Conservative Candidates

The following seats have selected Conservative candidates for the next general election:
Page last updated 29th Dec 2014

Aberdeen South - Ross Thomson (Labour majority 3506, Con in 3rd)
Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine - Alexander Burnett (Lib Dem majority 3684)
Alyn & Deeside - Laura Knightly (Labour majority 2919)
Angus - Derek Wann (SNP majority 3282)
Argyll & Bute - Alastair Redman (Lib Dem majority 3431)
Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock - Lee Lyons (Labour majority 9911)
Ayrshire Central - Marc Hope (Labour majority 12007)
Banbury - Victoria Prentis (Conservative majority 18227)
Barking - Mina Rahman (Labour majority 16555)
Barrow & Furness - Simon Fell (Labour majority 5208)
Bassetlaw - Sarah Downes (Labour majority 8215)
Bath - Ben Howlett (Lib Dem majority 11883)
Batley & Spen - Imtiaz Ameen (Labour majority 4406)
Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk - John Lamont (Lib Dem majority 5675)
Berwick-upon-Tweed - Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Lib Dem majority 2690)
Bethnal Green & Bow - Matthew Smith (Labour majority 11574, Con in 4th)
Bexhill & Battle - Huw Merriman (Conservative majority 12880)
Birkenhead - Clark Vasey (Labour majority 15395)
Birmingham, Edgbaston - Luke Evans (Labour majority 1274)
Birmingham, Erdington - Robert Alden (Labour majority 3277)
Birmingham, Hall Green - James Bird (Labour majority 3799, Con in 4th)
Birmingham, Hodge Hill - Kieran Mullan (Labour majority 10302, Con in 3rd)
Birmingham, Ladywood - Isabel Sigmac (Labour majority 10105, Con in 3rd)
Birmingham, Northfield - Rachel Maclean (Labour majority 2782)
Birmingham, Perry Barr - Charlotte Hodivala (Labour majority 11908, Con in 3rd)
Birmingham, Selly Oak - Alex Boulter (Labour majority 3482)
Birmingham, Yardley - Arun Photay (Lib Dem majority 3002, Con in 3rd)
Blackburn - Bob Eastwood (Labour majority 9856)
Blackpool South - Peter Anthony (Labour majority 1852)
Bolsover - Peter Bedford (Labour majority 11182)
Bolton North East - James Daly (Labour majority 4084)
Bolton West - Christopher Green (Labour majority 92)
Boston & Skegness - Matt Warman (Conservative majority 12426)
Bradford South - Tanya Graham (Labour majority 4622)
Bradford West - George Grant (Labour majority 5763)
Brecon & Radnorshire - Chris Davies (Lib Dem majority 3747)
Bridgend - Meirion Jenkins (Labour majority 2263)
Brighton, Pavilion - Clarence Mitchell (Green majority 1252, Con in 3rd)
Bristol East - Theodora Clarke (Labour majority 3722)
Bristol South - Isobel Grant (Labour majority 4734, Con in 3rd)
Bristol West - Claire Hiscott (Lib Dem majority 11366, Con in 3rd)
Bury South - Daniel Critchlow (Labour majority 3292)
Bury St Edmunds - Johanna Churchill (Conservative majority 12380)
Camberwell & Peckham - Naomi Newstead (Labour majority 17187, Con in 3rd)
Cambridge - Chamali Fernando (Lib Dem majority 6792)
Cannock Chase - Amanda Milling (Conservative majority 3195)
Cardiff North - Craig Williams (Conservative majority 194)
Cardiff West - James Taghdissian (Labour majority 4751)
Carmarthen East & Dinefwr - Matthew Paul (Plaid majority 3481, Con in 3rd)
Carshalton & Wallington - Matthew Maxwell Scott (Lib Dem majority 5260)
Ceredigion - Henrietta Hensher (Lib Dem majority 8324, Con in 3rd)
Cheadle - Mary Robinson (Lib Dem majority 3272)
Cheltenham - Alex Chalk (Lib Dem majority 4920)
Chesterfield - Mark Vivis (Labour majority 549, Con in 3rd)
Chippenham - Michelle Donelan (Lib Dem majority 2470)
Chorley - Rob Loughenbury (Labour majority 2593)
City of Durham - Rebecca Coulson (Labour majority 3067, Con in 3rd)
Clacton - Giles Watling (Conservative majority 12068)
Clwyd South - David Nicholls (Labour majority 2834)
Colchester - Will Quince (Lib Dem majority 6982)
Corby - Tom Pursglove (Conservative majority 1895)
Coventry North East - Michelle Lowe (Labour majority 11775)
Coventry North West - Parvez Akhtar (Labour majority 6288)
Coventry South - Gary Ridley (Labour majority 3845)
Croydon North - Vidhi Mohan (Labour majority 16481)
Croydon South - Chris Philp (Conservative majority 15818)
Darlington - Peter Cuthbertson (Labour majority 3388)
Delyn - Mark Isherwood (Labour majority 2272)
Derby North - Amanda Solloway (Labour majority 613)
Derby South - Evonne Williams (Labour majority 6122)
Dudley North - Afzal Amin (Labour majority 649)
Dudley South - Mike Wood (Conservative majority 3856)
Dulwich & West Norwood - Resham Kotecha (Labour majority 9365, Con in 3rd)
Dumfries & Galloway - Finlay Carson (Labour majority 7449)
Dunfermline & West Fife - James Reekie (Labour majority 5470, Con in 4th)
Dwyfor Meirionnydd - Neil Fairlamb (Plaid majority 6367)
Ealing, Southall - James Symes (Labour majority 9291)
Easington - Chris Hampsheir (Labour majority 14982, Con in 3rd)
East Kilbride, Strathaven & Lesmahagow - Graham Simpson (Labour majority 14503, Con in 3rd)
East Lothian - David Roach (Labour majority 12258)
East Renfrewshire - David Montgomery (Labour majority 10420)
Eastbourne - Caroline Ansell (Lib Dem majority 3435)
Eastleigh - Mims Davies (Lib Dem majority 3864)
Edinburgh North & Leith - Iain McGill (Labour majority 1724, Con in 3rd)
Edinburgh South - Miles Briggs (Labour majority 316, Con in 3rd)
Edinburgh South West - Gordon Lindhurst (Labour majority 8447)
Edinburgh West - Lindsay Paterson (Lib Dem majority 3803, Con in 3rd)
Edmonton - Gonul Daniels (Labour majority 9613)
Ellesmere Port & Neston - Katherine Fletcher (Labour majority 4331)
Eltham - Spencer Drury (Labour majority 1663)
Erewash - Maggie Throup (Conservative majority 2501)
Exeter - Dominic Morris (Labour majority 2721)
Falkirk - Alison Harris (Labour majority 7843, Con in 3rd)
Feltham & Heston - Simon Nayyar (Labour majority 4658)
Gedling - Carolyn Abbott (Labour majority 1859)
Gordon - Colin Clark (Lib Dem majority 6748, Con in 4th)
Gower - Byron Davies (Labour majority 2683)
Great Grimsby - Marc Jones (Labour majority 714)
Greenwich & Woolwich - Matt Hartley (Labour majority 10153)
Hackney North & Stoke Newington - Amy Gray (Labour majority 14461, Con in 3rd)
Hackney South & Shoreditch - Jack Tinley (Labour majority 14288, Con in 3rd)
Halifax - Philip Allott (Labour majority 1472)
Hammersmith - Charlie Dewhirst (Labour majority 3549)
Hampstead & Kilburn - Simon Marcus (Labour majority 42)
Harrow West - Hannah David (Labour majority 3143)
Havant - Alan Mak (Conservative majority 12160)
Hayes & Harlington - Pearl Lewis (Labour majority 10824)
Hazel Grove - William Wragg (Lib Dem majority 6371)
Hertsmere - Oliver Dowden (Conservative majority 17605)
Heywood & Middleton - Iain Gartside (Labour majority 5971)
Holborn & St Pancras - Will Blair (Labour majority 9942, Con in 3rd)
Hornsey & Wood Green - Suhail Rahuja (Lib Dem majority 6875, Con in 3rd)
Hove - Graham Cox (Conservative majority 1868)
Huddersfield - Itrat Ali (Labour majority 4472)
Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey - Edward Mountain (Lib Dem majority 8765, Con in 4th)
Kingston & Surbiton - James Berry (Lib Dem majority 7560)
Kingston-upon-Hull East - Emma Ideson (Labour majority 8597, Con in 3rd)
Kingston-upon-Hull North - Dehenna Davison (Labour majority 641, Con in 3rd)
Kingston-upon-Hull West & Hessle - Mike Whitehead (Labour majority 5742, Con in 3rd)
Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath - Dave Dempsey (Labour majority 23009, Con in 4th)
Lanark & Hamilton East - Alex Allison (Labour majority 13478, Con in 3rd)
Lancashire West - Paul Greenall (Labour majority 4343)
Leicester East - Kishan Devani (Labour majority 14082)
Leicester South - Leon Hadjinikolaou (Labour majority 8808, Con in 3rd)
Leicester West - Paul Bessant (Labour majority 4017)
Lewes - Maria Caulfield (Lib Dem majority 7647)
Lewisham East - Peter Fortune (Labour majority 6216, Con in 3rd)
Lewisham West & Penge - Russell Jackson (Labour majority 5828, Con in 3rd)
Lewisham, Deptford - Bim Afolami (Labour majority 12499, Con in 3rd)
Leyton & Wanstead - Matthew Scott (Labour majority 6416, Con in 3rd)
Llanelli - Selaine Saxby (Labour majority 4701, Con in 3rd)
Louth & Horncastle - Victoria Atkins (Conservative majority 13871)
Luton North - Dean Russell (Labour majority 7520)
Luton South - Katie Redmond (Labour majority 2329)
Mid Dorset and North Poole - Michael Tomlinson (Lib Dem majority 269)
Mid Worcestershire - Nigel Huddleston (Conservative majority 15864)
Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland - Will Goodhand (Labour majority 1677)
Midlothian - Michelle Ballantyne (Labour majority 10349, Con in 4th)
Mitcham & Morden - Paul Holmes (Labour majority 13666)
Moray - Douglas Ross (SNP majority 5590)
Morley & Outwood - Andrea Jenkyns (Labour majority 1101)
Newcastle-under-Lyme - Tony Cox (Labour majority 1552)
Newport West - Nick Webb (Labour majority 3544)
North Cornwall - Scott Mann (Lib Dem majority 2981)
North Devon - Peter Heaton-Jones (Lib Dem majority 5821)
North Durham - Laetitia Glossop (Labour majority 12076)
North East Derbyshire - Lee Rowley (Labour majority 2445)
North East Fife - Huw Bell (Lib Dem majority 9048)
North East Hampshire - Ranil Jayawardena (Conservative majority 18597)
North Norfolk - Ann Steward (Lib Dem majority 11626)
North Warwickshire - Craig Tracey (Conservative majority 54)
North West Durham - Charlotte Haitham-Taylor (Labour majority 7612, Con in 3rd)
Northampton South - David Mackintosh (Conservative majority 6004)
Norwich South - Lisa Townsend (Lib Dem majority 310, Con in 3rd)
Nottingham East - Garry Hickton (Labour majority 6969, Con in 3rd)
Nottingham North - Louise Burfitt-Dons (Labour majority 8138)
Nottingham South - Jane Hunt (Labour majority 1772)
Plymouth Moor View - Johnny Mercer (Labour majority 1588)
Poplar & Limehouse - Chris Wilford (Labour majority 6030)
Portsmouth South - Flick Drummond (Lib Dem majority 5200)
Richmond (Yorks) - Rishi Sunak (Conservative majority 23336)
Rochester & Strood - Kelly Tolhurst (Conservative majority 9953)
Ross, Skye & Lochaber - Lindsay McCallum (Lib Dem majority 13070, Con in 4th)
Rother Valley - Gareth Streeter (Labour majority 5866)
Rotherham - Seb Lowe (Labour majority 10462)
Rutherglen & Hamilton West - Taylor Muir (Labour majority 21002, Con in 4th)
Sedgefield - Scott Wood (Labour majority 8696)
Sefton Central - Valerie Allen (Labour majority 3862)
Solihull - Julian Knight (Lib Dem majority 175)
Somerton & Frome - David Warburton (Lib Dem majority 1817)
South Cambridgeshire - Heidi Allen (Conservative majority 7838)
South East Cambridgeshire - Lucy Frazer (Conservative majority 5946)
South Leicestershire - Alberto Costa (Conservative majority 15524)
South Ribble - Seema Kennedy (Conservative majority 5554)
South Suffolk - James Cartlidge (Conservative majority 8689)
South Thanet - Craig Mackinlay (Conservative majority 7617)
Southampton, Itchen - Royston Smith (Labour majority 192)
Southampton, Test - Jeremy Moulton (Labour majority 2413)
Southport - Damien Moore (Lib Dem majority 6024)
St Austell & Newquay - Stephen Double (Lib Dem majority 1312)
St Ives - Derek Thomas (Lib Dem majority 1719)
Stoke-on-Trent Central - Liam Ascough (Labour majority 5566, Con in 3rd)
Stoke-on-Trent North - Ben Adams (Labour majority 8235)
Stoke-on-Trent South - Joe Rich (Labour majority 4130)
Streatham - Kim Caddy (Labour majority 3259, Con in 3rd)
Sutton & Cheam - Paul Scully (Lib Dem majority 1608)
Swansea West - Emma Lane (Labour majority 504, Con in 3rd)
Taunton Deane - Rebecca Pow (Lib Dem majority 3993)
Telford - Lucy Allan (Labour majority 978)
Thirsk & Malton - Kevin Hollinrake (Conservative majority 11281)
Thornbury & Yate - Luke Hall (Lib Dem majority 7116)
Tonbridge & Malling - Tom Tugendhat (Conservative majority 18178)
Tooting - Dan Watkins (Labour majority 2524)
Torbay - Kevin Foster (Lib Dem majority 4078)
Torfaen - Graham Smith (Labour majority 9306)
Tottenham - Stefan Mrozinski (Labour majority 16931, Con in 3rd)
Twickenham - Tania Mathias (Lib Dem majority 12140)
Tynemouth - Glenn Hall (Labour majority 5739)
Uxbridge & Ruislip South - Boris Johnson (Conservative majority 11216)
Vale of Clwyd - James Davies (Labour majority 2509)
Vauxhall - James Bellis (Labour majority 10651, Con in 3rd)
Walsall North - Douglas Hansen-Luke (Labour majority 990)
Walsall South - Sue Arnold (Labour majority 1755)
Walthamstow - Molly Samuel-Leport (Labour majority 9478, Con in 3rd)
Warley - Tom Williams (Labour majority 10756)
Warrington North - Richard Short (Labour majority 6771)
Wealden - Nusrat Ghani (Conservative majority 17179)
Wells - James Heappey (Lib Dem majority 800)
Wentworth & Dearne - Michael Naughton (Labour majority 13920)
West Bromwich East - Olivia Seccombe (Labour majority 6696)
West Ham - Festus Akinbusoye (Labour majority 22534)
Westminster North - Lindsey Hall (Labour majority 2126)
Westmorland & Lonsdale - Ann Myatt (Lib Dem majority 12264)
Wirral South - John Bell (Labour majority 531)
Wolverhampton South East - Suria Photay (Labour majority 6593)
Wrexham - Andrew Atkinson (Labour majority 3658, Con in 3rd)
Wythenshawe & Sale East - Fiona Green (Labour majority 7575)
Yeovil - Marcus Fysh (Lib Dem majority 13036)
Ynys Mon - Michelle Willis (Labour majority 2461, Con in 3rd)
York Central - Robert McIlveen (Labour majority 6451)

Comments - 457 Responses on “Conservative candidates”
  1. Nor did Ed Miliband and John O’Farrell.

  2. But to be frank, it didn’t matter because Labour were never in the running and don’t need to win seats like Eastleigh. The same cannot be said for the Tories.

  3. Couldn’t agree with MerseyMike more. It pains me to say it but it is probably in Labour’s interest to forget about Eastleigh as a target seat for the foreseeable future unless something drastic happens to the demographics of the seat in the next ten years or whatever.

    It is indeed the Conservatives who should be taking a good long hard look at themselves having failed spectacularly in the by-election that many within the party were convinced they would win.

  4. The Results is absolutely right. Although Eastleigh was a good seat for the Lib Dems to defend, the Tory performance was simply abject.

  5. Thank you very much Tory.

    Hutchings’ vote fell by 13.9%- While not obtaining the lowest vote share ever obtained by a Conservative candidate in Eastleigh (That happened in the 1994 by-election; 24.7%), she did poll the lowest ever amount of votes for a Tory candidate in the constituency.

    And I will reiterate the point about Labour here- No one was expecting Labour to do well at all- They were already way out of the picture with only 9.6%. So for John O’Farrell actually to get any minuscule increase in his vote share given all the press attention granted to and hubbub surrounding Thornton, Diane James and Hutchings, I would consider that an achievement in the circumstances of the by-election.

  6. True, no one thought Labour would win Eastleigh, but this is a seat that until recently had Labour councillors, and as recent as 2005, Labour got 20% here. To manage less than 10% in supposedly benign mid term conditions in a seat that has some natural Labour support, I think is a poor result.

    It is true it doesn’t matter a great deal, just as Conservative performances in Barnsley Central, Middlesbrough and S Shields don’t matter a great deal – but I would have thought Labour should have managed 15-20% in Eastleigh.

  7. I think Labour performance in Eastleigh has been underwhelming. They should have achieved something like 15% (which is more or less what they polled in 2011-12 locals and in PCC elections).

    O’Farrell has already said he won’t probably run for Parliament again. Otherwise, the luckluster performance in the by-election would have not been an obstacle given precedents like

    Wayne David (look at Rhondda 1999)
    Peter Soulsby (Leicester South 2004)
    Yasmine Qureshi (Brent Central 2005)
    Rachel Reeves (Bromley 2006)
    Margaret Curran (Glasgow East 2008)

    I guess you can mention also Owen Smith’s failure in taking back Blaenau Gwent after Peter Law died.

    And Vera Baird selected for a safe PCC area after losing Redcar.

    Not that all these poor results were dependent (only) from the candidate in particular.

    I guess just poor Barbara Roche was left without any other seats taking her!

    But maybe I should move into Labour candidates thread

  8. The Tories have selected candidates in 16 of their top 20 targets. The exceptions are Great Grimsby, Walsall North, Birmingham Edgbaston and Middlesbrough South.

    More importantly perhaps, they’ve selected candidates in 12 of their top 13 targets from the LDs, the exception being Taunton Deane.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0At91c3wX1Wu5dEk1TlVqMHhNUXFBWlhSNU1hd0FYSHc#gid=0

  9. Will Goodhand has been selected for Middlesbrough S & E Cleveland – he is MD at a global market research company (Brainjuicer). He also appeared on the programme “Beauty and the Geek”

    Douglas Hansen-Luke has been selected for Walsall N, he is an “investment professional” who co-managed the party’s campaign for Bedfordshire PCC elections (and we all know what happened there!).

  10. With these 2, did they finish all seats included in the first tranches announced?

  11. No, Taunton Deane still hasn’t selected. Strangely, there was no mention of Walsall N being in the 1st tranche, but I can only assume it was part of it.

  12. I have Walsall North in the second list of 10 seats announced in November.

  13. Taunton Deane is the only LD seat in the Tories’ top 50 targets where the latter haven’t yet selected a candidate.

  14. Hi Andrea – what other seats were on the list of 10?

  15. I don’t know if the Conservatives were going to extend their target seat total to 60, but if they do, I would expect the following in there:

    Lib Dem-held targets

    Eastleigh
    Carshalton & Wallington
    Kingston & Surbiton
    Thornbury & Yate
    Southport
    Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirkshire
    Argyll & Bute
    Aberdeenshire W & Kincardine
    Lewes
    Twickenham

    Labour-held targets

    Eltham
    Westminster N
    Tooting
    Dagenham & Rainham
    Southampton Test
    Newport W
    Blackpool S
    Wakefield
    Gedling
    Penistone & Stocksbridge

    Some of these are very challenging to say the least!

  16. Westminster North is a more likely gain for them than some of the seats they included in the 40+40 strategy….

  17. I agree – a strong local candidate like Margaret Doyle or Lindsay Hall could make the difference.

  18. Jacob Rees-Mogg has been reselected for NE Somerset.

  19. “O’Farrell has already said he won’t probably run for Parliament again. Otherwise, the luckluster performance in the by-election would have not been an obstacle given precedents like
    Wayne David (look at Rhondda 1999)
    Peter Soulsby (Leicester South 2004)
    Yasmine Qureshi (Brent Central 2005)
    Rachel Reeves (Bromley 2006)
    Margaret Curran (Glasgow East 2008)”

    To be fair some of those candidates redeemed themselves by retaking the seats they’d lost.

    Rachel Reeves always struck me a one who was unduly rewards for a horrendous performance.

  20. Reeves did very badly in the Bromley by-election but when she stood there in the 2005 general election she did pretty well.

  21. ”Rachel Reeves always struck me a one who was unduly rewards for a horrendous performance.”

    To be fair to her though since getting to Westminster she’s more than proved herself IMHO in the shadow cabinet to be a potential future front-runner within the Labour Party.

  22. Really? I think Labour has far greater talents. She comes across as towing the party line and overly partisan. I certainly don’t rate her at all.

  23. Well OK maybe not a future party leader but if she was able to get into the Shadow Cabinet then she is not one to be underestimated clearly.

  24. She’s the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury and therefore you would expect her to keep close to the party line (not least because she’ll have played a fairly significant role in creating it.) And frontbench roles are substantially more partisan than they used to be. There is a need for people who can take the fight to their opposite number, particularly when the party believes that the opposite number is a weak link (and that’s certainly true with Danny Alexander.)

  25. I can’t stand Danny Alexander, but I’m not sure I see him as a particularly weak link. He seems more than averagely competent for an LD.

  26. Out of the two, Rachel Reeves is the one I can’t stand.

    She’s got that terrible grating voice that sounds like a young version of Janet Street-Porter.

  27. What a genteman you are HH

  28. It’s not Danny Alexander’s voice I can’t stand. It’s almost every single other thing about him.
    HH has made similar comments about Reeves previously & I can see what he means. But given the choice between attending a lecture by her or by Janet Street-Porter my vote would certainly go to Reeves.

  29. A rather controversial story about Grant Shapps apparantly reviewing the candidates list and removing the names of anyone who did not campaign in the Eastleigh byelection:

    http://conservativehome.blogs.com/parliament/2013/06/chairman-shapps-culls-the-candidates-list-but-he-must-be-careful-not-to-destroy-newfound-diversity.html

  30. Shaun Bennett’s characteristically strident response on therer indicates he only read the headline

  31. The most important quality in a candidate is likeability. Something ed miliband, david cameron and nick clegg all lack. I wonder when parties choose their candidates if likeability is ever considered?

  32. What a strange statement that is. There are many important facets to being a good candidate & likeability is not always one of them.

  33. Take the 2012 American election for example, Jon Testor is a liberal who ran in Conservative state (montana) against a popular conservative congressionman who had won many elections in montana. The republicans did the standard attacks; testor is a liberal, voted with obama 95% of the time, puts Washington first, Montana second. Testor faced a barrage of advertising against him but what put Testor over the line; People liked him. People wanted to have a beer with him. They disagreed with him politically on some issues but because he was likeable the money resources didn’t matter, he pulled through.

    The same can be said in North Dakota, Heidi Heitkamp a democrat defeated Rick Berg again because of her likeability got over the line. Likeability is HUGE in a close race and when selecting a candidate it’s something all political parties should consider as when it’s a close race it’s the difference between winning and losing.

    In 2014, Mary Landrieu — a democrat will be up again in red conservative Louisian – she has a grade A candidate against her fundraising already but pundits think she may well survive because despite her voting record people like her.

    If you want a uk example of likeability – look at Birmingham Egdbastion – Estelle Stuart, Likeability got her over the line.

  34. ‘The most important quality in a candidate is likeability. Something ed miliband, david cameron and nick clegg all lack.’

    I wouldn’t say it’s the most impoirtant but certainly party hacks always understimate how important likeability is to getting elected and I’m surprised that somebody as sensible as Barnaby would take issue with this fairly obvious point

    However, I wouldn’t say Cameron, Clegg or Miliband lack likeability. They have plenty of other leadership defecits – they lack charisma, a clear vision and, certainly in the case of Cameron, a complete inability to not just connect, but to even begin to understand people unlike themselves (ie: most voters)

    ‘Jon Testor is a liberal who ran in Conservative state (montana) against a popular conservative congressionman who had won many elections in montana.’

    That’s true and John Tester’s voting record is pretty liberal – but he ran as a conservative in 2006 – making much of his staunch support for the death penalty, his ‘buzz’ haircut and his opposition to gun control

    Mary Landrieu is a little different as the only thing Democratic about her is the party tag she bizarrely cxhoses to identify with in what, as you say, has become a genuine red state. She really is a Democrat in name only

    Unlike Tester, she doesn’t come across as remotely likeable

    In the case of Gisela Stuart, I would have thought her independentness was what saved her seat, rather than her supposed likeability

  35. As traditionally occurs in second term mid-terms, 2014 will be a Democrat bloodbath and Mary Landrieu will drown in it. She is only still in place as almost the last Democratic senator from the deep south because she had the fortune to be up for re-election in 2008 when she could capitalise on Obama mania and the massive black turnout he induced.

  36. Apologises to Gisela for getting her name wrong. Due to apathy in politics, I don’t think independence matters anymore. Apart from the Iraq war, I can rarely remember an MP being taken to task over a vote or cross party support for a bill. I saw a documentary with Gisela Stuart on the politics show campaigning in the rich suburbs of her seat where voters said they could relate to her and felt comfortable with her representing them in parliament whatever the party.

    cameron, clegg and milband just don’t connect with the majority of people in the country. the market towns in the midlands and coastal towns of southern/eastern coastal towns will decide the election. Miliband is a weak leader of an opposition so Labour HQ need to run local campaigns in these areas with enough resources to get the vote out.

    Labour needs to also counter the attacks from the tories about being funded by the unions and turn the tables and say the tory mp in this constituency is being funded by the same building firm that is building xxx number of homes in your village.

  37. It looks like being a re-run of 1974 – a hopeless choice between an unpopular incumbent and an unpopular opposition.

    In February 1974, the front page of The Sun summed it up as “The Devil or The Deep Blue Sea?”. I expect May 2015 will be similar, and that there will be a similar outcome, ie Labour squeaking in by default on a very low vote share.

  38. The last ppp poll had Landrieu up 48-40., 48-42, 46-43, 50-38 and even 48-41 against Bobby Jindal.

    OK under 50 is a concern. Jim matheson, democratic congressman from Utah, has shown incredible resilance to hold onto his seat despite the environment and I think Mary with these numbers can hold on. It will be very hard but she has name recognition, money and she isn’t damaged as once thought from her healthcare vote. She’s a far stronger candidate than Claire McCaskill or Blanche Lincoln as all the special interest groups in Louisiana are with her. Even David Vitter, her republican junior is on her side. Senior republicans in the senate see her as a go to democrat with oil lobbyists to pass bi-partisan bills. I would be more concerned with Mark Pryor holding on in Arkansas which has totally flipped from mild blue to true red.

    the firms in louisiana would have nothing to gain by replacing landrieu for a junior freshman with little power.

  39. Polls this far out mean little until the challenger has been selected.

    Also history suggests that nationally the incumbents will take a thrashing in the second term mid-terms, with quite a few problems building up for Obama as we speak.

    I hope I’m wrong. It is bad that the south is becoming free of Democrats and the north east free of Republicans.

  40. ‘I hope I’m wrong. It is bad that the south is becoming free of Democrats and the north east free of Republicans.’

    Having only been to the US twice, and being partial to black & white answers. that voting shift has made it difficult for me not to identify the North East with everything that’s good about the US and the South with everything that’s bad

    2015 in England already looks like a choice of which one you dislike less – the only possible way I’d vote for either Labour or Tory myself would be to tactically vote against UKIP

    I’ve never been more uninspired by British politics

  41. I take Releasethehounds’s point, but people tend to vote not so much on whether they LIKE an MP, but whether they are perceived to have done a good job, or have behaved in an honourable fashion. I think that Gisela Stuart isn’t so much liked as admired for her hard & dedicated work, as it’s seen, and to take another example from the diametrically opposite wing of the Labour Party, John McDonnell isn’t someone whose constituents think “hey, I’d love to have a beer with John” – he has a sense of humour but isn’t exactly a barrel of laughs – but he gets votes because he is regarded as someone who fights tooth & nail for things which matter to his constituents such as opposing the 3rd runway & the concomitant destruction of remaining village areas in the area. Probably Steve Pound is both admired for the job he does AND actually liked, though – he is great fun to be with and is at times extremely funny.

  42. All good points.

    I would add also that what you vote for in an MP is often not what you want to vote for in a Prime Minister.

  43. ‘I take Releasethehounds’s point, but people tend to vote not so much on whether they LIKE an MP, but whether they are perceived to have done a good job, ‘

    not always the case

    Look at Gerald Howarth – a hard workiung constituency-focussed MP whose friends would evben admit is one of the most dislikeable MPs in Parliament

    His majority in miltary Aldershot has actually decreased every year from when he first inherited the seat in 1997 of all years, from the superb Julian Critchley

    This clearly has nothing to do with any perceived lack of effort or work on his part, but more due to the fact that he just isn’t remotely likeable

    Therefore I’d argue likeability an essential asset to have in politics

  44. I’d agree that being actually DISlikeable is usually going to be a negative factor. Look at Brian Coleman for example – he is loathed by large sections of the electorate to the extent that people who habitually vote Conservative in all other elections voted Labour against him, and a lot of this is purely personal, not just political. I think a lot of people positively dislike Malcolm Rifkind, Greg Hands & David Winnick (who happily describes himself as an “unclubbable loner”), but the first 2 are in such safe seats that it’s hard to see them suffer any electoral consequences. It’s certainly possible that had a more approachable & personable Labour MP served Walsall N for the last few years it would not have been close to being lost as it was in 2010.

  45. I was told a story once – it is probably apocryphal – about how Gerald Howarth had received a abusive letter from a constituent saying how MPs were all greedy layabouts who did no work. Howarth rang the constituent up at 2am in the morning to ask what he was doing, as he (Howarth) was just finishing work after a late night sitting.

    Saloon bar cretins whining about MPs never doing any work do particularly irk me so I have a sneaking sympathy for Howarth if he did do that… but it is probably not behaviour that would win many votes!

  46. This sounds more like Eric Forth than Gerald Howarth

  47. I have worked with mps both in parliament and brussels discussing policy on a range of topics. Majority of mps are diwn to earth, easy to interview and open to policy suggestions. Some are really bad apples but i wouldnt like to name them. John redwood angela eagle stella creasy tristam hunt sammy wilson lisa nandy penny mordaunt and stepgen hammond were very easy to talk too and debate ideas.

  48. ‘I think a lot of people positively dislike Malcolm Rifkind, Greg Hands & David Winnick’

    Whilst I can fully understand people possitively disliking Hands, I would have thought the long-serving David Winnick and the impeccable Sir Malcom Rifkind would have been held in higher regard.

  49. Apparently Rifkind is very high-handed with constituents & quite often fails to answer correspondence, although his persona on screen or on the radio is very courteous.

  50. ‘Apparently Rifkind is very high-handed with constituents & quite often fails to answer correspondence’

    Quite surprised about that

    He’s certainly been much lower profile than I would have expected since returning to Parliament, and many saw him as a possible leader of a backbench moderate Tory faction as a pro-government counterweight to the dominance of the hard right on the Tory backbenches

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