2015 Result:
Conservative: 24167 (51%)
Labour: 11193 (23.6%)
Lib Dem: 4289 (9.1%)
Green: 1624 (3.4%)
UKIP: 5778 (12.2%)
Others: 301 (0.6%)
MAJORITY: 12974 (27.4%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

Geography: North West, Cheshire. Part of the Cheshire West and Chester council area and part of the Cheshire East council area.

Main population centres: Winsford, Malpas, Tarporley, Kelsall, Audlem.

Profile: A large rural seat in the south west of Cheshire. The main settlement is the salt mining town of Winsford that expanded after the war due to overspill development. The comparatively gritty Winsford is, however, wholly uncharacteristic of the rest of the seat, most of the area is made up of much smaller and more affluent rural villages (there is no actual town of Eddisbury - the seat is named after an ancient hundred of Cheshire).

Politics: While there is Labour support in Winsford, it is easily outweighed by the rest of the constituency making this a safe Conservative seat, although it was held only narrowly at the nadir of Conservative fortunes in 1997 and in the 1999 by-election that followed Alistair Goodlad`s appointment as High Commissioner to Australia (the rather unusual appointment of an opposition MP to a high profile diplomatic post was a something of a consolation prize after William Hague nominated Goodlad to be the Conservative party`s EU Commissioner but saw Tony Blair appoint Chris Patten instead).

Current MP
ANTOINETTE SANDBACH (Conservative) Educated at Nottingham University. Barrister. Contested Delyn 2010. North Wales Assembly member since 2011. First elected as MP for Eddisbury in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 23472 (52%)
Lab: 9794 (22%)
LDem: 10217 (22%)
UKIP: 1931 (4%)
MAJ: 13255 (29%)
Con: 21181 (46%)
Lab: 14986 (33%)
LDem: 8182 (18%)
UKIP: 1325 (3%)
MAJ: 6195 (14%)
Con: 20556 (46%)
Lab: 15988 (36%)
LDem: 6975 (16%)
UKIP: 868 (2%)
MAJ: 4568 (10%)
Con: 21027 (43%)
Lab: 19842 (40%)
LDem: 6540 (13%)
MAJ: 1185 (2%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
ANTOINETTE SANDBACH (Conservative) Educated at Nottingham University. Barrister. Contested Delyn 2010. North Wales Assembly member since 2011.
IAN PRIESTNER (Liberal Democrat) Born Cheshire. Educated at Keele University. Partner in a sustainable energy company.
ANDREW GARMAN (Green) Semi-retired scientist. Chester councillor 2006-2009 for the Liberal Democrats.
Comments - 87 Responses on “Eddisbury”
  1. It is striking how much Torier Eddisbury has become in recent years. The first sign was Labour’s failure to take it in 1997, despite having been ‘only’ 21% points behind the Tories in 1992. Then, there was the 2010 result, the best Conservative performance and worst Labour performance since 1983 (and on only fractionally more favourable boundaries for the Tories). My instinct is that Labour’s core vote in Winsford is simply not as strong as it was- in fact, I’d be surprised if they led the Tories by more than a thousand there in 2010. And even in the 2011 local elections, Labour didn’t lead massively there.

  2. I wonder if Pete could do a comparison between East Cheshire and West Cheshire and how they have changed compared to one another.

  3. Yes, that would be interesting. The Tories had a rather mixed night both in CWAC and East Cheshire in 2010. Osborne won sluggishly in Tatton and the Macclesfield and Congleton results were disappointing though perhaps that was inevitable given the circumstances. Chester was okay (given that the boundary changes were probably unfavourable) but no more than that. Then again, there were excellent results in Crewe and Nantwich, Weaver Vale, and Eddisbury. To my admittedly untrained eye, it looked like the Tories punched above their weight in wwc areas like Northwich and Crewe but perhaps underperformed in their leafier heartlands. For example, Osborne seemed to poll quite badly in Wilmslow, where the Lib Dems were a reasonably competitive second.

  4. Cheshire was a real mixed bag for the Tories in 2010

    They won’t be too bothered about the small or negligible swings in East Cheshire – the seats were all safely Conservative in the first place

    They won Warrington South, Wirral West and City of Chester on small swings, took Weaver Vale and Crewe & Nantwich – both Labour seats in 1992 – but failed in Wirral South

    In many ways what happened in Cheshire mirrored that in the rest of the English counties – with the Tories doing best in working class areas whilst seeming to struggle in more middle class areras where they used to be strong

  5. Prediction for 2015-
    O’Brien (Conservative)- 48%
    Labour- 29%
    Liberal Democrats- 16%
    UKIP- 7%

  6. CON HOLD MAJ : 14%
    CON 42
    LAB 28
    LD 15
    UKIP 10
    GRN 4

  7. Prediction

    Con 49
    Lab 29
    LD 14
    UKIP 8

  8. prediction for 2015-

    con- 49%
    Lab- 21%
    Lib- 18%

  9. LDs will be quite a lot lower than that, UKIP about right, Conservatives very slightly lower & Labour slightly higher I reckon. But not that important in the general scheme of things I guess.

  10. Yeah I can’t see the LDs down by just 4% when nationally they’re down 15%, especially not without an incumbent to defend.

  11. I think my earlier prediction had Labour too high. I think-

    Con 49
    Lab 27
    LD 14
    UKIP 10

    Can’t see the Tory vote dipping too much- it’s very solid in the rural parts. Labour may find UKIP an irritant in wwc Winsford. We’ve got a CWAC council by-election coming up there- will be interesting to see how UKIP does.

  12. The Tories have indeed done extremely well here in recent years. I wouldn’t claim to know or understand why this exactly is, but I think there might have been boundary changes here in 1997 with the creation of the then new Weaver Vale seat. If Frodsham went into there from this seat it might have made a difference to the notionals for here on the changes made. Can anyone clarify? Cheers.

  13. Boundary changes did help, though only slightly. My understanding is that the Conservatives would still have won the 1983-1997 version of Eddisbury in 1997, but the majority might have dipped below 1000.

    1992 actual results

    Con 51.0
    Lab 30.5
    LD 17.0

    1992 notional results

    Con 52.7
    Lab 31.1
    LD 14.7

    The main reason for the improving Conservative position here is the long-term erosion of Labour’s wwc vote in Winsford.

  14. Ah right thanks very much for that. I’m in a bit of a Cheshire mode tonight, don’t quite know why.

  15. I probably wouldn’t say the Tories have done extremely well here in recent years. They’ve done roughly how you’d expect IMO.

  16. Slightly above average. I think that’s very good compared to 1997.

  17. Andy JS- In 2010, the Conservatives were within 1% of where they were in 1992 (notionally) and so are now quite a way further ahead of their national vote share here than they were back then. The % lead over Labour in 2010 was 30.1- the biggest lead since 1983 and on only fractionally more favourable boundaries. In my view that is a very good performance indeed.

  18. but the 1992 seat extended further northwards to the foot of the Mersey and would have contained some industrial territory likely to have been more favourable to labour

    i’m not sure the tories would have held the 92 seat in 1997. It would have been extremely tight

    I agree with Andy. The Tory performance here mirrors what’s happened in similar shire seats in england since 1997

  19. The Tories have obviously over-performed in some Cheshire seats, but then not done quite as well in some other winnable seats. Take Ellesmere Port and Neston and City of Chester for example- The latter was granted a top target and one they should have taken in 2015 in any case, but the vote share increases on 1997 in both these seats has been rather similar, and not in the order of many others, such as here, Tatton (albeit with the extraordinary circumstances in 1997), Weaver Vale and indeed Crewe and Nantwich. Macclesfield and Congleton were complicated in 2010 by the retirements of the Wintertons who both had followings, so the resultant underwhelming results there were understandable.

  20. I noticed with interest that my local MP was advertising for a “campaign manager” over Christmas. I did wonder why he would need such a thing in such a safe seat, yet after inquiring with friends it appears Stephen is very worried about ukip and will be running a serious campaign.

    now i would not be shocked if ukip do ok here, after all there are plenty of little england pensioners in tory villages and ignored wwc voters in winsford. Then again, having never canvassed here i don’t know the mood here as well as its neighbors.

    I am suprised if this is true though as surely they a re no threat? this seat is simply too posh nowadays to be anything but blue. i do wonder however, does anybody think ukip could come second?

  21. Parents now live in this seat.

    Whatever UKIP get nationally in May they will certainly do better here for the reasons you suggest both in Winsford and the blue rural areas.

    O’Brien who seems to be pretty popular (though neither of my parents are Tories by any means) will win easily. The only issue would be whether he gets a majority of the vote and he is clearly being ultra cautious. Probably also wouldn’t want UKIP getting too much of a foothold/coming 2nd.

    Personally I could see UKIP perhaps getting 15% or so of the vote here, which might be enough to put them in 3rd ahead of the LD’s perhaps. Labour a distant 2nd though in my view.

  22. Stephen O’Brien standing down:


  23. This is a really good last minute opportunity for whoever gets the Conservative nomination to replace Stephen O’Brien. I presume some of the stronger candidates who don’t get the Kensington nomination will be up for this. Relatively good transport links (M6/M1 and fast direct trains from Crewe and Chester) to London notwithstanding the difference.

    It borders Osborne’s Tatton seat so I wouldn’t be surprised if he has an influence in terms of this one, but I’d expect a strong field of people going for this safe seat.

  24. So far here in Eddisbury there are a few surprises I wonder if something is in the air.Hmm

    Tories in disarray with Stephen O’Brien stepping down and a last minute scramble to find a candidate.The Tories seem pretty worried about UKIP too.

    The main population centre in Winsford should be Labour territory but again word on the street seems to be UKIP making headway.
    They are taking about a third of the Labour and Tory vote.

    UKIP candidate hasnt said a word and is nowhere to be soon is this consistent with the UKIP plan to keep their powder dry until 20 days out.

    Strange Labour campaign the candidate is a Wallasey man (not local) and Labour seem to have no local workers perhaps because they are throwing everything at Weaver Vale which is a Labour/Tory marginal.Maybe thats consistent with the national story for Labour of low morale and organisational meltdown (Something Farage is banking on in safe Labour seats).Is the Scittish Labour disease spreading to England.

    Then that leaves the Lib Dems you would expect a paper candidate only but no definitely the most high profile of all candidates.The only local person (lets assume the Tories parachute someone in).Focus leaflets everywhere,canvassers,emails,social media slick website.Party workers on the ground everywhere.Very well dug in.

    Clearly disarray in Labour and Tory camps and some of their vote peeling off to UKIP.Given the Lib Dems were the challengers here in 2010 I’d put a small wager on them to come through the middle of all of them in a 4 way split.

    Sounds implausible maybe but that’s the feedback on the ground.

  25. Implausible is putting it mildly. A 15% swing from Tory to Lib Dem given then national standings of the parties?!

    Labour will certainly be throwing everything at Weaver Vale and Wirral West, Wirral South to an extent as well. UKIP may do fairly well especially with O’Brien standing down (though he has got a very good job at the United Nations so whilst I’m a Labour supporter that’s hardly a sign of panic).

    The Lib Dems may well be leafleting hard but have no chance and will do well to come 3rd here I think.

    If you genuinely want to waste your money and think the LD’s can win William Hill will give you 66-1. Tories are 1-100on to win, enough said.

  26. There’s no way anyone will dislodge the Tories here, I think – if the LDs are campaigning very well and Labour lose out to UKIP there’s an outside shot of retaining a weak second place, somewhere in the region of:

    CON 42
    LD 20
    UKIP 19
    LAB 15
    GRN 4

  27. (Not that I’m saying that will happen – I suspect the LD vote will just flatline here, campaigning or no, but the above is I think roughly the best result the LDs could aim for).

  28. Really strange boundary changes in Cheshire in 1983.

    Eddisbury is the former Nantwich constituency (re-named in 1983 when Nantwich was transferred to Crewe).

    The solid Labour town of Runcorn formed the safe Tory constituency of Runcorn before the town was combined with Widnes in 1983 to form the safe Labour Halton constituency.

    Most of the Runcorn constituency formed the suburban parts of the two new Warrington constituencies after the town was split in two in 1983.

  29. Mike S – I can understand Labour activists from here helping in Weaver Vale or Chester, but Merseyside is just over 40 miles away, so I doubt they’d travel that far, except maybe once for a big campaign day in Wirral.

  30. Yes good point Lancs Observer, I can’t believe I forgot Chester, my old hometown seat when I posted earlier as well; that really will be a coin toss I suspect between Labour and Tory.

  31. The other two finalists are Janet Clowes (Cheshire councillor and stood in Wythenshawe and Sale East in 2010), and Kemi Badenoch (seems to be London-based and stood in Dulwich and West Norwood in 2010).

    Selection on 25th March.

  32. There’s some great names amongst Tory and Labour PPCs this time. The crop of PPCs in Cambridge are my favourite so far.

  33. Welsh AM Antoinette Sandbach selected here by the Tories. She’ll have to stand down as AM by 2016, due to recent ‘double jobbing’ laws.

  34. There seems to be a bit of a Flintshire-Eddisbury nexus developing. The Labour candidate in 97/99 for this constituency, Margaret Hanson, was the wife of Flintshire MP David Hanson, who is a Winsford boy. Hanson’s opponent in 2010 was A.Sandbach (a person, not the place!) who is the new Tory PPC.

    Odd really, because Winsford looks to Liverpool & Northwich much more than to Chester & North Wales.

  35. Lancs Observer. Antoinette is a regional list member, So if she resigns her Welsh Assembly seat, the next person on the list would take her place. No problem.

    She currently has her constituency office in the town centre of Denbigh.

    The other thing to say about her is that she is exceedingly tall.

  36. Seektruth – not that odd really as Winsford is on the outskirts of the seat (albeit biggest population centre). A lot of the outlier villages are only a short drive until you’re over the border. Tarporley definitely gravitates to Chester while Malpas and nearby villages are nearer to Wales than anywhere else.

    Suprised that Janet Clowes didn’t get selected, she’s prominent in South Cheshire. Surely a shoe-in for Sandbach?

  37. @Gray – Agreed that the villages look to Chester, but the CLP is Winsford dominated.

  38. Is Antoinette getting a good response on the doorstep?

  39. I wouldn’t write off Labour here entirely. Clearly they’re not going to win the seat, but with all out Cheshire West and Chester elections, you can bet they’ll be turning the vote out in Winsford.

    We’ve had a couple of leaflets from Antoinette. She was spotted in the wild our village once a couple of weeks back. I suspect she’s basically trying to show face in each of bigger villages before the election.

  40. Conservative Hold. 10,000 majority.

  41. Some very very upset Tories here they feel they have made a dreadful mistake selection wise.Campaign falling apart rapidly.Final straw was AS refusing to come to a local hustings (Audlem) and its not gone down well here our local website awash with criticism .I’d say 2000 majority if she is lucky.

  42. Sounds like a let them eat cake type of campaign….

  43. Who on earth would be capable of challenging the tories here?

  44. UKIP???

  45. It is always better to choose a candidate from within the local party. Then you have a better chance of avoiding that sort of problem.

  46. I don’t see why UKIP would be especially strong here ?

  47. Easy Con hold, majority 11,500. The notion that one ‘cannot write off Labour entirely’ is baffling. Outside Winsford, Labour’s vote here is extremely poor.

  48. fair summary – as always.

  49. Have the Conservatives got an office in the constituency?

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