Epsom & Ewell

2015 Result:
Conservative: 33309 (58.9%)
Labour: 8866 (15.7%)
Lib Dem: 5002 (8.8%)
Green: 2116 (3.7%)
UKIP: 7117 (12.6%)
Independent: 121 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 24443 (43.2%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Surrey. The whole of the Epsom and Ewell council area, two wards from Reigate and Banstead and the Ashtead wards from Mole Valley council.

Main population centres: Epsom, Ewell, Ashtead, Tattenham Corner, Nork.

Profile: This is a commuter area just outside Greater London and within the M25. It is an affluent and desirable area, regularly classed as among the best places to live in the UK. It includes the former spa town of Epsom, Ewell, the village of Ashtead, Nork and Tattenham Corner from the Reigate and Banstead council area and the Epsom Downs, an area of chalk uplands that is the site of the Epsom Downs Racecourse and hosts the Epsom Derby.

Politics: This is a rock-solid Conservative seat. It has returned a Conservative MP since its creation as Epsom in 1885 and even in the Labour landslide year of 1997 it retained a Conservative majority of over 20 percent. At a local level, however, Epsom and Ewell council has always been dominated by councillors from the local Epsom and Ewell residents association.


Current MP
CHRIS GRAYLING (Conservative) Born 1962, London. Educated at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, and Cambridge University. Former BBC producer. Merton councillor 1998-2002. Contested Warrington South 1997. First elected as MP for Epsom and Ewell in 2001. Shadow leader of the Commons 2005, shadow transport secretary 2005-2007, shadow pensions secretary 2007-2009, shadow home secretary 2009-2010. Minister of State for Work and Pensions 2010-2012, Lord Chancellor 2012-2015. Leader of the House of Commons since 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 30868 (56%)
Lab: 6538 (12%)
LDem: 14734 (27%)
UKIP: 2549 (5%)
Oth: 266 (0%)
MAJ: 16134 (29%)
2005*
Con: 27146 (54%)
Lab: 10265 (21%)
LDem: 10699 (21%)
UKIP: 1769 (4%)
MAJ: 16447 (33%)
2001
Con: 22430 (48%)
Lab: 12350 (26%)
LDem: 10316 (22%)
UKIP: 1547 (3%)
MAJ: 10080 (22%)
1997
Con: 24717 (46%)
Lab: 13192 (24%)
LDem: 12380 (23%)
Oth: 1537 (3%)
MAJ: 11525 (21%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
CHRIS GRAYLING (Conservative) See above.
SHEILA CARLSON (Labour)
STEVE GEE (Liberal Democrat) Contested Wimbledon 2005.
ROBERT LEACH (UKIP)
SUSAN MCGRATH (Green)
GARETH HARFOOT (No description)
LIONEL BLACKMAN (Independent) Educated at Sutton Grammar. Solicitor. Epsom and Ewell councillor 2005-2007. Contested Esher and Walton 2010 for the Liberal Democrats.
Links
Comments - 247 Responses on “Epsom & Ewell”
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  1. As far as I know, there have only been 2 postwar MPs called Sir Archibald. Odd then that they have represented the same area. Sir Archibald Southby was the first postwar MP for Epsom, and of course much more recently there has been Sir Archibald Hamilton the predecessor of Chris Grayling.

  2. I wonder what this seat would have looked like if it was just Epsom & Ewell. I am sure most years it would have been comfortably blue but it does benefits from having affluent Ashtead, Tattenhams and Banstead over the years

    for example in 1945 this seat was held with a less comfortable majority of 6,500 but this was a large rural Epsom seat containing most of Mole Valley so the Epsom part of the seat probably would have been too close to call.

    It was surpisingly more marginal than the urban seats of Kingston and Richmond which both had majorities of around 8,000.

    EPSOM 1945 RESULT (includes rural areas)

    A Southby Conservative 27,081 49.91%
    EAM Shackleton Labour 20,533 37.84%
    JM Fowler Liberal 6,643 12.24%

    Majority: 6,548 (12.07%)

    EPSOM 1945 (JUST EPSOM & EWELL PART)
    My Estimate

    A Southby Conservative 17,560 44.6%
    EAM Shackleton Labour 17,394 44.1%
    JM Fowler Liberal 4,460 11.3%

    Majority: 166

    but I maybe very wrong!

  3. that must have been Edward Shackleton, the son of the explorer Shackleton, who later briefly represented Preston S & who in the 60s, as Lord Shackleton, was in Harold Wilson’s Cabinet.
    My point at the top is, I now realise, incorrect – I’d forgotten about the Lib Dem Sir Archy Kirkwood.

  4. How do you think a more urban seat of just Epsom and Ewell itself would have fared in 1945?

    Carshalton (without Banstead) would have almost certainly been Labour in 1945 and Epsom is more similar to Carshalton than rural surrey in respect to having very wealthy areas towards the down and also having large council estates though most of these are post war whereas St helier in Carshalton was built in the 1930s.

  5. CARSHALTON 1945

    AH Head Conservative 20,181 45.34%
    WF Hawkins Labour 19,164 43.05%
    WJ Barrow Liberal 5,167 11.61%

    Majority 1,017 (2.28%)

  6. Lab selection: Sheila Carlson

    She represents the Court ward:

    http://www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/EEBC/Council/ByNameItems/Carlson+-+Councillor+Sheila+Anne+BA+Hons.htm

    Is this the only Labour ward on the council?

  7. Andy: I have the only 3 Labour Cllrs, all representing Court ward. 3 LD for College ward, 2 LD for Stamford, 1 LD for Town. 2 Con for Ruxley ward, and 1 Con for Stoneleigh. 26 Cllrs for Residents Assn. Total Council = 38. This data gathered 9 April 2013.

    BR

  8. Labour usually has 3 councillors on the borough council though in a bad year that ward can be split. For many years the leader of the minuscule Labour group was Jack Ashley’s wife. Another past councillor for that ward, Bill Carpenter, stood in Epsom & Ewell in the 1983 general election, and was I think the outgoing Mayor of the borough at the same time. He managed to save his deposit, which required 12.5% of the vote at the time, and was not bad going for 1983 in such a hugely safe Tory seat.

  9. There has been at least one other post-war Archibald: Archie Norman, MP for Tunbridge Wells until 2005.

  10. yes but he wasn’t knighted 🙂
    Another was Archie Manuel, Labour MP for Central Ayrshire in the 50s.

  11. “2 Con for Ruxley ward” which seems strange in a way as like Court it is one of the poorest wards in surrey. Yet again in county and outer london areas the tories can win the poor wards.

    Note: Similar wards to Ruxley: Cray Valley West, Cray Valley East in Bromley both Con (the latter has 1 LD) , Maybury and Sheerwater another poorer surrey ward – tories won this in a by-election gain from LD’s. Gooshays – Havering 2 Cons elected with 1 Lab (had a BNP councillor in 2006). Underhill – Barnet 2 Cons 1 Lab, Cray Meadows- Bexley.

    These are in fact the areas that Labour need to win in order to bounce back in the South.

  12. and of course Stanwell North in Spelthorne – 3 Cons

  13. 2015
    CON 46
    LAB 19
    LD 18
    UKIP 11
    GRN 5
    OTH 1

  14. I would say ther tories would get over 50% here just

    CON 51
    LAB 19
    LD 17
    UKIP 8
    OTH 5

    Labour probably will regain second place here just about

    Think of Epsom and Ewell itself as a “Havering of the South”

  15. Drove up the A24 through Epsom this afternoon and deliberately took notice of the town centre, as a result of your comments here the other day. You’re right, it is surprisingly down at heel, and quite choked with traffic as well.

    Actually Ewell also doesn’t look that pretty from the main road.

    I hadn’t noticed before what a marked difference there is when you leave the Leatherhead / Dorking area, with its leafy housing and very pretty small towns, and the much more gritty feel of Epsom and Ewell.

  16. The problem is the Town part of the borough was which gentrifying in the late 90’s now seems to be heading in decline although house prices are high (though nowhere near as expensive as Elmbridge and Mole Valley) this could all be by to let profiles.

  17. Archie Hamilton appeared on ITN’s coverage of the 1992 General Election and was interviewed by Robin Day.

  18. Oooooh

  19. The escaped prisoner known as ‘The Skullcracker’ has apparently committed a further armed robbery, this morning in London.

  20. Aaaah

  21. Not sure what the “skull cracker” has to do with Epsom. Though the area is quite nice and posh in parts, it is a bit south london hooligan made money round here. Bromley and Chislehurst is a bit like that as well as Sutton.

  22. it wasn’t in London, it was in Sunbury-on-Thames – if indeed the robbery is linked.

  23. That would be the spelthorne seat, on the topic of Labour though nether both this and Spelthorne are the two seats in Surrey where Labour could get second place I would imagine.

  24. Lancs Observer may have just put the comment in this seat because of who the MP is. Anyway, Mr Skull Cracker has apparently been arrested.

  25. I wonder if he cast a postal vote before being apprehended?

  26. Apologies Barnaby, although to myself in the NW, anything which is “on-Thames” is London. Yes, posted here as Grayling said he was prepared to be judged “by those standards” in a Newsnight interview in 2008 ie resigning from the Cabinet re escaped/early released dangerous offenders. But that was prior to his expenses’ scandal and other gaffes so I don’t expect him to go. He’s said he’s going to change the system so that life sentence prisoners aren’t put in open prisons in future.

  27. Lancs Obs.

    Would that include Henley?

    :p

  28. I dont think anyone servicing 13 life terms should ever be let out into society. Life should mean life.

  29. Lancs Observer – many years ago I went to a pub in a village called Sandford-on-Thames. That’s a long way from London!

  30. The Skullcrusher business is certainly no laughing matter. Heads should roll for whichever do gooding idiot thought this animal was suitable for an open prison and supervised release. My 2 year old could have predicted what would happen. The danger and distress caused to the staff in the bank today is entirely the fault of who made such a series of stupid decisions, and it could all have been far worse.

  31. HH – I agree. BBC News referred to Sunbury as London, just for you, Barnaby. Wiki does too 😉

  32. “Heads should roll for whichever do gooding idiot thought this animal was suitable for an open prison and supervised release.”

    Heads wont roll but I can confidently predict that after an official inquiry and numerous meetings it will be formally announced that ‘lessons have been learnt’.

    And that nothing will change.

    If skullcracker had managed to kill a few people some top bod might have resigned.

    But only with a five year pay-off and a pension ten times larger than the average wage. six months later said top bod would get another public sector top bod non-job.

  33. At the same time people are still being hauled before the courts for not spying their TV licences, even if they haven’t been watching BBC programmes.

  34. Well on Richard’s point yes that would be rubbish although it would be optimistic at best to say that that isn’t just as common in the private sector.

    As for what Andy JS says, the license fee does not just pay for BBC programmes, it pays for broadcasting infrastructure which all stations use.

    Now that’s all I’m going to say on the matter because I know there’s no actual point to that fight. Let’s all just be glad that guy’s been recaptured and nobody got hurt.

  35. In answer to the points made by H.Hemmelig (January 20) & Runnymede (May 7), may I just add “Cantona”.

  36. ‘At the same time people are still being hauled before the courts for not spying their TV licences, even if they haven’t been watching BBC programmes.’

    I thgink anyone with a TV who chooses not to watch the BBC should be hauled before the couyrts on the grounds of bad taste, given that it’s the only decent broadcastern in the UK – although I’m sure that given your politocal leaningfs you’d vehemently disagree

    Despite being disliked bvy right-wingers, the BBC is still one of the most loved institutions in the UK and if the Tories do go ahead and break it up – as many of them would like to – they’ll never be foirgiven by the public at large

  37. Personally I’m not happy with making it easier for people to avoid paying the TV license. I thought the government was supposed to be cracking down on tax avoidance. All that will happen is that law abiding people will end up having to pay more to cover lack of payment from those who won’t pay because of the change. The BBC has its faults but like Tim I prefer it to the alternative, which would be the whole of the broadcast media being beholden to the demands of advertisers and the lowest common denominator of ratings.

  38. “Despite being disliked bvy right-wingers, the BBC is still one of the most loved institutions in the UK and if the Tories do go ahead and break it up – as many of them would like to – they’ll never be foirgiven by the public at large”

    What’s funny about the claim that the BBC is too left wing is that those on the extreme left (an assortment of bitter, chip-on-their-shoulder Trots. You can find their trolling in the Guardian comments section often) counter ague that it’s right wing, “neoliberal” and pro-Establishment.

    So which one is it?

  39. Whichever it is I cannot stand the BBC for the most part. I think it wastes peoples money on nonsense programs and pays their top execs too much public money. I wouldn’t scrap it, I’d severely cut it instead.

    However the BBC are getting better at money management since they have decided to scrap BBC3 which really does show a great deal of rubbish. BBC4 is very entertaining however.

  40. Neil – that’s also true of the EU, hence the No2EU Bennite view as well as UKIP. Tim – whilst I admit I enjoy/ed BBC Dramas such as Casualty, Spooks and Silk (although we’re paying for them as opposed to equally good dramas on ITV such as Prey), the BBC no longer broadcasts many National moments, such as football or the Grand National. Indeed, just look at the weekly viewing figures published in the Sunday Times. I think Eastenders even fell to 3rd in the soaps,last year. Apart from regional news and radio, there’s little that the BBC does that ITV or Sky don’t do better.

  41. Making non payment of the licence fee a civil rather than a criminal offence is hardly going to result in the end of the BBC. What it will result in is the taxpayer saving the exorbitant cost of prosecuting through the criminal system, and ultimately imprisoning, non payers. Pursuing non payers through the civil courts is far more cost effective. Also I don’t see why creating a situation where non payment of the licence fee has similar consequences to non payment of any other household bill should result in a significant increase in the level of nonpayment.

    I’ve never understood the argument that but for the BBC UK TV would be wall to wall crap. Isn’t that a bit like arguing that a free market in the area of print media would result in us only having a choice between The Sun and the Daily Mail, or minor variations thereof? We have the former, but clearly don’t have the latter.

  42. Totally disagree with L Bernard’s dislike of the BBC but agree with him that the decision to scrap BBC3 – the sort of channel ITV would be proud of – was a good one, and that BBC4 does have some pretty decent programs

    I’m not sure I even agree about the top execitives pay. Of course it’s not ideal to know that a large chunk of the licence payers money is swallowed up remunerating fat cats, but if they are that good then I think the BBC has to pay them the ‘market rate’ as ITV or Sky will

    ‘I’ve never understood the argument that but for the BBC UK TV would be wall to wall crap.’

    That’s effectively the way it is already.

    As a sports fan I’ve begrudingly come to accept, even appreciate, Sky’s role in broadcasting, but they still fall short compared to the coverage offered by BBC – and whilst I like Channel 4 news, overall the BBC’s news coverage is pretty solid

    I agree with Lancs Observer that it’s of huge regret that the BBC no longer briadcasts major events like Test Cricket and the Grand National, but that’s because these organisations know they can charge Sky and the other commercial broadcasters amounts the BBC simply cannot afford, and nsaturally are more concerned about the money they raise for the body they represent that the quality of broadcasting experienced by the audience watching at home

    IMO Bridgen’s private members bill was nothing other that a crass attempt to stick two fingers up at the BBC, and I’m more concerned about the taxpayer’s money he wasted in getting this legislation through Parliament than the amount I pay for my licence fee which IMO still represents value for money – certainly compsred to £80-90 I pay each month for Cable

  43. “I’ve never understood the argument that but for the BBC UK TV would be wall to wall crap.”

    Go and live in the US for a couple of years, you’ll understand it after that.

    “I don’t see why creating a situation where non payment of the licence fee has similar consequences to non payment of any other household bill should result in a significant increase in the level of nonpayment.”

    First the TV license is not a “household bill”, it is a tax. Should not paying your income tax be treated as “just another household bill”? I think we both know what the government and treasury would say about that. Regarding household bills, non-payment can be minimised by cutting peoples’ gas, electricity, water etc. How do you propose to cut off their TV service?

    “What it will result in is the taxpayer saving the exorbitant cost of prosecuting through the criminal system”

    It will result in the law abiding tax payer having to pay a higher license fee, in the end.

  44. “That’s effectively the way it is already”.

    I would dispute that. But also the way things are is not a particularly good guide to how things would be without the BBC. The presence of the BBC with its guaranteed income stream crowds out a lot of innovative broadcasting that would otherwise come from the independent sector.

  45. “Go and live in the US for a couple of years, you’ll understand it after that”.

    And yet quite a lot of high quality television comes out of America. Sure there’s a lot of crap as well, but I don’t think the crap ratio is significantly higher than in any other country.

    “Regarding household bills, non-payment can be minimised by cutting peoples’ gas, electricity, water etc”.

    Water supply cannot legally be cut off.

  46. “Neil – that’s also true of the EU, hence the No2EU Bennite view as well as UKIP. Tim – whilst I admit I enjoy/ed BBC Dramas such as Casualty, Spooks and Silk (although we’re paying for them as opposed to equally good dramas on ITV such as Prey), the BBC no longer broadcasts many National moments, such as football or the Grand National. Indeed, just look at the weekly viewing figures published in the Sunday Times. I think Eastenders even fell to 3rd in the soaps,last year. Apart from regional news and radio, there’s little that the BBC does that ITV or Sky don’t do better.”

    You think with a TV licence they would produce better shows than Eastenders.

    If the writers visited Newham and Tower Hamlets they would soon wake up and realise the demographics of the cast are totally wrong.

    In fact you would hear probably more cockney accents in Epsom and Ewell than you would in Bethnal Green and Bow these days.

  47. Christ this is off-topic. Please let me know when this thread will be about psephology again & I can look at it again. Thanks.

  48. Surrey Politics – er no, my point was how far the once great BBC has fallen, even with an enforced fee and ever increasing funding (until the present freeze). Tim – that’s true re football and cricket. Re horse racing, the BBC just didn’t want it anymore. Hence Clare Balding moved to Ch4. The BBC coverage of the Wimbledon final did still register, however, as a national moment and the resultant spike in the National Grid for people making tea/coffee. HH – that used to be true, but again see the ratings for US exports here. Some even on Dave such as Suits often beat BBC2. Although I rate some BBC2 docus such as the estate agents at the moment. I realise popularity doesn’t equal quality and no doubt Tim could cite opera as an argument ie that the BBC should broadcast niche quality, but again, most wouldn’t choose to pay for it.

  49. Lancs observer, Eastenders having the wrong demographic is surely a sign that the BBC has fallen. Yes I have also noticed about less sport coverage too I remember not to long ago the FA cup matches being on the BBC instead of ITV and being better too. When ITV broadcast Everton v Liverpool FA cup replay they had an ad break on during extra time.

  50. I think I’m right in saying that it was Epsom and Ewell that fought a successful rearguard action in the 1960s not to be included within Greater London. Looking at the map, one can easily see why it probably should have been included: it takes a considerable ‘bite’ out of SW London. I wonder whether its electoral history may have been different if it had faced into London and been part of London politics, rather than continuing to be part of Surrey. My guess is that it may well have become similar to Sutton and Cheam or Surbiton from 1997 onwards with a highly competitive LibDem vote.

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