2015 Result:
Conservative: 17879 (33.1%)
Labour: 25062 (46.4%)
Lib Dem: 2321 (4.3%)
Green: 3491 (6.5%)
UKIP: 5075 (9.4%)
TUSC: 190 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 7183 (13.3%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

Geography: South West, Devon. Most of the Exeter council area.

Main population centres:

Profile: Covers all but the south-eastern part of the city of Exeter. Exeter is the county town of Devon and headquarters for Devon county council, an affluent city that is a service, administrative and retail centre for much of Devon. The seat contains the University of Exeter and, since 2004, the Met Office weather forecasting headquarters. Along with the county council offices, they are the three largest employers in the city.

Politics: Exeter is a rare example of a Labour constituency in the South-West, one of just four in what is mainly a battleground between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Unlike the other three Labour seats in the region Exeter does not have a strong history of Labour representation - prior to 1997 it had only ever been won once by Labour, by Gwyneth Dunwoody in their 1966 landslide. Ben Bradshaw`s 1997 victory came after a particularly bitter campaign against the Conservative candidate Adrian Rogers who was the head of the Conservative Family Institute and a vocal critic of homosexuality. Bradshaw has retained the seat ever since.

Current MP
BEN BRADSHAW (Labour) Born 1960, London. Educated at Thorpe St Andrew High School and Sussex University. Former BBC journalist. First elected as MP for Exeter in 1997. PPS to John Denham 2000-2001. Parliamentary under-secretary at the Foriegn office 2001-2002, Deputy leader of the House 2002-2003, Under-secretary of state for environment 2003-2006, Minister of State for the environment 2006-2007, for Health 2007-2009. Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 2009-2010.
Past Results
Con: 17221 (33%)
Lab: 19942 (38%)
LDem: 10581 (20%)
UKIP: 1930 (4%)
Oth: 2573 (5%)
MAJ: 2721 (5%)
Con: 14954 (27%)
Lab: 22619 (41%)
LDem: 11340 (21%)
GRN: 1896 (3%)
Oth: 4259 (8%)
MAJ: 7665 (14%)
Con: 14435 (27%)
Lab: 26194 (50%)
LDem: 6512 (12%)
GRN: 1240 (2%)
Oth: 4235 (8%)
MAJ: 11759 (22%)
Con: 17693 (29%)
Lab: 29398 (48%)
LDem: 11148 (18%)
Oth: 3625 (6%)
MAJ: 11705 (19%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
DOMINIC MORRIS (Conservative) Educated at Birmingham University. Stabilisation and Governance Consultant.
BEN BRADSHAW (Labour) See above.
JOEL MASON (Liberal Democrat)
KEITH CRAWFORD (UKIP) Property developer and former soldier. Contested Exeter 2010, South West region 2014 European election.
Comments - 202 Responses on “Exeter”
  1. Van Fleet – I think the local election results are exactly the kind of thing that should be on this site. It’s interesting for occasional non-experts like me, and I would imagine it’s even more so for the regular contributors who can genuinely interpret the results by ward (Pete, HH, JJB, Barnaby etc.)

    Re the comments policy – it’s obviously Anthony’s site and it’s perfectly fair for him to set a non-partisan policy, and clearly there are some non-partisan factors in specific constituencies. But in general I think it’s difficult to avoid some degree of political debate when discussing the over-arching themes that will decide the next election.

  2. ”Van Fleet – I think the local election results are exactly the kind of thing that should be on this site. It’s interesting for occasional non-experts like me, and I would imagine it’s even more so for the regular contributors who can genuinely interpret the results by ward (Pete, HH, JJB, Barnaby etc.)”

    Chris that is a good point but I genuinely feel that everyone who posts on here seriously has something to contribute- Just because someone isn’t an expert sociologist as well as psephologist does not mean their opinions shouldn’t count I believe- While Mr. Whitehead, Mr. Broughton and Mr. Marder as well as Hemmelig have all contributed to this site brilliantly, I feel as though you’re giving the impression that there aren’t other posters on here capable of ward-by-ward analysis- I could do some, albeit it would only be for two areas, but I’m just saying.

  3. Fair point – everyone’s entitled to contribute, and in general debate terms everyone’s entitled to a point of view.

    But in terms of strict psephology, if you/I produce ward results we’re simply regurgitating publically available information. The four mentioned above, and Van Fleet and a few of the others, actually follow the stuff out of long-term interest and instinctively can interpret the results and their likely meaning.

    There is a difference, and it’s a compliment to those
    individuals rather than a criticism of you, me or any of the other occasional non-expert contributors.

  4. You are as you say Chris K an occasional contributor- I post here quite a lot as you know, but I will gladly admit to not having the in depth knowledge of a wide range of places that the aforementioned lot do. I just hope that the views of posters who don’t quite possess the psephological nous of the Elite on here aren’t disregarded, and that no single poster on here gets treated any differently to another- I think that’s important.

  5. ‘While Mr. Whitehead, Mr. Broughton and Mr. Marder as well as Hemmelig have all contributed to this site brilliantly’

    There’s no doubting the contribution of Messers Whitehead, Marder and Hemmelig, but i would in include Mr Broughton as an expert on constituency matters – and i’m sure he wouldn’t himself

    He’s too loyal to one party for a start – and makes predictions (laughing at a contrubutor for suggesting Respect might win the Bradford West by-election) that turn out to be waaay out

    I’,m not trying to have a ‘pop’ at all. He obviously knows his stuff – but not to the extent of the other three, as I’m sure he would concede

  6. The Results – fair enough. Although it is possible to be both conservative and socialist such as Frank Field and I was merely going from what you had posted on a couple of seats in the past. The only 20-year-old politico on Merseyside is the famous Cllr Jake Morrison, but as I promised no more guesses I won’t try to ‘out’ you. As others have said, some past seat results were interesting and we weren’t trying to administer who posts. That’s Anthony’s role and he’s unlikely to ban any except blatant frauds or abuse as happened on Wirral West on the old site.

  7. I don’t mind people posting aggregate totals but I’ve largely memorised 2010-2013 local election results in Con held Con/Lab marginals and LD held LD/Con seats anyway and I am relatively confident about predicting that the national result in 2015 will be roughly Lab about 10-15 seats short of an overall majority and LDs on about 35 seats.

    I’m generally more interested in current discussion and local election and local by election results but the very occasional closer look post for older pre 1997 results it fine as long as it has added commentary and is trying to make an interesting point about something.

    I’m not out to convert anyone to my way of thinking though (I tend to think a similar psephological way to Peter Kellner and Barnaby) and debate is welcome.

    I personally think a Labour minority gvt is at least marginally more likely than a Lab-LD coalition if Lab falls short nationally in 2015.

    This is my 2015 forecast for Exeter anyway (at least for now)

    Lab 43
    Con 29
    LD 12
    UKIP 10
    Others 6

  8. Well I know you are a journalist so I can naturally see why you might keen to out me in the hope I was someone prominent, but I can assure you, I am not.

  9. I don’t want to ‘out’ TR at all and trust what he says – but interestingly I’d had the same thought as Lancs Observer and did briefly look up Jake Morrison yesterday evening to see if he lived in Bootle.

    I couldn’t confirm this however – I could only find out that JM grew up in Walton. Therefore I suspect TR isn’t him and, even if he is, his secret is safe 🙂

  10. For crying out loud, I am not Jake Morrison. Why doesn’t anyone believe me?

  11. I think all of the people here make interesting posts – I’m not an expert like Pete, Barnaby, Andy, and probably Van Fleet
    and some others.

    I have got a bit lazy perhaps – I used to add up ward results but quickly found out someone else would have done it more efficiently.

    I like going through ward results against maps,
    and there are some places I probably know as well
    as the others
    but not almost the whole country like they do.

  12. Current Prediction:
    LAB 42
    CON 28
    LD 15
    UKIP 8
    GRN 4

  13. JJB (or any others) – I was very much a casual psephologist until quite recently when I started to take a greater interest in the minutiae of elections. I would love to wade through details of ward results etc….do you (anyone?) know where such data exists – for free – on the www? Thanks in advance.

  14. I agree with Pete about the aggregate results for constituencies. It’s a valuable service and takes a lot more working out than the result of a parliamentary election, of course.
    I’m flattered by some of the comments about me. I think Pete knows the greatest detail of the regular contributors but David Boothroyd who is only an occasional contributor these days really knows his stuff too. I am rather blessed by a photographic memory – this can also help when playing piano works, which I tend to do from memory – and this can sometimes give the impression that I am an expert. But others will know far more about certain constituencies than I do. Nevertheless if you asked me to state from memory what are the main 2-4 towns/areas of population in any given constituency, there wouldn’t be many I wouldn’t know.


    I put the division by division details of this year’s local elections online at this address:


  16. Also, one of the best online resources for local election results is Andrew Teale’s website:


  17. Great stuff Andy 🙂

  18. I was thinking more in terms of GE ward counts though..if such a database exists..

  19. No such thing exists because general elections are not counted that way.

    The votes from different wards have to be mixed together by law, so that no-one can ever know how a particular ward voted.

    All that exists are estimates made using local election results.

  20. I’ve done estimates myself for several counties in the Midlands with advice on how to do it from Pete W.

  21. Does anyone know where a comprehensive set of results for the 1989 county council elections could be found?

  22. There is a book where that exists, and for 1993. It’s oblong shaped. Some lg organisation iirc. I will try to find out

  23. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Local-Elections-Handbook-Colin-Rallings/dp/0948858087

    Its out of print though and difficult to get hold of a copy. The British LIbrary hold a copy if you have access to their inter-library lending service

  24. Thanks Pete

  25. I’m a bit disappointed that Rallings and Thrasher haven’t made all of their election result books available online.

    Maybe they still make a lot of money out of selling the books for inflated prices.

  26. God has not been smiling on me since I was rude to The Results on this thread on Sunday….maybe it was a judgement on me 🙂

    I think yesterday was the worst day of my entire 37 years on this planet.

    We were moving house and Halifax forgot to transfer our mortgage funds to the people we were buying our new house from…..we were left with just seven minutes to the absolute completion deadline, after which we would have defaulted on our purchase, left with nowhere to live as we had completed the sale of our old house earlier in the day, and been sued on our new house for breach of contract!

    And then when we finally opened the door of our new build house we found the developers had forgotten to carpet anything….the entire house was just dusty floorboards so we couldn’t bring any furniture in. I might be a bit busy to post very often on here for a few weeks.

    I didn’t realise The Results was only 20 and now I know that I feel I was perhaps a bit hard on him….I’m glad he’s taken our advice about the closer looks. It was not my intention to imply that he wasn’t welcome posting here.

  27. HH that sounds like an absolute nightmare – my bank nearly messed up when I was moving although catastrophe was a little further than seven minutes away on that occasion.

    I hope everything improves, and that the developers get an earful from you and rectify their error asap.

  28. @HHemmelig
    I am very sorry to hear about your problems yesterday.

    I hope you realise that being horrible to people on here isn’t going to do you any favours, however.

  29. ‘I hope you realise that being horrible to people on here isn’t going to do you any favours, however.’

    That’s a bit OTT isn’t it!!!

    H Hemelig is certainly capable of being a bit rude (as we all are) but the likes of Pete Whitehead and Shaun Bennett (the latter of whom doesn’t post here too often any more, much regrettably I hasten to add) are far ruder

    If you don’t like being bitten, bite back would be my advice!

    In fairness, I have to say i too thought you were considerably older than 20

  30. “If you don’t like being bitten, bite back would be my advice!”

    Actually, please don’t take that advice. Be polite to each other and ignore people who behave like idiots is far better advice. Biting back does carry a risk of getting yourself moderated.

  31. Thanks for being so gracious The Results 🙂

  32. “In fairness, I have to say i too thought you were considerably older than 20”

    And one reason for all of us making such a mistake is comments such as “I hope you realise that being horrible to people on here isn’t going to do you any favours, however.”

    It reads like I’m being ticked off by a grumpy old man the same age as Victor Meldrew, not a mere callow youth of 20!!

    Anyway, happy as I am to have provoked such a spirited debate the past couple of days, let’s call it a day on this one.

  33. I am of course very sorry about what has hapened to you recently- I don’t think you deserved it at all and in actual fact I wouldn’t wash this on anyone to be honest. I like you Hemmelig don’t get me wrong but I just think that all you said to me the other day was uncalled for, and you have slated me constantly and slagged me off repeatedly too many times to mention that I am afraid I lost it earlier on because it made me think of all the negative comments you have made on here in response to me- why do you insist on hiding behind anonymity in order to personally insult other posters like me?

  34. I have given enough information on here over the years for people to easily find out my name if they want to. Not just details of an election I stood in, but info about my profession and family. I don’t object to people knowing my name on here, in fact very occasionally I have posted under my own name.

    What I do not like is that commenting here makes your name google searchable. If people google search me I want it to throw up results from my business activities, not a trawl of all my comments on blogs like this. Also you never know whether a customer will take exception to something you have written on a political blog.

  35. I’ve got nothing against you personally Hemmelig, I just wanted to make that clear.

  36. Easy hold for Bradshaw. I predict:-

    Labour:- 46%
    Conservative: 29%
    Liberal Democrat: 12%
    UKIP: 8%
    Others: 5%

  37. Ben Bradshaw did well to hold this in 2010. Has he got a personal vote there, or has Exeter gradually trended Labour’s way? One of the two could explain how they held this in the face of a terrible performance in the south west.

  38. This was a relatively good Labour result in 2010, but it was in fact a pretty good Tory increase aswell.

  39. As Neil should know, the boundary change was particularly favourable to Labour here. That being said, the party has clearly strengthened over time in Exeter too. What influence the university has had isn’t easy to say, but perhaps simply Labour underperformed here for a long time (even in 1945 the party fell well short of winning the seat). A visit to Exeter reveals a city which looks pretty plausible for the most part in terms of a Labour seat.

  40. Will be interesting if the lib dem vote now collapses. I think in 2011 it was all labour and tory councillors elected.

  41. The ‘continuity’ Liberal party still has some presence in Exeter I think.

  42. All I know about the continuing Liberals and the continuing continuing SDP is that they’re both Eurosceptic now while Labour are pro-European. Funny how things turn out.

  43. prediction for 2015-

    Lab- 39%
    Con- 30%
    UKIP- 15%
    LD- 7%
    Liberal- 4%
    Green- 4%

  44. The Local Government Boundary Commission are reviewing the ward boundaries for Exeter City Council. There has been an enormous fall in the registered electorate in Duryard ward presumably as a result of the change to a system of individual electoral registration so that universities do not register students to vote in student halls of residence/flats on campus. This ward looks set to lose once Councillor in the review as a result of the lowered electorate and therefore has the potential to affect the Council make up.

    More widely this will also affect the General Election result in many university towns and cities where large numbers of students will not be registered to vote. Be prepared for some surprises on election night in student heavy constituencies!

  45. Stopping students voting twice as many have done in the recent past seems very good.

  46. I’ve wondered about that, but I’ve also wondered in the context of second home owners too.

  47. The negative impact of IER may be less than you think in particular seats as some Univrersities, notably Sheffield University and Manchester Metropolitan University, have linked their electronic enrollment systems to the compilation of the voters roll. Early indications suggest this has been a successful way to reduce the impact of the change in registration.

    Whether Exeter Uni has done this I cannot find out – S Hallam University haven’t & neither has Bristol University. which uni has or hasnt is difficult to ascertain.

    Will the IER result in a much lower electorate? This is something that must be worrying Labour.

  48. The Lancaster University campus currently has 22 registered voters out of 6500 students. What’s incredibly bad about this is that the University campus is its own ward. Lancaster University Labour club and their PPC Cat Smith are working on it, and I understand the city council are too, but still.

  49. Even under the new IER, the process/system allows for the ERO to simply transfer all voters registered on the last two years electoral roll to the curent ER.

    It would then be a case of matching them up to NI number/tax details which is quite a simple straightforward process.

    i cannot therefore understand the figures you have quoted:
    “… Lancaster University campus currently has 22 registered voters out of 6500 students…”

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