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
Con: 20587 (41%)
Lab: 15910 (32%)
LDem: 10993 (22%)
UKIP: 1690 (3%)
Oth: 1157 (2%)
MAJ: 4677 (9%)
Con: 19074 (38%)
Lab: 19809 (40%)
LDem: 10000 (20%)
UKIP: 1106 (2%)
MAJ: 735 (1%)
Con: 17941 (37%)
Lab: 22430 (47%)
LDem: 7743 (16%)
MAJ: 4489 (9%)
Con: 20261 (35%)
Lab: 29052 (51%)
LDem: 6420 (11%)
MAJ: 8791 (15%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

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.
Comments - 248 Responses on “High Peak”
  1. Very very close run thing here next time. Could even be recount territory either way.

    What is clear I think though is that with this being a key Lab-Con marginal the Lib Dems will fall right out of the picture, and could collapse down as low as 8-9%. Whether or not Labour could pick up enough of that kind of collapse to win I don’t know, it might depend also on how effective a constituency MP Andrew Bingham has been.

  2. It’s worth recalling that the Lib Dems in northern cities are not necessarily on the left of the party. Quite the reverse in many cases.

  3. That is interesting. And during the 90s and 2000s certainly the Lib Dems did seem to do best at local level in the cities at least when facing Labour I think.

    Perhaps it is something to do with a lot of them being old traditional Liberals who were there well before the SLD merger in the late 80s. I think in any case Lib Dems of a Labour-hating variety can be on the right of the party, conversely Lib Dems of a Tory-hating kind can be on the left of the party. I think that kind of makes sense.

  4. No. It is because Lib Dems in places like Sheffield, Manchester and Newcastle began their ascent by taking Tory votes and Tory wards, becoming the main opposition within strongly Labour councils and in almost all cases pushing the Tories off the council entirely.

  5. Well, yes to an extent, but I think what I said can’t just be discounted.

    I well know in my native Liverpool of course that’s how the Liberals indeed gained ground decades back, in places like Mossley Hill, Woolton and Allerton, but it seems that during the New Labour era at a local level the Lib Dems gained further support at a local level in the cities in particular from disillusioned Labour voters, and then strengthened this support because of Iraq, tuition fees etc.

    I go along with what you said to a certain point, but you can’t just bluntly say ‘no’ to something you don’t personally think is correct. I’ve given my reasons and you’ve given yours, that’s what psephology is about surely.

  6. Liverpool is different from the other northern cities because the Liberals have been strong there for 30-40 years.

  7. “you can’t just bluntly say ‘no’ to something you don’t personally think is correct”

    Oh FFS….what do you expect me to say to something I don’t agree with?

  8. ”Liverpool is different from the other northern cities because the Liberals have been strong there for 30-40 years.”

    And the reasons for that include- A decline in the old Working-Class orange Tory Protestant vote in the city, the decline in the industries, Tories moving out of the area long-term amongst other things.

    ”Oh FFS….what do you expect me to say to something I don’t agree with?”

    We’re allowed to disagree, I just don’t like it when people say things in a certain way.

  9. You’re lucky there are people left who bother to respond to your long-winded and frequent posts! You must be making 100 a day these days

  10. But a lot of people on here post frequently.

    And FYI I’m not making 100 a day, literally and metaphorically.

    PT Richards and Mr Nameless post on here quite a lot now as well.

  11. But Mr Nameless has quality as well as quantity. Must do some work now.

  12. So what are you saying? I shouldn’t post here anymore?

  13. Of course not. Now I’ve got to do some work before I waste the whole day posting on here.

  14. No-one’s saying that. Just ration it a little at times, and avoid repetition. That doesn’t apply to your above post which is a perfectly reasonable point. I’m trying to ration my contributions too.

  15. OK thanks Barnaby.

    I have tried to stop posting here all the time.

  16. And avoid repetition.

  17. Otherwise we will repeat our complaints 🙂

  18. What am I repeating? What am I repeating?

  19. And while we are at it….why the need to irritate everyone by spelling your name in capitals. Is it designed so that we won’t miss any of your posts?

  20. Must have had Cap Locks stuck on when I first posted way back!

  21. It is a very annoying aspect of the site that one can’t delete (or I presume amend) a user profile.

  22. It’s obviously silly and fatuous to point to one set of polls, BUT the latest populus and ld ashcroft polls aren’t great. The have labour leads of 5% and 8% respectively. If you halve these figures and take an average you get about 3% as a labour lead…i suspect it could be 4%.

    I think it’s hard to see how the conservatives finish 3 points ahead of labour at this point, but anything can happen.

    I think everything is more or less baked in at this point. Miliband is not popular, but people are still saying they’ll vote labour. the tories are relying on some kind of “bradley effect” or “shy tory” effect now, as i can’t see the polls shifting in their favour dramatically enough for them to be ahead by 3 points on polling day. If the tories win, as the largest party, from here, I would conclude that the polls are inaccurate.

  23. Con hold.

  24. I agree , a con hold without too much stress.

  25. I still think it’s a bit early to say that. I tend to agree that the most likely outcome here is a Con hold, but Labour did quite well in the CC elections here, and while there will be a bit of an incumbency vote for Bingham (not a double incumbency factor, since the previous Labour MP retired & was not defeated), the regional factors are not all that great for the Tories in my opinion. If Labour are in sort of lead however small nationally, this seat would definitely still have the potential to be very close. If the Tories are ahead nationally, even if only slightly, then yes they would almost certainly be OK.

  26. I think it’s 50-50, with slight advantage to the tories…for the reasons Barnaby has given…it’s certainly no cakewalk for the blues….this is one of the seats which makes me think a labour majority isn’t a completely crazy idea.

  27. I live in the High Peak. It’s is a little early to make predictions but my guess would be that Andrew Bingham, who is a popular local MP, will retain the seat with an increased majority. If he doesn’t win the Tories will have done disastrously at national level.

  28. In view of current opinion polls I would like to revise my previous estimate. An increased Con majority seems unlikely at the moment but I would still predict a Con hold. Any thoughts anyone?

  29. Tory hold with a reduced majority.

  30. It’s a low-swing seat, with plenty of core Tory voters in the villages and core Labour voters in the old mill towns. Labour’s mill town vote will be tempted by UKIP, though Labour will gain from the Lib Dems on the Stockport/Manchester fringe.

    Tory hold by 2000 is my guess.

  31. tory majority of 2,000 represents roughly a 2.5% swing to labour…sounds reasonable given current polling. I think it may be closer than that, given the high lib dem vote in 2010 which, at 22%, was very close to the national vote share the liberal democrats got. the lib dem vote will be hammered no doubt in a seat like this. labour will, as hh indicates, benefit from this.

    Still think it will be a tory hold, on the basis that a loss for the blues here would presage a very poor night for the tories. I still think a labour majority, though much more unlikely than it appeared to me in the summer, is being oversold by punters.

  32. The LD vote here is part of the wider Lib Dem strength in Stockport, Cheadle, Hazel Grove etc, in the part of the seat bordering that area.

    We can perhaps conclude that it won’t collapse quite so badly as in many other Con-Lab marginals, and that some of it might go to the Tories and UKIP.

    This is the kind of seat where Labour’s core vote doesn’t like the look of Miliband and will probably deny Labour a majority.

  33. I can’t see Labour making inroads here, in fact it wouldn’t surprise me to see Bingham increase his majority. He has Edwina living in the area now but probably won’t need to gamble on using her too much.

    As HH said having lived in the area I can’t see Miliband having huge appeal here and he may lose some WWC vote to UKIP, there are some gritty estates around the towns.

  34. Bingham to increase his majority seems fanciful, but i agree that he’ll probably hold.

  35. I’m not sure whether using Edwina Currie would help or hinder Bingham’s chances of holding on?

  36. I think H. Hemmlig’s prediction of a Tory hold of 2000 here is about right!. Even if Labour are the largest party in a hung parliament, this is the type of seat where a Miliband-led Labour doesn’t cut through as someone mentioned in an above post.

  37. Well you say that, but Labour did fairly well here in the 2013 county council elections, more so than in S Derbyshire for example. The Tories are still slight favourites for me, but if Labour enjoys any sort of lead in the popular vote on general election day it will be a hard seat for them to hold. The proximity of this seat, or at least Labour’s strongest areas within it, to Manchester tends to make this seat behave more like a North-Western than an East Midlands seat, and I would be very wary of dismissing Labour’s challenge at this stage. I doubt whether the Tories will achieve a 2,000 majority; I suspect it is going to be closer to 1,000. The Tory MP has been more effective than some in the 2010 intake so I still on balance tend to think he’ll hold on but narrowly. I reserve the right to change my mind if the Tories fail to bring Labour’s opinion poll lead to an end, and remember it’s only just over 3 months before the election is called.

  38. With 1st time incumbency and a 9.3% lead I would think Labour need to be at least 3 points ahead on polling day to be favourites here.

  39. Lad brokers have con at 1/2, lab at 13/8. Seems reasonable to me.

  40. I think a Conservative majority of about 1500 myself but Barnaby’s points are fair enough.

  41. Charlotte Farrell is the Green Party candidate for High Peak http://derbyshiregreenparty.org.uk/elections/

  42. Ashcroft Constituency VI:

    LAB (38) CON (37) UKIP (12) LD (6) GRN (6)

  43. Interesting poll for High Peak. I would have expected Con to be a few points ahead, not one behind. That said, the national polls seem to have moved slightly in favour of Con in the last week or so. Still a Con hold for me.

  44. I’d say a Tory hold is likely in any seat in which Labour are currently only 1 point ahead since I do expect at least a slight movement to the Tories between now and polling day.

  45. I remain unmoved in my prediction- Con hold.

  46. Agree with the other comments here- I predict a narrow Tory hold. That said, polls like this do illustrate the slight swing to Labour in England; this seat is 69th on their target list.

  47. 5% is distinctly more than slight.

  48. agree with bm…people don’t really get the shift in England & Wales…Smithson bangs on about it ad nauseam, but few seem to get it…

    let’s recap:

    the tories beat labour by 11% in England and Wales in 2010;

    the boundaries of constituencies will be exactly the same in 2015 as in 2010.

    most polls, even those with the tories ahead nationally have shown a swing of between 4% and 5.5% to labour in England and Wales;

    It is likely that the tories will lose many seats to labour in England and Wales…

    There are people actually saying that the tories will finish with more seats than they got in 2010…

    this notion, barring the most extraordinary of last minute swings, is almost insane, totally contrary to every bit of polling data we have gathered in nearly five years.

  49. It is quite possible the Tories could gain more seats off the Liberals than they lose to Labour, I don’t expect that to happen but it might.. I respect Lordy’s work but all the inside information I get from this seat is a comfortable Tory hold.

    A lot of marginal seats that are hard to call certainly in the East Midlands but not High Peak.

    Personally I expect the Liberals to fare quite well in their Lib/Tory marginals but Labour gains from the Tories to be at the lower end of expectation.

  50. No way will High Peak be a comfortable Tory hold. Its possible the Tories may hold on but given the huge swing to Labour in recent Borough and County Council elections I really cannot see this being a comfortable hold.

    The UKIP vote may be decisive in this seat. There’s never been huge numbers voting UKIP here, but I expect them to get several thousand in the more rural parts of the seat.

    My prediction:

    Labour 19,000
    Conservative 18,500
    UKIP 3,500
    Lib Dem 2,500
    Green 1,400

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