly unbiased to start with. But she just can’t stop making silly gaffes to turn off people like me. More specifically-

    – “Bollocks to Brexit” aka Revoke is totally undemocratic and frankly naive (as well as an immature and disrespectful slogan). And contradicts and undermines years of their campaigning for a Peoples Vote (much as I hate the phrase).

    – Attempting to gerrymander the election by pushing votes for 16 year olds and EU citizens, not after years of careful debate, but instantly. Again, how democratic, and what a good example of the grown up government the Libs are always arguing for.

    – The other day Swinson moaned that a particular decision was taken by “six white men”. As if she were referring to six dog turds. Imagine someone moaning that a decision had been made by “six black women” and the furore it would rightly elicit. Like 40% of the electorate I am a white man and why would I vote for someone who regards me as the equivalent of dogshit?

    – Few centrists will be happy voting for someone in a formal alliance with Greens or Welsh Nationalists. Many will be worried that the Lib Dems will enable a Corbyn government no matter what empty assurances have been made.

    So I think the Libs will end up flattering to deceive in the well to do southern suburbs, including here, where Allen might have held but I suspect a new candidate will not. We shall see.

  24. I actually agree with HH regarding Swinson; she’s disappointed me too. At this point I have absolutely no idea who to vote for. I can’t stand Johnson, Corbyn is patently not up to it and Swinson is a lightweight. I take it I don’t have to bother expressing my exact feelings for Nigel Farage.

  25. Regarding Swinson’s dress sense: she’s a big framed lassie and she’s only in her 30s so she feels she has to pour herself into those physique hugging, busting at the seams comedy dresses just to.prove to the world she does have a shape. Believe me, if she wore baggier clothes the effect would be even more horrendous. Not many other options really.

  26. For crying out loud, quite apart from the sexist tone of the commentary right here, she had a baby less than a year ago. She’s had to force another human being through her pelvis, that can’t possibly be good for her figure.

    On the Lib Dems’ chances more broadly – there’s a problem for them that, while many voters don’t like either the Tories or the Labour Party very much, very few despise them equally, and then the “don’t let the other lot in” stuff kicks in. They tend to do better when the electorate feel they are playing for lower stakes. I myself consider myself a small-l liberal, probably closer to them than to any other party, but in a seat like Bedford a vote for the party feels self-indulgent.

  27. Best of Britain has commissioned focaldata to model 3 scenarios; the first is a straight vote with out any tactical voting. In this scenario the Tories do as well as they’ve been predicted to do by pollsters like Yougov but the Lib Dems only gain 10 seats.

    The second and third scenario model between a third and almost half of all remain voters tactically voting. Tge second scenario is similar to the focaldata model in September. Hung parliament tories largest party and Lib Dems still on about 20 seats.

    The third scenario has something similar to comres with tories making minimal gains from Labour but significant losses to lib dems.

  28. ‘For crying out loud, quite apart from the sexist tone of the commentary right here’.

    I hope that was directed at HH and not me. He has been far more sexist than I regarding Swinson. I said she was big framed…a statement of fact rather than a comment on her weight. I think she looks fine, if a little uncomfortable.

  29. Polltroll proves my point in a way. Accusing me of being a sexist without even considering that Swinson’s “6 white men” remark was also sexist, and indeed racist too. Clearly Polltroll is fine with this approach to politics and is happy to vote LD and good for him/her; I am not ok with it and can’t easily bring myself to vote for such a person.

    Incidentally if Johnson or Corbyn went around wearing hideous yellow jackets I’d mention their suitability for Hi de Hi’s cast as well (there were just as many male yellowcoats as female).

  30. Tbf Libs always were the worst dressed politicos and I don’t just mean Thorpe and Cyril.

    David Owen was probably their one Kilroy (and by that I mean always smart and liked by old ladies not the forming their own Parties)

  31. On that theme Chuka, Luciana are just too stylish to be elected LDs.

    Libs deserve another PPB in their usual ‘style’ of Paddy in a tweed jacket or jumper. No doubt Swinson can go one worse than Farron managed.

    HH reminded me re her teeth and in the latest LD tweets etc she’s grinning open mouthed.

    Personally the Plaid leader annoys me more, but only because she typifies the middle class liberal who moves somewhere because they feel guilty about their privilege. Her way of addressing the House is also as odd as Bercow’s.

    No-one’s as bad as the Green from Oz though surely.

  32. Another seat shaping up to be quite interesting on the night.

    LDEM: 40% (+21)
    CON: 36% (-16)
    LAB: 12% (-15)
    BREX: 7% (+7) GRN: 4% (+2)

    via @Survation,04 – 05 Nov. Chgs. w/ GE2017 result

  33. I will add that this poll was commissioned by the Liberal Democrats, so normal cavaets apply.

  34. It’s worth considering the sample size in these polls: it was 410 in this case.

    By number of respondents who are ‘certain to vote’, this poll was:

    LibDem 111
    Con 99
    Lab 33
    BxT 19
    Green 12

  35. If the Brexit party really do get 7% in this kind of seat it means they will likely be at 20%+ in the Bostons, Thurrocks and Thanets, almost certainly leading to a Corbyn government.

    In reality Boris will surely get most of that 7% and the Tories will hold here, albeit with the LDs in a very good second.

  36. Yes, I can’t see either BXP or the Greens actually getting their current polling numbers on the night.

  37. HH

    In all these LibDem-commissioned polls they prompt for the Brexit Party, as well as Lab, Con, LD and Green.

    This is likely to have boosted the Brexit figure a bit – presumably at the expense of the Tories.

  38. Both Brexit Party and Green Party are standing down here, in support of Cons and LDs respectively, so we may have just three candidates. The choice of a non-local candidate with a record as a right wing provocateur won’t do the Tories any good, especially given that this is a very socially-liberal area.

    I’d expect this to be very close between Con and LibDem.

  39. ‘The choice of a non-local candidate with a record as a right wing provocateur won’t do the Tories any good, especially given that this is a very socially-liberal area.’

    Had Heidi Allen stood here for the Lib Dems, she would surely be odds on to win the seat for her new party

    On paper this does have all the demographic hallmarks of a Lib Dem gain, although I suspect the Tories have a stronger core vote than might be assumed, and it seems to be a question of how much the Lib Dems can squeeze the not inconsiderable Labour vote

  40. Heidi Allen must have been truly fed up to give it all up, as she had a pretty good chance of holding on here as Tim says. The same applies to Nicky Morgan…she’d have definitely held on in Loughborough and the whispers were that she was due for a promotion in the new Cabinet post election.

  41. “On paper this does have all the demographic hallmarks of a Lib Dem gain, although I suspect the Tories have a stronger core vote than might be assumed”

    There’ll almost certainly be a Shy Tory vote in these kind of prosperous Remainy seats, and probably a Shy Labour vote all over the place, based on the bad image of Boris and Corbyn in various places. I think many will claim to be voting Lib Dem in public only to slip back into old habits in the voting booth.

  42. I think the Tory candidate used to write opinion pieces in The Times in the late 90s/early noughties

    He was the paper’s most right-wing editor and judging from his latest comments on HIV-infected immigrants not much has changed

    An exceptionally nasty candidate for an increasingly nasty party

  43. What a typically balanced and unbiased comment tim.

  44. HH is right.

    The Ashcroft polls show that Tory Leavers put that issue as the highest but Tory Remainers don’t. [Which is presumably why Boles and even Hammond are recommending voting Tory.]

    Less so than Labour Remainers too.

  45. I suspect it’s not that Tory remainers care less about Brexit than Tory leavers, so much as the Tory remainers who care most about Brexit aren’t Tories any more!

    If you voted remain but are still voting for a hard-Brexit party, then it follows that European matters are probably not your top priority.

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