2015 Result:
Conservative: 8752 (19.5%)
Labour: 23208 (51.8%)
Lib Dem: 1639 (3.7%)
Green: 1136 (2.5%)
UKIP: 10053 (22.4%)
MAJORITY: 13155 (29.4%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

Geography: North West, Greater Manchester. Part of the Wigan council area.

Main population centres: Ashton-in-Makerfield, Winstanley, Hindley, Orrell.

Profile: A constituency of small, traditional former mill and coal mining towns deep in the South Lancashire coalfield.

Politics: Makerfield is monumentally, toweringly safe for Labour. Along with predecessor seats it has been held by Labour for over a century and in the 1990s regularly stacked up Labour majorities (not shares of the vote, majorities) in excess of fifty percent.

Current MP
YVONNE FOVARGUE (Labour) Born 1956, Sale. Educated at Sale Grammar School and Leeds University. Former chief executive of St Helens CAB. Contested Warrington councillor 2004-2010. First elected as MP for Makerfield in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 8210 (19%)
Lab: 20700 (47%)
LDem: 7082 (16%)
BNP: 3229 (7%)
Oth: 4550 (10%)
MAJ: 12490 (29%)
Con: 4345 (12%)
Lab: 22494 (63%)
LDem: 3789 (11%)
BNP: 1221 (3%)
Oth: 3731 (10%)
MAJ: 18149 (51%)
Con: 6129 (18%)
Lab: 23879 (69%)
LDem: 3990 (11%)
Oth: 858 (2%)
MAJ: 17750 (51%)
Con: 6942 (15%)
Lab: 33119 (74%)
LDem: 3743 (8%)
MAJ: 26177 (58%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
ZEHRA ZAIDI (Conservative)
YVONNE FOVARGUE (Labour) See above.
JOHN SKIPWORTH (Liberal Democrat)
Comments - 47 Responses on “Makerfield”
  1. 2015 forecast for Makerfield

    Lab 52
    UKIP 18
    Con 12
    LD 6
    Others 12

  2. LAB HOLD MAJ : 36%
    LAB 51
    CON 15
    OTH 14
    LD 11
    UKIP 7
    GRN 2

  3. What do these constituencies have in common?

    Hertford and Stevenage
    The Wrekin
    Hemel Hempstead

  4. Seats that got too big so had to be split up or abolished so new ones could be created.

  5. And what else?

  6. Well, Hertford and Stevenage became Hertford and Stortford and Stevenage respectively, The Wrekin eventually became a much smaller and more rural The Wrekin as well as Telford, Hemel Hempstead I forget the exact details (Some North Hertfordshire seat I think?), Kettering got so big Corby was created as well, Ormskirk was abolished and West Lancashire and the two Knowsley seats were created, Newton is now part of this seat, as well as Warrington North and St Helens North. Basildon saw Billericay peel off to get their own seat very different to the old one now Basildon had grown so much in population, and finally Meriden was now so big that Warwickshire North was created, all of them bar The Wrekin saw these new seats introduced in 1983.

  7. Well they all contained New Towns or overspill estates of some description, respectively Stevenage, Telford, Hemel Hempstead, Corby, Kirkby, Warrington, Basildon, Chelmsley Wood. The Reults is onto something with these being ovber large seats which were split and I think the answer lies somewhere in the notional results of the succesor seats. Hertford & Stevenage was won by the Tories in 1979 but Stevenage would notionally have been Labour, likewise the Wrekin, Herts West, Basildon, Warwickshire North. Ormskirk and Kettering were Labour seats in 1979 which were translated into Tory seats (kettering and West Lancashire) by the transfer of Corby and Kirkby to new seats. I’m not sure how Newton comes into it though. AFAIK all the various bits of it went to Labour seats apart from perhaps a bit to Warrington South

  8. Thanks The Results, and Pete for your interesting explanations which add useful information.

    The answer is both major parties (Labour and Con) polled 30,000+ in 1979

  9. I must say I had no recollection that Newton was that big. I had thought that it became St Helens N with minor modification.

  10. ‘Hertford and Stevenage
    The Wrekin
    Hemel Hempstead

    Another answer must be that – with the exption of Newton and Ormskirk – they are seats which have shifted massively in favour of the Tories over the past few decades

    You couldn’t imagine Labour competing in Meriden, Hertford or Hemel Hempstead, let alone winning there

  11. But Labour can win in both Stevenage and Warwickshire North, and probably will next time.

    Indeed, its only Hemel where neither it or its neighbouring seats are winnable for Labour.

  12. Not quite sure how this relates to Makerfield, though – although some of this seat was once in the old Ince constituency which reached out as far as Skelmersdale. Labour are in no danger here.

  13. I think part of Newton is now in this seat. But thanks JJB for giving the answer to that question, me and subsequently Pete thought that it had something to do with seats getting too big but we were near enough on the same ground I think. Some interesting points.

  14. Lichfield & Tamworth is another seat where both parties polled more than 30K in 1979.

  15. The MP for Lichfield and Tamworth between October 1974 and 1979 was Bruce Grocott, who later returned as MP for The Wrekin 8 years later in 1987 until 1997, when he himself became the first MP for the new new town seat of Telford, until retiring in 2001. Speaking of defeated Staffordshire/Shropshire MPs getting back for new seats, the man Grocott defeated in The Wrekin in 1987, Warren Hawksley (1983-1987 Conservative MP) was later MP for Halesowen and Stourbridge from 1992 until 1997, when he contested the new Stourbridge but lost to the Labour candidate Debra Shipley. So they ended up serving at the same time at one point for a five-year period.

  16. Sorry, I meant to say that Warren Hawksley was MP for The Wrekin from 1979-1987.

  17. I’m very surprised the Tories got over 30,000 votes in Newton in 1979 – it must have contained some very good areas for the Tories which are not immediately obvious to me. Perhaps Joe or Pete could enlighten me? I presume that the seat would have included Rainford, which still votes Conservative in local elections – in fact, it’s the only ward in the entire Liverpool conurbation north of the Mersey which still elects Tory councillors.

  18. I thought Newton did cover part of the old Makerfield but I was thinking of Ince


  19. Yes the Tories did get 30,000 in Newton in 1979.
    Labour got 41,000.

  20. Newton
    [E] Labour hold J Evans Labour 41,466 51.38%
    T Huntley Conservative 30,125 37.33%
    R Smith Liberal 8,471 10.50%
    A Fishwick National Front 641 0.79%

    Electorate: 102,885; Turnout: 78.44%;
    Majority: 11,341 (14.05%)


  21. And so you can see the swing
    (so 4.2% – much lower than in Ince which was about 9% in 1979)

    October 1974
    [E] Labour hold J Evans Labour 38,956 53.23%
    R Baldwin Conservative 22,484 30.73%
    WN Leather Liberal 11,738 16.04%

    Electorate: 95,268; Turnout: 76.81%;
    Majority: 16,472 (22.51%)

  22. I wonder whether Pete could work out how the Newton constituency would have voted in 1983.

  23. or 2010

  24. Evans became Lord Evans of Parkside – there was a Parkside Colliery in his constituency until relatively recently.

  25. Newton had the same sort of shape as the Shoreham seat did from 1983 to 1997.

  26. Newton really was a seat which just went in different directions – no core of it to anywhere – perhaps why it is so little discussed.
    Looking at the 1983 redistribution book it went –

    Warrington North 28,263 28.4%
    St Helens North 27,039 27.1%
    Warrington South 15,589 15.6%
    Worsley 14,562 14.6%
    Makerfield 11,924 12.0%
    Leigh 2,238 2.2%
    Ynys Mon 1,864 1.9%

    Total 99,615 electorate.
    Geographically this would have been a big seat aswell.

  27. Barnaby – what about Blundellsands ward in Sefton? We have won it once but its not a surefire win. It is certainly part of the Liverpool conurbation.

  28. Ynys Mon??

  29. Looking at the maps, it would appear that Newton was a bit of an everything that was left over seat, ranging across a wide area around Newton itself (which is a logical name), Warrington, St Helens, bordering Ince in Makerfield, and taking in Rainford to the North.
    As some of the estates and suburbs expanded it grew too large.

  30. I would be interested to see how the old Newton voted in 1983. My guess is the Tories would have gone down 3 or 4 points and Labour would have still been 7-9% ahead.
    The “Alliance” would have been over 20%

  31. Barnaby – as Merseymike says what about a few Sefton wards eg Ainsdale, Dukes, etc. Plus I’d argue most of W Lancs is more Scouse than St Helens but I realise the former isn’t in Merseyside. I think even the hapless local Tories even gained a couple of seats from the LDs in Southport due to the Labour vote increasing sharply last time.

  32. Newton couldn’t have included Rainford which is the other side of ST Helens. It’s difficult to see where all those Tory votes would have come from. I guess it would be mostly those areas which now form part of Warrington borough like Culceth, Great Sankey etc. They are very weak in the parts of the seat in St Helens borough (Newton itself and Haydock) but have some support in the parts of Wigan (eg Lowton) and Salford (Irlam/Cadishead)

  33. Mike – yes I know that Blundellsands is part of the Liverpool conurbation, but all the Sefton Central wards elected Labour councillors in 2012, unlike Rainford. Southport I don’t really regard as part of the Liverpool conurbation, since it’s really separated by dunes & some semi-countryside. Pete thanks for your information. I guess the Tories did much better amongst some urban lower-middle-class voters in the NW than they can do these days in 1979.

  34. Indeed – consider that they got nearly 20,000 votes in Huyton and more than 20,000 in Widnes in 1979

  35. Those are people the Tories need more of – yes.

    2 more seats where both major parties polled 30,000+ in 1979 –
    Lichfield and Tamworth (Andy mentioned)

  36. 2015
    Fairly likely
    * Lab 62% +15%
    Con 22% +3%
    UKIP 10%
    LD 6% -10%

    C to Lab swing 6%

  37. All Makerfield Wards returned Labour Councillors in the local elections. Notable victories in Orrell and Winstanley wards.

  38. To Joe James B

    You need to give your Word Processor a Re boot.

    Where did it get Ynys Mon from?

    As most of you will know Ynys Mon translates as Anglesey.

  39. Blundellsands was once at the heart of the Crosby constituency.

  40. I can remember 1979 when Wigan council elections were held on the same day as the GE.

    IIRC Orrell ward consisted of about 14,000 electors, there were two council seats up for election, both Labour and the conservatives put up One Male and one female candidate each. The two male candidates were elected.
    The Conservative female candidate blamed the Ratepayers candidate for taking votes from her.

    The seat was called Ince in those days.

  41. As far as I know the 1979 seat that included Rainford, Formby, Kirkby, Maghull and a small part of N Lpool etc was Ormskirk. (Although I realise people were asking about Newton). It really was leftover bits from W Lancs, Sefton, Knowskey, St H etc which had nothing in common and crossing a few 50-70mph roads.

  42. What would be the total electorate in that seat, can you remember?

  43. Labour Hold. 15,000 majority.

  44. But look at the size of the UKIP vote.

  45. I have just been looking up parliamentary records and find that this seat has been Labour longerr than other in that the predecessor seat of Ince elected a Labour MP continuously from 1906 onwards.

    Normanton, now combined with Pontefract, had a Lib-Lab MP who became Labour in 1909. Gower also had a Lib-Lab MP in 1906 who was returned as Labour in 1910; but Gower was lost to the Tories for the first time ever in May 2015.

  46. This seat is Number 92 on UKIP’s target list.

  47. Yvonne Forvague has been asked to resign for voting against a second Ref.

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