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 - 1,580 Responses on “Maidenhead”
  1. Let’s see how things go on Thursday/ Friday morning. The Tories have done a good job of managing expectations though so she’ll probably survive even if results are dreadful.

  2. I think the Tories might make gains in some areas, where they advanced last year, which will offset to a degree the whacking that will take place in the big cities.

  3. Are we talking advances they made in the locals or the GE?

  4. Locals I assume.

    One thing to remember (that has been somewhat overlooked with the media’s obsessive focus on London) is that most of these wards were last contested in 2014 when UKIP were at their peak. That should provide the Tories with some low-hanging fruit in certain areas.

  5. Just as May seemed to be on the road to restoring some much needed credibility – in her response to Salisbury and her unequivocal condemnation of the evil tyrant Assad – her hostile environment policy comes hack to haunt her

    Her claims that Rudd’s departure had nothing to do with the Windrush saga was like when she said prior to last year’s election that there had been no U-turn on social care

    It’s treating electors like idiots and history tells us it’s a fool’s ploy an this time she won’t have the useless Nick Timothy or the diabolical Fiona Hill to shift the blame on to

    I think the Tories are likely to take a hammering – although PT’s point about UKIP in 2014 will probably avert it from being a complete disaster

    Let’s face it, the Tories have quickly forgiven May for losing them the first majority they managed to cobble together for over 20 years. I think she’ll easily survive losing them a couple of councils

  6. Spoke to my local councillor on Sunday. She was at the postal vote verifications and said that the postal votes where UKIP are incumbent are looking very good for Labour

  7. I think it is likely to be constituency specific.

    The make up of UKIP voter altered between 2012 & 2015, with 2013 being the peak of pulling voters from the Tories… seats that had decent UKIP vote shares that are represented by leave Tory MPs are likely to see a healthy margin in their favour.

    By 2015 UKIP wasn’t the first church of the free market, and nor were its voters members of it – lots of socially conservative, old Labour types, and a fringe of right wing non-Cameroon Tories (I was part of the latter faction)

    Some will see an economically interventionist, big government Labour appealing… and dismiss a lot of anti Corbyn stuff as fake news. Or just don’t see May as leadership material and vote Labour locally accordingly.

  8. I’d always thought that about 90% of voters that voted UKIP in 2015 but not 2017, went back to the Tories

    What messed it up for the Tories was losing more A/B professionals voters opposed to Brexit to Corbyn’s Labour

    Nobody seemed to sense this which is why the pollsters got it so wrong – yet again

  9. As is often the case, both things are true to a degree. The “Old Labour Types” that Luke Senior mentions weren’t actually “Old Labour Types”…..that is a conflation between people.being poor and voting Labour. The demographic he refers to would have included former Labour, Tory, BNP, NF (and maybe even the odd ex-libdem who always votes for “anyone who isn’t the big two). But it is true that the demographic went more working class and underclass, and yes, most of those either returned to the tories, or voted for them first time. UKIP played the role of a “Gateway Vote”.

  10. And, of course, many UKIP voters (and Brexit voters) were people who would not have previously bothered to vote.

  11. TIM JONES – also, the pollsters again didn’t get it as wrong as people are now saying. They showed a big movement towards Labour across the board, and the Labour-leaning outliers got it about right. The final polls on Brexit also weren’t far out, and the outlier basically got it right. The trick is to judge the conditions of any given election, and adjust. I can brag that I predicted pretty close on both occasions (I said brexit would win, and I also predicted Labour and the tories neck & neck, so I was slightly wrong there, but in the other direction).

  12. TIM JONES – also, the pollsters again didn’t get it as wrong as people are now saying.

    But surely they did given that none of them predicted the eventual outcome – the hung Parliament

    they all said the Tories would get a majority somewhere between 20-150

  13. A third of ukippers stayed home as well

  14. I don’t like the hostile environment any more than the rest of you – but the fact remains that it remains broadly popular among Joe Public. And while polling on the Windrush scandal in particular has been very supportive of the victims, it’s already yesterday’s fish & chip paper for most people, and it hasn’t had any observable impact on either on voting intention or people’s view of immigration. Which is logical in its own way, because the Windrush people are not immigrants, they are British citizens. Labour’s attempts to use the crisis to change the narrative are admirable – leading opinion not following it and all that – but I don’t see any evidence that they are working. It’s Alain Kurdi all over again – yes, he humanised the refugee crisis, but only temporarily.

  15. On where the Kippers went – intuitively it feels like most of them returned to the party they voted for in 2010, whether that was the Tories, Labour or abstaining. But my intuition is wrong about most things so it would be nice to have this backed up by evidence (or disproved for that matter).

  16. I’ve just seen the Conservative local election broadcast and it seems bizarre that they again choose to base the campaign solely on Theresa May, which is partly why it went so wrong for them in 2017

    Of course she’s the PM and there aren’t a great many of front line Tories who do come across that well, but having her all over that tv ad – which is the only political advert many voters will see throughout the campaign – strikes me as misjudged especially with Windrush – a crisis solely of Mays making

    When it comes to making predictions my record is pretty mixed but part of me things the Tories are in for are in for a proper shoeing come Thursday

  17. As i said upthread, the Tories have done a pretty good job of managing expectations regarding these elections. The danger might actually be on the Labour side…if they don’t manage any meaningful advances, they are likely to be written up as falling short of expectations. Wandsworth in particular has been all over the news; if Lab fall short there, it will be interpreted as a failure.

  18. Even when Labour were sweeping the board nationally in the mid and late 90s, they never looked liked taking Wandsworth or Westminster, flagship Tory London councils

  19. They did take Wandsworth during the 60s and 70s though

  20. This is only anecdotal but I was out door knocking yesterday. I met a couple voters who admitted they didn’t vote for us last time, some were ukippers. They said they bitterly regret it because while as one of them said ‘I’m not a Labour man’ the others come round once for their vote promising quite easy to fix; installing a litter bin, getting the council to fix your back wall, introducing a CPZ, etc. but nothing happens.

    I’m sure everyone has their own experience of this. Politicians promising things, councils not bothering to get things done, etc. It just amazes me because they aren’t asking to wipe their student debt, abolish tuition fees or get immigration to the 10s of thousands. These are very easy things to solve and as one said ‘if you do that you’ll have my vote’. By not doing it your lazy and want to lose votes

  21. Although Wandsworth was very different in the 60s and 70s with a lot more WWC voters

  22. Matt: the thing is, with the council funding squeeze even the small things can sometimes become more difficult than they ought to be.

  23. But getting a bin costs almost nothing, CPZs pay for themselves, etc.

  24. POLLTROLL & TRISTAN-

    I agree that both the Windrush scandal and today’s elections are both dangerous for Labour:

    The election if the tories do worse than expected, pressure would increase on May, but a more likely outcome is a good old fashioned Damp Squib. Also, Labour’s divisions are wide open at present, with the behaviour of some MPs on the right being outrageous. Whilst they haven’t caused Corbyn too much damage of late, I expect them to spin the outcome (whatever the outcome is) as being a sign of anti-semitic issues in the party. They are clearly intent on inflicting as much damage as possible.

    Windrush – the nature of this scandal means that it won’t shift too many tory voters, who will mainly either not care or put it down to bad luck for the govt (and as if they are just being blamed for the incompetence of civil servants). Labour, meanwhile, run the risking of hardening the unrelated image they have of being “only out for immigrants and benefit claimants”. I was talking to an old schoolfriend, who had never voted until 2005, who has moved from DNV to BNP, then UKIP and now Tory. She regularly tells her friends on social media and over the garden fence that Labour are “only interested in “layabouts and migrants”, and this mood music does rub off. Add to that the fact that Diane Abbott is once again getting a bit of airtime, and it can’t do them much good with the sub-working-class vote.

  25. Having said that, my main thought about these elections is Damp Squib, so I think the most likely thing is not much of significance.

    I’m also unsure about how well the Greens will do; we’ve moved down the agenda since Corbyn has been leader, but I’m hearing some modest positivity. Wouldn’t like to bet on it, though.

  26. Ecowirral

    Surely appointing Sajid Javid could nullify any racist votes the Tories might gain from Windrush.

  27. HAWTHORN – Perhaps, but I’d say not yet, as he still isn’t that well known to most people. Besides, there is a big difference between having non-white representatives and being percieved as anti-white. Even many racist voters think they are not.

  28. Looks like the election has produced that damp squib. Some decent Green performances, though, and it also looks like the Libdems are creeping back up at the expense of the almost-dead UKIP (replaced, as it has been, by the tories).

  29. Hawthorn – watch BBC news and see the voters filmed in Walsall, Dudley etc.

    Tory gains and unashamedly racist voters in both West Mids areas.

  30. I think May can be reasonably pleased with how things went. Labour will be disappointed but not devastated…they are still in the game. The Lib Dems did pretty well and can tentatively claim that things are looking a bit more positive for them.

    UKiP are finished, obviously. Good bloody riddance.

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)