2015 Result:
Conservative: 22889 (43.1%)
Labour: 8673 (16.3%)
Lib Dem: 16436 (31%)
UKIP: 4423 (8.3%)
Independent: 390 (0.7%)
Others: 284 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 6453 (12.2%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: North West, Greater Manchester. Part of the Stockport council area.

Main population centres: Cheadle, Cheadle Hulme, Gatley, Bramhall.

Profile: A very middle-class in the south-west of Greater Manchester. It has the highest proportion of owner-occupiers, professionals and detached houses of any of the Greater Manchester seats and is very much a suburban seat.

Politics: Cheadle is a marginal seat between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats that has swapped hands between the two parties several times over the last fifty years. It was held by the Liberals for four years in the 1960s, then for a longer period between 2001 and 2015.

Current MP
MARY ROBINSON (Conservative) Former businessman. Former South Ribble councillor. First elected as MP for Cheadle in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 21445 (41%)
Lab: 4920 (9%)
LDem: 24717 (47%)
UKIP: 1430 (3%)
MAJ: 3272 (6%)
Con: 19169 (40%)
Lab: 4169 (9%)
LDem: 23189 (49%)
UKIP: 489 (1%)
Oth: 421 (1%)
MAJ: 4020 (8%)
Con: 18444 (42%)
Lab: 6086 (14%)
LDem: 18477 (42%)
UKIP: 599 (1%)
MAJ: 33 (0%)
Con: 22944 (44%)
Lab: 8253 (16%)
LDem: 19755 (38%)
MAJ: 3189 (6%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
MARY ROBINSON (Conservative) Runs a family business. Former South Ribble councillor.
MARTIN MILLER (Labour) Born Glasgow. Church chief executive. Former Stockport councillor. Contested Hazel Grove 2001, Cheadle 2005, 2005 by-election, 2010.
MARK HUNTER (Liberal Democrat) Born 1957, Audenshaw. Educated at Audenshaw Grammar School for Boys. Marketing executive. Stockport councillor 1996-2005, Leader of Stockport council 2001-2005.Contested Ashton under Lyne 1987, Stockport 2001. MP for Cheadle 2005 by-election to 2015. PPS to Nick Clegg 2007-2010. Government whip since 2010.
SHAUN HOPKINS (UKIP) Born Stockport. Former Royal marine.
DREW CARSWELL (Above and Beyond) Born 1995. Educated at Sheffield University. Student.
MATTHEW TORBITT (Independent) Kitchen chef and student.
HELEN BASHFORD (Independence from Europe) Born 1958. Educated at Ashton-on-Mersey Secondary Modern & Sale Girls Grammar School. Former Chairman of the British Women Racing Drivers' Club. Contested North West region 2014 European election.
Comments - 114 Responses on “Cheadle”
  1. Used to live just outside this constituency. Lots of similarities with Eastleigh: Con-LD marginal, Lib Dem council, airport.

    This is one of the more difficult seats for Tories to dislodge the Lib Dems and Ukip may take more votes of the Tories.

  2. I think it’s more upmarket than most of Eastleigh though. This seat scores very low on deprivation indices for example. Perhaps in social terms the seat which most resembles this one is Sheffield Hallam though the Tories are much weaker there.

  3. “I think itโ€™s more upmarket than most of Eastleigh though”

    Barnaby is right. The areas in this seat are far more upmarket than Eastleigh and a great deal more suburban and middle class. This should be a Conservative seat but I doubt we will win this back in 2015. Like Eastleigh the Lib Dems are very strong here and if we failed to win it in 2010 with a more liberal agenda I cannot see why the voters here will vote overwhelmingly for the Tories in 2015.

    However we are still a long way off a general election and the political picture will almost certainly change in the next couple years.

  4. The fact that it is more middle class bodes badly for the Tories.Middle class Lib Dems voters are more likely to stay loyal unlike working class supporters who may be annoyed by the Lib Dems enterring the coalition with Tories.

    There are also relatively few students here. This is a seat I expect the LIb Dems to hold even in a poor election.

  5. Hazel Grove is more at risk for the LibDems despite its larger majority and long Liberal tradition.

    The loss of incumbancy there being the extra factor.

  6. In May 2011 local elections the Tories slightly outpolled the Lib Dems:

    Tories 12,161
    Lib Dems 11,833
    Labour 5,635
    Ukip 914

    Incumbency and tactical voting would outweigh the small margin.

  7. I’m surprised I don’t know this seat a lot better. Perhaps it has a different demographic than altricham and sale west, or wilmslow in tatton. Even so, the tories should be able to sort themselves out here.

  8. Richard – are you expecting Andrew Stunell to stand down?

  9. He is over 70 but has made no announcement. The local elections however suggest that the LDs aren’t totally dependent on him & that they could survive anyway, as in fact do most opinion polls – and local elections also somewhat contradict Richard as they still show them stronger here than in Cheadle. The Tories should be able to win here again one day but I’d be surprised if the LDs lose next time out. It is rather more socially middling than Cheadle although it doesn’t have many working-class voters, except to some extent in the areas closer in towards Stockport itself.

  10. This seat is almost uniformly middle class. The only working class area I can think is the Heald Green ward.

    I lived in Sale for more than a year and my impression of Altrincham and Sale West is that it is more uneven economically than Cheadle. The wealthy areas of Hale and Bowdon are more exclusive than Cheadle’s Bramhall while there is more social housing and deprivation in poorer areas especially in Sale West. Sale also has a lot of tenants.

  11. Sale is now highly marginal between Labour and the Conservatives- most wards are extremely competitive particularly at council level if you have a look at the results.

    But the Tories seem to have strengthened in Altrincham in recent years and remain massively strong in Hale and Bowdon.

  12. The Tories could really do with a cross-county Cheshire/Greater Manchester seat (I say cross-county- the historical county boundaries in fact remain in place). Of course they almost got one with Hazel Grove and Poynton. But a Bramhall and Poynton seat would have been better and would have returned a Tory MP in 2010.

  13. The move to the new pages seems to have got rid of “The Results”.

    But as if by coincidence we have acquired a new poster who out of nowhere seems to have unrivalled knowledge of UK political geography in his multiple postings.

    Glen in Eastleigh….are you sure you’re not from Merseyside?

  14. No HH, TheResults has posted on at least one new constituency thread.

  15. LOL my mistake. He must have calmed down his frantic posting activity then. Sorry Glen.

  16. and their political sympathies are not the same either. Glen has stated he is a Labour Party member but supported the LDs in Eastleigh, whereas TheResults is an independent left-winger.

  17. My Gran always used to go to Cheadlehulme to stay with a friend once a year

    She always used to describe the area as Manchester and as an ignorant adolescant southerner fearful of anywhere north of the Watford Gap, I had images of disused cotton mills and the rest of the industrial decay associated with the Manchester area at thre time

    I got quite a shock when we dropped her off – in what seemed at the time (late 1980s) a very plesant slice of commuting surbia

    I’d always assumed, incorrectly not for the first time, that this was in the old Davyhulme seat, represented by the younger Winston Churchill – which seemed to have been wiped off the map after the 97 boundary changes

  18. I indeed have not gone away. Just become a bit more quiet because post-Eastleigh by-election there isn’t really much to say.

    Here, I think there’s a very slim chance of a Tory gain. It would really take the retirement of Mark Hunter for it to happen I think, but then again I suppose considering the last MP Stephen Day tried to regain this twice it may be a good while before any other Conservative candidate is ever successful here again.

    I also have family who live in next-door Hazel Grove- One of whom is a Lib Dem councillor on Stockport Borough Council. He may actually know Andrew Stunell and Mark Hunter, but I’ve never asked him.

    With regards to Hazel Grove, I think that if Stunell goes there the Lib Dems are definitely in trouble. The vote share and majority alike have been decresing nominally there since 2001, but without Stunell big drops I think will definitely kick in. There is indeed more of a chance of a gain in HG than here, largely down to the fact that the increases in recent years have been in Cheadle, whereas this seat has been going the other way gradually.

  19. Glen obviously isn’t that well disposed to labour if he votes LD and wants DC to be the PM. I have no idea how this seat will go, but am not hugely optimistic.

  20. I don’t foresee the Tories winning either Cheadle or Hazel Grove.

    No doubt the Lib Dems will come out against the proposed fracking nearby and pin that on the Tories.

  21. Neither seats have much Labour vote though.

    In fact the Labour vote in 2010 was higher than in 1997 strangely enough- Probably due to tactical uwind from those natural Labour supporters who had previously supported Stunell.

    The Conservative candidate selected for Cheadle is Mary Robinson, who shares her name with the former President of Ireland.

  22. Cheadle 2015

    *Hunter (LD) 17,919
    Day (Con) 17,863
    McIsac (Lab) 6,864
    Hamilton (UKIP) 6,852

  23. sorry,
    majority 56
    of course.

  24. Would the UKIP “Hamilton” be Neil by any chance ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. I let people decide.
    Perhaps Christine would win.

    I think the Tories do have a chance here, but it looks tougher than the raw figures suggest.

  26. Neil Hamilton wasn’t bad on Question Time last week.

    I suppose a good deal of the audience will have been aware of what he’s best remembered (and infamous) for, so therefore may have ignored the majority of what he said.

  27. He certainly gave a better account of himself than Claire Perry who was absolutely appalling. She must be one of the rudest panellists to ever appear on the show. I’d be amazed if she gets asked to go on again.

  28. I wanted to give DC a chance to modernise the Conservatives and to reduce the budget deficit.

    Now the Tory party looks incapable of modernising so I am returning to my liberal roots. Really want to see tactical voting by Labour and Lib Dems to keep Tory seats to a minimum,

  29. I didn’t see Question Time but what AKMD says about Perry doesn’t surprise me. She seems to be in a contest with Matt Hancock to be the greatest self-publicist in the new intake of Tory MPs, but Hancock is more courteous.

  30. I thought she was pretty poor too. Would say she is more of an upmarket flake than a downmarket dreadful though.

  31. Can’t see the Tories gaining this if UKIP stand here. I also think that, whilst Labour will do okay from their point of view, the wish to keep the Tories out will be quite strong and Lib Dem voters will stay loyal to Mark Hunter.
    If the Tories did gain this, it would be a sign of very bad things for the Lib Dems across the country.
    As a seat, it is certainly not an Eastleigh, but parts of it are similar to Manchester Withington and Labour should really do better, not least after their decent showings in the Cheadle Hulme, Cheadle and Gatley wards in the local elections.
    Lib Dem hold though.

  32. I think this seat is nowadays quite a long way upmarket of Manchester Withington, but both seats have quite a lot of the so-called “intellectual” voters on whom the LDs have relied in many areas. There are certainly more students & academics in Withington, but I suspect quite a lot of prosperous public sector people in Cheadle (doctors & others).

  33. Barnaby is on the right lines, I think.

    Manchester Withington and Cheadle do share some surface characteristics. Perhaps most significantly, both seats are home to lots of highly-educated residents who fall under the ‘Higher managerial, administrative and professional’ socio-economic classification.

    Nevertheless there are some crucial differences. Manchester Withington is home to lots of higher professionals but relatively few higher mangers/administrators whereas both sub-groups are well-represented in Cheadle. Not coincidentally, Cheadle has a much older population than Manchester Withington and contains fewer public sector workers (though education workers are well-represented in Cheadle). I dare say there are plenty of senior teachers living in Cheadle with younger, less established relatives living in Withington.

  34. “Profile: A very middle-class in the south-west of Greater Manchester.”

    AW – Should be south-east

    Anyone care to guess how things would have changed if the Conservatives hadn’t been quite so complacent in 2001?

  35. @Richard
    My guess is that Calton worked hard and that the Lib Dems with Hunter may well still have gained the seat in 2005- after all, the result was so close in 2001 that had it been held the other way the margin probably would still have been narrow. Another thing to take into account here is that they picked up tactical Labour votes initially in 2001, which continued in 2005- given the party’s local success, I doubt very much that the Tories would still hold it now even without the complacency.

  36. Results

    You are aware that the Conservatives made net gains from the LibDems in both 2005 and 2010?

  37. @Richard
    Yes I am aware of that. But one must understand that the Lib Dems locally here were on something of a roll for many years- And after all, there were still Lib Dem gains from the Tories which went against the net losses such as Taunton, Solihull and Westmorland and Lonsdale, so it’s not entirely inconceivable that they would still have won it in 2005- Calton was a force to be reckoned with as a campaigner.

  38. There probably was a view that 1997 con seats were generally safe but l cannot specifically say here

  39. @Joe James B
    It is difficult to say for certain.

    If you look at others like South Dorset, Teignbridge, Westmorland and Lonsdale, Guildford, North Norfolk and Mid Dorset and Poole North, I suppose it may be fair to say that they had no idea that these would be lost, particularly as they held out in the worst election in living memory for them- Although the individual candidates in these seats must have made the difference.

  40. “There probably was a view that 1997 con seats were generally safe but l cannot specifically say here”

    Certainly not true.

    The Conservatives in Orpington were in a state of panic from about 1998 onwards. Most expected to lose the seat in 2001, with Chris Maines standing again and the Lib Dems having won local elections easily for some years. The dire polls in the 2001 election campaign made local Tories even gloomier and even more resigned to defeat.

    I know this as I was an officer of Beckenham constituency at the time and ourselves and Bromley & Chislehurst spent most of our time from 2000 onwards helping out Orpington. In the end we scraped in with 200 votes and most people were surprised to have held on.

    The Tory campaign in Orpington in 2001 had some very unsavoury homophobic elements on the doorstep, culminating in a senior councillor shouting “go back to Hampstead Heath” at Chris Maines at the count, after his defeat. Given the tight majority this might have been the decisive factor.

  41. @HHemmelig
    Interesting to hear your experiences.

    In the end though Maines thought the seat again in 2005, but what do you think caused him to lose again to Horam?

  42. The turning point was the 2002 local elections, when the Lib Dems lost a lot of seats. Their campaign base therefore eroded whilst the Tories got their act together.

    National and regional trends also helped; in relative terms the Tories did quite well in London in 2005.

  43. @HHemmelig
    Ah right. Thanks for that.

    Did Maines just give up the fight in the end and that is maybe part of the reason why when the candidate changed even though he was fairly high-profile the Lib Dems’ vote collapsed or was it more indicative of the party’s continuing decline locally?

  44. Much of the Lib Dem vote in Orpington was a personal vote for Chris Maines and their large base of “hard working local councillors” who had got in on the back of John Major’s unpopularity. Remember Maines was leader of Bromley Council 1998-2001, the first and only non-Conservative to have that position.

    Demographically Orpington is not a naturally Lib Dem place. It is typical middle class Tory suburbia and unlike places like Kingston and Twickenham it doesn’t have many liberal public sector professionals living there. Therefore when the Lib Dem local base collapsed, so did their vote.

    After 2001, Maines started to think he would have a better political future in Lewisham, where he subsequently became a councillor and stood for mayor…can’t recall if he stood for parliament too. But the Lib Dems have collapsed there now as well.

  45. @HHemmelig
    Yet more useful information.

    So Maines didn’t ever manage to gain Orpington because of the local election results for the Lib Dems reflected in the result in 2005?

    I suppose also that there was very little left of the Labour vote to squeeze.

  46. I would argue that it is increasingly difficult to see much difference between Cheadle Hulme North and Stepping Hill wards and the neighbouring wards across the Manchester border and it is this change I was most referring to.
    Needlesstosay, Bramhall is another matter all together, as is Heald Green.

  47. Catholic Left- I guess it which comparative criteria you adopt. It certainly isn’t true regarding tenure. Cheadle Hulme North and Stepping Hill remain massively owner-occupied, Stepping Hill especially. One cannot say that of Didsbury, let alone Withington and Chorlton. The age profiles of the areas you are comparing also remain very different. In Stepping Hill and Cheadle Hulme North, the proportions of aged residents between 18-29 are 11.60% and 12.63% respectively. In most of the Withington area wards, the 18-29 population exceeds 20%: in Withington itself, it is 59.53%!

  48. *I guess it depends on which…

  49. *residents aged… (excuse my poor typing)

  50. Yes I don’t know about all seats, but it looks like it was assumed here.
    I guess the loss of Bromley council in 1998 (despite an increased C vote) was probably a warning that things could still get worse.
    There was still a mood that Tories aren’t really needed any more because evertything was going so well so you might as well go on giving them a kicking.

    Sentiment slowly started to turn around in 2002

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)