Hitchin & Harpenden

2015 Result:
Conservative: 31488 (56.9%)
Labour: 11433 (20.6%)
Lib Dem: 4484 (8.1%)
Green: 3053 (5.5%)
UKIP: 4917 (8.9%)
MAJORITY: 20055 (36.2%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: Eastern, Hertfordshire.

Main population centres:



Current MP
PETER LILLEY (Conservative) Born 1943, Hayes. Educated at Dulwich College and Cambridge University. Former stockbroker. First elected as MP for St Albans in 1983. Economic secretary 1987-1989, Financial secretary 1989-1990, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry 1990-1992, Secretary of State for Social Security 1992-1997. Shadow Chancellor 1997-1998, Deputy Leader of the Conservative party 1998-1999. Peter Lilley was a right-wing member of the cabinet in the 1990s - one of the three John Major dubbed as "bastards" after an interview when the though the microphone was off. He infamously sung the `I have a little list` song from the Mikardo at the Conservative party conference, including `young ladies who get pregnant just to jump the housing queue`. Following the Conservative party`s defeat in 1997 Lilley contested the Conservative leadership but finished fifth and last, he briefly served as shadow Chancellor before being shifted into the honorific role of Deputy leader and, finally, onto the backbenches.
Past Results
Con: 29869 (55%)
Lab: 7413 (14%)
LDem: 14598 (27%)
UKIP: 1663 (3%)
Oth: 1164 (2%)
MAJ: 15271 (28%)
Con: 23627 (50%)
Lab: 10499 (22%)
LDem: 12234 (26%)
UKIP: 828 (2%)
Oth: 199 (0%)
MAJ: 11393 (24%)
Con: 21271 (47%)
Lab: 14608 (33%)
LDem: 8076 (18%)
UKIP: 606 (1%)
Oth: 363 (1%)
MAJ: 6663 (15%)
Con: 24038 (46%)
Lab: 17367 (33%)
LDem: 10515 (20%)
Oth: 507 (1%)
MAJ: 6671 (13%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
PETER LILLEY (Conservative) See above.
PAULINE PEARCE (Liberal Democrat)
RICHARD WISE (Green) Contested Hitchen and Harpenden 2010.
Comments - 28 Responses on “Hitchin & Harpenden”
  1. Labour gain Hitchin North on 13% swing!!! Wow!!! Amazing!!!

    A Labour activist once told me there was no point in campaigning in Hitchin because they would never vote Labour – that has been proved wrong then…

  2. Still in complete shock about Labour gaining a ward from the Tories in Hitchin. Does anyone know if local issues were a factor in the result?

  3. What utter bollocks. Your Labour activist friend is obviously clueless as there are two safe Labour wards in Hitchin in Oughton and Bearton. The Hitchin North CC seat had been safely Labour from 1981 until 2009 when they only just lost it by 6 votes. It was utterly inevitable that they would regain it this time – its just the sort of seat they should never have lost in the first place ands only did so because of the deep unpopularityu of the Brown government. The swing was not 13% but about 6.7% which given the relative state of Labour in the opinion polls in 2009 and now is not in the slightest bit impressive

  4. The Tories had a majority of 6 votes over Lab in Hitchin North in 2009. If they had not gained it, Labour could have well packed

    Lab maj 2013: 13.1%
    Lab maj 2005: 9%
    Lab maj 2001: 18.6%

  5. In fact Labour’s results in Hertfordshire must have been at the lower end of their expectations. They basically just regained a number of seats which they had lost in 2009, mostly of the type that they should never lost in the first place, but then not even all of those and they are still below their 2005 figure and still third in seats behind the LDs. Emily Maitless referred to a strong Labour performance which really just shows she is as clueless as the Labour activist referenced above. They made no progress whatsoever in Hemel Hempstead, limited progress in Welwyn Hatfield (gained Hatfield North but faield in Hatfield South – gained Welwyn Garden city South but failed in Haldens). They gained the overspill seats of South Oxhey and Borehamwood North which they should never have lost int he first palce, but didn’t get Borehamwood South. They were nowehre near in Waltham Cross. The two seats in North Herts (Hitchin North and Letwhcorth NW) are again of the type that should never have been lost, likewise the three seats in Stevenage which the Tories had won in 2009 (but they were nowhere near taking the LD held seat). They did have a couple of decentish results in St Albans gaining two seats from the LDs which they have not won since 2001 and they gained the Green seat in Watford which I am quite happy about. But overall a very mediocre preformance

  6. I wondered where you were yesturday Pete – been out celebrating ?

    I’ve made a couple of comments on the Boston thread about where the UKIP vote comes from which I would be interested in your response to.

    Especailly my idea of England dividing into three electoral blocks.

  7. Which seats was Harpenden in before 1983?

  8. Hemel Hempstead from 1918 to 1974. St Albans before and after

  9. Incidentally the HItchin North division has now fallen vacant already following the death of the newly elected Labour county councillor. His death also leaves a vacancy in the Oughton ward on the district council (which does not form part of the HItchin North division). Both should be routine Labour holds

  10. Just a reminder that the by-elections to which Pete Whitehead alluded are to be held this week.

    HERTFORDSHIRE CC 2013 result: Hitchin North

    Lab 1503 46.0%
    Con 1070 32.7%
    Green 479 14.7%
    LD 217 6.6%

    NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE DC 2013 result: Hithchin Oughton

    Lab 638 60.8%
    Con 258 24.6%
    Green 103 9.8%
    LD 50 4.8%

    As Pete said, the wards cover different parts of Hitchin.

  11. *NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE DC 2012 result, rather!

  12. In North Herts Borough I think Labour has some strength in Hitchin and Letchworth Garden City.

  13. does hitchin have a asian community

  14. Yes the demographic profile at the top of this page shows that 4.7% of the population of this seat is Asian and this is overwhelmingly concentrated in Hitchin town, mostly in the Bearton and Walsworth wards which form the aforementioned Hitchin North division. Unusually for Hertfordshire a large proportion is from the Sikh community

  15. Conservative Hold. 20,000 maj.

  16. Shaun Bennett was spot on with the majority here!

  17. For once.

    The Lib Dem result is absolutely diablolical here.
    I did scan it just after the election.
    Labour actually only 1% down on 2005.

  18. LOL it was terrible wasn’t it Joe. The recovery here by Labour was indeed noticeable as well- Perhaps influenced by being next-door to St Albans?

  19. Peter Lilley is retiring. Another leaned on by CCHQ, who are struggling to find safe seats for everyone they want to get them for?

  20. We will know when the candidate shortlist is announced.
    I wonder when Lord Lilley will be introduced to the Lords.

  21. To be fair, lilley was a cabinet minister for 7 years which would make him a fairly normal, even traditional, appointment to the house of lords. it’s the spads, helpers and hangers on who get peerages that really take the michael….camilla cavendish, anyone?

  22. Tim J won’t be able to say this was another Wet retiring ‘cos he can’t stand right wing May.

  23. Lancs,

    More a case of: “job done, I can retire now.”

  24. Don’t think Hannan is particularly after a Westminster seat. Much like Carswell, he considers his political career complete now.

  25. The Tory selection has received some disquiet on ConHome etc.

    Apparently he’s a black, old Etonian, former HSBC exec, former lawyer and used to work for GO.

    Unusually there’s been no CCHQ announcement as of yet, so I won’t name him ’til it is confirmed, but I presume this is just due to the weekend rather than there being any dispute or re-run.

  26. CCHQ have indeed confirmed that Bim Afalami, 31, is the PPC here and that “no valid challenge” to the selection has been received. He is British of Nigerian descent.

    He has deleted his Linked In and other profiles, but I see from an old article that he attended Bishopsgate Prep school, Eton and Oxford. He was a corporate lawyer with Freshfields for 3 years before joining HSBC.

    He describes himself as a “Cameroon” and is a member of the Fastrack donor club.

  27. @ Polltroll
    “Don’t think Hannan is particularly after a Westminster seat. Much like Carswell, he considers his political career complete now.”

    According to others on this site, Hannan tried and failed to get shortlisted for Aldershot recently.

  28. New Peers include ex-Tory MPs Peter Lilley, Eric Pickles and Andrew Tyrie.

    Rev William McCrea (DUP).

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)