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 - 1,452 Responses on “Maidenhead”
  1. Really? You seem to just be listing every politician ever who has done a bit of stuff outside of politics. (Which isn’t very many of them these days…)

  2. Surely the 2 living Beatles are national treasures?

  3. Theyre my 2 least favourite

  4. I think my childhood watching Thomas the Tank Engine has ruined Ringo for me. Whenever I hear him speak, I expect him to break off mid-sentence and start talking about the Fat Controller.

  5. Grant Schapps on manoeuvres and really stickin the knife in (front wise).

    He reckons 20 to 30 MPs and four or five in the Cabinet are with him in asking for a Leadership election.

    It’s easy to imagine the badly diminished TM resigning soon and BJ getting in.

  6. @ Polltroll

    I agree, or Grumpy Gordon.

    On Shapps, I can’t help but reckon he’s been flushed out, if she buckles because of manoeuvres from him then she’s much weaker than anyone could ever have imagined. He’s a clown with little popularity and/or punching power.

    The ones criticising her all seem to be the staunch remainers or the George Osborne fans… I suspect we’ll see Nicky Morgan putting her head above the parapet before the day is out. Perhaps Matthew Hancock too, or is he in the cabinet as minister for rusty pipes and leaky radiators these days. We have so many ministers I can’t keep track.

  7. Shapps’s reputation has surely been ruined by the Mark Clarke affair. But these rebellions are hardly going to be led by people with something to lose. Shapps is the canary in the coalmine, an expendable guinea pig to test the political waters. If the signs are encouraging we’ll start to see bigger tanks moving in.

  8. H.HEMMELIG – I think you “National Treasure” bar is set a bit too low. I’ll give you Elton, Parkinson & Jason, but Portillo, Dimbleby, Clarke, Paxman and Abbott are stretching it a bit.

    Shirley Williams?

  9. Aye, you’re probably right.

    If he loses he’s lost nothing. Clown behaves like clown. Shock horror.

  10. A clown seemingly in a tent full of them. Is the current tory party the worst shower of any party in history? They have to be close.

  11. Even though I’ve never liked him and always thought his ‘talent’ was pretty negligible, I suppose Rolf Harris would’ve been in consideration 10 years ago. Liz Dawn may also have been before her death, even though she was a very poor actress who essentially played herself.

    Widdecombe, Balls and Farage- absolutely no way. Very few politicians make it to ‘national treasure’ status for very good reasons.

    Dame Vera Lynn.Joanna Lumley (if you are middle class). David Jason is a good one.

  12. How about some sportspeople? Gary Lineker qualifies, surely?

  13. TRISTAN – Harris was (is, probably still) extremely talented (presenter, painter, comic, children’s entertainer and all-round performer) and would obviously be on the list with Boris Johnson of those who’ve lost their National Treasure status.

    Linekar, Lumley & Lynn all good calls.

  14. Lenny Henry?

  15. Maybe Virginia Wade?

  16. I can’t stand Lenny Henry. Lineker is even worse, really smug (insert insult of choice here).

  17. I can’t stand Lenny Henry as a comedian, and find “Comic” Relief about as exciting as watching paint dry. But I can’t deny the brilliant job it continues to do of getting generally parsimonious Brits to cough up for good causes.

  18. Lineker & Lenny Henry certainly aren’t national treasures. Indeed the fact that a fair chunk of the population can’t stand them rules them out.

    More a case of famous in the ’80s (and they’re not even in the top 10 of that list on any docus).

    If it’s judged on popularity, viewing figures and longevity it’d be more likely refer to David Jason, Nicholas Parsons, or the late George Cole, Margaret Rutherford, Ronnie Barker, Cilla et al.

  19. Incidentally, the Sky data poll on May found her:

    Strong 44%

    Weak 52%

    Don’t Know 4%

    So no shift from the General Election.

  20. I’d like some of what the 44% are smoking… you can approve or disapprove of her politics but she is objectively a weak leader.

  21. Polltroll
    “I’d like some of what the 44% are smoking”

    In particular what the over 55’s are smoking, the age breakdowns in Sky’s Poll are extraordinary not in the trend they show (obvious age divergence) but rather the scale.

    Under 35’s think may is a * leader
    Weak=71%
    Strong=24%

    Over 55’s think May is a * leader
    Weak=38%
    Strong=59%

    And older folks say young people are all off our heads on drugs…or even richer given this data that we’re all naïve XD

  22. To be fair the News clips (4m saw these as opposed to the few who saw the whole speech) mainly focused on the prankster – although they did show the cough.

    Maybe OAPs are just more sympathetic to the public – although it’s possible they just thought she dealt well with the interruption.

    I’m certainly happier with the British approach than the American one of jumping on him – although I part agree with Arlene Foster, Eagle & Rayner that security needs reviewing.

    I happen to know that accreditation is the fault of an outsourced firm. I know this because a colleague received accreditation for Manc back in around 2008. He never actually went due to illness, yet he continued to receive invitations (with a secure code) to attend Tory Conf for about 5 years after this and I recall a few UKIP MEPs said likewise.

    So the fault appears to lie with them, as well as the fact that because security is so tight within the ‘ring of steel’, there’s hardly any once you enter the secure zone. Which is frankly ridiculous if all it means is that a potential terrorist has to send a passport photo and pay a fee and they’re granted entry.

  23. My mother is 56 and I’d have thought her opinion that May seemed quite strong at first but has gradually appeared weaker and weaker, would be fairly widespread.

    Across the generational divide.

    It is rare me and her agree on political matters but on this one we do…

  24. Over 50s voted heavily for brexit and i imagine think TM is doing a good job of delivering it

  25. Oh no, she chews my ear off with ‘why don’t they just get on with it?’

    This negotiating thing is a bit of a joke to be fair, both sides posturing like petulant children about things, with Brexiteers blasting the EU and the Cleggs, Farrons etc siding with the EU at any opportunity.

    I’d just call it a draw with the discussions and exit on Monday morning on WTO rules. Offer to guarantee EU citizens rights. Make them play the next move.

  26. Its so far 3-1 to the EU after the EU dropped Camerons hard fought 6 year benefit cap on EU migrants, May did the right thing in giving EU citizens in the UK right to stay (only after 5 years and with some ID scheme which Davis opposed 10 years ago enough to call a by election) but the EU unilaterally decided not to guarentee right to stay for Brits abroad and then the EU opposes taking talks to the next level.

    12 months gone. Lets hope the second half is better. Maybe we can take the transition period into extra time.

  27. I don’t think the football match analogy is very helpful – it depends on the Trumpian view that deals are a zero-sum game. I think the government was taking a similarly confrontational strategy initially, but since the Florence speech has begun to pivot towards a more collaborative approach.

  28. David Davis’ by-election was nothing whatsoever to do with ID cards. Those proposals were abandoned by Blair years earlier.

  29. Yes, it was over the decision to allow the police to arrest people and hold them for 44 days without charge that caused the resignation

  30. It may also be that pensioners are more deferential, although I think the British generally dislike the perception that the media is ‘ganging up’ on someone.

    On Gogglebox the Asian family from Derby mocked May (although they vote Labour anyway). The young sisters from Leeds sympathised with her, as did the retired couple. The general view was that she ‘had a cold’ and ‘who’d want to be PM’ & ‘…getting interviewed on a Sunday morning on your birthday.’

    I recall the day after Nick Griffin was on BBC QT in 2009, Bonnie Greer et al were congratulating themselves that they had “destroyed him and the BNP.” Polls then in fact showed the public viewed the London audience as unrepresentative and of course he was elected an MEP, when they gained 2 seats weeks later.

  31. LANCS O – Yes, and what an indictment on the british public. One of the issues with democracy is that people make decisions for absolutely stupid reasons.

  32. I’d rather have people making bad decisions than not being able to make them.

    Churchill was right about democracy being the worst system of government apart from every other one.

  33. Though that’s less an argument for democracy and more an argument for avoiding empowering the government, except insofar as the alternative is even worse.

  34. POLLTROLL- Agree on both points.

  35. BILL PATRICK – It isn’t an argument for that at all. Governments are also, unfortunately, the best means of accountability and therefore the most effective vehicle for social justice. Those who would diminish the state because of its faults are only encouraging the tyranny of the multi-national.

  36. States have little control over multinationals anyway. Since the end of the Cold War, states have gradually gone from masters of big business to customers of even bigger business.

    That particular genie isn’t going to go back in the bottle, I’m afraid.

  37. That surely doesn’t mean that one should just say “sod it, then” and abandon everything to parties who’ve been bought off by those same people? I’ve not completely given up hope yet!

  38. Ecowirral,

    I don’t think that you actually believe all that. For example, you don’t think that we should replace trade unions with government agencies, do you? And I suspect that you have eminently sensible views on things like drugs and consenting adults’ rights to engage in all manner of hanky-panky.

    Of course, like everyone else on here, you think that government has some role in some areas, though I’m sure that you and I would draw the line differently on different topics. However, that’s consistent with the conclusion of the argument that I mentioned: even democratic government isn’t a great system, but it’s the best option sometimes.

  39. Whenever I make a comment similar to this, there seem to be a queue of people trying to find a fallacy in it, when there isn’t one. I think that, out of the systems invented so far, I’d choose a type of social democracy, where there are clear functions of state (health, justice, defence, welfare etc) and accountability for those structures through the ballot box. That doean’t make me a secret totalitarian!

    There may be a better system somewhere around the corner (for instance, perhaps a network of green mini-states, balancing localism with international responsibiliities?) but I would want that to have very robust democratic principles, and laws preventing corporate abuses.

  40. Also- yes, I am very socially liberal. There is a role for democracy with proper judicial checks and balances in this, too, of course.

  41. Back to May and polling; a slight decline in her personal ratings so far, and no change yet in Voting Intention. I still think there’s time for further downward movement, though. Interesting story coming out about her having taken legal advice on whether Brexit could be reneged on if it was “in the national interest”…..I have no idea whether this is entirely true, or which side have leaked it (Anti-May tories, pro-brexit tories or May herself could all have potential motives), but it could be explosive if it leaves the impression that May wants to back out. The vast majority of her support is now pro-brexit and Corbyn hating, and many could be tempted to go back to UKIP, or to Will Not Vote. I appreciate this may take out May’s own motive for the leak, but of course if true she would need to start testing the waters.

  42. “On Gogglebox the Asian family from Derby mocked May (although they vote Labour anyway). The young sisters from Leeds sympathised with her, as did the retired couple. The general view was that she ‘had a cold’ and ‘who’d want to be PM’ & ‘…getting interviewed on a Sunday morning on your birthday.’”

    I was on a train in the north of England on Saturday and a group of middle aged women were loudly discussing politics nearby. They were pretty sympathetic to Mrs May and blisteringly critical of Boris, saying he should be sacked.

    “I recall the day after Nick Griffin was on BBC QT in 2009, Bonnie Greer et al were congratulating themselves that they had “destroyed him and the BNP.” Polls then in fact showed the public viewed the London audience as unrepresentative and of course he was elected an MEP, when they gained 2 seats weeks later.”

    I think you’re being a bit misleading there. In the months ahead of that QT, on some polls the BNP were high enough to get around 10 MEPs and ahead of UKIP. Then not long before the election, their poll ratings fell substantially and UKIP overtook them. Just 2 MEPs was considered a failure for the BNP compared with what they seemed to be heading for a few months earlier.

    What I can’t recall is whether the QT had anything to do with that decline – probably it didn’t. Though I oppose the BNP as much as anyone, I do recall from watching the show that Griffin was not given a fair opportunity to debate, either by Dimbleby or the other panellists.

  43. “Though I oppose the BNP as much as anyone, I do recall from watching the show that Griffin was not given a fair opportunity to debate, either by Dimbleby or the other panellists.”

    This – I think far more damage would have been done had the line of questioning focused less on “boo, you’re a racist” and more on “your policies, such as they are, would bankrupt the country in a week”.

  44. I don’t think his performance on QT did him any favours, though I think it did hasten their decline as an electoral force and his own standing among the public.

    Certainly the hard left hyenas who tried to get him banned from everywhere for years had little to do with their demise, I’m not sure why they were so triumphant at that point.

    They were the part of the cause of his relative success, making the BNP victims in the eyes of some. In addition they were also fairly effective at local campaigning, there was much more to it than the candidate just being the most racist bloke in the local pub.

    Contrary to UKIP, who never really grasped the concept at all, the worse the results the more they doubled down on what wasn’t working. Lots of people who won did so by accident.

  45. “I don’t think his performance on QT did him any favours, though I think it did hasten their decline as an electoral force and his own standing among the public.”

    What hastened their demise more than anything else were the endless splits and walkouts within the party, which began not long after they were elected to the London assembly in 2008 and culminated in an unexpectedly poor performance at the 2010 election. UKIP seems to be suffering from the same.

  46. I certainly think that there is an optimum level of criticism. Too much, and you turn the politician into a martyr, too little and they get away with murder. The far right tend to benefit more from this than anyone, in that many of their supporters are all too willing to believe that they are being victimised, and angry people are more likely to react angrily to challenge anyway. I do think that the atacks from the left on UKIP were counter-productive; Farage would have been much easier to pick off had he been questioned persistently but calmly. The hysteria sometimes seeps down into real life, too…I remember the case of a Rotherham couple who were temporarily denied the chance to foster because they were UKIP activists. Farage made hay about that case, as you’d imagine, and the contrast between the actions of one council employee then, and the actions of many in the later scandal about child abuse in the same borough is pretty obvious.

  47. Ecowirral – quite – and there are quite a few parallels in recent history where criticism has only served to add a percentage point to the ideology/party/person being vilified.

    Every time someone in favour of Brexit was belittled as a racist/xenophobe the balance kept tilting.

    Hillary Clinton arguably lost the US election when she called Trump voters “deplorable”. It became a badge of honour.

    Then here this year every time the Daily Mail (and others) went down the “Corbyn is a terrorist sympathiser” route it seemed to backfire.

  48. The weird thing about the foster care thing was that UKIP wasn’t really pushing much of an anti immigration policy at that point, little different to what the Conservatives were saying.

    UKIP will be down to a tiny number of members in a couple of years, it’ll be back to the people who joined years ago, the retired half colonels and tweed wearing ex Tories.

    All the head bangers will follow AMW. Quite a few moderates are going with her too.

  49. But, however regrettable, the reality is that there is a growing gap in the market for a WWC anti-islam party and sooner or later someone is going to fill it. If not UKIP or the BNP then someone else will, perhaps AMW and the ex-UKIP head bangers or perhaps a different force entirely.

    The NF and BNP both prospered under Labour governments and withered when the Tories got back into power. The next Labour government will in all likelihood be very left wing so we should expect a very potent far right force to emerge when they’ve been in power a few years.

  50. @ Jason

    Yes, Clinton made the fatal mistake of slagging off the electorate at probably the worst possible time. Her book is out I think, I bet it is riveting, just a few hundred pages of whinge whinge whinge.

    She was a rubbish candidate, who lost to a slightly less rubbish one.

    @ Hemelig

    That’s true, I’m not sure what can be done to temper the growing anti Islam sentiment that we are seeing. I’m not convinced it’ll translate into anything significant at the ballot box in this country but we will see.

    Much was made of a stat showing a large % of gay men voted for the AfD, as if by default they ought to be left leaning. It’s hardly surprising given the behaviour of extremist Muslims towards them across the world.

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