Harborough

2015 Result:
Conservative: 27675 (52.7%)
Labour: 8043 (15.3%)
Lib Dem: 7037 (13.4%)
Green: 2177 (4.1%)
UKIP: 7539 (14.4%)
MAJORITY: 19632 (37.4%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: East Midlands, Leicestershire. The whole of the Oadby and Wigston council area and part of the Harborough council area.

Main population centres: Market Harborough, Oadby, Wigston, Knibworth, Fleckney.

Profile: The compact local authority of Oadby and Wigston nestles to the south-east of Leicester and is essentially made up of relatively affluent and ethnically diverse suburbs of Leicester itself. As well as Oadby and Wigston the seat includes the town of Market Harborough, and the swathe of countryside and small villages inbetween.

Politics: The seat has been held by the Conservatives since 1950. The Liberal Democrats were in a strong second place and this had been a target for them in a region where they were otherwise unrepresented in Parliament. While they collapsed to fourth place in the Parliamentary election of 2015, they retain a dominant position on the local council of Oadby and Wigston.


Current MP
EDWARD GARNIER (Conservative) Born 1952, Germany, to a military family. Educated at Wellington College and Oxford University. Barrister. Contested Hemsworth 1987. First elected as MP for Harborough in 1992. PPS to Alistair Goodlad 1992-1994, PPS to David Davis 1994-1995, PPS to Nicholas Lyell 1996-1997, PPS to Roger Freeman 1997. Shadow Attorney General 1999-2001, 2009-2010. Solicitor general 2010-2012. Awarded a knighthood in 2012.
Past Results
2010
Con: 26894 (49%)
Lab: 6981 (13%)
LDem: 17097 (31%)
BNP: 1715 (3%)
Oth: 2258 (4%)
MAJ: 9797 (18%)
2005*
Con: 20536 (43%)
Lab: 9222 (19%)
LDem: 16644 (35%)
UKIP: 1520 (3%)
MAJ: 3892 (8%)
2001
Con: 20748 (45%)
Lab: 9271 (20%)
LDem: 15496 (33%)
UKIP: 912 (2%)
MAJ: 5252 (11%)
1997
Con: 22170 (42%)
Lab: 13332 (25%)
LDem: 15646 (30%)
MAJ: 6524 (12%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
EDWARD GARNIER (Conservative) See above.
SUNDIP MEGHANI (Labour)
ZUFFAR HAQ (Liberal Democrat) Born Leicester. Educated at Lancaster Boys and Gateway College. Businessman. Contested Leicester West 2005, Harborough 2010, Leicester South by-election 2011.
MARK HUNT (UKIP)
DARREN WOODIWISS (Green)
Links
Comments - 24 Responses on “Harborough”
  1. Votes cast in local elections:

    LD: 8,895 (33.8%)
    Con: 8,164 (31.0%)
    UKIP: 5,629 (21.4%)
    Lab: 3,361 (12.8%)
    Ind: 272 (1.0%)

    Changes since 2010 GE:

    LD: +2.8%
    Con: -18.0%
    UKIP: +18.7%
    Lab: +0.0%
    Ind: +0.6%
    Others: -4.2%

    Swing, Con to LD: 10.4%

    In Oadby & Wigston the LDs had a lead over the Tories of 2,669 votes and in the two Market Harborough divisions they led by 289 votes. But the Tories had a huge lead over the LDs in both the Bruntingthorpe and Gartree divisions, parts of which are included in the constituency. In fact if the whole of those two divisions were included in the Harborough constituency the Tories would have carried the seat by 52 votes:

    http://www.leics.gov.uk/index/your_council/local_democracy/aboutthecountycouncil/useyourvote/election_results/election_2013/election_2013_division/election_2013_bruntingthorpe.htm?Division_ID=24

    http://www.leics.gov.uk/index/your_council/local_democracy/aboutthecountycouncil/useyourvote/election_results/election_2013/election_2013_division/election_2013_gartree.htm?Division_ID=25

  2. As late as 1992, this seemed to be one of a number of rural seats that had a long established tradition of counting on the second day- others included Daventry, Gainsborough, Boothferry, Bridlington, Truro, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Skipton and Ripon and Richmond.

  3. Prediction for 2015-
    Garnier (Conservative)- 47%
    Liberal Democrats- 28%
    Labour- 17%
    UKIP- 6%
    Others- 2%

  4. Libdem PPC for Harborough. Zuffar Haq, who fought Harborough at the last general election, has been chosen to fight the seat again in 2015.

    Zuffar also was the LibDem candidate in the 2011 Leicester South by-election.

  5. I think The Results’ prediction is about right. There is now a fairly established history of ticket-splitting in this constituency, and it seems to involve left-leaning people in Oadby and Wigston voting Lib Dem locally but Labour nationally. Therefore, the fact that the Lib Dems and Tories were neck and neck in 2013 does not indicate that the next general election will be at all close, particularly as one would have thought that ticket-splitting will be augmented by a degree of unwind.

  6. Methinks the estimates on UKIP are too modest…

  7. Speaking to my old friend Ted yesterday – he was Labour candidate for Leicester SE in 1955 – I was interested to hear him tell me that in those days Oadby & Wigston were separated for parliamentary purposes, though I think that in 1945 they were both part of the Harborough constituency as they are today. Oadby was in the Leicester SE seat he stood in, which helps to explain why it was such a safe Tory seat at the time. He wasn’t sure which seat Wigston was in, other than it wasn’t in SE. Would it perhaps have been part of Leicester SW? I know that Wigston is pretty dreadful for Labour nowadays, but I’m pretty sure that in those days it would have been not too bad territory for the party, at least in comparison with Oadby which would have been very heavily Tory at the time. Perhaps someone like Pete would know. If you’re reading this Pete, please look at the St Albans thread too.

  8. I was under the impression that Wigston has been part of Harborough ever since the Third Reform Act.

  9. Well, of course he may have misremembered – he’s 86 & it’s many years since that election – but he was pretty certain that Wigston wasn’t part of the constituency he contested.

  10. I should add that he & his wife will soon be moving back to this constituency, after decades in London.

  11. In fact looking at the Leicester E thread, Pete Whitehead confirms that the old Leicester SE contained Oadby but not Wigston.

  12. Mark Cox was the Liberal Democrat candidate here in 1992 and 1997. He had two swings in his favour but hasn’t stood here since.

  13. I don’t think the ticket splitting in Oadby & Wigston is mainly LD/Lab, I think a lot of it is LD/Con.

  14. I agree, Andy, it is.

  15. I think the Lib Dems will probably fall back again here next time, though because of their traditional strength in the areas discussed, not by a massive amount.

  16. Well, in 2005, the Tory vote share here in the CC elections was only 2% below what it was in the general election. The Lib Dem vote share in the local elections was nearly 52%. On the old site Pete Whitehead estimated that between 8000 and 9000 ‘local’ Lib Dems voted for other parties on that day’s general election and stated that the bulk of those will have voted Labour nationally.

  17. But I should stress that I agree that there will be LD/Con ticket splitting too.

  18. Will the Greens be standing in 2015? I’d like to hope they would in order to allow a poll card that covers the entire political spectrum.

  19. Conservative Hold. 15,000 majority.

  20. Con 52.7 (+3.8)
    Lab 15.3 (+2.6)
    UKIP 14.4 (+11.7)
    LD 13.4 (-17.7)
    Green 4.1

    Con majority 19,632 (37.4%)

  21. Tories hold a seat here in a byelection tonight (Misterton). Their vote share was well down (with Labour down a little as well) probably due in part to LD and UKIP standing this time (last time it was a straight Con/Lab battle)

  22. Misterton isn’t in this seat, it’s in South Leicestershire. This happens a lot on this site, it’s worth checking exactly which constituency wards are in so relevant information is posted and can be discussed on the right page.

  23. Tory Cllr Teck Khong (Oadby) appears to have either been suspended or resigned from the Group and will now sit as an Ind.

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