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 - 243 Responses on “Cannock Chase”
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  1. Labour have taken all of the Cannock Chase divisions but unfortunately the detailed results don’t seem to be available anywhere. The popular vote will of course be more interesting than simply knowing who has won the divisions.

  2. Conservatives have held onto Ettching Hill and the Heath.

    Labour finished third there behind the Conservatives and UKIP.

  3. Shaun Bennett might have something to say about these shares of the vote:

    Cannock Chase, popular vote:

    Lab: 7,426 (40.4%)
    Con: 4,663 (25.4%)
    UKIP 4,621 (25.2%)
    LD: 1,433 (7.8%)
    Others: 222 (1.2%)

    Changes from 2010 general election:

    Lab: +7.3%
    Con: -14.7%
    UKIP: +21.7%
    LD: -9.2%
    Others: -5.2%

  4. Forecast for 2015

    Lab 40
    Con 36
    UKIP 10
    LD 9
    Others 5

    Lab got 40% here in 2011 and 2013

  5. A Brown- yes, I think this will be Labour’s only gain in non-metropolitan Staffordshire. But it could well be tight and I don’t think Burley’s somewhat controversial tenure will count against him here.

  6. I agree that it’s likely to be the only Labour gain in present-day Staffordshire. Burley’s views may not of themselves count against him a lot, but I suspect that the campaign to re-elect him will be rather lower-key & embarrassed than it otherwise would have been, whereas Labour will be extremely motivated in contrast to get him out. This is likely to have at least a small impact in the result. I agree it won’t be an easy Labour gain but I think a gain it will now be.

  7. Also what does Paul Dacre think of Aidan Burley’s record as an MP since May 2010?

    Perhaps Pete Whitehead would like to explain……….

  8. Yeah, I tend to agree with above. If there’s any Labour gains in Staffordshire, it’s going to be Cannock Chase. The party’s candidate is a local councillor, they run the council and came top in these CC divisions earlier this year.

    The rest of Staffs where they lost in 2010 is another story. I think Moorlands is out of the question. Stafford and Burton are very tough ones. Tamworth is a little better in terms of the local picture, but the Tory majority is probably too high to regain in 2015.

  9. I hope the Tim Jones involved here isn’t ‘our’ Tim Jones:

    Everyone should read George Orwell.

  10. Neil- is Tamworth really a better shot for Labour than Stafford? They couldn’t even carry it in the 2013 CC elections. I think it’s equally as long a shot as Stafford is, if not longer. I think Labour’s one gain in non-metropolitan Staffordshire will be Cannock Chase and even that’s not a certainty (though more likely than not in my view).

  11. Tamworth is a fractionally better prospect, if Labour can get its vote out in the town itself. However, I agree with Tory’s conclusion. Burton is probably a little bit better for Labour than either Tamworth or Stafford but all 3 are very unlikely.

  12. ‘I hope the Tim Jones involved here isn’t ‘our’ Tim Jones’

    It’s not

    Cannock Chase does look like Labour’s only realistic prospect of a gain in non-metropolitan Staffs – Burton tends to be less suspectible to large swings comprising a staunchley Labour town and an equally staunchley Tory countryside

    With wwc voters increasingly moving over to right wing parties, there’s little doubt that Staffs is moving away from Labour and if I were Paul Farrelly I’d be looking over my shoulder

  13. “there’s little doubt that Staffs is moving away from Labour and if I were Paul Farrelly I’d be looking over my shoulder”

    Stoke however is a completely different kettle of fish to the rest of Staffs, and Newcastle is a kind of mix of the two, with enough influence from Stoke to continue to frustrate the Tories’ chance of winning it, IMO. I think Paul Farrelly will see a good increase in his majority in 2015 and has a good chance of holding his seat for 10 or 15 more years.

  14. Did anybody get arrested for tweeting jokes about Margaret Thatcher’s death, or for attending those Maggie’s dead parties?

    This is a serious question not a party political point (and I’ve made my admiration for Mandela crystal clear on here)

    Seriously, what is happening to freedom of speech in this country

  15. Not just arrested but had his computer seized and his DNA taken.

    He’ll be on some database for life now.

    Did I say database I think I meant blacklist?

  16. Cllr Linda Whitehouse defected from the Tories to UKIP here in September. She is the fourth Tory Cllr to defect to UKIP in Staffordshire.

  17. Aidan provides the gear and Nigel F can lead the chorus with the tramping songs…

  18. To have your own party referring to you as “stupid” is pretty damning. I’ve a feeling Mr Burley is going to be an ex-MP after 2015 and he will rue the day he put on that Nazi costume as it has ensured he will not be selected anywhere else in 2020.

  19. Was he an A-lister to have been chosen for this seat in the first place?

  20. Wikipedia claims he received donations form the Conservative Friends of Israel… if that isn’t throwing good money after bad I don’t know what is… LoL

  21. Sounds like Tim would fancy the deed being done with piano wire for added poignancy..

  22. Even I would not favour executing Aidan Burley. And I can think of many better uses for piano strings than that. I would however support a tightening of certain laws, and feel that Holocaust deniers are amongst the worst scum of the earth.

  23. It sounds like Tim might like to pull the trap door lever himself.

  24. ‘It sounds like Tim might like to pull the trap door lever himself.’

    I think the noose should have placed around his neck a long time ago, but being serious, the quote I mentioned lifts the lid on the group’s real intentions, and given Burley’s sympathies I just find it odd that he joined the Tory Party in the first place given that there are pther parties that more accurately fit his views – and even odder that a party that prides itself on its patriotism adores a man who from all the evidence presented clearly wishes Hitler had won world war 2

  25. Can we steer clear of libelling people here please

  26. Its a bit of a stretch to suggest that he is a Nazi. He is just a very silly man who we are best rid of.

  27. “that a party that prides itself on its patriotism”

    That would be an inaccurate description of the Tory party Tim.

    Joe R has made the point for me on Burley…he’s just a bit thoughtless sometimes.

  28. Reports of him being ministerial material in his early days at Westminster raise some questions about what exactly was seen in him that was “ministerial”..

  29. Of course you might have said that about Alec Salmond once upon a time also, when silly stunts and outbursts were his forte, yet look where he is now…

  30. Clearly Salmond did not go so far though in his stunts.. Burley’s career has gone up in smoke like a book-burning on the Bebelplatz..

  31. ‘Its a bit of a stretch to suggest that he is a Nazi. He is just a very silly man who we are best rid of.’

    I won’t say any more about Burley personally, but read the quote Joe, they toasted ‘if we’re perfectly honest, to the ideology and thought process of the Third Reich’

    Joking they weren’t

  32. Runnymede – absolutely. The First Minister of Northern Ireland once led an incursion into the Irish Republic. That’s before we even get onto the Deputy First Minister who was a terrorist. Heseltine removing the Mace is probably the last big theatrical event by an MP. These days it tends to be merely offensive tweets!

  33. Incredibly, Peter Hain was considered ministerial material at one time also.

    And John Prescott.

  34. He didn’t say that though.

    I still think the most likely explanation is that it is a group of prats who think it is funny to dress up and act as nazis. Its Prince Harry mark II. I very much think it was a *joke* albeit an extremely unfunny one.

    Why would a neo-nazi join the tory party?

  35. The answer to your last question would be to gain selection & therefore office. That after all is the route David Duke took in the US Republican Party. However, I have never met anyone in the Conservative Party who was a true neo-Nazi, and I doubt whether there is anyone currently in the party who could correctly be so described. Some might recall that Nick Griffin’s father was a Conservative Party member, but while he seems like a quite appalling character I could not say for sure that he was or is totally in sympathy with his son’s views. He was expelled from the Conservative Party for answering a BNP “helpline” which was in fact a phone in his house, meant for the use of his wife who was (or maybe still is) a BNP member like their ineffable son. The Conservatives have quite often cracked down on ultra-right extremism within their ranks – it was none other than Norman Tebbit who closed down the Federation of Conservative Students for loony-right antics, and they have also expelled members for racist & (perhaps quite a long time ago) anti-Semitic remarks.

  36. If I remember rightly the last FCS head was none other than John Bercow, the now born-again Blairite. Another individual who I think would fly almost any colours to get into the desired port.

  37. a Jewish neo-Nazi? Strange things the Tory party does to people….

    and Farage ran against him..

  38. The Monday Club was certainly not neo-nazi. There is a difference between being a little fascistic and being a outright neo-nazi. Even the BNP probably do not qualify as neo-nazis (though the Golden Dawn probably do).

    To qualify as a neo-nazi you have to have been directly inspired by and follow the policies of the German NSDAP of 1933-1945.

  39. Aiden Burley isn’t a Nazi, just an idiot.

    The Monday Club obviously contained a great number of people who had fought the Nazis, including Powell himself.

    My least favourite topic on political blogs is when we are all arguing about who is a fascist, who is a Nazi, who is a communist and who is a Marxist. As we all know perfectly well, these are labels primarily intended to insult those we disagree with. There are few if any true fascists, Nazis, communists or Marxists left, and almost none in politics.

  40. I never suggested Bercow was a neo-Nazi; the FCS was never a neo-Nazi organization, but it was a hard right one, and a very silly one at that.

  41. If I didn’t make myself clear enough before, don’t accuse living people of being nazi’s or nazi sympathisers here or you’ll find yourself IP banned (for the sake of clarity, this is not directed at Barnaby who I know has not done any such thing)

  42. Aidan Burley to stand down at next general election.

  43. As we say in these parts: Chuffin’ hell. Even with the trouble he got into after that stag party, I didn’t expect him to stand down at such a young age. And only a single term.

    Suddenly Labour’s chances of gaining Cannock Chase has gone up.

  44. I am surprised at this news I must admit. It certainly does improve Labour’s chances of taking this back now.

  45. Is that so? A lot of people were giving the impression he was a liability for the Tories.

  46. Well he got a very good result here in 2010 I think.

  47. Yes, but that was before his very public implosion. A new candidate won’t be quite so easy to monster in leaflets.

  48. True but I would have thought your party have a very good chance here given they held the seat for 13 years, and Cannock and Burntwood for five before that.

  49. If there’s going to be one Staffordshire gain for Labour it’s going to be this one. Not only is the majority and swing required more manageable than the other lost seats from 2010, but their performance locally-at district and county levels-have been decent in the last couple of years. Plus there is a moderate-ish Lib Dem vote to take a slice from.

    Rest of non-Labour Staffordshire is out of the question next year.

  50. Disappointed to hear that Aidan Burley has decided to stand down.

    From what I can gather, the Nazi incident has long since been forgotten about in this constituency and was never a big issue to most Cannock people in the first place. He has also built up a reputation as a hard working constituency MP with two big achievements under his belt; 1) Saving Cannock hospital from closure, something which was proposed as part of the wind-up of the troubled Mid-Staffs NHS trust, and 2) securing funding for the electrification of the Walsall – Rugeley rail line.

    I’ve started to have a more detailed look at some of the West Midlands marginals and I was just beginning to think the Tories might have a chance of holding on here. But the loss of the incumbent MP will probably do them more harm than good.

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