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 - 2,732 Responses on “Maidenhead”
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  1. I can’t see any change here in 2015

  2. Theresa May has announced that she has type 1 diabetes – the more serious of the two types.

    This surely rules her out as a successor to David Cameron.

  3. If FDR could do the big job while wheelchair bound why would diabetes rule May out? I don’t see her as particularly exceptional nor charesmatic, but struggle to see who else could do the job?

  4. Because we are not in the 1940s. With today’s 24 hour media, Churchill could never have done the job today either.

  5. i feel it’s a non story as mililions of people are diabetics

  6. H Hemmelig- sad but true. I think 24 hour news media has a lot to answer for- witness the vacuous time-filling before the royal birth (and I’m a monarchist!). But we’re stuck with it now.

  7. Another very strong speech by May at the conference. Can anyone stop her becoming the next tory leader?

  8. As her speech became more strident I couldnt help thinking she may be giving the LibDems a reason to exit stage left….

    just as the insistence on Phase 2 of Help to Buy is not going down well in Vince Cable’s sphere of influence…

  9. I’m generally a supporter of the government, but help-to-buy and Royal Mail privatisation are massive mistakes.

  10. Twitter message:-
    LGBT Labour ‏@LGBTLabour ·1 hr
    Congratulations to #LGBTLabour member @charlie_rsmith the new Parliamentary Candidate for Maidenhead.

    News on Maidenhead Labour web site :-

  11. May’s recent spat with the Education Secretary, Gove, won’t have done her any favours in terms of advancement in the Tory Party, but I doubt whether it will have much lasting effect.. However, anybody who thinks there is going to be a vacany for the Tory leadership any time soon is, short of some tragic accident, sadly deluded. Cameron is a sort of twenty-first century Baldwin and I can’t see him going until he chooses to resign, which I would imagine might be around 2022 if he wins the 2015 and 2020 elections

    The major question here is who will take second place next time. Labour are so weak here that I suspect the LibDems might hold on through tactical voting. There is, however, a good chance that UKIP will come a weak second, even although this wealthy London suburbs seat in the vicinity of Heathrow does not look good territory for them.

  12. I reckon that the LDs will stay second. They still have a municipal presence though it is much reduced.

  13. When I was in Maidenhead last year the town centre actually seemed quite rough on a weekday evening. Wikipedia describes it as a ‘clone town’ which I would say is accurate. There must be some small Labour support here.

  14. I dare say there probably aren’t many towns with a population greater than around 40,000 that aren’t a bit rough these days in the evening.

  15. That’s true. I just find it very hard to believe those people vote Tory. I suspect they are apolitical and don’t care either way (UKIP potential?).

  16. Maybe they don’t vote Tory even in the south-east. The Tories don’t get more than 65% anywhere and a third of people don’t vote these days.

  17. ‘May’s recent spat with the Education Secretary, Gove, won’t have done her any favours in terms of advancement in the Tory Party, but I doubt whether it will have much lasting effect.. ‘

    If it does it will be positive

    As far as the public go, Gove is the most unpopular member of the current goivernment by a mile – and he’s got some pretty stiff competition

    He’s come across as arrogant, elitist despite being one of the mist uncharismatic politicuans in the history of Brotish politics. Despite being a Cameroon, he’s so disliked the PM had no choice than to sack him from his high-profile job

    May by contrast has been one of the more competent ministers in the administration and her clash with Gove would clearly enhance her in the mind of most voters, if not most Tories

  18. you’re right tim…gove’s stock is sinking and he’s very associated with the cameroons/osborne within the party, may’s stock is rising.

    I don’t have as negative a view of Gove as you, but I think he’s a declining force. Frederick stansfield’s remarks would have had more resonance two years ago, when Gove was one of the people talked about to succeed cameron. Today his stock has declined considerably from that time.

  19. Whilst I don’t disagree that Gove has become one of the bogeymen of this government, I think it’s because he’s actually had success at pushing education reforms through.
    If he’s been arrogant and uncompromising it’s because he’s had to be to overcome the vested interests. He’s upset a huge number of people by breaking from what they’re comfortable with.
    May has of course had to tackle vested interests to reform police pay, conditions and pensions, but she hasn’t suffered so much because that’s part of the wider economic picture and the police have lost some some of their standing with the public over recent years.
    If there was a leadership election tomorrow I’d probably vote for her.

  20. I should’ve added, although Gove isn’t popular with the public, I think he’s quite well respected by the party for what he’s done.

  21. Largely agree with your comments.

    Traditionally, we would say that May’s diabetes and “nasty party” comments would probably rule her out of winning a leadership election.

    However it is going to be a contest where all the other likely candidates have major negatives – Gove (disliked/arrogant, public hate him), Osborne (same as Gove + closeness to Cameron), Boris (buffoon factor, immigration amnesty, private life), Hammond (grey/boring, who is he?). May might actually have the less damaging negatives and win. Or (as always seems to happen in Tory leadership contests), a bright young thing from the next generation may suddenly sail in from nowhere and take the prize – a Sajid Javid or Dominic Raab.

  22. ‘gove’s stock is sinking and he’s very associated with the cameroons/osborne within the party,’

    I’m not quite sure how Gove ever became some associsated with the modernising wing of the party as in his prior incarnation as a writer for The Times he was extremely right-wing, waaay to the Right of most of their other contributors at the time like Matthew Parris, Tim Haimes and Anthony Kaletsky

    John’s right – Gove’s reforming policies whilst Education Secretary are indeed highly regarded by fellow Tories, but his unneccesary confrontational approach and complete lack of charisma made him a liability

  23. ‘May might actually have the less damaging negatives and win. Or (as always seems to happen in Tory leadership contests), a bright young thing from the next generation may suddenly sail in from nowhere and take the prize – a Sajid Javid or Dominic Raab.’

    May seems the best of a fairly mediocre lot

    One suspects that if Javid or Raab did get the nod, those on the Left would start to see what a geuinely “nasty” Tory Party would be like and would be longing to see the likes of Cameron and Osbourne – who they tarred with the same brush – return

  24. It is unfortunate that the awful teaching unions appear to have succeeded in misleading the public and parents about Gove but that’s politics.
    Nobody seems to actually be nail it to a policy or particular fact.

    The trouble is this country wasn’t prepared for the scale of the reforms needed.
    Anecdotes are sometimes boring but in the health service, as early as 2006 I found myself sat next to a health professional on a journey to Leeds – I doubt she was a Tory supporter but she was genuinely fed up to the back teeth with the amount of Labour’s top heavy management abover her and I think we did win some grudging support – but once Labour are out of government it quickly seems to default back to the position that no change at all in these areas should be dared.

  25. My feeling on Gove is that he was probably on the right lines in many of his policies, but perhaps rushed them in too fast and without adequate consultation……however hostile the teaching profession may be to the Tories, any significant reform requires at least a degree of goodwill from the profession at large.

    If, as expected, the Tories end up with less seats than Labour and Cameron goes, I’d agree with the general sentiment that Teresa May would be the best of a relatively mediocre bunch. I genuinely struggle to see anyone else coming up through the ranks either, which should worry CHQ.

  26. Maidenhead used to be so average that Marks and Spencer used its store in the town as a test bed for new designs. The town centre is quite dowdy, but hardly anyone lives there. It is a town of mature 1970’s housing estates and some very costly real estate near the river. The constituency includes some very wealthy villages between Windsor and Reading.Theresa May was challenged by the Lib Dems in the 2000’s, but they have lost all but four of their council seats and most of their strength. Labour will not challenge, they will be doing well if they are better than fourth.

  27. Theresa May on Desert Island Discs

    Quite funny comment on it in Private Eye if anyone saw.

  28. Conservative Hold. 19,000 maj

  29. Extremely impressive result here for May. 30k majority is nothing to be sniffed at. This is now officially one of the safest Tory seats in the country.

  30. I think this seat now has the second highest percentage Tory vote share of any seat in the country (after North East Hampshire where their vote is 0.1% higher). Hard to believe this was a Lib Dem target not so long ago…

  31. Theresa May is indeed a hard working local MP and is well recognised and respected. She is well suited to this seat.

    Her result was the product of lots of local activity.
    The dominance of this majority is matched at local level. In the Maidenhead part of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead there were 24 Lib Dems out of 27 councillors in 2004 and Lib Dems in two of the six Wokingham Borough wards. Now there are two Lib Dem councillors and one independent left in the constituency.

    The decline of the Lib Dems locally is mirrored in all the Berkshire councils, where they have gone from controlling two in the mid-2000’s and being coalition in two others, to only having 11 councillors in the whole county.

    On the whole, the people who formerly voted Lib Dem in suburban and rural Berkshire were much less likely to switch to Labour if they changed allegiance. The metropolitan commentators seem to have assumed that Lib Dem voters would shift to Labour, which they did in some former Labour seats or University areas. In much of the south and west, they appear to have reverted to former voting patterns and gone Conservative, stayed at home , or even UKIP.

  32. This false impression that Lib Dem voters were mostly Labour voters on loan was of course frequently reinforced by the Lib Dems themselves with comments about ‘squeezing’ the Labour vote etc.

    I think they wanted it to be so, for the most part – a lot of Lib Dem activists are pretty left wing and were instinctively uncomfortable with the idea that some of their support came from otherwise Tory-inclined voters. I can’t imagine how they feel about a large part of their vote also defecting to UKIP in some places…whisky and revolver time perhaps.

  33. Runnymede, cut it out. That’s really, genuinely not something to joke about. The polls proved wrong, you can have your few weeks/months of gloating and being an ass about everyone who disagreed with you, that’s fine, whoop-de-do. But joking about suicide is extremely poor taste even by your seemingly slumping standards.

    The psephological point is right – Lib Dem activists tend to be somewhat to the left of their voters – though I think “to the left” is a rather imprecise term that doesn’t describe the exact relationship well. I’m not surprised at the Lib Dems losing voters to the Tories – people working in small businesses in rural Southwestern towns have never leant towards Labour, and the Tory fear campaign paid off for some of them, whereas for some of the worse off in rural areas their natural anti-establishment leanings led them towards UKIP. Maybe it’s just that I’m from a rural area, but all those processes seem entirely natural to me – frustrating, as I don’t think any of those groups of people will ultimately get what they want out of the parties they’ve voted for, but I’m not at all surprised or fazed by Lib Dem -> UKIP defections.

  34. It’s possible that (a) people were fearful, but (b) it wasn’t a “Tory fear campaign”. It could be that people genuinely feared having a government effectively controlled by the SNP and decided voting Tory was the best way to stop it.

    (a) and (b) are not the same thing. Of course the Tories were happy to win votes based on that sentiment.

  35. Did you even see any of the Tory campaign literature? All the late-game stuff from them was mainly focussed on scaring people about an unstable government propped up by the Lib Dems and/or SNP. Scaring people about instability became the core theme for them; it was vastly more prominent on their literature here at least than any other single policy issue.

  36. It was a fair scare tactic. A Labour-SNP government led by someone as weak as Miliband would have been a disaster.

  37. I agree with HH’s last comment.

    Also, I think Runnymede’s comment regarding whisky and revolver was fairly obviously tongue in cheek…..I doubt he was seriously advocating that there was a serious possibility of it happening:)

  38. You’re right – my suggestion was a bit too Tory-ish. Perhaps a mass visit to Beachy Head (no longer Lib Dem held) is more likely.

  39. Omg! Comments policy please Hemmelig!!!

  40. It’s hard to disagree. My parents are Scottish, and I’m a Labour leaning voter, and even I think the country have probably had a lucky escape.

  41. Labour has probably also had a narrow escape. For all the talk of them being finished, they’ll be back in power by default when the Tories run out of steam and the pendulum swings back. Twas ever thus. The Ed and Nicola show could have finished them off for a generation.

    The SNP seem determined to behave like a Scottish Sinn Fein, deliberately obstructing and trashing our parliamentary procedures whenever possible, the latest stunt being the absurd white rose stunt during the Queens Speech. No doubt they are calculating that at some point the English will get so pissed off they will be told to bugger off and be able to cut a pretty good independence deal just to get rid of them….have to say that looks a good bet.

  42. “It was a fair scare tactic. A Labour-SNP government led by someone as weak as Miliband would have been a disaster.”

    Fully agree. No comparison with scaremongering as it’s usually thought of.

  43. Yes I agree with H Hemmelig. I am glad Bercow has put his foot down regarding the clapping that the SNP seems to consider acceptable in the chamber.

  44. “…the absurd white rose stunt during the Queens Speech”.

    I am a bit confused as to why they did that. I thought the white rose in a Scottish context was a Jacobite symbol. Ideologically the Jacobites were very much Tories.

  45. The behaviour of the SNP was pretty disgraceful, particularly the clapping of which they would have been fully aware is against common’s procedure H Hemelig is right to be cynical. Their intentional disruptiveness obviously has a hidden agenda, and it’s not hard to see what that agenda is

  46. I wonder what other disruptive tactics the nats will come up with. Expect to see a lot of MP’s getting named, maybe even a few being forcibly removed from the chamber, swinging the mace around like Michael Hesiltine etc…

  47. I was talking to a whiney but quite pleasant Scot at the weekend who I don’t think supports the SNP but trotted out this often repeated inaccuracy that the referendum was very close.
    10.5% margin doesn’t often happen in General Elections – in fact 7% upwards is seen to be quite large.

    They seem to want their cake and eat it, and are quite delusional.

  48. Close enough to be scarey tbh, 5.3% swing isn’t a million miles away out of reach.

  49. There was talk on Andrew Marr today of Theresa May leading the campaign to leave the EU (or at least one of them – there seem to be more rival campaigns created every day).

    Isn’t that a little far-fetched? It seems lie David Cameron is going to be pretty strict with his fellow Conservative MPs, and certainly his Cabinet, about toeing the party line.

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