Haltemprice & Howden

2015 Result:
Conservative: 26414 (54.2%)
Labour: 10219 (21%)
Lib Dem: 3055 (6.3%)
Green: 1809 (3.7%)
UKIP: 6781 (13.9%)
Others: 479 (1%)
MAJORITY: 16195 (33.2%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

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

Main population centres: Howden, Willerby, Kirk Ella, Anlaby, Cottingham.

Profile: This seat mainly consists of the the middle class suburbs of Hull that lie outside the city boundaries, places like Willerby, Kirk Ella, Anlaby and Cottingham (which also includes most of the Halls of Residence for Hull University). Beyond that it stretches out westwards along the A63 to take in smaller towns and villages like Bubwith and Howden itself. It is an affluent, middle class area with one of the highest proportions of owner-occupiers in the country.

Politics: Normally a safe Conservative seat, the seat was heavily targetted by the Liberal Democrats in 2005 who saw the chance to claim the scalp of a Conservative big hitter, ultimately unsuccessfully. In 2008 David Davis made the highly unusual decision to voluntarily submit to a by-election, stepping down to fight an election on the issue of 42 day detention. Labour, the Liberal Democrats and UKIP declined to contest the by-election, producing one of the strangest by-elections in recent times: David Davis against the Green party, the National Front and twenty-three other fringe and independent candidates, ranging from the naively optimistic, the eccentric to the downright insane. They included a beauty queen, a justice campaigner who had attacked a bailiff with a chainsaw, a man who claimed to the true Archbishop of Canterbury, and David Icke.


Current MP
DAVID DAVIS (Conservative) Born 1948, York. Educated at Bec Grammar School and Warwick University. Former senior executive with Tate and Lyle and member of the territorial army`s SAS regiment. First elected as MP for Boothferry in 1987. PPS to Francis Maude 1988-90, Government Whip 1990-93, Parliamentary Secretary, Office of Public Service and Science 1993-94, Minister of State in the foreign office 1994-1997. Conservative party chairman 2001-2002, shadow deputy Prime Minister 2002-2003, Shadow Home secretary 2003-2008. Davis did not serve on the Conservative front bench under William Hague, instead building a reputation as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. He contested the Conservative leadership election in 2001, finishing in a distant fourth place but establishing himself as a significant figure. Following Iain Duncan Smith`s removal as leader two years later Davis was expected to stand, but instead stood aside to allow Michael Howard to become leader without a contest and making him the clear front runner to succeed Howard in due course. He entered the 2005 race as the overwhelming favourite, but after what was seen as a lacklustre conference speech he was eclipsed by David Cameron and ended up finishing as runner up. He continued as shadow home secretary until his shock resignation from the Commons in 2008 to fight a by-election on the issue of 42 day detention. He has since remained on the backbenches.
Past Results
2010
Con: 24486 (50%)
Lab: 7630 (16%)
LDem: 12884 (26%)
BNP: 1583 (3%)
Oth: 2154 (4%)
MAJ: 11602 (24%)
2005*
Con: 22792 (47%)
Lab: 6104 (13%)
LDem: 17676 (37%)
BNP: 798 (2%)
Oth: 659 (1%)
MAJ: 5116 (11%)
2001
Con: 18994 (43%)
Lab: 6898 (16%)
LDem: 17091 (39%)
UKIP: 945 (2%)
MAJ: 1903 (4%)
1997
Con: 21809 (44%)
Lab: 11701 (24%)
LDem: 14295 (29%)
Oth: 375 (1%)
MAJ: 7514 (15%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
DAVID DAVIS (Conservative) See above.
EDWARD HART (Labour)
CARL MINNS (Liberal Democrat)
JOHN KITCHENER (UKIP)
TIM GREENE (Green)
DIANA WALLIS (Yorkshire First) Born 1954, Hitchen. Educated at North London Polytechnic. Solicitor. Former East Riding councillor, former Humberside councillor. Contested Braintree 1992, Haltemprice and Howden 1997. MEP for Yorkshire 1999-2012 for the Liberal Democrats.
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Comments - 93 Responses on “Haltemprice & Howden”
  1. David Davis will be quietly confident of increasing his majority here. The Lib Dem vote is trending downwards and he is better placed than most of his Tory colleagues to counter UKIP.

  2. agreed. There is no sign of Labour improving in terms of demography either.

  3. I would have thought Labour would improve a fair bit here – I drew attention to some of the local election results in 2011 – Labour actually went ahead of or was very close to the Lib Dems in some seats where they were nowhere atall in 2007 (and probably in 2003 and 1999).
    I think Dale was one of them, as possibly one of the Cottinghams.

    A Labour second place seems unlikely but not totally ridiculous.

  4. I would agree. Labour’s share rose here even in 2010 so they should be in for a fairly decent increase here again in 2015, and could even come second.

    I occasionally take a look back at the many comments made on the old site during the 2008 by-election – they make a fun read. The late Mad Cow-Girl and OMRLP candidate was one of the contributors.
    David Davis raised important issues on the erosion of civil liberties, although his 25 opponents provided a weird and wonderful distraction.

  5. Yes, I think Labour can just about finish second but it will be a very distant second, which I think is Barnaby’s point.

  6. Presumably the edge of conurbation effect seen in other northern cities could be starting to apply. That said, there’s no way the seat could be won so it’s not going to be targetted to any extent. It’s therefore likely that any Labour increase will primarily be due to tactical unwind of the Lib Dem vote.

  7. Edward- perhaps you’re right (indeed, of all of us, I probably bang on about the edge of conurbation effect the most). But for every Broxtowe and Wirral West, there is a Ruschliffe and South Leicestershire i.e. a slightly more rural, slightly farther out kind of seat that has remained strongly Tory. At the moment I would place Haltemprice and Howden in the latter camp. At the worst (from a Conservative point of view), it falls somewhere between the two categories, a bit like Altrincham and Sale West.

  8. I know that not all the seats I mentioned are northern but the edge of conurbation effect has occurred throughout provincial England

  9. It strikes me that with seats like Rushcliffe it’s a bit more complex than that. Much of the seat is farther out, and too rural for Labour to really be in contention, but West Bridgford is not notably separate from Nottingham.

    It’s just that the Labour Party has little incentive to work the West Bridgford bits, because it’s highly unlikely we could do well enough there to win the seat as a whole. Hence it might get a derisory effort in local elections, but nobody’s going to bother busing in the likes of Labour Students. Whereas in somewhere like Wirral South, there’s a marginal to defend and there are strongholds to balance out the areas where we’ll never get close.

    These sorts of seats will get worked hard and as a result the sort of voters who might be prepared to consider voting Labour if they thought it was worthwhile are much more likely to be convinced that it is.

    The same underlying factor is probably applying in a lot of places. But for it to actually have a major impact, there’s a need for political effort to be expended. That’s what doesn’t happen in Rushcliffe and won’t happen here, but expending the effort won’t bear sufficient dividends.

  10. A typically interesting post, Edward. And. I agree with you that effort on the ground counts. Nevertheless, I think it is also highly relevant that there is a significant rural element in Rushcliffe. I don’t think you can say that of Gedling, Broxtowe and the two Wirrals (though could say it of the proposed Wirral Deeside constituency).

  11. The only ward in the proposed Wirral Deeside not currently in a Wirral constituency is Neston & Parkgate, which is small-town rather than rural.

    So I’m not sure you could say that there’s a significant element to Wirral Deeside that’s rural – there are small bits of open countryside, but most of the population is in relatively large villages that are clearly dormitory settlements for the Merseyside urban area.

    I think the bigger difference is that Rushcliffe is a mixture of areas where the Conservatives are guaranteed a large lead, and areas where at best Labour could get a narrow advantage. That contrasts with Gedling and Broxtowe, where both the Conservatives and Labour could theoretically win most areas in the constituency, and with the Wirral seats which combine strongly Labour areas contiguous to the larger conurbation and just-about-separate areas in the west where the Tories still put up large margins, even if they’re not as large as they used to be. Pensby & Thingwall is a slight exception in the latter case, but a massive amount of campaigning seems to lie behind that so it’s probably atypical.

    Rurality can make a seat safe, except where there’s a coal-mining tradition (and sometimes even there, as in Rushcliffe). But equally there are urban areas that can make a seat safe for the Tories because of their demographics.

    Arguably here both criteria are working in the Tories’ favour, for now at least.

  12. Yes, I know I was stretching it there. Saying that there are places like Brimstage, Barnston Thornton Hough, Raby Mere which have retained their character (with horses and riders going up and down the lanes) plus there is quite a rural belt between Heswall and West Kirby/Caldy centring on Thursaston.

    I agree with you about Pensby being atypical. Sure, it’s not as well-heeled as nearby Heswall but it’s comfortable. Even when you factor in the Tories’ problems with ABC1s (particularly those in the north), the Tories ought to be doing better there than they are currently. But Pete Whitehead reckons that even in 2010, Esther Mcvey carried it by only 100 or so. I gather that the Wirral West Conservative Association doesn’t have a brilliant campaigning reputation.

  13. Labour are 12 points down here since 1992. Im calling the “improving labour position here as a bit of nonsense. It isn’t even the type of place one would expect labour to improve.

  14. Joe, I agree with you that Labour isn’t going to improve significantly in this seat. Its support was artificially depressed in 2001 and 2005 as the non-Tory vote coalesced around the Liberal Democrats. We’re probably just seeing tactical unwind at the moment. The Tories have nothing to fear in this constituency.

    However, I don’t think one can reach that conclusion on the basis of the 1992 figures. These refer to the old Boothferry constituency, which included the Labour-voting town of Goole.

  15. CON HOLD MAJ : 18%
    CON 41
    LAB 23
    LD 18
    UKIP 9
    GRN 6
    OTH 3

  16. 2015 – Fairly likely
    and if UKIP stand.

    *Con 52% +2%
    Lab 23% +7%
    LD 18% -8%
    UKIP 5%
    Green 2% +0.5%

  17. Very sad death announced of Haltemprice’s most famous and for many of us greatest Tory MPs, Alan B’Stard.

    I honestly can’t express adequately what a great character Rik Mayall was. Those of us who grew up with him on our screens in the 1980s and 90s probably can only ever think of him as a young up and coming alternative comedian. Whether it be as the student anarchist in the Young Ones or one of our greatest Thatcherite poster boys in The New Statesman as well as all his other characters in between (I’m also thinking of Blackadder’s Lord Flashart character), he had such energy and presence. He dominated every scene that he was in.

    And through the magic of television, they are forever young. As with Mel Smith last year, its hard to believe that these sort of young characters are gone.

    RIP Rik Mayall

  18. yes it’s a sad loss. I wonder what Sarah B’Stard will get up to in his absence.

  19. Bottom was IMO by far the best thing Rik Mayall did….perhaps because I was only 6 in 1982 so was too young to understand the Young Ones until they were repeated years later when their time had definitely passed. I wasn’t a fan of Lord Flashart (though liked Blackadder), or the New Statesman.

    I echo what Shaun said about Mel Smith, unlike the Young Ones, Not The Nine O’clock News has aged extremely well. For some reason my favourite sketch was Smith and Griff Rhys Jones hilariously sending up the Two Ronnies, which apparently made Ronnie Barker hit the roof with rage and given his influence at the BBC in the 1980s somewhat damaged the careers of both Smith and Jones.

    The death of comedians who were in their 20s when you watched them as a 10 year old does make you start to feel old.

  20. I agree about that sketch – it was very daring & honest, showing the (at best) great scepticism they had for the 2 Ronnies’ type of humour. I think it’s a bit early for you to start feeling old though, HH!

  21. Ronnie Barker was notoriously thin-skinned and rude to people who recognised him.

    Ronnie Corbett couldn’t be more different. You still sometimes see him tottering around Shirley or West Wickham high streets signing autographs.

  22. I was extremely sad to hear of the great Rik Mayall’s death. Great character, fine comedian and an extremely funny man. R.I.P.

  23. Prediction for 2015-
    Davis (Conservative)- 47%
    Liberal Democrat- 22%
    Labour- 18%
    UKIP- 10%
    Others- 3%

  24. I think both the Conservatives and Labour will do better than you think, TR, though I think you are about right on the Tory % lead over Labour. UKIP’s share is difficult to predict because the last lot of East Riding elections were in 2011. I note UKIP carried the council area by 7500 or so in the 2014 European elections so there will be some support but I suspect not so much in this seat.

    Prediction

    Davis (Conservative) 51%
    Lab 23%
    LD 16%
    UKIP 8%
    Others 2%

  25. Jon Neal has to be one of the unluckiest Lib Dem candidates in recent times I think.

    When he first stood here in 2001, he slashed David Davis’ majority of 7514 right down to 1903 on a 5.45% swing in his favour and with a vote share increase of 10.1%. Then in 2005, with DD’s profile having shot up considerably in the intervening four years, that may have helped him to increase his majority to 5116, but he would have probably held anyway given his work as MP locally. It was this result that clearly put paid to the Lib Dems’ chances of ever winning here, so that in 2010, Jon Neal fell right back and the unwind kicked in to put the Lib Dems back behind their 1997 vote share, with the unusual result in 2001 having gone back on them, and DD saw his majority more than double last time as well.

  26. Davis’s decision to resign & force a by-election on a point of principle, in which of course he himself stood & was not opposed by the other major parties, has ruined his front-bench prospects but surely ended any chance he could have had of being defeated in this seat.

  27. That was bizarre. Very bizarre.

    I recently read through every page of this seat’s thread on the old site, and it makes me recall the strange time that by-election indeed was.

    It was the fact that he was allowed to do it, that continues to baffle me.

    I hope we don’t see too many by-elections like that again.

  28. But that scare he had in 2001- I think it’s interesting actually to wonder why he came so close to defeat?

    Certainly the Labour vote fell heavily, well above the national average, probably even for Yorkshire that year, and it clearly nearly all went to the Lib Dems, but why did it happen?

    There’s a bit of Ludlow about it if you know what I mean, except they didn’t take the seat in 2001- Something similar happened in Maidenhead in 2001 as well, only for the Tories to similarly recover comfortably in 2005.

  29. Ludlow isn’t a bad comparison. But this is a seat with quite a number of academics & public sector professionals, working mainly in Hull. I suspect the Tories lost to the LDs in areas like Cottingham which are closest to Hull, and also in Howden which has a decent LD vote, with the Cons being rescued by the more rural villages (of which there are many). Sheer local activism, and the lack of a serious Labour vote, no doubt helped the LDs come close too. But yes, this should never have been marginal.

  30. It is a strange phenomenon though.

    The Lib Dems seemed to do extremely well in a select number of seats against the Conservatives in 2001, but still didn’t quite win them- I wonder if here it was something to do with the actual candidate Jon Neal actually having an effect on the swing?

    I think the reason DD held on so comfortably in 2005 was because of his much higher profile. He was still the incumbent and the Lib Dems for whatever reason were unable to get any more Labour supporters onside, and the close result in 2001 must have made David Davis work very hard and he was obviously rewarded as a result. Perhaps also around the same time the Lib Dems had begun to fade locally as well?

  31. Howdenshire ward By-election result: Cons 1,020, UKIP 891, Lab 298. Turnout: 18.2%. The LibDems failed to even stand.

  32. Former Yorkshire & Humber Lib Dem MEP Diana Wallis is standing here for Yorkshire First. They advocate the establishment of a Yorkshire Parliament as their flagship policy. They’re also standing in Leeds NW, Colne Valley, Calder Valley, Shipley and Cities of London and Westminster.

  33. Very surprised they’re not going for Hallam and Doncaster North, just for the publicity.

  34. I assume that South Humberside (North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire will be excluded from any Yorkshire parliament).

    Technically, these two authorities should have been transferred to the East Midland in 1999.

  35. East Midlands not East Midlands

  36. Eh?

  37. God no, North Lincs definitely isn’t the East Midlands. Northamptonshire is already pushing it!

  38. It really looks like the LDs could be fourth here.
    David Davis should hold down the UKIP swing so Labour will probably be second.

  39. Incredible how this seat looks like going from a Con-Lib marginal in 2001 and 2005 to being a completely hopeless seat for the Lib Dems come May.

  40. The LDs are running behind Labour in several perhaps all the wards in the Haltemprice area – it was that area which gave them their base before. I pointed this out from 2011 onwards but it’s got even worse for them. They’re starting to leave seats uncontested.

  41. 2015
    Most likely
    * CON 26,000
    LAB 10,000
    UKIP 7,000
    LD 6,000
    GRN 1,000

    CON MAJ 16,000

  42. Think the result in 2001 might have been an aberration of some kind, because for the Lib Dems to unravel like they have since could be an unwinding of the effect of them overperforming that year, though I might be wrong.

  43. To clarify, Haltemprice and Howden is nothing to do with the Midlands (East or West). It’s the area to the west of Kingston upon Hull going out as far as Goole (and taking in a little of the South Bank of the Humber near Goole). It’s in Yorkshire.

  44. Conservative Hold. 15,000 majority. Labour may be 2nd.

  45. JJB’s prediction was very good.

    Cons 54.2% (+3.9)
    Lab 21.0 (+5.3)
    UKIP 13.9 (+13.9)
    LD 6.3 (-20.2)
    Gre 3.7 (+2.3)

    Con majority 16,195 (33.2%)

  46. Labour did fairly well here I thought- Perhaps a slight Hull effect as well as the continuing Lib Dem collapse in this seat?

  47. Labour has undoubtedly strengthened in Haltemprice. I do not know if the area has gone downhill though its demographic profile was certainly less solidly managerial/professional than I was expecting when I looked at the 2011 census figures. The problem for Labour is that the semi-rural balance of the seat is absolutely dominated by the Conservatives and will likely remain so. And though Labour has undoubtedly got stronger, the Tories are also 10% points up on their 1997 level which is good going.

  48. ConHome reporting David Davis is inside Number 10. Maybe the former shadow Home Sec will be getting Mrs May’s old gig?

  49. Id say more likely brexit minster unless Boris is doing that.

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