Maidenhead

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
2010
Con: 31937 (59%)
Lab: 3795 (7%)
LDem: 15168 (28%)
UKIP: 1243 (2%)
Oth: 1577 (3%)
MAJ: 16769 (31%)
2005*
Con: 23312 (51%)
Lab: 4144 (9%)
LDem: 17081 (37%)
BNP: 704 (2%)
Oth: 609 (1%)
MAJ: 6231 (14%)
2001
Con: 19506 (45%)
Lab: 6577 (15%)
LDem: 16222 (37%)
UKIP: 741 (2%)
Oth: 272 (1%)
MAJ: 3284 (8%)
1997
Con: 25344 (50%)
Lab: 9205 (18%)
LDem: 13363 (26%)
Oth: 1339 (3%)
MAJ: 11981 (24%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
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)
Links
Comments - 1,750 Responses on “Maidenhead”
  1. The key for me is the fact that the officials on both the British and EU side are long standing friends and colleagues. There is inevitably a lot of political grandstanding at the moment but it’s the officials who will do the nitty gritty in the end.

  2. I didn’t see it, but the general consensus seems to be that May did pretty well in her speech. On a human level, I do admire the resilience and the grit. But huge problems still exist regarding Brexit, and I think.we’ve heard about an ‘end to austerity’ before. Interesting also that The Mail came out so.strongly against Johnson today…perhaps the influence of the new editor?

  3. I admire her ability to keep being bothered to do what can’t be a fulfilling job really.
    However this is mostly extending her Premiership by months rather than years because I think nobody seriously expects her to fight another General election, as either PM or member for Maidenhead.

  4. Yes, it’s an extremely short term outlook.

  5. I wouldn’t be so sure of that.

    All of May’s moderate potential replacements underwhelmed this week. Javid mid-numbingly boring, speaking to a hall about 75% empty. Hunt making a tit of himself. Hammond still intensely disliked.

    The sensible wing of the party, which includes most of the government, will not give Theresa the boot until they are sure they have a replacement strong enough to stop Boris. And they seem further from that now than at the start of the week.

    Electorally IMO May remains an asset to the Tories. In the quintessential Middle England Tory town I live in, there is a lot of sympathy for her on the ground which wouldn’t easily transfer to a successor. The polls show this quite clearly.

    In some ways this is analogous to 1992-97 when we were constantly told that Major couldn’t last much longer, but because of paralysis on who should replace him he simply plodded right on until the whole party fell off the cliff.

  6. Through unlike the 1990’s it is plausible a new leader could sustain solid poll leads. In 1995 onward’s I imagine it was clear no replacement for John Major could get anywhere near winning the next election.

  7. “Through unlike the 1990’s it is plausible a new leader could sustain solid poll leads.”

    Polls show all potential replacements, except Boris, would do considerably worse against Corbyn than May. And the parliamentary party doesn’t want Boris.

    In the mid 1990s Tory MPs couldn’t care less about winning the General Election, which was never going to happen whoever was leader, they were bothered about holding their own seats though and trying to limit the scale of the landslide.

  8. Having seen nothing first-hand, only BBC clips and other people’s hot takes, it seems the general post-conference consensus is roughly this:

    1) Leader’s speeches

    Tories: May’s speech was pretty good, actually, although a lot of that may be simply the subterranean expectations last year had set being exceeded.

    Labour: Jeremy Corbyn’s speech was fine. It was just like every other speech he’s ever done, and unlike when he was first elected leader he is much more comfortable doing them (especially in front of a home crowd).

    Verdict – narrow Tory victory

    2) Other speeches

    Tories: They were all leadership markers, and they all sucked. Boris flopped, Hunt flopped much more than people were expecting, Sajid Javid demonstrated the charisma of a potato. Jacob Rees-Mogg said something that either was or wasn’t racist.

    Labour: The usual parade of left-wingery, getting ever more left-wing each year. Lots of actual members spoke, which was nice. The Arthur Scargill award for performative hatred of Margaret Thatcher went to the long-haired bloke with the badges.

    Verdict – Labour win, but really more a Tory defeat

    3) Policy Announcements

    Tories: What? There were policy announcements? Sorry, I was too busy watching Boris enact an extremely tired “fields of wheat” gag.

    Labour: Lots, and actually quite popular ones. You could tell this because the right-wing tabloid front pages didn’t lead with Jeremy’s speech on the Wednesday. Presumably they couldn’t work out how to attack it.

    Verdict – crushing Labour win

    Overall conference verdict – Labour win, but Theresa May kept the scoreline respectable

  9. A good summation. You are quite right that all of the ‘leadership bid’ speeches fell very flat indeed. You didn’t mention Williamson’s ‘effort’; I think this bloke might actually be cuckoo. Deeply odd performance. And who.could forget Esther McVey’s rather selective memory when it comes to her childhood and upbringing. So strange that a little girl who was once in care (allegedly) grew up to be such a spiteful woman.

  10. Surely Williamson is waaay too creepy to be a serious leadership contender. He makes Gove come across as charismatic

  11. Willamson star seems to be fading. It was said he was May’s choice to succeed her but not sure if it still is.

  12. Williamson’s awfulness aside, I can’t think of a former Defence Sec who has become Prime Minister since Churchill. Healey probably came closest. Like Health it’s not an easy position to pass through on your way to the top, especially not for a Tory who is having to upset activists by cutting defence capability.

    Precedent would suggest, if May is replaced while the Tories are still in government, it would most likely be Hammond, Hunt or Javid taking over. Hammond well qualified but not popular (partly as a former Defence Sec – see above) so it won’t be him. Hunt and Javid so flawed it’s hard to see them either. So we’re stuck with May for the time being.

  13. Hammond is rather boring and would struggle to connect with the public.
    Of course it is possible that May will at some point replace him and take the risk it will cause a leadership challenge because it more likely wouldn’t.

  14. I hoping I win something if Hammond makes it into the final 2 as I have him as runner up

  15. Have to say I’m rapidly changing my opinion on May

    The more and more I look at it the more and more it seems that she’s a genuinely decent person trying to do the best for her country in what is an almost impossible job

    As I’ve said before she’s one of the few Tories who actually has a grasp of some of the potentially dire consequences a hard Brexit would entail and she increasingly seems like the safest option when compared to her would be successors

    Hunt’s made himself look ridiculous with his cheap attempt to curry favour with the Right following his comments about the EU being like the Soviet Union, Javid is waaay too overhyped and I suspect Hammond lacks the support amongst grassroot Tory members to make a leadership bid likely

  16. “Have to say I’m rapidly changing my opinion on May

    The more and more I look at it the more and more it seems that she’s a genuinely decent person trying to do the best for her country in what is an almost impossible job”

    That’s been my own view for quite some time now.

    I thought she made a mistake not quitting immediately after the disastrous General Election, but her subsequent determination to stick it out does indicate she is in it for the right reasons unlike many of her ambitious colleagues.

    One more point none of you have mentioned is nonetheless a very important one. Namely that virtually every other EU leader absolutely loathes Boris Johnson and would also be very wary of dealing with an ultra left PM like Corbyn. This therefore gives May yet another unlikely crutch to lean on. My hunch is that at the 11th hour the EU will cut May enough slack for her to survive with some kind of deal to avert chaos. For better or worse May is the kind of conventional leader they are used to dealing with. They would prefer that to having to handle unpredictable negotiations with Boris or Corbyn.

  17. ‘This therefore gives May yet another unlikely crutch to lean on. My hunch is that at the 11th hour the EU will cut May enough slack for her to survive with some kind of deal to avert chaos’

    I’m beginning to think that too – which is why comments like Hunt’s are deeply damaging in more ways than one

    I think he in particular would be a horrendous leader and can’t understand why, after his disastrous stint as Health Secretary, he seems to fancy his chances

    And to the EU, May is far, far preferable to the most obvious alternatives – Boris and Corbyn

  18. The impression I get is that the EU would prefer Corbyn on the basis that they feel they might be more likely to get their own way.

  19. My understanding is that the EU would prefer Corbyn cos its not really him they’d be negotiating with but Keir Starmer who I think it has to be said is clearly one of the few grown ups left in British politics.

  20. Andrew Bridgen predicts a vote of of no confidence will be trigged by the end of the week. Hard to predict how that would go – May will probably win it but it could be tight and lead to resignations from the cabinet and junior ranks.

  21. Over the weekend, the Times reported that Graham Brady had 46 letters, and the Sun reported that three more would be submitted today.

    If both are right, Brady will announce a vote of no confidence any minute now. I suspect that we will instead discover that at least one of these two reports was untrue.

  22. I think the sheer volume of chatter in the Sunday papers would indicate that something is indeed up. This could be a very tumultuous week. Incidentally, I cannot believe that David Davis has risen from the dead to yet again be seen as a viable leader. Have these people learnt nothing?

  23. I agree. All of a sudden it’s all feeling eerily like Oct/Nov 1990, a feeling which as a 14 year old at the time I’m just about old enough to remember properly.

    When Maggie was booted out, the Tories’ poll ratings temporarily shot right up. Prediction – when May gets booted out, the Tory poll rating will fall substantially.

  24. It depends on who succeeds her – a fresh start (probably youngish) person with appeal to some voters who did not vote Tory last year or someone (more likely older) who might put off some tory voters from last year.

  25. Young or old, the next leader will be a Brexiter who will attempt a Canada style Brexit. As a result the Tories will kiss bye bye to a large part of their Remainer vote, and be polling in the low 30s pretty soon afterwards (polls have indeed suggested this)

  26. I think it could be one who Endorsed Remain in the referendum but wouldn’t guess it now like Sajid Javid or Jeremy Hunt – through I am not sure if they stand a realistic chance of beating a true brexiter in a membership vote.

  27. No chance. Why would MPs bring down a pretend Brexiter only to replace her with another one. The next leader will be Gove, Davis or Raab.

  28. Yup, that’s the big dilemma here. There’s no indication here that any alternative will poll any better (indeed, as HH states, there’s some evidence that they will not even get May’s numbers). All rather different from 1990 when every Tory MP in a marginal seat was shitting themselves silly over the prospect of Mrs T leading them into another election.

    (I think.Thatchwr would have narrowly lost in 92 for what its worth). Can’t see Kinnock getting a landslide or even a particularly convincing win.

  29. “(I think.Thatchwr would have narrowly lost in 92 for what its worth). Can’t see Kinnock getting a landslide or even a particularly convincing win.”

    Thatcher would have lost in 1992, I have absolutely no doubt about that at all. She was hated by 1990 and indeed remained so for the best past of 15-20 years. Kinnock would not have won a landslide but he would have got a working majority.

  30. Today Theresa May polled her best on Best PM since July. Only one poll and certainly other polls have showed no change in her popularity but seems an increasing divergence between the general public and MPs

  31. At a time when we should all be trying to make sensible compromises in the national interest, instinctively the public sympathises with her plight, up against wall to wall intransigence from hardliners on all sides.

    She’s a decent woman trying to do the right thing, and unlike Cameron she hasn’t run away despite debilitating illness.

    My sympathy is unlikely to transfer to any of her likely replacements.

  32. Hemmy: I’m not entirely sure what the average pro-EU Tory looks like. Why would they defect now, or even in the hypothetical future you describe, if they didn’t in 2017?

  33. Where Hunt & Truss fare better than May on Brexit is both have said they’d vote Leave in a 2nd ref. Javid is said to be Brexitier and voted remain very reluctantly. I still dont expect any of these to succeed May. Most candidates polled tend to do worse than May. But tbf Truss & Mordaunt havent been polled and that would be interesting

  34. Where Hunt & Truss fare better than May on Brexit is both have said they’d vote Leave in a 2nd ref. Javid is said to be Brexitier and voted remain very reluctantly. I still dont expect any of these to succeed May. Most candidates polled tend to do worse than May. But tbf Truss & Mordaunt havent been polled and that would be interesting

  35. ‘The next leader will be Gove, Davis or Raab.’

    Despite his intellect Gove is too unpopular with the public to ever be elected Tory leader, Davis time has been and gone, making Raab, whose very much a rising star and seems relatively popular with both Left and Right in his party, the only real option out of this trio

    Not sure he’s beat Javid though

    “(I think.Thatchwr would have narrowly lost in 92 for what its worth). Can’t see Kinnock getting a landslide or even a particularly convincing win.”

    I think that’s certainly true

    Someone with John Major’s personality was just what the Tories needed after 11 years with Thatcher as PM

    His personality, especially when compared to Kinnock’s, was the main reason he won nearly more endorsements and ultimately the election

  36. “Despite his intellect Gove is too unpopular with the public to ever be elected Tory leader, Davis time has been and gone, making Raab, whose very much a rising star and seems relatively popular with both Left and Right in his party, the only real option out of this trio”

    In normal times I agree, but Gove is at least fairly competent, and panicky Tory MPs/members will rate competence and Gove’s flexible yet consistent approach to Brexit highly IMO. Davis a possible caretaker. Lightweights like Truss, Mourdant and Patel don’t stand an earthly this time round.

    “Where Hunt & Truss fare better than May on Brexit is both have said they’d vote Leave in a 2nd ref. Javid is said to be Brexitier and voted remain very reluctantly.”

    May also let it be known that she voted to Remain very reluctantly. Remember Cameron’s jibe that she was “Submarine May”? This time the Tory membership will settle for nothing less than a full fat Brexiter.

  37. Liz Truss is quite an interesting case. On the one hand, she’s been as transparently on manoeuvres as any Tory MP over the last twelve months or so. However, she’s also the only one pushing a particular agenda (she’s unapologetic about her free-market views).

    I don’t think she’ll win, but she would certainly influence the debate and might end up being a kingmaker of sorts, with her endorsement (and by extension that of the right-wing think-tanks who love her) tipping the balance among the final two.

  38. I’m quite sure Raab will be next leader Im hoping to win some money on it. Gove has risen from the dead at environment but I agree if his views on foreign policy dont put people off hia reputation is still surely tarnished from his last leadership bid. David Davis decision to support this amendment on rifles puts him in the Jacob Rees-Mogg camp which cant help but I think as care taker PM that is still possible

  39. “I’m quite sure Raab will be next leader Im hoping to win some money on it.”

    May is clearly impressed with Raab and might even engineer his coronation. She can see as clearly as anyone else that only a moderate but consistent Brexiteer is likely to be able to lead the party from here (much as people like me may dislike that). And she will be more than happy to shaft Boris, Davis and Mogg. I can’t believe she really wants to stay on a personal level, the strain on her health must be appalling.

    Good luck.

  40. “Hemmy: I’m not entirely sure what the average pro-EU Tory looks like. Why would they defect now, or even in the hypothetical future you describe, if they didn’t in 2017?”

    Because voting for a Remainer who accepts the need to fulfil the referendum result is different to voting for an out an out Brexiter. That’s how I see it anyway and I shall cast my own vote accordingly.

  41. I am not sure if Rabb believes or if he is PM will run with anything like ‘the burning injustices’ type policies May brings up every now and then.

  42. Doubt it. Though doubt that will damage him with the voters in a leadership contest. Would be interesting to see how he goes down in Mansfield etc.

  43. And I am not sure the Torries can without being rather centrist on the economy – as that is where the electorate is on those issues.

  44. It will probably help him in a leadership contest too be further right than May on the economy,
    If Javid runs I think he will go with May economic policies through he was the running mate of Crabb who in 2016 was running on that type of platform.

  45. I cannot believe Liz Truss’ name is even in the frame. This silly woman should never have made the Cabinet, let alone be mentioned as a possible PM. I think Tim dislikes her even more than I do so I await his contribution 🙂

  46. Voters dont care about centrist economics they care what will make their buses run on time, maintain their roads and get them a stairlift

  47. You can add me to that list as well. Ironically as she is a former Lib Dem, her disgraceful proposals to water down health and safety laws in nurseries were blocked by the Lib Dems in the coalition. That and being the most awful Lord Chancellor in our history are her only memorable achievements to date.

  48. i’d add my weight to the consensus and say Truss is the by far and a way my least favourite member of the government – yes worst than McVey, Leadsome and even Grayling – which takes some doing

    Too many people take a dismal view of her

  49. I think in among Lawyers Chris Grayling is still seen as the worse lord Chancellor through Truss is not that far behind.

  50. Truss or Grayling…this is like Sophie’s Choice (apologies to the youngsters). Throw in Andrea Loathsome and bird brain Esther McVey and you have the dinner party from hell (and I think many on the right would agree with me).

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