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 - 201 Responses on “Crewe & Nantwich”
  1. ok a 11.8% majority in the northwest IS ACHEIVABLE!

  2. The 2010 result was something of an aberration due to the by-election. I think this will be close but still marginally favour the Tories.

  3. andy it goes against your theory that labour aren’t gaining in market towns

  4. Yes but that’s counteracted by the London and North West theory which is those areas being better than average for Labour. Obviously London isn’t a market town but there are a few market town constiuencies in the North West. Contrast with Pudsey where the last Ashcroft poll showed a tie in a seat where the Tories were just 3% ahead in 2010.

  5. I am genuinely surprised by this poll. I thought Timpson would be able to generate a sufficient personal vote to hold on. He may still do so – theres a big UKIP vote out there and it will now come under a lot of pressure.

  6. I expected it to be very close in 2010 and was shocked by the size of the Tory majority, but what must have happened is that a lot of people just carried on voting the same way they had in the by-election. That won’t happen again.

  7. Ashcroft polling here suggests that Labour still has a shot here, with a 3 point lead in CVI (2 point lead in SVI). Perhaps we will see the real by-election unwind. Certainly makes up for the disappointing polling in Dudley South as well as the static CVI in Harlow

    Didn’t expect Rossendale & Darwen, South Ribble and Milton Keynes South to be so close.

  8. Oops, I guess others have commented on it already.

  9. With a 3pt lead, Labour ought to be considered to be the most likely winner here now, although it is true it could still go either way.

    I didn’t think even with by-election rewind that this seat would be in play given the size of swing required.

  10. UKIP polled 13% on CVI so there’s still time for the Conservatives to squeeze some of that vote.

  11. I must admit like StephenPT I was surprised by the Ashcroft poll. Whilst I would love to see this go Labour again I had this mentally down as a Timpson hold, albeit by a reduced majority.

    Still think Timpson may hold on but the poll suggests it is in serious play and must presumably be down to deferred by election unwind.

  12. Personally I think the Ashcroft poll has placed slightly too much weight on voters under-35 so I’d be inclined to say it’s neck and neck and not a 3pt lead. That said, it is my constituency and thus far Timpson has been very quiet and the Labour door knocking is in full swing so unless the Tories are planning a late blitz this could slip away from them.

  13. Tories held this seat and Norwich N due to the by election effect or to be precise their majority in GE2010 was inflated.

    Due to this and due to the recent Ashcroft poll, I predict narrow Labour gain here.

  14. Labour Gain. 1,000 majority.

  15. Any last predictions here? I’m going to say that it’ll be recount territory. The lack of Green candidate could marginally help Labour and I think they’re at a stage where they could squeeze any potential UKIP vote in Crewe.

    If Labour wins any of its Tory-held target seats much lower down the list, I think this one has the best chance of falling to them.

  16. ‘If Labour wins any of its Tory-held target seats much lower down the list, I think this one has the best chance of falling to them.’

    I agree – although I was surprised by how badly Labour lost it in 2010

    I wouldn’t comnpletely rule the Tories out – as think as to how well they do nowadays in neighbouring Staffordshire, a much poorer and more boring county than Cheshire

  17. One thing that was ridiculed in the by-election campaign was the “anti-toff” stuff from Labour.

    Whether right or wrong, that could resonate more now after five years of Cameron (or at least look quite a bit less silly).

  18. That was a shameful campaign from Labour. Parachuting Dunwoody’s daughter and a sense of complacency. I remember Timpson and the Tory campaign focused a lot on local issues (e.g. NHS).

  19. Con hold 400

  20. Neil

    To be clear, I agree it was terrible. I am just saying it is could seem less terrible in retrospect.

  21. I think Tory is right! I think it’ll be a very narrow Tory hold this time but a Labour gain in 2020.

  22. My gut instinct of the poll and general political situation says Labour gain here, but it is impossible to say for sure.

  23. I’m in the Tories but on a recount camp as well.

  24. Christian if Labour fail here this time and Miliband become prime minister its highly unlikely they will win in 2020. My gut instinct says a Tory hold here but it will be close.

  25. Yes, you’re right Pepperminttea. I think this will one of the ‘decider’ seats.

  26. I have a feeling LAB might just shade this by <250, but could equally go 250 the other way.

  27. CON 45.0
    LAB 37.7
    UKIP 14.5
    LD 2.8

    Timpson did pretty well to keep his share of the vote quite similar to 2010. The majority was down due to Labour seeing an increase in their vote but the by-election unwind didn’t really cause any major headaches.

    This result feels very similar to a lot of 1992 results where Labour recovered some of its support and made a seat more marginal, but the Conservatives were quite resilient hence preventing a large swing away from them.

  28. On tonight’s Newsnight (22nd July) the chairman of the Labour Crewe & Nantwich association was explaining why having Jeremy Corbyn as leader was the way forward for the party.

  29. Like standing on a chair with wheels on it.

  30. The same Newsnight segment did a few vox pops with people in Crewe town centre. The two men asked for their opinion were adamant that Corbyn is too left wing. One of them said he’d consider one of the more centrist candidates and the other one praised Blair.

  31. “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.
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:35 pm”

    How prophetic that was of me looking back- I was pretty much predicting the future there and then…

  32. Weren’t you saying that pretty much anything could happen at the election?

  33. Pretty much but I nailed it when I said about the possibility of the Tories getting a small overall majority similar to 1992 if the polls got better for them in the 18 months to come- they did indeed do so. What was also pertinent in what I said looking back was me expressing surprise at Miliband’s personal ratings, which I was correct to be cautious about in the event.

    I suppose I covered all bases with that post seeing as at that point it was highly likely the general election was going to be very close. In the end the Tories got pretty much the same national lead as they had in 2010 and Labour made a net loss of seats because of the Scottish situation. So I referred to the ratings for Miliband as being striking and so it would prove- it had a deep impact on Labour’s final result in the end. Also I was conscious of the fact that the final furlong would be game-changing- I have to be honest by polling day I had pretty much accepted that Labour were probably going to do well just to force another Hung Parliament at best (though I’m not a supporter).

  34. After 32 years it seems that Crewe & Nantwich is finally the bell-weather marginal it promised to be all along. One would have thought it will survive the review unchanged.

  35. It could do but it depends, Wilmslow and Northwich further north kind of act as a barrier in that the three wards for each town preferably need to be kept together. Meaning that Eddisbury may need to expand into this seat slightly to make the quota. All hypothethitical mind you.

  36. It is probably easier for Eddisbury to be expanded northwards to take in Frodsham, Helsby, and Gowy. You could then leave Crewe & Nantwich and Congleton as they are. You could then have the 1983-1997 version of Tatton (which I’d call Northwich) the 1983-1997 version of Macclesfield (less Poynton and Disley which could be added to either Cheadle or Hazel Grove).

  37. * forgive me it wouldn’t be the 1983-1997 version of Macclesfield. It would be a new tie up of Macclesfield and Wilmslow, which was in fact proposed by the Commission in 2013.

  38. EDDISBURY 73,721- current seat plus Frodsham, Kingsley, Helsby

    CREWE & NANTWICH 72,326- unchanged

    CONGLETON 71,287- unchanged

    NORTHWICH- 76,976- Weaverham, Davenham & Moulton, Hartford & Greenbank and Northwich from Weaver Vale plus Marbury, Knutsford and its environs and Alderley Edge from Tatton.

    MACCLESFIELD 77,105- the current Macclesfield division less Poynton and Disley plus Wilmslow (inc Handforth) from Tatton

    HAZEL GROVE 73,844- current Hazel Grove plus Stepping Hill from Cheadle and Disley from Macclesfield.

    CHEADLE AND POYNTON 73,509- current Cheadle (less Stepping Hill) plus Poynton from Macclesfield

  39. All very sensible but begs the question what do you then do with the eastern wards from Runcorn that are currently in Weaver Vale?

  40. They would go into a revised Halton. Ditton, Hale and Hough Green could easily be merged with Garston and Halewood.

  41. Looks like you’ve gerrymandered that to leave Osborne without a seat!

  42. A cross county seat? You know the BC isn’t really fond of them…

  43. Edward Timpson has done extremely well here IMHO ever since he won the by-election in 2008 to stay as the MP for this seat ever since. Perhaps his majority is still artificially high a little because of the continuing effects of the by-election?

  44. Rivers 10- well there were a fair few cross county proposals including a Devonwall seat! Hale would hardly be out of keeping with Halewood or even Garston.

    H Hemmelig- believe it or not that was not actually my intention! I simply wanted to ensure Northwich was in one seat. I suppose he would go for the Northwich division though Graham Evans would have a claim on that too.

  45. Yes 2015 was clearly by election unwind – 45% is still good going given the kind of territory Crewe is.

  46. Tory
    There was but I think they were only proposed when there was literally no other option and given that there already has to be a cross “county” seat in the area what with pairing Cheadle/Hazel Grove with Poynton or Wimslow I think they’d be reluctant to do it again just down the road when they’ve already “broke the barrier” elsewhere.

    FWIW I think pairing parts of Halton with Merseyside is not too unreasonable given the historic links and the fact that Halton is now part of the Liverpool City Region but if such a crossing where to occur I do think the BC would be reluctant to split Widness into two seats, it would be much more sensible to use the river Mersey as a boundary and have a new “Widness” seat pairing all of Halton North of the Mersey (Widness and Hale basically) with parts of Southern Knowsley (Halewood and Whiston would fit nicely) and then re-create some variant of the old Runcorn seat pairing all of Halton south of the Mersey with the likes of Frodsham, Helsby etc.

  47. Maxim
    Rutland’s a weird special case, its obviously far too small for its own constituency so it has to be paired with something else.

  48. There will undoubtedly be some dodgy pairings but I have to ask what logic is there with pairing Rutland with East Leicester? At least pairing it with the likes of Melton or Stamford keeps it Rural.

  49. Well if the BC persist in trying to carve out a safe Tory seat on Merseyside (Wirral Deeside) we’re likely going to have to see Ellesmere Port paired with parts of Bromborough and as similar as the areas are economically ones Wirral and one isn’t, pairing them together is like pairing Dumfries and Carlisle, sure their both small economically similar cities but…your kinda missing the bigger picture.

    Another one that I expect but don’t at all approve of is the possibility Berwick will be paired with Ashington, these two areas couldn’t be more different. I’ve always been of the opinion that there should be a vast “Northumberland Moors” seat pairing together the large rural parts of Berwick and Hexham together, leaving the possibility for the griity industrialised former mining parts of both seats to be paired together in some format.

  50. Rivers 10- well I don’t personally see a Poynton/Cheadle seat as being cross-county (though I accept the Commission does) as being a traditional counties hawk, I regard it as all being part of suburban north east Cheshire. I have to say I have enjoyed these boundary changes discussions with you 🙂

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