2015 Result:
Conservative: 24023 (42.8%)
Labour: 21611 (38.5%)
Lib Dem: 1458 (2.6%)
Green: 1374 (2.4%)
UKIP: 7708 (13.7%)
MAJORITY: 2412 (4.3%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

Geography: East Midlands, Northamptonshire. The whole of the Corby and East Northamptonshire council areas.

Main population centres: Corby, Oundle, Thrapston.

Profile: Corby grew from a small village to become a medium-sized industrial town in the 1930s after the development of the steel industry in the area. Large numbers of workers were brought down from Scotland. After the war it became a designated newtown and again there was a large amount of Scottish immigration leading to the image of Corby as being a small island of Scottish industrialism in the middle of the English countryside - the 2001 census found almost 20% of people in Corby itself were born in Scotland. In the 1980s the steel works closed leading to massive unemployment in the area, though since then the economy has largely recovered. The constituency includes not only Corby itself but also the majority of the largely rural East Northamptonshire council, including Thrapston and the market town of Oundle, best known for its public school.

Politics: While Corby itself tends to vote Labour, the now solidly Tory East Northamptonshire makes the constituency a close marginal. It was won by "chick lit" author Louise Mensch (nee Bagshawe) at the 2010 election, but she lasted only two years before resigning her seat to move her family to the USA. The subsequent by-election was won by Labour, their first by-election gain since 1997 , but they failed to keep hold of the seat at the following general election.

By-Election: There was a by-election in this seat in CON WIN. For full details see here.

Current MP
TOM PURSGLOVE (Conservative) Born 1988, Kettering. Educated at Sir Christopher Hatton School and Queen Mary University of London. Former Parliamentary assistant. Wellingborough councillor since 2007. First elected as MP for Corby in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 22886 (42%)
Lab: 20991 (39%)
LDem: 7834 (14%)
BNP: 2525 (5%)
MAJ: 1895 (3%)
Con: 19396 (40%)
Lab: 20913 (43%)
LDem: 6184 (13%)
UKIP: 1278 (3%)
Oth: 756 (2%)
MAJ: 1517 (3%)
Con: 17583 (37%)
Lab: 23283 (49%)
LDem: 4751 (10%)
UKIP: 855 (2%)
Oth: 750 (2%)
MAJ: 5700 (12%)
Con: 18028 (33%)
Lab: 29888 (55%)
LDem: 4045 (7%)
Oth: 640 (1%)
MAJ: 11860 (22%)

2015 Candidates
TOM PURSGLOVE (Conservative) Born 1988, Kettering. Educated at Sir Christopher Hatton School and Queen Mary University of London. Parliamentary assistant. Wellingborough councillor since 2007.
ANDY SAWFORD (Labour) Born 1976, Desborough, son of Phil Sawford MP. Educated at Durham University. Chief executive of the Local Government Information Unit. Dartford councillor 1999-2003. MP for Corby 2012 by-election to 2015.
PETER HARRIS (Liberal Democrat) Newark and Sherwood councillor.
MARGOT PARKER (UKIP) Born Grantham. Former European advisor and spokesperson for the promotional products industry. Contested East Midlands region 2009 European election for Libertas, Sherwood 2010, Corby 2012 by-election for UKIP. MEP for the East Midlands since 2014.
JONATHAN HORNETT (Green) Born 1974, Bishops Stortford. Educated at Richard Hale School. Runs a gardening company. Contested Wellingborough 2010, Corby 2012 by-election.
Comments - 178 Responses on “Corby”
  1. “People moved to Corby for employment escaping the large scale unemployment in Glasgow and Lanarkshire”

    And found large scale unemployment in Northamptonshire instead when the steelworks closed down.

  2. Yes; but I was asking how this fits in the context of this discussion – about Scottish voters in Corby deserting Labour.

  3. I should just say that my ‘George Brown’ comment was meant to be mildly humorous and certainly wasn’t intended to upset HH. I enjoy his posts.

    On reflection, I’m sure his skin is thicker than that.

  4. Scots who moved to Corby still maintain a very strong sense of Scottish identity (ie more Scottish than British)….even in Second Generation….by contrast most other Scots who re – settle South feel more British than Scottish.

    Corby is the place where there will be more sympathy for YES vote than the rest of England as a whole.

  5. Iain Dale has predicted that an increased Labour majority compared to the 2012 by-election is likely. This seems extremely unlikely to me: the margin was 7,791 votes. I’d expect it to be a lot closer in May.

  6. There’ll be a bit of unwind, but really the fact that the Conservatives selected a 20-something candidate suggests that they reckon it won’t be a gain.

    The Ashcroft poll gave Labour a fairly comfy lead in Corby.

  7. after louise mensch’s antics, corby won’t go conservative for a very long time.

  8. I disagree, IMO the Tories will remain competitive. I don’t expect the Labour lead to be more than 10% in May.

  9. I am now examining 4 seats which changed hands at byelections this parliament.

    I think Con will be a serious player as in all GEs here but I think Lab will hold by 3000 votes.

  10. AndyJS
    I disagree, IMO the Tories will remain competitive. I don’t expect the Labour lead to be more than 10% in May.

    I’ll hold you to that. a disastrous mili government, which i fear is on the cards, could see the tories win this seat in 2020. I have revised my view on that.

  11. Labour to hold but by less than 7%

  12. This tends to be a low-swing seat since the villages are very Tory & Corby itself is very Labour. Only Raunds & Thrapston are in any real sense competitive (though Tory-inclined). The by-election was unusual in the size of the Labour lead. I agree that it’s a Labour hold but with a fairly modest majority.

  13. Peter Bone was on LBC just now and said he’s getting a good responce on the dooorstep when campaigning here. I’ve always suspected this will be a shock lost for Labour in May and now I’m more certain it will be.

  14. Has any politician ever said that they are getting a bad response on the doorstep?

  15. There’ll be some by-election unwind, but Sawford will take it.

  16. I’d be surprised if the Conservatives won this (whatever Peter Bone is saying) – I think they’ll remain competitive, yes, but actually I can’t see Labour winning by less than about 3,000 and if pushed to put a bet on I’d go for 4-5,000.

  17. Christian, calm down. You tend to worry overmuch based on anecdotal evidence rather than weighing it up polls & other empirical evidence such as election results rationally. This seat is not going to be a Tory regain, not with the party anything like competitive nationally. If Peter Bone canvasses in the non-Corby-town part of the constituency, sure he’ll get a good response, but it won’t be enough given the by-election effect, Andy Sawford’s incumbency (now running to about 3 years) & Labour’s big big lead in Corby itself.

  18. weighing up*
    Perhaps l need to calm down too. 2 typos in 5 minutes 🙂

  19. Is this young PPC of the Bone variety or a Cameroon? It says he’s an Asst in Parliament but not to which MP.

  20. He’s registered in the Register Of Interests Of Members’ Secretaries And Research Assistants under Chris Heaton Harris name

  21. Thanks Andrea. I think he’s a Eurosceptic, though I haven’t heard much of him in the last Parliament.

  22. I’d love to see what % of vote the SNP would get if it stood here, it would give a good indication of how popular they are with Scots living elsewhere in the UK.

  23. 10% of people in Corby identified themselves as Scottish.

  24. I imagine most are strong Unionists, given the Orange marches here. A bit like ex Cubans in the USA being Republicans rather than Democrats.

  25. Scots living in Corby would be very unrepresentative of Scots living in London & the south…in the south I imagine the SNP support would be much more derisory than here, where the Scots community derives from heavy industry and is decidedly Old Labour in character.

  26. As I understand it, 50 or 60 years ago, A steel works from Scotland set up a new factory in Corby, and they moved hundreds or thousands of employees to Corby.

  27. I think it was British Steel at that point, but you’re right. The primary steelmaking at Corby ended in the early 1980s but I think there is still a rolling mill there. A lot of Scottish miners also came down to work in the new Dukeries coalmines in Nottinghamshire in the 50s and 60s.

  28. BBC – “The rather unlikely association between this English town and Scotland began when Glasgow-based Stewarts & Lloyds constructed one of the UK’s largest steelworks in Corby in the 1930s.”

  29. Not sure if it was true, but the BBC said more Irn Bru is consumed here than in the rest of England combined. As with Cheshire and champagne.

  30. I’m almost certain that can’t be true.

  31. Labour Gain (Hold from the by-election) 3,000 majority.

  32. The Corby Conservative campaign is the one the Tories lacked under both Andrew Griffith in 2001 and 2005 and Mensch in 2010. Tom Pursglove has fought this campaign as an MP in waiting since he was selected and he is a very impressive work. Andrew Sawford is also a totally presentable Constituency MP as well.

    The outcome in this seat appears to be predicated on the following;

    1. Will the UKIP vote harm Labour more than the Conservatives here? There is less evidence of a UKIP presence in the East Northants towns and villages.

    2. Will the LibDems and others who opposed Labour in 2010 continue to lend their vote to someone like Tom Pursglove or will they give it to Andrew Sawford?

    The squeeze by UKIP, Corby turnout and the behaviour of ‘vote lenders’ in the seat will be decisive.

    Everything in Andrew Sawford’s literature about immigration and employment agencies shows that Labour KNOWS ‘all is not well’ among the flock.

  33. Rumours that Labour have lost Corby!

  34. Christian,

    The rumours were true!

    Con 24,023 42.8%
    Lab 21,611 38.5%
    UKIP 7,708 13.7%
    LDem 1,458 2.6%
    Green 1,374 2.4%

    Majority 2,412. Swing from the 2010 election is 0.4% – lower than equivalent seats presumably due to the by election.

  35. I see the 26-year-old MP elect here met some Orange Order members, to repair the damage done by Mensch in this seat. She said they shouldn’t be allowed to march and wasn’t aware they did anywhere outside NI.

    I think she’s a keen RC, along with Tim Montgomerie.

  36. The new MP was on Newsnight. He sounded down to earth. A welcome break from Mensch.

  37. Vast volumes of equine egestive matter posted on this thread

  38. I think that this seat might demonstrate the problem that Labour had in GE2015 – a significant amount of their GE2010 vote went to UKIP while those CON GE2010 voters (who told pollsters they would vote UKIP) didnt in the end vote UKIP

    This was because they were more motivated to stop Miliband & Labour in this important battleground seat than to register a protest vote.

    Labour ought to now realise the devastating effect on working class /poor people by the huge immigration influx from 2004 on wards.

    While a lot of Tories are shielded by this (& a lot benefit from it (landlords, company directors..etc))…Labour’s supporters ‘at the bottom’ have no such protection & had nowhere to go (no referendum) and therefore went over to the protest vote for UKIP.

  39. I feel sorry for Sawford. Must be so disheartening for him to lose a seat that he won only two-and-a-half years ago with a 7000 majority. However, Labour qere slaughted across the Midlands on GE night so it’s hardly surprising they lost this swat. This is the type of seat that Labour need to win in order to form some sort pf government. Out of all the candidates for the Labour leadership, only Kendall can win this type of seat back for the party on my opinion.

  40. @ Lancs Observer

    I have to disagree. I heard Pursglove on the radio at lunchtime and he’s a rabid right winger. He’s exactly the same as Steve Baker. Either he knows what he’s asking for in terms of EU renegotion is not achievable (even Hammond has said this) in which case he’s a liar, or he actually believes what he says, in which case he’s a fool. I really don’t know why anyone can think it a good thing that MPs like Pursglove are deceiving their electorate. Leadership is about telling the public some hard truths not blindly agreeing to their prejudices. And before anyone accuses me of being partisan, all I’m doing is giving my view of Pursglove just like Lancs Observer did. Or is it only partisan if that view is unfavourable?

  41. Is being to the right of Genghis Khan a prerequisite for being a conservative member from Northamptonshire? Bone, Hollobone, Binley, Heaton-Harris, and now this Paulsglove is this just coincidence?

  42. Mensch clearly wasn’t.

  43. Northamptonshire Tories are pretty rightwing. Just look at the County Council – outsource everything and the lowest Council Tax of any County Council.

  44. I always thought the Tories had a good chance of winning this back and was going to place a bet on it, but in the end I was swayed by the stupid opinion polls and pulled out. Next time I’ll stick to my own opinions.

  45. What do people think happened here? I expected Sawford to hold on – the sophomore bounce as John Curtice calls it – but whilst this worked for first term Tory incumbents it didn’t work for Sawford. I notice the Labour vote was up compared to 2010 so probably he got some sophomore bounce but perhaps a lot of Lab defectors to UKIP cancelled this out.

  46. What happened was that the by-election was mostly inconsequential in the same way the by-elections between 1987 and 1992 turned out to be. And the East Midlands was Labour’s worst region in England, especially outside the big cities of Nottingham and Leicester.

  47. BigD – you can, of course, be both down to earth and right wing, so not sure we are disagreeing that much.

    Philip Davies, David Nuttall, Andrew Percy, Tracey Crouch et al perhaps stand out as there are only around a dozen of them out of the 650 MPs.

    Those with egos like Mensch are much more in abundance.

  48. ”Those with egos like Mensch are much more in abundance”

    Lancs Observer – Who are these people in the Tory party? The only people that sping to mind that Have as big an ego are Howarth, Soubry, Skidmore and Perry.

  49. I meant in the Commons as a whole. Soubry, Perry are certainly contenders for no.1 spot, even ahead of Kaufman, Bercow, Clegg and Cameron. Paddy takes some beating from the Lords.

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