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 - 1,678 Responses on “Maidenhead”
  1. I agree, it looks shit from my perspective but maybe it was a simpler time, with less discrepancies in income/ wealth.

  2. Oddly enough, there was this mood piece in the Guardian recently:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/25/1976-long-hot-summer-political-upheaval

    It wasn’t an entirely negative time.

  3. Any reason why Michael Heseltine should remember the 70s specifically with great affection? Yes, he made shitloads of money…I’m pretty certain he did well in the 60s and continued to do so upon retirement as well.

  4. On BBC QT one week (as recently as 5 or 6 years ago) when both he and Shirley were guests, both fondly remembered the period.

    So much so that even Dimbleby remarked: “Were the 1970s all that good? Really?”

    I think it signalled for both that it was the end of them being regarded as elder statesmen, as they sounded more like nursing home guests.

  5. I think anybody from the Left remembers the pre-Tharcher period with fondness

    From the end of the war until 1979, the UK was an egalitarian social democracy as opposed to the ‘I’m allright Jack’, ‘Greed is Great’ mentality that the Thatcher governments so actively encouraged

    Of course the flip side was that the UK had negative growth and was seen – and with good reason too – to be the sick man of Europe with all the 3-day weeks and strikes – something which Heseltine knows only too well

    You’d be hard ;pushed argue that the pre-Thatcher post war UK was a considerably nicer place than the one after it. I don’t even think people on the Right would argue with that

  6. “You’d be hard ;pushed argue that the pre-Thatcher post war UK was a considerably nicer place than the one after it. I don’t even think people on the Right would argue with that”

    The niceness abruptly ended with the Winter Of Discontent, which was unquestionably the sea change moment between postwar social democracy and Thatcherism. It was the Winter Of Discontent which finally persuaded the country that social democracy had to be ended in order to tame the unions. If it hadn’t happened, the country would not have voted for Thatcherism in 1979; even if the Tories had won the election, they would have had to pursue a more centrist course, for a few years at least.

    Remember though that Callaghan and Healey had already begun implementing monetarism after the IMF bail out of 1976. The postwar consensus was already badly fraying during their time in government.

  7. I totally agree. The unions played just a big a role in ending britain’s experiment with social democracy as thatcher herself. They well and truly played themselves – something many on the Left choose to ignore

  8. I wonder if a centrist Tory government after 1979 led by a Whitelaw or Jim Prior kind of figure would still have been dragged to the right by Reagan’s victory in 1980, and by provocations from the likes of Scargill. An interesting counterfactual.

  9. The Home Office have now announced a temporary suspension re: cooperation with the US over the two jihadis currently in custody.

  10. I think many of the things that we associate with thatcher and her government – privatisation, consumerism, anti union legislation – would have happened sooner or later anyhow regardless of who was in charge – which of course is exactly what happened with Blair and new Labour who were happy to continue the neo liberal economic policies that originated from the thatcher era. so I think under a heathite government things would be much less different than many might assume

  11. Jim Prior was very opposed to taking on the unions so I guess if he were leader we may never have seen the battles with the NUM that the Thatcher embarked on

  12. The Unions needed taming – public opinion demanded it – so whoever got in in 1979 would have had to embark on a serious program of union reform, it’s likely that Prior would have gone about it in a far less confrontational and divisive manner than the Thatcher government did

  13. Generally speaking public opinion polls were opposed to Thatcher’s policies which is why there was resistance in the Tory party. Further proof opinion polls dont always mean much

  14. ‘Generally speaking public opinion polls were opposed to Thatcher’s policies which is why there was resistance in the Tory party. Further proof opinion polls dont always mean much’

    That’s kind of my point.

    Public opinion was opposed to Thatcher’s specific anti-union policies despite supporting the notion of such legislation, which again was due to the confrontational way Thatcher went about it – using the police to smash up picket lines and the rest of it.

    And IMO that’s why a lot of people have always regarded the Thatcher governments as pretty callous because they never sought to build a consensus – even when there was one to be found

  15. “Jim Prior was very opposed to taking on the unions so I guess if he were leader we may never have seen the battles with the NUM that the Thatcher embarked on”

    That ignores the fact that the “battles with the NUM” were started by the NUM themselves. The only way the Miners’ Strike could have been avoided would have been if a traditional moderate had been NUM president rather than Scargill. Remember the miners destroyed the one-nation Tory Heath government in 1974.

    Official documents which we are now allowed to see prove that the government was ready to settle with the miners in Autumn 1984, supported by ACAS and the TUC, but in an act of pig headedness which was to have calamitous effects on his members and the rest of the union movement, Scargill refused to compromise, preferring in the end to go down to a vainglorious defeat.

  16. “Generally speaking public opinion polls were opposed to Thatcher’s policies which is why there was resistance in the Tory party. Further proof opinion polls dont always mean much”

    In the 1990s and early 2000s, Thatcher was held in the same level of public contempt as Blair is today. Labour’s poster of Maggie’s hair superimposed on Hague’s face was almost enough by itself to ensure the Tories made almost no progress in the 2001 election.

    “Where were you when you heard that Thatcher had resigned?” is up there with Kennedy’s assassination and 9/11 for those of us who can remember it. I was 14 and at school, and literally every teacher in the building was singing and dancing in the corridors. Inevitable in a coal mining village I guess, but it conveys the sheer hatred she aroused at that time. But her reputation has recovered hugely now, to the extent that the area (Mansfield) even has a Tory MP now. If you’d have predicted that back in 1990 I’d have thought you were demented. In 20 years’ time Blair’s reputation will have recovered significantly.

  17. “Where were you when you heard that Thatcher had resigned?”I was 14 and at school, and literally every teacher in the building was singing and dancing in the corridors. Inevitable in a coal mining village I guess, b’

    Whereas I was 15, also at school, (in East Surrey) where there were plenty of cleaning ladies and matrons in tears, saying she was the best PM the country had ever had

    Like her policies, Thatcher was one of the most divisive and polarising figures of any political era

  18. Agreed with Tim, here. Those who voted for Thatcher loved her. The hatred for Thatcher was and still is very deep, but very far from universal. And by and large, people on both sides still feel the same way about her as they did thirty years ago.

    This is what makes Tony Blair so special. Vast swathes of those who once voted enthusiastically for him now identify him as the root cause of many contemporary failings. It’s almost as if they have brainwashed themselves into forgetting they ever liked him.

  19. I think this depends on where you are. I was in a pub in Beverley and this bloke turned up who like myself is a southern immigrant to the North. He started talking about what a strong woman Thatcher was and most people either ignored him or told him to leave his politics at home next time

  20. And that’s Beverley too – a staunchly Tory town if ever there was one, although that might be less Tory today then it once was given how each of the parties traditional vote has ebbed away

    Could it not have been his southern accent which really got up the locals’ nooses – this is Yorkshire after all

  21. They’ve had all sorts in Beverley. It’s still a hotbed for the SDP today but UKIP have done well too.

    Tbf he’s well liked and it’s not like Sheffield where people pick up my accent and mock me if I pick up local slang

  22. Very nice town Beverley and in my experience there are many very nice towns which aren’t as Conservative today as they once were

    Much was made of the large swing away from the Tories in England’s seaside towns during the Labour landslide years, but they seem to have reverted to their former Tory form – with the only exceptions being places like the Wirral and Brighton & Hove, which are very unlike most of England’s seaside

    People call it the Bexit effect but most of these shifts predate even the conception of an EU referendum

  23. Bournemouth, Worthing, Portsmouth, Southport & Southend have suddenly come into contention where they either never were or success was limited.

  24. PT – “very far from universal” is an understatement indeed.

    Even the Guardian poll showed 55% thought Maggie was positive for Britain. But I agree people on both sides have strong opinions, unlike Major or Brown or DC.

  25. PT – hatred “but very far from universal” is still an understatement given that even the Guardian poll showed 55% thought Maggie was positive for Britain and only a (loud) third saying negative.

    I agree feelings on both sides are high, unlike re Major, Brown or DC.

  26. A Brexiteer calling other people ‘loud’. Really?

  27. Indeed. Leavers are the quiet majority.

    Unlike the ever moaning Cyber Nats, Sinn Fein & Remainians.

  28. A COBRA meeting has been convened for 2pm today.

    As is usual with the notice the media receive, there’s no details yet as to the reason, but the attack in Westminster seems the most likely.

    NW Counter Terror command apparently have an operation ongoing but again no details for obvious reasons.

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