2015 Result:
Conservative: 23827 (45.3%)
Labour: 16586 (31.6%)
Lib Dem: 2828 (5.4%)
Green: 1485 (2.8%)
UKIP: 7497 (14.3%)
TUSC: 115 (0.2%)
Loony: 227 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 7241 (13.8%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: South West, Gloucestershire.

Main population centres:



Current MP
RICHARD GRAHAM (Conservative) Born 1958. Educated at Eton and Oxford University. Former airline manager, diplomat and merchant banker. Cotswold councillor 2003-07. Contested South West region in European 2004 elections. First elected as MP for Gloucester in 2010. PPS to Lord Howell of Guildford 2010-12, PPS to Hugo Swire 2012-2014.
Past Results
Con: 20267 (40%)
Lab: 17847 (35%)
LDem: 9767 (19%)
UKIP: 1808 (4%)
Oth: 1075 (2%)
MAJ: 2420 (5%)
Con: 18867 (36%)
Lab: 23138 (45%)
LDem: 7825 (15%)
UKIP: 1116 (2%)
Oth: 857 (2%)
MAJ: 4271 (8%)
Con: 18187 (38%)
Lab: 22067 (46%)
LDem: 6875 (14%)
UKIP: 822 (2%)
Oth: 272 (1%)
MAJ: 3880 (8%)
Con: 20684 (36%)
Lab: 28943 (50%)
LDem: 6069 (10%)
Oth: 736 (1%)
MAJ: 8259 (14%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
RICHARD GRAHAM (Conservative) See above.
SOPHY GARDNER (Labour) Educated at Putney High School and Cambridge University. Director of a communications business and former RAF officer.
JEREMY HILTON (Liberal Democrat) Born 1955, Gloucester. Educated at Longlevens Secondary. Local government consultant. Gloucester and Gloucestershire councillor. Contested Gloucester 1987, 2005, 2010.
RICHARD FORD (UKIP) Educated at Durham University. Businessman, formerly ran collapsed travel company Travelscope.
GEORGE RIDGEON (Loony) Retired firefighter.
Comments - 144 Responses on “Gloucester”
  1. Apologies – our site doesn’t make it easy at the moment, I know. Usually the search function on the site does work, but this link should do it, if you are using a desktop.

  2. ‘Excellent odds on the tories.’

    That’s true in a lot of seats that the ‘experts’ on here are predicting will be Tory holds

    The bookies don’t usually get these things wrong but the odds quoted by Shadsy seems very generous indeed

  3. Thanks Shadsy

  4. The odds are now, labour 4/7, conservative 5/4…still think there is value on the tories at these prices.

    My general observation which no one on this site has addressed is, why are ladbrokes and one or two others pricing so aggressively against Tories winning marginals. Either they think the tories will do badly with good cause, or they are totally wrong.

    A world in which labour are 1/5 to win Lincoln, 1/3 to win Hastings, 1/5 to win Plymouth Sutton is, frankly, not a world in which the tories, according to these odds, have much of a chance of becoming the largest party.

    The odds quoted in the LD/Con marginals bear this out. In the vast majority of these the bookies have the LDs as slight favourites to win: Eastleigh, Carshalton…if this pricing in anyway reflects what will happen, the tories will be in opposition in just over 13 months.

  5. The main subjective assumption built into these seat prices is that the Tories and Labour will poll an equal national vote share in 2015. (Plus all of the massive assumptions built into UNS).

    Stick that into a simple formula, add on the bookies overround, and you get, for a seat with a 4.8% majority like this one;
    1/2 Lab
    6/4 Cons

    When I first put these odds up, I didn’t think there was anything distinctive enough about this seat to adjust, so those were the opening prices. Subsequently a few people who I respect backed the Tories, so their price shortened.

    At the moment, anyone who thinks the Tories will do significantly better than level pegging nationally is going to find a lot of value on the seat prices.

  6. That explains a lot, but there seems to some variation. Plymouth Sutton and Lincoln are priced at 1/5 labour to win, but considerably more marginal seats like Hendon are priced at 1/2. i think the idea that both parties get the same amount of votes give or take a few hundred thousand (1% or so)makes sense.

  7. If Labour cannot win Gloucester back – all they need is a swing of 2.4% – then they are in big trouble indeed.

  8. Dr J.,

    Again, not sure I agree. there’s plenty of much lower hanging fruit than this for labour. there will be lots of regional variation in terms of swing, so a 4.8% con majority over labour in the northwest and midlands is a very different proposition from the same majority in the south east, or in the west…I think Tory seats with bigger majorities are more vulnerable to labour than this one.

    I think Gloucester is 40 or so on labour’s target list, but i can see the reds getting about 60 seats before they win here… cannock chase, erewash, wirral west are more vulnerable to labour, even though they have bigger majorities than this seat.

  9. Totally agree. Labour can lose here & form a majority. I do think however that if Labour is in majority territory the Tories would only make it in Gloucester by an absolute whisker if at all.

  10. This is a seat that’s hard to picture falling – from either side – then it does.

  11. I do accept that this seat remained elusive for Labour right through for many years until 1997, although they had a curiously good result here in 2005. However, I do maintain that this kind of seat has to be won by Labour if they are going to make real progress next time. Perhaps they won’t.

  12. I think labour will make more than 40 gains – this not being one of them.

  13. think you’re on the money, joe… my range for labour is 300 to 330 at the next GE. I tend to think they’ll hit the lower end of that range, say 300 to 310, which means a gain of about 40-50 seats. The reds will hit 330, if UKIP outperform, or if the government has a bad last few months. Can’t see labour above 330.

  14. About this seat in particular- i think a Blair would win gloucester, but i think the current labour party could even win a national majority without winning here. I can even see the reds picking up stourbridge, dudley south and rossendale and darwen without winning gloucester.

  15. Gloucester popular vote:

    Con 11,889 (37.40%)
    Lab 8,110 (25.51%)
    LD 5,800 (18.24%)
    UKIP 4,898 (15.41%)
    Green 963 (3.03%)
    TUSC 133 (0.42%)

    Changes since 2010 locals:

    Con -1.35%
    Lab -1.47%
    LD -12.54%
    UKIP +13.60%
    Green +1.58%

    Swing, Lab to Con: 0.06%

  16. I realise that historically labour do badly locally here but those results are quite incredible.

  17. When Andrea said the latest batch of polls was disappointing for Labour, with the party behind in one of the super-marginals, my assumption was that that would be Gloucester. I still think the Tories will probably hold this seat, but 1% is pretty narrow & Labour could still make it narrowly if they keep working & the swingback is a small one from this point on.

  18. Nothing in the last 4 years have suggested that Labour will gain Gloucester. The Tory vote appears to be holding up locally and I’m not sure if Labour can win enough Lib Dem votes to win.

  19. I agree with Neil.
    All the signs have pointed to a Tory hold, and Labour’s results in the city council this May were shockingly bad, even failing to gain very marginal wards such as Podsmead.
    Furthermore, much of the Lib Dem vote here is more Tory inclined, in affluent(ish) wards such as Barnwood and Hucclecote. Even the very manky Kingsholm & Wotton was safe Tory prior to Major’s government, and I don’t see why these voters would now flock to Labour if they didn’t then.

  20. I very much agree with Neil and Iain. Gloucester is exactly the kind of seat which in my view will deprive Labour of a majority next year. The 2014 council election results were woeful for Labour even when one factors in their tendency to underperform locally.

  21. Interesting because Labour have an impressive candidate in Gloucester. If she loses it’ll be because of the national situation.

  22. Labour’s candidate is impressive, but I am doubtful that she will be able to overcome the strong Tory campaign here

  23. I’ll admit to having been sceptical as to a Conservative hold here given the narrowness of the majority and the size of the Lib Dem vote for Labour to gnaw away at.

  24. I think the Tories will hold on. I know the area little but it is not a conurbation and the kind of place where Labour isn’t making a full recovery.
    I didn’t quite see the Tory gain coming last time but now they are there I can’t see the reverse.

    I think Labour does do worse locally though.

  25. “The government should lower the voting age to 16 in time for the General Election, says Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Gloucester, Jeremy Hilton.”

  26. “Third PPC publicly declines Blair donation

    Sophy Gardner – Labour’s PPC in Gloucester – has become the third of the party’s 106 target seat candidates to reject Tony Blair’s £1,000 donation to her campaign. She joins Lesley Brennan and Sally Keeble in turning down the support, and did so due to her criticism if the Iraq War, in which she served as a Wing Commander.”

  27. Andy JS – I was born in Gloucester, lived just outside it until last year, and I’m going to call this one for the Tories (just as I am thinking Stroud will go Labour again because of the local and very popular David Drew, who has an enormous personal vote).

    Richard Graham isn’t the most impressive candidate – certainly not compared to Gardner – but he is local. In Gloucester, believe me, that matters. They are the most parochial people I have ever come across. Moreover they got their fingers burned with the slippery Parmjit Dhanda (who posed as a local while living in I believe Clapham? not to mention of course all that business over closing post offices while pretending to campaign to keep them open) and they seem reluctant to be fooled again.

    If Gardner were standing in Worcester, where they’re a bit more broad-minded, she would probably win. But I can’t quite see her doing it in Gloucester.

    (Incidentally, Dhanda blew his chances even more impressively by arranging a smear campaign on this very blog against Graham, describing him as a ‘Hooray Henry who lives outside the constituency’ and drawing a contrast with Dhanda’s ‘localism’. When it came out, he looked ridiculous. His wife then campaigned to be PCC for Gloucester on the same basis and got hammered. It seems unfair that this mud will stick to the wholly innocent and very honourable Gardner, but it will.)

  28. Lord Ashcroft April snapshot

    Con 40
    Lab 36
    UKIP 12
    LD 9.

  29. I can’t see that losing him any votes

  30. Conservative Hold. 2,000 maj.

  31. Richard Graham did very well here, as the Ashcroft Poll had hinted at- His majority went up to 7, 241.

  32. Yes…his increased majority is more typical traditional Conservative majorities here (1979 and 1992).

    The Conservative majorities here in 1983 and 1987 were unusual because they exceeded 10000.

    Interesting that Gloucester had a Labour MP from 1945 to 1970 but was then won by 1000 (1970) and held with a greatly increased majority in Feb 1974 against a swing to Labour.

    Perhaps Jack Diamond who was elected in a 1957 by election was quite popular and Sally Oppenheim increased her lead to 4837 (from 1061) in Feb 1974 due to the loss of Diamond’s incumbency. Perhaps Oppenheim was popular to.

  33. Boundary changes made this seat quite a bit smaller in 1997, which would almost certainly have tilted it to Labour.

    On pre-97 boundaries the Tories would probably have had a 10,000 plus majority here in 2015.

  34. Well out of reach for Labour for the foreseeable future and additionally just the kind of seat they’ll need if they are ever to gain a majority again.

    Pretty hopeless all round for them, really.

  35. What were the wards of the County Borough of Gloucester in the constituency redistributions of 1918, 1950, 1955, and 1974, and the wards of the City of Gloucester in the constituency redistributions of 1983 and 1997?

  36. This is another slightly nerdy post about the upcoming boundary changes this time in Gloucestershire. If you can be bothered to read this thanks :).

    Gloucestershire is currently just above the quota for 6 seats so will need to at least have one cross county seat. The easiest way to do this is to create the cross county seat with South Gloucestershire unitary authority (as opposed to Wiltshire) which is currently just below the quota for 3 seats, so the two can have 9 in total.

    The biggest problem wit Gloucestershire that I can see is the what happens to the Forest of Dean. Unlike most of the other Gloucestershire seats it is slightly below the quota so has to gain at least one ward. At the aborted review (if I remember correctly) the commission wanted to add the Gloucester ward of Westgate however this went down very poorly as that is a very integral ward to Gloucester containing parts of the city centre and the cathedral so I don’t think (and hope) the commission will try this again.

    So what can be added instead? Without crossing the Severn at a wide point the only wards that border the Forest of Dean (except Westgate) are the Gloucester ward of Quedgeley Fieldcourt, the Stroud ward of Hardwicke and the Tewkesbury ward of Coombe Hill. The first two (especially the first) are extremely weird which leaves the addition of Coombe Hill as the only sensible option.

    But this caused the current Tewkesbury constituency to be split in two. What I think should happen then is the one Gloucester ward in the seat (Longlevens) returns to the Gloucester constituency while the current Tewkesbury south of Coombe Hill gets paired with the southern parts of Cheltenham in a Cheltenham South constituency. The rest of the current Tewkesbury gets paired with the northern parts of Cheltenham in a Cheltenham North and Tewkesbury constituency (+Campden and Vale from The Cotswolds).

    The Cotswolds then simply loses Wotton-under-Edge and Kingswood (the Stroud ward not the better known town) and gains Nailsworth and Amberley and Woodchester from Stroud. Stroud then gains both Quedgeley wards from Gloucester (now oversized by two wards due to the addition of Longlevens) and it loses Cam East, Cam West, Dursley, Coaley and Uley and Vale. The wards (and Wotton-under Edge) are placed in Thornbury and Yate. Thornbury and Yate loses Framton Cotterell to the undersized Filton and Bradley Stroke and Boyd Valley to the undersized Kingswood. All 9 constituencies are now with quota.

    1)Forest of Dean. Current + Coombe Hill
    2)Glouceter. Current + Longlevens. – the 2 Quedgeley wards
    3) Cheltenham South. Borough of Tewkesbury south of Coombe Hill and South Cheltenham
    4)Cheltenham North and Tewkesbury. Borough of Tewkesbury north and east of Coombe Hill (including Tewkesbury town), North Cheltenham and Cotswold ward of Campden and the Vale.
    5)The Cotswolds. Current +Nailsworth, Amberley and Woodchester. -Campden and the Vale, Wotton-under-Edge, Kingswood.
    6)Stroud. Current +2 Quedgeley wards. -Cam(E,W), Coley and Uley, Dursley, Vale.
    7)Thornbury and Yate. Current +7 left over Gloucestershire wards (from Stroud and Cotswolds). -Framton Cotterell, Boyd Valley.
    8)Filton and Bradley Stoke. Current +Framton Cotterell.
    9)Kingswood. Current +Boyd Valley.

  37. 58-42 Leave.


  38. Hilarious. Left wing “journalists” mistake cast reunion of Allo Allo in Gloucester for a far right rally.

    Some pretty clueless so called journalists about these days. I could understand young Corbynistas not knowong what Allo Allo was but Yasmin Alibhai Brown?

  39. It’s just confirmation bias. We are much less inclined to double-check stuff that supports our current beliefs. If you believe racism is everywhere, you are going to see it where it doesn’t exist.

    Still funny, though.

  40. Cons City Cllr Lee Hawthorne, 39, has been suspended by the Party after having been arrested for ‘upskirting’ a girl in a shop.

    He is set to be one of the first defendants to face this new offence in Court.

    [Incidentally the 3 most recent just happen to be Tories. I’m so far behind on posting from my usual list that I won’t bother ‘catching up’ but for those who are interested those Cllrs/ex-Cllrs appearing in Court charged with CSE offences in the past year have been: 8 Labour, 6 Cons, 2 LD, 2 Ind, 1 Sinn Fein, 1 Plaid, 1 SNP, 1 Res ] 26 others have been arrested and so are awaiting charge or trial.

  41. “And for the defence, I call the witness, Sir Christopher Chope.”

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