South East Cornwall

2015 Result:
Conservative: 25516 (50.5%)
Labour: 4692 (9.3%)
Lib Dem: 8521 (16.9%)
Green: 2718 (5.4%)
UKIP: 7698 (15.2%)
Mebyon Kernow: 1003 (2%)
Independent: 350 (0.7%)
MAJORITY: 16995 (33.7%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: South West, Cornwall. Part of the Cornwall council area.

Main population centres: Lostwithiel, Looe, Liskeard, Saltash, Torpoint, Callington.

Profile: The south eastern corner of Cornwall, largely dependent on tourism, agriculture, fishing and commuting into Plymouth. The biggest centres of population are Saltash and Torpoint, two towns that face Plymouth across the river Tamar. Saltash (which predates Plymouth) is linked to its larger neighbour via a bridge and railway line, Torpoint (which grew up as a planned community, popular with the dockyard workers) by a chain ferry. Away from the Devon border other settlements include the fishing and tourist towns and villages like Looe and Polperro and inland market towns like Liskeard and Callington. Liskeard retains its weekly livestock market, while Callington is the base for the manufacture of Ginsters pasties.

Politics: Called Bodmin before the eponymous town was moved out of the seat in the 1983 boundary changes, this constituency has a long history of swapping hands between the Conservatives and Liberals. Isaac Foot, Michael Foot`s Liberal father, represented the seat twice in the 1920s, Peter Bessell, the Liberal MP who testified against Jeremy Thorpe in his attempted murder trial was MP here for six years in the 1960s and Paul Tyler, later to become MP for North Cornwall, briefly held Bodmin between the two 1974 elections. Between then it was Conservative seat, with the longest serving local Tory MP being Robert Hicks, who was the Member here between 1970 and 1974 and again between 1974 and 1997. It fell to Colin Breed of the Liberal Democrats in 1997 but he failed to hand his seat on to a Liberal Democrat successor after his 2010 retirement.

Current MP
SHERYLL MURRAY (Conservative) Born 1956, Millbrook. Educated at Torpoint Comprehensive. Former Caradon councillor and Cornwall councillor. First elected as MP for Cornwall South East in 2010. Prior to her election campaigned on fisheries as the wife of a local trawlerman, a spokesman for "Save Britain`s Fish" and as a member of the Fishermen`s Association Ltd.
Past Results
Con: 22390 (45%)
Lab: 3507 (7%)
LDem: 19170 (39%)
UKIP: 3083 (6%)
Oth: 1467 (3%)
MAJ: 3220 (6%)
Con: 18479 (35%)
Lab: 6069 (11%)
LDem: 24986 (47%)
UKIP: 2693 (5%)
Oth: 1228 (2%)
MAJ: 6507 (12%)
Con: 18381 (36%)
Lab: 6429 (12%)
LDem: 23756 (46%)
UKIP: 1978 (4%)
Oth: 1209 (2%)
MAJ: 5375 (10%)
Con: 20564 (36%)
Lab: 7358 (13%)
LDem: 27044 (47%)
Oth: 2466 (4%)
MAJ: 6480 (11%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
SHERYLL MURRAY (Conservative) See above.
DECLAN LLOYD (Labour) Born 1996.
PHIL HUTTY (Liberal Democrat) Social worker. Contested South West Devon 2001, Central Devon 2010.
MARTIN CORNEY (Green) Retired computer programmer.
ANDREW LONG (Mebyon Kernow) Cornwall councillor and former Caradon councillor.
GEORGE TRUBODY (Independent) Cornwall councillor since 2009, originally elected as a Conservative.
Comments - No Responses on “Cornwall South East”
  1. South East Cornwall ever having been won was probably helped greatly by 1997- I do know that the Liberals held the old Bodmin in the 60s and 70s under Peter Bessell and Paul Tyler, but this is a different seat with Bodmin now being in North Cornwall. I still think the Lib Dems would have held this between 1997 and 2010 without the original landslide conditions, but probably with smaller majorities more like what Bessell had in Bodmin in 1964 and 1966.

  2. Bodmin town is a LD stronghold and its inclusion in this seat would have made it safer for the LDs in 1997 and 2001 etc

  3. That’s undoubtedly true.

    Could I say to Keep Left Group that it’s probably not a good idea to post candidates’ home addresses on here, given how many nutters there are online these days….you can probably expect Anthony to moderate them out when he sees them, but an edit function on the site would be handy.

  4. Barnaby

    The point I am making is the similarity between what happened in SE Cornwall in 2010 and what is happening in Hazel Grove today and what the implications are (if any) on what is likely to happen in May 2015. The similarities are all there. Firstly a 6500 ish majority in both cases. Popular local MP since 1997 with significant personal vote stands down (in both cases). Conservatives select a Local Candidate who is a local councillor and clearly LOCAL!!!. (in both cases). Lib Dems however select outsider from out of the area who is not either LOCAL or a local councillor (in both cases). Lib Dems arrange for accommodation address in constituency to create (false) impression that candidate actually “lives” in the area. (in both cases). Conservative election campaign majors on the fact that Lib Dem candididate is not from “round here” and hey presto there goes a 6500 majority.

    Have a look at the Hazel Grove result in 1992 when Andrew Stunell wasnt that well known and could pehaps be described as “that bloke from Chester”.

    The Tory campaign in Hazel Grove has already started and what is their lead strategy – the localness of their candidate – what a surprise!!

    Could Hazel Grove go the same way as SE Cornwall. I believe it just could. What odds can you get on a surprise Tory win in May 2015 one wonders.


  5. Given what happened in Cornwall generally, the reult last time was what was expected and what happened in many other seats – given there was no incumbent. Also, the Tory candidate appears to be particularly good in tewrms of being a local constituency MP but that wouldn’t have been known then.

    Stephen Gilbert MP is openly gay, and holds a Cornish seat, so I can’t think that was much of an issue

  6. H.Hemmelig

    Apologies – point taken and I wont do it again. I understand that after losing the election Karen Gillard moved to London. So disappointed Lib Dem candidate for election unexpectedly loses seat and retires hurt to London. I wonder if history will repeat itself in Hazel Grove in May 2015.

    Only time will tell.


  7. Well, that’s one way of looking at it.

    Or alternately, you make the decision that making a living as a barrister is the way forward rather than carry on trying to win a difficult seat, and better opportunities exist in London.

  8. MerseyMike

    I suspect that Sheryl Murryay already had a reputation as being a particularly good councillor which would explain how she got the nomination. From what I hear she is an effective representative who of course has had difficult personal issues to cope with since she got elected. I suspect she will still be in place after 2015. As for Stephen Gilbert I seem to recall he was a local councillor before he got elected so already had a public profile. Do you know if he is a local lad and indeed Cornish. Openly Gay he may be but at least he wasnt a fomer Tory councillor unlike Ms Gillard.


  9. Can KeepLeft please keep their obsession with Lisa Smart to themselves and not impose it on the rest of us. You’ve made your point that you believe she’s a parachute and that will damage our campaign in Hazel Grove in endless posts. You’ve infected another entirely unrelated thread to try and draw parallels between her and Karen Gillard which is ludicrous because there is nothing anywhere that show that she’s as awful a candidate as Gillard was (I honestly can’t think of anyone who even comes close). The only thing they do have in common is that they have come from outside the constituency, this does not of course mean that they haven’t worked in the constituency.

  10. For Karen it was a case of moving *back* to London….she lived in London before she won her Plymouth council seat

  11. Khunanup – you come across like someone who knows his stuff on all matters Lib Dem. In your opinion, what was the deciding factor which lost the election for Gillard?

    As I’ve already said, I think her very abrasive manner might have been a factor, it certainly was the first thing that hit me upon meeting her. This perhaps answers Merseymike’s point about some gay candidates having an easier ride. The fact is though that Karen Gillard comes across almost like the textbook stereotype of a scary, abrasive lesbian….a bit like if a gay male candidate came across just like John Inman or Larry Grayson. That perhaps provokes a more homophobic response from voters than less stereotypically gay candidates like Mr Gilbert.

  12. Yes, I think Stephen was born in Cornwall though had been in London for a few years when he was selected

    I think the abrasiveness may be an issue if thats the case, but clearly being gay itself can’t be that much of a problem in Cornwall given Stephen Gilbert’s election

    The main MP’s who come into the Inman/Grayson category have all been Conservative and at least partially closeted! (Norman St.John Stevas, Charles Irving) But they were different times…..

  13. Yes you are absolutely right. Charles Irving was almost the living embodiment of Mr Humphreys in the commons, being the chairman of the catering committee.

  14. Candy Atherton ran a very impressive campaign in Falmouth this year and, along with Hanna Toms, have shown that Labour can regroup in that area. I think the suggestion of popularity is answered by that, although she wasn’t exactly the first choice of many of the local Labour Party back in 2007.
    I am not convinced about the need for a a candidate for Parliament to be local – i am more interested in their ability and, electoral history shows, not being local doesn’t hold you back, except when there is a particular issue in the constituency to do with either external imposition of a candidate (although that doesn’t always work against a candidate) or where the candidate makes claims which are erroneous.
    KeepLeft Group refers to the situation in Hazel Grove, which I had myself questioned when the selection was made as the suggestion of being the local candidate is so obviously laughable. If the Lib Dems didn’t make the claim, it wouldn’t be such an issue.

  15. As I have said before I suspect that it was the Plymouth connection that finally did for Karen Gillard. Other factors clearly didnt help. Somebody out there must recall the Tory campaign there. I can only assume it lead on the localness of the candidate or otherwise but will stand corrected if I am wrong. I would just like to know.

    As for Mr Khunanup dont be so touchy just because I have touched on a sore point for you Lib Dems. For the record I am not on Lib Dem Voice for obvious reasons but know a friend who is. He lives in Kingston but is clearly in touch with all matters Lib Dem. He informs me (and I dont see why he is wrong) that on Lib Dem voice the blog “Lisa Smart for Hazel Grove” went over 3000 views before it was mysteriously closed down. That is one hell of a lot of views by anybody’s standards and was apparently the most read blog subject on the whole site. It is not my obession I can assure you as it appears to be an obsession for Lib Dem members all over the country. Clearly as Shakespeare would say “something is rotten in the state of Hazel Grove”. Something is clearly going on there which is why so many people on Lib Dem voice have been looking at it and commenting
    on it.

    I happen to believe there are parallels that can be drawn thats all. If it touches a raw nerve then tough. Thats life – thats politics.


  16. I have to say one of the best things about this site is when somebody highlights some kind of interesting parallel which you hadn’t thought of before. Hazel Grove and SE Cornwall is one such case, which is interesting to know about even if Keep Left is proved wrong.

  17. Thank you Mr Hemmelig. I assume you agree with me that there is indeed a parallel between the two constituencies. Truth imitating fiction or is it the other way around. Just as singers produce cover versions of songs from the distant past, playwrights rewrite plays previously written by someone else and writers create a book based on a theme developed by a previous writer. Thats the way life goes always has done and always will. I am 60 now and have learned through life that the older you get the wiser you become. In some cases you have seen it all before. As a parent I see it in my own children. They do the very same things I used to do when I was a child. My children try to pull the wool over my eyes just the same as I did when I was their age. They dont realise that Daddy is a lot older than them and has seen it all before. Been there done it and got the tee shirt as well.

    Out of area candidate turns up calls finds local flat to rent, calls themself local, wins nomination and then contests seat. Opposition find out, cant believe their luck, laugh themselves silly all the way to the ballot box and win the election. Have I seen it all before – YES Mr Hemmelig I have indeed seen it all before!!!

    Will it happen again. I believe it will. Does it usually end in tears – YES IT DOES. The only difference in Hazel Grove is that it is the Lib Dems who are trying this trick. Usually it is the Tories.

    Do people learn the lessons of history? Sometimes Yes but sometimes not. As the saying goes “Those who do not learn the lessons of history are forever condemned to repeat them.


  18. You really are very boring indeed,.

  19. I have to say I’m quite sceptical that the Lib Dems will lose Hazel Grove, but despite being quite verbose about the subject Keep Left has at least made it a bit more interesting.

    Perhaps you won’t agree Runnymede but I find it more boring when we keep going over and over old ground. A new theory to discuss for a few days is surely a good thing.

  20. “You really are very boring indeed,.”

    I don’t think I would choose to post a comment like that to a 60 year old who’s just started posting on the site.

  21. So Runnymede thinks I am boring. Well if what I post is so boring then all I can say is dont go on this thread anymore and go and post on a more interesting topic.

    I think there are parallels between the two seats. I maybe right I maybe wrong. After all who would have backed the Lib Dems in Harrogate to lose a 10000 majority in 2010. Certainly not me.

    Hemmelig doesnt seem to think I am boring as he seems to agree with me. So apparently does Catholic Left who of course said the following:

    “I had myself questioned when the selection was made as the suggestion of being the local candidate is so obviously laughable. If the Lib Dems didn’t make the claim, it wouldn’t be such an issue.”

    Well it is the Lib Dems who are claiming their candidate is local. Yet Mr Khunanup says she is from outside the constituency – his words not mine!!

    She is either local or she comes from outside the Constituency one or the other. My friend in Kingston says the verdict on Lib Dem Voice was that she most certainly isnt local at all.

    The majority of Lib Dem bloggers say she isnt local, Mr Khunanup who is clearly a Lib Dem in Stockport says she is from outside the Constituency while the rest of his colleagues are insisting she is local.
    What on earth is going on??? Somebody somewhere is not telling the truth.

    This issue gets murkier and murkier.


  22. Khunanup is a Lib Dem councillor for Portsmouth, and whilst I don’t always agree with him, he is usually a straightforward bloke.
    I was raised in Reddish and Levenshulme and know the seats of the area pretty well, I still have contacts with colleagues in the Stockport Labour party, but now live in Blackburn, after 12 years out of the NorthWest.
    Hazel Grove is unlikely to go to the Conservatives, although it might, not because of the overwhelming strength of the Lib Dems (although they are strong in the constituency) but because of the relative weakness of the Conservatives.
    Cornwall South East might very well stay Tory, but more likely because some growth in the Labour vote might lessen Lib Dem chances. I think it is probably a toss up at the moment.

  23. I think that’s a very sensible comment.

  24. Are you sure Khunanup is from Portsmouth I got the impression he is from Stockport.

    What do your local contacts in Stockport think about what is going on in Hazel Grove. Roy Driver obviously knows what is going on but he has gone very quiet for some reason.

    I suspect SE Cornwall will stay Tory and will indeed be so in part due to the Lib Dems losing votes to Labour.

    I think your analysis on Hazel Grove is pretty accurate. The Conservatives are indeed weak on the ground but the Conservative vote is out there and has remained despite the woeful qualities of successive Tory candidates – including one Nadine Dorries!! This time they seem to have selected a half decent candidate. Rather like the SE Cornwall experience they have selected a local candidiate with a proven record and an established local councillor. They have a theme to go on – the localness of the candidates or otherwise and will I assure you play this one out for all its worth. Whether it becomes an electoral issue in May 2015 remains to be seen. The other issue is of course logistics ie people on the ground or the lack thereof. It all depends on Lord Ashcrofts money and whether the Tories can convince themselves that Hazel Grove is on their priority list or not. Money can buy leaflets and indeed paid leafleters.

    I would have thought that Hazel Grove should really be the sort of seat that they should be looking at winning if they are aiming for an overall majority in 2015.


  25. Is this a discussion about Hazel Grove or South East Cornwall, because I’m really starting to get confused?

  26. I have moved this Hazel Grove discussion to the Hazel Grove thread.

  27. I think it is both because in my opinion there are similarities.


  28. I would be interested to see if Labour are able to take second place from the Tories in Stepping Hill next May. If Janet Rothwell stands again, it is possible.
    I suspect that the Labour campagin will be concentrated very much in Offerton and that would lessen Labour’s impact in a ward that I believe could be a three-way marginal if the Lib Dem vote continues to be efficiently targeted by Labour, which would be easier from second place.

  29. Oops – this was meant for Hazel Grove – I am getting confused now! Sorry!

  30. Just for KeepLefts benefit. I’m a Portsmouth councillor (as a cursory check elsewhere on this site would have made clear). I take exception to anyone camparing any current Lib Dem candidate to the appalling Gillard (H Hemmelig, I think the defining factor in our loss was her alienation of Lib Dem activists and voters and in our party being gay or lesbian, in my 16 years in the party at least, isn’t seen as being a reason to have any ‘easier ride’ (see Gilbert next door etc.), it’s just about as big a none issue as you can get).

    Back on thread, this is a Tory leaning seat at the moment thanks to Sheryll Murray. If it wasn’t for her, with our excellent candidate, they’d be definate toast in my opinion.

  31. Well Mr Khunanup you say you are a Portsmouth councillor but that isnt the same as actually being a Portsmouth councillor!!. You certainly dont post like a Portsmouth councillor. If you are from Portsmouth then you should know all about having a political liability as a candidate whose main interest in life seems to be discussing Ugandan issues.

    I have to say you seem to be remarkably well informed on the Hazel Grove situation and indeed previous situation in SE Cornwall for somebody from Hampshire.


  32. Gavin, Khunanup is a Portsmouth Councillor, elected last year.
    Whatever we might think of Mike Hancock, the Portsmouth Lib Dem machine is formidable and frighteningly successful. Labour in Portsmouth is learning lessons and progressing but it won’t be easy.

  33. How do you KNOW this information?


  34. Labour must be really annoyed by this seat, though. It would have been theirs in 1997 at least without the 1984 by-election. stuck around and dug himself in to his credit, although I suspect it was greatly helped by the by-election which brought him into play.

    Any other candidate here for the Lib Dems could hold this fairly easily given the party’s local standing, though the size of Hancock’s personal vote could disappear a little, which might reflect on the Lib Dems’ chances here long-term. That is not to say he will stand down in 2015, but for the moment this seat is really in no danger for them.

  35. Sorry, I meant Portsmouth South…

  36. I have an interest in Portsmouth poltics and make predictions on the basis the make up of the seats, electoral history, candidates, etc – all the normal stuff. The Portsmouth Lib Dems often overturn such ‘normal’ predictions. I at least correctly predicted Khunanup’s election last year. I choose not to give out his name as it is for him so to do, if he wishes.

  37. A great parallel with Hazel grove! When Candy as a parachute came up against Goldsworthy as a local she floundered.

  38. And then Goldsworthy lost to George Eustice. But why are you posting this here? That’s an entirely different seat.

  39. Candy Atherton is such a “parachute” that she has subsequently stood in Cornwall local elections – in fact I think winning at least one of them.

  40. Has Sheryll Murray been reselected yet?

  41. Not much interest in this constituency – safe bet for Sheryll? For the latest see

  42. I would predict something like this for South East Cornwall-
    Murray (Conservative)- 41%
    Hutty (Lib Dem)- 30%
    Monk (UKIP)- 15%
    Labour- 9%
    Corney (Green)- 3%
    Long (Mebyon Kernow)- 2%

  43. After Cornwall North, this was where the LDs performed best in the county in the council elections.

  44. Conservative Hold. 10,000 maj.

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