Lewes

2015 Result:
Conservative: 19206 (38%)
Labour: 5000 (9.9%)
Lib Dem: 18123 (35.9%)
Green: 2784 (5.5%)
UKIP: 5427 (10.7%)
MAJORITY: 1083 (2.1%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

Geography: South East, East Sussex. Most of Lewes council area, part of Wealden council area.

Main population centres: Lewes, Newhaven, Seaford.

Profile: A large, sprawling rural seat covering much of the countryside to the North of Brighton, the South Downs and the valley of the river Ouse. Lewes itself is the small picturesque county town of East Sussex, best known for its extensive and sometimes controversial Guy Fawkes Night celebrations, where effigies of Pope Paul V and contemporary figures, such as Osama bin Laden, are burnt. The country house of Glyndebourne, the site of the annual opera festival, is situated just outside the town. At the southern end of the constituency is the more Labour inclined ferry port of Newhaven and the seaside resort turned dormitory town of Seaford.

Politics: The seat returned Conservative MPs for over a century until it was won by the Liberal Democrat Norman Baker in 1997. It was regained by the Conservatives in 2015.


Current MP
MARIA CAULFIELD (Conservative) Former nurse. Brighton and Hove councillor 2007-2011. Contested Caerphilly 2010. First elected as MP for Lewes in 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 18401 (37%)
Lab: 2508 (5%)
LDem: 26048 (52%)
UKIP: 1728 (3%)
Oth: 1403 (3%)
MAJ: 7647 (15%)
2005*
Con: 15902 (34%)
Lab: 4169 (9%)
LDem: 24376 (52%)
GRN: 1071 (2%)
Oth: 1034 (2%)
MAJ: 8474 (18%)
2001
Con: 15878 (35%)
Lab: 3317 (7%)
LDem: 25588 (56%)
UKIP: 650 (1%)
MAJ: 9710 (21%)
1997
Con: 19950 (41%)
Lab: 5232 (11%)
LDem: 21250 (43%)
Oth: 256 (1%)
MAJ: 1300 (3%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
MARIA CAULFIELD (Conservative) Nurse. Brighton and Hove councillor 2007-2011. Contested Caerphilly 2010.
LLOYD RUSSELL-MOYLE (Labour) Born 1986, Sussex. Educated at Priory School and Bradford University.
NORMAN BAKER (Liberal Democrat) Born 1957, Aberdeen. Educated at Royal Liberty School and Royal Holloway College. English teacher. Lewes councillor 1987-99, Leader of Lewes council 1991-97, East Sussex councillor 1989-97. Contested Lewes 1992. MP for Lewes 1997 to 2015. Under-Secretary of State for Transport 2010-2013. Minister of State at the Home Office since 2013. A trenchant backbench inquisitor and campaigning MP, Baker stood down as Lib Dem Environment Spokesman in 2006 to concentrate on campaigning for a full investigation into the death of Dr David Kelly. He returned as Lib Dem shadow transport secretary in 2007.
RAY FINCH (UKIP) Engineer. Contested Eastleigh 2010, MEP for South East since 2014.
ALFIE STIRLING (Green) Born 1990. Educated at Priory School and University College London.
Links
Comments - 311 Responses on “Lewes”
  1. *8% even

  2. *8% even.

  3. I think Lewes is a 50/50 fight. Blundell seems like a very strong candidate, Caulfield a terrible one.

    Anecdotally, I’ve heard from a few people that Blundell signs far outstrip Caulfield ones (although obviously that’s just one indicator). It’s a much better LD shot than Eastbourne at this point, seeing as Ansell is a decent MP and Caulfield is useless. The lack of a Green candidate here — and their backing of Blundell — seems to be significant as well.

    I’d predict around 45% for both parties and a narrow Tory win, but it could easily go either way.

    There are only a handful of seats I think the LDs could reasonably still hope to take from the Tories, and this has got to be one of the top three:

    Twickenham, Kingston, Lewes, Oxford West, Bath, Cheltenham, St Ives, maybe still a tiny glimmer of hope in Eastbourne.

  4. That is the kind of baseless character assassination dressed up as fact that Lib Dem campaigns have become famous for.

    Maria Caulfield is actually an unusually diligent and high-profile MP in a region not noted for its hard working Tory MPs. She is quite often on the regional news for something or another.

    There is no way this is a 50/50 seat or anywhere near one of the Lib Dems’ top 3 prospects. The Tories will hold it with a comfortably increased majority.

  5. I would say it’s certainly one of their top ones — top three in my estimation, but top five certainly.

    And what I’ve heard of Caulfield — prattling on about being attacked over things it’s quite clear she’s not being attacked for (usually something to do with religion) — have been entirely negative. Perhaps there’s a different sense of her on the ground, but… who knows.

    Personally, on a guess, I’d say she’ll hold, but I think it could easily be the other way. Frankly, Blundell’s campaign (from what I’ve heard from friends in the area/seen in the news and social media) seems to be very well run, whereas Caulfield’s… doesn’t.

    If I had to take a guess, I’d say it’ll be something like Caulfield 45, Blundell 43, but, again, could easily reverse that or something similar.

  6. Mr Pitt is correct here Blundell is a much nicer candidate than Caulfield and is quietly building up enough of a personal vote to win the day!

  7. Lib dems national polling suggests a disappointing night. Will never forget the shock of the liberals dire results in
    May 2015

  8. Cons hold, increased maj

  9. I think the LDs’ prospects entirely depend on if their targeting operation is better than the last time, which it seems it may be. By targeting ~40 or ~45 seats in 2015, they overextended themselves. They seem to be putting in effort in maybe just 20-25 seats now. The targeting effort in ’97 is a good example: lost vote share, gained seats. Not saying that’ll happen now, but it’s also not implausible they could translate votes to seats better than in ’15, from which they learned a pretty harsh lesson.

    I think Blundell will lose, but narrowly — probably by a comparable margin to 2015, but with the LDs and Cons both up in terms of percentage. But, like Layla Moran in Oxford West, if they keep her as candidate for next time, it’s not implausible that she could build on her result in future. That’s worked for the LDs in the past and frankly is probably their best hope now.

  10. Apparently the Greens have gained the Ouse Valley & Ringmer ward from the Tories. No detailed figures available yet.

  11. Ouse Valley and Ringmer (Lewes)
    GRN: 38.7% (+22)
    CON: 30.6% (+1)
    LDEM: 21.2% (-8)
    LAB: 7.7% (-4)
    UKIP: 1.8% (-12)

    Green GAIN

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