2015 Result:
Conservative: 29834 (57%)
Labour: 11360 (21.7%)
Lib Dem: 2385 (4.6%)
Green: 1792 (3.4%)
UKIP: 6294 (12%)
Others: 637 (1.2%)
MAJORITY: 18474 (35.3%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: East Midlands, Nottinghamshire. Parts of Bassetlaw, Newark and Sherwood, and Rushcliffe council areas.

Main population centres: Newark, Southwell, Loudham, Bingham, Aslockton, Collingham, Tuxford.

Profile: A long, mostly rural seat that stretches down the eastern side of Nottinghamshire, with the River Trent and the Great North Road both running through its middle and crossing just north of Newark. The main towns are the affluent Cathedral town of Southwell and the market town of Newark. Much of the area is now a base for commuters into Nottingham, though important local employers include Dixons national distribution centre in Newark, Laurens Patisseries and the antiques trade - Newark hosts the largest antiques fair in Europe at Newark Showground.

Politics: While it now looks like a safe Conservative seat Newark was won by Labour in their 1997 landslide. This was partially thanks to support in Newark`s council estates, partially due to more favourable boundaries before 2010. The former Labour MP Fiona Jones had only a short, and ultimately tragic, tenure in the Commons. In 1999 she was convicted of fraudulently failing to declare all her election expenses and expelled from the Commons, but she won an appeal against the conviction and was reinstated. Her return to the Commons was not a happy one, she unsuccessfully attempted to sue the police for malicious prosecution and became reliant upon alcohol. She lost her seat in 2001 and died six years later of alcoholic liver disease. Her Conservative successor Patrick Mercer represented the seat between 2001 and 2014, but had an acrimonious relationship with party leader David Cameron and eventually resigned from the Commons after a newspaper sting operation caught him agreeing to ask questions in exchange for payment. The Conservatives held the subsequent by -election.

Current MP
ROBERT JENRICK (Conservative) Born 1982. Educated at Wolverhampton Grammar School and Oxford University. Former solicitor and former director of Christies. First elected as MP for Newark in 2014 by-election. PPS to Michael Gove since 2015.
Past Results
Con: 27590 (54%)
Lab: 11438 (22%)
LDem: 10246 (20%)
UKIP: 1954 (4%)
MAJ: 16152 (32%)
Con: 21946 (48%)
Lab: 15482 (34%)
LDem: 7276 (16%)
UKIP: 992 (2%)
MAJ: 6464 (14%)
Con: 20983 (46%)
Lab: 16910 (37%)
LDem: 5970 (13%)
Oth: 1284 (3%)
MAJ: 4073 (9%)
Con: 20480 (39%)
Lab: 23496 (45%)
LDem: 5960 (11%)
MAJ: 3016 (6%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
ROBERT JENRICK (Conservative) See above.
DAVID DOBBIE (Liberal Democrat) Teacher. Contested Bassetlaw 2005, 2010.
HELEN TYRER (Locally Informed Health and Social Care)
Comments - 361 Responses on “Newark”
  1. The eighteenth byelection this Parliament

  2. There’s no point debating a possible Labour or UKIP gain in a seat like this. I’m pretty positive Robert Jenrick is going to end up as the new MP for Newark after the by-election result is declared.

  3. Cameron has to win this or he’s Moyes

  4. The confirmed Conservative candidate for the Newark by-election, Robert Jenrick:

  5. “To be ultra-pedantic, he represented it for 36 years because it was in Carlton until 1974”

    Thanks Pete, I had a feeling I should have checked that more thoroughly.

  6. The Guardian is saying Farage might run…

  7. It is not that likely that Nigel Farage will run in the Newark by-election, Antiochian, given that his best chance will be in Kent, many leagues away from Nottinghamshire (where Newark is). If he tries to do a George Galloway, he may end up gifting the seat to Labour (by taking a lot of Conservative votes but not enough to win outright) who will take many Liberal Democrat votes in this by-election. In either case, this by-election will likely result in a (somewhat close) Conservative hold.

  8. Problem is it would obviously prevent him standing in his home area of Kent which is where he’s always said he would prefer to be a candidate.

  9. Big chance for UKIP – they need to win it I think, or chances are they will drop back a lot at the GE. Proving they can actually win Westminster seats could make a big difference to them.

  10. Nah, they won’t run Farage. Probably be someone local although they’ll have to thoroughly screen them for Twitter rants first.

    There’s a fairly low chance of a UKIP gain here. Labour gain isn’t impossible with a split Tory share but I’d call it unlikely. Probable Tory hold.

  11. The Conservative candidate looks about 12 years old

  12. I was thinking that. So does the Labour candidate – one Michael Payne, Nottinghamshire County Councillor for Arnold North and former Deputy Leader of Gedling Borough Council.

    Seems a bit SpAddy.

  13. UKIP will do better with a local-type candidate similar to the one they fielded in Eastleigh. Farage standing here (which he would only do if he felt the seat was winnable, which seems a long shot at the moment) would only cement his reputation as a bit of a carpetbagger.

  14. Mr Jenwick’s Twitter banner is achingly Cameroon

    ‘Conservative MP candidate for Newark and Bingham, businessman, entrepreneur and Dad’

    I always get annoyed when politicians insist on adding smaller towns to the name of their constituency- lots do it these days.

  15. I can think of more annoying things about politicians myself

  16. Oh I can too but it still irritates me. Not only is it inaccurate, it is also seems to be premised on the view that electors from villages or smaller towns ought somehow to be offended if their settlement doesn’t appear in the name.

  17. My early prediction.

    Con 35
    UKIP 29
    Lab 27
    LD 5
    Other 4

  18. Oh if we’re taking early shots…

    Con 33
    Lab 31
    UKIP 29
    LD 4
    Oth 3

  19. Andy JS – we’re talking about a June 2014 By-election though, not the General Election. They probably stand a better chance at a by-election than the GE. Farage will decide tomorrow.

  20. “I always get annoyed when politicians insist on adding smaller towns to the name of their constituency- lots do it these days.”

    Didn’t Thatch do it by often mentioning Friern Barnet in addition to Finchley?

    I think she started to do so as a consequence of the constituency boundaries changed caused by the creation of the GLC boroughs.

  21. I don’t know why some predictions are putting Labour so high when they could only manage 21% in last year’s local elections, which was actually one point down on the 2010 general election.

  22. Tory – yes, that is annoying. As is the practice of listing their careers – however, when you check the chronology they worked as a solicitor or GP for 2 years. That annoys me as the taxpayer has paid to train them, then they gave it up. Plus they took the place of other prospective students.

  23. Let’s not forget the fact that the Tories got over 50% here in 2010 so it is on paper a safe seat for them.

    It could be similar to the Wythenshawe by-election with Labour and the Tories swapping places. In other words I expect the Tories to win with a significantly reduced but still comfortable majority and Labour and UKIP fighting it out for second place. And it’s difficult to tell if the Lib Dems will hold their deposit.

    A lot will depend on if Farage stands as the UKIP candidate, which I think he won’t. The government will probably try and move the writ as soon as possible so the by election can take place on May 29th (or June 5th if they leave it till early next week), so nominations will lose before the Euro elections meaning Farage won’t be able to stand as a candidate.

  24. Recently the Scottish Boundary Commission has encouraged that sort of thing by trying to include as many places as possible in constituency names. Thankfully in England we still have names like Burton, St Ives, Newark, Hexham.

  25. “And it’s difficult to tell if the Lib Dems will hold their deposit.”

    I would disagree on that. If they could manage 4.9% in Wythenshawe they ought to be able to comfortably save their deposit in a seat like Newark, which has significant LD support in places like Southwell.

  26. Where in current constituency boundaries does Labour enjoy support, after Retford was moved to the Bassetlaw seat? I can’t think of any off the top of my head and seems pretty miraculous they did hold onto 2nd place in 2010.

  27. 2005 actual result: (previous boundaries)

    Con 21,946
    Lab 15,482
    LD 7,276
    Oth 992

    Con maj 6,464

    2005 notional result: (current boundaries)

    Con 22,950
    Lab 12,873
    LD 8,354
    Oth 1,267

    Con maj 10,077

    Difference: 3,613

    Lab maj in 1997 was 3,016.

  28. Neil: mainly in the town of Newark itself and the neighbouring suburb/village of Balderton. Labour almost won Newark West last year — 694 votes to 666:

  29. Newark itself. Not that they are very strong even there.

  30. Con 44
    UKIP 25
    Lab 20
    LD 8
    Oth 3

  31. I don’t think the Lib Dems can drop 12 points without at least SOME of that going to Labour.

  32. Virtually all of the Lib Dem vote is going to come from Southwell, and is exactly why they’ll hold their deposit here.

  33. Here’s an early prediction.

    I think it will be do etching like:

    Con: 31
    UKIP: 29
    Labour: 25
    Lib Dem: 9

  34. I believe this is only the fifth by-election during this Parliament where the contest is taking place in a non-Labour seat.

    UKIP will perform respectably but the idea that they can run so close to the Tories in a safe seat just seems farfetched. Labour managed comfortable holds in Oldham East & Saddleworth (mind you that was a Labour/Lib Dem contest and was before UKIP’s forward march), Barnsley Central and Rotherham (both of them saw big UKIP surges) despite really shitty circumstances surrounding them.

    If Farage is smart he will stay well clear of this seat to protect his reputation. Instead let a local UKIP member from the area stand. For all we know they could turn to be as impressive as Diane James or the Wythenshawe by-election candidate.

  35. My first impressions are:

    Conservatives 36
    UKIP 28
    Labour 25
    Liberal Democrats 8
    Others 3

    As much as I would like my party to surprise here, I don’t see Labour being able to improve much on its 2010 performance, as the spotlight will most definitely be on UKIP, who no doubt will run on anti-sleaze. The Conservatives will take a big hit, and UKIP will seriously compete with them, though I’m not ready to believe this will be super-tight or even that they can win. We shall see how the by-election develops. There’s no doubting Mercer’s resignation will give UKIP a fertile ground for a possible close run.

  36. “I don’t think the Lib Dems can drop 12 points without at least SOME of that going to Labour.”

    Absolutely right, but Labour is likely to lose some support to UKIP at the same time, particularly amongst voters over 60 IMO. So the net result will be Labour on around the same share as before, probably slightly higher but maybe slightly lower.

  37. I believe politicians should be free to name their constituencies as they feel fit. The Boundary Commission in England is often very pofaced against giving seats accurate names, so when significant population centres are omitted, why shouldn’t MPs name check them?

  38. Because what would happen is you’d get MPs adding names of piddling little villages onto the constituency so they look caring and win a couple of hundred votes, and that would carry on until my constituency would be called “Ashby-De-La-Zouch, Coalville, Ibstock, Castle Donington, Kegworth and Worthington”

  39. Southwell – the place where even the locals can’t decide how to pronounce the name of the town, let alone visitors:

  40. Farage decides not to stand.

  41. Surely if the Conservatives win the by election it will be a Conservative Gain from Independent and not a Conservative Hold?

  42. Usually you compare the result to the last election.

  43. Booming announcement on Sky News: Farage not to stand, we ask why. I thought a bit and came up with “he thought he would n’t win.”

  44. Well also he’s got zero connection to the area. That and yes, he’ll probably lose.

    Odds after Farage announcement:
    8/11 CON
    5/2 UKIP
    10/3 Lab

  45. Farage chickens out again, just like Eastleigh.

    If I were Pete Whitehead, Myth11 or 111 I would be banging my head hard against a brick wall this morning.

    For all his tough talk, Farage always ducks out of doing what the party needs to do to get its first MP elected, most likely because he doesn’t want to be elected. Whoever heard of a party leader who doesn’t want to be an MP – an autocratic leader at that, who allows no-one else in the party any profile?

    Farage could have set the bandwagon rolling with the perfect timing, winning the Euro elections and being elected in Newark in the aftermath. He’s blown any chance of that by refusing to stand himself – I agree with others now that this will be a boring Tory hold.

    My money is now going on zero seats for UKIP in 2015. I bet Farage will select a seat where he safely has no hope of winning, probably Orpington or Sevenoaks which is close to where he lives.

  46. H. Hemmelig, why don’t you think Farage wants to be an MP?

  47. Too much like hard work

  48. And because the kind of place UKIP could win is not the kind of place Farage would want to live in.

    Could you see him living in a semi in Skegness or Yarmouth?

    Newark was a rare chance of a winnable seat that is a desirable place to live.

  49. I don’t agree: I think it was the right decision by Farage. A new poll has just come out putting UKIP on 36% for the Euros, 9% ahead of Labour in second place. If Farage had lost Newark it would have deflated the UKIP bandwagon unnecessarily. Farage should focus on winning either Folkestone or Thanet South where he understands local concerns.

  50. Well he wouldn’t have to live in the constituency – Clegg doesn’t really live in Hallam and that’s a very nice area. Not sure about Miliband and Doncaster.

    But I think you might be right that life is a lot easier while he’s an MEP and can shout from the sidelines. The Commons is a lot more of a violent atmosphere than the EP and having 600-odd people from both sides shouting him down every time he speaks might get to him.

    If being an MP for one of the major parties is no fun, being the only MP your party has must be even worse.

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