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
Con: 25065 (50%)
Lab: 8760 (17%)
LDem: 11194 (22%)
BNP: 2199 (4%)
Oth: 3276 (6%)
MAJ: 13871 (27%)
Con: 21744 (47%)
Lab: 11848 (25%)
LDem: 9480 (20%)
UKIP: 3611 (8%)
MAJ: 9896 (21%)
Con: 21543 (48%)
Lab: 13989 (31%)
LDem: 8928 (20%)
MAJ: 7554 (17%)
Con: 21699 (43%)
Lab: 14799 (30%)
LDem: 12207 (24%)
Oth: 1248 (2%)
MAJ: 6900 (14%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

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.
DANIEL SIMPSON (Lincolnshire Independents)
PETER HILL (Loony) Retired engineer.
Comments - 146 Responses on “Louth & Horncastle”
  1. On the topic of MPs related to each other, Mark Todd was Labour MP for South Derbyshire from 1997-2010, whilst his father was MP for Berwick as a Conservative in the 1930s.

  2. 2 UKIP gains in East Lindsay:


    UKIP 802 (33.6%) +33.6%
    Lab 767 (32.2%) +5.6%
    Ind 414 (17.4%) -13.4%
    Con 401 (16.8%) -16%

    Tories down from 1st to 4th by all appearances.


    UKIP 976 (38.6%) +38.6%
    Con 784 (30.8%) -34.4%
    Ind 519 (20.4%) +20.4%
    Lab 269 (10.6%) +0.4%

  3. The Tories are having some truly atrocious results in Lincolnshire.

  4. Are the Tories going to lose control at this rate? They can afford to lose 23 seats I think.

  5. As things stand the Tories have 23 of 52 with 25 still to declare so not looking good. UKIP now has 11 seats. Coalition?

  6. I think they have now lost control if I’m reading the website correctly.
    coming in quite quick and fast in Lincolnshire at least.
    any news about Somerset – appparently they are overnight this time.

  7. In fact UKIP gained a seat from the Tories in a district council by-election on Thursday as well as the above county council gains. This means that the Tories also lost overall control of E Lindsey District Council (though they still have parity). There was a very large number of council by-elections on Thursday; as far as I can see, there were 2 UKIP gains from the Tories, and one Conservative gain from the LDs (in Cheltenham, despite the LD claims that “we have gained seats in Cheltenham”). All the other seats were held by the incumbent parties.

  8. @Barnaby

    Overall in the 118 council by-elections held on Thursday, there have been 5 UKIP gains from Con and 1 from LD.
    Con gained 2 from Lab and 5 from LibDems
    Labour gained 3 from Con, 2 from LD and 1 from Greens.
    4 Indy gain from Con and 1 from LD.
    1 Liberal gain from Con.

  9. Horncastle was attached to Gainsborough for 14 years (I would guess it was merely a merger of the two pre-1983 constituencies)

  10. I think Mablethorpe, Sutton-on-Sea, and Woodhall Spa were all in Horncastle until 1983 and East Lindsey until 1997

  11. The thought has just entered my mind that very few online local newspapers and local government websites hardly ever seem to bother recording the declarations in these safe Tory seats- the same could be said for safe Labour seats- it’s a shame really, because although this is no doubt because the results aren’t in doubt, it would still be nice to see what types of hall or leisure centre look like for some of the safest Tory seats’ counts.

  12. By-election last Thursday here in St Leonards ward: Labour gain from East Lindsey Inds Group. Labour 382 (+ 34%), UKIP 228 (+ 20%), Ind 206 ( -19%), Ind 175 (-11%), Con 149 (-10%).

  13. Sir Peter Tapsell’s electoral record in Horncastle, East Lindsey and Louth and Horncastle-

    1. 1966- 15, 090 (46.64%, -2.95%, 5, 375 (16.61%) majority)
    2. 1970- 19, 299 (55.35%, +8.71%, 10, 439 (29.94%) majority)
    3. February 1974- 19, 344 (49.53%, -5.82%, 6, 789 (17.38%) majority)
    4. October 1974- 16, 750 (47.71%, -1.82%, 5, 244 (14.94%) majority)
    5. 1979- 21, 362 (55.12%, +7.41%, 10, 529 (27.17%) majority)

    East Lindsey-
    1. 1983- 27, 151 (53.22%, +0.92%, 7, 517 (14.74%) majority)
    2. 1987- 29, 048 (52.16%, -1.06%, 8, 616 (15.47%) majority)
    3. 1992- 31, 916 (51.08%, -1.08%, 11, 846 (18.96%) majority)

    Louth and Horncastle-
    1. 1997- 21, 699 (43.4%, 6, 900 (13.8%) majority)
    2. 2001- 21, 543 (48.5%, +5.1%, 7, 554 (17.0%) majority)
    3. 2005- 21, 744 (46.6%, -1.9%, 9, 896 (21.2%) majority)
    4. 2010- 25, 065 (49.6%, +3.2%, 13, 871 (27.5%) majority)

  14. Although he was an MP in 1959-1964 before losing his seat (he returned to parliament in 1966), I did not realise that Sir Peter first stood in Wednesdbury earlier, in the 1957 by-election.

    This was a month after the resignation of Eden.

    This by-election returned John Stonehouse, famous for faking his own death and being a traitor in the cold war with Tapsell losing more than half his vote in numerical terms.

    Im sure most of the more experienced contributors to the site already know this, but thought it interesting for beginners like myself.

  15. That is very interesting Joe, thanks for mentioning it.

  16. actually I didn’t Joe, thanks very much.

  17. And he assumed the personality of the deceased husband of a constituent… Reminds me of the old Chicago activity of the dead voting early… but then again he wouldn’t have been voting for himself under his new guise as he was “dead” himself and his dead constituent was “alive” again.

  18. Prediction for 2015-
    Tapsell (Conservative)- 46%
    Labour- 22%
    UKIP- 18%
    Liberal Democrats- 14%

  19. My forecast for 2015 here:

    Con 40
    UKIP 23
    Lab 22
    LD 7
    Others 8

  20. Well this one I was beginning to think wouldn’t happen:
    Sir Peter has announced his intention to stand down at the next general election.

  21. I am surprised Sir Peter did not announce this earlier,John…he is 84 years of age now, and has been a Conservative MP for a total of 53 years (1959-64, 1966-present) at this time of writing. I initially thought he would stay in this seat until death, the same way Dennis Skinner will in Bolsover.

  22. Isn’t Gerald Kaufman next in line to become Father of the House? Because I opined a while back on the Manchester Gorton thread that Kaufman would stand for re-election only so long as he thought he could get the title.

    If he is next in line, I personally believe talk of whether Kaufman will stand again is settled now.

  23. Sad news, but congratulations to Sir Peter on doing the right thing. Hanging on as an MP out of stubbornness until you are incapacitated and gaga is completely wrong IMO, and reflected badly on the likes of Ted Heath. Kaufman and Skinner should retire as well.

    Tim Jones will be upset.

  24. ‘Tim Jones will be upset.’

    indeed – he was one of my favourite Tories and a bit of an enigma – a One Nation Euroskeptic, who didn’t follow the rightwards drift of the Tory Party in the 80s and 90s

    I agree with you though that given his age, he has made the right choice

  25. I hope God grants him a few years to enjoy his retirement. Working till 85 is scary, though people of our age may end up having to do the same.

  26. Without Tapsell, do UKIP stand a chance here?

  27. A chance of a 10% vote share maybe. No threat to a Conservative hold however.

  28. I don’t think this seat is particularly good UKIP territory with the possible exception of Mablethorpe, and even there Labour is doing relatively well & will probably end up being slightly ahead in the town in the general election. I see they won Louth Marsh in the CC elections but I suspect the Tories will beat them even there in the end.

  29. Without sounding morbid, all of those comments presuppose that both he and Kaufman live another year or so.

  30. Am I the only one thinking it is not entirely coincidental that this is announced on the same day that the PM tells The Sun that he wants Boris back in the Commons?

  31. Hmmm, not sure this is the seat for Boris, look out for something nearer London, Kensington would be my suggestion if Rifkind can be persuaded to join the upper house or is there anything in the green belt up for grabs?

  32. You’re right that Boris would have no interest in this seat.

    Kensington is perhaps a trifle too establishment to go for Boris. Somewhere in the stockbroker belt would suit him better. Someone like Paul Beresford might make a late decision to stand down.

  33. Oh I don’t know, H Hemmelig. Kensington seems to be the venue of choice for the nearly men of Conservative politics.

  34. As for Sir Peter, I’m most certainly a fan and am sad that he’s stepping down, no doubt to be replaced by some relentlessly on-message Cameroon.

  35. Boris has a bit of a nerve expecting a seat to just magically appear at his convenience.

  36. ‘No doubt to be replaced by some relentlessly on- message Cameroon’

    Oh, we’re not all that bad ‘Tory’ 😉

  37. Boris might just be willing to travel – after all he stood in S Clwyd previously. I heard that he learnt only one phrase in Welsh during the campaign – the words for “fish & chips”.

  38. I would be worried about UKIP potential here if Boris stood. He might be seen as a bit of a carpetbagger.

  39. Healthy UKIP vote here

    Horncastle on East Lindsey (Conservative defence)
    Result: Con 432 (38%), Ind 353 (31%), UKIP 339 (30%)
    Conservative HOLD with a majority of 79 (7%)
    Turnout: 20.8%

  40. The four candidates for next weeks open primary are Victoria Atkins, James Browne, Sarah Macken and Kelly Smith. 2 men, 2 women.

  41. Victoria Atkins won Conservative primary.
    This will free a slot in future shortlists (Louth was her 4th shortlist in this Parliament after Tonbridge and Malling, Mid Worcestershire and North East Hampshire)

  42. ‘This will free a slot in future shortlists (Louth was her 4th shortlist in this Parliament after Tonbridge and Malling, Mid Worcestershire and North East Hampshire)’

    Yet another wannabe MP who seems far more interested in getting into Parliament for the sake of it rather than to represent constituents

    I find it amazing not that such opportunistic candidates stil exist, but that they get picked by local associations in areas which many of them have probably never even been to before

  43. Easy. CCHQ are the ones who draw up the final shortlist of 4. They make sure that 3 are useless or completely unsuitable so that the local members have no choice but to select the favoured candidate.

  44. i had thought to leave off posting, but your cynical twaddle needs to be countered….

    the “sift” of candidates is done at CCHQ but there is always the participation of the local association committee….Sometimes a very local candidate is chosen, as was the case in Suffolk South, sometimes not.

    The primary itself is very difficult to rig, even if CCHQ had the devilish efficiency and planning that HH suggests. I have been to a number of these (without being able to vote, as an observer) and if you think you can fix one of those without considerable local support, you are mistaken.

    As for candidates looking for seats this has happened since God was a boy…indeed the evidence is that more local candidates are being picked than ever before….

    The days are long gone when Canning, a Tory PM of the early 19th century, sat for 9 different constituencies…even in almost living memory Churchill sat for 5 different seats. And in today’s parliament we have people like Chris Leslie, Stephen Twigg, Andrew Mitchell and Francis Maude who have sat for more than one seat. Nobody has suggested that they are less effective MPs in their new constituencies, of which they probably knew very little before they were adopted as candidates.

    ironically Tapsell himself first sat for Nottingham West for Five years form 1959….a very different proposition from his current seat, yet the association would have chosen him in, i think, 1965.

    I wish people would grow up about this stuff…People sitting for seats, with which they have had at first little connection, has ALWAYS been a feature of our politics. You will never change it unless you get a full separation of powers like the US model.

  45. Well you would say that wouldn’t you.

    The open primary I attended and voted in consisted of five very poor or unsuitable candidates plus Bob Stewart. Guess who won. A lot of much better qualified candidates, some local, who were interested in the seat were kept off the shortlist.

    If there is any local participation at all in drawing up the shortlist, it consists of only a few senior officers of the association. If you think it is often difficult for CCHQ to get such people to do what they want then you are kidding yourself. A friendly call from the party chairman here, an MBE for the association chairman there.

  46. ‘indeed the evidence is that more local candidates are being picked than ever before….’

    I thoight that too – which makes it all the more surprising that such opportunistic candidate such as this one has made it on to four shortlists, all in entirely different parts of the country

    People sitting for seats with which they have had at first little connection might have ALWAYS been a feature of our politics – but it’s an unwelome one and clearly makes it harder for such candidates to claim to be champions of their local communities, which is how MP’s like to see themselves

  47. “which makes it all the more surprising that such opportunistic candidate such as this one has made it on to four shortlists, all in entirely different parts of the country”

    Her father Sir Robert Atkins has no doubt been able to have a quiet word in many ears.

  48. HH- Funnily enough, I thought bob stewart was quite a good fit in beckenham…he’s quite a poor performer and gets very nervous, but the people there liked him…how many people attended that primary?..

    i disagree about CCHQ and the pliability of associations- some are and have been very obstinate….and surely you’re not saying bob’s primary was fixed?….not even sure Colonel Bob was what CCHQ would have wished for, given his age, gender and demographic profile…so your mentioning him seems confused to me…not sure what point you’re making. are you saying a) that his selection was rigged- [I dispute this] and b) that he was the CCHQ candidate- [which I deny as well] …in many instances the obvious CCHQ candidate failed…Matt Hancock tried many seats and failed…others didn’t even get in.

    TJ – I want good national legislators…I am glad that Winston Churchill managed to find seats in the house of commons which allowed him to pursue a political career, I love his history books, so I am also glad that he managed to have time to write them…

    i think the whole social worker, local community champion thing is slightly overdone. most “local communities” have myriad councillors, council civil servants, social workers, volunteers, faith groups serving them anyway….contrary to common belief, civil society in Britain is thriving.

    Yes an MP should have local concerns at his/her core but I want national legislators who know the difference between Shi’ites and Sunnis and know which branch of Islam the Alawites are closest to. Sorry, call me old fashioned.

  49. just seen your Sir Robert Atkins comment? you’re kidding right? he’s about as influential as a cold turkey…

  50. I like Bob Stewart (though disagree with a lot of his views) and you’re right he is a good fit in Beckenham. My point is that the five other candidates very obviously were not and CCHQ knew it, making his selection inevitable. As it turns out he is happily a much more rebellious and independent minded MP than they expected, and they must be rueing the day they set up the selection for him.

    Robert Atkins is a former minister and MEP, and was/is one of John Major’s closest friends. “As influential as a cold turkey”…yeah right.

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)