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
2010
Con: 23420 (46%)
Lab: 17374 (34%)
LDem: 7656 (15%)
UKIP: 1414 (3%)
Oth: 1220 (2%)
MAJ: 6046 (12%)
2005*
Con: 14162 (33%)
Lab: 21240 (49%)
LDem: 8083 (19%)
MAJ: 7078 (16%)
2001
Con: 12650 (30%)
Lab: 22556 (54%)
LDem: 5595 (13%)
UKIP: 746 (2%)
MAJ: 9906 (24%)
1997
Con: 13662 (27%)
Lab: 29460 (58%)
LDem: 5940 (12%)
MAJ: 15798 (31%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
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.
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Comments - 189 Responses on “Crewe & Nantwich”
  1. Rivers 10- yes Northumberland will be a problem. I suppose you could pair Berwick with Morpeth, which is the part of the Wansbeck seat most in keeping with Berwick. Hexham will present major difficulties- I wonder if the Commission ends up adding a couple of the more suburban north Newcastle wards or even Cramlington. Neither option would be terribly good.

  2. Glad you enjoy them I do to, there are so few places to discuss the boundaries of seats, its not a topic many seem to find engaging…for some reason XD

    Regarding Cheshire yes that’s my point, Cheadle etc are traditionally part of Cheshire but these Greater Manchester. This means that the commission will be content to have a cross “county” border here or maybe into Trafford but unlikely anywhere else in these parts.

    As for Northumberland this isn’t really the place to post my thoughts there so I’m going to post on the Berwick thread.

  3. David Cameron has been sited campaigning in this seat today; he must be getting bored now he’s no longer an MP

  4. I notice Corbyn has also been campaigning in Crewe – is he living in some sort of fantasy land? Does anyone predict any Lab gains from Con anywhere in the country?

    Symbolic seat of course, due to the by election win in 2008, but surely it will take 10 years and a new leader for Labour to be a contender in these sort of seats again?

  5. Croydon and Brighton kemptown

  6. In fairness it would look equally silly if, whilst claiming they have a chance of winning, Corbyn was spending most of his time in seats with 5000 Labour majorities. By the look of it most of the real resources are going into Lab-held seats, even whilst Corbyn takes the media on a parallel tour of Con-held semi-marginals.

  7. Granted Croydon looks precarious, but I think CON will hold Brighton Kemptown narrowly – IIRC there’s a reasonable UKIP vote there to squeeze.

  8. Croydon Central will be a comfortable Tory hold this time. I know the seat reasonably well and don’t see any way in which it will vote for Labour under Corbyn. Kemptown maybe, but the element of the seat outside the Brighton & Hove council area is large and could easily frustrate Labour’s chances.

  9. A few other seats that Labour “could” win would be the following (note I’m not saying I think Lab will win any of these just that theyare the most likely)

    Bury North
    Nuttall comes across as a prat and demographics there are not getting better for the Cons by any means. Also while its probably somewhat anomalous the results of the Manchester Mayoral election in Bury offer no comfort at all for the Cons

    Derby North
    A seat that marginal and with the Greens pulling out its not hard to envisage a shock Lab gain. Ive read a few of the those very dubious “news on the ground” pieces and for what little their worth they suggest things are closer than one might expect.

    Gower
    We may very well have been looking at a anomalous result in 2015 and the locals were actually promising for Lab with I believe them actually carrying the seat plus I imagine the UKIP vote in that seat was a lot more Labourish than people imagine

  10. Derby North = not a cat in hell’s chance

    The other two I defer to you on as I don’t know them at all, but I’d still be very surprised if Labour gained them.

    As with the Tories in 97 I think the likelihood is that Labour won’t gain anything.

  11. Labour will have more seats in Scotland than they do now next month. They’ll have a shock gain there. Somewhere.

  12. HH
    I agree its unlikely but when we’re talking about the most marginal seat in the country I don’t think we can rule anything out.

    Quint
    I’m not so sure but I wouldn’t rule it out. If Lab are to make a shock gain somewhere in Scotland though my money’s on East Lothian, one of the smaller SNP majorities, Lab actually increased their vote in the equivalent Scottish Parliament seat in 2016 and they remained the biggest party in the locals the other week.

  13. Derby North is primarily a skilled white working class, relatively prosperous seat in the East Midlands with a Corbynista retread as Labour candidate. It will be such a bloodbath for Labour I wouldn’t rule out a 5-figure Tory majority.

    I think Quint is right. Most likely Labour gain, except perhaps one of the Brighton seats, is in Scotland.

  14. HH
    We’ll have to wait and see, I’m inclined to agree Lab wont win it back but I think it vastly more likely the Tory majority remains at two figures than it reaching 5 figures. My guesstimation Tory majority between 1,000-2,000

  15. ”We’ll have to wait and see, I’m inclined to agree Lab wont win it back but I think it vastly more likely the Tory majority remains at two figures than it reaching 5 figures. My guesstimation Tory majority between 1,000-2,000”

    That’s a majority of 2%-3% and a swing of 1%-1.5% and the national swing is going to be running much higher than that especially in the East Midlands. Apparently Labour high command (who presumably have some idea what they’re doing) are sending their experienced activists to defend Derby South leaving Momentum to waste their time in an near unwinnable seat where they won’t do any more damage.

  16. Lab will gain E Lothian I think. E Renfrewshire is also not out of the question.

    I don’t know well enough the other seats where it’s a straight Lab-SNP fight, but one or two other gains could ’emerge’ on the night in Scotland.

  17. Yes, no question about it.

  18. Pepps
    “That’s a majority of 2%-3% and a swing of 1%-1.5% and the national swing is going to be running much higher than that especially in the East Midlands”

    As I said we’ll just have to wait and see but what I’m saying isn’t unusual, in many marginals (particularly Lab facing but Tory held seats) I imagine there is something of a Tory ceiling which in many cases limits any potential swing they can manage so long as Labour gets its vote out. I’m thinking seats like Weaver Vale in 2015 which remained very close despite the nationwide swing to the Tories in most marginal seats that year.

    “Apparently Labour high command (who presumably have some idea what they’re doing) are sending their experienced activists to defend Derby South leaving Momentum to waste their time in an near unwinnable seat where they won’t do any more damage”

    I’m not sure how true that is, a very cursory glance online shows Derby Momentum have been campaigning in both Derby seats as have Labs Derby councillors. Not sure what Beckett is doing she doesn’t appear to have much of an online presence.

  19. A cursory glance at the East Midlands shows that Labour really are down to their ‘safe’ seats now. There aren’t many marginals left. It would probably take a swing larger than 8% here for the Tories to take North East Derbyshire, Gedling, Mansfield and possibly Nottingham South. Any further gains would possibly take a swing in double digits… Not sure if that is likely.

  20. Ashfield is surely in play… I think the LD vote there in 2010 was masking underlying Tory potential, and from 2015 there are big LD and UKIP votes to squeeze… obviously De Piero will hope the LD vote comes over to her, but I’m not so sure it will.

    Beyond that I agree with Surreymanc. Bassetlaw and Bolsover have been discussed on other threads – majorities likely to shrink, but Mann and Skinner should do better than colleagues fighting similar seats. Perhaps Chesterfield or Leicester West might be close, but Perkins and Kendall ought to be okay.

  21. Regarding Labour’s current seats in the East Midlands, I think only 8 are truly safe:

    Bassetlaw
    Bolsover
    Chesterfield
    Nottingham East
    Nottingham North
    Leicester East
    Leicester South
    Leicester West

    As for the other seats, Derby South and Nottingham South are more likely than not to be held but Conservative gains can not be entirely ruled out. Ashfield is more vulnerable but, on balance, I think Labour will hang on there. I can see Mansfield going blue but a narrow Labour hold is also fairly likely. If they’re very lucky, they might just hold Gedling thanks to Vernon Coaker’s personal vote. NE Derbyshire is gone no matter how hard Labour campaign.

  22. ”I’m thinking seats like Weaver Vale in 2015 which remained very close despite the nationwide swing to the Tories in most marginal seats that year.”

    Yes but it’s often forgotten that there was a nationwide swing to Labour that year but just most of the marginals contained demographics that Ed Miliband tanked with. There isn’t going to be a swing to Labour this year and Corbyn is tanking even harder with the Con-Lab swing voters who inhabit places such as Derby North. Sure there will be marginals that swing less than the national average and maybe you might be right even one or two might go well against the trend and swing Labour. However in order to swing Labour a constituency would have to have a strong, rapid demographic trend towards Labour (and probably also be fairly remain with a low UKIP vote) neither of which is true of Derby North.

    Brighton Kemptown is by far the most likely Lab gain from Con IMO. It’s trending towards Labour, strongly remain, UKIP weak in 2015, no Green candidate in one of the few places where they didn’t completely flop in 2015 thus it could potentially make more of a difference. As it happens I think Labour will lose it anyway due to a poor showing nationally and Peacehaven coming out very strongly for the Tories but if a Lab gain from Con does happen I think it will likely be Brighton Kemptown.

  23. @Rivers

    As for the example you give of Weaver Vale likely reason it swung Labour in 2015 was because in 2010 Labour’s vote in the Halton wards was depressed due to the Lib Dems doing ok there. When the Lib Dems collapsed the Halton wards (bar Daresbury) sharply swung Labour whilst the rest of Weaver Vale stayed static or swung Tory.

    There are no seats that I can think of in 2015 that Labour stand any chance of winning where there vote is artificially depressed from it’s natural level.

  24. “There isn’t going to be a swing to Labour this year and Corbyn is tanking even harder with the Con-Lab swing voters who inhabit places such as Derby North.”

    Derby North is full of quite well-off skilled working class people with good jobs in private sector manufacturing – Toyota, Bombardier, Rolls Royce. If you could invent Jeremy Corbyn’s nightmare mainstream demographic that is probably it. He will tank there.

  25. Pepps
    “Yes but it’s often forgotten that there was a nationwide swing to Labour that year but just most of the marginals contained demographics that Ed Miliband tanked with”

    Exactly my point the marginals behaved differently, there is every possibility they will do the same again.

    “Corbyn is tanking even harder with the Con-Lab swing voters who inhabit places such as Derby North”

    That’s something of an oversimplification, most marginals don’t come down to voters switching sides (surprisingly few actually do in the seats where it counts) rather its about Labs vote vs the Tories vote and who most effectively deploys it. I agree its very unlikely Lab will win Derby N but conversely I just don’t think we’re going to see a mass defection of Lab voters to the Tories in the seat. Indeed most polls now are actually showing Lab at the same level of support they managed in 2015, its just that the Tories have pulled ahead due to UKIPs implosion.

    “However in order to swing Labour a constituency would have to have a strong, rapid demographic trend towards Labour (and probably also be fairly remain with a low UKIP vote) neither of which is true of Derby North”

    Totally agree, I only included Derby N cos it is the most marginal seat in the country (on paper) and with the Greens not standing this time that inevitably gives Lab a lil boost. Again I reiterate in my opinion it most probably wont be enough

    “As for the example you give of Weaver Vale…”
    If that were entirely true why did next door Warrington South with its much bigger Lib Dem vote not swing to Lab as well? I’m obviously somewhat oversimplifying this but in Weaver Vale I imagine its because the Tories are approaching their absolute max potential vote and thus there are limits to how far they can advance, the same will be true of other seats and given its demographics I flagged Derby North as possibly in a similar boat.

  26. ‘As it happens I think Labour will lose it anyway due to a poor showing nationally and Peacehaven coming out very strongly for the Tories but if a Lab gain from Con does happen I think it will likely be Brighton Kemptown.’

    Labour are rather unquietly confident of taking the seat – and it would certainly go against the grain they did pull it off

    A personal opinion is that they might struggle to get enough of their vote out to defeat Kirby but it seems as if it will be very close

  27. ‘But in Weaver Vale I imagine its because the Tories are approaching their absolute max potential vote ‘

    Prior to its creation, Weaver Vale was actually a Labour seat in 92 – with Labour enjoying a whopping 5,000 circa notional majority

    It’s essentially the Eastern spread of the Runcorn – one of the most industrially scarred towns in the UK – and Northwich – plus some fairly plush Cheshire countryside in between

    Between 92 and now Northwich had essentially switched from being a reliably Labour-voting town to a fairly reliable Tory-voting one now and at the moment that’s enough to beat the pretty strong Labour bias in Runcorn, so in some ways the Tories are at their absolute vote potential, but I still expect them to increase their majority

  28. If only because of Labour voters not turning out

  29. I get the logic Rivers, but it’s like you haven’t noticed the Tories’ exceptional poll numbers. Or maybe just don’t think it will happen on the day?

  30. BT
    “I get the logic Rivers, but it’s like you haven’t noticed the Tories’ exceptional poll numbers. Or maybe just don’t think it will happen on the day?”

    Sorry my last post was overly long and wafflish, which bit in particular are you referring?

  31. Labour gain – just.

  32. Wow must have been close

  33. The majority was just 48 for Laura Smith.

  34. Very surprised Timpson lost; he seemed a decent fit for the seat and reasonably popular locally from what I’d heard.

    Did the local council’s issues do for him?

  35. @Paul

    Cheshire had the worst education cuts in the country. That the council is going to be terrible is assumed but voters here do not expect a Tory Government to hammer the kids of Tory voters.

  36. Timpson actually got more votes this time than in any of the three times he’s been elected here.

    This happened to a few other defeated Tories, too, such as Jackson in Peterborough.

  37. Indeed it happened to (almost) every Tory who lost, given that the Tory % was the best in 40 years.

  38. The Sunday Times’ Money section had an interesting article detailing the most indebted places in the UK.

    They were: Northampton, Reading, Warrington, Crewe, Milton Keynes & Rochester.

    All marginal full of young JAMs perhaps?

    The least in debt were the residents of Lerwick, Bradford, Dumfries & Kirkwall – which may be explained by Presbyterianism (and Islamic belief in Bradford).

  39. Crewe East ward By-election, 05.10.17:

    Labour 61% (+15%)
    Cons 28% (+6%)
    UKIP 8% (-15%)
    Green 3% (-6%)

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