Hemel Hempstead

2015 Result:
Conservative: 26245 (52.9%)
Labour: 11825 (23.8%)
Lib Dem: 2402 (4.8%)
Green: 1660 (3.3%)
UKIP: 7249 (14.6%)
Independent: 252 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 14420 (29.1%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: Eastern, Hertfordshire. Part of Dacorum council area.

Main population centres: Hemel Hempstead, Flamstead, Great Gaddesden, Markyate, Nettleden, Hudnall, Little Gaddesden, Potton End.

Profile: Consists of the town of Hemel Hempstead itself and some of the attractive Chiltern villages to the north. Hemel Hempstead is a Hertfordshire new town, just north-west of the junction of the M25 and M1. When the town was originally built in the 1950s industrial areas were developed to prevent Hemel becoming no more than a London dormitory town and good communications links mean the town has retained significant industry and commerce. Just east of the town is the Herfordshire Oil storage depot, better known as the Buncefield complex, made infamous by the explosion of December 2005..

Politics: Has historically been a marginal between Labour and the Conservatives. In 2010 the seat saw the biggest swing from Labour to Conservative in the country, over 14%, pushing Conservative support over 50% and Labour into third place.

Current MP
MICHAEL PENNING (Conservative) Born 1957, London. Educated at King Edmund Comprehensive school and Reading University. Former firefighter, journalist and serviceman. Contested Thurrock 2001. First elected as MP for Hemel Hempstead in 2005. Under-secretary of state for Transport 2010-2012, Minister of State for Northern Ireland 2012-2013, Minister of State for Work and Pensions 2013-2014. Minister of State for Policing and Justice since 2014. A right-winger from a working-class background, Penning has a varied past career. After leaving school he served in the Grenadier Guards in Northern Ireland, Kenya and Germany and worked as a full-time fireman in Essex, before working as a political journalist and as a media consultant. A staunch Euro-sceptic, Penning was a media advisor to the "whipless 8" Conservative MPs under the Major government and was later national director of Conservatives Against a Federal Europe. He went on to serve as an advisor to William Hague and deputy head of media for Iain Duncan Smith.
Past Results
Con: 24721 (50%)
Lab: 10295 (21%)
LDem: 11315 (23%)
BNP: 1615 (3%)
Oth: 1525 (3%)
MAJ: 13406 (27%)
Con: 19000 (40%)
Lab: 18501 (39%)
LDem: 8089 (17%)
UKIP: 1518 (3%)
MAJ: 499 (1%)
Con: 17647 (38%)
Lab: 21389 (47%)
LDem: 5877 (13%)
UKIP: 970 (2%)
MAJ: 3742 (8%)
Con: 21539 (39%)
Lab: 25175 (46%)
LDem: 6789 (12%)
Oth: 262 (0%)
MAJ: 3636 (7%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
MICHAEL PENNING (Conservative) See above.
RABI MARTINS (Liberal Democrat) Contested Luton North 2010.
HOWARD KOCH (UKIP) Educated at Royal Dental Hospital. Dentist.
BRIAN HALL (Independent)
Comments - 117 Responses on “Hemel Hempstead”
  1. I’m taking a punt that Jack Sheldon is 20something therefore genuinely cannot remember Mrs Thatcher in power. He certainly massively underestimates the impression she left on people (both good and bad), including the very young.

  2. I’m in my mid-30s and I can remember about 75% of the 1980s, although I did have a pretty good memory from the age of about 3-4 onwards.

  3. For example I can vividly remember watching the Christmas Top of the Pops show in 1983. I remember Bucks Fizz appeared, performing their song “When We Were Young”. For some reason that sticks in the memory.

  4. I am in my early 20s and didn’t live in the 80s. However, I remember someone saying to me that most people don’t remember much beyond Blair. That’s not to say they don’t remember the 80s, most I know do. People’s politics though doesn’t always stretch that far. Many of us may discuss the 80s and politics in great depth but we don’t represent the average person otherwise we wouldn’t be contributing to a political forum. Not to say there weren’t repercussions that were felt by a lot of people.

  5. How did the interviews go Maxim?

  6. @HH

    You’re right to guess I’m 20-something, and I don’t deny that you and others remember the politics of the ’80s well. Although I wasn’t born until 1993 I know lots about it too, but that’s because I’m a political obsessive and working towards an MA in Contemporary Political History. But most people of your age or a bit younger aren’t interested in politics and are unlikely have strong feelings about it 25 years on, especially if (like most people) they weren’t directly affected by mine closures and the like. There are many reasons why people don’t vote Tory but I do think ‘because of Thatcher’ is of diminishing importance.

  7. @ Jack Sheldon: as a 24-year-old can’t even begin to appreciate quite how polarising a figure Thatcher was for my parents’ generation. Even mentioning the Iron Lady in the presence of my two parents is likely to start an argument between them… which personally I find puzzling and amusing in equal measure.

  8. 1993 was a good year to be born

  9. I find it very surprising how young a lot of the contributors on here are! I’m 21 and always assumed that I was probably the youngest poster (apart from dear old ‘robbietriestopredictpolitics’ who seems to have mysteriously disappeared recently).

  10. I think you might be the youngest poster on here at the moment, but there was Robbiepredictspolitics I think his name was, on here for a time, and I think he was 13 from memory- can’t remember the last time he contributed TBH. I’m nowhere near the youngest on here, in fact at 21, I’m probably an elder compared to the new intake this site has seen recently!!

  11. Frederic Stansfield must be the Father of UKPR

  12. I don’t actually know how old he is! You would suspect a lot of the posters here would be in their 40s or 50s in terms of the demographics of psephologists, but posters seem to be getting younger nowadays.

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