Great Grimsby

2015 Result:
Conservative: 8874 (26.3%)
Labour: 13414 (39.8%)
Lib Dem: 1680 (5%)
Green: 783 (2.3%)
UKIP: 8417 (25%)
TUSC: 173 (0.5%)
Independent: 390 (1.2%)
MAJORITY: 4540 (13.5%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

Geography: Yorkshire and the Humber, Humberside. Part of the North East Lincolnshire council area.

Main population centres: Grimsby.

Profile: Grimsby is a major North Sea port and industrial centre at the mouth of the Humber estuary. It is a major port for both fish - having a long association with the fishing industry - and other goods. Frozen food is a major industry in the town, along with pharmaceuticals and chemicals.

Politics: Great Grimsby has been Labour since 1945, though only narrowly held in the 1977 by-election that followed Tony Crosland`s death. In 2015 it was seen as a prime UKIP target, their best chance of taking a seat from Labour, but in the event they managed only third place behind the Conservatives.


Current MP
MELANIE ONN (Labour) Born Grimsby. Educated at Healing Comprehensive. Former trade union officer. First elected as MP for Great Grimsby in 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 10063 (31%)
Lab: 10777 (33%)
LDem: 7388 (22%)
UKIP: 2043 (6%)
Oth: 2683 (8%)
MAJ: 714 (2%)
2005
Con: 7858 (24%)
Lab: 15512 (47%)
LDem: 6356 (19%)
BNP: 1338 (4%)
Oth: 1900 (6%)
MAJ: 7654 (23%)
2001
Con: 7634 (23%)
Lab: 19118 (58%)
LDem: 6265 (19%)
MAJ: 11484 (35%)
1997
Con: 9521 (22%)
Lab: 25765 (60%)
LDem: 7810 (18%)
MAJ: 16244 (38%)

Demographics
2015 Candidates
MARC JONES (Conservative) Lincolnshire councillor since 2013, former Lincoln councillor.
MELANIE ONN (Labour) Born Grimsby. Educated at Healing Comprehensive. Trade union officer.
STEVE BEASANT (Liberal Democrat) Born Grimsby. Educated at Hull University. Former maintenance fitter. North East Lincolnshire councillor since 2003, former Grimsby councillor 1986-1992 for the Labour party.
VICTORIA AYLING (UKIP) Barrister, runs music and property businesses.. Former Surrey councillor, East Lindsay councillor. Lincolnshire councillor since 2013. Contested Great Grimsby 2010 for the Conservative party.
VICKY DUNN (Green) Project director. Contested West Midlands 2009 European election, Yorkshire and Humber 2014 European election.
GARY CALDER (Independent) Born Canada. Educated at Grimsby Technical Secondary and Hull University. Operations manager.
VAL O`FLYNN (TUSC) Born Cleethorpes.
Links
Comments - 286 Responses on “Great Grimsby”
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  1. Whilst the 2010 result obviously DOE paint this as a marginal I think it’s unlikely to stay that way; I would expect a seat like Grimsby to revert to looking extremely safe for Labour next time around.

  2. Dont see it being extremely safe given that the tories only need to be 9 points infront to win it nationally and it seems to be getting demographically better for the tories.

  3. Yes but look at that big yellow bar, it’s likely that a sizeable chunk of it is going to go red at the next election and stay that way.

  4. Will Mitchell be standing again? He’ll be 80 at next election.

    As for the categorisation of this seat, I can’t see the Tories winning it next time around. Mitchell’s current majority is almost identical to his 1983 majority; in 1987, a huge wave of tactical voting increased the majority to over 10,000.

  5. *correction – 8,784 to be precise.

  6. Mitchell’s a bit of a magnet for negative press, so arguably a new candidate would improve Labour’s standing.

    Either way, I can’t see if being anything but a Labour hold next time. The Conservatives were shut out in the constituency in 2012, and they seem to be suffering from UKIP on their right flank.

  7. The fact that the majority is the same as 1983 should tell you that the seat is gently trending tory.

  8. Victoria Ayling, the 2010 Tory candidate here, yesterday defected to UKIP, telling David Cameron in person at the London conference that she had done so.

  9. Cameron’s face must have been a picture!

  10. On the contrary, I understand he just walked on without reacting

  11. Could be good for UKIP.

  12. This could actually be a very seat for UKIP, low turnout, reasonably marginal, probably a very socially conservative Labour vote. If there was a by-election here I’d give UKIP a really good chance.

  13. The way things are going, I expect Tories to lose votes, including to UKIP. Labour to lose some votes to UKIP, but decline more than made up by ex-Lib Dem voters. Basically, Labour hold with increased majority.

  14. The fishing issue is the obvious reason why euroscepticism and hence UKIP are so popular here.

    Austin Mitchell being an arch eurosceptic has meant that the UKIP/BNP vote has probably been below its natural potential in general elections.

    Candidate selection on the Labour side would therefore be of key importance. You’re right that an identikit pro-European London-centric policy wonk would go down very badly here.

    On the other hand most of the fishing history here disappeared 20-30 years ago so its salience as a political issue must have diminished quite a lot.

  15. UKIP shouldn’t have much problem winning the most votes here in next year’s European elections.

  16. The importing of foreign workers to work on the Immingham oil refinarys also boosted anti-EU feelings here:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/feb/02/peter-mandelson-gordon-brown-david-cameron-strikes

  17. “Candidate selection on the Labour side would therefore be of key importance. You’re right that an identikit pro-European London-centric policy wonk would go down very badly here”

    How about a preaching popinjay?

    There’s some talk about Hugh Grant becoming a Labour MP.

    What would be the best constituency for him – Grimsby or Bolsover?

  18. Since Mr Grant is not a member of the Labour Party, his chances of becoming a Labour MP at the next election appear to be zero. Nor is it in any way clear that he agrees with Labour on anything apart from Leveson.

  19. I think all that applied to Shaun Woodward as well 😉

    I’m suprised Barnaby is not being more broadminded about this exciting possibility.

    Surely Hugh Fop would be as great a catch for the Labour party as Sally [Bercow] has been?

  20. Hugh Fop would be rather better for the party than Sally [Bercow], though perhaps not by that much. At least Mr Grant has commented seriously about serious issues – Mrs Bercow is, with all due respect to the great lady, not a great adornment to the Labour Party, and doesn’t do her husband any favours either.

  21. Have you ever been out canvassing with the ‘leading Labour activist’ Ms Bercow?

  22. Certainly not. I have canvassed many more important Labour figures however. Indeed, during the Feltham & Heston by-election, I twice led a team of (apart from me) Labour MPs most of whom I found very good company. And they worked bloody hard too.

  23. It is a loss that victoria ayling has gone to ukip. She seemed like a good candidate in 2010. I would have at least spoken to her. As for sleb phone yacking and grant etc. I would have thought the lds and labour are in some danger of pursuing an agenda even more irrelevant to most peoples daily concerns, and if lots of tabloids suppoerted the lib dems they certainly wouldn’t be remotely intersted in restricting them

  24. ‘and if lots of tabloids suppoerted the lib dems they certainly wouldn’t be remotely intersted in restricting them’

    Unlike the Tories (?) whose stance on the Levenson enquiry is entirely motivated by the fact that these tabloid newspapers – The Sun, The Star, The Mail, The Express – support them – just as with Jeremy Hunt’s decision to allow News International to takeover BSkyB

  25. I’m not sure the agenda is being pursued any further. The compromise was reached, and that’s probably the end of it. Certainly it’s unlikely to appear prominently in the election literature of either Labour or the Lib Dems, precisely because it’s not something that the public are interested in the specific details of.

    If anybody’s going to raise it as a campaign issue in 2015, it’s more likely to be Cameron if he takes the complaints of some in the press too seriously.

  26. Going back in time for a moment, in 1983 the SDP polled 28.8% compared to 7.6% for the Liberals in 1979 and there had been no boundary changes.

    The increase of 21.2% must have been one of the best Alliance results in 1983 but it’s a bit odd because Great Grimsby isn’t the type of seat where one would have expected their appeal to have been particularly strong.

  27. Particularly with austin mitchell asMP who could have been on the right then. Perhaps the tory vote dropped quite a bit aswell

  28. Grimsby is a traditional working class town, but with a Labour vote that is probably a lot less tribally loyal than in towns formed around coal mines or steel works. That might explain it.

    Mitchell has always been very anti-Europe which might have given the SDP a good foothold at the time.

  29. ‘Particularly with austin mitchell asMP who could have been on the right then’

    He’s anti the EU and went against the front bench by being the first laboir politocian to appear on the Thatcherite broadcaster Sky News, but he’s hardly on the Right

    He is after all a member of the Socialist Campaign Group

  30. Does anyone know why, in recent days, the trolls only come out in the evening?

    The site is nice in the daytime only to be bombarded by the usual suspects at dinner time.

  31. Gloy posts at night I think but could be full of excitement coming in from by-election counts.

  32. Do you have any idea who Gloy really is?

  33. I certainly have a good idea. Gloy may or may not share an IP address with someone else who posts here…

  34. I would strongly suspect that it is JJB.

  35. ‘I would strongly suspect that it is JJB’

    I have never thought it to be him

    if it is, it’s exceptionally underhand!

  36. Gloy Plopwell is a bit of fun.

    The other trolls are a pain in the arse.

  37. The name of this constituency always sounds to me like someone is over-egging the place a bit. Is there any other context in which Grimsby is described as ‘Great’?

  38. Unfortunately the Tories have missed their chance here – their share may rise a little but Labour’s majority will be pushed up to about 4-5,000.

  39. You’d think there’s plenty of potential here for UKIP to take Labour votes.

  40. Yes, but the LD vote will halve.

    Lab 44 Con 33 UKIP 13 LD 10

  41. ‘The name of this constituency always sounds to me like someone is over-egging the place a bit. Is there any other context in which Grimsby is described as ‘Great’?’

    I’m not sure where the Great comes from – presumably because the seats is Grimsby and the surrounding area – but then wouldn’t it be Greater Grimsby

    Some of the names the boundary comission come up with are quite frankly preposterous – Spellthorne, Bassetlaw, Halton, York Outer etc

  42. Spelthorne, Bassetlaw and Halton are all the names of the local government district which forms the basis of the corresponding parliamentary constituency.

    York Outer is an appropriate name for that constituency, its the constituency boundaries which are the issue rather than the name.

  43. Tim – Grimsby was called Great Grimsby to distinguish itself from Little Grimsby, a village to the south near Louth. It’s been a seat for a very long time, so I think the name comes from when it was more widely used for the town (it also used to be the name of the local authority, which had the same boundaries as the seat, so naturally would have given the seat its name)

  44. Tim – at the time of the 1983 general election Mitchell would have been seen quite unequivocally as on the Right of the Labour Party, despite his very anti-EC views (which have always been thought to be of some advantage in this particular constituency). He is nowadays a member of the Campaign Group but his membership of it has always been a puzzle; he does not back left-wing candidates in leadership elections, and hardly ever participates in any of the leading left-wing backbench rebellions. In his earlier days as an MP he appeared in party political broadcasts (I remember one with Joel Barnett for example) very much in loyalist guise, and he was in the 80s a bitter critic of Tony Benn & his followers within the party. No-one in the Campaign Group is an odder fit within it, though the late David Taylor in NW Leics wasn’t a fully-fledged left-winger either (he joined the group some years after his election in 1997).
    With regard to the constituency title, I can’t understand for the life of me why the name of Grimsby isn’t restored. No-one calls the town Great Grimsby nor is there any more a local authority bearing that name.

  45. Spelthorne, Bassetlaw and Halton are all the names of the local government district which forms the basis of the corresponding parliamentary constituency.’

    That might well be but they mean absolutely nothing to the people who live there

    Take Spelthorne.

    None of the people who live in that part of Middlesex/Surrey refer to the area as Spelthorne – making it a totally redundant name.

    ‘at the time of the 1983 general election Mitchell would have been seen quite unequivocally as on the Right of the Labour Party, despite his very anti-EC views’

    I certainly see Mitchell as on the Right of the party today – as I do other MPs like Frank Field – but that’s more because the way the Labour Parliamentary Party has changed from being a party dominated by Northern working class trade unionists to one dominated by the metropolitan, ultra-liberal, middle class PC brigade

    Given the amount of colourless MPs amongst their ranks, I think it’s quitre refreshing for Labour to have such characters amongst their ranks, although I was shocked by how well the Tories did in 2010 here in almost defeating him in such a working class industrial constituency

  46. I really like Austin Mitchell and I especially like the fact that he is less predictable than some MPs.

    I actually don’t mind the name Great Grimsby. It’s a bit of history that is being kept. The same with Spelthorne. It was an old Hundred of Middlesex.

  47. Keep traditional names wherever possible.

  48. Spelthorne is a better name because it wouldn’t really do just to name the seat after its main town -Staines is only just a bit bigger, if even at all, than Sunbury or Ashford. It’s probably preferable to call it Spelthorne than, say, Staines & Sunbury, worse still Staines, Ashford & Sunbury. Spelthorne is a well-established name & there is a pub called the Spelthorne.

  49. As for the Gloy, it’s clearly an attempt to embarrass the Lib Dems.

    But Mitchell should also be – only 10,000 votes compared to about 25,000 in 1992.

  50. Spelthorne was one of the Middlesex Hundreds – as such it makes sense to retain the Middlesex link for the part of that county that was lumped into Surrey.

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