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 - 1,618 Responses on “Maidenhead”
  1. As a couple people including myself have already pointed out socialists aren’t always elected in a time of economic turmoil 1945 & 1997 being two examples

  2. NICKYC – Probably, but I’d expect it to be a pretty unremarkable by election. The Libdems might do quite well , as I reckon this seat will have a decent number of pro-EU, moderate tories, who will be very unhappy with the tory party by the time such a by election occurred, but you wouldn’t expect them to come close to taking it.

  3. Matt Wilson – in 1945, the country was on its knees. I was brought up by the generation who lived through the war, and to say it wasn’t in financial turmoil is nonsense.

  4. Marudo can call himself what he wants, you can call cheese butter but that dont mean it spreads, Marudo is a dictator and thats be and end all of it. Talking of markets he benefits from the biggest, oil. The Venezuelan economy is run on the big oil. That markets clearly failed Venezuelans though.

  5. I too made that point Eco but as PollTroll pointed out we came out the otherside of a second world war and the depression only a decade before. 1945 clearly wasnt an economic boom and to us now who dont have to ration it does look like turmoil. They did have things like full employment though

  6. “I think Attlee also took over in good conditions. We’d just finished the war, so, to borrow from the campaign of another PM, things really could only get better.”

    That has to be the strangest misconception I’ve ever read on these pages. Rationing had to become ever stricter than pre-1945 for various reasons, not least of which were a crop failure in 1946, and the very severe winter of 46-47. The country was also massively indebted to the US due to the war.

  7. Pepps
    “Erm socialist countries have done economic damage to their countries all by themselves by crushing their own middle class”
    A lot of the Capitalist ones succeeded in that on their own, you mention Cuba, look up what the country was like under Batista just before Castro came to power, the middle class were already fleeing in their thousands.

    “generally oppressing and stripping the civil liberties of their populace in a desperate attempt to crush rising dissent”
    No good comes from conflating totalitarianism and socialism, ones a governmental model the others an economic model. As you well know there have been many a highly oppressive totalitarian capitalist state.

    “Do you seriously think that if Cuba was a democracy that the socialist government would have been booted out many moons ago”
    Of course, every democracy has routine changes of power.

    “an electorate that socialism has impoverished”
    1) Cuba is undoubtedly wealthier than it was when Batista was in power, now that isn’t saying much (its been almost 60 years after all) but its palpably false to claims Cuba is poorer now than it was back then.
    2) Don’t you just think that the US trade embargo might have had “some” effect?

  8. JAMES E is right. Attlee’s success was remarkable because of how low his starting point was. Zero unemployment was artificial – it was state investment which led to the later improvements.

    PEPPERMINTTEA – Nobody on this site agrees with your definition of socialism; all the socialists/left leaning folk on here believe in social democracy. Social democracies, by their nature, have regular movements along the left/right continuum. Socialists like Attlee try to invest for the long term, and then conservatives like Thatcher and Cameron strip back the state for the sake of short term emconomic benefits!

  9. “Socialists like Attlee try to invest for the long term…”

    Some argue that the Attlee government didn’t do enough of that given the opportunity presented by the UK receiving a huge amount of aid from the US under the Marshall Plan.

  10. Kieran
    I’m actually inclined to agree with most of that piece, it rightly hints at the long held “British exceptionalism” that makes many of our leaders believe we’re one of the big boys. Where the piece is a bit unfair is in laying this largely at the then Lab governments door. People very often forget that the plot of “A Very British Coup” was actually partially based on truths during both the Wilson Governments and the Atlee government. Higher ups in the civil service/military/business community with an inherent conservative streak where incredibly suspicious of Labour back then and in both instances pulled strings behind the scenes that essentially guided Lab into taking certain actions by stonewalling alternative routes.

  11. The documentary about Wilson being a soviey spy is rather entertaining

  12. Matt
    Might not have been the same documentary but yeah I’ve heard of that, it was essentially based on little more than the fact that he was left wing and refused to get involved in Vietnam, its like that line from a very British coup “Neutrality now equals hostility”

    The whole thing was frankly farcical and the fact that there was an actual revealed plot to potentially oust him with the involvement and consent of the royal family no less should shame any democrat in this country.

  13. Rivers, just occasionally left of centre governments make bad decisions for which there is no excuse/caveat. The Attlee government’s decision to devote scarce resources to trying to maintain a world role for Britain similar to that the country played pre-WW2 is just such an instance. The decision was quite deliberate, not one forced upon them by “higher ups in the civil service/military/business community with an inherent conservative streak”.

    It’s possibly quite hard for people steeped in the Labour Party of today to understand, but many Labour politicians of the time were every bit as reluctant to accept Britain’s downgrading to a second rate power as many Tories. My late grandfather (a Labour politician at local level) was of the generation that fought in WW2, and was definitely of that mindset.

    Talk to many Labour activists with an interest in history today and it becomes clear that the post war Attlee government has assumed a kind of mythic status. It’s the kind of government a Labour government should be. On domestic policy I can understand them thinking that, but it’s foreign and defence policy I would have thought would be less to their liking.

  14. “It’s the kind of government a Labour government should be”.

    Of course no other Labour government can be like the Attlee one, unless it finds someone willing to give it the modern equivalent of 2.7 billion USD at 1940s value to spend on whatever it wants.

  15. Kieran are you replying to yourself? Did you forget to chsnge your handle?

    All governments of all sizes have made inexcusable mistakes thats not particularly hard to understand regardless of your politics

  16. One of the biggest was to almost bankrupt the country having inherited a relatively strong record in 1997.

  17. COMMENTS POLICY – that is a highly partisan view as you well know.

  18. “Kieran are you replying to yourself? Did you forget to chsnge your handle?”

    I was adding to what I’d said.

  19. Barnaby bang on cue whinging about the comments policy every time somebody makes a remark he doesn’t agree with.

  20. Or possibly because nobody bothers to adhere to it

  21. ‘Barnaby bang on cue whinging about the comments policy every time somebody makes a remark he doesn’t agree with.

    It’s a very silly remark in any case.

  22. Predictable that the comments policy would be suddenly cited from the left /lib side
    when there are numerous posts above it which could be shorter and snappier, if they were anything to do with the seat.
    The authoritarism of the liberal left

  23. The comments policy is there for a reason its not some leftie conspiracy

  24. “One of the biggest was to almost bankrupt the country having inherited a relatively strong record in 1997”

    So Labours spending plans caused a sub prime mortgage crisis in the US? Well I’ll be dammed…

  25. Kieran
    “The Attlee government’s decision to devote scarce resources to trying to maintain a world role for Britain similar to that the country played pre-WW2 is just such an instance”

    I’m not absolving them entirely but as you point out Lab was actually split on the issue, it was the unity on the Tory benches and in the civil service and military that forced Labours hand.

    “On domestic policy I can understand them thinking that, but it’s foreign and defence policy I would have thought would be less to their liking”

    Indeed but this is what I was talking about when I said things were all a bit “Very British Coup” esque. The Korean War being he most notable example, a war that Labour didn’t really want to get involved in (for a whole host of reasons) and had successfully put off involvement for months. It was only when the senior civil servants at the Foreign Office all but forced them apparently along with the threat of a backbench rebellion on the issue (which meant the commons would have voted for action anyway given Lab’s then tiny majority) that meant the gov changed course.

  26. The authoritarianism of the liberal left? When have I EVER abused the comments policy? Give me one single example, and I will readily apologize. Unlike many contributors, I have never for one moment used this site to propound my own views. I leave that for other forums. Get a grip Joe & Robberbutton.
    The last time I looked, the comments policy was drawn up by Anthony Wells who is not of the liberal left, but is a Tory councillor in Dartford. Anthony manages to keep to his own policy perfectly in all his headers and occasional comments here. All I ask is that the rest of you do the same. Believe it or not, there is quite considerable evidence that the country was bankrupted, as Joe puts it (it’s not a correct use of the word anyway), by American bankers making huge loans which they were never going to have repaid, and the repercussions therefrom. This occurred under a Republican administration. If you comment that it was Labour who “bankrupted” the country, it’s a point of view to which you’re entitled, but it’s not a statement of fact, it’s a partisan view of what happened (which probably you don’t even believe yourself).
    I will just ignore anything Robberbutton says in future since he/she is incapable of basic courtesy.

  27. Robberbutton finally got wifi access at whatever ‘facility’ he’s being held at. Bless!

  28. “When have I EVER abused the comments policy? Give me one single example, and I will readily apologize. ”
    Barnaby you use the comments policy to shut down any debate which makes you feel uncomfortable: the last Labour government’s economic record and Sarah Champion’s sacking are two recent examples.
    At the same time you never seem to invoke it for comments containing left wing bias, and were partisanly posting away about the need to boycott companies with Conservative sympathies.

  29. No one is opposed to debating any governments record but is it really unreasonable to ask it be done in a balanced snd fair way

  30. The Witney and Maidenhead threads are stacked with partisan posts (some probably inevitable), some of it quite personal, although none from Barnaby.
    No raising of the Comments policy there.
    I only gently pointed out that the last Labour Government left the economy in tatters.

  31. There does seem to be a view that it’s ok for lefties and Lib Dems to write partisan stuff but if Tories do it, that’s out of order.
    But few Lib Dems post since their dreadful results from around 2011 onwards. Wimps.

  32. View amongst some.

  33. I wasn’t advocating boycotting any companies. I was merely saying that I myself decline to buy from those companies.
    Sarah Champion was not sacked. Unless you are saying Jeremy Corbyn is a liar – which I guess is your prerogative – that is established fact. She resigned of her own accord. Personally, I welcome her resignation.
    For the record, I call for anyone no matter what their sympathies to abide by the comments policy, and have often criticised non-Tories for failing to do so. Tim Jones would agree that I have sometimes called him out for calling particular Tories he dislikes “loathsome”, or other derogatory adjectives, even though I probably will have agreed with what he said on each occasion.

  34. Not sure who these people are exactly

  35. JOE JAMES B – Are you joking? Haven’t you seen the level of vitriol which has been spilled on here about Corbyn? Or the way that the Greens are routinely mocked? I admit that I break the rules on partisanship at times, but I do try to keep it relatively relevant to all matters voting/elections. (In fact, I think it’s unrealistic to expect complete non-partisanship). The fact you can claim that it’s a left-wing issue only shows how partisan you really are!

  36. But back to the MP for Maidenhead: how seriously should she take the “threat” from.Rees-Mogg? I realise that JRM couldn’t possibly succeed in an leadership challenge, but he could well be a superb stalking horse, particularly with the tories current electoral system (a 3rd candidate could justifiably express concerns that JRM might win in the final round if only May is against him, thereby justifying his/her candidacy).

    I really expected May to last until 2019, but now I’m not sure. Any thoughts?

  37. Put it this way – May is a lot more secure with people talking about JRM being the next leader than if people were talking about a genuine heavyweight in similar tones. Because the emergence of JRM is pretty strong evidence that no such heavyweight exists.

    I get the stalking horse point – but who would JRM be a stalking horse for?

  38. By which I mean – if there was a challenge, then presumably a third party and Theresa May would both have to enter the contest to block JRM. And then you have to think – what plausible third candidates would actually beat May? Yes, May is unpopular, but so is everyone else. I guess it would have to be Davis – but running a leadership bid and the Brexit talks simultaneously would be challenging…

  39. POLLTROLL – I agree that being Brexit secretary makes it more difficult for Davis to stand, but I suspect he’d still go for it. It would almost certainly be his last chance (he’s even older than Corbyn!) but I sense his ambition persists.

    On “what other heavyweights”, I think you’re setting your heavyweight coefficient too high. Simply someone who could convince enough of the party that they were competent would be enough. From the cabinet, Amber Rudd and (gulp) Jeremy Hunt might fancy it, and I reckon the sinister Liam Fox might even fancy another crack. Esther McVey would undoubtedly throw her hat in the ring (but wouldn’t get to the last two, thank goodness), but my bet would currently be Stephen Crabb. He’s kept his head down since the last leadership election, and I think he’d be sesn favourably at the moment.

  40. I doubt Crabb or Rudd have the seat security these days to run for leader. Both have majorities 300+

  41. WJ – I always think that is overplayed; if a leader does well enough to win a general election, one would imagine they’d be pretty confident of holding their own seat with an increased majority (the exposure of leading a party usually assists this for most leaders anyway).

    I suppose the slim risk of a party winning an election whilst losing their leader might cause some discomfort, but it ultimately wouldn’t change the result, and another MP would ultimately step forward.

  42. Ecowirral: it’s saying something that the most promising Tory is a person who has done the square root of bugger all since getting sacked from the Cabinet last year!

    The “rising star” names I keep seeing in the press are Rory Stewart, Johnny Mercer & Tom Tugenhadt. Rumours are that some or all of these folk (as well as the Mogg) are in line for promotions at the next reshuffle, as Theresa May takes a leaf out of Michael Howard’s book to develop the youth talent, as it were.

  43. POLLTROLL – “Develop Youth Talent” = “Keep potential challengers on message”!

    It’s interesting that Mogg could be considered “youth” or “talent”, but having said that I have no idea how old he is.

  44. I guess what I meant by “youth talent” is “MPs elected from 2010 onwards”, rather than actually young MPs. I guess it’s a bit odd to say this because David Cameron already tried to promote some of the 2010 intake while he was PM. However, he was not a great talent spotter and, with the exception of Amber Rudd, his chosen ones’ careers never really took off (take Liz Truss, for example). So now it’s Theresa May’s turn to see if she can do better.

  45. Eco
    Re leaders seats its less about the risk of them losing their seat and more about the fact that they would have to divert attention to their own seat rather than touring the country.

  46. Ecowirral- Esther McVey?! Are you feeling ok? I’m sure she rates herself pretty highly, but absolutely no one else in the Tory party does.

  47. RIVERS10 – That would seem to fly in the face of all the party leaders who do better in their own constituency, despite not spending much time there during the campaign. Indeed, they are not spending time there specifically because they are busy being promoted nationally, which has got to have more reach than a bit of door knocking.

    TRISTAN – I’m not saying she’d have any chance (although if Rees-Mogg is a possility, then surely everyone is!), but I’d be amazed if she didn’t give it a crack. Had she been in parliament at the time of the last leadership campaign, she would definitely have tried.

  48. More and more, I think that the Tories’ best hope is for May to carry on for 2-3 years, and then Rory Stewart to replace her. And if you want a contrast between Mogg & Stewart, here is an interesting example:

    Whither the Tories?

  49. It’s unlikely -although I admit by no means certain – that the Tory party will in the near future have as their leader someone so obviously connected to nationhood patriotism / war…(etc)

  50. Interesting. Why?

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