Cannock Chase

2015 Result:
Conservative: 20811 (44.2%)
Labour: 15888 (33.7%)
Lib Dem: 1270 (2.7%)
Green: 906 (1.9%)
UKIP: 8224 (17.5%)
MAJORITY: 4923 (10.5%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: West Midlands, Staffordshire. Consists of the Cannock Chase council area.

Main population centres: Cannock, Rugeley.

Profile: Cannock Chase itself is an area of woodland and heathland, the smallest designated area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in mainland Britain. The constituency consists of the two towns either side of the Chase - Cannock to the south and Rugeley to the north. Cannock was a coal mining town in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, but the industry is now long gone and Cannock has become an increasingly affluent commuter area for the Metropolitian West Midlands area to the south. Rugeley too is a former mining town, with Lea Hall Colliery closing in 1990..

Politics: Cannock Chase was a surprise gain for the Conservatives in 2010. Previously it had been a relatively safe Labour seat with a majority in excess of 20% in the 1997, 2001 and 2005 elections, but Aiden Burley won the seat with a swing of 14%, one of the largest from Labour to the Conservatives in any contest in 2010. Burley had only a short Parliamentary career, standing down in 2015 following criticism for attending a stag party where guests dressed in Nazi uniform, but the Conservatives managed to hold onto the seat without him in 2015.

Current MP
AMANDA MILLING (Conservative) Born Burton on Trent. Educated at University College London. Former director of a Market research business. Rossendale councillor. First elected as MP for Cannock Chase in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 18271 (40%)
Lab: 15076 (33%)
LDem: 7732 (17%)
BNP: 2168 (5%)
Oth: 2312 (5%)
MAJ: 3195 (7%)
Con: 12912 (30%)
Lab: 22139 (51%)
LDem: 5934 (14%)
UKIP: 2170 (5%)
MAJ: 9227 (21%)
Con: 12345 (30%)
Lab: 23049 (56%)
LDem: 5670 (14%)
MAJ: 10704 (26%)
Con: 14227 (27%)
Lab: 28705 (55%)
LDem: 4537 (9%)
Oth: 3234 (6%)
MAJ: 14478 (28%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
AMANDA MILLING (Conservative) Born Burton on Trent. Educated at University College London. Director of a Market research business. Rossendale councillor.
JANOS TOTH (Labour) Fundraising manager. Cannock Chase councillor. Contested Aldridge Brownhills 1997.
IAN JACKSON (Liberal Democrat) Retired accountant. Former Lichfield councillor. Contested Lichfield 2005, 2010.
GRAHAME WIGGIN (UKIP) Educated at Wolverhampton College of Technology. Construction manager.
Comments - 247 Responses on “Cannock Chase”
  1. I wonder if Aidan Burley would have held this seat if he hadn’t stood down?

  2. Most probably. Ditto Dan Byles in North Warwickshire, Jessica Lee in Erewash and several others.

  3. There was a precedent for what happened. In 1983 the Tories unexpectedly won Cannock & Burntwood and then unexpectedly increased their majority in 1987.

  4. An observation I made- a lot of the incumbent Tory MPs first elected in 2010 increased their vote shares.

  5. Yes. I bet Chris Kelly regrets stepping down in Dudley. Here and in Twickenham the Tory candidates looked more shocked than the losers.

  6. The Tory candidate in Twickenham seemed quite upset to have defeated Vince Cable. Maybe it was the unexpectedness of it.

  7. I couldn’t believe his defeat nor that of Ed Davey. During that period of results of the early morning I even began to believe several more Labour MPs in marginal seats would even lose to the Conservatives.

  8. Well I have to say that after everything that has happened here locally over the last five years, this was an incredibly good result for the Conservatives. Amanda Milling did very well in my opinion to build on the huge swing Aidan Burley got in 2010, which must suggest that the demographic changes underway here long-term are still benefiting the Tories locally. Labour made minimal progress, which was a bit surprising I think given the Lib Dem vote they should have benefited from- but looking at this result it looks as though most of the 2010 Lib Dem voters transferred to UKIP, which is interesting if that’s indeed the case. To sum up, however, extremely relieving for the local Conservatives to hold and increase the majority over Labour after the incumbent MP left.

  9. @ The Results

    I don’t think you can assume most of the Lib Dem 2010 vote went to UKIP just because they collapsed and UKIP had the biggest increase in vote share. There is considerable churn normally between parties. My hunch is that a chunk of LD 2010 voters went to Labour but a chunk of Lab 2010 voters went to UKIP, thereby pretty much leaving Lab stuck on their 2010 vote share. Add to this the effect of the Tories being very successful in bringing back their defectors to UKIP and squeezing the 2010 LD vote and I think you’ve got an explanation for what happened in the English and Welsh marginals. It has to be said that whilst I appauladed Miliband for ruling out an EU referendum that was a huge tactical mistake. I think Lab would have been less susceptible to UKIP defectors if they’d offered an EU referendum, however it might have put off 2010 LDs. Anyway, I don’t suppose there’s much chance of the polls telling us the underlying churn of voters that led to the 2015 result given they got it so horribly wrong in the run up to the vote. I genuinely believed the Ashcroft polling so I thought this seat was a definite Lab gain!

  10. That’s a fair enough analysis BigD. I agree RE the polls, certain movements in voters’ allegiances won’t ever be perceived the same way again I think.

  11. Labour are defending Cannock Chase District Council in this year’s local elections. Current composition is Lab 25, Con 6, UKIP 6, LD 3, Ind 1.

    The 2012 popular vote figures were as follows:

    Lab 53.9%, Con 32.2%, LD 8.4%, Lib 2.5%, Chase Ind 2.0%, ED 1.0%.

    In terms of seats the 2012 results were Lab 11,Con 3.

  12. Is it an all-out election?

  13. It usually elects by thirds – from the above post Lab will be defending 11 to the Tories’ 3. Last year (albeit on a General Election turnout) the Tories took 9 seats to Labour’s 6.

  14. Andy54: it isn’t an all out election, it’s by thirds. That’s why I gave the current composition and also the number of seats won in 2012. The two would have been the same, pretty much, if it was an all out election, (excluding defections and by-elections).

  15. This constituency is now more Conservative than the country as a whole.

    As are Sherwood, Nuneaton, Amber Valley and Ipswich.

    Does anyone have lists of which constituencies cross the line from more Labour than the UK average to more Conservative than the UK average. And vice versa.

  16. Not sure I understand the question.

    Seats at the cross-over point which are more Labour than Conservative would be Conservative marginals with a lead over Labour less than the national average – Carlisle and North Warwickshire.
    (assuming they are two way contests which these are. So if a three way marginal existed – rare now – it would have a C and Lab share of the vote lower).

    I think Richard you may be asking which seats have been on a long term journey towards Lab or Con respectively.

  17. of which there are lots.
    North Warwickshire, Rossendale and Darweb, Carlisle, seemed to have crossed that point in 2010, Nuneaton in 2005 (to Con).

  18. A correction to the above.

    The current balance on CCDC is Lab 22, Con, 12, UKIP 5, Lib Dem 1, Ind 1. A Labour majority of 3 seats.

    There are 13 wards up this year. Labour are defending 10, Con 2 and UKIP 1 (elected as a Conservative).

    There’s a good chance the council will go no overall control this year if its anything like a repeat of last year.

  19. Amanda Milling confirmed as restanding.

  20. Conservative win 5 of the 7 seats on Staffs CC, with Labour winning the other 2. That’s a net gain of 3 for the Tories I think.

  21. 2 more Tory losses tonight in Hednesford. Hednesford Green ward was a Labour gain, while the Greens took Hednesford South. The latter was won easily by the Greens last year, so perhaps not entirely surprising.

  22. but the Tories held the County Council seat narrowly because the anti-Tory vote was split.

  23. Greens appear to quickly be able to build a core base which is successful on a low turnout

  24. I think the Greens being primarily focused on the environment lends itself well to local campaigning.

    Excessive house building, fly tipping, dog fouling and such like.

    And at local level their economic policies wouldn’t come under such scrutiny…

    Of course they’ll come under pressure the longer JC remains leader of Labour, tactical voting to keep then Tories out (or try to) – especially with Conservative activists being less than enthusiastic right now, both about the government and also the manifesto that was presented.

    I can see the Tories being absolutely hammered in May.

  25. May is a long way a way but i suspect the Tories will lose seats but they will benefit from the collapse of the ukip vote

  26. I can see it being like 2012: a bad night overall for the Tories, but with the UKIP collapse cushioning the blow in the same way as the Lib Dem collapse in 2012.

  27. Also got to remember that the last election for this set of councillors would have been 2013, the Tories were still a bit stuck in the omnishambles period and so they are starting from a fairly low floor.

  28. It will be much worse than 2012, for one thing because a fair chunk of the local elections will be in London where the Tories will likely be hammered as hard as in 1994/98, perhaps even worse than that given the demographic change which has occurred in boroughs like Croydon.

    More generally, the Tories have dominated local government for around a decade now, and therefore they will feel the brunt of local dissatisfaction with deep cuts much more than any other party.

    I think we will see a situation similar to the mid/late 80s where many people are prepared to vote for a Labour/Lib Dem council but begrudgingly stick with the Tories in a GE (if only because they detest Corbyn). I am certainly in the latter camp, as are plenty of people I know.

  29. “Also got to remember that the last election for this set of councillors would have been 2013”

    Nope, 2014

  30. “It will be much worse than 2012, for one thing because a fair chunk of the local elections will be in London where the Tories will likely be hammered as hard as in 1994/98”

    The London borough elections will be fascinating. My litmus test will be whether Lab can gain control of Hillingdon. Its a pro Brexit area but one with an increasing minority vote that is definitely drifting Lab. Its a big ask for Lab to win but unlike Wandsworth (where Lab would have to pretty much max their vote to gain overall control) its certainly possible to see Lab wrest control of the borough from the Tories for the first time with a targeted campiagn.

  31. The Conservatives did badly in the last London local elections:,_2014

    It much of London they have already ceased to exist and they really have little left to lose in middle suburbia.

    So that leaves Conservative councillors in the West/South-West London banker belt, the North London Jewish belt and HHBB boroughs.

    All of which should have antipathy to Corbyn Labour.

  32. “So that leaves Conservative councillors in the West/South-West London banker belt, the North London Jewish belt and HHBB boroughs.

    All of which should have antipathy to Corbyn Labour.”

    They didn’t show much antipathy to Corbyn in the GE and in the local elections he isn’t on the ballot paper. And remember that EU nationals can and will vote in local elections, perhaps in very large numbers this time.

    The Tories are highly likely to lose Wandsworth and both K&C and Westminster look perilous to me. Barnet might buck the trend due to the Jewish issue as you say, but the Tory majority is tiny.

    Hillingdon is a possible Labour gain; Richmond and Kingston flip between Con and LD regularly and it’s probably the Lib Dems’ turn.

    I can only think of Bromley and Bexley which are absolute bomb-proof Tory boroughs now. On a bad night the Tories could be left with only those two London councils, which is worse than 1998 (3) and 1994 (4).

  33. Richard
    “they really have little left to lose in middle suburbia”

    Disagree, on a bad night the Tories could lose upwards of 100 councillors in London middle suburbia alone.
    Before he was purged one of Plop’s more sensible predictions was that there was going to be a red wash in Enfield, I’m inclined to agree and think it more than likely the Tories will be left with just Cockfosters and perhaps a councillor or two in Highlands.
    There is a very real prospect of them being wiped out totally in Greenwich where they only just managed to hold onto their seats last time, Hillingdon is looking dodgy as I already alluded, Waltham Forest and Redbridge are going to be nightmarish if the GE is anything to go by and the new boundaries certainly provide scope for further Tory woes in Croydon.

  34. ‘ They didn’t show much antipathy to Corbyn in the GE and in the local elections he isn’t on the ballot paper. ‘

    Voting Labour was a free vote at the GE.

    ‘ And remember that EU nationals can and will vote in local elections, perhaps in very large numbers this time. ‘

    How many are registered to vote ?

    And which wards are Labour going to win in Kensington and Westminster to take control ?

  35. But I must say you two are doing a good job in downplaying Conservative expectations.

  36. Number of Conservative councillors:

    Brent 6
    Ealing 12
    Enfield 22
    Greenwich 8
    Harrow 26
    Hounslow 11
    Lambeth 3
    Redbridge 25
    Southwark 2
    Waltham Forrest 16

  37. I would expect Labour to narrowly gain Barnet and Wandsworth.

    Not sure about Hillingdon.

    Sutton will probably be the only council with net Tory gains at they’re only starting from 9 seats although not sure the LDs will lose control.

    Conservative loss of K&C and/or Westminster would be truly staggering.

  38. Barnet would be a first

  39. I suspect Labour might have gained Hendon, Finchley & Golders Green and Chippenham & Barnet had there been no antipathy toward Labour from the large Jewish population living in North London. Saying that Labour did well in Enfield but the chair of LFI is MP in Enfield North. Dianne Abbott also got one of the largest majorities in the country and there are about 30,000 Jewish people living in Stoke Newington

  40. Diane Abbott’s constituency is 11% Jewish.

    Harrow East is another constituency where Jewish votes might have save the Conservatives.

  41. Chipping Barnet is considerably less Jewish per head of population than the other 2 Barnet borough seats, though there is a substantial community in Totteridge in particular.
    It’s generally thought that many ultra-Orthodox Jews living in Diane Abbott’s constituency (and to a lesser extent the southern fringe of David Lammy’s) turn out & vote in local elections but not general ones, odd though that seems.
    I think the Tories will end up holding Westminster even though they are likely to lose the popular vote, and K&C narrowly as well as Bexley & Bromley. Hillingdon is on a knife-edge I reckon. It’s possible that they could take back outright control of Havering, though I suspect from my limited knowledge the various residents will win enough seats to deprive them of that. Anywhere else I haven’t mentioned, they might as well forget except Barnet, which is likely to be very close, and of course Wandsworth. I’d be surprised if Labour fails to win the remaining Tory seat in Brunswick Park ward in Barnet, but other gains will be far from straightforward, indeed it’s not completely impossible that Labour could lose out in the seat they currently hold in Hale. If so I reckon it could be the only Tory gain of a Labour seat in London. I think it would be foolhardy to attempt to predict the detailed results in Wandsworth but I’m inclined to err towards optimism there.

  42. There is quite a strong residents presence in havering but it is currently divided

  43. Again – Not my post above – impersonator.
    Posted by
    Real Joe James B

  44. MRP here.
    Tories 68
    Labour 28.
    Predicted to be the sixth safest Tory seat. Just Wow. What a change from shock Tory gain in 2010 to this.
    Meanwhile another 1992 Labour gain, Walthamstow, is predicted to be Labour’s fifth safest seat

  45. The Tories could make a clean sweep of Staffordshire in this election – a remarkable result in such a post industrial, working class urban area

    Surrey it ain’t

  46. They forecast to do so through it’s still tight in Stoke north (5 point lead) and especially central (1 point lead)

  47. Amanda Milling is the New Conservative party chairman.

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