Louth & Horncastle

2015 Result:
Conservative: 25755 (51.2%)
Labour: 9077 (18%)
Lib Dem: 2255 (4.5%)
Green: 1549 (3.1%)
UKIP: 10778 (21.4%)
Loony: 263 (0.5%)
Others: 659 (1.3%)
MAJORITY: 14977 (29.8%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

Geography: East Midlands, Lincolnshire.. Includes part of the East Lindsey council area.

Main population centres: Louth, Horncastle, Mablethorpe, Manby, Spilsby, Tattershall, North Somercotes, Sutton-on-Sea.

Profile: A rural seat, covering much of the Lincolnshire Wolds and the county`s North sea coast. Settlements are mostly villages and hamlets, small market towns and seaside towns like Mablethorpe. This is an isolated and remote part of the Midlands, road links are poor and the rail lines were closed by Beeching, leaving agriculture the main industry.

Politics: A solid Conservative seat. Louth and Horncastle and its predecessors have been held by the Conservatives since before the war, mostly by Sir Peter Tapsell, the veteran MP who was father of the House before retiring in 2015.


Current MP
VICTORIA ATKINS (Conservative) Born London, daughter of Sir Robert Atkins MEP. Educated at Cambridge University. Barrister. Contested Gloucestershire police commissioner election 2012. First elected as MP for Louth & Horncastle in 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 25065 (50%)
Lab: 8760 (17%)
LDem: 11194 (22%)
BNP: 2199 (4%)
Oth: 3276 (6%)
MAJ: 13871 (27%)
2005*
Con: 21744 (47%)
Lab: 11848 (25%)
LDem: 9480 (20%)
UKIP: 3611 (8%)
MAJ: 9896 (21%)
2001
Con: 21543 (48%)
Lab: 13989 (31%)
LDem: 8928 (20%)
MAJ: 7554 (17%)
1997
Con: 21699 (43%)
Lab: 14799 (30%)
LDem: 12207 (24%)
Oth: 1248 (2%)
MAJ: 6900 (14%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
VICTORIA ATKINS (Conservative) Born London, daughter of Sir Robert Atkins MEP. Educated at Cambridge University. Barrister. Contested Gloucestershire police commissioner election 2012.
MATTHEW BROWN (Labour) Born North East Lincolnshire. Educated at The Lindsey School and Hull University. North East Lincolnshire councillor since 2010.
LISA GABRIEL (Liberal Democrat) Contested Lincoln 1997, 2001, 2005.
COLIN MAIR (UKIP) Educated at Leeds University. Lincolnshire councillor since 2013. Contested Louth and Horncastle 2010 for the English Democrats.
ROMY RAYNER (Green)
DANIEL SIMPSON (Lincolnshire Independents)
PETER HILL (Loony) Retired engineer.
Links
Comments - 146 Responses on “Louth & Horncastle”
  1. Was Mablethorpe in Horncastle until 1983? Since then of course it has been in East Lindsey and then this seat

  2. Interesting that in 1969 the MP for the Louth section of this seat was 29 years of age, whereas the MP in 2013 is 83 years old. I refer of course to Jeffrey Archer (as well as Sir Peter Tapsell).

  3. The New Statesman has a story that Sir Peter Tapsell is
    ‘keeping the seat warm’ for Boris. Not sure how much reality is in that statement.

  4. He was overheard saying it to Cameron, though how he said it, or in what context, is not known

    Louth is far too north of London for Boris to spin without losing face. Richmond Park, on the other hand….

  5. I reckon Goldsmith’s going to stay as my Tory MP. Methinks Johnson will have to look further afield.

  6. It would be intresting to see the vote share that Boris could manage in Richmond.

  7. Croydon South is another option for Boris given Richard Ottaway’s upcoming retirement. And I wonder what Malcolm Rifkind’s plans are? He’d be nearly 70 by the time of the next election. Kensington is an already safe seat which is probably getting safer with demographic change.

  8. I agree that this seat is too far north for Boris. He would need a London seat, a west or South West London seat at that. Westminster North would be a good seat for Boris and I think he would definately win it from Labour if he were to stand.

  9. Westminister North???

    I don’t think Boris would be interested in that at all. I’m not even sure he would win it.

    Croydon South would be better, as would Kensington if Rifkind goes.

  10. I think you’re right Joe….

    Kensington or Croydon South would be good seats for Boris. Better than Westminster North!

  11. “Westminster North would be a good seat for Boris and I think he would definately win it from Labour if he were to stand.”

    2012 mayoral result, after 2nd preferences, Westminster North:

    Boris 57%
    Ken 43%

    Such a comfortable victory for Boris that it can’t all have been down to differential turnout.

  12. Electing a London Mayor is very different from electing an MP & many of those who voted for Johnson as the former would be far from certain to do so as the latter when the government of the country is at stake. I’d give Johnson a decent chance of taking Westminster N but no more than that.

  13. The “white other” demographic is big in Westminster North, much of it being wealthy banker types. Those who are EU citizens were able to vote for mayor, but not in general elections. This must have helped Boris last year.

  14. There is a trend developing in Australia of leaders or aspiring leaders running in key swing seats in order to put their personal votes to best use.

    On the other hand, that relies upon the aspiring leader being a team player and being willing to take the chance of a humiliating defeat. I don’t think either of those describe Boris, so if he comes back it’ll be in a seat where he scarcely needs to campaign.

  15. Actually in a sense it would be very ironic if Boris were to run here. It was in the predecessor seat to this one (Paddington) where Ken Livingstone elected to stand in the 1981 GLC elections, reasoning that he’d either like to be the council leader, or not be on it at all (since the seat was marginal). He abandoned a very safe seat (Hackney N & Stoke Newington) & in fact stood in 3 different constituencies in the 3 GLC elections (excluding the by-election he fought on the issue of abolition) he fought.

  16. “(Paddington) where Ken Livingstone elected to stand in the 1981 GLC elections, reasoning that he’d either like to be the council leader, or not be on it at all”

    Which is pretty hard to square with his behaviour as a bad loser after 2008, refusing to fade away and allow Labour to select a fresh candidate who could have beaten Boris in 2012.

    Boris’s star seems to be fading, as leadership speculation moves on to the likes of May and Hammond. Like Portillo before him, Boris might come back in a safe seat in 2015/16 only to find himself sidelined and rejected as the party feels it wants to move on.

  17. This seat is a non-starter as far as Boris goes.

    Kensington is the one I’m keeping my eyes on:
    It is central; safe (Richmond Park is not safe enough); suitably high-end (at leat in part); and with a history (carried over fom the old Kensington & Chelsea seat) of electing prominent ‘retreads’.

    Of course, Sir Malcom Rifkind may not retire, in which case I’ve no idea where Boris might go.

    This is also assuming Boris does indeed stand for election in 2015. There is still the (admittedly less likely) possibilty of him waiting until after his mayoral term is over in 2016, before returning to Parliament.

    As far as Sir Peter Tapsell goes, he’s probably going to stand down at the next election regardless of whether Boris is his annointed successor or not.

  18. I see Richmond Park as safe for the foreseeable future.

  19. “with a history (carried over fom the old Kensington & Chelsea seat) of electing prominent ‘retreads’.”

    Alan Clark stood down voluntarily in Plymouth Sutton, he wasn’t defeated (indeed the same would be true of Boris if he stands in Kensington). Therefore I’m not sure you could describe either as a retread.

    Of course, the description does squarely apply to Michael Portillo, Malcolm Rifkind and Nicholas Scott.

  20. I think H.Hemmelig makes a pertinent point…

    If Boris were re-elected to Parliament in 2015/2016/2020 or whenever, I can see him remaining popular & high-profile enough in the intervening years to be offered a Cabinet/Shadow Cabinet post, but (in my view) he just ain’t gonna be leader/PM.

  21. “Alan Clark stood down voluntarily in Plymouth Sutton, he wasn’t defeated (indeed the same would be true of Boris if he stands in Kensington). Therefore I’m not sure you could describe either as a retread”

    Sorry, I wasn’t being technically specific with my definition of ‘retread’… I just meant someone who was previously an MP, returning to Parliament for another stint.

  22. A retread is anyone who’s returned to the Commons after an absence, for whatever reason. I think Richard Body & Angus Maude returned after resigning rather than being beaten too.

  23. Boris shouldnt be too aggressive in his approach. He should wait until there is a new leader under no pressure then re-enter the commons. He should accept a (shadow) cabinet post and wait for his moment.

  24. It would be very difficult for Bors to return at the next election. He will still have a big commitment in London, for another year anyway, so taking on the job as an MP outside of London won’t really look good at all.

    However, if he stands for a seat within London, whilst at the same time still being mayor, he could stand accused of using his position as mayor disproportionately to favour that constituency.

    If he wants to re enter parliament he would need a by election in 2016, but who is likely to stand again and then stand down after only a year to make way for him?

  25. Yes I don’t think the definition of retreads is restricted to defeated MPs. On Nick Scott, while he was defeated in the new Paddington seat in 1974, his Paddington South seat had been abolished and Paddington was already a notional Labour seat. So a bit different again to Portillo and Rifkind who lost their existing seats which had not been subject to any boundary changes

  26. “A retread is anyone who’s returned to the Commons after an absence, for whatever reason. I think Richard Body & Angus Maude returned after resigning rather than being beaten too.”

    Also Tom Driberg. Thanks for the clarification.

    “Boris shouldnt be too aggressive in his approach. He should wait until there is a new leader under no pressure then re-enter the commons. He should accept a (shadow) cabinet post and wait for his moment.”

    Boris’s one and only chance is to replace David Cameron. If someone else replaces Cameron then Boris’s chances of becoming leader are most likely gone.

  27. I was going to post a comment a few days ago that Kensington would be the perfect seat for Boris if Rifkind retires but I see a number of people have already said as much on this thread. Croydon South would be okay but not quite as Boris-friendly.

  28. Why? He’s only in his mid 40s, and with his personality nobody is going to forget him.

  29. Forget who?

  30. Boris issues aside, has anyone thought of this seat as the sort of place where there could be a major Con-UKIP contest in the event of a by-election (which, given Sir Peter Tapsell’s age – and without wanting to wish him ill – is perhaps more likely here than in some other seats)?

  31. there would be many such seats at the moment. However it’s not a bad point.

  32. Especially – as we discussed on the Grimsby thread – the incumbent MP is well known as an arch euro-sceptic, which must have suppressed the natural UKIP+BNP vote below its full potential in general elections here.

  33. ‘the incumbent MP is well known as an arch euro-sceptic,’

    Has Peter Tapsell alwayys been a staunch Euroskeptic?

    I only ask as he’s an MP commonly identified as very much on the Left of the party, whereas most Euroskeptics are from the Right

    Anthony Steen was the only other I can think of

  34. He has for a long time certainly. When John Major was PM, he was certainly aligned with the Eurosceptics (or “bastards” as he call those in his Cabinet). This could have constituency reasons, but it may be 100% genuine.

  35. and really, I think it would be accurate to say that Sir Peter was once regarded as a “Heathman”, but has gradually moved rightwards over the years, though he lacks the harshness of e.g. Phil & David Davies.

  36. ‘I think it would be accurate to say that Sir Peter was once regarded as a “Heathman”, but has gradually moved rightwards over the years’

    I still seem him as one of the last of a dying breed – a one nation Tory – although his views on Europe differentiate him from the others who could be said to be within that camp – to the extent that I think he backed IDS in 2001

  37. It’s not terribly surprising he’d be on the left of the party in any case. Rural Lincolnshire may not be keen on either immigrants or the EU, but it wouldn’t exactly thrive under the sort of massive cutbacks to the state proposed by the likes of Britannia Unchained.

  38. “I only ask as he’s an MP commonly identified as very much on the Left of the party, whereas most Euroskeptics are from the Right

    Anthony Steen was the only other I can think of”

    Sir Philip Goodhart is another very anti-EU left-wing Conservative. His last substantive involvement in politics was as a senior advisor to the Danish “no” campaign in the referendum on the Maastrict treaty in 1992.

  39. Well Sir Philip is unambigiously on the left of the party. I didn’t know about what you mentioned HH, and find it most interesting.

  40. I only know about it because he told me in person.

    Sir Phillip is a very interesting character, kind as well as eccentric (as he is entitled to be at the age of 88)

  41. I do vaguely remember Goodhart. Like Barnaby says he always seemed very left wing for a Tory

    It’s funny that some of the Labour Right – Field, Hoey, Stuart – have become increasingly euroskeptic over the years, whereas it used to be the Left who were moist opposed to the EU – often using the very same arguments as those on the Tory Right

  42. Sir Philip Goodhart’s brother William was the LD candidate in Oxford West & Abingdon in 1992.

  43. Tim – that isn’t really true. Peter Shore was just about the greatest Eurosceptic in the Labour Party, but was always on the Right (though some in e.g. the BBC mistook his Euroscepticism for being on the Left). Austin Mitchell is very oddly nowadays in the Campaign Group, but is really a traditional Labour right-winger most of the time, and longer ago Douglas Jay (father of Peter), who was a Cabinet Minister in the 60s Labour government & MP for Battersea N, was an arch-right-winger who however was a great opponent of Common Market membership. Indeed even Hugh Gaitskell had what we now call Eurosceptic views.

  44. Douglas Jay is also the uncle-in-law of Virginia Bottomley.

  45. Who is herself the aunt of Kitty Usher and cousin of Tristram Hunt.

  46. I hadn’t realised that Tristram Hunt was part of that family too. It isn’t unique for a Labour MP to be related to a Tory one – Alistair Darling is the great-nephew of a Tory MP, and Stanley Baldwin’s son was a Labour MP.

  47. Sir Robert Smith is the Liberal Democrat MP for West Aberdeenshire while his grandfather represented a Central Aberdeenshire for the Conservatives.

  48. …while we are on the theme of families and different parties.

  49. I think he is related to the late Alick Buchanan-Smith (N Angus & Mearns, C) who represented part of the same seat.

  50. And Labour MP John Fraser’s son stood for the Tories in North Devon in 2005

    Very surprised to find that Austin Mitchell is a member of the Socialist Campaign Groiup as I thought that was a group for the lefter-wing of Labour MPs – whereas he has always been on the far right of the Labour Party

    Sir Rob Smith’s grandfather was Sir Robert Workman Smith, who was a Scottish Unionist politician (Conservatrive).

    Smith himself is very much on the pragmatic right of the Lib Dems

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)