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 - 2,731 Responses on “Maidenhead”
  1. I think if Jeremy Corbyn helped Theresa May pass a deal which, lest we forget, is not even popular with leave voters, let alone the remainers which form the bulk of Labour’s base, he would be in a whole heap of trouble, not just from MPs and members, but voters too.

    Can anyone think of a precedent where the Tories and Labour have been united around a policy (Theresa May’s Brexit deal) which is so unpopular with voters?

  2. How popular was the Iraq War? Did that have majority public support at the time?

  3. I agree that we should never support this deal but the problem is that the inability for parliament to pass this deal is just making a mockery of it in eyes of the voters. I was having a look at the numbers yesterday in some of the results back home and some of the biggest switches wasn’t between parties but not voting at all.

    I know you think the solution is no Brexit but I genuinely believe there are fundamental problems in our society around poverty, deprivation, etc. That were rarely talked about before the 23rd of June 2016. I don’t want Brexit. My fear though is that no Brexit will mean no longer having to talk about poverty and deprivation and I keep being told that Brexit will only make it worse but as far as I can see these things getting worse or staying the same is pretty shitty options. I see no solution and I think people who do are oversimplifying everything

  4. BM11: at the time, public support was more-or-less fifty-fifty on the Iraq war. If anything, it was slightly in favour. Of course, if you ask those same people now, they will largely say they never supported it – people’s memories play tricks on them.

    Of the top of my head, some other examples of “Tories and Labour agreeing with each other, against public opinion”:

    Rail privatisation during the Blair era
    Foreign aid spending target since the Cameron era
    Abolition of capital punishment for decades, from the 1960s until quite recently

  5. Matt Wilson: ” I don’t want Brexit. My fear though is that no Brexit will mean no longer having to talk about poverty and deprivation.”

    Au contraire, surely Brexit, which at root is a deeply technocratic exercise of the exact sort that its voters despise, is preventing us from talking about poverty and deprivation. It’s sucking up every inch of legislative bandwidth, making things like welfare reform impossible.

  6. Remarkably 8 elections were postponed yesterday due to death of candidates. That’s quite a lot of sudden deaths.

  7. A lot of Labour remainers are starting to argue – May and Corbyn passing a deal will see Nigel

  8. A lot of Labour remainers are starting to argue – May and Corbyn passing a deal will see Nigel Farage becoming PM.

  9. @BM11

    What a stupid thing to argue. Sure his party might win some seats if the Tories keep haemorrhaging Leave votes but there is no way he’s going to become PM!

    Though the scenario in which the Brexit Party will do best is if the whole thing is cancelled somehow. May doing a deal with Corbyn may actually take the wind out of their sails though conversely it would aid Remain parties like the Lib Dems and the Greens.

  10. At the Brexit Party rally today they was hisses of Booes when mentions of a May/Corbyn Brexit deal was announced . Depends if after a deal the people believe May and Corbyn’s arguments or the arguments of Farage saying ”how it’s not the Brexit you voted for’ etc .
    The Brexit rally also went a little Trump where a few of the crowd started a Lock Her Up chant aimed at May.

  11. Nigel Farage has no chance of becoming Prime Minister.

    Labour’s awful result yesterday gives me hope that Corbyn won’t either.

  12. @H.Hemmelig

    Even on yesterdays results he’d probably become PM (though there’s no way the LDs or the Greens would do that well at a general election). The SNP, Plaid and the Greens will back him (who knows about the Lib Dems) so Labour doesn’t need to take many Tory seats at all to form a government. Plus the Tories have the problem of the Brexit Party standing candidates at a general election which would split the non-Labour vote, especially in Leave areas, handing Labour lots of seats on low vote shares.

  13. Adding to the point bm11 made about postponed elections, the cancelled ones across Northamptonshire councils due to insufficient funding is possibly a sign the party might be in for heavy losses when the elections do take place in the new unitary authority, unless something happens before. Not so much Brexit than a local storm of reported overpending, library takeovers and stopping of essential services.

  14. Though you do wonder who does?

    I don’t think a government has lost so many seats and won the next election

  15. The Tory result was also flattered by a lot of uncontested wards. Here in Mid Sussex there were several wards where no-one stood against the Tories despite the fact that the Lib Dems made some strong gains in the district.

    “Even on yesterdays results he’d probably become PM”

    I don’t doubt that, but governments can usually expect to do better in a GE than in midterm local elections. I agree the Brexit party does complicate matters. I do not think Labour stands much chance of getting a majority.

  16. “I don’t think a government has lost so many seats and won the next election”

    Labour in 1999 was pretty close I think.

    Talking of seat losses is misleading as the Tories were starting from such a high base (which was also the case for Labour in 99).

    Not that I expect the Tories to win the next election but in the circumstances Labour’s performance was awful.

  17. In 1999 Blar lost about 1,100-1,200 arguably they lost from higher base too. Labour did do badly had they done better Theresa May could have been looking at possibly the worst night since 95. I think Luke Akehurst said no one has ever won an election with less than 8k cllrs which the Tories have and more but what will it look like in 2022. As you say the Tories don’t look like winning. If Labour don’t though we could see a very fragmented parliament

  18. The thing about 1995 was that it followed two years of local elections which were almost as horrendous, so the Tories’ councillor base was already at a low ebb. This is the first time the Tories have lost a serious number of councillors since 1996. If the next couple of years follow the same pattern as this year then we will be approaching a 1995 type of situation. But today the Tories comfortably remain the largest party in local government.

  19. Unless Labour gets its collective fingers out of its ears a fragmented Parliament is likely. The leadership is still in complacent post-2017 election mode thinking the nature of politics is still the same as then. Jess Phillips said it best during election coverage on Friday. Their insistence of a fresh GE without a decisive view on Brexit shows political immaturity and lack of planning.

    Voters are not stupid and will not fall for what Labour presents as a “nuanced” approach to Brexit, which sounds like a wonkish mess at the moment. I was reading this and something struck me: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48150656

    So some on the Labour left think it’s Labour administrations cutting services and others on the left claiming an anti-austerity message is being overshadowed by Brexit. Maybe, but understand that votes in locals are often a reaction to what happens at Westminster.

    Again the party leadership is still acting like it’s June 2017 and its most uncritical cheerleaders in Momentum raise Brexit/opposing austerity like a false dichotomy. They don’t understand how politics (election politics) is an exchange between party and voter. A party either ignores or offers a dog’s dinner to the most pressing issue of the day, so a voter won’t provide their support at the polls in exchange.

  20. There perhaps was an element of that particularly in Sunderland and Bolton where once again we’ve failed to address abuse in children services and we’ve lost everyone. It might also explain why we lost seats mostly in councils we run and gained in places we don’t.

    Tbh I don’t want an election because I think we’ll win but because I don’t want to wait 3 years before we have the chance to get rid of the Tories. We might lose but im not gonna let that put me off trying because it’s that or waiting for 3 years

  21. But if you lose, you’ll have to wait another *5* years…

  22. (For what it’s worth, I think if a GE were held tomorrow, Labour would probably be able to command a majority of the house.)

  23. That’s an enormous IF though.

  24. H.Hemmelig: “The Tory result was also flattered by a lot of uncontested wards. Here in Mid Sussex there were several wards where no-one stood against the Tories despite the fact that the Lib Dems made some strong gains in the district”.

    The Green candidate in High Weald, which covers West Hoathly, Scaynes Hill and Horsted Keynes, topped the poll, beating the sole Conservative winner by almost 200 votes, and defeating the other candidate. I know him well (he used to go to the same church as me, and was a fellow School Governor at the local village school). The Greens also won a seat in Burgess Hill St Andrew’s. The Liberal Democrats virtually swept the rest of the seats in Burgess Hill, apart from Dunstall. Apparently the Conservative administration in Mid Sussex is very unpopular there because of the half-finished Town Centre.

    You will remember that I predicted the Greens would win Forest Row. I never thought it would be a thumping victory though:

    https://elections.wealden.gov.uk/Candidate/Results?wardId=41&typeFilter=District

    They also won Withyham Ward, which covers Groombridge as well as Withyham, and only came about 100 votes from winning in Danehill and Fletching, which I expected to be a shoo-in for the Conservatives.

    I would have stayed with the Conservatives if I had the vote in Wealden still, as the council is well run, and we still have free car parking in Forest Row and the other towns, which I think helps keep independent shops going.

  25. The Telegraph is reporting that grassroots Tories have arranged a non-binding vote of no confidence in Theresa May’s leadership, scheduled for 15th June.

    I suspect she will lose. It’s what happens (or doesn’t happen) next that will be interesting…

  26. She’ll definitely lose it, and my prediction is that it won’t make a blind bit of difference. ‘The men in grey suits’ have had multiple visits to the PMs office since 2017, and May has proven her stubbornness and resilience time and time again. I think the only way she will be forced out before a Brexit deal is passed is if the Cabinet decisively turn on her.

  27. Yes it’s noticeable how few MPs that don’t sit on the frontbench supported May in the no confidence ballot. It would take people in the cabinet to turn on her like they did on IDS. On cue Leadsom says the deal is tolerable, we’d survive no deal, a true brexitier would have done better and she’s considering running

  28. “Yes it’s noticeable how few MPs that don’t sit on the frontbench supported May in the no confidence ballot.”

    Naivety alert 🙂

    It was a secret ballot so how do you know how frontbenchers voted?

    Given that quite a few backbenchers like Soames were vociferous in their genuine support for May, it follows that there were probably quite a few slimy toads on the frontbench and even in cabinet who voted no confidence despite going through the motions in public.

  29. All the soft Brexit/remain rebel backbenches will have voted for May because they know if May goes a no deal advocate will replace her.

  30. Hemmy, are you talking about Michael Gove by any chance?

  31. Gove seems more genuinely loyal to May than some other cabinet minsters.

  32. I was more thinking about Hunt, Javid, Leadsom and the like, and there will certainly have been numerous middle ranking and junior ministers in that category as well.

    As BM says I think Gove and Fox have been surprisingly loyal to May and most likely backed her.

    Gove must know he has no chance of winning a leadership election and that his only hope would come via a coronation.

  33. Comres poll –
    Lab 27%
    Brexit 20%
    Con 19%.
    LD 14%
    CHUK 7%
    Green 5%
    UKIP 3%.

    May to be forced out this week? Not sure the cabinet will tolerate her for much longer.

  34. And according to calculations made by electoral calcus that would give Brexit party 49 seats.
    But Labour would be up to 316.
    Brandon Lewis Matt Hancock and Penny Mouduant would be among the Tories losing to the Brexit Party.

  35. The Con+Lab combined total of 47% is the lowest ever recorded in a British opinion poll.

  36. Brexit Party now on more than double what Labour is getting in EU polls.
    It will be very hard for the tories to bounce back – even a new hard brexit tory leader might simply be ignored in favour of Farrage.

  37. Philip May apparently now thinks his wife should stand down.

    This could be the game changer.

  38. She will be gone by the date she took office three years ago.
    It’s hard to see those who will vote Brexit Party voting Tory at the next election if a no deal Brexit has not occurred.

  39. Yes, Philip May backing her up and encouraging her to carry on has been pivotal so far. If even he is now admitting defeat, tye writing is well and truly on the wall.

  40. “It’s hard to see those who will vote Brexit Party voting Tory at the next election if a no deal Brexit has not occurred.”

    I think you are jumping the gun a bit with that statement. A week is a long time in politics, if the parliament limps along to 2022 then that is an age away. Farage will shoot up to the stratosphere in the Euro elections but it must be quite likely that he’ll bump down a fair bit when it comes to a proper election.

    McDonnell’s latest announcements on things like forcibly de-listing companies from the stock exchange may really frighten the horses in suburbia.

  41. To be honest, whatever radical notions Labour are considering now, come the next election I expect them to retreat to a social democratic manifesto that attempts to buy off the middle classes. Why would they change what worked so well for them last time around?

  42. Julian Smith has told Tory Mp’s they is now three line whip on Thursday. Looks like the next MV might be coming.

  43. Quick question (apologies if this has been covered elsewhere). Does anyone know if there will be an exit poll for the European elections next week? I tried Googling this but to no avail.

  44. Nope.
    Because nothing can be published to Sunday evening and by then the votes will be counted quite quickly.

  45. New Kantar poll.

    From Britain Elects

    Westminster voting intention:

    LAB: 34% (-1)
    CON: 25% (-7)
    LDEM: 15% (+4)
    BREX: 10% (+10)
    UKIP: 4% (-3)
    GRN: 3% (-1)
    CHUK: 1% (+1)

    via @Kantar , 09 – 13 May
    Chgs. w/ 08 Apr

    BXP lower here than most other polls.

  46. Quite a lot of variation among polls at the moment. I think the total Con + Lab score is more interesting to watch than the gap between them, and Kantar’s 59% figure is way above the (all-time record low) 46% we saw from Opinium the other day.

    The entrance of the Brexit Party has created a lot of churn and caused new demographic schisms, and pollsters haven’t yet worked out how to adjust their methodology accordingly.

  47. A Cobra meeting has been called in the morning.

    No details as to the reason yet, but Iran/security seems the most likely.

  48. May to set out her departure timetable if (most likely when) the second reading of WAB fails. Likelihood is new tory Pm sometime after mid July.

  49. This could have all been handled a lot more elegantly. Mostly her own fault of course. I have a feeling history will not be kind to her when assessing her period in office.

  50. I don’t think the present is being particularly kind to her either.

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