2015 Result:
Conservative: 21737 (43.3%)
Labour: 15443 (30.7%)
Lib Dem: 1572 (3.1%)
Green: 1295 (2.6%)
UKIP: 10177 (20.3%)
MAJORITY: 6294 (12.5%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Kent. The southern part of the Dover council area.

Main population centres: Dover, Deal, Walmer.

Profile: A diverse seat with a political tradition which includes coal mining, seaside resorts, a major port and picturesque surrounding countryside. The seat consists of the towns of Dover, Deal and the surrounding countryside.

Politics: The strong Labour presence in the centre of Dover itself made this Labour`s best target seat in Kent well before the 1997 election and during the 1997-2010 Labour government it was their safest seat in the county. It fell to the Conservatives in their 2010 clean-sweep of Kent.

Current MP
CHARLIE ELPHICKE (Conservative) Born 1971, Huntingdon. Educated at Felstead School and Nottingham university. Former Partner in an international legal firm, specialising in taxation. Lambeth councillor 1994-1998. Contested St Albans 2001. First elected as MP for Dover in 2010. Government whip since 2015.
Past Results
Con: 22174 (44%)
Lab: 16900 (34%)
LDem: 7962 (16%)
UKIP: 1747 (3%)
Oth: 1602 (3%)
MAJ: 5274 (10%)
Con: 16739 (35%)
Lab: 21680 (45%)
LDem: 7607 (16%)
UKIP: 1252 (3%)
Oth: 606 (1%)
MAJ: 4941 (10%)
Con: 16744 (37%)
Lab: 21943 (49%)
LDem: 5131 (11%)
UKIP: 1142 (3%)
MAJ: 5199 (12%)
Con: 17796 (33%)
Lab: 29535 (54%)
LDem: 4302 (8%)
Oth: 443 (1%)
MAJ: 11739 (22%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
CHARLIE ELPHICKE (Conservative) See above.
CLAIR HAWKINS (Labour) Born Dover. Tower Hamlets councillor 2006-2010.
SARAH SMITH (Liberal Democrat)
DAVID LITTLE (UKIP) Born 1963. Educated at Dover Grammar School for boys. Businessman.
JOLYON TRIMINGHAM (Green) Technical author.
Comments - 196 Responses on “Dover”
  1. Big Q now is: will Fillon stay on. There are a lot saying he’ll finish behind Macron & LE Pen and will add to LE Pen’s chances.

    With Brexit referendum in the UK and Trump’s win in mind, could it be that differential PLUS shy LE Pen voters means that she has a much better chance of winning and deliver a shock result for the far Right in France?

  2. …”differential turnout…”

  3. The difference is that Emmanuel Macron has managed to get people excited about the liberal centre again, in a way that no Western politician has really done since Obama. So it’s not strictly a case of same-old establishment versus populist establishment. Indeed, Macron is posing very much as an anti-politician, just as much as Le Pen is.

    The most interesting thing is that Macron/Le Pen is not a traditional left/right battle. Neither has a consistently left- or right-wing on economic matters. Instead, they both seek to transcend the left/right paradigm (Macron in particular has said this explicitly) – and the fight is one over social values, with Macron representing internationalism and Le Pen standing for local communities*.

    *With an added bucketful of racism, naturally.

  4. Pollster showed frequent Trump and Brexit leads, and an online method is sufficient to say there’s basically no interviewer effect. i.e. ‘shy’ Le Pen.

    Le Pen has never led in a poll, ever, not even close. I’m uncertain it’s ever even dropped below a double-digit lead for Macron.

    I think it’s fair to say that bar an overwhelming damaging Macron scandal, the trajectory is pretty secure for him (so long as he continues to edge a lead over whatever the centre-offering is as far as the 1st round)

  5. The Nearest LE Pen has got has been in the last 5 days: 56-44% vs Fillon. And 60-40% vs Macron. Not a huge amount behind.

    After the various shocking terror events in France in the last 4 years, one should be forgiven for thinking that there might be a significant shy NF vote.

  6. 60%-40% I’d say that’s a very large amount behind Macron.
    Not humiliating huge, but substantial insulation against MoE, any small (or even large) sampling errors, and any modest re-tightening back to her previous ceilings.

    In terms of a “shy” NF vote, I do not understand how this concept is congruent with online polls (without interviewer effects), and why there would be an significant additional un-detected element.

    RE: terror attacks of the last four years: also, I do not understand the argument for this not already being wholly priced-in, and totally reflected by narrowly winning a 1st round, and 40-44% support in a 2nd round (compared to 19% for her father).

  7. Polltroll

    Only Obama? How about Pierre Trudeau??

  8. So you mean Justin Trudeau?

  9. ‘So you mean Justin Trudeau’

    Trudeau is currently the most charismatic liberal leader in the western world by some distance

    After him your probably looking at somebody like Mark Rutte from the Netherlands or even Merkel in Germany – although obviously both hail from centre-right parties

    So electing Macron would be a big slap in the face to the right-wing populists that think they now run the world

  10. A A – I agree at this time, it’s difficult to see how Le pen can get 50% + but it’s very conceivable* that a planned terrorist attack will take place in the first week in May designed to affect the election.

    She is currently a 25% chance to win (Betfair).

    *horrible to contemplate, I know

  11. Even with a terrorist attack I don’t see Le Pen getting 40 per cent let alone 50. Her price in the betting market is held down by punters wrongly making a connection between that contest and Brexit/Trump. The crucial difference between those cases is that the FN brand is toxic in a way that Brexit or Trump never was in the run up to those respective contests.

    To switch to matter closer to this seat, Dover Town is one of Labour’s seats on Kent county council that I suggest they have little chance of retaining in May. They lost one of the two Gravesham East seats that they held with a larger majority in a by election last year. That kind of performance would see them in danger of being wiped out completely on Kent CC.

    I don’t think they’ll do quite that badly. They should hang on to at least one of the two seats they hold in Northfleet. Even in the dire Labour performance under Gordon Brown in 2009 they held on to one there

  12. ‘The crucial difference between those cases is that the FN brand is toxic in a way that Brexit or Trump never was in the run up to those respective contests.’

    Totally agree – despite the extraordinary efforts Le Pen has made, the NF is still seen primarily as a racist party

    I think it’s also worth mentioning that the average french voter isn’t as gullible (believing everything in the newspapers) or as right-wing as their British and American counterparts, making a Le Pen victory that little bit less likely

    Also, the French have voting system where the candidate with the most votes wins – unlike the crackpot and childish electoral college system used by the Americans

  13. Apparently there was a French Presidential election debate a few days ago. Le Pen not doing well.

    “First polls on the French debate. Who was most convincing?
    Macron: 29%
    Mélenchon: 20
    Fillon: 19
    Le Pen: 19
    Hamon: 11

  14. The sort of people who vote for Le Pen are not particularly politically engaged, and are therefor less likely to watch a televised presidential debate. Especially one that lasts 3 1/2 hours – even I’d struggle with that.

  15. According to the implied probability of the betting markets Macron is 66% to become President.

    Le Pen is c. 23%. The inference from betting markets is that she’ll get c. 28% in the first round & then be soundly beaten in the run off.

  16. The polls suggest the following results in the first round: (average figures).

    MACRON 26%
    LE PEN 24%
    FILLON 20%

    I know the French pollsters have many years experience taking into account “shy” FN (Le Pen) respondents but it is possible I think they’re underestimating it. They may not also be considering properly abstentions by erstwhile voters of the other main parties.

    I expect Le Pen to win the first round around 30%. Polling evidence suggests that she’ll be easily beaten in the run off and I expect that to happen whether it is against Macron or Fillon although one cannot be certain.

    A good performance by Melenchon will be used by the Corbyn team as evidence that there IS a demand for progressive left wing policies.

    An incredibly important election. If Le Pen wins it’s surely the end of the EU.

  17. “A good performance by Melenchon will be used by the Corbyn team as evidence that there IS a demand for progressive left wing policies.”

    A good performance by Melenchon will show that there is a demand for progressive left-wing policies IN FRANCE.

    “An incredibly important election. If Le Pen wins it’s surely the end of the EU.”

    Whereas if Macron beats her 60-40, say, in the run-off, which I suspect is the most likely scenario, commentators across Europe will label it a “decisive” rejection of the far-right and carry on ignoring the warning signs. No, not decisive, the far right getting 40% in an election is really worrying.

  18. I think the average figures are Macron 24 Le Pen 23 Fillon 19 Melenchon 19. Committed support alone is something like Le Pe 18 Fillon 15 Macron 15 Melenchon 14

  19. Why has this Dover thread turned into a French election debate??

  20. Macron big favourite and expected to win easily. Around a 85% probability with bookmakers.

    Polling average 2nd round as at 5/5/17
    EM 62%
    MLP 38%

  21. I feel this seat may record one of the biggest pro Tory swings in the country in a month’s time.

  22. John’s comment reminds me that a week, let alone a month, is a long time in politics.

    The South East corner of Kent is beginning to look very dodgy for the Conservatives They are slightly ahead still, but this leaves open the possibility of their having an “accident” somewhere.

  23. The only chance of a Tory loss in Kent is Thanet South – because I don’t have a clue what effect todays announcement will have on Craig Mackinlays chances! Otherwise, they’re safe. If Conservatives are losing Kent seats, thats a Labour landalide which Corbyn is not capable of.

  24. Anotherworld, have another look at the YouGov prediction for Canterbury. They put the Conservatives 2% ahead, which is in effect too close to call.

  25. Seat projections for the French Parliament have En Marche winning about 430-470 of the Parliament’s 577 seats. Voting takes place today.

    I think Macron’s a phenomenal media performer and believe that he will take France in the right direction. But for any one party to win up to 80% of a parliament’s seats – it’s not good for democracy, is it? This is particularly true following the high abstention rate in the second round of the presidential ballot, which suggested that there are great deal of people who aren’t very enthused about his presidency.

  26. Update: He’s won a large majority but not as big as was expected.

    En Marche: 350 (+350) – a majority of 123
    Republicans: 137 (-92)
    Socialists: 44 (-287)
    La France Insoumise: 17 (+17)
    Communists: 10 (+3) (No idea why these guys are part of a differenr grouping to LFI)
    Front National: 8 (+6) (Marine Le Pen is elected to Parliament for the first time)


    Reported to the police, which I guess means there’s a good chance of an arrest, prosecution and a by-election here – though presumably not for a year or so as the legal process takes time.

  28. To those in the know: was Elphicke considered something of a ‘rising star’, or was not much expected of him career wise?

  29. I think this example highlights how inadequate “the list” is, as Elphicke’s entry was not a particularly informative one, and doesn’t give us any idea of what he is being investigated for.

    My worry is that this story now will become a prtisan damage-limitation exercise, where accusations cannot be trusted and certain individuals may be protected. There are some very dangerous things being said – I just heard an ‘expert’ guest on radio 5 react with indignation at the suggestion that Andrea Leadsom may have ‘sexed-up’ her account for the sake of her career. I don’t think she has, but it is a very dangerous development that accusers must be assumed to be telling the truth, and where any questions are frowned upon. What happened to natural justice? There are many motivations for people to lie, and if we insist there are none, we actually encourage false allegations. It is a really powerful weapon in the wrong hands.

  30. “What happened to natural justice?”

    The problem is that, here, there is no ombudsman. The parties deal with the complaints themselves, and their primary motive is self-defence rather than transparency.

    Who watches the watchmen?

  31. EcoW – whilst true, it is the norm for victims’ names to remain confidential in relation to sex offences. Many of the latest ones have only gone public because they chose to as their previous complaints to Party HQ were not acted upon.

    Plus equally the motivation (to report) being malicious does not of itself make the allegation untrue.

    I can think of six recent convictions of Cllrs where often the family member went to police after they fell out: but what was reported was still a crime that happened. This isn’t just true of sexual offences either. You may have heard of then Cllr Warren Bradley being convicted of election fraud by way of false instrument (he forged his son’s signature on a nomination paper). Only because Warren had an affair, did his son later go to police – with the help of Bradley’s predecessor Mike now Lord Storey.

    The most depressing phrase I heard a cocky barrister use when I was a trainee, court reporting was, “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” – almost always said to a battered wife who eventually snapped and reported the offences.

    So yes we’ll no doubt get some false allegations – as well as the nothings – but it’s clear there are reports of offences which need to be investigated. I suspect most would be cases of workplace bullying (and therefore employment breaches of the civil rather than the criminal law), but of course the problem is researchers have no-one to report those breaches to, so that equally leaves MPs knowing that they can get away with it.

  32. LANCS OBSERVER – Completely agree. It’s also worth noting that there are other reasons that allegations come forward, both genuine and false.

    It’s a well known phenomenon, for example, that some victims of abuse (especially children) sometimes deliberately accuse the wrong person, as a cry for help when it is too frightening to accuse the true perpetrator. That motivation is obviously unlikely in these cases, but my point is that there are many reasons for false accusations, but we are increasingly being told that it wrong to even entertain the idea that accusations may not be all they seem. False accusations can also occur to elicit care, to exercise revenge, or to exert power or control (often similar motivations to the perpetrators). This scandal also brings into place other possible motives (especially when against the rich and powerful) – which of course don’t mean the allegations are actually false.

    Many people would completely condemn me even for suggesting such things, but none of it can actually be denied. Victims do need to know that they will be ‘believed’ (I think “taken seriously” is a better phrase) on one level, but that doesn’t trump natural justice. The arguments usually comprise someone tentatively making a point similar to mine above, and then being shouted down by fallacious but emotive arguments. But guess who wins the argument in the new media world of horseshit?

    One need not even look outside of parliament for a fascinating example of this; in the Nigel Evans court case. I won’t go into details (you can google them) but there was a key point in the trial when one alleged victim in particular was exposed as providing an extremely suspect and inconsistent account, which was very difficult to interpret as being true and honest. I don’t know whether that was the main turning point of the case, but it makes the point well that alleged victims (and perhaps even victims) don’t always tell the truth. Does it completely exonerate Evans? Legally, the trial does, but it left many questions about him in the public eye, and of course can never prove a negative. Also, some of the non-criminal behaviour he admitted to could be seen as extremely similar to some of the allegations which are currently circulating about a number of people. NB – I am using this as an example, and I’m definitely not linking Evans to the current scandal!

  33. “What happened to natural justice?”

    They renamed themselves “The Natural Law Party”. I don’t know what they’re doing nowadays, though?

  34. They’re flying in the polls

  35. The NLP existed here for 15 years and won one seat in India.

    I think the closest they came to electoral success here was when they came within a recount of winning a ward – and potentially holding the balance of power – on West Lancashire Council one year. It’s no surprise they did so well there as the Maharishi school is there: where they set up a sort of commune for wealthy hippy types about 30 years ago.

    Amazingly that private school was allowed to become a State (albeit a Free) school recently.

    I admit I’m suspicious of any groups that are tremendously wealthy, meet in such buildings and engage in strange practices etc – although the yogic flyers are less secretive than Scientologists or the RC church.

    I think it was Chris Moncrief whose car broke down around the Lathom area and he knocked on some large converted barn and it turned out to be this lot who he described as “annoyingly nice” but not a cult. It reminded me of the film Clockwise in which John Cleese breaks down and knocks on an old wooden door, only to find that it’s a traditional monastery full of monks which he thinks do not speak.


    “I admit I’m suspicious of any groups that are tremendously wealthy, meet in such buildings and engage in strange practices etc”

    Are we talking about Westminster again?

  37. Natural law is a philosophy asserting that certain rights are inherent by virtue of human nature, endowed by nature – traditionally by God or a transcendent source – and that these can be understood universally through human reason.

    It’s too intellectual for 99% of voters.

    BTW ha haha BARNABY MARDER…good one. Promise you’ll never leave us again. P.S: plse see PUTNEY.


    Charlie Elphicke stands accused of rape.

    Even if he is found innocent, I can’t see him lasting long now. He’l be judged in the court of public opinion, surely?

    And it would be a knife-edge of a by-election…

  39. Charlie Elphicke has the whip returned while still remaining under investigation.

  40. Here in very sunny Paris, my customer told me today that few Parisians believe the official indication that renovation works probably caused Notre Dame to burn down.

    Apparently illegal climbing of the roof was endemic (with many posting YouTube videos of themselves doing it). It is widely suspected in the general public that an illegal roof climber is likely to have started the fire, maybe or maybe not deliberately. The authorities apparently dread the prospect of a muslim climber being shown to have started the fire so they are desperately trying not to go there.

  41. Well, I can understand them not wanting to.go there. The last thing Paris needs is more civil disobedience.

  42. Who knows – renovations work do cause fires including several well known buildings.
    Yellow vest linked would probably be more damaging to Macron than Islamist terrorism.

  43. Surely if it was discovered to be a Yellow Vest it would be a dream come true for Macron, their popularity would tumble overnight

  44. CPS spokesperson – “The Crown Prosecution Service has today (Monday 22 July) charged Charles Elphicke, MP for Dover, with 3 charges of sexual assault against 2 women. The CPS made the decision to charge Mr Elphicke after reviewing a file of evidence from the Met Police.”
    Subjudice rules prevent further comment.

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