Isle of Wight

2015 Result:
Conservative: 28591 (40.7%)
Labour: 8984 (12.8%)
Lib Dem: 5235 (7.4%)
Green: 9404 (13.4%)
UKIP: 14888 (21.2%)
Independent: 3198 (4.5%)
MAJORITY: 13703 (19.5%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Isle of Wight.

Main population centres: Cowes, Brading, Newport, Yarmouth, Ryde, Shanklin, Ventnor, Sandown.

Profile: The whole of the Isle of Wight, which is itself a whole county and effectively a unitary authority. The local economy is largely based upon tourism, both from the nautral beauty of the Isle of Wight, the traditional seaside resorts on the island and the island`s world famous connection with yachting, particular the annual Cowes Week regatta. As with most seaside resorts on the South coast, the seat has a very high proportion of elderly people. In the 2001 census a quarter of the population were pensioners. The island is also the site of three prisons, most infamously Parkhurst Prison.

Politics: The Isle of Wight has by far the largest electorate of any seat in the UK, despite the large size of the Isle of Wight geographical considerations have prevented any splitting of the seat into smaller seats. Its theoretical entitlement in the fifth review was to 1.48 seats, just short of the size where the default position would have been to add an extra seat. The possibility of splitting the seat into two and having one seat that crossed the Solent to include part of the mainland was rejected because of considerations of identity and communication difficulties. Under the new boundary rules and the abortive sixth review the Isle of Wight would have been one of three areas exempted from the strict electoral quota rules, and guaranteed two seats of its own.

Current MP
ANDREW TURNER (Conservative) Born 1953, Coventry. Educated at Rugby and Oxford University. Former teacher and education advisor. First elected as MP for Isle of Wight in 2001.
Past Results
Con: 32810 (47%)
Lab: 8169 (12%)
LDem: 22283 (32%)
UKIP: 2435 (3%)
Oth: 4567 (6%)
MAJ: 10527 (15%)
Con: 32717 (49%)
Lab: 11484 (17%)
LDem: 19739 (30%)
UKIP: 2352 (4%)
Oth: 551 (1%)
MAJ: 12978 (19%)
Con: 25223 (40%)
Lab: 9676 (15%)
LDem: 22397 (35%)
UKIP: 2106 (3%)
Oth: 4080 (6%)
MAJ: 2826 (4%)
Con: 24868 (34%)
Lab: 9646 (13%)
LDem: 31274 (43%)
Oth: 2637 (4%)
MAJ: 6406 (9%)

2015 Candidates
ANDREW TURNER (Conservative) See above.
DAVID GOODALL (Liberal Democrat) Born Southampton. Educated at Cowes High School and Portsmouth Polytechnic. Eastleigh councillor since 2002. Contested Southampton Itchen 2005, 2010, Hampshire police commissioner 2012 election.
IAN MCKIE (UKIP) Investment banker.
VIX LOWTHION (Green) Educated at York University. Geology and geography lecturer.
IAN STEPHENS (Independent) Born Isle of Wight. Retired retailler and communications consultant. Isle of Wight councillor, former leader of Isle of Wight council.
Comments - 331 Responses on “Isle of Wight”
  1. What a weird place for a stag do

  2. TIM JONES – Ithink the Libdems won by default in 1997. I hope The Greens can do the same this time!

  3. I agree with H.HEMMELIG about it being a weird place for a stag do. I unfortunately once had a pint in…..the Sandown….Conservative club.

    There. I’ve said it now. I’m not proud of myself.

  4. What a weird place for a stag do’

    I was pretty unusual

    Mansion House on the South Coast near Ventnor literally in the middle of nowhere

  5. Will the Green Party come second here?

  6. ‘I think the Lib Dems won by default in 1997’

    The Isle of Wight has a long history of third party representation throughout its history but it seemed quite a WWC, Brexity place – exactly the sort of place where the Lib Dems don’t do well

    Property prices are significantly lower than anywhere else in the South East

  7. The Lib Dems were only here because the Liberals won a by election in the 1970s. When the by election winners retired in 1987 the seat went back to the Tories. It was only the 1997 anti Conservative tsunami that allowed a one term Lib Dem wonder be elected as an MP here.

  8. I’ve lived on the Island for 30 plus years ( still an “ovener” even now). The Island should not have a strong Green presence given the demographic of legions of old people. But it also has a high degree of disenfranchised unemployed young people who are doubtless attracted to the easy very left of centre policies. The Green candidate got good traction last time and because she’s standing again and appears the most active amongst the candidates and because I expect the UKIP vote to fly home to the Tory fold , I would say she can expect a very strong second place.

    I would do the proverbial “Paddy Ashdown” if she won!

    The Island was solidly Tory for generations before the “Woodnutt” scandal. Thereafter, the LD’s were very strong in the days of Steve Ross and very well organised locally for a long time but are nothing but a train wreck now. I would expect the LD ( a complete unknown candidate) will do well not to lose his deposit. I would expect even Labour out poll the LD.

    Having a “new” Tory candidate could actually refresh the Tory franchise Andrew Turner was beyond his sell by date before 2015 merely “phoning in” as an MP. He would have been deselected for 2020, so being kicked to the kerb did the Tories a favour.

    I would expect a reduced majority, but a still a comfortable one.

  9. Greens comfortably outperformed Labour and Lib Dem in the locals, and looking at local sources it seems they have succeeded in painting themselves as the main challenger to the Conservatives here. From my early skepticism I now think it’s likely they will be second here and substantially increase their share, possibly above 20%. 30 or above seems very difficult though – the limits are that I don’t see them taking many votes directly from the Tories (social care deserters will mostly go elsewhere) and I don’t think their advantage is clear enough to fully benefit from tactical voting. I’ve heard suggestions from the Greens that they are taking the anti-establishment vote from UKIP but I suspect that is largely ramping.

  10. According to Wiki they came third on 12% not sure that’s comfortable by any standards

  11. More likely they’ll fall back, not surge.

  12. There was never a by-election here in the 70’s at all. Stephen Ross won this for the Liberals from Conservative Mark Woodnutt in February 1974 after previously losing to him twice in 1966 and 1970 finishing in a distant third place both times. I think it is probably safe to say that Ross himself was by and large almost solely responsible for the Liberal success in/on the Isle of Wight.

  13. So it was definitely a huge personal vote that Stephen Ross had enjoyed here in the 21 years he was the Liberal candidate and then the MP. He had been a longtime member of the council on the island as well, and was council leader on two separate occasions. I’m not local to here at all and have no connections but given the Isle of Wight is very much its own place I would have imagined it has always responded well to individual personalities rather than merely just parties, as an island constituency- in much the same way the Lib Dems have always had Orkney and Shetland, and had popular MPs with strong personal votes in the Highlands seats, which really do pride themselves on voting in individuals as opposed to the party historically- Same with Argyll and Bute as well. If there are islands in the seat, without wishing to be too stereotypical, chances are they will like the person before the party more because the voters are more geographically distant and isolated from the mainland don’t forget. I know that Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles) has preferred its Labour and SNP candiates with monolithic personal votes however, and bucks the trend in the Scottish islands of not being a Liberal/SDP/Lib Dem citadel of strength historically. Maybe something to do with it being the Hebrides perhaps and even more isolated than the Highlands? And also the extremely strong Gaelic speaking population?

  14. “but given the Isle of Wight is very much its own place I would have imagined it has always responded well to individual personalities rather than merely just parties, as an island constituency”

    I think this hits the nail on the head – though this doesn’t specifically help Lib Dems more than other parties.

    Western Isles has big swings, presumably for the reasons you give re personal vote / island culture / mentality (that’s not a criticism, by the way).

  15. The personal vote does seem to be very much in play in more isolated places – but the Isle of Wight has neither the look, nor feel nor the demographics to suggest a strong liberal vote – and maybe indeed it is a thing of the past

  16. ‘I would say CON hold with an increased majority with UKIP collapsing.’

    Turner’s exit is likely to help the Tories rather than hinder them

    He seems the sort of incumbent who people who vote against – an impersonal vote perhaps?

  17. The SDP got a huge of support in The Western Isles in 1987 taking far more votes from the SNP than Labour (who gained the seat after 17 years of SNP domination) only to see it evaporate in 1992.

  18. Yes, Turner going will help the Tories; he got one of the party’s worst results last time and was becoming a joke on the Island.

    If there is a hard-fought campaign being mounted by the Greens, it isn’t evident. You wouldn’t know there is an election on at all.

    The Greens will retain second simply because all the other potential runner-up parties will do even worse. So it’ll be a very distant second.

  19. It would seem the Conservatives have made a good selection here, local councillor with a military background. He won’t have the anti factor Tim Jones suggests applies to Turner and I’d agree an increased majority. Greens to come second, but would be very surprised at anything higher than 20%.

    Interesting reading some of the earlier comments on this thread and that the boundary proposals are of an east-west divide. Historically the councils were divided north-south, with the Lib Dems stronger in the north and the Tories in the south, when the island had Stephen Ross as a Liberal MP.

  20. Saying Green came third with 12% is misleading. They were third behind the island independents, who typically don’t figure at GEs. Grn won 18% in the wards they contested and beat lab and lib in all but a handful of wards. They definitely appear to be the second party here now, although I’m not entirely sure how and still think their celling must be well below the Tories’ floor.

  21. Been reported on the Bristol West thread that Greens are transferring resources from there to here – perhaps reflecting a tough time there, but yet more evidence that they somehow think they have a chance here. True that Tories are fighting bad headlines on social care, education and fracking, all of particular relevance here (fracking and failing schools are big local issues, I gather). But I still just can’t see past a 40% floor for Tory and a 30% ceiling for Green. Shifting resources from BW, a seat where Greens would seem to have a clear chance, is really odd.

  22. It’s a long way from Bristol to the IOW. How much “resource” can they be transferring?

  23. The electoral map now seems peppered with quite a few isolated Labour seats – ie with no land borders to other Labour seats, dotted throughout all of Britain. These are mostly small-to-mid sized towns surrounded by Tory countryside.

    It got me wondering how common isolated Tory seats are. Clearly they are much rarer as you are unlikely to find a Tory city seat surrounded by Lab/Lib countryside. Obviously the Isle of Wight is a safe Tory seat and has no land borders, but excluding IoW these have been the isolated Tory seats in the last few elections:

    2017: East Renfrewshire, Vale of Glamorgan
    2015: Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff North, Gower
    2010: Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff North, Wirral West, Brighton Kemptown
    (boundary changes)
    2005: Preseli Pembrokeshire, Clwyd West, Derbyshire Dales, Shipley
    2001: Galloway & Upper Nithsdale, Derbyshire Dales, South Staffordshire, North Somerset
    1997: North Somerset, Derbyshire Dales (and not counting IoW which was a Lib Dem seat!)

  24. Central Wight (Isle of Wight) result:

    CON: 49.7% (-25.5)
    LDEM: 26.0% (+26.0)
    GRN: 13.0% (-5.9)
    LAB: 9.2% (+3.2)
    UKIP: 2.2% (+2.2)

    CON Hold

  25. Labour has increased its share of the vote in every by-election in January, except for one in Rochford DC where there wasn’t a Labour candidate.

  26. oh interesting hadn’t noticed that

  27. even though a seat was lost to the Tories in Bolton.

  28. Bit like the seat in Newcastle under Lyne we lost. The Tories lost votes but stil won it

  29. Bob Seely becomes the first MP I think to openly switch between two serving candidates – going from Gove to Johnson.

  30. Bob Seely becomes the first MP I think to openly switch between two serving candidates – going from Gove to Johnson.’

    That’s a funny one as he was very critical of Boris on Newsnight about a year ago when Johnson was foreign secretary

  31. I wonder Job he has been offered?

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