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 - 1,455 Responses on “Maidenhead”
  1. Cabinet endorsements so far:

    Cameron – won’t nominate
    Osborne – TBC/may not nominate
    Hammond – TBC
    Fallon – TBC
    Hunt – May
    Grayling – May
    Greening – May
    Morgan – Gove
    McLoughlin – TBC
    Javid – Crabb
    Villiers – TBC
    Truss – Gove
    Clark – TBC
    Cairns – Crabb
    Letwin – won’t nominate (neutral as overseeing preliminary work on Brexit)
    Whittingdale – TBC (was Boris)
    Mundell – May
    Rudd – May (was Boris)

  2. It will be interesting to see which way Hammond and Fallon go. Any thoughts Jack?

  3. I’m slightly surprised at Morgan. Thought she would go with May or Crabb. I appreciate they (Morgan and Gove) have worked together before, but since when has that ever meant anything in politics.

  4. Johnson’s career is up in the air, much like someone who has just been blown up is up in the air.

    Cripes.

  5. @Tristan

    May, I suspect. Though they might have a thought to trying to restore their reputations with Leave supporters by backing a Leave candidate.

  6. My guess is Hammond will back Theresa May. They go back many years. I would tip him for Chancellor in a TM premiership.

    Also Chris Grayling was active in the London Borough of Merton, where TM was also a councillor but earlier. Possible Europe negation leader.

    Sometimes the alliances do not follow strict ideological lines, but friendships and animosity comes into it. TM is likely to have offended fewer MP’s over the years and may have acted a mentor to many of the younger women in particular.

  7. McLoughlin and Fallon have both declared for May now.

  8. Yes, I’d imagine older MPs would think they have more of a chance with May as Leader.

  9. May is already on 70+ MPs with less than half declared (and many of those undeclared people likely to back her). Must be almost certain to clear the 1/3 of the parliamentary party needed to be guarantee a place in the run off in the first ballot.

  10. Yes, Ladbrokes now offer betting on the final 2 and May is listed in 4 of the 5 possibles available.

  11. Agree. May is virtually certain to be one of the two to go forward to the membership. If it were just MPs voting she’d probably be the next leader but I think it’s not so certain with the membership having to choose between her and either Gove or Leadsom.

  12. Just seen the Johnson press conference on Sky News. The looks on some of the faces lol. Priceless.

  13. Daily Mail backing Theresa May. Slightly awkward what with Sarah Vine working there. I wonder what she has promised them in return.
    I bet the Mail on Sunday backs Gove through ( the editors hate it each other and will take different positions

  14. May is the only plausible candidate

    Fox and Leadsom are too right-wing to be unifying candidates – and I trust Leadsom about as much as Boris Johnson after her previous comments about how Brexit would be a disaster ti the British economy – which it will ne

    Gove is even worst – the most uncharismatic, Machiavellian arrogant little geek, who is so disliked by the public that Cameron had to remove him from the education brief where he was halfway through implementing the education policy set out in the Tory manifesto in 2010

    That the Tories think he’s the man who lead them shows how out of touch they are. I would be embarassed and ashamed in the occupant’s of Number 10 were him and his unattractive wife

    And Crabb just doesn;t have anywhere near enough experience yet

    Leaving only May, who’s been a competent home secretary (a notoriously difficult department), is from the centre of the party, and his a reputation for no-nononse and h=gettinbg thibfs done

    She does come across as cold but if the best argument against her is that she didn’t support Brexit – a cardinal sin in today’s new Tory Party – then she seems lke a no vbrainer

    Bit the front-runner never wins

  15. May is having some difficulty dealing with the question of whether she’ll protect the rights of EU migrants. Her junior minister James Brokenshire (who is supporting her) just got a major working over on this issue in the Commons, including from some May supporting MPs. All the other candidates have said they will, she has only said that she’d like to but it is a matter for negotiation. It is awkward because from a negotiating perspective May’s position makes a lot of sense – other EU countries will want the rights of their citizens to be guaranteed so it doesn’t make sense to concede this in full before getting anything (i.e. rights for UK citizens living overseas) in return, plus the detail is complicated and guaranteeing all rights in perpetuity may have unintended consequences. But I know for a fact the uncertainty is causing a lot of anxiety among current EU migrants. She probably needs to give way and make a commitment before it damages her campaign seriously.

  16. Villiers has now backed Leadsom (to add to Tebbit, Redwood, Lilley et al).

    I think that makes May on around 115 to Leadsom’s 65 with around 100 Tory MPs yet to declare (or lying to all 5 camps in a few cases apparently).

  17. Leadsom’s backers are almost exclusively from the Right of the party whereas May has backing from MPs from the Left, Right and Centre

    Leadsom is UKIP’s preferred candidate and those Tories fearful of an alliance should be wary as she is likely to invite Nigel Farage – or if now he’s gone, yiu never know with him – Paul Nuttalls, Neil Hamilton or whoever, into the cabinet, despite them not being MPs, which means she will have to enoble them

  18. The first sentence is true (although only because 8 Wets such as Rudd have changed backers twice in as many days). Indeed they’re as much as the stop Leadsom bunch now.

    The second sentence amused me – is that meant to be a Remainian scare tactic a fortnight late?

    Leadsom would certainly not enoble people from another Party, quite part from the fact that an MEP and an AM can’t also be an MP or Peer these days. She may ask Farage to join negotiations though, as she’s said.

  19. May’s position on EU migrants is lunacy.

    Will anyone in Europe seriously think we are going to forcibly repatriate a large portion of our population? It is not credible.

    As a basic rule of thumb, if you propose something that would be advocated by Idi Amin, it is probably a bad idea.

  20. Sounds like a gift to Leadsom, assuming she isn’t proposing the same thing.

  21. Seriously, Andrea Leadsom isn’t this ultra-right winger some people are suggesting. The right-winger in the contest is Liam Fox and he’s seemingly destined to finish in last place.

    If politics is the art of the possible, then the reason Aaron Banks is jumping on the Leadsom bandwagon is because he knows Liam Fox is a non-starter.

  22. That said,if I were her I wouldn’t actually want Aaron Banks’s blessing.

  23. Fox – whose time has come and gone, assuming it was there in the first place – might be the most conservative candidate but by any analysis and with or without the backing of Aaron Banks, Andrea Leadsom is firmly on the Right of the Tory party – fiercely Eurosceptic, a staunch advocate of small government and low tax rates and a keen cutter of public services

    She doesn’t strike me as the sort of candidate capable of unifying the country, and I can’t imagine her having much appeal in either the countless downtrodden places that overwhelmingly backed Brexit throughout England and Wales, or those more affluent, cosmopolitan areas that didn’t

  24. For sure, she’s quite right-wing, but not so much so that she’d be happy to let UKIP lackeys do her bidding.

    Part of me also wonders if the reason that Banks is behind Leadsom is because he feels he could exert a lot of influence over her.

  25. Two of the candidates are arguably more right-wing than Andrea Leadsom, namely Liam Fox and Michael Gove.

  26. Andrea Leadsom is not on the far right of the Tory party. But make no mistake, her support – both in parliament and on social media, and no doubt among members too – is coming from the far right of the Tory party. Just look at some of her MP supporters: Steve Baker, Julian Lewis, Julian Brazier, Bernard Jenkin, Owen Paterson, IDS, Nadine Dorries, John Redwood, Stewart Jackson, Sir Bill Cash, James Gray, Peter Lilley, John Baron, Philip Davies, Andrew Bridgen. That is the hard right of the Tory party. Were she to get into office off the back of their support there would then be a lot of pressure on her to deliver their agenda.

    I think there are parallels with the rise of Corbyn in a faction that sees themselves as anti-establishment pinning their hopes on an untested and frankly unsuitable figurehead. The difference is that if they succeed they’ll be installing her as PM not Leader of the Opposition.

    I think we’d all be better off if the parties did away with membership votes in leadership elections!

  27. ‘Two of the candidates are arguably more right-wing than Andrea Leadsom, namely Liam Fox and Michael Gove.’

    Fox is – but much like Christian Ronaldo in the football world, Gove is one of the most misunderstood politicians in the UK

    Certified twit though he is, politically Gove is a committed radical in the truest sense

    He revers left wing radicals like Che Guevara just as much as right wing ones like Thatcher and Reagan, and he would argue that he is the one Conservative in the contest who wants to completely tear up the script and end the pre-told narrative where kids from rich families go on to lead happy fulfilling lives, while those from poorer families too often don’t

    Of course he’s so lacking in charisma that most of the public have already type cast him as an arrogant geek – and after the Boris Johnson affair – an unpleasant one as that, but Gove is actually the most left field of all the candidates – and by quite some distance

  28. Tim

    Well, if he wins he should call an election to get a mandate for his ideas, unless he wants to be seen as democratic as Che Guevara.

  29. New YouGov Tory members:

    May 63
    Leadsom 31

    So Leadsom has a big gap to close. But still very early days and her profile will obviously grow as the contest goes on.

  30. Did they do May v Gove as well. And also Gove v Leadsom?

  31. There was a voodoo poll on ConHome which showed May & Leadsom on level-pegging. I got quite intrigued by that until I realised it was self-selecting…

  32. Leadsom 58
    Gove 25

    Not sure May v Gove has been tweeted yet (though they must have asked). I expect it was an even bigger lead for May as Gove’s personal ratings have tanked – from +41 to -20 in less than a week. Looks like his knifing of Boris was a major personal misjudgment.

  33. Jack: it’s quite clear that he only ran to stop Boris. He didn’t want to win himself.

  34. I wonder if Cameron will forgive Gove now that Gove has knifed Boris. I somehow doubt it; Cam and his wife can’t be that desperate for friends surely.

  35. ‘I think Cameron will find it easier to forgive Gove than Boris, as it was Boris’ intervention that swung the referendum.’

    Neither of them deserve nor are likely to receive Cameron’s forgiveness.

    Johnson knows that Remainers view him as the man primarily responsible for Brexit – and hate it for him because it’s a stance he doesn’t personally support

    Once the dire implications of Brexit begin to pinch he runs the risk of history holding with the same affection of someone like William Joyce

    It’s just a shame Boris is unlikely to share his fate LOL

  36. I think Tim should be grateful that this thread went over onto another page immediately after his most recent unpleasant comment. Putting “lol” on the end of such a comment doesn’t make it any more acceptable.

    I don’t think Boris made any difference to the outcome of the referendum. As I said during the campaign, it exposed his limitations rather than showcasing his talents.

    The more I think about it leave didn’t win this referendum, remain lost it. The latter failed utterly to come up with a coherent response to concerns about immigration, while also massively overplaying the economic fear card thus sacrificing credibility.

  37. ‘I think Tim should be grateful that this thread went over onto another page immediately after his most recent unpleasant comment.’

    It was a joke for Heaven’s sake – although I think Johnson will ultimately end up damaging the country far more than Joyce ever did – hence the anger directed at him personally

    ‘The latter failed utterly to come up with a coherent response to concerns about immigration, while also massively overplaying the economic fear card thus sacrificing credibility’

    They failed to come up with an answer to immigration because they didn’t realise how many of the working class would be willing to wreck their countries economy all because they would prefer not to live next door a foreigner living next door to them – a point made by the brilliant Jeremy Clarkson at the weekend

    The Remainers overestimated this country and failed to realise how stupid some people really are

    The economic fears weren’t overplayed – as we will now find out – which is why I believe Brexit might not happen whoever wins the Tory leadership

  38. “It was a joke for Heaven’s sake…”

    A far funnier joke is you describing Jeremy Clarkson as “brilliant” just because he happens to have said something you agree with. I am quite sure that this time last year you’d have described him as a right wing, petrolhead, know nothing. Suddenly when one of his prejudices happens to coincide with yours he’s fantastic.

  39. “The economic fears weren’t overplayed – as we will now find out – ”

    If our leaders espouse this view, then they will be right. If they take an optimistic, energetic course, they will also be right.

    There is no inevitable outcome to Brexit. The country will get what it believes in, and it’s high time everyone pulled together to carve out a positive if not excellent future – including Remainers like you and I.

    We too often say ‘I told you so’ regarding things affecting ourselves in life when in reality it’s our attitude that contributed if not caused the doom and gloom we predicted. The same applies on a larger scale to individual businesses and the country as a whole in the wake of Brexit.

    Similarly, if we collectively say it’s inevitable now that Scotland will break away – then it probably will.

    Don’t be part of a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom!

  40. MPR

    I agree with that too – any Remainer who is prepared to accept the democratic result of the referendum as settled for a generation should have their voice be heard in the renegotiations now. As William Hague says in the Telegraph, “we’re all Leavers now”. (He was a strong Remainer in case anyone didn’t realise.)

  41. The idea that the Scots, the Europeans and international businesses will all behave differently if only people were a bit more optimistic is pretty ludicrous.

  42. Simon

    It’s our behaviour, not everyone outside the country, that will make the difference.

    Same as in business, if you go into a meeting with a prospective customer with no confidence in what you want, and expecting to walk away without the order because you think your case is poor and so you haven’t bothered to prepare properly – then guess what you will walk away with.

    Why are some people successful and others not at exactly the same things? I’m not talking about ability or intelligence differing. It’s because the successful people believe in something and then take action to achieve it. If you don’t believe it, your passion and energy will be elsewhere and you are very unlikely to achieve it.

  43. @BTSAYS You’re missing out the part where you have to do your preparation and evaluate what a realistic outcome is. If you just go in to your meeting without having done your homework and with an unrealistic ask, then the fact that you are happy, smiley and confident just means that the eventual meeting with reality will be that much more brutal.

  44. Simon – yes true of course, but you’re still failing to accept a generally held point in the successful business / sports world, all successful trainers etc.

    If you believe you can or you believe you can’t, you’re right, is another very apt phrase I remember being quoted by a business coach once.

    Think Leicester City, Wales etc.

  45. I’d be interested to hear how YouGov managed to poll Tory Party members.

    Only ConHome seems to have a system for doing this (by requiring an email address, with duplicates removed etc as well as asking whether an activist, candidate and so on)

  46. I suspect that nobody can do it perfectly, given that the exact makeup of the Tory membership isn’t publicly available, so there’s no way to really know whether you have a representative sample or not.

    Presumably if YouGov’s online panel is large enough, and they ask for info on party membership, then they can pull together something resembling a sample, although the errors involved could be pretty large. Then again, if it shows one candidate with over half the vote, and nobody else over 20%, it’s reasonable to assume that Theresa May is comfortably ahead right now.

  47. But it isn’t at all (precisely for the reasons you say).

    In the ConHome poll of over 1,300 Party members, it’s Leadsom 38%, May 37% ie too close to call in a members’ postal ballot as we all expected.

    Well except Peter Kellner, obviously.

  48. Isn’t ConHome’s readership thought to be atypical (ie more pro-Brexit and more to the right of the party)? So we’d expect, if anything, their numbers would be good for Leadsom.

    I assume that ConHome have to deal with the same issues as YouGov in terms of getting a representative sample, so there’s no reason to assume that they are more (or less) accurate than YouGov. Also, I’d guess YouGov are better at avoiding other errors than ConHome who are not regular pollsters.

    The other thing I would say is that the pollsters did do relatively well with the Labour selectorate last year, so they may have some idea how to do this sort of work.

  49. YouGov got the Miliband fight, the Cameron/Davis contest and the IDS/Clarke one pretty much bang on, so it would be surprising if they were miles off here.

    Additionally, the ConHome survey is not a rigorous attempt at a poll, as they themselves freely admit. I’d be pretty comfortable in saying that May is now the clear leader in the membership, although Leadsom has room to grow as people get to know her better.

  50. The editors of ConHome have always been fairly insistent that while the comments section of that website is definitely to the right of the general membership, its actual readership is much more representative of the Tory Party as a whole.

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