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.
Links
Comments - 189 Responses on “Crewe & Nantwich”
  1. On Thursday (4/4/13), Crewe voted themselves a new Crewe Town Council. All 20 seats are Labour. Candidates included Cons, Lib Dem & UKIP. Report in local paper here: –

    http://www.crewechronicle.co.uk/crewe-news/local-crewe-news/2013/04/05/labour-have-recorded-a-landslide-victory-in-the-crewe-town-council-elections-after-claiming-all-20-seats-96135-33122020/

    A bit of back history is given here: –

    h
    ttp://www.crewe-nantwichlibdems.org.uk/articles/view/a-town-council-for-crewe/5/

    BR

  2. Gwyneth Dunwoody overturned a notional 1979 Conservative majority of around 3500 in 1983.

    This was by far the most difficult of the 4 notional Labour gains from the Conservatives in 1983.

    Liverpool Broadgreen went from having a notional Conservative majority of around 300 to 3000 – 4000.

    Glasgow Cathcart had a notional Conservative majority of 1700 to having a Labour majority of over 4000.

    Birmingham Erdington had a notional Conservative majority of 1400 and was gained by Labour by 231 votes.

  3. Bearing in mind how lamentable Labour’s performance was in 1983, one has to wonder how accurate some of the notional figures actually were in some seats.

  4. I don’t think the Tory majority would really have been as large as 3,634 in 1979 but on balance I’d say it probably was a genuine Labour gain. Dunwoody was probably well-known in the wider area and the Tories lost the incumbency vote of Nicholas Bonsor in Nantwich.

  5. The changes in 1983 on the notional 1979 figures were as follows:

    Con -5.78%
    Lab +1.17%
    Alliance +5.81%
    Others -1.21%

  6. Edward Timpson has done extremely well here, regardless of the byelection.

    His Lib Dem-style of campaigning actually works and is very effective and IMHO seems to be a likeable man.

  7. But Labour did very well in the Crewe Town council elections, and are campaigning hard.

    I think they are favourites to win next time. Timpson may be nice but he’s very ineffectual.

  8. But he held the seat in 2010- he must have some degree of personal support.

  9. He was bound to hold it though, bearing in mind he’d thrashed Labour in the by-election, and the Tories were still well ahead of Labour – a national result such as 2010 wasn’t anything like good enough for Labour for the party to have any serious chance of recouping such a bruising & embarrassing by-election defeat. The Tories on paper still have a pretty good majority, but there’s certain to be at least some unwind from the by-election and it would probably take the Tories to be ahead by at least 4% nationally for them to be the favourites to hold on here. In my opinion.

  10. Despite Labour’s strength in Crewe, it’s hard to tell if they’ll regain this in 2015. The absolutely shambolic by election campaign cost them what was looking like a fairly reliable seat in Cheshire. Gwyneth Dunwoody was one of those politicians who was very well regarded across the political spectrum. She was someone critical of various tribal aspects/factions in the party, so to run that horrific class war campaign against the Tory, who ended up winning, was no way to honour her legacy.

    To Adrian Heald’s credit, he works in a real job as a doctor as opposed to a spad or think-tank wonk.

  11. This one is very hard to call. On the one hand, I accept that the Conservative position is weaker than it appears because of the somewhat artificial by-election effect. But on the other hand, I think Labour’s position is weaker than is implied by the 1983 and 2005 results- after all, Gwyneth Dunwoody seemed to have a significant personal vote. So I think it will be very close.

  12. I think that’s a fair assessment. It will come down to the national picture to a large extent, obviously, and to whether Labour gets its Crewe vote out.

  13. If labour have no money, how can they get the vote out?

    The election is going to be decided on new voters not the ones that voted in 2010.

  14. You don’t need money to get the vote out, you need party workers on the ground. There, it’s likely that Labour will have an advantage over the Conservatives.

  15. and……..why do you say that the election won’t be decided by those who voted in 2010? The great majority of voters who vote in 2015 will also have voted in 2010.

  16. I think a narrow Labour win is most likely. The basic demographics of the seat will probably prove to be more important than the by-election effect.

  17. I think this was a genuine Labour gain in 1983.

  18. ‘I think this was a genuine Labour gain in 1983’

    It was, although it seems almost certain that the Tories would have won if not for Dunwoody’s canditure

    Barnaby and Neil are right in that Labour’s shambolic by-election campaign, where they relied on making personal insults and class-based preudice against a decent amnd likeable tory candidate, cost them any chance of winning in 2010, although i was quite surprised by the size of Timpson’s majority

    As things stand, Labour ought to win this in 2015 but Timpson incumbancy will certainly be beneficial to the Tories

  19. “It was, although it seems almost certain that the Tories would have won if not for Dunwoody’s canditure”

    Or if Nicholas Bonsor hadn’t have chickenrunned.

    Aside from Bonsor, Thornton and Steen were there any other conservative chickenrunners in 1983?

    It seems remarkable that they were allowed to do what they did in an election when the Conservatives won a landslide majority.

  20. Richard Page I believe too who won Workington in a by-election in 1976, yet fought South West Hertfordshire in 1979

    My favouite chicken run story is the venture chosen by the straunch reactionary Tory Iain Sproat, who abandoned his constituents in Aberdeen South in 1983 for what he thought would be a easier contest in Roxbourough & Berwickshire.

    Unfortunately for him, his new seat was one of the few the Lib/SDP Alliance did manage to win in 83 whilst Aberdeen South was held by Gerry Malone, another Scottish Tory MP who found himself a new seat south of the boarder after losing in 1987

    Sproat did sprout up once again in the induistrial working class town of Harwich, but despite winning a majority not that short of 20,000 in 92, he got the boot in 1997 and was unable to get back in 2001

  21. Lots of MPs got the boot in 1997.
    Surely the prize goes to Solihull where a 12,000 majority even in 1997 led to the boot in 2005.

  22. Tim – not quite correct. Richard Page unsuccessfully defended Workington in 1979, then the Tory MP for SW Herts, Geoffrey Dodsworth, fell ill & resigned soon after the general election. Page held that seat. I remember him saying he’d fought 5 parliamentary elections in 5 years – Workington in Feb. & Oct. 1974, 1976 & 1979 general election, then SW Herts in the by-election.

  23. How could I forget Iain Sproat.

  24. Thanks for the clarification Barnaby – I didn’t realize Page contested workington in 79. He lost by a fairly substantial margin too

  25. Where does the expression “the boot” come from btw? Does it mean you come out holding a boot.

  26. “You don’t need money to get the vote out, you need party workers on the ground. There, it’s likely that Labour will have an advantage over the Conservatives.”

    Indeed.
    The rapid decline of the Conservative activist and membership base will be worth an extra 2 or 3% on Labour’s lead over the Tories (or reduction of the Tory lead if they have on) from whatever the present state may be.

    Look at an opinion poll, and whatever the Tory-Labour difference is, add an extra 2-3% to the Labour advantage.

    Far be it for me to return to the site with a challenge to the censorship rules, but it is a situation that has been ENCOURAGED by the present Tory leadership.
    They are finding out that they can only hit their supporters for so long. And there WILL be electoral consequences that were completely unnecessary if they had been smart.

  27. It’s good to see you back Shaun.

  28. Seconded.

    I tend to agree with Shaun’s prediction, though we often disagree politically.

    No matter how much the media is trying to talk up the importance of the narrowing Labour poll lead, it’s perfectly clear to anyone who thinks about things more deeply that we are going to get Prime Minister Miliband *shudder*

  29. That’s bollocks. From 2 people who want to make the situation worse out of spite, but for different reasons. The next election is open. I do suspect though that polls no longer over estimate labour’s share perhaps by several points which seemed to be so before 2010. There is still over 18 months for the economy to get better month by month, and to also make gains off the lib dems as has happened in locals since 2010

  30. Maybe not spite – but I disagree with you.

  31. Nothing is ‘perfectly clear’ about the next election.

  32. It is “perfectly clear” that the Tories will not win a majority. It is also “perfectly clear” that the Lib Dems will not be able to enter a 2nd coalition with the Tories because their membership would vote it down.

    I’m sorry Joe James B feels the need to respond so nastily but he is denying reality.

  33. These are just your extrapolations based on your reading of current polls and your own prejudices. To imply they have any rigorous basis is nonsense.

    You can make a reasonable case for a range of scenarios, none of them are ‘perfectly clear’ to be right or wrong at this point in time.

    I think it might be ‘perfectly clear’ that we can exclude the Greens or UKIP winning an overall majority, or the Tories winning Bootle but Con majority, Con-Lib coalition, Lab/Lib coalition, Lab minority, Lab majority are all runners.

  34. “To imply they have any rigorous basis is nonsense.”

    There have been numerous polls recently testing the views of Lib Dem party members. Overwhelmingly, they reject any notion of supporting a second coalition with the Tories.

    To get a majority the Tories will need to increase their vote share by 3-4%. No governing party have increased their share of the vote after a full term at all since the 1950s, let alone done so by such a huge amount. That’s pretty rigorous I would suggest.

  35. I do concede that a Con minority outcome has some likelihood – say 10%. But such a government would not last very long against the hostile forces ranged against it (not to mention the Bones and Dorries on their own side).

    I would put the likelihood of some kind of Labour administration at 90%.

  36. ‘It is “perfectly clear” that the Tories will not win a majority.’

    I’m sure people were saying the same in 1981 – although obviously the Tories had a majority then, but i still think there is everything to play for in the next election

    Let’s not undestimate the role the press play, the majority of whom will be campaiging all-out to prevent any kind of labour victory

    Look at the effect this had on the AV referendum. People were intially in favour prior to the campaign in the press and yet cdome polling day and it was decisively rejected

    The press, specifically the tabloid press, still holds a hell of a lot of weight in the UK – and lets npot understimate the extent papers like The Daily Mail and The Sun will go to to get their way

    ‘It is also “perfectly clear” that the Lib Dems will not be able to enter a 2nd coalition with the Tories because their membership would vote it down.’

    I would have though the more left-leaning members have already left the party in disgust over the first coalition and under Clegg the Lib Dems are more centrist than centre left.

    Again it comes tro the press. Just think of the amount of sh*t Clegg will get from Murdoch and others if he dares form a coalition with Labour.

    He’s already been ridiculed for allowing the government the press support to givern. Just imagine the pilloring if he enables the party they all despise to govern. They will go out of their way to make his live a living hell and will probably involve his family too

  37. “I would have though the more left-leaning members have already left the party in disgust over the first coalition and under Clegg the Lib Dems are more centrist than centre left.”

    By 54% to 21%, Lib Dem members prefer post-2015 alliance with Labour to continuing pact with Tories
    http://www.libdemvoice.org/hung-parliament-lib-dem-poll-36227.html

    “Again it comes tro the press. Just think of the amount of sh*t Clegg will get from Murdoch and others if he dares form a coalition with Labour.”

    It isn’t likely to be Clegg forming such a coalition – it will be someone like Farron or Cable.

  38. No prime minister had won three elections in a row for over a century until 1987, so did that make it ‘perfectly clear’ (in say 1985) that 1987 would see a Labour win?

    And when before 1992 had a governing party won four elections in a row? It must have been ‘perfectly clear’ that Labour would win in 1992 as well. Actually, a great number of people thought it was so, even a few days before the election – never mind 18 months before.

    You can drum up these supposed ‘iron rules’ of history to support all kinds of cases. Like sporting records, they are steadily made made invalid by events.

  39. It is no wonder Labour are coasting to victory when so many Tories prefer to bury their heads in the sand with comfort platitudes rather than admit the hard electoral realities which face them.

  40. I see you have abandoned sensible argument now and resorted to silly remarks, so let’s leave it there.

  41. In what way is my argument not sensible?

  42. This discussion will be great to revisit the day after the 2015 election.

    Either myself, Runnymede or Joe James Broughton will be looking very stupid.

    I’d much rather it were me looking stupid than have to face 5 years of the 2 Eds.

  43. ‘I’d much rather it were me looking stupid than have to face 5 years of the 2 Eds.’

    Come the election and I’m sure many other centrist voters will share that viewpoint – it will be hammered home by the likes of Joe’s friends in the Tory press

    Part of the Tory strategy itself seems to be to convince voters that a Labour majority in 2015 is a certainty – and with the utterly vile Lynton Crosby calling the shots 2015 will almost certainly be the most negative campaign in history

    Personally the idea of either Labour or the Tories winning an outright majority fills me with dread

    ‘It isn’t likely to be Clegg forming such a coalition – it will be someone like Farron or Cable.’

    Who the press will hate even more than Clegg – as both of them are considerably less right wing than the current leader

    As a centrist Lib Dem I’d rather we stick with Clegg – so long as the party don’t face an FDP-style wipe out

  44. I’ve some sympathy with your view Tim. The coalition has arguably been able to take tougher decisions on the economy than a Tory government with a small majority would have been able to because they have had a comfortable enough majority in parliament not to have been derailed by mavericks. Being in coalition with the Lib Dems has allowed Cameron to park Europe as an issue to an extent he couldn’t if he were governing alone.

    If I am totally wrong and the Tories win a majority in 2015 it will only be a small majority, and they risk taking their eyes off the ball and becoming riven with splits on the EU as per 1992-97.

  45. ‘If I am totally wrong and the Tories win a majority in 2015 it will only be a small majority, and they risk taking their eyes off the ball and becoming riven with splits on the EU as per 1992-97’

    i think the strongest argument endorsing your viewpoint is that the tories couldn’t seal the deal in 2010 with a vastly unpopular labour government, which suggrests they simply just don’t have the votes any more

  46. Runnymede – you are quite often rather rude yourself, so maybe it’s not inappropriate that you receive a dose of your own medicine. Joe is sometimes as well, though he almost invariably apologizes soon afterwards. Your rudeness is generally expressed more in terms of contempt than rude words such as “bollocks”, though it tends to be directed to those who don’t share your political beliefs rather than, in this instance, your psephological ones. I think actually you both make valid points in this instance, but I really find it hard to see a Tory majority coming, especially as I rather suspect the recovery will be a much more stuttering one than Cameron or Osborne would like, or indeed need.

  47. Your last point is an especially good one. Europe’s “recovery” may not last very long now it has served its primary purpose of re-electing Merkel. Now she can get on with the job of sorting out the PIGS mess properly, the short to medium term outlook might start to go quite sour.

    I rather feel the intemperance of Joe and Runnymede reflects their frustration that the cold hard facts are what they are….it certainly frustrates me too.

  48. I see we’re all having an enjoyable time on here…

    Clearly there is a chance of the Conservatives remaining in government post-2015, it just depends on your personal point of view / prejudices / wishful thinking on these matters as to whether you think that chance is notable or negligible… or if that chance has increased or not over the past few months… or if it may grow or diminish over the next 18 months.

    Obviously, I think the party’s chances of staying in office somehow after the next election have improved. I also think 18 months is a good amount of time in which to build upon that improved position.

    But then I am supportive of this government, of Cameron, and of the Conservative Party, so I want to believe that; I happily digest any good news stories, polls, statistics etc which encourage my hopes and give weight to my views.

    Those who are not supportive of Cameron… or the wider Conservative Party… or this government, are more likely to be sympathetic to the idea them failing.

    But of course none of us really know.

  49. ‘Those who are not supportive of Cameron… or the wider Conservative Party… or this government, are more likely to be sympathetic to the idea them failing’

    Common sense might support that to be the case but actually the opposite is true

    It’s hardline right-wing papers like The Mail and The Telegraph which have ingrained this idea of a labour majority in 2015 as a certainty – and it’s certainly not something they support.

    They say it to ensure that their right-wing readers will be so frightened of the prospect of a Labour victory they will rush to the polls and vote to prevent that happening

    Likewise, Hemelig is far more sympathetic to the Tory Party than myself, and yet I agree with you that a Tory victory, whilst unlikely at the moment, can’t be ruled out – not with 18 months still to go and an improving ecomomy – although the latter hardly benefited the tories in 97

  50. Listening to Radio 4 earlier on this afternoon, one of the most striking stories related to Milliband’s leadership ratings- I think this was in relation to the conference.

    I happen to think that the next general election will be very very close- The Tories and Labour could well finish up having a similar number of seats, but as others have said 18 months could potentially be game-changing either way.

    In the event however of a Tory recovery in the polls, we could have a small Tory majority a la 1992 or another Hung Parliament. If Labour keep their lead in the polls all the way through to 2015 or indeed increase it, we could come out with a small Labour majority. It’s all very unpredictable, though.

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