2015 Result:
Conservative: 35453 (65.8%)
Labour: 6394 (11.9%)
Lib Dem: 5337 (9.9%)
Green: 1915 (3.6%)
UKIP: 4539 (8.4%)
Independent: 162 (0.3%)
Others: 55 (0.1%)
MAJORITY: 29059 (54%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Berkshire. The western part of the Windsor and Maidenhead council area and part of the Wokingham council area to the east of Reading.

Main population centres: Maidenhead, TWyford, Bray, Wargrave, Cookham.

Profile: The constituency consists of the town of Maidenhead itself, an affluent town on the Thames with strong high-tech and pharmaceutical industries, but also stretches south-west to include a swathe of countryside right up to the suburbs of Reading. The seat includes the villages of Cookham, Wargrave, Twyford and Bray - now best known as the location of Heston Blumenthal`s restaurant The Fat Duck, named as the best restaurant in the world in 2005.

Politics: Affluent and middle class, politically Maidenhead has been Conservative since it was split off from the equally Conservative Windsor and Maidenhead seat in 1997. In 2001 the majority fell to just over 3,000 and the seat was supposedly one of those where the Liberal Democrats attempted to "decapitate" leading Conservative politicians. In the event the Conservative majority doubled and with beneficial boundaries charges for the Tories in 2005 it is increasingly safe.

Current MP
THERESA MAY (Conservative) Born 1956, Eastbourne. Educated at Holton Park Girls Grammar and Oxford University. Former financial consultant. Merton councillor 1986-1994. Contested North West Durham 1992, Barking 1994 by-election. First elected as MP for Maidenhead in 1997. Shadow education secretary 1999-2001, shadow transport secretary 2001-2002, Chairman of the Conservative party 2002-2004, shadow family secretary 2004-2005, shadow culture secretary 2005, shadow leader of the Commons 2005-2009, shadow work and pensions secretary 2009-2010. Home Secretary since 2010.
Past Results
Con: 31937 (59%)
Lab: 3795 (7%)
LDem: 15168 (28%)
UKIP: 1243 (2%)
Oth: 1577 (3%)
MAJ: 16769 (31%)
Con: 23312 (51%)
Lab: 4144 (9%)
LDem: 17081 (37%)
BNP: 704 (2%)
Oth: 609 (1%)
MAJ: 6231 (14%)
Con: 19506 (45%)
Lab: 6577 (15%)
LDem: 16222 (37%)
UKIP: 741 (2%)
Oth: 272 (1%)
MAJ: 3284 (8%)
Con: 25344 (50%)
Lab: 9205 (18%)
LDem: 13363 (26%)
Oth: 1339 (3%)
MAJ: 11981 (24%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
THERESA MAY (Conservative) See above.
CHARLES SMITH (Labour) Educated at Warwick University. Solicitor.
ANTHONY HILL (Liberal Democrat) Former headteacher. Contested Maidenhead 2010.
HERBIE CROSSMAN (UKIP) Security consultant. Harrow councillor 1994-1998 for the Liberal Democrats. Contested Harrow West 1997 for the Referendum party, Haltemprice and Howden 2008 by-election as Independent, Harrow West 2010 for UKIP.
EMILY BLYTH (Green) Musician.
JOE WILCOX (Class War)
IAN TAPLIN (Independent)
Comments - 1,549 Responses on “Maidenhead”
  1. POLLTROLL – Fair enough, but I think you are in what is currently a smaller minority than usual. As someone with an obvious interest in politics, I suspect that you are less likely to be polarised by much of the froth (NB – that’s assuming that you were a floating voter in the first place. Clearly, most people involved in politics have already been polarised one way or another).

  2. I quite agree that there is a lot of polarisation and fewer swing voters than normal. I actually feel an immense amount of privilege (and responsibility) that, of the sixty million people in the country, the next election is going to come down to 10% of the people who are swing voters in 10% of the seats which are swing seats, and that includes me. In terms of electoral capital, that makes me part of the fabled “1%”.

    Bloody hell, I’d better not screw up the country by voting the wrong way…

  3. Incidentally this polarisation is terrible for politics in this country. Taken to its logical extreme, a country where nobody ever changes their vote is not a true democracy, because in a democracy decisions are always reversible. There is still enough movement in VI that we are not at that point yet, but it’s feasible that one day people in this country will identify as strongly with “their” political parties as unionists and republicans in Northern Ireland.

    But to point this out seems churlish when nine months ago I was moaning that a democracy where the government enjoys a 20-point lead (especially in FPTP) is a broken democracy. The Tories have at least fixed that problem 🙂

  4. POLLTROLL – I agree, although I don’t see the current polarisation being permanent. Your point (on a divided, partisan electorate) is one of the main issues that makes me advocate PR. It might not be perfect, but at least people have a better chance to start a successful splinter party, when their previous choice has become too controlled by vested interests.

  5. Even in NI, there is some VI movement; it’s just depressing that so many stick to dreadful parties like DUP and Sinn Fein, when there are other options. Why aren’t there more NI protestants with progressive politics, or Catholic ones who want some actual representation from a party without the appalling baggage of SF?

    Don’t worry- rhetorical questions!

  6. No posts here at all for 5 days…..a record surely? Sorry to see the site has basically died. Goodbye all and hopefully see you on other forums.

  7. “Sorry to see the site has basically died. Goodbye all and hopefully see you on other forums”

    Can’t we get a montage of all the good times ?

  8. Ive already bumped into some folks

  9. Good grief, you’re a right set of miseries tonight. And on the day when the MP for this thread loses her first parliamentary vote as PM! Will this weaken her futher, or embolden a challenger to depose her? Come on…there must be an angle here!

  10. Weaken. 5/2 it is for a 2018 GE

    So. Farewell 

    You’ve said farewell
    More times
    Than Ozzy Osbourne

    But this time
    It’s true

    And that is not

  11. The Tory rebels were Mr Grieve, Heidi Allen, Ken Clarke, Jonathan Djanogly, Stephen Hammond, Sir Oliver Heald, Nicky Morgan, Bob Neill, Antoinette Sandbach, Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston.

    Another Conservative MP, John Stevenson, abstained by voting in both lobbies.

    Two Labour MPs, Frank Field and Kate Hoey, voted with the government.

  12. Ah, so 6 recently sacked Ministers including SDP Anna.

    I was surprised how many MPs abstained on both sides actually ie the Govt could have won or lost by upto 30 votes.

  13. HH – I just assumed everyone on here was either doing Christmas shopping or snowed in (!)

    Have a good break and New Year.

  14. I hope HH does come back- he’s a good contributor, and debates the issues well.

    However, I do think there can be a little bit of self-righteousness (if I was Luke Senior, I’d probably call it “virtue signalling”! Or does that just apply to the left?) when it comes to complaints about partisanship. All of us say partisan things, to varying degrees. Indeed, they are an essential part of the cut-and-thrust of this site, providing it ultimately doesn’t stop the main point of the site. It may be against the rules, but as I’ve previously illustrated, there are huge grey areas, and it isn’t always even possible to separate debate on polling with partisan beliefs. Most of us can accept we are partisan to some degree, and still debate the issues. It’s only a real problem if people are just doing it for a punch-up, or if they are proselytising.

  15. On May’s position, it is remarkable how many of the rebels are already high-profile (Soubry, Grieve, Wollaston (ex-brexiteer, of course), Clarke, Morgan). One could easily imagine an alternative tory reality where those 5 held the 4 top jobs and health, for example. One could also imagine a scenario where they broke away into a new, centrist party. I think that spells bigger trouble for May, although presumably none of them would stand a chance of beating her under current tory party rules. Stalemate?

  16. You hardly need to imagine it – Ken was of course Chancellor throughout the Major years and Grieve & Morgan held top level Cabinet posts throughout the Cameroon era.

    However, far from imagining that any of them have any future, ex-Ministers who rebel are ones who usually realise they’ll never get a job again.

    I look at it from another perspective unsurprisingly – the return of those long exiled under the DC/GO years.
    David Davis now runs a big dept and Graham Brady runs the powerful 1922 (both who were exiled under DC for telling the truth).

  17. The truth about what?

  18. No chance there will be a formal breakaway – a couple of MPs might resign in protest but we hear stories of a “new centrist party” almost every week and they never come to anything. Despite happening nearly 200 years ago, the Corn Laws are etched as deeply into the Conservative psyche as the failure of the SDP is into Labour’s. As long as we have proportional representation they will stick together.

  19. There was intetesting comparison made by Stephen Bush in the New Statesman between the Conservative rebels and the Labour rebels in the 1970s that later became the gang of 4. His conclusion was there would be no split for at least 10 years. I too see a resemblance between the fashion in which the dozen MPs coordinated on Tuesday and how David Owen was an unofficial whip of the several dozen pro eu labour mps

  20. With George Osborne as the Roy Jenkins figure?

    (Though Roy Jenkins had considerably more cross-party appeal.)

  21. David Cameron obviously wouldn’t be suitable, and even if the opportunity were there, I just don’t think that he’s been deeply interested in politics for years now.

    After years of promoting the idea of the “family man” PM, we actually ended up with a PM who loved spending time with his family more than being in office.

  22. Of all the things you could criticise David Cameron for, “he loved his family” is a bizarre choice.

  23. It wasn’t intended as a criticism.

  24. I can believe he is a family man, but it’s an interesting image compared to his political life as the cocksure gambler. How embarrassing it must be to have him as a father (although that would be somewhat tempered by the fat pile of cash and useful contacts, of course).

  25. On the ‘centrist’ party- I don’t see it happening, just thought it was interesting how high profile the group were. It would be difficult to portray their possible party as anything but the establishment party (maybe that could be the name!), and as mentioned, FPTP would probably make it impossible to break through. Unless, of course, the economy bombs even more than expected after brexit, and the tory party is (rightly) blamed by the electorate.

  26. I like “The Establishment” as a name for the new party. At least you know what you are voting for 🙂

    Incidentally, The New Statesman (not the magazine, the TV show starring the late, great Rik Mayall) imagined this possibility (it was set during the Maastricht years). The pro- and anti-EU rumps were called, respectively, the Progressive Federalists and the New Patriotic Party.

  27. This sounds like something id like to watch

  28. Kate Maltby’s interview seems to suggest that Theresa May knew about the allegations, and she has denied doing so. Normally, I wouldn’t exlect this to derail a PM, but bearing in mind the fact that we know a sizeable minority of Tory MPs would like her to go now, could this be the beginning of the end? May’s not being implicated in scandal so far seems to be her strongest card in clinging onto office; if this can wipe that particular image away, maybe she’s gone?

  29. The beginning of the end was when she lost her majority

  30. That’s true. Ok – The Beginning of The End of The End? Or The End of The Beginning of The End?

  31. More murmuring from Grant Shapps:

    I think he’s probably right in saying that releasing the numbers, however low, may well lead to a small upturn in membership (parties often stir people into action when they appear embattled), but I also strongly suspect he’d like to embarrass the teetering May.

    Fewer tory members than LD ones is quite a striking fact, though!

  32. A very lacklustre reshuffle thus far that rather reinforces the image that May is serving at the pleasure of her party, as opposed to leading from the front

    Most bizarrely, those whose performances in their briefs have posed more questions than answers – Johnson, Fox, Grayling, Hunt – all seem to have escaped the cull

  33. There wasn’t much of a cull.

    Did anyone in the party get pleasure out of it

  34. When was the last time a minister effectively refused to leave his job, and so stayed in it? Jeremy Hunt (the most unpopular and worst performing Health Secretary in history) basically argued with the PM for an hour, and won. Also, for such an obviously careerist politician, why would Hunt be so keen to stay in a position in which he has pushed most trusts into debt and into crisis? This is worrying for both May and for the NHS.

  35. May still has effectively the same joke cabinet she had when she became PM, with people in post who I initially thought were a parody when announced in 2016; Hunt staying in health, Johnson as foreign sec, Fox as Int. Trade, Leadsom as the climate-change-denying environment sec. McCloughlin has been punished for May’s own failure, and Greening has told her to stick her demotion.

    May is only still PM because the others are waiting until April 2019. If I were here (which I’m clearly not) I’d just throw the towel in now. If she does still feel Brexit is a mistake (and I suspect she is even more of that opinion now) she could even get some credibility for resigning, saying that, and admitting that she made a mistake in going along with it.

  36. What’s the betting that she’ll admit that in her memoirs, when they are published in time for Christmas 2020?

  37. Focus groups making pretty grim reading for the Tories – especially since this is a focus group of over-55s.

  38. ‘Leeds was a big financial centre for insurance and banking and now that’s been cut right back. Now you drive down the Headrow and all the offices that used to be insurance offices are now wine bars. All the banks used to be there.’

    This is rubbish. Leeds remains a large financial and insurance centre, but most of them moved to purpose-built offices elsewhere in the city. They didn’t just disappear. Older buildings that no longer fit the requirements of most occupiers get converted into other uses. There is nothing wrong with this.

  39. Out of all the uninformed bollocks uttered by the good people of Britain in that study, that’s an odd one to single out.

  40. POLLTROLL – I’m not sure this is all that grimmer for the tories than they’d have expected. It was already known that the electorate is economically to the left, and the tories rely on that being drowned out by the constant noise of superficial nonsense.

    If the questions had focussed on social issues, we might have found a much brighter picture for them. Also, these views don’t really tell us much about whether and how those people would vote in a real election.

  41. I’m not convinced that voters are economically “to the left”, so much as economically self-interested – there are a lot of people, particularly C2DEs, who want the government to provide for their individual needs, but to hell with others who are even needier. (Which is why, as I keep reminding people on here, Labour’s 2017 manifesto left the Tories’ benefit cuts largely untouched.)

    Those who struggle to get by in low-paid work, for example, are often not particularly keen on unemployment benefit, which they see as other people jumping the queue for state help. Ultimately, solidarity is largely a middle-class conception (albeit a hugely worthy one). You have to bear in mind that you and I are lucky that we have the breathing space that enables us to be concerned about others less fortunate than ourselves. We don’t constantly have to look out for our own interests just to survive.

  42. There is a lot if truth in that which is why places like liverpool were once tory strongholds but are now labour ones

  43. Polltroll,

    I would add that some of the support for rail nationalisation seems to be “We can get cheaper fares for our commutes to our £50,000 + jobs in London from Weston-Super-Swithton-on-Farbrook”.

    However, I DO think that a lot of working-class people have a sense of solidarity, even today. That’s why there’s a sense that “ordinary working families” should do better, even among people who are themselves very happy with what they have. They just don’t include SOME types of unemployed people (which might, in reality, be rather small groups) in that solidarity.

  44. I think labour did tap into this national pride that drove brexit and the antipathy felt toward the snp in 2015 by attacking private rail companies owned abroad that pay no tax in Britain and extortionate fares go abroad

  45. Agree Bill.

    I’m from a ‘working class’ background but I certainly don’t have any solidarity or respect for people who refuse to try and help themselves and expect everyone else to pay for everything.

    The number of these people is as you say probably very modest but that doesn’t alter the fact that these people exist.

    I’d line up alongside a rich, aggressive tax avoider or a cash in hand worker (who doesn’t claim) any day in comparison. At least they pay their own way, as opposed to not even trying to do so.

  46. Isnt the point of aggressive tax avoiding that you don’t pay your own way

  47. If you use public services, and you avoid paying the taxes that fund those services, you are certainly not “paying your own way”.

  48. Unless you are incredibly successful and don’t purchase anything you probably are going to pay your way…

  49. It tends to be the very successful that aggressively avoid tax like Lewis Hamilton who purchased a jet leasing it through the Isle of Man back to himself to avoid paying anything on it. Rarely does the working man purchase a jet by leasing it through the Isle of Man back to themselves to avoid paying tax.

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)