Gravesham

2015 Result:
Conservative: 23484 (46.8%)
Labour: 15114 (30.1%)
Lib Dem: 1111 (2.2%)
Green: 1124 (2.2%)
UKIP: 9306 (18.6%)
MAJORITY: 8370 (16.7%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Kent. The whole of the Gravesham council area.

Main population centres: Gravesend, Northfleet, Meopham, Vigo.

Profile: A seat in North-West Kent. Gravesend itself is one of the poorer towns in Kent with the largest proportion of ethnic minorities and the highest proportion of council housing of any of the Kent constituencies. Like other areas in North Kent the area is undergoing large scale development, including in the Ebbsfleet valley to the west of Gravesend, close to the high speed rail station and in the run-down industrial area of Northfleet along the Thames waterfront. Labour voting Gravesend is balanced out by the Southern part of the constituency, south of the A2, which is made up of picturesque (and solidly Conservative) villages and hamlets such as Cobham, Sole Street and Meopham.

Politics: This is a classic marginal seat. Until 2005 Gravesham was the preeminent bellwether seat - it had been won by the party that went on to form the government at every general election since World War One with the exceptions of 1929 and 1951 - and in both of those cases Gravesend was won by the party that got the largest national share of the vote. In 2005 the trend was broken as Gravesham fell to the Conservatives, leaving neighbouring Dartford the most reliable bellwether.


Current MP
ADAM HOLLOWAY (Conservative) Born 1965, Faversham. Educated at Cranleigh School and Cambridge University. Former Grenadier Guards Officer, seeing service in the Gulf War, and television journalist. First elected as MP for Gravesham in 2005. PPS to David Lidington 2010-2011. Resigned as a PPS in 2011 to vote against the government on holding an EU referendum. As a journalist worked for Newsnight, ITN and World In Action, including living homeless for three months as part of the "No Fixed Abode" series.
Past Results
2010
Con: 22956 (49%)
Lab: 13644 (29%)
LDem: 6293 (13%)
UKIP: 2265 (5%)
Oth: 2145 (5%)
MAJ: 9312 (20%)
2005
Con: 19739 (44%)
Lab: 19085 (42%)
LDem: 4851 (11%)
UKIP: 850 (2%)
Oth: 654 (1%)
MAJ: 654 (1%)
2001
Con: 16911 (39%)
Lab: 21773 (50%)
LDem: 4031 (9%)
UKIP: 924 (2%)
MAJ: 4862 (11%)
1997
Con: 20681 (39%)
Lab: 26460 (50%)
LDem: 4128 (8%)
Oth: 543 (1%)
MAJ: 5779 (11%)

Demographics
2015 Candidates
ADAM HOLLOWAY (Conservative) See above.
TANMANJEET SINGH DHESI (Labour) Born 1978, Ascot. Educated at Gravesend Grammar and University College London. Project director in the family business. Gravesham councillor since 2007.
ANNE-MARIE BUNTING (Liberal Democrat) Educated at LSE. Parliamentary researcher.
SEAN MARRIOTT (UKIP) Born 1967. Solicitor.
MARK LINDOP (Green)
Links
Comments - 179 Responses on “Gravesham”
  1. Could happen here in Mid Sussex, which in terms of LD strength is similar to your last three examples. Notably that the Tories easily held off UKIP here in the Euros.

  2. *notable*

  3. I think in this particular seat Labour will do somewhat better than in much of Kent. I reckon something like :
    C 45
    Lab 32
    UKIP 14
    LD 5
    Others 4.
    Still a comfortable Con hold though.

  4. Yes I agree

  5. Again you are clearly all predicting large UKIP votes.

  6. Prediction-
    Holloway (Conservative)- 14, 440
    Hodges (Labour)- 14, 340
    Batten (UKIP)- 10, 220
    Plopwell (Liberal Democrat)- 4, 780

  7. 14 here probably corresponds quite well with your prediction of 7-10 nationally JJB.

  8. you have to make the majority 56.

  9. Ed Davey style circa 1997…

    Here goes…

    Prediction-
    Holloway (Conservative)- 14, 456
    Hodges (Labour)- 14, 400
    Batten (UKIP)- 10, 220
    Plopwell (Liberal Democrat)- 4, 780

    Yeah that’s better.

  10. Thanks,
    I’ve got Roger Helmer standing in too many places aswell
    and Mr/Ms Mountshaft.
    It would be funny if Sal Brinton stood here.

  11. Cheers JJB.

    Other possible candidates include Victor Meldrew (UKIP, Bournemouth East), Hyacinth Bucket (Conservative, Rugby and Kenilworth) and Derek Trotter (Conservative, Camberwell and Peckham). Maybe Boycie could stand as well for UKIP in his adopted Ludlow.

  12. Victor Meldrew is dead

  13. And was very much a Labour supporter

  14. If he was still alive he’d be outraged at my suggestion he’d support UKIP he wouldn’t believe it…

  15. Del Trotter is “legally dead” (so the Inland Revenue don’t know he exists), so couldn’t and wouldn’t stand for election.

    Surely Hyacinth Bucket would be UKIP now, and her age (assuming the same as the actress who plays her) would be 84….a bit too old I think.

  16. I reckon if D.I. Grim ever retired from the force he’d be the UKIP candidate for Gasforth on a platform of “No More Fannying About”.

  17. PS Del Trotter is also bankrupt

  18. “I reckon if D.I. Grim ever retired from the force he’d be the UKIP candidate for Gasforth on a platform of “No More Fannying About”.”

    No

    ‘It’s my arse on the line, so you lot had better pull or fingers out’

    Off to be now….kids will be up early as usual

  19. ‘Del Trotter is “legally dead” (so the Inland Revenue don’t know he exists), so couldn’t and wouldn’t stand for election.”

    Yes as he once said- “The government don’t give us nothing, so we don’t give the government nothing”.

    What about Fireman Sam? Would he be Sam Jones, Labour MP for Pontypandy, with his opponents Norman Price for Plaid Cymru and Norris Steele for the Conservatives.

    I do think meanwhile Postman Pat would be a Tim Farron style Lib Dem MP for the good people of Greendale, maybe more like Richard Wainwright perhaps…

  20. The Thin Blue Line actually has a good range of politically identifiable characters – R. Fowler (Conservative), M. Habib (Green), F. Gladstone and P. Dawkins (Labour), Kray (UKIP)…

    Children’s shows? B. Builder (formerly Thatcherite Tory, now UKIP), F. Controller (Conservative, Barrow and Furness).

  21. “Children’s shows? B. Builder (formerly Thatcherite Tory, now UKIP), F. Controller (Conservative, Barrow and Furness).”

    LOL. What about Dad’s Army? Captain George Mainwaring (Conservative, Walmington-on-Sea). I get an Essex Man vibe about the two main male characters in Men Behaving Badly, so they might have easily been David Amess voters and then New Labour supporters latterly.

  22. B. Chuckle (Labour, Rotherham)
    P. Chuckle (UKIP, Rotherham)

  23. Actually Barry is on record as being pro free schools – maybe I have the two the wrong way around.

  24. TheResults – in real life Martin Clunes votes Conservative, but Tony Morrissey is a non-voter. I tend to have more respect for the former type of elector than for the latter even if the latter helps my party’s cause more in some circumstances.

  25. Adam Holloway’s name is being mentioned in various places as a possible defection.

  26. He was one of the 6 Tory MPs to vote against the Government on Friday. It wouldn’t be that astonshing.

  27. Barnaby- true, though Holloway has not been a serial rebel. According to the ‘They Work For You’ website, he has rebelled only 18 times this Parliament, though it is perhaps noteworthy that his rebellions have been on big issues like Syria, Europe, and HS2.

  28. wait plopwell is standing here? As in Plopwell plopwell?

  29. We had Labour and UKIP leaflets delivered here yesterday. Half of the Labour leaflet devoted to immigration.

    UKIP council candidate looks about twelve in his picture, and the leaflet only refers to him despite the fact we live in the three member Central Ward. I find it surprising that in an area like this UKIP aren’t able to contest every seat in local elections. They didn’t in the 2013 county elections either, putting up only one candidate in each of the two member Gravesham divisions and not contesting Gravesham Rural at all. This should be a promising area for them. We’re in North Kent for heavens sake.

  30. ”Half of the Labour leaflet devoted to immigration.”

    Kieran – Isn’t the Labour candidate here Asian? Surely they’re shooting themselves in the foot?

  31. ”Half of the Labour leaflet devoted to immigration.”

    Kieran – Isn’t the Labour candidate here Asian? Surely they’re shooting themselves in the foot?

  32. Labour have every right to point out the Tories’ failings in this area, even if their own policies are not ‘better’.

    Even if they can establish a sense of ‘their both as bad as each other’ in this area that’s a net gain for them I think. Labour lost a lot of votes to the Tories last time by appearing soft on immigration relative to them. And who knows, these leaflets might persuade some dissatisfied Tories to vote UKIP,

  33. Kieran – Isn’t the Labour candidate here Asian? Surely they’re shooting themselves in the foot?

    It’s 2015! why can’t people get over the fact that just because someone’s parents came to britain in the 1960s doesn’t mean they can’t have concerns about ongoing mass immigration in perpetuity?

  34. Peter, yes he’s a memeber of the substantial Sikh community here.

    Runnymede, that’s pretty much the line they are taking; “Tory broken promises on immigration”. Certainly it looks more like an attempt to neutralise the issue rather than make capital out of it themselves.

  35. Of course. Nice own goal by the Tories to allow Labour to do this – really Labour should be in a position where don’t dare mention this topic…

  36. It’s still pretty dumb of them to do so. Perhaps they are trying to get Tory voters to vote UKIP.

  37. “Nice own goal by the Tories to allow Labour to do this…”

    Rather like the Lib Dem promise on tuition fees the error the Tories made in making the pledge on immigration was in making a promise that was unrealistic.

  38. Both policies were capable of being carried out – the parties chose not to. You can call that ‘unrealistic’ if you like.

    In any case you get no brownie points from the voters for promising things one moment (very strongly in this case) and then claiming it could never have been done later.

  39. Plenty of us claimed it was a ridiculous pledge at the time – I believe I did so multiple times on these pages. The immigration pledge must rank as one of Cameron’s worst blunders. My surprise is that so many voters believed it. Cameron must have thought luck would see him through – on that score he deserves his reputation as a chancer.

  40. ”It’s 2015! why can’t people get over the fact that just because someone’s parents came to britain in the 1960s doesn’t mean they can’t have concerns about ongoing mass immigration in perpetuity?

    I agree Peter but unfortunately many people are very narrow-minded and will not see beyond the candidates skin colour and will therefore find it bizarre that an Asian candidate is concerned about immigration to the UK.

  41. Rubbish

  42. It is the fact that she is Labour, not Asian, that will make the voters sceptical.

  43. LOL I mean “he”

  44. Christian,
    I agree Peter but unfortunately many people are very narrow-minded and will not see beyond the candidates skin colour and will therefore find it bizarre that an Asian candidate is concerned about immigration to the UK.

    I really don’t know which part of the country you live in, or how old you are, but certainly in the south east I have seen MPs from ethnic minority backgrounds be staunchly anti-immigration and becoming more popular as a result. Priti Patel is an obvious case in point….

    HH is right. it’s the red rosette not her family background that will raise eyebrows. The whole premise of UKIP’s first 100 days, the rather poor Channel 4 documentary, was based around an young newly elected UKIP MP from a family of Indian origin. People on this website remarked that the fictional character bore some resemblance, even in her Essex seat, to Priti Patel.

    I can’t speak for other parts of the country, however.

  45. I see the ward breakdown of the current electoral calculus prediction for here has the Tories winning control of the borough council. It has them gaining two seats from Labour in the currently split three member central ward and three in all Labour Singlewell.

    But then they also have the Tories winning West Ward in my old stamping ground of Chesterfield, and gaining Wolvercote on Oxford City Council. Both of those are possible rather than probable Conservative gains. That suggests it’s ward figures should not be taken as indicative of what might happen in a local election.

    The borough election here should, I would have thought, be close. Labour won control in 2011 despite having a lower vote share across the borough than the Conservatives, and with the party having a projected national share of 37 per cent. I doubt Labour will poll that this year.

    I am just pleased that for the first time since I was old enough to vote my vote might actually count for something here. Certainly in voting for Holloway I expect for the first time to be voting for a winning candidate.

  46. I think it’s very possible that the Conservative will gain this council on the back of winning this once bellwether parliamentary seat, that now seems to be safer Conservative than it ever was.

    Labour have also won control of Gravesham in 1999 and 2003 despite having a lower vote share than the Conservatives on those election nights too.

    Another example is the London Borough Croydon, Labour won overall control of the council on four occasions 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2014 but only on their latest win were they ahead on share of poll.

  47. Passed through Northfleet this morning and saw a few UKIP posters!

  48. ….. Also, Cameron and his wife attended the celebrations Sikh festival of Vaisakhi and took part in the final stage of a procession to the town’s Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara.

    I didn’t expect Cameron to visit this seat durign this GE campaign. Are the Tories fearful of losing Gravesham this GE? I would have thought it would be a comfortable hold for the Tories here (and across all the north Kent seats).

  49. Given the revelations in the latest edition of Private Eye, I’m not entirely surprised Cameron has chased the Sikh vote in this constituency.

  50. Conservative Hold. 6,000 maj

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