Mole Valley

2015 Result:
Conservative: 33434 (60.6%)
Labour: 4565 (8.3%)
Lib Dem: 7981 (14.5%)
Green: 2979 (5.4%)
UKIP: 6181 (11.2%)
MAJORITY: 25453 (46.2%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Surrey. Most of the Mole Valley council area and part of the Guildford council area.

Main population centres: Leatherhead, Dorking, Fetcham, Charlwood, Gomshall, Shere.

Profile: A rural seat to the south-west of London and north-west of Gatwick airport, geographically the largest seat in Surrey. The seat can be characterised as an affluent slice of the London commuter belt, with the residents of the rural and semi-rural villages that are scattered amongst the North Downs generally travelling into London for work. The two main towns are Dorking, the administrative centre for Mole Valley council, and Leatherhead, home to Unilever`s UK headquarters, many of Exxon`s UK offices and a cluster of high tech and research businesses.

Politics: A very safe Conservative seat, previously represented by the former Home Secretary Kenneth Baker. The current MP, Sir Paul Beresford, used to be the MP for Croydon Central but lost the selection battle for the seat after boundary changes in the lead up to the 1997 election. Beresford instead secured the nomination for Mole Valley and was returned to Parliament while Croydon Central fell to Labour.

Current MP
PAUL BERESFORD (Conservative) Born 1946, New Zealand. Educated at Waimea College and Otago University. Former dentist. Wandsworth councillor 1978-1992, Leader of Wandsworth Council 1983-1992.MP for Croydon Central 1992-1997. First elected as MP for Mole Valley in 1997. Under Secretary of State at the Department for the Environment 1994-1997. Knighted for services to inner-city regeneration in 1990.
Past Results
Con: 31263 (58%)
Lab: 3804 (7%)
LDem: 15610 (29%)
UKIP: 2752 (5%)
Oth: 895 (2%)
MAJ: 15653 (29%)
Con: 27060 (55%)
Lab: 5310 (11%)
LDem: 15063 (30%)
UKIP: 1475 (3%)
Oth: 507 (1%)
MAJ: 11997 (24%)
Con: 23790 (51%)
Lab: 7837 (17%)
LDem: 13637 (29%)
UKIP: 1333 (3%)
Oth: 475 (1%)
MAJ: 10153 (22%)
Con: 26178 (48%)
Lab: 8057 (15%)
LDem: 15957 (29%)
Oth: 1908 (3%)
MAJ: 10221 (19%)

2015 Candidates
PAUL BERESFORD (Conservative) See above.
LEN AMOS (Labour)
PAUL KENNEDY (Liberal Democrat)
Comments - 68 Responses on “Mole Valley”
  1. “The current MP, Sir Paul Beresford, used to be the MP for Croydon Central but lost the selection battle for the seat after boundary changes in the lead up to the 1997 election.”

    A fortunate defeat.

    This constituency was I think the setting for the 1980s sitcom ‘Ever Decreasing Circles’.

  2. As I said on the old site,
    it was a completely different candidate to here – from another seat – who ran a dentist and filled the top and the bottom teeth together,

    perhaps affecting their result.

    Quite a persistent LD vote in Dorking in local elections – must be some spilt voting there.

  3. Definitely Joe. Not very long ago the LDs quite comfortably held Bookham in a local by-election, and I’m pretty sure that the Tories would have a majority in that rather large village in a general election. The same probably applies to much of Dorking, and some other areas in the constituency too.

  4. I wanted to ask Richard whether he has ever visited this seat?

  5. I wonder what will happen in the LD seats in Dorking.
    By the way, does anyone know who that candidate was I mentioned in the2nd post on the thread?

  6. If the local LD vote persists and there’s a swing from Tory to UKIP the Conservatives might even lose a few seats in places like this.

  7. Results for the 6 county council divisions in Mole Valley District:

    (I thought the LD figure of 92 in Ashtead might be a mistake but I checked the 2009 result and they received 210 votes so it looks okay).

    Ashtead: Ashtead Ind 2283, Con 1332, UKIP 465, Lab 166, LD 92
    Bookham & Fetcham West: Con 2155, LD 1218, UKIP 1104, Lab 259
    Dorking South & The Holmwoods: LD 1532, Con 974, UKIP 774, Lab 328
    Dorking Hills: LD 2043, Con 1189, UKIP 847, Green 200, Lab 151
    Dorking Rural: Con 1810, LD 1527, UKIP 935, Lab 261
    Leatherhead & Fetcham East: Con 1564, UKIP 1048, LD 782, Lab 297

    Con: 9024
    LD: 7194
    UKIP: 5173
    Ashtead Ind: 2283
    Lab: 1462
    Green: 200

    Totals: 25336

    Con: 35.6%
    LD: 28.4%
    UKIP: 20.4%
    Ashtead Ind: 9.0%
    Lab: 5.8%
    Green: 0.8%

  8. Again ticket-splitting. As almost always, the LDs have done better in a local election in this constituency (vis a vis how close they have been to the Tories) than they could reasonably expect to do in a general election.

  9. Lib Dems are very plopular on the ground here, stuck in well in a tuff year. With clear policies in place and almost another couple of years for stupendous momentum to work through, wel’ll have a 5-8,0000 majority next time.

  10. plopular lol

  11. This seat like Reigate, East Surrey, Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells, Maidstone etc will remain conservative for an eternity unless there is a gloy plopwell election.

  12. I mentioned this earlier,
    Did anyone else hear about a candidate in an entirely different seat in 1997 (who never became an MP)
    who did badly because it seemed people
    knew about their record as a dentist
    when they filled the top and the bottom teeth together?

  13. Alleged.

  14. Kenneth Baker had the distinction of beignet elected in two byelections for two different London seats. Where there are any Conservatives in recentish times who did this, or was he the only one?

  15. Prediction for 2015-
    Conservative- 54%
    Liberal Democrat- 27%
    Labour- 10%
    UKIP- 8%
    Green- 1%

  16. Prediction for 2015-
    Conservative- 54%
    Liberal Democrat- 27%
    Labour- 10%
    UKIP- 8%
    Green- 1%

    I couldn’t disagree with that maybe 1 or 2 points lower for UKIP, 1 point higher for Cons and maybe 1 point higher for Green/Others.

  17. The Results

    The obvious one (even more so than Baker) is Portillo.

    Enfield Southgate then Kensington and Chelsea

  18. Of course, yes. Weirdly though those byelection wins were nearly 15 years apart, while Baker’s were two years apart.

  19. My best mate told me last night that, having uniquely voted for Clegg last time (he’d always voted Conservative before), he now thinks Cameron is a dreadful man & will vote UKIP. So there you are, 2 of my closest friends will vote UKIP now. Not that it will make the slightest difference here (even less in Brent Central, where the other one lives). And they both voted LD last time too. Who says UKIP don’t take votes from the LDs?

  20. Thought i’d post as I lived close to Dorking for 20 years. This is about as strong Tory territory as you are likely to find, despite the strong Lib Dem support at the local level, and no danger of a change at the national level (same situation in Horsham and Reigate to name a couple).

    Aside from Dorking and Leatherhead, seat consists of numerous villages dotted throughout the Surrey hills in commuter belt territory to London. No real trend that I’ve been able to extract from previous few elections, aside from the seemingly entrenched split ticket voting that exists.

    I don’t think Beresford particularly carries a strong personal vote so would be surprised to see a notable increase in the Tory vote in 2015.

  21. ‘This is about as strong Tory territory as you are likely to find,’

    Whilst that’s undeniably true of the bulk of the constituency, Dorking itself is pretty strong – or should that be used to be strong – Lib Dem territiry at every level

    I’d be very surprised if the Lib Dems didn’t manager to carry the town wards in the 2010 general election

    Beresford has been been very low profile since entering Parliament for Croydon Central in 1992, although within that time he does seem to have shifted politically from a Thatcherite to a Ken Clarke-supporting moderate

  22. Not strictly true – his vote for Clarke has been widely thought of as rather aberrant. I visit this constituency often (seeing that my best friend lives here), and am not sure that Dorking would vote LD in a general election; results in several areas (Bookham is another example) suggest that some Tory voters don’t bother, or vote LD or Ind, in local elections.

  23. In the rural villages that exist throughout Mole Valley, turnout for Conservative supporters is certainly low as the seat is safe. Local issues (as with anywhere) mean that local council results are more varied, for instance there was a significant opposition to a new incinerator being built (predictable!) + future of gatwick airport is bound to remain an issue going forward.

    I’m not convinced Dorking would be a Lib Dem town in 2015.

  24. Prediction for 2015-

    Con- 56%
    UKIP- 21%
    Lib- 10%
    Lab- 9%
    Green- 4%

  25. I don’t agree with that. UKIP won’t get twice as many as the LDs here, indeed I’d be surprised if they beat them at all. The Tory hold obviously I & any sane person would agree with.

  26. ‘Iā€™m not convinced Dorking would be a Lib Dem town in 2015.’

    It almost certainly won’t be in 2015 – but in 2010 I would have thought the Lib Dems edged it over the Tories in Dorking itself

    There are only two wards that cover the town anyway and they account for a tiny proprtion of the electorate, and the lib dem vote has always been ‘swamped’ by Tory-voting Leatherhead and the rural areas, which is largely commuter belt

    I don’t see UKIP making much of an impact here and would expect the Tory majority to go up

  27. There’s a huge amount of Russian money in the south west of Surrey now. UKIP on 21% is absolutely nonsensical here. I’d be quite surprised if they made 10%. The Lib Dems will comfortably retain second and, as Tim says, there’ll be an increased Tory majority.

  28. Totally agree with the two previous posters, although the irony of Russian investment hurting an anti-establishment, anti-EU party is amusing.

  29. Less than 10%! Are you kidding, they got over half that in 2010, the UKIP vote will be closer to Robbie’s prediction here, albeit I don’t think they’ll reach 21%.

  30. Prob both UKIP and LD will be in the 15-22% range here, with Cons 45-50%.

  31. No way will UKIP be ahead or Lib Dems here or many other Surrey seats. The only places were they will do well in Surrey are Spelthorne and Epsom and will still come nowhere near winning those either.

  32. There is certainly some support for them in parts of Runnymede & Weybridge too, in parts of Egham, Addlestone & (probably most of) Chertsey.

  33. Yes UKIP are actually probably very likely to finish second there as there is very little labour or lib dem support there. All Surrey seats will remain solidy blue of course. Epsom is very similar to Havering in some respects and could have voters voting RA in the council and UKIP in the general their candidate is a former RA councillor.

  34. Main party candidates:

    Con: Paul Beresford
    Lab: Len Amos
    LD: Paul Kennedy
    UKIP: Stephen Musgrove
    Greens: Jacquetta Fewster

  35. A few days ago Daniel Tubb was selected as UKIP’s third candidate for Mole Valley.

    He’s been replaced today by candidate number 4, Paul Oakley.

  36. Lord Baker has called for a grand coalition in the event of a hung parliament.

  37. I’m not sure how wise his comments are. They may only encourage greater SNP support.

  38. I have moved here(Leatherhead) 4 months ago and surprised how parliamentary candidates seem almost non-existent. Now that the campaigns have kicked off officially, I hope to start seeing their presence although I know who I am voting for certain.

  39. I never knew this part of Dorking existed till I drive past it yesterday.

  40. I’ve campaigned for the Lib Dems here and in other nearby constituencies over the past 20 years. I’m confident they will come a very good 2nd again, a few points people less familiar with the area might be interested in:

    – In comparison with nearby Kingston, Twickenham and Guildford, the Lib Dems here have tended to focus on their council campaigning and not tended to push as hard in the GE campaigns. This was partly as a result of the national party policy on focussing effort on the most likely places to win and in the last two GEs this was Guildford which shares a rural boundary with Mole Valley.

    – When comparing national and local elections, don’t forget the differences in turnout. Although Mole Valley turnouts are good, there are still people who won’t bother to vote for their local councillor but will vote for their sitting Tory MP.

    – A significant chunk of the UKIP vote in local elections are from housing estates. Labour often don’t have candidates (and even when they do, they do very little work here) so the choice has been between Lib Dems/UKIP for the non-Tory vote.

    – There are a few Russians in the constituency but nowhere near enough to have any noticeable effect on the results!

    Personally, I think the Lib Dems could win this eventually but it would take a huge campaigning effort sustained over very many years as has been done in seats such as Dorset and Haringey in London.

  41. Dorset and Haringey? that must have a very high electorate šŸ˜‰

  42. I think that we should ask Paul Way to conduct a ‘straw poll’ in order to resolve the debate on whether UKIP or the Lim Dems come second here šŸ™‚

  43. LibDem candidate in Hopwood ward, Mick Longhurst, 82, has died.

    The election for Mole Valley District Council has therefore been countermanded and so postal votes will not be counted tomorrow.

  44. Conservative Hold. 18,000 maj

  45. Rather encouraging LibDem result here:

    Mole Valley DC, Holmwoods- 18th June 2015

    LD Clare Malcomson 804 [50.2%; +24%]
    LD Clayton Wellman 768
    Conservative 492 [30.7%; +2.1%]
    Conservative 458
    UKIP 201 [12.5%; -19.5%]
    UKIP 180
    Green 105 [6.6%; +/- 0.0%]
    Green 78
    [Labour [0.0%; -6.9%]]

    Turnout: 32.3%
    LD gain from UKIP and LD hold
    Percentage change since 2014

  46. Yes, that 26,000 majority will clearly crumble in 2020…

  47. Only a super-Gloy Plopwell-optimist would fail to acknowledge that the LDs consistently do far better in local than in parliamentary elections here.

  48. The Lib Dems appear to be gaining/holding every local by-election along the South West London / North East Surrey boundary….Grove ward (Kingston), Hampton Wick ward, Wallington, Mole Valley etc….

  49. Another good result for the LDs in this neck of the woods:

    Leatherhead North (Mole Valley) vote result:
    LDEM: 56.6% (+27.4)
    CON: 22.3% (-11.7)
    UKIP: 10.3% (-7.9)
    LAB: 8.9% (-5.7)
    GRN: 1.8% (-2.1)

    As noted above, the LDs have generally been doing well in Council elections in this neck of the wood anyway, so probably a continuation of that and people being more willing to return to them in former strongholds now the coalition has passed.

    Although Mole Valley voted remain overall, I’d imagine this ward voted narrowly to leave, it has far fewer graduates and ABs than the district as a whole and also saw Ukip’s best result in May. On the other hand its mean age is a lot younger than the district as a whole.

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)