North Devon

2015 Result:
Conservative: 22341 (42.7%)
Labour: 3699 (7.1%)
Lib Dem: 15405 (29.4%)
Green: 3018 (5.8%)
UKIP: 7719 (14.8%)
Others: 138 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 6936 (13.3%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: South West, Devon. Coterminous with the North Devon council area.

Main population centres: Barnstaple, Lynton, Ilfracombe, Braunton, South Moulton.

Profile: A rural seat on the western edge of Exmoor. The biggest town by far is Barnstaple, a market town and former port that is the commercial and administrative centre of North Devon. The rest of the seat is made up of small rural villages and small seaside towns along the North Devon coast. The seat also contains Royal Marines Base Chivenor.

Politics: This has been a marginal seat between the Conservatives and the Liberals since its creation in 1950. It was previously represented by the Liberal party leader Jeremy Thorpe, who lost his seat in 1979 while facing charges of attempted murder and opposed by a wonderfully odd variety of candidates, including perennial candidate Bill Boaks and Auberon Waugh`s Dog Lovers Party. In 2010 was one of four seats where UKIP finished third (the others being West Devon and Torridge, North Cornwall and the Speakers seat in Buckingham).

Current MP
PETER HEATON-JONES (Conservative) Born 1963. Former BBC radio presenter. Swindon councillor since 2010. First elected as MP for Devon North in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 18484 (36%)
Lab: 2671 (5%)
LDem: 24305 (47%)
UKIP: 3720 (7%)
Oth: 2141 (4%)
MAJ: 5821 (11%)
Con: 18868 (36%)
Lab: 4656 (9%)
LDem: 23840 (46%)
UKIP: 2740 (5%)
Oth: 1826 (4%)
MAJ: 4972 (10%)
Con: 18800 (38%)
Lab: 4995 (10%)
LDem: 21784 (44%)
UKIP: 2484 (5%)
Oth: 1191 (2%)
MAJ: 2984 (6%)
Con: 21643 (39%)
Lab: 5367 (10%)
LDem: 27824 (51%)
MAJ: 6181 (11%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
PETER HEATON-JONES (Conservative) Born 1963. Former BBC radio presenter. Swindon councillor since 2010.
MARK CANN (Labour) Born 1950, London. Educated at St Josephs College, London and Reading University. Retired teacher. Former Mendip councillor. Contested North Devon 2010.
NICK HARVEY (Liberal Democrat) Born 1961, Chandlers Ford. Educated at Queens College and Middlesex Polytechnic. Marketing executive. Contested Enfield Southgate 1987. MP for North Devon 1992 to 2015. Minister of State for the Armed Forces 2010-2012.
STEVE CROWTHER (UKIP) Born Devon. Contested Devon North 2010.
RICKY KNIGHT (Green) Language teacher. Contested North Devon 2005, Bristol West 2010. Contested South West region 2009, 2014 European elections.
GERRY SABLES (Communist Party GB) Contested North Devon 2010.
Comments - 219 Responses on “Devon North”
  1. I might as well be the first to point out that the North Devon Gazette “poll” might as well have been carried out by PAUL WAY…

    (If you don’t want to read the article, they basically asked 53 people in the street who they were voting for)

  2. I wonder if this will have any effect?

    I’m sure it will appear on some LD leaflets

  3. We rightly scoff at polls like this but they do actually influence voting. I know someone who is intending to TV tory in Southend west based solely on the crap Yougov Newscast.

  4. Hi Iain,

    I think it will have a small effect, I have already spoken to people who have seen a leaflet, they told me it was just a copy of the article as it appeared in the Newspaper, with the appropriate publishing details added off course, apparently the story was also was covered by the Daily Mirror.

    I don’t think the Lib Dems stand to gain much though, perhaps it will persuade a few Tory’s not to vote at all, but is more likely to turn a few hundred Blue’s to Purlple.

  5. Con gain, 800.

  6. Lib Dem Hold. 1,500 maj.

  7. UKIP win by 100

  8. Ukip win???? Thats pretty outlandish

  9. Conservative gain, majority 750.

  10. Cllr Ian Meadlarkin has defected from UKIP to the Conservatives here.

  11. Harvey announced to stand again.

    I think he’ll improve on 2015, but probably fall short of winning, though I wouldn’t be shocked if he did scrape through.

  12. With retreads a lot depends on whether they can maintain their personal vote or whether they suffer from a “We told you last time to f*** off” and send the message again

  13. I think there’s less of the latter sentiment when it’s more about punishing the party, which is undoubtedly what happened to the LDs.

  14. I expect the Lib Dems to come up short in most south west seats like this one. If they recover to 20 or even 30 seats I expect very few will come from their former strongholds in this region. Remember it took the Libs 13 years to win back Devon North and Cornwall North from 1979 to 1992. They may be back here but at this election I doubt it.

  15. Fascinating new discovery pertaining to Jeremy Thorpe’s trial:

  16. The Jeremy Thorpe drama on BBC1 begins tonight at 9pm: A Very English Scandal.

  17. Not a Hugh Grant fan particularly but I thought he was excellent. Very convincing.

  18. I think he just plays himself, but it was an era of posh, aloof politicians so he was needed.

    It’ll be interesting how much more is made of the cover up in parts 2 and 3.

    I liked the police > Scotland Yard > MI5 > safe part (as that’s apparently also what happened with evidence re Cyril Smith).

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