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. Crossing my fingers for Ros James then.

  2. James was a LD Cllr until 2011. I don’t know if it can count against her in some members’ mind.

  3. I personally doubt it. Most of them probably don’t know and those who do probably either don’t care or like her for defecting.

  4. Rosie Cooper, who is currently the Labour MP for West Lancashire, was an elected Liberal councillor in Liverpool during the 80s and contested a number of general elections as a Liberal and then Lib Dem. She defected some years before her election to Parliament. So presumably the West Lancs CLP didn’t have much of an issue selecting her.

  5. One could make the argument that picking a defector (as long as you’re sure they’re loyal) might be beneficial as it brings their personal vote across from those who voted for them when they were in their old party.

  6. I *think* today is the Labour selection meeting. Going to be very interesting.

  7. And you be right, Neil. Melanie Onn’s been selected.

  8. Yeah I’ve just checked on Twitter. Several tweets congratulating her. Victoria Ayling and UKIP should be able to put up a fight, but Labour have played it very smart by picking a local girl as their candidate.

    Wonder if Katie Ghose will be tempted by the recent vacancy in Holborn & St Pancras…

  9. If Katie Ghose and Natalie Bennett stand in the same seat I pity the constituents.

  10. The correct selection by labour.

  11. MrNameless, why would you pity the constituents of Holborn and St. Pancras if both Katie Ghose (Labour) and Natalie Bennett (Green) contested that seat in 2015? I know Katie is turning into a bit of a joke but Natalie is serious, confident, and effective 🙂

  12. Effective? Lol

  13. Natalie Bennett is massively effective… At putting people off her party.

    Is she a Labour or Lib Dem plant?

    On a serious note, the Greens would have taken FAR more support from the collapsing Lib Dems if their leader didn’t just shout down the other parties. While I disagree with Caroline Lucas on many things, at least she comes across as fair minded and not excessively partisan.

  14. I remember reading a Guardian panel verdict on Ed Miliband’s conference speech featuring Caroline Lucas. She made some positive remarks about it (mixed in with a bit of constructive criticism). Having been an MP for the last 4 years on the opposition benches, she has frequently voted with Labour on various issues so she’s not too partisan. While she was leader of the Greens she was critical of Labour but nothing more than the Tories or Lib Dems albeit from a different angle. In contrast Natalie Bennett’s approach has been scathing since becoming leader.

  15. I think this seat could be pretty ripe for UKIP to do very well.
    The substantial LD vote has to go somewhere.
    Alas, I don’t think they will win though.

  16. Caroline Lucas should by all rights be in the Labour Party since I cannot identify any aspect of her views which a left-wing Labour MP would not also support.

    Bennett on the other hand – well we don’t know anything about her. We don’t know where she is in the party, all we know is that she hates Labour and told porkies about Ed Miliband and Iraq. That and the accent, which shouldn’t be important but won’t help.

    I met her a few months ago and asked her a couple of questions. She made a prediction of six European seats this year which turned out to be a fair bit off the mark.

    What Lucas understands is that the Greens’ best chance is to become a well-organised threat to Labour and the LDs from the left – essentially stealing the Lib Dems’ community politics from under their nose. Under Bennett they seem to have turned into a repository for omnidirectionally-angry student protestors and people who comment on the Guardian. Going backwards in the 2014 elections was an early warning. Of course with the bi-yearly leadership elections it could be someone else soon (maybe Lucas again).

  17. According to Katie Ghose Wikipedia entry she was in front on the first round of voting in the Grimsby Labour selection. After Shona McIsaac and Ros James had been eliminated and their lower preference votes transferred Melanie Onn won the selection from Katie Ghose by only 3 votes.


  18. What has got into the heads of the members of Grimsby CLP?

  19. Apparently she was 2nd in the Stoke North selection too. The same Wikipedia entry has a footnoted linked to Guido Fawkes’ website, quoting their description of her as a “perennial carpetbagger”. Guido calls her “Ghastly” Ghose.

  20. I wonder where will be next as far as the Katie Ghose roadshow is concerned. No doubt Holborn & St Pancras will feature prominently.

  21. Why doesn’t she try to stand near where she’s actually from?

  22. She did. She’s from the Brighton area and tried to get selected for one of the seats there.

  23. Maybe Katie Ghose will try for Bootle…

  24. Well that’s fair enough then. But Stoke? Grimsby? She’ll end up standing for the SDLP if she carries on like this.

  25. Hey, who wants nightmares? Euan Blair vs. Katie Ghose for the Bootle selection.

  26. Oh God please not that. Ha ha!

    Please please if anyone’s going to be the next Bootle MP, they’re going to have to be local, surely.

  27. Why? It’s the perfect seat for a parachute. Bootle would vote for a pile of horseshit if it had a red rosette on.

  28. She can try an AWS in some Welsh valley seat ….they are the sort of places where there are few applications for AWS, if you are lucky there are no local women interested….or maybe there is one with few experience.

    Seats like Holborn will certainly feature heavy conpetition. Same goes for AWS in London seats.

  29. It’s exactly that kind of thinking which leads to shock upsets ie Bradford West. I would like to think the CLP members in Bootle have more self-respect than to select Blair Jr. or Ghose or someone else in their mold.

    Incidentally why is it that the “dog in a red rosette” accusation is most commonly levelled at Labour seats? There’s surely no suggestion that Orpington, Huntingdon or Arundel and South Downs are ever going to vote anything but Conservative?

  30. Because there is no such thing as a Conservative seat which is so safe that it couldn’t be lost to another party in a by-election, as 1992-97 showed (perhaps the one exception was Kensington & Chelsea).

    There are quite a few Labour seats which could never ever be lost to another major party even when the party is at 20% in the polls. Bootle is one of them. Bradford West was not, because of the particular racial make-up. Respect couldn’t win Bootle. Blaenau Gwent style independents have only been successful in a minute percentage of circumstances where candidates have been parachuted.

  31. That would be the Orpington that had a majority of under 500 in 2001?

  32. Alright, bad example. Beaconsfield then. I take your point H. Hemmelig, although Labour have never endured a parliament followed by election quite as bad as 1992-97 was for the Tories (the split opposition helped in 2010).

    I just sometimes get an implication of “Labour voters are stupid” from people who say things like that. A seat being basically unassailable for non-Labour parties isn’t a matter of people being zombies but usually that they support Labour policy, they like their Labour MP, they hate the other parties more or there’s little to no opposition membership or activity on the ground.

    It’s not a big deal, I was just curious.

  33. “I take your point H. Hemmelig, although Labour have never endured a parliament followed by election quite as bad as 1992-97 was for the Tories (the split opposition helped in 2010).”

    That’s wrong. At numerous points in 2008-09, Labour were polling lower than the Tories were in the depths of 1994-96. Yet by-elections in “donkey with red rosette” seats resulted in Labour holds. Ditto 1982-83.

    “I just sometimes get an implication of “Labour voters are stupid” from people who say things like that.”

    That’s not what I meant at all. It is however fair to say that Labour voters in their safest seats are more tribal than in the safest Tory seats, and less willing to switch their vote to another party even in protest rather than just stay at home. Of course, UKIP might now be changing that, which is a big long term threat for Labour.

  34. i remember people saying Bermondsey was “impregnable” for labour in 1983…one chap said to me “a pig with a red rosette could get in here”…no doubt homophobia played a big part in that by-election, but anything is possible.

    but, in general, really safe labour seats are safer than really safe tory ones…

    Stephen Timms got 70.4% of the vote in East Ham in 2010…he’ll probably get more in 2015. George Howarth got 70.84% in 2010; Steve Rotherham got 72% in Liverpool Walton…these results are even more extraordinary since the took place in a losing general election, where there was a swing away from labour.

    No tory mp has got 70%+ of the vote in any constituency for quite a while, i expect…

    i think these labour fiefdoms reflect the total disappearance of the conservative party in large part of britain…i don’t think the demographics of many of these Liverpool area seats has changed that much, but if you look at the results in the 80s, and even the 70s, the tories could often muster 20-25%; today they can barely save their deposits in these seats.

  35. You don’t come across like someone old enough to have been an adult in 1983… must be at least as old as Barnaby!

  36. I wasn’t quite…i remember it from about 1987…i think labour thought they were going to get bermondsey back that year…slightly misleading.

  37. Even so, I think I have misjudged you. Not many people who aren’t students can post here so much in the day…unless perhaps they are teachers or university staff.

  38. i used to work in the city, and couldn’t post there!

  39. If I may say so, your posting style and analytical approach is very similar to Antiochian’s….you’re not the same person are you?

    The Results and PT Richards are also very similar.

  40. His original piece is in the Daily Mail. On Grimsby selection he calls Ghose “one excellent outsider” running the incumbent very close losing out to “localism and union power”.

  41. “If I may say so, your posting style and analytical approach is very similar to Antiochian’s….you’re not the same person are you?”

    My use of multiple full stops has clearly become a trademark.. Should I patent it?


    Austin Mitchell debated Stella Creasy on Newsnight about this issue that has been causing a bit of a mini storm in some online circles.

    Does Austin’s view represent an opinion (or something similar) within the Labour movement that hasn’t been voiced since the introduction of AWS? It makes you wonder if there are other voices in the Parliamentary party who share similar sentiments. Particularly those who don’t align themselves with e.g. the Blairites or the Campaign Group. Or if there are local councillors. Or is his piece for the Mail On Sunday not widely held? Perhaps some Old Labour voters who’ve switched to UKIP might have had some reservations about this issue.

    Some on the left criticise AWS for elevating middle class women at the expense of working class people. The right has been sceptical about it although concern for the lack of female representation in the Conservatives was first voiced in Theresa May’s “nasty party” speech. A few backbench Tory women have called for to drive up female representation more recently.

  43. I think a lot of people take a pragmatic view – that ideally we wouldn’t need AWS but the reality is that we do. I think itcwould be hard to nake a case for male winners getting there on merit when we look at some of the examples.

    I think the issue of middle class candidates both male and female and across parties has to do with selection processes. Its gard for anyone with a normal job to fight anything but their home or a neighbouring sest

  44. Agreed. A common view from my Labour acquaintances and friends is that AWS is a clumsy but effective tool for solving a serious issue. There are alternatives suggested sometimes (shortlist quotas are a common one) but few people think that nothing should be done.

  45. This is perhaps the first time I’ve seen two Labour MPs squabble on TV in this Parliamentary term. Unless you count the different MPs who supported or opposed AV.

  46. Look what someone’s put on Wikipedia LOL-

    General Election 2015: Great Grimsby
    Party Candidate Votes % ±%
    Conservative Sweats McGee
    Labour Melanie Onn
    UKIP Victoria Ayling

  47. “Labour’s Austin Mitchell praises Ukip’s Great Grimsby candidate Victoria Ayling”:

  48. Carswell stuttered quite a bit on the Andrew Marr show this morning when questioned if Mitchell was planning to defect 🙂

    Out of the possible Labour defectees, I think Mitchell is a strong contender.

  49. Labour should be alright assuming most of that 22% Lib Dem vote goes their way in the GE. But the by-election this week indicated that UKIP can take ex-Lib Dem voters in WWC seats who themselves were probably Labour voters in the past. There is of course that large Conservative vote a lot of which is going straight to UKIP, essentially Victoria Ayling’s voters from 2010. Add on the 4.6% the BNP won in 2010 too.

    A higher turnout should take Melanie Onn into Commons but I won’t be surprised if there are major jitters in the Labour party about Grimsby.

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