2015 Result:
Conservative: 17321 (36.1%)
Labour: 20307 (42.3%)
Lib Dem: 1906 (4%)
Green: 1534 (3.2%)
UKIP: 6930 (14.4%)
MAJORITY: 2986 (6.2%)

Category: Semi-marginal Labour seat

Geography: East Midlands, Nottinghamshire. Most of the Gedling council area.

Main population centres: Carlton, Arnold, Burton Joyce.

Profile: The city of Nottingham has administrative boundaries drawn very tightly around the centre of the city, meaning that residential areas that are essentially the outer suburbs of Nottingham end up in neighbouring authorities like Broxtowe, Rushcliffe and here in Gedling. This is a comparatively affluent and middle class residential seat, with a high proportion of owner-occupiers. As well as Arnold and Carlton, both very much part of the Nottingham conurbation, it also includes the village of Burton Joyce to the east of the city.

Politics: Gedling and its predecessor Carlton both used to be regarded as safe Conservative seats. In 1992 the Tory MP here, Andrew Mitchell, enjoyed a majority of almost 19%. It fell to Labour on a thirteen percent swing in 1997 and, unlike many other suburban seats that returned to the Conservative fold in 2010 it has remained in Labour`s hands. Andrew Mitchell himself did not seek re-election here and instead ended up as MP for the genuinely safe Tory berth of Sutton Coldfield.

Current MP
VERNON COAKER (Labour) Born 1953, Westminster. Educated at Drayton Manor Grammar School and Warwick University. Former teacher. Contested Rushcliffe 1983, Gedling 1987, 1992. First elected as MP for Gedling in 1997. Government whip 2003-2008, Minister of State at the Home Office 2008-2009, Minister of State for Schools and Learning 2009-2010. Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary 2011-2013, Shadow Defence Secretary 2013-2015. Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary since 2015.
Past Results
Con: 17962 (37%)
Lab: 19821 (41%)
LDem: 7350 (15%)
BNP: 1598 (3%)
Oth: 1459 (3%)
MAJ: 1859 (4%)
Con: 16518 (37%)
Lab: 20329 (46%)
LDem: 6070 (14%)
UKIP: 741 (2%)
Oth: 411 (1%)
MAJ: 3811 (9%)
Con: 16785 (38%)
Lab: 22383 (51%)
LDem: 4648 (11%)
MAJ: 5598 (13%)
Con: 20588 (39%)
Lab: 24390 (47%)
LDem: 5180 (10%)
MAJ: 3802 (7%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
CAROLYN ABBOTT (Conservative) Educated at Lancaster University. Director of a family ironworking business. Contested Sheffield Heeley 2001, Barnsley East and Mexborough 2005, Chesterfield 2010, Yorkshire and Humber region 2014 European elections.
VERNON COAKER (Labour) See above.
ROBERT SWIFT (Liberal Democrat)
LEE WATERS (UKIP) Educated at Hertfordshire University.
Comments - 93 Responses on “Gedling”
  1. The boundary commission wanted to put a lot of this seat into a new Nottingham East constituency.

  2. I reckon there are probably some seats the Lib Dems will work hopelessly out of a lack of any nearby marginals or defences. Maybe in Scotland or the NE.

  3. 15% in 2010 is likely to be the Lib Dems’ best performance here. I think they’ll keep their deposit next year but will certainly fall back. This is a clear Labour/Tory one.

  4. Andy JS- yes, to the extent that the proposed Nottingham East would have included more voters from Gedling than from the current Nottingham East division. The proposed constituency would have been labour by about 5500 in 2010. The generally Torier bits of the current Gedling were to have gone into an expanded Sherwood with Bonnington and Daybrook going into ‘Nottingham North and Hucknall’.

  5. 2015 fairly likely

    * Lab 48% +7%
    Con 34% -3%
    LD 9% -6%
    UKIP 8% +5%

    C to Lab swing 5%

    I don’t expect a good C result here but a better one than this is possible.

  6. Predictions for 2015-

    lab- 40%
    con- 35%
    UKIP- 22%
    Lib- 12%
    BNP- 1%

    Personally it seems that the labour vote will fall before the 2015 election but the tories will be damaged by UKIP more than labour so will keep this seat. The liberal democrat vote will also be badly damaged and more of them will migrate to labour than to the conservatives and more to the conservatives than to UKIP. The failings of the BNP will also help out UKIP.

  7. I think Labour will pull further ahead than that, although your predictions are welcome.

  8. It’s a bit of a strange seat this is…

    I say that because the results since 2001 have proven that there is clearly pro-Labour trends underway here. In 2001, Vernon Coaker increased his vote share by 4.3%, to 51.1%, and his majority went up from 3, 802 to 5, 598, and the Conservatives went down 1.2%. That may have been a combination of Vernon Coaker’s incumbency factor as well as the change in Labour’s favour I think. So in actual fact although the fairly standard drop of 5% for Labour here in 2005 looked normal enough compared to what was happening nationally, it was actually a good result for VC as he stayed above 1997 with his majority, due to a further fall in the Conservative vote. And his impressive result last time, restricting the swing right down to 2.9%, may well be further confirmation that the Tories may struggle to win this back.

  9. I don’t think Robbie’s even close. This seat is trending to Labour very rapidly as local election results show. If there’s any Con-Lab national swing I’m quite sure it will be higher here than average. I think Labour will win by a lot more than 5% – I’d say at least 10%, quite likely more. 15% is not at all unlikely in fact.

  10. Very much agree with Barnaby.

    Demographically, Gedling is moving away from the Tories. Part of it is public sector related- 31.8% of working age residents were state employees in 2011- which is noticeably above average if not to the same extent as somewhere like Wirral West. More than that, I don’t think the area is as desirable as it once was. H Hemmelig has talked about that. It’s quite striking that the highest social groups aren’t all that well represented here these days. There are only slightly above average numbers of managers, professionals and administrators. Perhaps such people are likely to live deeper into Nottinghamshire these days, in Newark for instance or the rural bits of Rushcliffe.

  11. I agree with Tory and Barnaby. I think it is the eastern side which has changed the most but I am not up to date. Labour will probably double their lead here even if the Tories can stay abouy 7pc ahead overall and it would be about 15-17pc if Lab are ahead. Very difficult to win back unfortunately for the Cons.

  12. The best chance the Tories had of winning back Gedling was in 2010. We couldn’t do it then so I am pretty sure that there is little chance of us winning it next year.

    This is much safer for Labour than it looks on paper.

  13. Coaker seems quite well entrenched aswell.

  14. Agreed – in a sort of ‘Offord in Eltham’ way.

    Without Coaker the seat may become every so slightly more winnable for the Tories but that’s not saying much.

  15. Vernon Coaker also has a personal vote, as alluded to above by LBernard.

    Outside of London, there don’t seem to be that many Labour MPs whose own presence as MP is largely attributable to their party’s continued hold of a seat, such as Clive Efford in Etham as mentioned, or Stephen Pound in Ealing North.

  16. A significant factor in Nottingham – similar to Sheffield – has been the collapse of the city’s traditional major private sector employers in the past 20/30 years.

    A large percentage of people in Nottingham worked at the city’s “big three” companies – Raleigh (bikes), John Player (cigarettes) or Boots the chemist. The first two are entirely gone now, the latter also heavily downsized in Nottingham with headquarters also now offshored to a tax haven. These companies would have had thousands of well paid middle managers, many of whom would have had a nice semi somewhere like Gedling and voted Tory. Now these jobs don’t exist, the people who had them have retired and moved elsewhere, to be replaced by Labour voting teachers or university lecturers.

    It is a very similar story in Sheffield with the steel industry, which from some personal knowledge has had a similar impact on the nicer side of the city, especially in Hallam.

    Note that nearby Derby has kept much of its private sector employment base (Rolls Royce, Toyota, Bombardier) and the suburbs surrounding the city have consequently not seen the swing against the Tories that Gedling and Broxtowe have.

  17. Very interesting points, HH, I’d never thought of such trends in Nottingham that way before but it makes lots of sense.

    I walked across town into Carlton (in the constituency) yesterday as a matter of fact, and it is certainly looking like the more tired, faded edge-of-conurbation territory which once would’ve been lower middle-class/aspirational working-class Tory heartland but is now very much more like an inner suburb of Nottingham in character (and psephology). Still seems strange to think that Andrew Mitchell was MP here for a time.

  18. Interesting that in 1983 and 1987 the Tory share in Gedling was slightly higher than Broxtowe. I think Broxtowe has always been wealthier than Gedling, so that shows how well the Tories were doing with lower-middle class voters in the 1980s. Now the Tories do better in Broxtowe, the more prosperous constituency of the two.

  19. * Coaker (Lab) 26,000
    Con 16,900
    Lib 3,500
    UKIP 2,400

    Lab Maj 9,100

  20. Carolyn Abbott will wear the blue rosette.

  21. By which I presume you mean she’ll be the Tory PPC, not that she’ll come first 😉

  22. ‘By which I presume you mean she’ll be the Tory PPC, not that she’ll come first”

    LOL maybe she’ll wear the yellow rosette, or maybe even a green or orange one.

  23. In all seriousness Carolyn Abbott has indeed been selected here for the Conservatives.

  24. @Neil and JJB: I’m not surprised if Vernon Coaker has a personal vote. When I worked at the Home Office, he was a Minister there and a very popular one too. He was particularly appreciative of some briefing I gave him (well, my contribution to a team effort) for an Adjournment Debate. Ironically, his opponent that evening was Justine Greening, MP for my neighbouring constituency of Putney (Battersea is my home seat). It felt quite odd to ring my own local council to ask for examples of initiatives against youth crime.

    To continue the irony, within three years I was attending receptions to thank activists for their role in campaigning in 2010, at which Ms Greening was present (I left the Home Office in 2009 and no longer had to keep my allegiances to myself). I must say, though, that I did work under a number of excellent, and not at all partisan Labour Ministers in my time there – Paul Goggins, Baroness Scotland and Vernon Coaker, for example, and colleagues were very complimentary about Hilary Benn.

  25. Labour Hold. 4,000 majority.

  26. Shawn Bennett I wouldn’t be surprised if the Labour majority is higher than that by a fair bit. Coaker is one of the most likeable Labour MPs (in my opinion) and I imagine has a rather substantial personal vote, plus this seat is trending away from the Tories. Thus I expect an above average swing here.

  27. Jeremy Vine projecting this as a possible Tory GAIN!! I also noticed Nottingham South, NE Derbyshire and Derby North although these would be very very knife edge results so could be Labour holds.

    But the fact these seats are even being talked of as under threat/possibly in the blue column is mind blowing.

  28. How was this projected as a Tory gain earlier last night? Coker ended up with a small increase in his majority.

  29. *Coaker

  30. “Note that nearby Derby has kept much of its private sector employment base (Rolls Royce, Toyota, Bombardier) and the suburbs surrounding the city have consequently not seen the swing against the Tories that Gedling and Broxtowe have.”

    Interesting divergence of results this year between Broxtowe and Gedling.

    Not only in the general election but also locally where Broxtowe council went Conservative for the first time since I expect 1991.

    Perhaps the close proximity of the M1 helps the Conservatives in Broxtowe in providing good communications for private sector workers.

    Within Gedling borough the divergence between the Gedling constituency wards and the Sherwood constituency wards continues.

    By a quick look (made difficult because of new ward boundaries) it looks like:

    Gedling constituency
    Lab 24
    LibDem 1

    Sherwood constituency
    Con 8
    Lab 1

    The Conservatives gaining all three councillors off Labour in Calverton and one in Bestwood.

  31. Vernon Coaker now gone.

  32. Remain polled really poorly in the East Midlands. They were odd’s on to win Nottingham, Broxtowe and Gedling. They only did marginally better in other middle class areas, winning in Rushcliffe and coming close in Harborough and Rutland

    They only won multicultural Leicester by a handful of votes

  33. ‘Got utterly trounced in Northamptonshire as I predicted’

    I think that was always on the cards

    Northamptonshire is represented by some of the most Eurosceptic MPs in the British Parliament, all of whom have polled very well in the last couple of elections

  34. Going to be a narrow tory gain here I suspect.Local election results were quite good for Labour but the Majority is so small an Labour hold just seems unlikely.

  35. Tories ahead by 1220 in local election results in Gedling district. Significant UKIP vote remains to be absorbed.

  36. Some of the Gedling wards are in Sherwood constituency though.
    There’s a degree of district ward splitting between the new county divisions, so I would bow to some with more local knowledge than me to get a picture of the likely tally in Gedling constituency area this Thursday

  37. I think this seat is getting gradually worse for the Tories in a long term sense although quite slowly and could be bucked this time.
    Coaker may hold on though by 1,000.

  38. Labour hold with a net gain. I suspect this has been in line with the constituency (and I know some of the wards fall into the Sherwood seat) trending the party’s way and bucking the regional trend.

  39. Same with High Peak which Labour gained.

  40. Another constituency poll:

    LAB: 42% (-10) CON: 37% (-6)
    BREX: 13% (+13) LDEM: 6% (+4) GRN: 1%
    via @Survation, 04 Nov. Chgs. w/ GE2017 result.

    FYI- Electoral Calculus have this down as a Tory gain.

  41. Even if the Tories gain I think it will be fairly narrow.

  42. Vernon Coaker has been appointed to the House of Lords.

    If you got wound up about Zac Goldsmith you should be equally frustrated with this. Voters should be able to say no to their elected representatives.

  43. The only thing they share is that they lost their seats at the general election. The galling thing about Goldsmith was that there was almost no gap between his loss and appointment to the Lords. Coaker has had over a year out of parliament since he lost his seat.

    On the principle, I agree with you, and I only hope the next Labour government (whenever that happens) gets serious about Lords reform.

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