2015 Result:
Conservative: 8007 (17.8%)
Labour: 28292 (62.8%)
Lib Dem: 1097 (2.4%)
Green: 1017 (2.3%)
UKIP: 6333 (14.1%)
Independent: 277 (0.6%)
MAJORITY: 20285 (45.1%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

Geography: North West, Cheshire. Part of the Halton council area.

Main population centres: Runcorn, Widnes, Hale.

Profile: Consists of the towns of Runcorn and Widnes, facing each other across the Mersey. Both are industrial towns, both dominated the chemicals industry, though the port of Runcorn has also expanded as a designated newtown since the 1960s.

Politics: A safe Labour seat that has been held by the party since its creation in 1983.

Current MP
DEREK TWIGG (Labour) Born 1959, Widnes. Educated at Bankfield High School. Former civil servant. Cheshire county councillor 1979-1985. First elected as MP for Halton in 1997. Government whip 2002-2004, Junior minister at Department for Education and Skills 2004-2005, for Transport 2005-2006, Minister for Veterans 2006-2008.
Past Results
Con: 8339 (20%)
Lab: 23843 (58%)
LDem: 5718 (14%)
BNP: 1563 (4%)
Oth: 1875 (5%)
MAJ: 15504 (38%)
Con: 6854 (20%)
Lab: 21460 (63%)
LDem: 5869 (17%)
MAJ: 14606 (43%)
Con: 6413 (19%)
Lab: 23841 (69%)
LDem: 4216 (12%)
MAJ: 17428 (51%)
Con: 7847 (18%)
Lab: 31497 (71%)
LDem: 3263 (7%)
Oth: 796 (2%)
MAJ: 23650 (53%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
MATTHEW LLOYD (Conservative)
DEREK TWIGG (Labour) See above.
RYAN BATE (Liberal Democrat)
VIC TURTON (Independent)
Comments - 27 Responses on “Halton”
  1. I find it interesting how comfortably the Tories held the Runcorn seat in 1979. How great a proportion of the constituency did the town itself comprise? I know it also contained affluent areas like Lymm and Grapenhall but it’s still seems puzzling when you consider that other constituency towns such as Frodsham and Helsby were probably not as Tory-leaning as they are now.

    How do you think the constituency would have voted in 2010? Surely Labour?

  2. i have often made that point myself Tory

    From what i can tell the pre-83 Runcorn seat, contained the Runcorn part of the Halton seat and bits of Weaver Vale and Warrington South.

    If you add all that together, it would be Labour in 2010 by at least 5,000 votes or so

    In 1966, the tories held this seat with a majority of about 5000 – making it safer than more rural Cheshire seats like Northwich and Nantwich.

    I do wonder where all those Tory votes came from.

    One explanation could be the sitting MP at the time Mark Carlisle. One would imagine him having quite a strong personal vote – and unsurprisingly he chose to fight (and won) warrington South when his old seat was abolished in 1983

  3. Indeed, Tim. Perhaps the Tory leads in Lymm etc were stronger in those days than they are now (though they were still handy enough to deliver Warrington S to David Mowatt in 2010). Perhaps the Tories also did a lot better in Runcorn itself in those days, Before the 1980s, the Tories were still reasonably competitive on Cheshire’s Mersey Bank- after all, Barry Porter had managed to regain Bebington and Ellesmere Port in 1979 and he couldn’t have done that without at least some support in places like Bromborough and Ellesmere Port itself.

  4. Percentage changes: Halton, 1983 (using notional 1979 result):

    Lab: -3.65%
    Con: -6.36%
    Alliance: +10.01%

  5. I think this part of Cheshire has undeniably been trending away from the Tories over the past few decades

    I guess it’s the Merseyside effect – which has spread into Cheshire, Lancashire and even North Wales

  6. On a related note I’ve often wondered if the BBC and ITN overestimated the notional Tory majority in Wirral South in 1979 and underestimated the Tory position in Ellesmere Port and Neston. If the 1979 notionals are to be believed the Tories didn’t do that well in Wirral South in 1983 (down from 57% to 53%) but overturned a 1770 Labour majority in EP and N to win by over 7000 on 46% of the vote (4% points up on the 1979 notional figure).

  7. I think you’re probably right about the 1979 notionals.

    My hunch is that the notional calculations got better over time, so that the 1992 notionals for the 1997 election were an improvement on the 1979 notionals, and the 2005 notionals for 2010 were even more accurate.

  8. Snooker player Andrew Higginson comes from Widnes, one of the two main towns in this seat.

  9. My 2015 forecast for Halton

    Lab 62
    Con 13
    UKIP 11
    LD 8
    others 6

  10. I expect that UKIP will come 2nd here and the LD vote will be a bit lower but that prediction looks pretty sound to me.

  11. Incidentally – is there actually a place here called Halton? If not, is there anyone who can explain the name of the local authority/constituency?

  12. Yes, there is a place called Halton. Today it forms part of Runcorn in the County of Chester but it was traditionally a village and even features a castle which was home to the medieval barons of Halton.

  13. I suppose you would still call it a village today actually, insofar as a lot of the old buildings have survived and there is a Halton Village Milennium Green.

  14. A recent discussion on the Makerfield seat (and on the old Newton seat) drew my attention to Widnes

    Actual results (no boundary changes in 1974) –

    [E] Labour hold
    JE MacColl Labour 26,613 60.69%
    A Pickering Conservative 17,235 39.31%

    Electorate: 60,269; Turnout: 72.75%;
    Majority: 9,378 (21.39%)

    [E] Labour hold
    JE MacColl Labour 28,384 57.66%
    GH Pierce Conservative 20,841 42.34%

    Electorate: 71,633; Turnout: 68.72%;
    Majority: 7,543 (15.32%)

    February 1974
    [E] Labour hold
    GJ Oakes Labour 35,654 65.05%
    AHK Maynard Conservative 19,155 34.95%

    Electorate: 74,393; Turnout: 73.67%;
    Majority: 16,499 (30.10%)

    October 1974 Widnes
    [E] Labour hold
    GJ Oakes Labour 31,532 59.20%
    AHK Maynard Conservative 14,661 27.53%
    A Turner Liberal 7,067 13.27%

    Electorate: 75,141; Turnout: 70.88%;
    Majority: 16,871 (31.68%

    [E] Labour hold
    GJ Oakes Labour 32,033 55.16%
    BG Holder Conservative 21,752 37.46%
    LA Self Liberal 4,290 7.39%

    Electorate: 78,228; Turnout: 74.24%;
    Majority: 10,281 (17.70%)

    Note there were no Liberal candidates in 1970 and February 1974 – this gives us an opportunity to look at the swing in a seat between the 2 main parties only in an election which was massively confused by boundary changes and Liberal interventions with Liberal surges.

    So here we see a strong swing to Labour – what a hotch potch that election was – in some places it seems the underlying swing was against Labour net but definitely not here.

  15. Kingsway Ward By-Election Result:

    Lab 537
    UKIP 164
    Con 22
    LibDem 11

  16. The Lib Dem candidate here is Ryan Bate.

  17. Labour Hold. 17,000 majority.

  18. Labour hold on an increased majority, exceeding 20,000.

  19. Another good result for Labour in Cheshire here. Like next-door Ellesmere Port and Neston it has good links to Liverpool and that probably plays a big factor in the seat still being extremely safe for Labour. But apart from that, I think Runcorn and Widnes are naturally that way inclined in any case, but nevertheless the figures are very impressive for Derek Twigg here who has a very good reputation locally I think.

  20. Well it was another good result for Labour where a good result wasn’t really needed. And that explains why the Conservatives avoided serious damage in the North West despite suffering a swing of nearly 3% in the region as a whole.

  21. Corbyn is visiting here tomorrow.

    It really has been a bizarre list of seats he’s been to throughout the campaign.

  22. Yes, you’d think he had better uses of his time than visiting a seat his party holds with a majority of over 20,000

  23. Halton Castle Ward By-election, 15.02.18:

    Labour 522
    Ind 133
    Cons 88

    16% Turnout

  24. The Charging Order for the new toll on the ‘Mersey Gateway’ bridge has been ruled to be defective and therefore the toll was unlawful as were all penalties issued.

    Apparently the Council failed to publish the level of the toll at all in the notice, or publish the notice in he local paper.

    This therefore makes Halton Council liable for almost £30m plus Costs – unless they manage to overturn the decision in 4 weeks’ time.

  25. I don’t think that is the real Andy JS.

    Posted by the Real Joe James B.

  26. JJB – true (again) Joe.

    I doubt Mike Homfray is that childish (he’s about 65?) – to faux complain of character assassination of a private individual and then make one about an elected Cllr – but it seems some other Momentumista is.

    The most amusing part of that post is that it read as if the fake Andy JS is stating that Cllr Roberts is the first ever person in the Labour Party to accuse Jezza of being an anti-Semite!

    Incidentally, for those wondering where Rivers10 got to, I found him via the Labour Doorstep hashtag online. It seems Lee is the Agent for the Labour candidate in Tuebrook v the colossus that is Steve Radford’s Liberal Party in Liverpool.

    A thankless task you might think (Radford has polled between 60% and 85% in this ward over the past 25 years or more), but Radford was re-elected in 2016 and so it’s not quite a as large a mountain to climb as Labour did win a ward in the seat in 2015 due to the GE turnout (and presumably cos the Lib was an ex LD City Cllr).

    Lee looked suitably studious in the pics directing canvassing [I won’t be unkind and say nerdy, but all of these 22-year-olds with beards these days do amuse me), although he did look extremely tired! So I’ll forgive him if he doesn’t have the time to post a campaign update on the Lpool West Derby thread.

  27. It’s clearly very early on, but so far there have been huge swings from Labour in several wards in St Helens, Halton and Liverpool.

    The Dep Leader of Halton just held on by 80 votes against a young Independent in Hale. That ward has not been contested for almost a decade!

    In Haydock (St H):

    Lab 46% – 14%
    Green 39% + 34%
    Cons 15% + 5%

    (No UKIP – 23% last time).

    Could be that in small c cons places the UKIP vote from 2014 is no going anywhere but Labour.

    In Liverpool, no results so far but Labour are worried about losing between 2 and 7 wards apparently (to the LDs).

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