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. The mid term Council Elections and any local elections hold no barometer on very low turnouts to this general election.

    Andrew Bingham for a politician is a popular guy who has fought hard for his constituents, he will comfortably hold his seat. All this seat is rural or small towns, UKIP will have some support but limited and here it is as likely to come from ex Labour voters as Conservative.

  2. Why does the Ashcroft poll show him a point behind with just a couple of months to go, if he’s in line to comfortably hold on?

  3. “Why does the Ashcroft poll show him a point behind with just a couple of months to go, if he’s in line to comfortably hold on?”

    Very surprising. whatever happens it will be close. I don’t understand the public or the media at all, tbh.

    The Ashcroft constituency polls showing labour 1 point behind in colne valley, and 1 point ahead in norwich north and high peak, were the most significant polls of the parliament, as far as i was concerned.

    They showed a 5% C to Lab swing in 3 quite different constituencies, just over two months before the general election. nobody seemed to care or see any significance in this whatsoever…extraordinary. I think another poster made a similar point about it on another constituency thread.

    I actually think the tories could end up with about 265 seats, as electoral calculus is showing.

  4. ‘I actually think the tories could end up with about 265 seats, as electoral calculus is showing.’

    I wouldn’t pay much attention to Electoral Calculus

    They agree with Ian Dale that the Tories are in line to regain Eastbourne and Eastleigh – and have shown that to be the case throughout the current Parliament, even during the by-election where the Tories came third

    Given that you consider yourself an expert on these matters, I’m surprised you’re not aware of Electoral Calculus limited usefulness Peter

  5. Tim Jones,
    it’s the trend, my friend…the uns model is crude in terms of its ability to predict which actual seats will be won or lost, but for the actual number, it did pretty well last time….

    The question is whether the tories get some swingback and hit about 280 seats, or stay roughly where they are and get 265 or thereabouts. I am beginning to think the latter.

    Electoral calculus is rubbished by sophisticates like yourself, but for simpletons like me it still has some usefulness.

  6. “The uns model is crude in terms of its ability to predict which actual seats will be won or lost, but for the actual number, it did pretty well last time….”

    True. As this article shows UNS has been an OK predictor of the overall composition of the Commons for the past three elections:


    It was a poor predictor of final seat totals in ’97 though, almost certainly due to widespread anti-Tory tactical voting.

  7. it’s remarkable as you say peter. labour outpolled the tories by a little distance in the county council election. a poll puts the tories behind with just two months to go. and yet people blithely assert bingham is terrifically popular & will walk it. remember, there’s a margin of error in polls, and it’s perfectly possible labour is actually further ahead that 1%. the possibility of labour gaining high peak cannot be airily dismissed, especially when we know full well that there’ll be uniform national swing, and therefore it’s likely that the swing to labour will be higher to labour in some regions than others – and it’s very likely to be above average in this area.

  8. i meant that there will be no uniform national swing, of course.

  9. Having said that there is some reason to believe UNS might perform poorly this year. The UK now has a far more multi party system than was the case at any of the elections mentioned in the article above. The final seat totals (and in all probability the identity of the Prime Minister) will be decided by the lottery of which party manage to win the most seats with little more than a third of the votes. UNS might not be a very good predictor of that.

  10. UNS is less reliable as the swing gets larger, as the swing almost has to bite disproportionately in the areas where the defending party has most votes, as Scottish Labour is currently finding out. That’s probably also a partial explanation of what happened in 1997.

  11. I have certainly never asserted it will be a comfortable Conservative hold. I have consistently argued it will be a narrow Conservative hold and I don’t see what is wrong with such a prediction in view of a poll showing a 1% Labour lead.

  12. That’s an entirely reasonable assertion, although I do think that there are an awful lot of seats where similar assertions are made, and very few where Labour are a point or two adrift and many people think they’ll pick up the seat.

    I guess that may be because prevailing opinion is there will be a move towards the Tories between now and the election, or it may be that people are over-estimating the Tories’ chances.

  13. A one percent margin represents a statistical dead heat in in any poll. I do think the Ashcroft constituency polls need to be treated with a particularly high degree of caution. His national polls seem very erratic, while his consituency surveys have yet to be tested in a GE. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the outcome diverge markedly from their findings in a number of seats.

    Anyone looking to formulate a betting strategy for the constituency markets could do a lot worse than systematically back the party that is a close second in the Ashcroft polls. Punters may well be giving them more credence than they deserve, with the result that the party that is not leading may represent value.

  14. At the moment I am going for a narrow Tory hold here but I may change my prediction closer to election day if Labour are still ahead in the national opinion polls. I do on balance think the Tories will to get the most votes but it will be close.

  15. Releasethehounds, Labour will probably gain all of the seats you mention except Loughborough where the Tories are favoured to hold though a Labour gain is possible.

  16. I agree with RTH re Broxtowe, Lincoln, Sherwood and Erewash. I suspect UKIP will do for the Tories in the latter 2.

  17. ‘Electoral calculus is rubbished by sophisticates like yourself, but for simpletons like me it still has some usefulness.’

    I’m no sophisticate Peter belive me – you know considerably more about this sort of stuff than myself – but Electoral Calculus is riddled with errors

    Have a look at their constituency breakdown where they predict/guess how each ward in each constituency voted

  18. electionforecast.co.uk has figures of Con 39% and Labour 36% for High Peak. These seem more realistic than the Ashcroft Poll.

  19. “True. As this article shows UNS has been an OK predictor of the overall composition of the Commons for the past three elections:”

    UNS of course will be a good predictor, because the national swing is itself a composite of swings in 650 individual constituencies…what UNS is rubbish at is the actual seats which fall or are gained. …the aggregate figure is more predictable.

    I know that Electoral Calculus has been quite good in the last 3 elections…I question whether, in terms of number of seats, it will be so widely off the mark this time. they seem to have incorporated a separate formula for scotland….

    I think that ECalc will get pretty close this time. In other words I am saying Baxter’s number for the end of April won’t be that far off the actual result, even though individual judgements about seats could, in some instances, be spectacularly wide of the mark.

  20. Of the East Midlands six referred the only one I would expect Labour to gain with certainty is Lincoln, they should get Sherwood as well.

    Comparing High Peak to Loughborough is like apples to oranges, although the Tories will win both I expect with reasonable comfort.

    Amber Valley, Erewash and Broxtowe could go either way how much of the UKIP vote the Tories claw back in all 3 may be decisive. If I was forced to put money on I would back Cons to hold Amber Valley but narrowly fail in the other 2, however Soubry looks up for the fight and she may pull off a surprise in Broxtowe.

  21. All of that sounds very unlikely I think.

  22. I mean the chances of the Tories holding Amber Valley and Broxtowe are highly unlikely, Labour wouldn’t even be the largest party without gaining easy targets like these, which is evidently the narrative you’re trying to push here Ian.

  23. I’m still predicting this to be a very narrow tory hold, after at least 1 recount.

    Seats I’m predicting to Labour to gain in the East Midlands are:

    Amber Valley
    Northampton North

  24. Agreed completely with the list and I’m not saying there will definitely be a Labour government after May at all, just that it will be more difficult I suspect for the Tories to cling on to power as a minority govrnement. I still think things could easily turn around between now and then but if Labour don’t even manage to win the most seats they’re definitely back in opposition for another five years.

  25. I think it’s almost certain Labour will win all of those sears with the exception of Northampton North which they will have to fight for, and possibly Erewash if it’s a really bad night for them.

  26. In complete agreement with Adam. the bookies seem to agree too. though northampton north is a bit more uncertain.

  27. I expect Tories to have most seats the question is more by how many. All the info I get is these seats are mighty tight like last time, Lincoln looks gone, Sherwood was a surprise gain last time, always would be a tough hold but not beyond possibility.

    Labour will gain some seats with a certain demographic, these won’t be easy and in Amber Valley and Erewash Labour will lose a big WWC chunk to UKIP. Broxtowe I believe the Tories have a very much stronger candidate and I say that objectively.

    Any Labour fan who thinks these seats are in the bag should think again, really there is all to play for.

  28. Of Adam’s list, definitely think Northampton North will be the toughest to predict.

    I think Erewash will go Labour partly based on the incumbent stepping down.

    Broxtowe demographically (middle class public sector) is probably the main decent long-term prospect of the list, as in the others the WWC vote is leaking to UKIP. So even if they win all of those in 2 months, seats like Sherwood and Amber Valley could see UKIP absolutely sucking the life out of the Labour vote in 2020.

    I actually think the Tory majority in High Peak will be a bit more comfortable than going into recount territory. Bingham’s majority will drop, and become more marginal, but maybe down to 2000 or so.

  29. I totally agree with Adam’s list.

    The one seat on his list where the Conservatives have some hope is Amber Valley, given that Ashcroft’s second poll had Labour only a few points ahead and that Nigel Mills seems like a good fit for the seat. Even so, I still make Labour firm favourites.

    Erewash might have been interesting had Jessica Lee not stood down though I’d still have probably inclined towards a Labour gain.

  30. you are very sensible tory… you are the person whose view i seem to agree with most among the regular contributors to this site.

    As a tory, you realise like i do the blues’ vulnerability to labour in the midlands, north west, london among other places. the triumphalist chat after one or two polls, about how the tories will get 300 seats, doesn’t seem to have affected your judgement.

    Scotland changed seemingly overnight, but the English situation has been quite stable.

  31. Peter- well indeed. We’ve just had a round of Ashcroft indicating tight results even in places like High Peak and Colne Valley and yet as you say we’re now hearing talk of the Conservatives managing 300 seats. If the Conservatives want 300 seats they will somehow have to win seats like Cheltenham, Southport and Cheadle off the Lib Dems because there is no way they’ll be losing just 15 to 20 to Labour- not when you’ve demographic change in Outer London and not when you’ve got wwc Tories defecting in considerable numbers to UKIP in the blue-collar Midlands. And that’s before we’ve even mentioned all the low hanging fruit in the north west, which is still to feel much of an economic recovery.

  32. tory. absolutely agreed. hearing enfield north will be a goner, and enfield southgate nip and tuck….

  33. Pessimistic Tory, I would say about 25 to Labour but that may come slightly up or down depending on the next 2 months, more likely down. Gains Tory from Liberal could be 10, could be 20.

    I stick to the East Midlands on the individual seat analysis in these areas especially Amber Valley and Erewash, Labour are also hard hit losing WWC support to UKIP and less likely to get a chunk of it back, I do agree with you on London and North West but not the Midlands, I expect the Tories to do well.

    I would say also not just based on 2 favourable polls the Labour lead has been gradually shrinking for a long time and Scotland will kill their chances of leading party in more ways than one. Miliband/Sturgeon will be milked by the Tories for all it’s considerable polling potential.

  34. Ian- but Ashcroft’s polls in wwc Midlands seats have consistently showed the Conservatives losing more support to UKIP than Labour, as have the 2013 and 2014 local elections.

  35. I would never look at local elections as a barometer turnout, timing and protest mentality make them a totally different contest. I respect Lordy’s work but I wouldn’t treat his polls as gospel, his work in High Peak is not the feedback I get, how do you poll High Peak if you don’t know the area, very sceptical of that one.

    I can tell you from the inside the Tories really think they can hold Amber Valley and if they get it right tactically Broxtowe, losing the sitting MP in Erewash is a blow and Labour are well run, experienced and aggressive there but that can be held, although not as likely as Amber Valley.

  36. There still doesn’t appear to be a UKIP candidate for High Peak. Doesn anyone know if there will be one? It would be good for Andrew Bingham if there isn’t.

  37. Mr Ian Guiver is the UKIP candidate.

  38. If the High Peak result were to be decided by posters in fields, Andrew Bingham would win by a landslide…

  39. I think this is the key marginal in the East Midlands.

    South Derbyshire now seems to be safe Conservative.

  40. You’re right! South Derbyshire has done a Battersea/Putney/Dartford. I can’t see Labour ever regaining it.

  41. Lord Ashcroft today:

    Con – 40
    Lab – 38
    UKIP – 10
    LD – 7
    Green – 5
    O – 1

  42. This is going to be one of those knife edge seats on Election Day.. I am happy with the 2% Tory lead but it’s all margin of error stuff.. Saying that though I would rather be 2% ahead than 2 behind even if it is MOE..

  43. Changes between the March and April Ashcroft polls:

    Con +3
    Lab N/C
    UKIP -2
    L/Dem +1
    Grn -1

    Some rounding somewhere!

    All movements just within the margin of error but, taken together with the Colne Valley poll, suggests a small trend towards the Conservatives in the Pennine marginals.

  44. I think if Labour can squeeze the Greens here (5% isn’t huge but it could make all the difference in a marginal like this) they might be in with an outside chance of winning. Still going to be an extremely tight finish.

  45. High Peak will indeed be tight but this is a pleasing poll from a Conservative perspective.

  46. I think the tories will hold this but quite frankly it’s the likes if Erewash and Amber Valley that they need to win to stay in government. That the tories are still having to divert resources to save this is ominous indeed.

  47. I wonder where the Lib Dem vote at the Manchester end of the seat (next to Hazel Grove) is going…looks like mostly to the Tories, whilst also losing voters to UKIP in the more rural bits.

  48. H Hemmelig- well there are middle-class areas in the north-western part of the seat like Whalley Bridge where I imagine Lib Dems wouldn’t be averse to voting Tory.

  49. Yes exactly. As I said, that area is quite similar to neighbouring Hazel Grove. Perversely this is one Con-Lab marginal where a low LD vote seems to be helping the Tories hold on.

  50. I haven’t been down to Whaley Bridge since December so I can’t say for sure but that sounds about right.

    The Tories are presumably ahead there now with LDs falling back to third (although LD David Lomax could conceivably hold on as a district cllr)

    So yes LD support has probably divided pretty evenly between Lab and Con around Whaley and New Mills.

    Bingham may have a razor thin advantage on paper but the Con heartland of the hope valley is the most logistically remote part of the seat could be a slight GOTV problem for them.

    I’d expect 40-45% of the vote for Lab in Buxton, around 45% for Lab in New Mills and over half the vote around Glossop/Etherow.

    For the Tories I’d expect about 40% in Buxton, 50% in Chapel and the hope valley, regaining a bit of support from UKiP and high 30s around Whaley Bridge and New Mills.

    So in conclusion more or less the same vote distribution as 2013 but the Tories improving strongest relative to then in the 2 LD CC wards.

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