High Peak

2015 Result:
Conservative: 22836 (45%)
Labour: 17942 (35.3%)
Lib Dem: 2389 (4.7%)
Green: 1811 (3.6%)
UKIP: 5811 (11.4%)
MAJORITY: 4894 (9.6%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

Geography: East Midlands, Derbyshire. The whole of the High Peak council area.

Main population centres: Glossop, Hadfield, Tintwistle, New Mills, Buxton, Hope, Castleton, Bamford.

Profile: As the name might suggest High Peak largely consists of the Peak District at the northern end of Derbyshire. By area the seat mostly consists of the higher, wilder parts of the Peak District, mostly uninhabited moorland. Hills and moors have no votes though, and the majority of the electorate live in the towns to the west of the seat that look towards Greater Manchester, places like Glossop, Hadfield, Tintwistle and New Mills. To the south is the spa town of Buxton and to the east of the constituency there are still a few villages of the Hope valley that haven`t been removed by the boundary changes, including Hope itself, Castleton and Bamford. Tourism is of major importance to the area but there is also industry in the towns to the west. Notably the sweet manufacturer Swizzels Matlow are based in New Mills and Chapel-en-le-Frith, the administrative HQ of High Peak District Council, is also the site of a brake lining manufacturing factory owned by Ferodo, a subsidiary of Turner and Newall, now owned by Federal Mogul.

Politics: Despite being a large rural seat, the Tory voting villages are balanced out by Labour support in the towns, particularly the council estate of Gamesley in Glossop, making this a key marginal between Labour and the Conservatives.


Current MP
ANDREW BINGHAM (Conservative) Born 1962, Buxton. Educated at Long Lane Comprehensive and Derby University. Former small businessman. High Peak councillor 1999-2011. Contested High Peak 2005. First elected as MP for High Peak in 2010.
Past Results
2010
Con: 20587 (41%)
Lab: 15910 (32%)
LDem: 10993 (22%)
UKIP: 1690 (3%)
Oth: 1157 (2%)
MAJ: 4677 (9%)
2005*
Con: 19074 (38%)
Lab: 19809 (40%)
LDem: 10000 (20%)
UKIP: 1106 (2%)
MAJ: 735 (1%)
2001
Con: 17941 (37%)
Lab: 22430 (47%)
LDem: 7743 (16%)
MAJ: 4489 (9%)
1997
Con: 20261 (35%)
Lab: 29052 (51%)
LDem: 6420 (11%)
MAJ: 8791 (15%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
ANDREW BINGHAM (Conservative) See above.
CAITLIN BISKNELL (Labour) Born Shropshire. Consultant and former journalist. High Peak councillor since 1999, Leader of High Peak council since 2011. Contested High Peak 2010.
STEPHEN WORRALL (Liberal Democrat) Born 1990. Educated at Glossopdale Community College and Manchester University. Academic.
IAN GUIVER (UKIP) Educated at York University. Managing director. Contested Derbyshire Dales 2010.
CHARLOTTE FARRELL (Green)
Links
Comments - 238 Responses on “High Peak”
  1. Ashcroft pushing don’t knows again!!!

    Labour are ahead here before prompting don’t knows.

  2. Darkarts – I can’t see Labour taking this seat this GE but I think they have potential to gain this seat in 2020.

  3. Isn’t it important to prompt the don’t knows? Currently undecided people will be voting too. I would have thought it is important to see which way the swing voter is leaning. If not you will end up with a poll of who has got the most diehard supporters which is not necessarily an accurate guide of who is going to win the seat.

    This seat will be close, perhaps recount territory close though I have this down as a Tory hold, narrowly.

  4. Christian if Labour fail to gain this in under two weeks time it is highly unlikely they will win it at the subsequent general election. Labour will almost certainly form the next government and incumbent governments mostly go backwards in marginal seats (and in most other seats too) particularly those held by the opposition as the Tories are about to find out.

  5. I suppose you’re right Peppermint Tea.

  6. Conservative Hold. 1,000 majority.

  7. This was one of the better Lab performances in a ‘small town’ Con-Lab marginal IMO even if it was primarily caused by an enormous squeeze on the LDs and Lab only under performed the Ashcroft poll by 2%.

    Of course still a slight swing to Bingham who is very strongly locally rooted and Lab would possibly have to have to be at least level pegging with Con in the English popular vote to win here but at least the Con majority is only slightly higher than it was in 92 (granted the pre 2010 boundaries were slightly more pro tory).

  8. I tend to think this was a bad result for Labour. Labour were expected to come close but lost by 4800 votes, and the Tories regained control of HPBC. If some of the wards from Derbyshire Dales are added by the Bounday Commission in their next review, the seat will be even less winnable for Labour.

  9. Labour suffered a swing against them here so its hard to see this as anything other than a poor result for them….and once again an incredibly bad Lib Dem performance…

  10. Well this behaved similarly to two other Pennine marginal- Keighley and Rossendale & Darwen i.e. no real swing. I tend to agree with Runnymede and Mr O- for what is essentially a northern constituency, Labour will have been disappointed not to have done better.

    Historically of course High Peak tended to be a low swing seat.

  11. Labour gain this seat.

  12. I wondered about this one as I’ve been in Whaley Bridge a lot and saw a lot of posters/stakeboards in the area and this seat was 49.5% remain.

    The yougov model is doing superbly.

  13. From what my wife has been telling me, school cuts did for Bingham. He was out manoeuvred by a very passionate, savvy online campaign and when the postmortem comes in I expect professional women will have swung Labour big time.

    Have to admit I owe her an apology – I told her that Bingham was safe!

  14. It seems Bingham’s concession speech has gone down poorly. I guess he will not be returning as a candidate for this constituency.

  15. I agree with what has been said above. In addition to the in your face campaign that Labour ran on social media, I would point out that Bingham was also up against a very nasty and personal campaign group which was supposedly non political. The Greens didn’t field a candidate but sent out leaflets anyway telling their supporters to vote Labour. The rural areas and nicer parts of the towns would have voted strongly for Conservative but there are large swathes of the seat that are not good Conservative territory and there is a large public sector contingent.

  16. On a night of many surprising results, this was one of the biggest surprises for me.

    You’d have thought the nod on hunting would go down well here.

    The Labour vote has traditionally been concentrated in Buxton and the old mill towns (primarily Glossop and New Mills), is decidedly old Labour, of the type which I would have thought is not very amenable to Corbyn.

    Perhaps the district has started to pick up a more arty/bohemian kind of rural voter as seen in parts of Calder Valley and Colne Valley. Also I’m guessing the more suburban bits bordering Greater Manchester are quite amenable to Labour.

  17. Posters on here have previously talked about how the seat politically has more in common with Lancashire than with Derbyshire, which it is in. Seems that was borne out last Thursday, when the Cons suffered several losses in Lancs/Greater Manc but did very well in Derbyshire.

  18. @Mr O

    With all due respect, I think you greatly underestimate the anger that people felt towards the Tories in general and Bingham in particular.

    The remarks about the ‘nicer parts of towns’ is unbecoming, as is the ‘public sector contingent’. I know a lot of people in Whaley and Chapel who work in the private sector who went over to Labour.

    Until you get to grips with what happened in High Peak, you aren’t going to get it back.

  19. Chris Riley

    How accurate is my comment?

  20. @ HH: I used to live in this constituency and your analysis is broadly correct. Glossop in north of the constituency is a Labour stronghold and has more in common with neighbouring Tameside in Greater Manchester than it does with Derbyshire. However Buxton is generally stronger for Conservatives than it is for Labour.

    New Mills generally leans towards Labour though has returned Lib Dem councillors, and yes there is a small but growing alternative/bohemian type resident in the area. There is also a lot of new house-building in parts of the constituency e.g. Chapel-en-le-frith, with some reasonably affluent newcomers.

    I was somewhat surprised by this result, seeing how well the Tories did in the local council elections for Derbyshire County Council in this area a few weeks ago. A lesson I suppose in not reading too much into local election results.

    I expect as stated by others cuts in education budgets were one of the motivating factors behind the result – e.g. my old 6th form has now closed due to cuts forcing many to travel further afield for post 16 education. This constituency has more younger people in it than some of the more rural Derbyshire constituencies, so that may have been a factor.

    Looking at my social media feeds I was struck this election how much more interest there was in unseating Andrew Bingham compared to 2 years ago – the campaign certainly seems to have been effective.

  21. ” nicer parts of the towns would have voted strongly for Conservative”

    uggghhh.

  22. In this seat I only know New Mills and I think Bill is right.

    HH – quite a few wealthy gay professionals who work in Manchester live here and I assume that’s a recent change, as perhaps those who moved into Manc city centre apartments in their 20s and 30s move out elsewhere in their 40s and 50s.

    In the same way I hear Hebden Bridge is supposedly the lesbian capital (per capita I realise Brighton has a larger population) of the UK. Whereas I doubt it was when Bernard Ingham lived there!

  23. Some good descriptions here, from Bill, HH and several others.

    I too found this one of the most surprising (and deeply disappointing) results.
    I only really know Buxton and some of the sparsely populated bits. I guess Buxton isn’t as Conservative as it looks, away from the centre of it.

    Whaley Bridge was gained from the Lib Dems in May.

    The key could be Glossop (which I thought was Tory leaning) and areas bordering Greater Manchester.

    “a more arty/bohemian kind of rural voter ” – that’s possible, or people who are actually quite urban but live nearby.

  24. Don’t know if Andrew Bingham was expecting to lose his seat? He seemed a popular enough MP locally with a decent enough majority for a marginal seat like this- maybe I’m wrong?

  25. I would say probably not.
    But I can’t speak for him.
    I was worried about the election once I read the manifesto but still expected a majority of 30-40 as the most likely.

  26. In which case seats like this would have been safely held and further gains would have been made way up the target list. Of course it’s possible there were also very specific local factors at work here, but without firsthand evidence it’s always hard to know for certain.

  27. Glossop isn’t the Labour stronghold it once was, it was narrowly won by the Conservatives in the local elections.
    My comment regarding a large number of public sector workers was not intended to be offensive, I work in the public sector myself. The Labour manifesto appealed to that sector whilst the Tory manifesto was clearly a disaster.
    On another point, there isn’t any great tradition of hunting in the HP that I am aware of so that policy wouldn’t have won over many.
    My feeling has always been that Bingham was relatively well known and liked in the constituency and he increased his vote tally this time.

  28. “…and he increased his vote tally this time..”

    His 0.4% rise wasn’t a great achievement in the context of an overall increase of 5.5% in the Conservatives national share of the vote.

  29. @HH

    The towns on the Buxton-Manchester line and on the Hadfield line have become much more Manchester commuter belt in the last few years as family homes were still somewhat affordable. I don’t know the northern part of the constituency as well as I do the western bits so I wouldn’t like to make comment on Glossop and Hadfield.

    I’m told Labour had significantly more boots on the ground, and I know the candidate worked her socks off both physically and online. Andrew Bingham didn’t help himself by not attending hustings, but he did work hard under an increasing disadvantage against an organised and motivated opponent.

  30. @Mr O

    Sorry to have taken your remarks in that way.

    I had also thought that Bingham was well-regarded but his loyalty to the Tory whip was used very effectively as ammunition against him, and I do accept that aspects of the campaign were very personal. And effective. But that is politics. His constituents became convinced that he was not acting in their interests.

  31. Thanks all for replying to my comment.

    “On another point, there isn’t any great tradition of hunting in the HP that I am aware of so that policy wouldn’t have won over many.”

    I’m surprised to hear that. There has traditionally been a large Countryside Alliance membership in rural Derbyshire but it’s plausible that most of the hunting & shooting territory is further south in Derbyshire Dales, around Chatsworth.

  32. @HH

    There may be some hunt enthusiasts in the southern part of the constituency, but much of the really rural area is about as wild and unpopulated as anywhere in England.

    You do get some game shooters around and about up there (been some serious violations of conservation laws surrounding birds of prey) but there are not a lot of voters of any stripe up on Kinder and Bleaklow!

  33. Indeed, this constituency is probably one of those in England with the highest % of completely uninhabited land. A good quarter, probably more, of it is almost completely empty of people.

  34. Yes, on the map it looks like a large rural constituency, which it is, but the vast majority of the electors are concentrated along a thin slither on the western edge of the constituency, i.e. that part outside the Peak Park.

  35. @Mr O

    Yes, and increasingly it is becoming less like a rural shires/market town constituency and more a professionals/commuter constituency, no matter how unreliable the Buxton train service is.

  36. A decent result for the Conservatives in the Limestone Peak by election. I wonder whether there was a bit of a north-south divide at the GE in this seat, with the Conservative vote holding up well in the south, Buxton etc but a big Labour surge in the north, Glossop, New Mills.

  37. Probably less of a North/South divide and more of a East/West one. Its been discussed re this seat before how despite on the surface seemingly being a large rural seat the vast majority of the electors are contained within a thin slither on the Western side of the seat thus making it more of a commuter belt seat rather than a rural one.

    The Limestone Peak ward is very much part of the rural East of the seat and is almost certainly not a part of the seat that Lab did any better in the 2017 election. That type of rural territory will vote Tory till the cows come home and a by-election there doesn’t really give us much insight into what happened in the constituency as a whole last election.

  38. Contains Dove Holes, doesn’t it? It’s nominally a Tory ward but I suspect Labour might have hoped they had a sniff.

    Not sure we can glean much from such a small electorate in a place that is parochial even by Peak standards. Dove Holes conjours up a certain kind of image of picturesque bucolic idyll. The reality is…not quite like that….

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