2015 Result:
Conservative: 13676 (31.9%)
Labour: 18076 (42.1%)
Lib Dem: 859 (2%)
Green: 1122 (2.6%)
UKIP: 9154 (21.3%)
MAJORITY: 4400 (10.3%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

Geography: North West, Lancashire. The whole of Hyndburn council area and part of Rossendale council area.

Main population centres: Accrington, Oswaldtwistle, Haslingden, Clayton-le-Moors, Great Harwood, Rishton.

Profile: A collection of small former textile towns, largely made up of owner-occupied terraced houses, clustered alongside the M56. There is a significant Asian population in Accrington itself, the largest settlement in Hyndburn. Accrington itself is probably best known for its football team, Accrington Stanley, famously mocked in an 1980s advert for milk.

Politics: Historically this has been a Labour leaning marginal between the Conservatives and Labour. Its predecessor Accrington was held continuously by Labour between 1945 and 1983, but sometimes by only tiny margins (1970 and 1959). In 1983 it was won by the Conservatives by an even smaller margin of 21 votes and they managed to retain it in 1987 before it was regained by Labour in 1992.

Current MP
GRAHAM JONES (Labour) Born 1966, Accrington. Educated at St Christophers CofE High School and Central Lancashire University. Hyndburn councillor 2002-2010, Lancashire county councillor since 2009. First elected as MP for Hyndburn in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 14441 (34%)
Lab: 17531 (41%)
LDem: 5033 (12%)
BNP: 2137 (5%)
Oth: 3530 (8%)
MAJ: 3090 (7%)
Con: 12549 (32%)
Lab: 18136 (46%)
LDem: 5577 (14%)
BNP: 2444 (6%)
Oth: 743 (2%)
MAJ: 5587 (14%)
Con: 12681 (33%)
Lab: 20900 (55%)
LDem: 3680 (10%)
UKIP: 982 (3%)
MAJ: 8219 (21%)
Con: 15383 (32%)
Lab: 26831 (56%)
LDem: 4141 (9%)
Oth: 290 (1%)
MAJ: 11448 (24%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
KEVIN HORKIN (Conservative)
GRAHAM JONES (Labour) See above.
ALISON FIRTH (Liberal Democrat) Former Manchester councillor. Contested Sheffield Brightside 2001, Wythenshawe and Sale East 2005.
Comments - 28 Responses on “Hyndburn”
  1. OK, here’s a thought- I get the feeling the Labour Party in Hyndburn may have seen some potential in Greg Pope, and I’ve based this on the fact that he increased the Labour vote by 4.2% in Ribble Valley when he stood there in 1987. Now this could just be me, but in the selection process, some bright spark in the Constituency Party in Hyndburn may well have noticed that the result Pope achieved there (with David Waddington’s vote down by 2.5%) meaning that if he was able to repeat that swing were he selected, Labour could take that seat in Hyndburn. It was obviously a very good decision to select Pope, as he didn’t do too badly in winning this back in 1992 after his good result in Ribble Valley in 1987.

  2. My experience is that Labour Party selection committees don’t usually take that kind of thing too much into account. They are more likely to go on the political views, and ability to express them coherently under pressure, of the candidate. Mind you, I have rarely been in a constituency where candidates who’ve applied have had sparkling results elsewhere!

  3. I see. I just imagined that in this case his fine performance in a neighbouring seat may have been a factor in his selection.

  4. Cllr Ian Robinson has defected from the Inds to UKIP here. He represents Overton.

  5. The Deputy leader of the Council has been suspended from the Labour Party here after her own Father accused her of electoral fraud.


  6. UKIP Hyndburn reveal their dream election result:

    “UKIP 352, Con 142, Lab 102, LD 16, Oth 36”


  7. Result
    UK % Seats
    UKIP 42.4% 23
    Lab 27.6% 418
    Con 25.4% 165
    LD 1% 26
    SNP 0

  8. Labour Hold. 5,000 majority.

  9. This seat has surprisingly few comments. I think it’s interesting that in this East Lancashire seat there was actually a swing from the Tories with their vote share decreasing, in stark contrast to Rossendale and Darwen and Pendle, both of which had incumbent Tory MPs defending for the first time. I don’t know why the Tories didn’t do too well here, but I suspect they will struggle to get close in this seat for the foreseeable future as a result of their underwhelming performances in this seat in recent elections.

  10. Yes the Tories seem to be struggling in this seat over the longer-term also

  11. I wonder why though. I did read on the old site that the Tories had problems locally here internally within the local party before the 2010 election, so I just wonder whether perhaps they’ve still not been able to recover from the weak swing they got that year, and have fallen back locally as a consequence ever since?

  12. A strong UKIP performance here probably hurt both main parties here.

  13. The question is perhaps why this seat was marginal for so long given how working-class the area is. On demographics, one would have predicted Labour to be well ahead even in a bad year for them.

    This seat would again be vulnerable if Labour get a 1983-style result next time. The other possible non-Labour scenario is that UKIP make further advances until they win the seat. However, UKIP would be looking to make incremental advances now and to come from 21% behind is a big ask.

  14. The Results & Runnymede – the Tories selected very late here again, as they did in 2010. That won’t have helped, but not sure why they keep failing to make an effort here.

  15. Not sure if this can be called a safe seat at the moment. Currently looks marginal/semi marginal.

  16. The Labour vote seems to have held up reasonably well here and the Tories have been stuck in the low 30s. Perhaps the increased BME population mentioned in AW’s summary has helped make this safer. Having said that it is one of many seats where if there is a UKIP unwind (I don’t think this is a certainty but its a possibility) it will be very interesting to see how it disperses

  17. The Daily Mail have a piece on Accrington Conservative Club’s fall into disrepair – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3420804/Missing-floorboards-fire-damage-grand-ballroom-tatters-Evocative-pictures-decrepit-ruin-Britain-s-largest-Conservative-Club-left-rot.html.

    The Tories in Hyndburn haven’t had a great time of late but they are at least perahps in a better state than their former building.

  18. The days of the political club have largely, although not entirely gone. They were amongst the many things killed by, amongst other things television.

    On the Labour side, many clubs were lost to the Party because for a long time the C.I.U., the non-political body for working men’s clubs, would not let the Clubs admit women as full members. Party members insisted n equlaity whilst pragmatic club members were not so interested in rights to sit on the committee and more interested in reciprocal rights to clubs in places like Blackpool.

    On a non-political level it is a great shame that such a magnificent, and presumably listed, building is at risk. However, whatever alternative use is found will require a lot of capital investment, and very likely ongoing subsidy. The Tories have hoist themselves by their own petard here with their emphaisis on competition and unsubsidised free enterprise.

    Lose of the Clubs, with their strong local social links, is one of the factors making voters more willing to choose parties other then Labour or Conservative.

  19. FS – True. Labour Clubs all closed (in Merseyside at least) in the mid 1990s. A lot of Tory clubs still exist here, but I’ve noticed a lot have closed in the past 5 years. So both did not coincide with their Party’s electoral fortunes or woes nationally.

    I assume the smoking ban, coupled with the age of the club members is responsible. As well as there being more working class Tories and trade unionists in the ’70s and ’80s compared with Cameron’s Conservatives and Blair’s New Labour. In short you’re right it’s no surprise that WWC supporters of both main parties were left behind by their Party’s leaderships and looked elsewhere to UKIP etc or stayed at home. A lot of bingo halls have closed too in the North West in the past 15 years.

  20. All that is true, plus the simple fact that it just isn’t seen as acceptable any more for Mr Average to go out to the pub/club every night while the wife puts the kids to bed and stays in watching Coronation Street and doing the ironing. Life was still very like that 30 years ago, especially in working class areas, but it is almost a vanished way of life. If I compare how much time I’m expected to spend with my kids to how much time my dad spent with me in the 70s/80s the difference is pretty enormous.

  21. Agree the Tories have not done well in this seat (in 2010 or 2015),
    even if Labour’s vote is also not what it used to be.
    There were signs of some recovery in local elections shortly after 1997 but it didn’t last more than about 3 years – perhaps there’s been demographic change or votes going to UKIP.

  22. HH – true. Women working now is the big change.

    It’s an interesting one for supposed feminists, as a lot on the Left seem fond of a bygone unionised era, but back then it was a pub on very corner and wives being beaten in eg Scottie Road in Liverpool to use an obvious stereotype.

    Equally all women being expected to work seems to be one of the reasons quoted why women’s life expectancy gap over men is narrowing.

    There is still a drinking culture, but that’s more of the 18-35yo pre-drinking student with people getting married and having children later.

    Incidentally, I think private clubs were always exempt from the equalities legislation of the ’70s, hence Working Men’s clubs, the Carlton Club, golf clubs. I assume there are still derogations hence Freemasons. Or were they lumped in with Labour’s All Women shortlist temporary measure?

  23. Accrington’s former Conservative Club (mentioned upthread) has burnt down, after an apparent arson attack.

  24. Loved that old guy.

  25. I’d imagine the incumbent will be encouraged by Labour holding their 5 out of the 6 seats in Hyndburn today even with a UKIP collapse. I was surprised by Labour holding onto Accrington South given it contains the Tory Baxenden ward.

  26. Yes, there were a few odd results in Lancs.

    The Tory who failed to win a Preston seat is the PPC who stood in Southport in 2015 and who I think is standing there again.

    Plus of course the UKIP gain in Burnley.

  27. UKIP Cllrs Paul Thompson (St Oswalds) and Malcolm Pritchard (Milnshaw) have left UKIP to sit as Independents here.

  28. Cllr Peter Britcliffe has resigned as Mayor of Hyndburn after being questioned by police.

    He is alleged to have committed sexual offences against 3 teenage males in Oswaldtwistle (the ward he represents).

    The 67-year-old former primary school teacher has been a district Cllr for over 33 years and is also a County Cllr. He denies the allegations.

    He was the Tory PPC here in both 1997 and 2001.

    The NW Cons Party refused to comment.

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