Esher & Walton

2015 Result:
Conservative: 35845 (62.9%)
Labour: 7229 (12.7%)
Lib Dem: 5372 (9.4%)
Green: 2355 (4.1%)
UKIP: 5551 (9.7%)
Independent: 228 (0.4%)
Others: 396 (0.7%)
MAJORITY: 28616 (50.2%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Surrey. Most of Elmbridge council area.

Main population centres: Esher, Walton-on-Thames, Cobham, Molesey, Thames Ditton, Claygate, Oxshott.

Profile: This is a prosperous middle class suburban commuter area just outside the Greater London boundary and within the M25 boundary. Most of the constituency is designated as the green belt and with good commuter services into central London the area commands high property prices as is regularly cited as one of the best places to live in the UK. The constituency includes Sandown Park racecourse.

Politics: This is an extremely safe Conservative seat, held by the party since its creation in 1997 (with its predecessor Esher also only have ever returned Conservative members of Parliament). At a local level Elmbridge council is largely contested between the Conservatives and various local residents associations.

Current MP
DOMINIC RAAB (Conservative) Born 1974, Buckinghamshire. Educated at Dr Challoners Grammar School and Oxford University. Former foreign office legal advisor and Chief of staff to Dominic Grieve. First elected as MP for Esher and Walton in 2010. Junior justice minister since 2015.
Past Results
Con: 32134 (59%)
Lab: 5829 (11%)
LDem: 13541 (25%)
UKIP: 1783 (3%)
Oth: 1256 (2%)
MAJ: 18593 (34%)
Con: 21882 (46%)
Lab: 9309 (19%)
LDem: 14155 (30%)
UKIP: 1582 (3%)
Oth: 950 (2%)
MAJ: 7727 (16%)
Con: 22296 (49%)
Lab: 10758 (24%)
LDem: 10241 (22%)
UKIP: 2236 (5%)
MAJ: 11538 (25%)
Con: 26747 (50%)
Lab: 12219 (23%)
LDem: 10937 (20%)
Oth: 860 (2%)
MAJ: 14528 (27%)

2015 Candidates
DOMINIC RAAB (Conservative) See above.
ANDREW DAVIS (Liberal Democrat)
DELLA REYNOLDS (Independent)
Comments - 142 Responses on “Esher & Walton”
  1. @Tim

    ”Of course there are problems with high immigration – and yes that’s the case throughout Western Europe – but pretending they had anything to do with being in the EU, and that leaving it would mean that it’s a problem no longer, is being disingenuous at best”

    I do agree people blaming it all on the EU are being disingenuous, for example our government could bring the rates of non-EU migration down if they so chose. But to say the EU is totally not at fault is nit true either. For example they probably admitted Eastern European countries too fast (though I understand there are geo-political reasons for this mainly stopping them falling into Russia’s orbit) and when you have freedom of movement between wealthy countries and poorer ones the direction of movement is going to be almost entirely one way. This creates problems for both countries, for the richer one housing/schools/hospital etc. become overcrowded and rents rise (it’s hard for the government to plan ahead too if they have no idea how many people there are going to be) and for the poorer one they lose much of their young people/talent to the richer countries creating a severe brain drain (I understand some in Poland are quite pleased we’re leaving for this reason). Also the EU made a deliberate choice to interpret ‘free movement’ as free movement of people as opposed to free movement of labour. If they’d instead chosen the latter several of the problems/concerns linked to high levels of immigration would not exist.

    ”I wasn’t trying to imply you were stupid – far from it – but as I’ve said on countless occasions whenever Brexiteers speak up ion programs like Question Time, Jeremy Vine etc they come across as dim witted and can’t help making fools of themselves because they seem to have great difficulty grasping even the fundamental aspects of their arguments. This isn’t sheer coincidence – and when you look at the sorts of places many of them come from and the education they’ve received, it’s an inescapable impression.”

    I’m glad you don’t think so 🙂 but be careful when making blanket statements lire ‘all of group is/believes y’ because it’s rarely true and makes finding common ground more difficult (I’ve done it enough in my time to know).

    However I do know what you mean about the Brexiteer who has no idea what they’re talking about. I often cringe when these types of people try to explain it. But these people aren’t representative of the whole, even looking at the more radical wing of Leavers: Farage for example may be many things but he’s certainly not stupid.

    On the other hand there are indeed a lot of Remain people who’ve received very high levels of education yet have no idea what they’re talking about either, Diane Abbott being a particularly obvious example. Plus moving away from Brexit the entire political class totally miseducated the whole country on the issue of student loans. There’s a very classic Question Time video where Martin Lewis (the money man) schools a totally speechless Chi Onwurah on the issue and it’s blatantly clear she had absolutely no idea about how the most important issue of that time worked. So I think you give educated Remainers far too much credit in the intelligence department, having a degree in say the History of Art doesn’t make you any more informed on the EU than an electrician or a plumber.

    On the topic of education though just because someone hasn’t had the privilege of being born into a middle to upper middle class household (as I presume many on this forum are) and having a very high standard of education doesn’t make their life experiences any less important. For example looking at the Lincolnshire and the Fens which had a very high Leave vote which is often blamed (by primarily comfortably off Remain voters) on them being uneducated racists.

    I don’t think this is the case though; these areas have seen very high rates of immigration over a short period of time and on top of this the ‘native’ and immigrant communities barely mix primarily due to the fact many don’t speak great levels of English and most aren’t there to settle down, build a family and become part of the community but instead to earn some money (seen as they can earn more here than in their native countries) and then to go back home. Totally understandably people who have seen the fragmentation of their community aren’t the biggest fans of immigration or of the EU especially when you consider that people who live in Boston or Wisbech don’t tend to be wealthy enough to take advantage of it themselves, spending a year in Amsterdam or Nice is a distant dream. On the other hand if integration had happened with the people from the EU settling down long term in these places and mixing with the native community a lot of the hostilities to immigration in these places would dissipate.

    I fundamentally believe most people are at their core good they just have different life experiences which leads them to different conclusions on what is best.

    ”This is the most valid reason for leaving, but the Uk is (or rather was) a massive player in the EU and of late quite a few countries were coming around to our position of wanting to resist ever further integration, and by leaving we have left these countries out in the cold just handed control over to France and Germany, two countries that do want an even closer union”

    I personally believe the time to stop it has long since passed, Lisbon was probably the golden opportunity but our government and indeed all governments across capitulated. Plus the European Parliament is packed full of extremists and yes I consider them extremists because they are pushing a political project contrary to the wishes of the vast majority of people across Europe and the way in which they’re doing it is… unaccountable… at best.

    The backlash against this is beginning though and unfortunately though entirely predictably it comes in the form of the xenophobic far right as well as anti-capitalist far left and these types of parties are poised to make big gains at the upcoming European Parliamentary elections. I don;t like to predict the future because I do have a record of being wrong but it’s hard to see how the EU doesn’t face some very difficult years ahead.

  2. I have much the same record PMT although I did always say that the Tories would win a majority in 2015 – when the opinion polls said otherwise, but most of my predictions end up pretty far off!

    But lets get back tyo the campaigners in the referendum

    It goes back to whilst it would be ludicrous that everyone who voted Brexit is a bigoted racist, every bigoted racist did vote for Brexit

    And look at their cheerleaders – NHS-hater Dan Hannan, far right leader Nick Griffin, the useless Chris Grayling, Aaron Banks who the less said about the better, Boris Johnson the biggest scumbag in British politics, Mad Nadine Dories, Chris Chope, the list goes on and on and on, and they are just the ones on the Right

    And yet 52% of the electorate backed these, let’s be honest, assholes, which I’m afraid says so much more about the type of people who voted for Brexit (not all, but most) than the merits of the aforementioned individuals because they don’t have many

    Surely PMT you can’t be too happy about finding common cause with such malign individuals?

  3. @Tim

    Sorry but that’s a totally ridiculous argument to make. Just because you happen to agree with someone on one issue doesn’t mean you agree with them on everything. There are numerous reasons why people voted Leave because of their various life experiences some of which I tried to lay out in the previous post which you didn’t reply to. There is an element of Leave voters that are deeply unpleasant but the same is true of Remain voters quite frankly.

    It is certainly not true that every bigot/extremist voted Leave. As I have said in previous posts where I used to live (Bristol West) mas an awful lot of young hard left wingers who believe in censorship, are ok with political violence, dislike free speech etc. and almost all voted Remain. On top of this antisemitism is the flavour of the month with these types of people too.

    Plus you will find significant amounts of bigotry in the ‘Guardianista’ middle classes and a fair number hold the white working class in total contempt. For example there was a well publicised example of these types of people attacking a British themed souvenir shop in Muswell Hill for example. These people are literally the walking definition of a bigot which is: ”a person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions”.

  4. You have some very pertinent points but fall into the trap that many of those on the Right do by assuming their political opponents share their prejudices – just in reverse

    I’m not particularly left-wing myself but most people who are are so because they want to help and look after the poor, not take the piss out of them.

    It’s those on the Tory Right who bang on about chav scum, overbreeding and make other such class based remarks

    There’s definitely an unmistakable element of snobbery amongst the Guarduanistas as you call them, but I think this pales into almost insignificance when compared to the all round bigotry on the hardline Right which holds no hostages (blacks, muslims, gays, jews, the disabled, council house tenants etc)

  5. ”You have some very pertinent points but fall into the trap that many of those on the Right do by assuming their political opponents share their prejudices – just in reverse

    I’m not particularly left-wing myself but most people who are are so because they want to help and look after the poor, not take the piss out of them.

    It’s those on the Tory Right who bang on about chav scum, overbreeding and make other such class based remarks”

    Huh I don’t mean to be rude but did you even read my post? You were insinuating that most Brexit voters i.e. most of the white working class are ignorant racists and I was defending them by saying there are very legitimate reasons why they are against things like large scale immigration. Poorer places often see the drawbacks of freedom of movement yet none of the benefits whilst those from comfortably off backgrounds (myself included) see mostly the benefits.

    I don’t doubt most on the left genuinely want to help the poor either but I was just using the example of the anti-white working class prejudices held by a minority to prove the point that some Remain voters are in fact massive bigots.

    Also my politics has moved towards the centre over the past few years though I would still class myself as right-of-centre probably a One-Nation-Tory if I had to label myself. I don’t think you can assume that people on the left are more virtuous than those on the right. There a quite frankly a minority of deeply unpleasant people on both sides but most people are genuinely good people that are just coming at an issue from different angles because of their varying environments, upbringing, life experience etc. The same is true of Remain-Leave though unfortunately in all cases the most unpleasant people tend to be the loudest.

    ”There’s definitely an unmistakable element of snobbery amongst the Guarduanistas as you call them, but I think this pales into almost insignificance when compared to the all round bigotry on the hardline Right which holds no hostages (blacks, muslims, gays, jews, the disabled, council house tenants etc)”

    Your comparing apples to pears. The right wing equivalent of ‘the Guardianistas’ is not the hard right (Tommy Robinson et al.) it’s probably middle class Daily Mail readers. Both sets of people are as a whole good people but there are undoubtedly a fair number of out and out bigots in both groups.

    If your comparing the far left to the far right then yes they are absolutely just as bad. The hard left tends to be defined by being anti-free speech, pro-political violence, fairly antisemitic, totally intolerant of any dissenting belief, want to confiscate private property etc. Ideas like open borders with an overly generous welfare system would cause chaos and total economic collapse though these people probably don’t care because it would be sticking it to the West.

  6. There’s very little to distinguish between the hard Right and hard Left

    There may very well e legitimate reasons against large scale immigration but study after study has shown that the UK has benefited from it – both socially and politically – and this idea that the Uk is a soft touch when ut comes to immigration is again a fictional narrative created by meglamaniac newspaper barons who are nationalistic about every issue except ownership of the press – and why wouldn’t they when people who don;t understand the issues (many of them their readers) believer them – just as they believed Boris Johnson when he said Brexit would result in all that money going to the NHS – and out and out lie

  7. Raab’s pitch to the nation, splashed on the front page of the Telegraph: “cut taxes for a fairer Britain”.

    For crying out loud, Raab. Even advocates of low taxation tend to highlight growth, rather than equality, as the main benefit.

  8. Dominic Raab has launched his leadership bid in the Mail on Sunday.

  9. Raab’s calls to prorogue parliament are deeply disturbing. Combined with his frightening slash-and-burn approach to the state, he’d be the west’s very own Pinochet.

  10. Monumentally stupid idea from Raab. As Betty Boothroyd said today, he wouldn’t last five minutes as PM if he attempted this. I notice even Andrea Leadsom dismissed the idea too.

  11. Dominic Raab has been eliminated from the leadership race.

  12. Raab has been appointed Foreign Secretary and First secretary of state (I.e Deputy Prime Minster.) He will seemingly stand in for Boris at PMQ.

  13. An unsurprisingly right wing, free market, pro Brexit Cabinet is shaping up.

    It will be interesting to hear HH’s thoughts if he ever posts on here again.

  14. In fact most Cabinet members voted Remain.

    I think ConHome has the tally at 14 Leavers.

    But it is interesting how a balanced Cabinet is so hated by the SNP, Sinn Fein etc already.

    Shaun Bennett on there posts how it is the best Cabinet in years.

  15. ‘In fact most Cabinet members voted Remain.’

    In fact most Tory MPs voted Remain – which a lot of people seem to have forgotten

    Politically the cabinet is quite balanced but with people like Rabb, Viliers, Williamson, Truss, Patel and the vile Cummings increasingly prominent, it’s hard to see it serving the country well

  16. It’s a mark of how far the Tories have moved even since 2016 that a nationally majority-remain cabinet can in practice be so Brexit-y.

  17. HH own mp Nicholas Soames is not at all happy with the government and didn’t sound impressed by many of the returning members.

  18. So What?

  19. Tim J – but that was in 2016 (that 185 Cons MPs voted Remain v 140 Leave).

    As Thrasher pointed out, 8 Remainers stood down, 24 then lost their seats (son of Gummer, the Bath bum pincher et al). Plus 6 who gained seats (Mansfield etc) are Leavers. Add on the DUP 10 and the Cabinet is still 60:40 Remain whereas Govt supporting MPs voted 50:50 and backbenchers 55% Leave.

    People same to hate Cummings because he’s the right’s equivalent of Ali C. Although Cummings is arguably more successful in winning elections (not expected to win).

  20. Ben Bradley is a releaver – he admits he voted remain in 2016.

  21. I wonder when we will get a polls of this seat.

  22. From memory, there was one earlier in the campaign which was something like Con 45 LD 36.

    It was also mentioned in a report by new pollster Datapraxis (using Yougov data/fieldwork), as part of an MRP model, which has been seen by insiders but isn’t in the public domain. Again, the readout was “Con lead, LDs a close second”, but they didn’t mention exact figures.

    Yougov are releasing their own model (using the same data but applying a different methodolgy) on Wednesday.

  23. Esher & Walton, constituency voting intention:
    Con: 46% (-13)
    Lib: 41% (+24)
    Lab: 9% (-11)

    via DeltapollUK
    21 – 26 Nov

    Changes with 2017.

  24. Can’t see the Liberal Democrats actually pulling this one off, but it must be a novel experience for the people living in this seat to have all this media focus.

  25. Same. I think the Lib Dems will come close but not take any scalps but Goldsmith.

  26. I only just spotted that Raab said to Crick (Mail interview a couple of days ago), “Just look at the postal vote” as to why he was confident.

    This certainly mirrors the few anecdotes I’ve heard in the North West and reminds me of the locals in that Tories are apparently overperforming in wwc areas but only performing as 2017 in their usual wards.

    It points to the continuation of the trend we’re all familiar with on here of a swing amongst C2DEs from Lab to Cons that has occurred since 2005. So that could throw up some interesting results eg Labour could hold Canterbury but lose Barrow, BA, Penistone, Blackpool x 2, Stoke x 2 or 3 etc.

  27. That would fit the you gov mrp.
    I wonder what the postal is here.

  28. In Penistone I was there today. High Green to be specific which is the Sheffield side of the constituency to bits of it are in Barnsley. Was good for us; vote holding up, some coming over, few leaving us. On postal votes those that have voted voted Labour

  29. Would be a pretty big upset if Lab held on in Penistone and Stocksbridge (the bookies have the Tories 1/4 to take the seat).

  30. Could be a big loss there and a narrow one in other seats nearby who might have been holds for Labour if resources are elsewhere.

  31. Datapraxis predicts Raab will hold on here by 6 points or so.



    Not only am I deeply frustrated by this decision, I am genuinely surprised. I’d seen a trickle of statements from the government’s outriders indicating that they had reconciled themselves to a delay – almost like they were trying to use those opinion formers to head off a backlash from the headbangers…

  33. Not a surprise. Even less so with Raab deputising and Priti doing the rounds (she was on This Morning today).

    I had thought Starmer would give Labour a slight boost, but it seems his Remainian Shadow Cabinet has managed to repel even more acc to the first couple of polls.

    But it’s not the best time for a new Opp Leader to be noticed, with these daily Govt press briefings. It was good to hear Blunkett saying they were a waste of time and Hancock was patronising. I can see him being moved aside after all of this.

  34. I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds the daily conferences a waste of time. They are at least serious and sombre though, unlike Trump’s daily batshit crazy rants (I suppose some find those entertaining in an odd kind of way).

    Not sure any Minister other than Rishi Sunak has impressed me frankly during this crisis. Raab is quite intelligent but so nervous, edgy and awkward. Hancock never quite gets the tone right, and Gove isn’t suited to this kind of crisis where empathy is required. No comment on Priti Patel.

  35. I think the daily press conferences were useful at the beginning of this crisis because (a) things were moving very fast and (b) they filled the role of government scrutiny when parliament was unable to sit. But the situation is a little more stable (it’s not *good* of course) and the “virtual parliament” has now been set up. I’m not sure it’s still worth having daily press conferences any more – I’m certainly not watching them.

  36. Just see Lancs describing Cummings as the right’s Alister Campbell. Were I Campbell I think I’d sue him for defamation

    Like most I’ve never held Campbell in particularly high regards – spin doctors aren’t hired for possessing such qualities- but to be fair he has more moral scruples in his little finger than Cummings does in whole body.

    Cummings is a genuinely evil man – something Nigel Farage seems to recognise. He dislikes him almost as much as I do

  37. I’m not a Tory by a long chalk but I question why he can be thought of as “genuinely evil”. Seems very OTT to me. Unless I’ve missed a few stories.

    Contrary to popular opinion Campbell is, & always was, approachable, personable & likeable* – and down to earth. I know this from personal experience & speaking to others who know him. This is evident imo from his media appearances.

    * and I say that as a Brexiteer!!

    OK Cummins helped get Brexit done but why Johnson has kepr him in at Number10 is a surprise to me. Imo this bromance will soon end.

  38. Evil is a question of moralnl relativism. The closest objective analogue to evil is probably sociopath, which has rigorous diagnostic criteria, and he fits those to a T.

  39. I guess TJ is referring to the ‘let’s consider herd immunity and if some pensioners died, so be it’ quote that’s been attributed to Cummins, which he has vigorously denied. I find it hard to believe tbh that he’s stupid or nasty enough to say this or come close to saying it starkly like that.

    As we’ve seen from the Corbyn assassination in the MSM, it’s extremely easy to misreport and exaggerate and for that then to be picked up and for it run and run and run…

  40. Spin doctors by their very nature tend to be a pretty odious bunch – it needs to be in their DNA to an extent

    Who can forget Damien Mcbride who wanted to spread false rumours about sexual liaisons between various Tory Mps, or Andy Coulsen, who ended up serving time for his misdeeds at the vile News of the World, but Cummings notches up the nastiness to a different level entirely

    He’s a shabbily-dressed and thoroughly sinister oddball without anything even resembling a moral compass and such people are inherently dangerous and totally unsuited to being in positions of power.

    As Polltroll says i think there’s no doubt that Cummings is a genuine sociopath and one fears what such a person in an alternative universe

  41. I think the weirdest thing about Cummings’ role in the discourse is the way that, even for those papers not on board with his agenda, the focus is always on his supposed genius, rather than the merits or otherwise of the goals in pursuit of which he is applying that genius.

    So you end up with stuff like this:

  42. Tim – Ali C has moral scruples?!

    He couldn’t even bring himself to welcome the Boris baby and in fact stated that he shouldn’t be entitled to paternity leave that his old boss proposed.

    Deepthroat – he can be but I’d say the exact opposite particularly re his recent media appearances ie from home. Merely rants to get publicity; but, then even Barrymore was just on ITV so they really are scraping the barrel now.

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