Torridge and West Devon

2015 Result:
Conservative: 28774 (50.9%)
Labour: 6015 (10.6%)
Lib Dem: 7483 (13.2%)
Green: 3941 (7%)
UKIP: 10371 (18.3%)
MAJORITY: 18403 (32.5%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: South West, Devon. The whole of the Torridge council area and part of West Devon council area.

Main population centres: Bideford, Great Torrington, Tavistock, Holsworthy.

Profile: A large rural seat running down the western side of the border with Cornwall. Tourism is important along the relatively short stretch of coast in the north of the seat, which includes the steep coastal village of Clovelly, the Victorian seaside village of Westward Ho! (named after a novel and famously the only British placename with an exclamation mark) and the small port of Bideford. The rest of the seat is deeply rural and agricultural, with the main settlements small market towns like Great Torrington, Tavistock, Holsworthy. The glass manufacturer Dartington Crystal is based in Torrington, set up in the 1960s by the Dartington Hall Trust to bring employment to rural areas and now an important local employer and tourist attraction. To the south the constituency contains a large part of Dartmoor, including the prison.

Politics: The seat and its predecessors had traditionally been strongly Conservative, represented by the party since 1924. In 1995 the sitting Conservative MP, Emma Nicholson, defected to the Liberal Democrats and while Nicholson herself did not contest the next election (instead going on to become a Liberal Democrat MEP), the seat stayed in Liberal Democrat hands in the form of John Burnett. Burnett remained the MP here until 2005, but failed to pass his majority onto his successor after his retirement, with the seat returning to the Conservative fold.

Current MP
GEOFFREY COX (Conservative) Born 1960, Wroughton. Educated at Kings College Taunton and Cambridge University. Barrister. Contested Torridge and West Devon 2001. First elected as MP for Torridge and West Devon in 2005.
Past Results
Con: 25230 (46%)
Lab: 2917 (5%)
LDem: 22273 (40%)
UKIP: 3021 (5%)
Oth: 1816 (3%)
MAJ: 2957 (5%)
Con: 25013 (43%)
Lab: 6001 (10%)
LDem: 21777 (37%)
UKIP: 3790 (6%)
Oth: 2003 (3%)
MAJ: 3236 (6%)
Con: 22280 (40%)
Lab: 5959 (11%)
LDem: 23474 (42%)
UKIP: 2674 (5%)
Oth: 1297 (2%)
MAJ: 1194 (2%)
Con: 22787 (39%)
Lab: 7319 (12%)
LDem: 24744 (42%)
Oth: 2349 (4%)
MAJ: 1957 (3%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
GEOFFREY COX (Conservative) See above.
PAULA DOLPHIN (Liberal Democrat) Born 1970, San Paulo. Educated at Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Campinas. Cornwall councillor since 2009, former North Cornwall councillor.
DEREK SARGENT (UKIP) Born Dorset. Educated at Swanage Grammar School. Insolvency Service investigator, former hotelier and serviceman.
CATHRINE SIMMONS (Green) Retired housing officer. Torridge councillor since 2013. Contested West Devon and Torridge 2010.
Comments - 213 Responses on “Devon West and Torridge”
  1. ‘Declared for Leave during Eurosceptic-organised backbench debate.’

    There’s a surprise

    The Results is right though – the size of Cox’s majority suggests his constituents couldn’t care less about the minuscule hours he puts into his part-time job of being MP and are delighted with his performance

    I wuih them many more happy years together

  2. It gets better.. He apparently claimed for a 49p bottle of milk and £2 worth of tea bags but failed to declare £400,000 extra earnings

  3. In fact, in case the facts matter to Antiochan, he declared them late and when doing so referred himself to the Parliamentary Commissioner and resigned from the Standards Committee. Seems honourable enough. .

  4. As for the milk and tea bag claims for his office, I doubt he deals with them himself. Lib Dem Norman Lamb had a £14,99 claim for tea refused but Labour’s Stephen Kinnock had his claim for a milk brother allowed! Odd.

  5. frother!

  6. The resignation frees him up for more gainful employment!

  7. Former member for this seat Lady Nicholson has rejoined the Tories from the Lib Dems.

  8. Why on earth would they want her back?

  9. To make Paddy Ashdown’s head explode perhaps ?

  10. All symbolic of course, but it always looks good when someone defects (or defects back to?) to your party

  11. Unless it’s someone like Neil Hamilton

  12. Or Mark Reckless

  13. Hmm, not sure the public would take too well to Ken Livingstone or George Galloway being re-admitted to the Labour Party either.

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