2015 Result:
Conservative: 22829 (47%)
Labour: 16303 (33.6%)
Lib Dem: 1339 (2.8%)
Green: 1100 (2.3%)
UKIP: 6979 (14.4%)
MAJORITY: 6526 (13.4%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: South East, West Sussex. The whole of the Crawley council area.

Main population centres: Crawley.

Profile: Crawley is a newtown, designated in 1946 and which grew rapidly in the 50s and 60s to house overspill population from London. It originally had a high proportion of council housing, but this has been largely sold off through the right to buy and along with many private housing developments it has become a marginal seat, like many other southern newtowns. Gatwick airport is situated to the immediate north of the town and it naturally dominates the local economy, both as an employer itself as an as magnet for many other industries linked to the airport, such as Virgin Atlantic, Avios and Virgin Holidays.

Politics: Like many newtowns this is a close marginal between Labour and the Consevatives. It was held by Labour by only 37 votes in 2005, but finally won back by the Tories in 2010.

Current MP
HENRY SMITH (Conservative) Born 1969, Epsom. Educated at UCL. West Sussex councillor 1997-2010, Leader of West Sussex council 2003-2010. Crawley councillor 2002-2004.Contested Crawley 2001, 2005. First elected as MP for Crawley in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 21264 (45%)
Lab: 15336 (32%)
LDem: 6844 (14%)
BNP: 1672 (4%)
Oth: 2388 (5%)
MAJ: 5928 (12%)
Con: 16374 (39%)
Lab: 16411 (39%)
LDem: 6503 (15%)
BNP: 1277 (3%)
Oth: 1408 (3%)
MAJ: 37 (0%)
Con: 12718 (32%)
Lab: 19488 (49%)
LDem: 5009 (13%)
UKIP: 1137 (3%)
Oth: 1170 (3%)
MAJ: 6770 (17%)
Con: 16043 (32%)
Lab: 27750 (55%)
LDem: 4141 (8%)
Oth: 552 (1%)
MAJ: 11707 (23%)

2015 Candidates
HENRY SMITH (Conservative) See above.
CHRIS OXLADE (Labour) Born Crawley. Educated at Hazelwick School. Radio presenter. West Sussex councillor since 2009, Crawley councillor since 2011.
SARAH OSBORNE (Liberal Democrat) Psychotherapist. Lewes councillor since 2011.
GUY HUDSON (Green) Educated at Sussex University. Consultant.
Comments - 167 Responses on “Crawley”
  1. “In addition to Hemmelig’s points, whilst Harlow is considerably grimmer than Crawley they also have a considerably better MP, which probably helps explain the healthier majority for the Tories there”

    Completly agree with Tim, I was staying in Crawley recently before getting an early flight from Gatwick and it’s much more aesthetically pleasing than Harlow.

    Agree re the MP – no charisma whatsoever – but then again he’s not in a minority there…

    I don’t agree though that Halfon would make a good PM!

  2. ‘I don’t agree though that Halfon would make a good PM!’

    He’s a first-rate constituency MP and such people seldom make good PMs

    He strikes me as an honest, decent and hard-working MP, and there aren’t enough of them

  3. The disgraceful treatment of the drone suspects has finally convinced me that there’s something very rotten about our modern police force. We live very close to Gatwick and when the names of the people arrested were made known there was incredulity on local social media. The guy was a very well respected local glazier who indeed was working on multiple jobs during the time he was supposed to be flying the drone. I’ve little doubt that without the huge local pressure there’s been on the police to release these innocent people, they would have been scapegoated and perhaps charged and jailed. The police were under huge pressure to find the culprits and simply decided on a scapegoat and rounded them up to distract the news narrative. They leaked these innocent peoples’ names, addresses and pictures of their house to the newspapers and TV news, effectively ruining their lives. This could just as easily happen to you or me. I was wrong to be a sceptic about Stephen Lawrence, Hillsborough, Orgreave, De Menezes et al. Reform our rotten police now.

  4. I am starting to think they is something weird about all this – beyond Sussex Police and their actions – things don’t really add up anymore.
    Social Media makes any Anomlty ban very difficult – the police struggle to enforce the Ban on naming rape victims.

  5. The public of course support anonymity bans- but I bet if the press ran with ‘we can’t tell you the names’ type headlines, the public would suddenly support naming.

  6. The treatment of this couple has been absolutely shocking. I completely echo HH’s sentiments that anyone feeling a bit smug or superior (in a ‘well, that would never happen to a nice person like me’ kind of way) is massively deluded.

    The conspiracy theorists will have a field day with this, but I just think it’s a classic British cock up from start to finish. The fact that there may not have been a drone after all would be hilarious but for the fact that so many people’s holidays have been ruinec.

  7. Oh, and from the politics side of things, Grayling was as useless as ever.

  8. Henry Smith says he has “not come across any Islamophobia” in the Conservative Party.

    What planet is he living on?

  9. From my personal experience, a fair bit of the “Islamophobia” within the Tory grassroots is caused by the suspicion that Asian members and councillors have little loyalty to the party itself and seem to defect between parties much more often than white British Tories. And to be fair this does seem to be the case, reflecting the political culture of countries like Pakistan.

    In Bromley our own sole Asian Tory council candidate in the 2002 local elections was spied during the same election campaign canvassing for Labour across the border in Lewisham. Such tales are not uncommon.

    As for a more general distrust/dislike of muslims, more than anything it reflects the age and geographical distribution of Tory activists. It’s true that unless the party makes itself more attractive to ethnic minority voters of all hues, its chances of winning a working majority in the future are pretty low.

  10. The Real Joe James B here again.
    HH – just noticed your post from 23 December.
    Strongly agree. An utter disgrace.
    Poll Troll – I have come across virtually none, and have been in the Tory Party since I was 18.

  11. ironically I know a Tory cllr who said if Corbyn was any more anti Israel he’d defect to Labour

  12. Hemmy: that “Muslims are fine so long as they toe the party line” defence is a precise mirror image of Labour anti-Semitism.

  13. I think the difference is that, even if they dislike muslims and Islam, the vast majority of Tories aren’t exactly obsessed by the issue. By contrast the Labour hard left is utterly consumed by Israel-Palestine and seems to see even the most innocuous and irrelevant issues through the lens of that conflict.

    I don’t disagree with you that an inability to adapt to our multi-cultural society is an increasing drag on the Tory party, indeed I said as much in my last post. Like the acceptance of homosexuality it will just be a matter of time. If we’re blessed with a Corbyn government I think a lot of the corner-shop / taxi driver type ethnic vote will shift to the Tories.

  14. I think also wider social media use means racist comments in Labour are likely to either be on online or details from local meetings reported on social media. Anything racist or otherwise offensive at Tory local meetings probably wouldn’t make social media and get reported to the party leadership.

  15. Also because of the anti semetism of the hard left Labour moderates now have to spend considerable time tweeting or posting about the antisemtism crisis and counter arguing all the anti semetic bullshit conspiracy theories.

  16. I’m sorry you have to spend so countering my anti semitic conspiracy theories…

  17. Henry Smith says he has “not come across any Islamophobia” in the Conservative Party.

    I think that comment says more about Mr Smith than the Tories record in race relations

    One might conclude that like many extreme Brexiteers, Mr Smith is either a liar or a racist

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