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. Why would Mitchell bother? He’s standing down anyway, and all he’d manage to do would be hurt the party he’s spent four decades trying to help.

  2. I’m still not convinced UKIP can win here in a general election.

    Their best chance would be if Austin Mitchell resigned his seat early and backed UKIP in the by-election.

  3. prediction for 2015-

    Lab- 38%
    Con- 28%
    UKIP- 26%
    Lib- 8%

  4. Following on from Mr Nameless’s point, was there not some controversy during the summer regarding remarks that Austin Mitchell made about women? I agree with the general point that it would seem odd (and very unlikely) for him to try and hurt the party that he’s represented all his life, but if he was sufficiently disillusioned perhaps it’s possible.

    I still really struggle to see any Labour MP’s that could join UKIP and share most of the values. I’ve said before that I had some sympathy with some of UKIP’s views, but I’ve become less likely to vote for them the more ‘all things for all people’ they’ve become. I’d really struggle to see any Labour MP feeling truly comfortable in the same party as Janice Atkinson and Louise Behrs.

  5. And as for this seat, I’ve got no knowledge but a superficial glance would say that if AM held on in 2010 (when both he and his party were particularly unpopular) then it seems unlikely that there wouldn’t be a significant bounce without AM and in somewhat better circumstances for Labour, particularly with 22% of LD votes to squeeze.

    I know any say “yes but this is now a different world” but I’m still not quite so sure. I agree that UKIP aren’t the flash in the pan I thought they were, and there are some genuine votes in UKIP being willing to say things that the main parties won’t – however I’m still to be convinced that they have significant longevity or broad appeal in a GE.

    On that basis, it looks like a fairly straightforward Labour hold in a GE

  6. I see others have already mentioned AM as a potential candidate for the mooted Labour-UKIP defector. Ostensibly he’s retiring at the election but besides that he’s the only one I can think of who makes any kind of sense.

  7. My prediction:
    1/2. Labour- 34%
    1/2. UKIP- 34%
    3. Conservatives- 22%
    4. Li Dems- 8%
    5. Others- 2%

    Victoria ayling is a strong candidate for UKIP and knows the area well aas she was the tory candidate at the last GE, she will hoover up the tory votes here and take lots of labour ones too. She could be as tantalisingly close as she was in 2010 from taking this in different colours. Labour will not have the incumbancy factor here and if AM decides to endorse UKIP then I am pretty confident this will be a UKIP gain. Also according to Matt Goodwin says this is one of the most demographically friendly UKIP seats, all looks good for them if they put sufficient recourses into this seat which I think they will!

  8. I’d go for-
    Labour- 36%
    UKIP- 35%
    Tory- 21%
    Lib Dem- 6%
    Green- 2%

    A narrow Labour hold, with UKIP still not quite managing to take it from a base of 6% last time.

  9. “Douglas Carswell, the Ukip MP, has declined to deny that he is in defection talks with Austin Mitchell, the eurosceptic Labour MP.

    Mr Carswell has disclosed that he spoke to a Labour MP interested in defecting on Friday morning, hours after increasing his majority in the Clacton by-election.

    Mr Mitchell has described the European Union as an “albatross” around Labour’s neck and believes Britain would be better off outside the bloc. ”

  10. QTWTAIN. Austin Mitchell can make a scene when he wants to. If he was going to defect he’d have done it by now and without publicly pledging loyalty to Miliband on Friday.

  11. No-one in UKIP has ever sought to deny they’re in discussion with any particular MP up to now. It suits their narrative to make it look as if they’re going to get more defections & Farage & his colleagues know that if they attract a hatful of Tory defectors but no significant Labour ones it makes the party less attractive to Labour voters, making it easier for Labour to paint them as a Tory Party Mark II. I’d be surprised if Mitchell does defect, but he has been rather eccentric for a while & I wouldn’t completely put it past him.

  12. Chris K – I can think of half a dozen Labour MPs who share a lot of UKIP’s views. But defectors tend not to be the most obvious. Plus the most Eurosceptic tend to jealously guard their position eg Cash, Redwood et al and don’t like UKIP stealing their thunder. In the same way Dr Paisley didnt welcome Enoch Powell to Ulster politics, even though – perhaps because – they were the two most Unionist politicians. IMHO the Labour Party needs more like Kate Hoey, Frank Field et al, rather than defecting, otherwise the 3 Parties become even more of a liberal clique. Although Frank Field is due on the BBC’s NW Sunday Politics next week, so I’ll be watching just in case.

  13. The sad thing is that Field, Hoey and even Danczuk have been viewed unfavourably by a lot of the party’s rank and file. Hoey because of her views on fox hunting and grammar schools (I see no problem with the latter view personally) and Field and Danczuk because they dare to say something original about the welfare state.

  14. …To clarify (in case anyone misquotes me), her view on grammar schools.

  15. None of these people fit in well with the ‘London Labour’ mindset which is so dominant now.

  16. 4 more Green selections, 3 of them women:

    Great Grimsby: Vicky Dunn.
    Cleethorpes: Carol Thornton.
    Brigg & Goole: Natalie Hurst.
    Scunthorpe: Martin Dwyer.

    The only one of these which had a Green candidate in 2010 was Scunthorpe, where Natalie Hurst was the candidate, polling 396 votes (1.1%).

  17. They are viewed unfavourably because they express views which many of us feel are not a good fit with the values of the Labour party.
    I don’t think having cuckoos in the nest really does us any favours. Just makes us look disunited. When it gets to the stage that you are so out of step with your own party it’s hard to locate what you say within the most generous interpretation of their policies it is time to consider whether you should be in that party

  18. Victoria Ayling is fatally flawed. Dysfunctional family. Just look at her ex husband. More baggage than heathrow terminal 1. And yes….it will come out into the open. Disliked by grimsby people…….tory and a disloyal one.

  19. Merseymike – except Frank Field’s views: the Protestant work ethic, making work pay etc were Labour values decades ago. To use that same phrase of Labour values, as Danczuk did: “When a victim is white and the perpetrator is Asian, it shouldn’t be the default position of our Party to worry about the reaction in the Asian community first. They are not Labour values.” A problem is that many of the Party members – indeed the main 3 Parties’ MPs – have little in common with ordinary people. PS Is Jane a woman scorned?

  20. Ch4’s Skint at 9pm features this seat. I was amused when Austin Mitchell MP said, “They pick out the most loud-mouthed, ranting show offs.” He could easily be describing himself.

  21. Main party candidates:

    Con: Marc Jones
    Lab: Melanie Onn
    LD: Steve Beasant
    UKIP: Victoria Ayling
    Greens: Vicky Dunn

  22. New Ashcroft poll has Labour leading UKIP by a single point in the constituency-specific question. In the general question UKIP leads Labour by 6!

    These polls aren’t all going to be replicated in May, but Labour has to really wake up to its problems in what should be their core vote areas.

  23. ASHCROFT: DEC14- GG-constituency weighted with DNK redistributed
    20% Conservative
    35% Labour
    8% Liberal Democrat
    34% UKIP
    2% Green
    2% Other

  24. UKIP won’t win this because their vote will not hold until 7th May.

    Labour will win and the Tories will probably come 2nd in this constituency..

  25. Danczuk’s problem is that he’s Polish and therefore wonders why Stalin didn’t appear in front of the Nuremberg court given he committed many of the same crimes as Hitler

  26. I’m going to predict a marginal UKIP victory in Great Grimsby and here’s why:

    I think the shy voter, that bane of political pollsters for decades, will be out in force in places like Great Grimsby. The shy UKIP voter will say one thing to the pollster but in the privacy of the poll booth will back UKIP to the hilt. This makes many places that even UKIP have ignored, valid marginal constituencies.

  27. This from UKIP candidate Victoria Ayling : What happens when renewable energy runs out?
    Having noted that, some of the above comment are nearly as bollocks as that one.

  28. I’m still certain that many contributors have become mesmerised by the high UKIP vote in the Europeans and locals and are vastly over-rating their GE chances in seats like this one. Yes, UKIP will hold Clacton and make just squeak Thanet South, although I don’t think that’s certain by any means.

    In this seat, which became highly marginal in 2010 for the first time since 1983, I would predict Labour to win relatively comfortably. I’m sure the UKIP vote will increase very sharply, but would be surprised if they are within 10% of the Labour total in the end.

  29. Ms Ayling is now claiming that she meant to say “What happens when the renewable energy subsidy runs out”.

    Ho hum!

  30. Dr John,

    I think you’re right. ukip are grossly overhyped in seats where labour are incumbents…there has after all been a swing to labour in England & Wales in virtually evey conducted since May 2015….

    I don’t think the threat to a number of tory held seats posed by UKIP is overplayed though.

  31. Yes, agreed. The Conservatives have at least half-a-dozen seats that are far more vulnerable.

  32. This is surely the most likely UKIP gain from Labour but so far it does not seem to be happening. UKIP seats are very likely to all come from Tories, however, Thurrock with its 92 majority would surely have gone Labour and now it is a 3-way marginal with UKIP at this stage looking the most likely winner.

  33. PC – whilst true, that (a Tory>Lab swing) does not discount the possibility of a UKIP gain. Just look at the Heywood & Middleton By-election. Labour have neglected their own supporters. It’s no longer sufficient to target swing voters, when your own base isn’t reliable.

  34. Lancs observer-

    I think PC is one of the most acute commentators on this site. I recall him saying that the labour to ukip swing is exaggerated. All that s happened is that the anti-labour vote in the north is coalescing around ukip.

  35. The main reason that there is a swing to Labour is due to the collapse of the Left wing portion of the Lib Dem vote. There has been virtually no direct swing between the Conservatives and Labour since 2010. Thus what will save Labour here will be the collapse of the Lib Dem vote primarily in their favour. The only way I could see ukip winning here would be the Greens rising even higher in the polls taking more Labour votes and the Tory vote to completely collapse in ukip’s favour. It is also worth mentioning that here Labour have selected very wisely which may be their saving grace (unlike Southampton Itchen where their selection choice could doom them).If ukip remains a prominent force this could definitely be a long term prospect particularly with an unpopular, incompetent, weak Miliband Government which is at the mercy of the SNP.

  36. The Heywood and Middleton by election just showed the Con and LD’S collapsing and their vote slipping to Ukip.
    I think Labour should be a progressive party, not a nostalgic relic. If people really want that sort of thing then best they vote Ukip.

  37. Lol a Guardianista Polly Toynbee-esque party would get you absolutely nowhere Merseymike. It would ensure you lose a lot of working class vote and a lot of working class seats but you would gain very little in return as such people (the guardianistas or the Emily Thornburys of this world) are not popular with any faction of the electorate except with themselves and seen as this group (and the public sector) already votes Labour there would be virtually no votes to gain to replace those that are lost. What you are suggesting is a really bad idea If you let Grimsby, the Southampton seats, the Rotherham seats, the Plymouth seats and many more working class seats go what are you suggesting replacing them?

  38. I am not suggesting that Labour should revert to anything that they were in the past. However a broad-church centre-left party would be the best way forward for Labour that includes the working class and addresses its needs/concerns and not exclude it. Labour needs to reach out more to working class voters not less if it ever wants to get a majority again.

  39. That isn’t a very good analysis at all. Labour urgently needs to attract back the 7% or so who are supporting the Greens at the moment, many of whom will have voted Labour in the past. It simply isn’t true to say that there aren’t so-called Guardianistas who are not already voting Labour – there are load of them. The invoking of Polly Toynbee isn’t entirely appropriate either; though she is a critic of Blairism, she certainly can’t be regarded as a left-winger, and was of course an SDP member for a number of years – something for which many of the Left of the party haven’t yet totally forgiven her.

  40. I don’t think the Green vote will be as high as 7% in the GE, although certainly agree with the point that Labour need to tempt potential Green voters back.

    However, if the Green vote were even half that, say 3.5% or just over 1.5 million votes then that would possibly deny Labour victory is several key marginals – places like Hove but not Kemptown come to mind.

  41. Yikes, famous last words…

  42. I don’t think Labour will lose Grimsby, nevertheless it is the most appallingly stupid and complacent thing to say.

  43. Austin Mitchell: ‘Even if we selected a raving alcoholic sex paedophile we wouldn’t lose Grimsby’

    Bit harsh on the Grimsby electorate!

  44. A grotesque use of language by Mitchell, particularly in the current political climate.

  45. Austin, you do realise that your opponents in this seat are meant to be the ones making the extreme, insensitive comments, right?

    Maybe Labour has realised that constantly smearing UKIP isn’t working and concluded, “if you can’t beat them, join them”?

  46. I do agree with Mitchell that UKIP won’t win. His comments probably won’t damage Labour too much given that he is standing down. His successor will be able to disown the remarks. Mitchell is known for saying stupid things so it won’t have as much of an effect as if someone else had said it.

  47. Quite daft, but everyone knows Austin Mitchell is a bit odd. I would think Labour would be fine here unless UKIP A) get a big surge towards the election, or B) suddenly become very effective at campaigning.

    A) Looks unlikely as Farage goes into hiding and their weirdos keep coming out of the woodwork, and B) seems optimistic given how bad they are at it now with two and a half months to go.

  48. When you are leaving office at the next election and come up with phrases like this and would prefer to be out of the EU it isn’t so much surprising knowing Austin Mitchell.

    I don’t think it is anywhere near as important as a candidate’s statement which is about renewable energy running out. (She probably missed one word out, but you never know.)

  49. Of course renewable energy can run out. It is entirely based on the use of non-renewable materials (eg. plastics to make wind turbines, rare earths and silicon metal to make solar panels, copper and plastics to make the wiring, oil to operate the mining machinery to mine these materials, the list is almost endless).

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