Chesham & Amersham

2015 Result:
Conservative: 31138 (59.1%)
Labour: 6712 (12.7%)
Lib Dem: 4761 (9%)
Green: 2902 (5.5%)
UKIP: 7218 (13.7%)
MAJORITY: 23920 (45.4%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Buckinghamshire. The whole of the Chiltern council area.

Main population centres: Chesham, Amersham, Great Missenden, Chalfont St Giles, Little Chalfont , Chalfont St Peter.

Profile: An affluent group of towns and villages set in the Chiltern hills. Chesham and Amersham are very much within the London commuter belt and are the furthest outposts of the London Underground, in their own special zone 9. The proposed High Speed Rail 2 line is planned to run through this seat and is an important local issue.

Politics: A safe Conservative seat, held by the party since its creation in 1974 - normally with over 50% of the vote.


Current MP
CHERYL GILLAN (Conservative) Born 1952, Cardiff. Educated at Cheltenham Ladies College. Former marketing consultant. Contested Greater Manchester Central 1989 European elections. First elected as MP for Chesham and Amersham in 1992. Junior education minister 1995-1997. Shadow Secretary of State for Wales 2005-2010. Secretary of State for Wales 2010-2012.
Past Results
2010
Con: 31658 (60%)
Lab: 2942 (6%)
LDem: 14948 (29%)
UKIP: 2129 (4%)
Oth: 767 (1%)
MAJ: 16710 (32%)
2005*
Con: 25619 (54%)
Lab: 6610 (14%)
LDem: 11821 (25%)
GRN: 1656 (4%)
Oth: 1391 (3%)
MAJ: 13798 (29%)
2001
Con: 22867 (50%)
Lab: 8497 (19%)
LDem: 10985 (24%)
UKIP: 1367 (3%)
Oth: 1567 (3%)
MAJ: 11882 (26%)
1997
Con: 26298 (50%)
Lab: 10240 (20%)
LDem: 12439 (24%)
Oth: 692 (1%)
MAJ: 13859 (27%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
CHERYL GILLAN (Conservative) See above.
BEN DAVIES (Labour)
KIRSTEN JOHNSON (Liberal Democrat)
ALAN STEVENS (UKIP) Educated at Cambridge University. Buckinghamshire councillor since 2013. Contested Chesham and Amersham 2010, South East region 2014 European elections.
GILL WALKER (Green)
Links
Comments - 41 Responses on “Chesham & Amersham”
  1. I have read with interest the current MPs opposition to HS2.

    I must say the Tories have been utterly stupid in regard to HS2. They seem very slow in twigging that the HS2 plan announced by Labour was all about creating problems for Conservatives as much of the proposed route runs through Conservative seats.

    Interestingly when the Tories had the chance to change the route so it would run through different seats nearer Heathrow they failed to take the opportunity presented to them. The Labour strategy was all about using this white elephant of a scheme to create dissent in Tory areas and force the Conservatives into a position whereby they accept HS2 and they create electoral problems for Tories in places like Chesham & Amersham or the Tories reject HS2 and it creates problems for them in the north as Labour would say the Tories were looking after their own and leaving the north to decay economically.

    HS2 was therefore a trap created by the last Government for political purposes and it is no surprise to see senior Labour politicians baulking at the plans implementation. It is not just a poor economic plan but a political manoeuvre that few will morn its impending death.

  2. That”s a cracking conspiracy theory.

    Any evidence?

  3. I don’t think it was ever mentioned at the time, but when Cameron reshuffled the cabinet in 2012, could it have been possible that Cheryl Gillan got removed partly due to her opposition to HS2?

  4. rum and coke is a great user name

  5. I think it was mentioned at the time, Neil. Not particularly loudly, but I remember hearing it.

  6. I remember hearing it mentioned at the time.

  7. My opinion is that conspiracy theories are always nonsense, 100% of the time. Incompetence is usually to blame when things go wrong.

  8. Labour got into a terrible mess with the public finances, and allowed the economy to become very unbalanced
    but the idea they would deliberately have chosen a scheme and a route to damage a Tory administration they were still trying to prevent from getting in sounds too far fetched.

    They couldn’t really have known how it would work out.

    It may be this is the wrong scheme
    but you can’t have it both ways – the Tories losing support in Labour areas for cancelling it but Labour not to either for getting cold feet about it – if they are.

    In some other countries in Europe, HS lines are near motorways – I don’t know whether that would have been an option here.

    This may be the wrong scheme but come back with some serious proposals to increase capacity – higher frequencies, double deckers perhaps (they are about 1.5 the size vertically actually – observing the Belgium trains they are a step down).

    This scheme has been attacked as a vanity project – perhaps it is partly – but I do slightly fear the consequences of sending out a message that Britain can’t ever see long term investments through and what the unknown consequences of that could be.

    So I hope we are serious about alternatives if we do not go ahead.

  9. Interesting that Cheryl Gillan appeared on the BBC’s next day coverage of the 1992 election saying that they took no vote for granted in the seat, and increased the majority- she was of course right- a good result in a safe seat, made better considering Sir Ian Gilmour who might have had a slight personal vote, stood down.

  10. Jeremy Paxman said that she could hold the seat for the next 40 years, so 19 to go.

  11. Don’t wish to be pedantic but I thought it was Peter Sissons Andy?

  12. I was in several places in this constituency on Sunday.

    Great Missenden was gained by UKIP in the County Council elections in May.
    It is a very pleasant large vilage, and where the HS2 line is planned.

    Labour polled quite strongly in Chesham – about 27% – with the Conservatives holding the division.
    Chesham, as has been noted, is a little less exclusive – pleasant, but with quite a large number of terraces, and more variation in housing.
    There is a very steep hill out of Chesham towards Ley HIll.

    In Beaconsfield constituency, Gerrards Cross had an indepdendent intervention, so the Tory share dipped below 50%.

    Andy has of course put together an excellent spreadsheet so this may already have been picked up.

  13. I did a cycle trip through this seat once. There’s a terrible hill going from Great Missenden to Amersham on the minor road, (avoiding the dual carriageway).

    TheResults: I’m not sure now whether it was Sissons or Paxman. I think Paxman did take over Sissons’ position for at least some of the second day.

  14. That lovely hill north of amersham on the main route to chesham, with beech trees I think. Had not been along that road for a long time, but it came back to me how dramatic some of the scenery is.

  15. Andy, did you manage the climb?

  16. ”TheResults: I’m not sure now whether it was Sissons or Paxman. I think Paxman did take over Sissons’ position for at least some of the second day.”

    I’ve seen the second day coverage and I am sure it was Sissons all the way through Andy.

  17. my 2015 forecast

    Con 40
    LD 25
    UKIP 20
    Lab 9
    other 6

  18. Prediction for 2015-
    Gillan (Conservative)- 57%
    Liberal Democrats- 24%
    Labour- 9%
    UKIP- 8%
    Green- 2%

  19. Con 56
    Lib Dem 19
    Lab 14
    Ukip 8
    Grn 3

  20. A Brown – a Con -> LD swing of 5.5%

    … lol

  21. Con 57
    LD 20
    UKIP 10
    Lab 9
    Anti-HS2 Ind 4

  22. CON HOLD MAJ : 29%
    CON 49
    LD 20
    LAB 14
    UKIP 11
    GRN 6

  23. Given that the Conservatives did not even fall below 50% in the nadir of 1997 I would be rather surprised if it happened in 2015.

  24. UKIP didn’t have the impact of taking a good 8/9 even 10% of the Tories then though…

  25. *off

  26. True but is that going to happen in this constituency? It doesn’t strike me as fertile UKIP territory. I know HS2 is not exactly popular here but at least Cheryl Gillan has made it clear where she stands on the issue.

  27. I think UKIP will do quite well on the HS2 issue here but Gillan’s opposition should mitigate their impact. I reckon she will hold with roughly 47%.

  28. Funny how static the Tory result was here in 2001. In other Buckinghamshire seats, the Tories obviously had more marked increases than here.

  29. 2015
    Fairly likely – a fair range though.

    *Con 53% -7%
    Ind 13.5%
    LD 13% -16%
    UKIP 10% +6%
    Lab 8.5% +3%
    Green 2% +0.5%

  30. Sir Ian Gilmour represented this seat for 18 years.

    His declaration was televised during the BBC’s second day coverage of the 1983 General Election, as I seem to remember from watching the rerun on BBC Parliament last Easter.

  31. Last post from me today, honest.

    A business acquaintance of mine is married to a civil servant at the Department of Transport. She is working extensively on HS2, and told me the other day that there have been extensive contacts between the department and Labour, given the likelihood of some kind of Labour government next year. The department has been left with the impression that Labour are 100% committed to the first phase of HS2 (London-Birmingham), but that they are likely to review the later stage (to Manchester, Leeds etc).

    It does seem therefore that at least phase 1 is going to happen no matter what. Apparently they are approaching the stage where it would be too expensive to turn back.

  32. Thanks HH, interesting information. (I live about a couple of miles from the proposed route of phase 1). The only question in that case is whether a Tory-led government might have second thoughts before it’s too late to cancel.

  33. Will HS2 actually go through?

    It’s such a controversial issue that it could take even longer for the developers to decide whether or not the second phase will even go through.

    I guess however that, sadly, once you’ve started something you have to finish it- I just hope this uncertainty doesn’t drag on for all the residents effected.

  34. Yes exactly, and I doubt it. Of course, phase 1 largely goes through Tory areas whereas phase 2 would upset voters in a lot of marginals which Labour need to win.

  35. Replying to Andy

  36. I personally think only a second financial crisis could stop phase 1 of HS2 now.

  37. The political implications are great as you said.

    Phase 2 would mean unpopularity for the government, Labour or Conservative, that would effect greatly numbers of swing voters in the crucial marginals.

    This has to be planned very carefully indeed…

  38. This will be a tory seat till the day I die but I think UKIP will make significant ground in this seat and possibly might even come second. I predict something like:
    1. Conservatives (53%)
    2. Lib Dems (18%)
    3. UKIP (17%)
    4. Labour (10%)
    5. Other (2%)

  39. Dr Kirsten Johnson chosen as LibDem PPC for Chesham & Amersham

  40. Conservative Hold. 20,000 maj

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