Crewe & Nantwich

2015 Result:
Conservative: 22445 (45%)
Labour: 18825 (37.7%)
Lib Dem: 1374 (2.8%)
UKIP: 7252 (14.5%)
MAJORITY: 3620 (7.3%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

Geography: North West, Cheshire. Part of the Cheshire East council area.

Main population centres: Crewe, Nantwich, Haslington, Shavington.

Profile: Covers Crewe itself, the much smaller town of Nantwich and the rural villages to the South and East. Nantwich and villages like Wybunbury and Haslington are the sort of comfortable, affluent and historic areas that are normally associated with Cheshire - and are naturally Conservative. They are, however, cancelled out by Crewe itself - a railway town that grew up around the Grand Junction Railway`s works in the nineteeth century and which remains industrial. Until 2002 it was the site of the Rolls Royce motor works and Bentleys continue to be built at the Pyms Lane factory here.

Politics: Until the 2008 by-election Crewe and Nantwich had been held by the Labour since its creation in 1983. However, it was never an ultra-safe seat - Gwyneth Dunwoody held it by only a few hundred votes on its creation in 1983 and by slim majorities in 1987 and 1992. Only in the Labour landslide of 1997 did it become more secure and the Labour majority slipped in subsequent elections making it a viable Tory target. It was won by the Conservatives in the by-election that followed the death of Gwyneth Dunwoody, the party`s first by-election gain for 26 years.

Current MP
EDWARD TIMPSON (Conservative) Born 1973, Knutsford, his father owns the Timpson shoe repair business. Educated at Uppingham School and Durham University. Former barrister, specialising in family law. First elected as MP for Crewe and Nantwich in 2008 by-election. PPS to Theresa May 2010-2012. Under-secretary of State for Education since 2012.
Past Results
Con: 23420 (46%)
Lab: 17374 (34%)
LDem: 7656 (15%)
UKIP: 1414 (3%)
Oth: 1220 (2%)
MAJ: 6046 (12%)
Con: 14162 (33%)
Lab: 21240 (49%)
LDem: 8083 (19%)
MAJ: 7078 (16%)
Con: 12650 (30%)
Lab: 22556 (54%)
LDem: 5595 (13%)
UKIP: 746 (2%)
MAJ: 9906 (24%)
Con: 13662 (27%)
Lab: 29460 (58%)
LDem: 5940 (12%)
MAJ: 15798 (31%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
EDWARD TIMPSON (Conservative) See above.
ADRIAN HEALD (Labour) Born Fleetwood. Educated at Oxford University. Consultant physician. Contested Macclesfield 2010.
ROY WOOD (Liberal Democrat) Educated at St Edwards College and Liverpool University. Teacher. Contested Birkenhead 1997, 2001, Crewe and Nantwich 2010.
RICHARD LEE (UKIP) Educated at Rainford High School. Director of a utility detection and mapping company.
Comments - 229 Responses on “Crewe & Nantwich”
  1. For those who missed it – it was on BBC NW Tonight – the Labour MP (2017-9) who lost here was spotted signing at the Jobcentre last week.

    I think she’s going to be featured on that Ch4/5? docu about ex-MPs.

  2. It was an interesting insight, actually. Unlike Smith, I must confess I have been ashamed to go to Job Centres – indeed I was a bit snobbish about the whole thing. I might have been happier about going if they had actually been any use in helping me find jobs, as opposed to making me sign bits of paper etc. And I stopped going when they (fairly) assessed that I was still living with my reasonably well-off parents and didn’t need the benefits. If they weren’t giving me help or money then what was the point?

  3. “the Labour MP (2017-9) who lost here was spotted signing at the Jobcentre last week.”

    It was a virtue signalling photo opportunity. In the Guardian she was wibbling on about how she was just another unemployed member of the working class. In reality as a teacher until 2017 she will be able to walk straight back into a well paid teaching job, unless she was a useless teacher of course.

  4. True, but equally the public perception is that former MPs get cushy jobs-for-the-boys after they leave parliament, and it’s important to point out that they’re not all George Osborne.

  5. I can’t think of many normal members of the public who would be excitedly tweeting pictures of themselves being forced to attend the Job Centre, unless of course they were experiencing some kind of injustice. This virtue signalling crap is one of the reasons Labour lost, ordinary people just aren’t interested.

  6. “I think she’s going to be featured on that Ch4/5? docu about ex-MPs.”

    Which is nothing new. The excellent programme about Tory MPs who lost in 1997 is on YouTube.

    It’s a bit stupid majoring on very young former MPs who were only MPs for two years though. They will have lost little and will move on easily. Equally the Dennis Skinners who are long past retirement won’t be doing anything more interesting than enjoying a rest and their pensions.

    The real sour spot is ex-MPs in their 50s who have been in parliament for 20 odd years, too long and too old to get back into former careers, too young to retire, too junior for the jobs for the boys, massive mortgages and families to support. In the 1997 programme Jim Couchman and David Porter were in that category and between them took up most of the programme. Those on the Labour side fitting into that group will be the most interesting, the David Hansons and Richard Burdens.

  7. Yes, you’re right HH.

    The BBC piece online this month features her, the ex-Lincoln MP (who also ‘signed on’) and a couple of other non-entities.

    The ex-Crewe MP also tweeted a pic of herself, Skinner, Chris Williamson in a lift with Abbott, Carden & Burgon!

    Surely she should realise that 3 of them were losers and the remaining 3 are laughable rather than some kind of socialist resistance.

    On your last point – true then, but they can access pensions at 55 now (although I realise that doesn’t apply to most of the public sector although many of that generation were able to retire at 55 eg teachers pre the 2005 reforms).

    Bercow is already lecturing – must be missing his £1k taxi expenses though.

  8. “the ex-Lincoln MP (who also ‘signed on’)”

    When all the expenses and perks are adjusted for, an MP earns the equivalent of more than £100k.

    For someone earning that kind of money to genuinely have to sign on a few weeks after losing their job shows a truly mind boggling level of financial incompetence.

    These are people who once had a say on managing the nation’s finances yet can’t put a few grand aside from a big salary for a rainy day.

  9. It may not be to collect money at all. May be just “signing on” to get the National Insurance credits in order to maintain State pension entititement. I admit tho this info of mine might be very dated

  10. Perhaps.

    Though you can pay your own NI contributions at the minimum rate to achieve that, which is no more than a few hundred £ per year.

  11. I think notwithstanding the UC roll out issues, the Tories are largely admired for bringing sanity to an insane and, in some areas, an over generous benefits system.

  12. Given the backlash against the Tories even amongst Tories for the cut to working tax credit breaking a manifesto pledge, the cut to DLA when it moved to PIP, etc. even the architect of most these policies, Iain Duncan Smith, resigned saying the Tories had targeted disabled people when they’d allowed pensioners to continue to recieve a free tv licence, winter fuel allowance, etc. then there was the report by the UN calling benefit cuts an infringement on disability rights

  13. As Frank Field pointed out not a single benefit was actually ‘cut’ if you mean the rate of £ received per week. In fact they increased by RPI (5% in one year – I think it was 2013).

    IDS & FF rightly criticised the Osborne cuts to Universal Credit as it defeated the main objective: of making work pay and allowing low earners to get off benefits.

    Both HH & Deep are right: although I understand both MPs were claiming old style contributions-based JSA ie even a £100k earner is entitled to c £100 per week for 6 months due to their previous NICs. But it is a bit odd for them to feel the need to. I imagine many high earners simply live off savings til they find a new job, esp when it takes the DWP a couple of months to pay anything.

  14. I also just double-checked the NI position.

    HH is right: they could simply pay voluntary NICs as self-employed people: only £150 per year.

    Though if they’re earning below £6k, you’re entitled to NI credits as are those on JSA.

  15. Richard Burden is 65 and David Hanson 62 so probably too old to be in interesting financial problems – months of pension age and the losing seats payout is larger for longer service (And been increased since 1997.)

    Karen Lee in Lincon was still working as a nurse after her election so surely could go back to that easily if needed.

    The majority of the pre 2010 mp’s who lost are over retirement age or getting close to it.

  16. Burden being 65 is entitled on full parliamentary pension. Since he was over 51 years and 6 months in 2013 when parliamentary pensions were reformed, he is protected from the changes and was kept in the final salary scheme. His pension should be 35761, 42912 or 54648 depending i f he opted for 1/60, 1/50 or 1/40 contribution rate.

    Hanson should also still be in Final Salary Scheme. And I think he can still benefit from the old “rule of 80” that is being phased out. He has 18 years of service before 2010.

    As identifed by HH, those in the 50s are problably the most “at risk”.
    The parliamentary pension at 55 is (rightly) abated. But I am not sure by how much.

  17. Let’s not also forget that defeated MPs get around £25k of redundancy pay. Some good people lost their jobs on 12th December but the vagaries of electoral democracy have hardly left them destitute.

  18. “Let’s not also forget that defeated MPs get around £25k of redundancy pay.”

    Not those who didn’t serve as MPs prior to the new redundancy system being implemented in 2015.

    The new system is that MPs get twice the statutory redundancy terms (ie. 2 or 3 weeks’ pay for every year served, depending on age) plus a “winding up payment” of about 9k.

    For a defeated MP first elected in 2017 (eg Pidcock) that means they get about 13k give or take. For a defeated MP first elected in 2015 (eg Melanie Onn), they will get about 18k. You need to have served minimum 2 years to get any redundancy terms, so those elected after 2017 (eg Lisa Forbes) only get the 9k winding up payment.

  19. I read that the average staffing costs for an MP is around 160,000 per year.* This seems high especially when you consider the vast majority of the incumbents are in safe seats unlikely to change hands.

    * £100 million in total overvwhole HoC and doesn’t include expenses

  20. Laura Smith has been elected to Cheshire East council today (for Crewe South ward)

  21. 3 Tory MPs and 1 Labour MP are working as Drs in hospitals to assist during the epidemic.

    The Crewe, Vale of Clwyd and Lewes MPs had previously worked in emergency care in hospitals.

  22. LANCS:
    think she’s going to be featured on that Ch4/5? docu about ex-MPs.
    January 16th, 2020 at 1:30 am

    Was this aired? I didn’t see it, and I’d be interested. I don’t recall hearing about it.

  23. And it really is remarkable how confident people were back in May 2017 that Labour wouldn’t gain this one plus a load of other marginals which they did indeed gain. However, I remember the polls being so bad when the election was called that Electoral Calculus had Brent North down as a Tory gain.

    I don’t think Laura Smith signing on has anything to do with why Labour lost the election. Her faction’s devotion to Corbyn does, but I don’t see any harm in her highlighting the fact that many people losing their job do have to sign on. Although I cannot imagine many ex-MPs having the bottle to do it.

  24. Crew is a very Labour town. Even at the last election they would have carried all the wards. Problem for them is that these were likely the only wards Labour won. And whilst Crew‘s population is decreasing, like most industrial towns in the North West, that’s not the case in the other more rural parts of the seat

    Were it not for Gwen Dunwoody this seat would have gone Tory in 1983 and I suspect it’s history would have been quite different.

  25. I don’t know the local politics that well, but given that the town of Crewe comprises nearly 70% of the seat’s population, and the Tories won the seat overall by around 16 percentage points, then by my calculations the Tories would have had to carry the outlying villages by around 50 points in order for Labour to win the town itself, let alone every ward. This is not mathematically impossible but it seems unlikely.

  26. That said, I’m working from population figures a decade old here. Has Crewe really emptied that rapidly that it could affect the overall figures? Even then, surely, the Tories would have carried the town of Crewe in 2008’s by-election.

  27. The electorate of the seat is 80,322 and the six Crew wards collectively account for 34,227 of that – so only 42.6% of the overall seat – suggesting Crewe has indeed depopulated at quite some rate.

  28. Likely we’re looking at different boundaries then. At the last census the population (not electorate – as a rule of thumb, take off about 25%) of Crewe was listed as 71,722, but this is for the “built-up area”. I struggle to believe anywhere in the country can change its population that quickly.

  29. ‘Built up area’ is likely to include rural and outskirt wards that aren’t actually in Crewe so that 71k isn’t Crewe itself – which remains pretty staunchly Labour – even in today‘a Mad Max-esque Brexit world.

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