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
Con: 10063 (31%)
Lab: 10777 (33%)
LDem: 7388 (22%)
UKIP: 2043 (6%)
Oth: 2683 (8%)
MAJ: 714 (2%)
Con: 7858 (24%)
Lab: 15512 (47%)
LDem: 6356 (19%)
BNP: 1338 (4%)
Oth: 1900 (6%)
MAJ: 7654 (23%)
Con: 7634 (23%)
Lab: 19118 (58%)
LDem: 6265 (19%)
MAJ: 11484 (35%)
Con: 9521 (22%)
Lab: 25765 (60%)
LDem: 7810 (18%)
MAJ: 16244 (38%)

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.
Comments - 291 Responses on “Great Grimsby”
  1. Since when has Austin Mitchell been a Northern working class trade unionist??

    He is certainly Northern, but he’s Dr Austin Mitchell PhD and he used to be a TV presenter! Its a very studied public image.

  2. On “the tower block of commons” he came across as a neanderthal, sexist arse (and I say that as someone who generally focuses less on PC matters than Mike). Heaven knows how his wife puts up with him.

    Austin Mitchell is famous for chairing the legendary TV slanging match between Brian Clough and Don Revie in I think 1974.

  3. ”Austin Mitchell is famous for chairing the legendary TV slanging match between Brian Clough and Don Revie in I think 1974.”

    Quite ironic considering the tight tussle he had to endure to get into Parliament at the 1977 by-election here…

  4. HH; its all an act. He was a Nuffield Fellow and lectured in history and sociology . He was a university lecturer in New Zealand when he moved into TV and was very much the ‘TV don’ – he returned to British academia and was then recruited to regional TV in Yorkshire, though I remember him from a networked programme as well.

    He wouldn’t be the first MP to adopt a public persona but quite why he appears to choose to be so obnoxious at times is anyone’s guess

  5. Do you think John Prescott’s obnoxiousness is also an act, or is he really like that? In many ways he seems to come across in a similar way to Mitchell.

  6. If you say that again, HH, I’ll have you beaten up. (only kidding)

  7. One of the first signs that something was up on election night in 1992, apart from Basildon obviously, was the result here- On the BBC’s coverage, David Dimbleby expressed surprise at the 1% swing to the Conservatives- Peter Kellner had to explain that the Lib Dems had collapsed to the benefit of both Mitchell and the Tories, but the Conservatives gained more and therefore the Labour majority here was narrowly reduced against the national trend…

  8. Labour Cllr Jane Bramley defected to UKIP here in June. She represents South Ward in Grimsby.

  9. I think we did query the 1992 result before
    but if you look at the 1987 result I think the Tory vote collapsed to the benefit of the SDP so that was against the trend.
    But a good result for them in 1992 nevertheless

  10. do I read correctly and the MP is 79 at the moment?

  11. jane bramley is picking apples lol

  12. yes Austin Mitchell’s age is shown correctly. He has after all been the MP here for nearly 36 years.

  13. “Tories behind Labour and level with Ukip in key target seats

    Polls show Labour with 18-point lead over Ukip in Great Grimsby and 20-point lead over Conservatives in Dudley North”

  14. …and LibDems on 2% in Dudley.

  15. I predict at least a handful of LD lost deposits across the north and the Midlands (the latter being their weakest regions in terms of Parliamentary seats).

  16. Pretty decent sample size for Survation…

    1,076 total respondents (550 Great Grimsby / 526 Dudley North).

  17. Seems a bit of a wasted opportunity just to poll 2 Labour seats – but I guess the Tories do want to gain Labour seats to gain an overall majority if they can. I would have had Dudley N as one of the Labour marginals which are likely to see the largest swings, as this poll suggests. Walsall N might have been more instructive perhaps.

  18. Maybe they’ll do another collection of selected polls in 2014, around the time of local and Euro elections.

    When the Guardian reported on the South Thanet polling last week, it noted this:

    “As yet unpublished polls cover five seats including coastal towns, the north, West Midlands and southern England.”

    I’ll be interested to see which other constituencies they’ve surveyed. They’ve now released findings from one northern (Great Grimsby) and one West Mids (Dudley North).

    But I agree that they could have commissioned a few more in order to see some real trends emerging. Would make some interesting reading on these pages, as there’s always a lot of talk about which places are trending to what party, etc. E.g. a few polls in marginal Tory-held London seats would be an interesting read. I guess UKIP’s appeal would be more limited in London (major support surely coming from Havering).

  19. Prediction for 2015-
    Mitchell (Labour)- 41%
    Conservative- 25%
    UKIP- 18%
    Liberal Democrats- 16%

  20. Grimsby and Newcastle-under-Lyme are extremely similar, electorally, going all the way back to the 1970s.

    It’s inconsistent that you are predicting a Labour surge in one with the other remaining very marginal.

  21. There are some pretty interesting tables in this article:

    One graph shows that UKIP is affecting Labour’s vote share by pulling away potential new voters who previously sided with the Tories, and that once upon a time, in a two-party past, might have switched to them when frustrated with the governing party midterm.

  22. Interesting article arguing that Great Grimsby is top of the list of Labour vs UKIP battles:

  23. That’s true – but Grimsby has a lot of right wing working class voters and the last election displays that clearly enough.
    So I would still think that in seats like this, more Tory voters will switch to UKIP than Labour voters

  24. Best choice for UKIP would be Victoria Ayling who undoubtedly registered a stunning performance as Tory candidate in 2010.

  25. Has she joined UKIP? I know the Tory PPC in Batley did.

  26. 2010 was more of a Labour disaster here than a Tory triumph. The Tories’ 31% of the vote was still 5% below 1992, not far off the national average.

    Victoria Ayling is a southerner with “estuarine vowels”, according to one of those newspaper profiles. Not ideal when up against a professional Yorkshireman like Mitchell in an insular northern town. Are we sure that Mitchell is standing for re-election, by the way? He’s 80 already

  27. Austin might stand for reselection again, H. Hemmelig-he has not officially announced his retirement, at least not yet, even though his great age means he could potentially die in office. Most long-serving MPs do not wait until their 70s or 80s to retire, generally-they do so in their 60s.

  28. I don’t see any big threat to Labour here in 2015, despite the very small majority. It’s probably best for Labour that he retires in 2015 rather than 2020.

  29. Remembering also that a by-election could be a very difficult hold against UKIP, should Mitchell die in office before 2020.

  30. are there any seats which labour currently hold that they are in danger of losing in 2015? would love to know what posters think.

  31. An odd seat to the SNP perhaps.

    I can’t foresee any losses to the Tories or the Lib Dems.

  32. Peter Crawford

    At least 30. No idea why you think Labour losses should be unexpected. I’d expect such lack of realism on Guardian’s CiF but not here.

  33. Which are these 30 seats?

    I think HH is right. Apart from the SNP, i can’t see labour losing any to the lib dems or tories.

  34. Hampstead and Kilburn is the most obvious choice for a seat where Labour could be vulnerable. I also think Southampton Itchen could be one to watch as the local party has chosen someone completely unsuited to the constituency as the candidate and she is up against the former leader of the city council who very nearly won in 2010. I wouldn’t be surprised if the SNP took a seat or two off of Labour as well. Other seats that I thought might have been vulnerable (Westminster North, Tooting) I am now expecting to be held albeit with lowish swings.

  35. There’s 14 months to go to an election. The Labour Party is far from convincing the electorate. While an increase in performance by the governing party is rare it cannot be ruled out. There is usually a swing back to the government as elections approach.

    To be more specific I would expect seats with a low Liberal vote to be more vulnerable in this event. So Derby North and Grimsby are less good prospects than say Wirral South or Telford. Welsh seats like Gower and Vale of Clwyd are far from out of reach. My assessment is that the Conservatives are likely to do less well than average in London, so I don’t think Sadiq Khan is in any danger in Tooting, although demographics make Hampstead and Westminster North a different proposition. Both Southampton seats are very vulnerable. I could go on…..

  36. Well we’ll see. that’s the fun of these things. I think labour will get abt. 300 seats, possibly a few more. I could be hideously wrong of course.

  37. I think Westminster North will probably be held as Labour has proven to be very effective in getting its core vote out in the Harrow Road/Paddington area and Karen Buck is a good incumbent with a decent personal vote. On the other hand, the Tories do have a half-decent candidate this time so they should remain competitive.

    I’d say Southampton Test is not particularly vulnerable. The seat was held more comfortable than Itchen in 2010 and also has a significant public sector element based around the university and main city hospital. If Alan Whitehead were standing down, then the Tories might have a chance but as things stand, I think he’ll be re-elected by a margin of 4,000-5,000.

  38. In answer to John, I think it is a certainty that the vote gap between Con and Lab will be narrower in 2015 than 2010, even if the Tories remain comfortably ahead.

    Therefore Labour losing seats to the Tories is very unlikely IMO. There may be a freak result somewhere I suppose, most likely somewhere nobody has thought of. Westminster North is moving against the Tories as properties in the rich wards are increasingly being bought up by non-residents. Lab will increase their majority there, as they will in Hampstead due to the almost certain collapse of the Lib Dem vote. Tooting is a polarised seat with too big an Asian population for the Tories to win.

  39. I tend to agree with HH on a lot of this stuff. I can see the Tories ahead in popular vote, but I can’t see the gap being wider than the 7% or so which occurred in 2010.

    On that basis, labour losses to tories in 2015 seem unlikely. Even the Hampstead and Kilburn seat, the most marginal seat in the last election, I think will stay labour. Bolton West which labour won by 92 votes in 2010 is likely to stay labour too.

    Re. betting. If we look at the seats in which labour are 1/2 or shorter, do we expect the opposition to them to prevail in 2015?

    Yes, i accept that a 4/5 odds (eg. Cambridge, Calder Valley and the like) can go the other way. A 1/2 or 1/3 seems less likely but possible. Of those seats in which Labour are prices at shorter than 1/2 at the moment [and there are quite a few tory marginals that fall into this category], Kingswood is the only one I think the Tories can hold; Hastings, Hove, Cannock, Dewsbury, Wolverhampton South West, Broxtowe are perceived to be labour gains, and are priced accordingly.

    I am only reflecting on the state of the betting market at the moment. I do not express a view about what I want to happen. For the record, I think a labour victory would be detrimental to Britain. I just happen to think it’s quite a likely outcome.

  40. “Welsh seats like Gower and Vale of Clwyd are far from out of reach.”

    In 2011 Welsh Assembly Labour won Gower and Vale of Clwyd easily even if they were barely ahead at national level at that time.

    Delyn and Clwyd South produced lower majorities than Vale of Clywd in 2011.

    On Southampton, I made the same thought developed by akmd. But I didn’t hear anything on how Rowenna Davies is performing as PPC

  41. I wonder if the pattern of this seat going from ultra-marginal to solidly safe between 1983 and 1997, will now be repeated over a similar period?

  42. UKIP 10/1 with Ladbrokes.

  43. Am I missing something with Grimsby – I’d have thought the populist (and arch Euro-Sceptic) Austin Mitchell is about the least vulnerable Labour MP to a UKIP challenge ( apart from Dennis Skinner possibly?)
    Also a surprisingly high LibDem vote which should collapse like an overbaked souffle to Labour’s advantage.

  44. LD vote to halve with a bit moving to the Tories but overwhelmingly Labour I think.
    UKIP will feature at about 12%

  45. Gower didn’t even vote Conservative in the 1931 general election. It has a totally solid Labour vote in the towns in the north of the constituency, and although the Tories are clearly ahead of Labour in the Gower peninsula itself it’s never going to be enough on present boundaries. The most likely Labour losses, surely, are in Scotland, with Falkirk top of my list & Ochil/S Perthshire next. Dundee W is also not completely safe. However, my current thinking is that none of these seats will actually be lost, though they could be close. Hampstead & Kilburn is the trickiest Labour defence against the Tories but again I can only see the Tories gaining it if they open up a lead over Labour of at least 4%. I don’t think that’s all that likely, though it is still possible.

  46. Of course, all this assumes a No vote in Scotland. I don’t think that a No vote means a collapse of the SNP vote, though it won’t help them either. The SNP will still gain at least 2 seats from the LDs IMHO even if the No vote is quite resounding.

  47. “Hampstead & Kilburn is the trickiest Labour defence against the Tories but again I can only see the Tories gaining it if they open up a lead over Labour of at least 4%.”

    Do you think Bolton West is a tricky one given the double digit majority there too?

  48. No, not in the slightest. Local election results don’t suggest any serious problem there and the regional trends are not good for the Tories at all. Yes there still are some Tory councillors in that constituency but Labour has generally performed pretty solidly in the areas further out – and Labour actually tends to do better in Atherton in general than in local elections, making the situation not very worrying at all. I think it’s highly unlikely that the Tories will enjoy above-average performances in any contest with Labour in the northern metropolitan counties with just the odd conceivable exception in the less urban constituencies in W Yorkshire.

  49. …….and just for good measure Julie Hilling will almost certainly enjoy a first-time incumbency factor. She comes over quite well in general.

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