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. Frederick, The mistake Labour have made in Dover and Deal, and it would appear across the country is that they have been trying to battle the election against the Tory party when they should have been mopping up lib Dem votes as well as consolidating their own votes.
    there are a few reasons why Charlie Elphicke will win the seat, probably by 4-5 point.
    1. Clair Hawkins campaign strategy has been wrong
    2. he is actually quite a popular MP who does the job he was employed to do by the people of Dover and Deal and act in their interests.
    3. Even by UKIP standards, David Little is an irretrievable cretin and Elphicke must have thought all his christmases had come at once when they stood him
    4. He realises (unlike Farage) that the people of Dover couldn’t care less who comes through the docks as long as they are open and in public hand and has steered clear of the immigration debate and focussed on the working of the docks (here we have a Tory that actually wants a huge financial asset to stay in public hands).
    That was Farage’s mistake, where he stood, he thought that the people of South Thanet were horrified by all the immigration and would flock to his banner when in reality, quite the opposite is true, his numbers are falling daily and he only got as high as he did because of the publicity circus surrounding him (quite adept for such a clown)

  2. Apparently a Labour candidate for the local elections has defected to UKIP mid-campaign. Obviously will remain as Labour on the ballot paper.

  3. I asked a couple of weeks ago whether there is any sign that Labour think they can win this seat. Judging by the lack of activity on this thread, as we reach the end of the campaign the answer seems to be “No”.

    It follows that Labour may well be resigned to having no seats at all in Kent for the second General Election running.

    There are issues from Scotland from people suggesting that if there is a “hung” parliament it would be wrong for the Tories to form the Government when they have practically no seats in Scotland. Doesn’t the same apply to Labour imposing a Government on Kent when their presence in our region and former Kingsom is similarly barely existent? Particularly when Kent has no LIbDem MPs either.

  4. Nonsense Frederic. A Tory government is perfectly entitled to govern in Co Durham or S Yorkshire, and a Labour one is perfectly entitled to govern in Kent, Surrey or anywhere else where it has no seats if it has a majority in parliament prepared to back it up.

  5. There’s no fool like an old fool

  6. not sure who’s older, Frederic or me. l’m 55.

  7. Sorry 🙂

  8. I’m not sure that he was suggesting that Labour doesn’t have the right to govern Kent. Perhaps more that the SNP claim of no right to govern Scotland if you don’t have any Scottish MPs is ridiculous.

  9. CON hold 2250, if LAB get any closer than that here they are in for a very good night.

  10. Conservative Hold. 5,000 maj

  11. Charles Elphicke should be congratulated for consolidating his hold on this seat.

    According to the local paper, Mr. Elphicke made some interesting comments after his re-election when he congratulated his Labour opponent on her campaign despite the lack of support she got from her own Party.

    I didn’t see anything of the campaign specifically in Dover, but I had a general impression that the left-wing during the recent election were intolerant of people with views other than their own and were spiteful towards people with quite reasonable opinions. Unless they change their attitudes radically, which at present seems unlikely, Labour are going to spend a long time in the wilderness, not least in Kent, Indeed it is far from certain that they will ever recover.

  12. One of the national papers (“Daily Mirror” has an article speculating about the possibility of a ferry being used for a major terrorist attack, even possibly a “dirty bomb”.

    We should be considering the possibility that the Government will need to place major restrictions on cross-channel travel. For example, they might conceivably ban crossings by private cars, They might expect people to cross on foot, with a 100% luggage search and then hire a car oonce they are in Grance.

    What would the political consequencs, if any, be if the Government did have to go down this sort of path?

  13. It would make little sense to ban private cars whilst still allowing lorries. And no matter how bad the threat, lorries will not be banned from crossing the channel, big business won’t allow it.

  14. It is not just that business would not allow it: the economy would collapse. But if there were no cars the lorries could be much more closely inspected.

    Sorry for the typo in my previous post. Obviously I meant France.

  15. Could I add a separate but related point. In the current international situation I find it staggering that there is not a squadron of armed Royal Navy fast patrol boats stationed at Newhaven, Folkestone, Dover, Ramsgate, Margate and Harwich, and also locally based Royal Navy helicopters.

  16. Dover was a parliamentary borough until 1918 and a county constituency thereafter. It was named Dover and Deal from 1974 to 1983 though no boundary changes occurred

    How many more p b’s were abolished in 1918?

    JUPPE 4/6. (60% probability)
    Le PEN 2/1 (33%)

    On BE FAIR, Le PEN is a 30% chance.

  18. If I had the money to tie up I’d be lumping on Juppé right now. Le Pen’s price seems to be being driven down by punters whose thought process is “Brexit, won and Trump won so anything can happen”.

    The fact is the three cases are very different. The win for Brexit isn’t akin to a victory for the hard right, no matter what the more partisan and excitable Remainers might say, while Trump appears to have won despite polling fewer votes than his main opponent. That can’t be done in a French Presdential election.

  19. Previously I have said that people who think Le Pen has a chance of winning don’t understand the French political system – that she has a good chance of getting to round two (perhaps even top of the ballot) but will then inevitably be hammered in the run off when the mainstream left and right coalesce around whichever candidate gets through, as her father was in 2002. I’m not so sure now. Levels of disaffection among the white working class are perhaps even greater in France than the US, and dissatisfaction with political elites is at extraordinary levels there (a recent poll put Hollande’s approval at 4%, Obama’s in 50%+). So if Trump can win a two-way contest why not Le Pen?

  20. “So if Trump can win a two-way contest why not Le Pen?”

    Trump didn’t win a two way contest. Firstly he didn’t win the popular vote, secondly their were other candidates besides Clinton and himself.

    Hollande’s approval rating is irrelevant as he won’t make it as far as the second round.

    Another reason why the Trump example proves nothing re Le Pen is that the former was the nominated candidate of a major party that enjoys substantial support. Le Pen will be the nominee of a party that is still toxic to the majority of French voters.

  21. “So if Trump can win a two-way contest why not Le Pen?”

    My criticism of the comparison would be that France and the US are two completely different countries, with different Political histories and vastly different inhabitants

    Besides when Le Pen does make the run off (and it does see,ms a question of when rather than if) she will surely be beaten by Juppe, (her father was trounced when he came up against Chriac in 2002)

  22. I am instinctively of the view that Le Pen can’t win, though my predictions over the last year have been poor as a rule.

    My thinking goes thus:

    1) Trump did not win the popular vote. If it was a Presidential election held under French rules, Hillary Clinton would be president.

    2) Trump won on the back of down-the-line centre-right Republican voters. They didn’t go for Hillary, so just went to vote for the party they usually vote for. Real enthusiastic Trump supporters are well under 30% of voters.

    The average, middle of the road, centre-right French voter typically votes UMP/LR, so that constituency is locked down for their candidate in the second round. Add to that the anti-fascist FG and PS votes, and you have a fairly solid wall.

    3) Much of the anger driving support for Le Pen is anger directed at Hollande. When he’s knocked out in the first round (or not nominated, more likely) some of Le Pen’s support will soften and go either home to PS (not much) or over to LR (some).

  23. Lots of good points. These been 7 polls pitching JUPPE vs Le PEN in a 2nd rnd face off. JUPPEs lead is huge – averaging approx 33%.

  24. MrN – we can’t of course know that re 1.

    After all it’s close and there’s a lot more Johnson votes than Stein votes. Trump could well have beaten Hillary if he’d had to win the popular vote.

    I agree that the French system is designed so Le Pen can’t win the 2nd round.

    The highest I think the FN ever got was in a poll after the Paris attacks.

  25. If the FN couldn’t win the regional elections in the almost immediate aftermath of the Paris attacks, they aren’t winning the Presidential election.

    Topping the ballot in several regions meant absolutely nothing, with mass tactical voting taking them out of the running in the next phase.

    I like the odd punt, not sure whether it would be worth going with Juppe now, or letting more money go on Le Pen, as it will do for a short time?

  26. JUPPEs odds will stay at 4/6 or very close to that until around the end of this month when we know about Hollande. Same goes for Sarkozy. MACRON has already confirmed he’s going for it.

  27. Le Pen is appearing on Andrew Marr in a few minutes.

    The interview has been described as “controversial” in some quarters but personally I think it is a brave and correct decision. Hosting Nick Griffin on Question Time was the best editorial decision the BBC ever made (and not just because it got them ratings). The way you defeat populists is by winning the debate, not by no-platforming.

  28. That’s a brilliant summary MPR – A Career In Politics Awaits.

    One very interesting aspect of the 2017 French Presidential election is that the UMP or the Republicans as they are now known as will hold a national Primary; apparently very much like the Labour leadership elections – anyone can register to vote it cost just €2 or €3.

    One simply has to make a statement supporting the aims and values of the Republican party.

    There is speculation of course that the Left will register and vote Juppe to prevent Sarkozy getting the Republican nomination.

  29. I agree with the principle of interviewing her, but the timing of its airing was insensitive. And if you’re going to interview someone that controversial, you deploy someone like Paxman or Andrew Neil – Marr let her get off pretty lightly.

  30. ‘Hosting Nick Griffin on Question Time was the best editorial decision the BBC ever made’

    I’m no so sure about that but it was certainly the start of the end for both the BNP and Griffin himself whose performance on the progam was utterly risible

    The UK hadn’t traditionally given air time to far right parties partly because they always had such small share of the popular vote they didn’t warrant it, although that will have to change following the Right wing surge in both the US and Europe –

  31. The BBC were completely right to interview Le Pen. I don’t get the fuss over it (some said they shouldn’t interview her on Remembrance Sunday but I’m not sure why that is relevant particularly).

    On Kieran’s response to my post I essentially agree. Though I would question whether Juppe – assuming he gets through the primary, which polling suggests he will but cannot be said for certain yet – will be able to maintain his current popularity. His past makes him in many ways an easier target for portrayal as a corrupt member of the liberal establishment than Clinton was in the US. The other mainstream candidates are of course likely to be as, if not more, unpopular.

    So I think it could prove to be very close. If I had to make a prediction it would probably be a win for the mainstream (whether Juppe, Sarkozy or even Valls or Macron – Hollande has no chance) by about 55/45, but I wouldn’t rule out a narrow Le Pen win. Kieran’s point about Trump benefiting from being a ‘major party’ candidate normally expected to be in contention to win elections is significant, but it must be remembered that the FN are a well established feature of the French political scene these days.

  32. That story is a bit misleading as that poll is only one scenario, Sarkozy winning the Les Republicains primary, and only the first round (the FN traditionally struggle in the second round as the mainstream unite against them).

    The first round of that primary takes place today. Polls still suggest Alain Juppe is likely to come top and Sarkozy second. *If* that happens it probably bodes well for Juppe getting the nomination – the other candidates that will be eliminated are closer to him than Sarkozy, who since 2012 has turned towards the hard right. But given the record of polls lately it wouldn’t surprise me if Sarkozy ends up doing better than polls suggest…

  33. It looks like Fillon and Juppe are through to the run off. Sarkozy a few points behind Juppe and out.

  34. Fillongley has a big and surprisingly large lead in the first primary over Juppe and Sarkozy. He is almost certainly going to be the Republican choice and therefore likely to be the next French President. A second round vote is expected to be held next Sunday to decide between the two front runners.

  35. Sarkozy has now conceded. He will be supporting Fillon next week.

  36. some bookies odds 21/11/16. 12:33
    FILLON 1.78 (56% likliehood of being next President)
    LE PEN. 3.9. (26%)
    JUPPE 9.6 (11%) BETFAIR

    LE PEN vote share LADBROKES
    50% + …16/1

  37. I still wouldn’t completely rule out the left/centre-left coming back into play. They look down and out at the moment but much can change in six months, and in French politics often does. From what I can gather Fillon may be less successful with centrists than Juppe (as I understand it he is, to make a UK comparison, more David Davis than Ken Clarke). If so that might present an opportunity for Emmanuel Macron (ex-banker and Finance Minister who is running as an indy) to gather momentum, or if Hollande doesn’t run the PS candidate (probably in that case the current PM, Manuel Valls) could find themselves back in the mix.

  38. Yes it’s difficult to predict who will be on the ballot. Some candidates may be undone by others from the

    Some parallels with BREXIT and TRUMPQUAKE:
    This refers to the secondsecond round of the election after the first one on 23April.

    1 The “populist” / unpalatable / socially award choice is according to betting sites is roughly a 25% probability.

    2 The choice against the “populist” / unpalatable / socially awkward choice is (very probably) a well known establishment choice.

    3 Again, those on the side of LE PEN will be more motivated to vote than the other side.

    4 Similarly the Left vote may be lower for the centre Right (anti NF) because Fillon may be too unpalatable because of his very conservative views. TRUMP won in the swing states because DEM voters from 2012 did not vote for HILLARY (and DEM vote was down elsewhere for a variety of reasons). So in France we may see a significant amount of REPUBLICAN / PR abstaining
    allowing LE PEN to win.

    A caveat to all this is the view by many : France is not the UK or USA and people there behave differently.

  39. It seems a little odd that, in spite of the anti-neoliberal political tide, the favourite to win the presidency is a hardcore Thatcherite.

    Of course being the favourite doesn’t mean a lot in 2016. Trump is president, Leicester are Premier League champions and Ed Balls is still in Strictly Come Dancing…

  40. And Balls is out of Strictly

  41. Polltroll,

    I think that interpreting voting trends as “anti-<>” is a misinterpretation and usually wishful thinking.

    I’m also suspicious of attempts to find strong parallels between Brexit, Trump’s election, La Pen’s popularity etc. These are three very different countries, three very different votes, and people’s explanations also bring in questionable abstractions like “The Establishment” or “anti- <>”.

    Personally, I like polls that ask people why they vote the way that they do. That’s an imperfect method, but it seems less prone to bias than mind-reading, class-analysis, or any of the other arm-chair methods that the media and academia like to use.


    FILLON is expected by many commentators to not hang on. MACRON at this time is evens favourite. LE PEN is 7/2. FILLON is 5/1 – 6/1. JUPPE 10/1.

    Well done to JS above who suggested MACRON is not out of the running.

  43. Fillon’s chances evaporated very very quickly. He may still sneak into the run off, but he’s nowhere near the overwhelming favourite that he was.

  44. I’m sure France will end up utterly despising Fillon if he carries out half of the reforms he plans to

    Macron seems a safer bet – polls show he beats Le Penn by a considerably bigger margin than Fillon

    I can only assume the blonde lady alongside him is his wife – although she looks old enough to be his mother!

  45. “I’m sure France will end up utterly despising Fillon if he carries out half of the reforms he plans to”

    Not sure he’ll even stand. His wife and sons were paid about 1 million euros over 10 years for doing absolutely nothing it would appear.

    Fillon’s goose looks cooked.

    Macron’s wife is indeed old enough to be his mother. She is 24 years older than him, and was his philosophy teacher at secondary school…

  46. interesting how the fortunes / odds have altered since the discussion above started. at this moment the favourites to win are
    MACRON 44%
    JUPPE 26%
    LE PEN 24%

    Juppe only three weeks ago, was a 400/1 chance on Betfair.

    Fillon has this gathering today but the signs are poor for him.

    The consensus in France is – as it is above from UKPR posters – that Le Pen cant do it. The left and right will come together and will beat her in second round in early May.

    Juppe certainly seems to be up for it – but he lost to FF 67-33% !!

    but the head of France’s centre-right UDI party said on Sunday he wanted presidential candidate Francois Fillon to quit the election race in favour of Juppe warning that if Fillon continued defeat is certain.

  47. FF big meeting/rally to show support…..reports from the Trocadero say that only 3-4 thousand people there – it’s raining. It looks all over for FF.

  48. Juppe does handsomely outpoll Fillon, but more importantly: Macron. And mostly interestingly; sometimes LePen. All 1st round.

    In terms of UMP replacing FF, do they need his resignation to achieve that? Or are there any emergency/smallprint rules they can use?

  49. Juppe rules himself out:

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