Mid Derbyshire

2015 Result:
Conservative: 24908 (52.2%)
Labour: 12134 (25.4%)
Lib Dem: 2292 (4.8%)
Green: 1898 (4%)
UKIP: 6497 (13.6%)
MAJORITY: 12774 (26.8%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

Geography: East Midlands, Derbyshire. Parts of Derby, Erewash and Amber Valley council areas.

Main population centres: Belper, Spondon, Oakwood, Allestree, Stanley, Duffield, West Hallam.

Profile: An unusually shaped seat, snaking around the north-east of Derby taking in the suburbs of the dormitory village of Spondon, the huge new development of Oakwood and Allestree, which includes the University of Derby. The seat then moves northwards, via the village of Duffield, to include the town of Belper. Belper is a former manufacturing town which used to be the base of Thorntons chocolates, but like most of this seat is based more around retail, services and residential areas. The only large industrial part of the seat is south of Spondon, where there is a gas power station and a large chemical works.

Politics: This was a new seat created for the 2010 election. Its first election was easily won by the Conservative party.

Current MP
PAULINE LATHAM (Conservative) Born 1948, Lincolnshire. Educated at Bramcote Hill Technical Grammar. Derbyshire county councillor 1992-1996. Contested East Midlands Region 1999 European Elections, Broxtowe 2001. First elected as MP for Mid Derbyshire in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 22877 (48%)
Lab: 11585 (24%)
LDem: 9711 (21%)
BNP: 1698 (4%)
Oth: 1471 (3%)
MAJ: 11292 (24%)

2015 Candidates
PAULINE LATHAM (Conservative) See above.
NICOLA HEATON (Labour) Nottingham councillor.
HILARY JONES (Liberal Democrat)
Comments - 58 Responses on “Derbyshire Mid”
  1. Forecast for 2015 here

    Con 37 (-11)
    Lab 32 (+6)
    UKIP 16 (+13)
    LD 10 (-10)
    Others 5

    UKIP did well in places such as Allestree in May 2012 over Bombardier etc.

    (Liberal metropolitanism will not necessarily win back these voters)

    My predictions are generally based on solid things TBH.

  2. Think we’ve all figured that out from the mistakes of the New Labour era and now this Cameroon Tory project.

    This was created out from the more favourable Tory wards of Amber Valley and Erewash so the outcome isn’t in doubt. Probably see a swing to Labour and a sharp fall in Lib Dem support but not enough at all to gain.

    Did Belper used to be more Labour-inclined given its manufacturing past?

  3. Belper has always been quite marginal between Labour and the Conservatives. It is better for Labour than most other parts of this seat.

    There are a lot of pretty upmarket areas in this seat and the Tories would not have fallen below 40% even in 1997. I don’t think A Brown’s prediction is very likely. If UKIP do well I still don’t see the Tories below 43-45 because they will be taking voters from Labour as well. At worst I do not see a Tory majority below 6-7000.

  4. Not for the first time, I’m in total agreement with H Hemmelig.

  5. Agree HH

    I’ll guess Tory 45 Labour 33 UKIP 10 Lib Dem 9 Oth 3

  6. Furthermore Pauline Latham is a popular and very well-known figure locally, having been a councillor in various parts of north Derby for decades.

    She will be 67 however in 2015 and it’s not inconceivable she could step down after one term.

  7. I agree with the succession of people who have commented that the Tories will have a more comfortable win here than A Brown thinks. Labour did do well in Belper this year in the CC elections but have often done less so even in fairly decent years.

  8. The Tories usually manage to win at least one of the district wards in Belper unless they are at 1995 levels of unpopularity.

    When Labour are really unpopular the Tories can win them all and vice versa.

  9. HH, if Pauline Latham did stand down at the 2015 election, could it be a seat for Nigel Mills to potentially take up given how vulnerable his majority is in Amber Valley?

  10. Doubt it would be allowed in 2015.

    If he loses in 2015 and she stays on till 2020 it might happen.

  11. Nigel Mills does seem like a good MP who genuinely cares about his constituency. It would therefore be a shame if he lost Amber Valley in 2015, no matter how inevitable it may be.

  12. Go on, I’ll predict this:

    Conservative: 39%
    Labour: 33%
    Lib Dem: 12%
    UKIP: 14%
    Others (BNP, Loony): 2%

    Belper used to be the seat of George Brown, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. When he lost it in 1970, he claimed to be ‘lending’ the seat to his opponent. Of course, he never won it back!

  13. Those of you who are predicting 14% for UKIP all over the place are going to look like idiots the day after the election.

    I’ll bet you £50 that they won’t reach double figures here.

  14. 9% swing in a seat like this is way ott.

  15. A ridiculous prediction – almost Plopwell range.
    Labour will not come within 6% of winning here.
    Also if you had done your homework you would know that UKIP are not well organised here.

  16. I would say-
    Conservative- 47%
    Labour- 28%
    Liberal Democrat- 15%
    UKIP- 8%
    Others- 2%

  17. I think it will be a bit closer than that. Something like Con 45-Lab 32. However Joe is correct that it is very unlikely to be anything as like as close as 6%.

  18. Yes HH is about right. It’s true that George Brown didn’t win his seat back, but of course he made that impossible for himself by resigning from the Labour Party during the parliament. Belper was regained for Labour by Roderick MacFarquhar in 1974 but lost to the Tory Sheila Faith in 1979. MacFarquhar then followed Brown’s example by leaving the Labour Party during the parliament which followed, in his case to join the SDP (which Brown himself supported). I can’t remember why Faith didn’t stand in what effectively was the successor seat of S Derbyshire in 1983. She & Currie thus were successive female Jewish Tory MPs for the same area, an area with almost Jewish residents.

  19. Almost Jewish :p

  20. I meant almost NO Jewish residents. 🙂 Fairly crucial omission there.

  21. Didn’t Sheila Faith step down because boundary changes had supposedly shifted it back into the Labour column?

    And she expected to find a safer seat elsewhere.

    Which would put her up there with Iain Sproat in the misjudgement stakes.

  22. She became a Euro MP I think.

  23. Council results from Erewash and Amber Valley wards in 2011, and Derby MBC wards in 2012:

    Con: 13577, 49%
    Lab: 8941, 32.3%
    Ind: 2114, 7.6%
    Grn: 965, 3.5%
    UKIP: 923, 3.3%
    Lib: 893, 3.2%
    BNP: 270, 1%

    I’ve lost 0.1% there somewhere but you get the gist. This is complicated by being A) before UKIP got bigger in 2012 for the most part and B) many parties (particularly the Lib Dems and UKIP not standing in most seats, but we may be looking at an easy Tory hold with a Lib Dem collapse benefiting Labour but not by nearly enough.

    We’ll get a better view after the 2014 elections.

  24. Faith apparently thought it would go Labour in 1983.
    But around autumn 1982 or Darlington patch 1983 I think people were expecting a Tory majority of 50-60 – not 140.

  25. I wonder if Pete can confirm if Derbyshire South would have been Labour in 1979.

    If so then there were three Derbyshire constituencies which were Labour in 1979 and Conservative in 1992.

  26. I am pretty sure that S Derbyshire was notionally Labour when it was formed in 1983, as certainly was Amber Valley. Erewash must have been notionally close.

  27. Erewash was notionally Conservative but Derby North was notionally Labour.

  28. 1979 notionals:

    S Derbyshire: Lab 25510, Con 24648, Lib 7216, Oth 583
    Erewash: Con 25341, Lab 22734, Lib 6078, Oth 382
    Derby N: Lab 25709, Con 23336, Lib 4095, Oth 583
    Amber Valley: Lab 25503, Con 19322, Lib 7511, Oth 104

    (The repeat of 583 for Oth is correct).


    S Derbyshire: Lab 862
    Erewash: Con 2607
    Derby N: Lab 2373
    Amber Valley: Lab 6181

  29. Yes – small notional Labour lead for Derbyshire South in 1979.
    I guess if Labour hadn’t had such a disastrous campaign in 1983 the Conservatives would still have gained it by 2 to 5,000.

  30. Former Labour MP for Belper, Roderick Lemonde MacFarquhar, stood for the SDP in 1983 and almost took second place from Labour.

  31. Yes I wonder whether that was a factor but as he wasn’t MP for this area in the 1979-83 Parliament I think it’s limited.
    The swing was slightly low in 1979 actually.

  32. I think Belper included most of S Derbyshire except for the town itself.

  33. Reverse those two places and you know what I mean.

  34. That’s a very posh name for a Labour MP.

  35. It makes Tristram Hunt sound common in comparison.

  36. There have been a few other Labour MPs with posh-sounding names- David Evan Trant Luard (Oxford), Woodrow Lyle Wyatt (Bosworth) and Giles Heneage Radice (North Durham).

  37. Radice is pretty posh for a Labour MP. But that’s hardly unusual. Clem Attlee was a public schoolboy, and there have been about a dozen Old Etonians who have been Labour MPs, including Mark Fisher who represented Stoke-on-Trent Central until the last election.

  38. I remember hearing that 2010 was the first election since the 1920s when no Old Etonian was elected for Labour.

  39. Tam Dalyell would account for about half that time all on his own.

  40. Belper is more and more a commuter town now expanding fast, in the last 10 years most of the big industry has gone, replaced by big new housing development. It’s moving out of Amber Valley makes Amber Valley harder for the Tories.

    Same for Allestree and Oakwood for Derby North, this seat really does show the difficulties for Tories with the current boundaries. A strong chance they can still get Derby North and Amber Valley, I am backing them in the former not the latter, due mainly to the performance of the sitting mp’s, neither great in my view.

  41. Belper hasn’t been in the Amber Valley constituency at any time since it was founded, even though it is in the Amber Valley district council area. It was in W Derbyshire after the abolition of the Belper seat in 1983 until it became part of this seat at the last election. It’s the removal of other areas from Amber Valley to this constituency which have made it harder for the Tories to hold.

  42. Sue MacFarlane is the Green Party candidate for Mid Derbyshire http://derbyshiregreenparty.org.uk/elections/

  43. Conservative Hold. 8,000 majority.

  44. Labour doing quite remarkably well for visible support in Belper, although obviously most of their campaigning strength will be in Amber Valley. A good dozen posters up around the town (indeed my friend who lives there wanted one but it’s a bit late now since she only swung behind Labour last minute).

    One big house with quite a few Pauline Latham posters up and one house with an optimistic Lib Dem board.

    Con hold, maj 7-8,000, solid Labour second place.

  45. Oh well looks like MrNameless and others were very wrong. Conservative’s increase their raw vote, share of the vote and majority. Labour do very poorly given how the Lib Dems imploded.

  46. Could be worse. A Brown got the tory vote out by 15%…

  47. Strong generational swing to the Conservatives:

    1951 8 Lab MPs 2 Con MPs Lab county vote lead 105,516
    1970 6 Lab MPs 4 Con MPs Lab county vote lead 56,840
    1979 6 Lab MPs 4 Con MPs Lab county vote lead 24,281
    1992 6 Con MPs 4 Lab MPs Lab county vote lead 11,153
    2015 7 Con MPs 4 Lab MPs Con county vote lead 14,926

  48. I was watching the 1966 election on BBC Parliament and it was noticeable that George Brown suffered a swing against him in Belper (and of course he would go down to defeat in 1970)- the new middle-class estates near Derby did for him.

  49. Different trends in Nottinghamshire:

    1951 7 Lab MPs 2 Con MPs Lab county vote lead 51,106
    1970 7 Lab MPs 3 Con MPs Lab county vote lead 32,688
    1979 6 Lab MPs 4 Con MPs Con county vote lead 12,091
    1992 7 Lab MPs 4 Con MPs Lab county vote lead 10,969
    2015 7 Lab MPs 4 Con MPs Lab county vote lead 15,507

    So Nottinghamshire trended Conservative in the same manner as Derbyshire but after 1979 trended Labour .

    Now if break Nottinghamshire down into Nottingham City, Nottingham commuter belt (Rushcliffe, Broxtowe and Gedling) and Nottinghamshire rural / mining we get:

    1951 Lab +885
    1970 Lab +9362
    1979 Lab +806
    1992 Lab +21604
    2015 Lab +30780

    Commuter Belt
    1951 Con +12210
    1970 Con +18965
    1979 Con +45453
    1992 Con +40024
    2015 Con +15130

    Rural / Mining
    1951 Lab +62431
    1970 Lab +42291
    1979 Lab +24556
    1992 Lab +29389
    2015 Con +143

    If we combine the city and commuter constituencies for a ‘Greater Nottingham’ total we get:

    1951 Con +11325
    1970 Con +9603
    1979 Con +36647
    1992 Con +18420
    2015 Lab +15650

    So there has been a strong wing to Labour in Greater Nottingham and a contrary strong swing to the Conservatives in the rural and industrial areas during the last generation.

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