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. When do nominations close?

  2. Mrnameless – I think the polls only prove that UKIP is more popular than Lenny Henry. I think he was funny in the ’80s, but its a mystery why the BBC wheels him out for every charitable telethon. But more seriously, I take your point. Highlighting race (even by accident due to tweets of candidates) may indeed raise support for UKIP amongst the usually non-voting racists. We will have to wait for analysis of marked registers to see whether more non-voters vote this time.

  3. ‘I see your point, but I think to UKIP voters on the more desperate end of the scale it simply doesn’t matter what one man says about Nigerians as long as they think UKIP will make their life easier. I’m not saying they’re right to think that way but it does seem to be the case.’

    It could be but I think a more likely explanation is that they agree with Lampit’s comments about Nigerians, AIDS and Islam wholeheartedly – just as they if not agree, at least sympathise with the councillor who said disabled babies should be aborted and the councillor who blamed the floods on gay marriage.

    The fact that most mainstream people find it depolorable is almost the point in itself.

    ‘A lot of UKIP voting is driven by fear and anger, two sides of the same coin and two very difficult emotions to read and manage. Until people’s reasons for being fearful and angry (which they’re currently blaming on immigrants and an “elite”) are solved, they’ll continue to feel that way.’

    Again I don’t really buy that. From what I can tell it seems borne of a general desire to be as nasty as possible than either fear or anger. UKIP voters aren’t as stupid as they portrayed

    Thus it’s difficult in not resorting to being critical of people who say these things and those viters who choose to believe them, although it’s obviously an ineffective way of persuading them to mend their ways

    IMHO UKIP’s rise says something extremely unpleasant about the UK

  4. I agree. But there isn’t a great deal of point in panicking about it – remembering that UKIP is actually an anti-politics party and really don’t want to be involved in the business of running anything

    I certainly think they are picking up votes from older people which may be why they register more highly in the ‘sure to vote’ polls, and those who have stopped bothering to vote since 2001 – fair few, for both parties

    However, it is pointless for the majority to pander to a populist minority. We have perhaps been fortunate not to have this sort of party before because of our electoral system and of course this will still come into play at the GE

  5. Maybe so (Tim’s point about something extremely unpleasant), but another explanation is the wholesale disenfranchisement of a whole section of voters with mainstream party politics. Lifelong Labour, Tory or Lib Dem voters making moves to UKIP doesn’t happen overnight. They feel shut out and voiceless by the three main parties (and I can’t stand the phrase LibLabCon, by the way) that offensive remarks by UKIP councillors doesn’t affect them anymore. Their anger for the Westminster bubble overrides that. Vast majority of these voters are NOT racist people, rather they simply loathe establishment parties. Furthermore UKIP is not the BNP and has been acknowledged as a legitimate party by mainstream politicians. Nick Clegg willingly shared a stage with Nigel Farage to debate after all, so he’s not seen as another Griffin. Add to this falling voter turnout and diminishing party membership, it’s a perfect storm for UKIP to take advantage of. Just a shame some of their members make these comments.

    I wouldn’t vote for UKIP but I don’t begrudge most people who do vote for them and fall into the above category.

  6. Nigel Farage would appear to have made the right decision, i.e. not standing in Newark. I don’t see how a conscientious MEP could also be an MP for a seat in a different Euroseat area.

    All the signs are that Nigel Farage is likely to stand in Thanet South in 2015, although he will not be announcing this until after the European elections. As UKIP is maturing as a party, I would hope that Farage will have to go through a selection process involving UKIP members in Thanet South.

    newark seems to have been unlucky with successive MPs. It is to be hoped that the major parties have been more careful with their selections this time round.

  7. ‘Furthermore UKIP is not the BNP and has been acknowledged as a legitimate party by mainstream politicians.’

    UKIP certainly isn’t the BNP – they are two totally different partoes who agree on some things – the EU, immigration – but disagree on far more – economic policy, role of the state etc – but they do seem to appeal to the same type of people – WWC – despite their wide-ranging policy differences

  8. Tim,

    I agree that UKIP casts a dark shadow on British politics. Regardless of the rights or wrongs of their policies it’s a negative party all the way, and I’ve never seen anything positive put forward by them. But I just can’t see their voters as really bad people.

    There certainly are racists, misogynists and homophobes among them, and I’d wager there are probably more than the other parties. But it’s important to remember that every racist, homophobe or misogynist has a story. That character trait doesn’t exist in a vacuum and if they’re that way it’s because something caused or encouraged them to be.

    “From what I can tell it seems borne of a general desire to be as nasty as possible than either fear or anger.”

    I see where you’re coming from, especially some of the more vocal online Kippers I’ve spoken to. But most of their voters aren’t especially cruel or nasty people, or don’t set out to be. They’re often lashing out at a system and society that, rightly or wrongly, they perceived to have wronged them.

    While condemning their nasty views, the main parties still need to consider what they could have done to help those people and work to make their situation better. As you say, “The fact that most mainstream people find it deplorable is almost the point in itself”. They’re making a statement that they’re against all of what they perceive modern Britain to stand for.

    It’s the hardest thing in the world not to hate those people whose views you find hateful. As a Labour member with divorced parents and an immigrant father I’ve learned that from being on the nastier end of some comments myself. But I didn’t get into politics because I wanted to hate people, I did it because I wanted to make their lives better. The people with whom I’m most angry are not the UKIP voters themselves, but their leaders who exploit people’s anger and alienation to support their own careers.

  9. It’s certainly not about hating UKIP and still less the people who – for whatever reason – vote for them, but neither is it about pandering to them. There is a tendency amongst some people to want to soft pedal, to understand a bit too much and, in particular, to become mesmerised by the ‘irrepressible’ cheeky chappy Farage. The guy is a complete menace. We need to tackle their negativist arguments head on and name them for what they essentially are – a despairing, rage filled rant.

  10. As if the Lib Dems are not a negative party. UKIP may be causing net damage to the Tories but as I’ve argued – I’m not sure that’s the net position everywhere. In those 2013 county council elections, if the other two parties had done better instead of UKIP, the tory seat losses would have been significantly worse. A 1993 result would certainly have unleashed panic.

  11. Dr John – who is this ‘we’ of whom you speak. You seem to assume that contributors to this site all share your own prejudices, as if their not members and supporters of UKIP on this site as there are of all parties. PLease familiarise yourself with the comments policy which I linked to in the post above yours.

    “This means that it is not a place for spinning, not a place for saying how much you hate party X and wish they would lose, nor it is a place for saying what party should win, or what the public should support. We are interested in what will happen, what the public actually think, not what you think they should do. Treat other commenter who don’t share your views with respect – it’s your chance to understand their point of view, not score points off them – and indeed, politicians from opposing parties with respect. Comments that talk about Zanu-NuLab, one-eyed Scottish idiots and so on are not conducive to the non-partisan sort of discussion we want here and will probably never leave moderation.”

  12. Quite Pete. I personally find socialism a hateful ideology, but this site is for electoral discussion, not for talking about who one does or does not like.

  13. I’m actually not surprised by the UKIP poll ratings. I suspect it’s easy for many in London to assume the rest of the UK is similar. I recall the shock when the BNP won their first Council seat in the mid ’90s. However, a poll the next week showed 36% supported repatriation. I think it’s easy to forget these views exist, as they hardly ever appear in the media, or are shouted down on BBC Question Time – which entrenches such views. What interests me is the failure of the far Left to make any inroads since the financial crisis in 2008.

  14. They aren’t sufficiently organised to do so and spend most of their time arguing with each other. the People’s Front of Judea/Judean People’s Front syndrome.

    Its all very well to say that the main parties aren’t saying what the voters who support UKIP want to hear. If that isn’t what those parties believe surely principle has to come into it somewhere along the line.

    If my party started espousing the sort of things UKIP advocate then they clearly wouldn’t be the Labour party. Just because something is popular doesn’t make it right. There does have to be a bottom line

  15. Thanks very much for the advice guys. I will humbly try to do better in the future. Good to see that all contributors on here – including Pete and Joe – are always 100% scrupulous on observing every rubric of the ‘comments policy’. We must all learn from your shining example.

  16. I should also say that I do agree that we should always treat other people’s views with respect. I do think that this is very important. Hate filled comment (of which there is very little on this site) – or even the total dismissal of other people’s points of view is something that we should try to avoid.

  17. I quite agree with Pete. Although we all air our views from time to time, this is a website for discussing psephology.

  18. Incidentally, I have nothing against Dr John- I was just approving of the general principle set out in Pete’s post.

  19. I think this thread has been pretty dreadful really – the same kind of partisan grandstanding you get on Mike Smithson’s site and elsewhere.

  20. Who on earth is Mike Smithson?

  21. Political Betting

  22. Quite eye-bulging that so many people think UKIP have little chance of winning Newark, given that it would be no more impressive than the previous anti-establishment (supposedly) party – Lib Dems – did this sort of thing from low bases more than once in the 90s.

    Also sure Farage’s decision not to stand will help UKIP in both the Euros and Newark, as well as thereafter for Farage being freer to lead nationally. They might have been slightly better off had he said straight off that he was going to campaign to win there but not stand himself – but again, by doing what he did he gained them a whole heap of extra publicity so who knows? Every bit more makes them somewhat more mainstream in the eyes of unsure voters.

  23. I think it’s fair enough for us to refer to some of our prejudices from time to time, but not at any length. I am sorry if I have broken the comments policy at any time, but generally it is sufficient for readers to know that, for example, I cannot stand Simon Hughes or Paddy Ashdown; a long discussion as to why they are actually good or bad politicians isn’t appropriate. If I myself transgress again – and I think it’s a long time since I did – please tell me, somebody. I do however reserve the right to attack any genuine neo-Fascists such as the BNP or their various offshoots, even though they are quite good at attacking themselves & it’s tempting to think they don’t need our help in that regard, at times.

  24. My 2p worth is that although I disagree with much of what UKIP believe, I find it highly tiresome that people find it more convenient to bombard the party with hackneyed allegations of racism or naziism than to properly engage in debate on the issues. Same goes for those on the left always attacked as “marxists” when they clearly are not.

    Believing that the majority of UKIP members or voters could be nasty hardline racists is just daft. As I’ve posted on here many times before, no hardcore racist would be satisifed with UKIP policy, which is colour blind and does not seek to either end immigration nor to deport immigrants already here (legally). Though almost collapsed, the BNP and NF are still in existance and attracting a shoestring of votes from the small minority of people with those kind of views.

    I’d also like to say that I very much like and respect at least three of the four regular UKIPpers who post here, despite often disagreeing with them – Pete Whitehead, Myth11 and Richard (who I assume is UKIP these days). That just leaves 111 – well three out of four ain’t bad.

    It is easy to drift off the comments policy at times so it’s useful when people remind those who have seriously breached it. Runneymede is also right that this site shouldn’t become another Political Betting.

  25. To throw some light on Andy’s question about close of nominations for Newark by-election. HoC timetable (latest issue 20 Apr 2014) See:-

    Writ moved on Day 0 (=30 April). Nominations close on Days 6, 7 or 8. Can’t count Sat, Sun or Bank Hol (5 May). So I make it earliest Fri 9 May, latest Tues 13 May. SOPN to be issued, once objections sorted out on Days 6,7,or 8.

    By-election to take place between Days 21 to 27. Day 21 = 2nd June, Day 27 = 10June. By-election on 5 June. (Don’t forget 26 May is another Bank Hol.)
    – Hope I got that right!


  26. I agree with H. Hemmelig on this, and would like to apologise to anyone who feels I’ve breached the Comments Policy here. I do my best to stay within it but like we all do it seems I sometimes get carried away.

  27. Everyone breaches the comments policy occasionally.

    Thanks Blake. So UKIP haven’t got long to find a suitable candidate.

  28. ” Richard (who I assume is UKIP these days) ”

    I will vote for them but only because they are the anti-establishment, anti-metropolitan party.

    I do not care for their increasing social conservatism and I have no expectation that they could govern effectively – though in that they’re no worse than the other parties. Likewise they’re no worse at disliking people different to themselves than the other parties.

    I do think that Farage could organise a piss-up in a brewery though.

    Which is more than Cameron, Clegg and Miliband could do.

  29. I’ve followed some of the comments subsequent to mine re comments policy. I too would like to apologise for drifting into a such a partisan discussion with my previous contribution on here. I suppose my 2p on UKIP’s support which I’ve had in my mind for a long time just came out when this clearly isn’t the place for that. Should’ve known better.

  30. I’ve said elsewhere that there could be a single day overlap for postal votes. In told that, in the worst case scenario, the postal vote overlap could begin the week of May 22nd. It depends on whether they’re sent out three or two weeks before June 5th.

  31. Most of us drift into personal and partisan reflections from time to time and my view is that is OK in small doses and as long as we remain courteous to others. Reminders about the comments policy every so often are timely I guess. What I loathe is when matters becomes abusive and personal and this seems to happen only rarely on here, thank goodness. I have had experiences in the past (e.g. on the old Spectator Coffee House Wall before it was removed) which were quite shocking in terms of the vitriol and personal abuse which was unleashed in response to even mild mannered comments.

  32. The tory parties record at by elections both local and national is horrific. However this is one of the few seats I think they can hold mainly because I doubt there will be an obvious challanger and I don’t see their vote dropping low enough.

  33. Some party called the patriotic socalist party are running here too. Who are they?

  34. I would have thought postal votes could be pretty crucial here. I wonder how many were cast last time and how efficient the Tories will be locally in getting them organised again this time. This is after all what saved the Lib Dems from defeat in Eastleigh.

  35. Needs a 16% two party swing to Labour for them to take the seat which feels highly unlikely, even without the unpredictable impact of a larger UKIP vote. These are the kind of swings that Labour were getting in by-elections prior to their 1997 victory. I would predict something like:

    Con – 35
    Labour – 28
    UKIP – 26
    Lib Dem – 8
    Others – 2

  36. The patriotic socialist party are a band of idiots.

  37. I think everything depends on candidate selection. Despite my previous remarks like Far Easterner I wouldn’t entirely discount UKIP winning, though it’s unlikely. If they get an excellent local candidate in place against what seems to be another soulless London-based Tory SPAD it could set the bandwagon going. Ed Miliband might also want to consider whether to sit back and give UKIP an easy ride, given they’ve little chance of winning. A UKIP victory would be exceptionally damaging to the Tories hence good for Labour. In order to win UKIP will have to pick up a fair few Labour voters.

  38. Certainly agree this by-election is difficult to call. Could even be close to 30-30-30 Con- Lab – UKIP. Surely Ed Miliband cannot just concede this one and has to work hard to try and win. There is a solid Labour vote (i.e. it is not an area of exceptional Labour weakness like Surrey or West Sussex) and Labour have won in Newark in living memory, albeit on different boundaries.

  39. If UKIP win the Euros handily it would give them tremendous momentum for a possible upset in Newark. There are 10 days between the announcement of the Euro results and the opening of polling stations for the by-election, just the ideal amount of time from a publicity point of view.

  40. But this ‘Newark’ is very different to the seat we won in 97. I honestly do not think its winnable for Labour.

  41. It is unfair to refer to the Patriotic Socialist Party as a band of idiots – they haven’t enough members.

  42. According to the 2005 notionals, the current Newark seat is about 3,500 votes better for the Tories than the previous version. Since Labour won by 3,000 votes in 1997, the Tories might just have held on by around 500 votes with the current constituency, although it’s all speculation of course.

    (Incidentally, there were no boundary changes in 1997, but the 1983 version added about 3,000 votes to the Tory majority. So the current seat is about 6,500 votes “better” for the Tories than the 1974-83 incarnation).

  43. Which, when you remember that the Conservative majority in 1979 was under 3%, shows how much this constituency has trended rightwards since then.

  44. it was a labour if somewhat narrow banker from 1950 to 1979

  45. I find the above comments re- boundary changes very interesting. The result in Newark in October 1974 was:

    ES Bishop Labour 26,598 47.89%
    DH Cargill Conservative 20,827 37.50%
    IGM Jones Liberal 8,116 14.61%

    Electorate: 71,346; Turnout: 77.85%;
    Majority: 5,771 (10.39%)

    If the impact of successive boundary changes is as stated above – ie to the Tory advantage of 6500 – then Labour could be in with a shout here. I have to say,however, that I had understood that boundary changes here had given the Tories a significantly greater bonus than that.

  46. A lot depends on well the parties are doing e.g 2010 was a ok 36% year for the cons but in 1983 they got a far better 42.5 % so boundary changes should not the the only factor to be taken in to account.

  47. I think the 1983 boundary changes were quite substantial in helping the Tories but I’ll need to re-check the figures, and they were again in 2010.

    But Labour managed to poll over 20,000 votes here in 1992 – a relatively good year for them – but not good enough.

    I too do find the way it’s so often commented as a given that the 1997 result was some one off a bit odd.

  48. The 1983 boundary changes boosted the Tory majority from 1,751 to 5,092.

    There were no boundary changes in 1997.

    The 2010 boundary changes increased the Con maj from 6,464 to 10,077.

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