New Forest West

2015 Result:
Conservative: 28420 (59.9%)
Labour: 5133 (10.8%)
Lib Dem: 3293 (6.9%)
Green: 2748 (5.8%)
UKIP: 7816 (16.5%)
MAJORITY: 20604 (43.5%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Hampshire. Part of the New Forest council area.

Main population centres: Lymington, Ringwood, New Milford, Fordingbridge, Barton-on-Sea, Milford-on-Sea.

Profile: A long thin seat along the western edge of the New Forest national park, it includes the western fringes of the park itself, the market towns of Ringwood, Fordingbridge and New Milton that border it and, in the south, the port of Lymington and the coastal villages of Milford-on-Sea and Barton-on-Sea.

Politics: An extremely safe Conservative seat, held by Desmond Swayne since its creation in 1997.

Current MP
DESMOND SWAYNE (Conservative) Born 1956. Educated at Bedford School and St Andrews University. Former bank manager. Contested Pontypridd 1987, West Bromwich West 1992. First elected as MP for New Forest West in 1997. PPS to Iain Duncan Smith 2001-2003, PPS to Michael Howard 2003-2005, PPS to David Cameron 2005-2012, Government whip 2012-2014. Minister of State for International Development since 2014. Swayne is a Major in the Territorial Army and saw active service in Iraq.
Past Results
Con: 27980 (59%)
Lab: 4666 (10%)
LDem: 11084 (23%)
UKIP: 2783 (6%)
Oth: 1059 (2%)
MAJ: 16896 (36%)
Con: 26004 (56%)
Lab: 7590 (16%)
LDem: 8719 (19%)
UKIP: 1917 (4%)
Oth: 1837 (4%)
MAJ: 17285 (38%)
Con: 24575 (56%)
Lab: 6481 (15%)
LDem: 11384 (26%)
UKIP: 1647 (4%)
MAJ: 13191 (30%)
Con: 25149 (51%)
Lab: 7092 (14%)
LDem: 13817 (28%)
Oth: 1542 (3%)
MAJ: 11332 (23%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
DESMOND SWAYNE (Conservative) See above.
JANET RICHARDS (Green) Contested New Forest West 2005, 2010.
Comments - 26 Responses on “New Forest West”
  1. prediction for 2015-

    Con- 50%
    UKIP- 21%
    Lib- 14%
    Lab- 12%
    Green- 3%

  2. The Lib Dem candidate is Imogen Shepherd-DuBey.

  3. Conservative Hold. 19,000 maj

  4. Desmond Swayne has been knighted in the Queen’s birthday honours.

  5. He’s long been Cameron’s sidekick.

    Only been at the same place as him once, but he was dismissive of everyone (not the best practice when we all had to pen copy about DC’s visit). It was when DC was a newish Leader in 2007 and he came to Blackpool and Liverpool.

  6. Cameron’s former PPS, I think I’m right in saying. He is a leaver, however.

  7. Ah that makes sense. He must have been as soon as DC became Leader.

  8. He was Cameron’s PPS for 7 years (2005-12).

    Mr Swayne is known for his early morning swims in the Serpentine. I don’t think Mr Cameron’s ever done that, but they did run together.

  9. Amusingly, this MP supports the – now abandoned – NICs rose for the self-employed in his local paper today. As its deadline passed before he could withdraw it.

    He admits to “slavishly” supporting any Govt policy in a complaint to the Speaker.

  10. ‘He’s long been Cameron’s sidekick.’

    They might get on – I think the former (and let’s face it
    better) PM considers Swayne did a first class job as his PPS – but he’s not Cameroon

    As is often the case in Tory circles, they pair people from different wings of the party, as Swayne is definitely on the Brexit Right of the Tory Party, and not a natural Cameron ally

  11. The polls of course say the opposite to your viewpoint.

    But yes, I imagine any PM would like all their MPs to be as “slavish” as this one admits to being.

  12. Milford Ward By-election, 05.04.18:

    Conservative 1,057
    Liberal Democrat 200
    Labour 126

    Cons Hold.

  13. Pennington (New Forest) result:

    CON: 42.0% (-10.1)
    LDEM: 37.6% (+8.8)
    IND: 12.2% (+12.2)
    LAB: 8.2% (-10.9)

    Conservative HOLD.

  14. Ah, I see that Sir Desmond Dwayne has appeared on a TV show hosted by a Holocaust denier, which also featured David Duke as a regular guest. All very normal.

    Obviously he should lose the whip. Equally obviously, he won’t.

  15. Sir Desmond Swayne, that is? I suppose he can claim ignorance of those things.

  16. David Duke’s politics are a little hard to categorise as he’s all over the place.

    He must be one of the only pro-Palestinian white supremacists around.

    How the Republicans – which were much more mainstream than they are today when he ran for Louisiana governor in 1991 – allowed a fairly unrepentant former grand wizard of the ku kux klan to be a candidate still beggars belief. It’s like Nick Griffin being allowed to run for the Tories – which would never happen

    Right-wing Democrat John Byrd of West Virginia was also ex klan, although unlike Duke he went out of his way to say how wrong he had been and how much he regretted it.

    Whilst he was a fairly dodgy character – mr pork barrel politics – he always struck me as sincere.

  17. As it happens I was listening to a podcast today which talked about this. So I did a bit of reading. David Duke stood in a jungle primary which is something I’ve only discovered this year but for those who don’t know it’s a normal primary but anyone can partake; democrats, republicans, etc. it’s a bit like an instant run off if parties submitted multiple candidates. Duke actually only won a third of the vote but because the rest of the republican candidates votes were split four ways it was Duke who went through against the Democrat.

    George Bush Snr actually told voters not to vote for him. This is why I think runoffs are bad. Only two candidates go through on less than a third. Easily can lead to far right candidates sneaking through to the second round. Just look at France 2002 and 2017 or the Doncaster Mayoralty race in 2008.

    I don’t know if its pro Palestine or how his anti semitism manifests. I believe Nick Griffin also has similar sentiments. It’s fairly common i think amongst supremacists from that period. I think the rise of islamaphobia has led to a realignment. I read an interview in the Jewish Chronicle with Tommy Robinson. He described the conflict between Israel and Palestine to be part of wider conflict between the west and islam. It’s our fight too was what he said i think. A rather sceptical interviewer asked Tommy Robinson what he thought of when Israel and Jew, and he said ‘victims’. At that point the interviewer said ‘really, are you being serious now’

  18. Any discussion of these issues often leads to posts being stuck in moderation!

    But what would you replace the instant run-off with, Matt? A winner getting in on less than 50% of the votes?

    I do notice that despite the historic link between anti-Semitism and the populist right, some of the latter group have embraced Israel wholeheartedly. I think the way Robinson defines it as the west vs Islam probably explains it. Almost like “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Almost like the way elements of the left ally themselves with Palestine and are anti-Zion ist. Being pro-Israel is now seen as right wing, whilst being pro-Palestine is more left wing.

    I notice that a lot of Wikipedia articles on Labour MPs from the last Parliament have been edited to have two facts added: a) that they supported Owen Smith in the 2016 leadership election and b) they they are a member of Labour Friends of Israel. It’s not hard to see the subtle inferences going on there.

  19. I’m certainly not advocating for a winner takes all system. While I’m not a fan of a knock out system it would seem the least worst option for some primaries, mayoralties, presidential, etc. I’m sure had some of the minor republican candidates got knocked out at each stage of the knock out process then their votes would have redistributed to the incumbent republican on 26% and got him past Duke instead of knocking the 26% candidate out in the first round

    Same goes for the French elections. I’m sure the minor left parties would have got the parti socialiste past the FN in 2002 as they were both on 15% of the vote. Equally I’m sure Hamon’s left wing voters would either have got the fellow leftist Melenchon on 19% or even the right wing Fillon on 20% past Le Pen on 21%.

    In Doncaster I’m sure knocking out the mainstream parties wpuld helped Labour get past the English Democrats to get them into the final two with the independent. In that case tge failure to see the outcome of the English Dem v Independent meant not enough people gave the independent enough 2nd votes to win. That is one problem with preferencial voting with ine ballot. If you don’t guess right you waste your vote.

    I did that this year in the internal elections for the Labour Party. I voted for two moderates thinking that the candidate that i didn’t want to win, Luke Akehurst might sneak on otherwise, as it was Luke got a big vote and won in the first ballot.

    The left have had the opposite trajectory. After the 2nd world war the left were very keen on helping the millions of displaced Jews find somewhere where they were safe. However, the moderates weren’t so keen and historically the Labour Party as early as Kier Hardie had said some unpleasant things about Jews. Ernie Bevin who was Foreign Secretary and Gen Sec of the TGWU was anti-jew and his fellow TGWU and protégé George Brown, future deputy leader and SDP defector, was not keen on Israel either . But like most moderates and unlike Bevin, George Brown realised he’d lost the argument to the left MPs like Ian Mikardo and Nye Bevan.

    There were also about 47 Jewish Labour MPs at the time which was impressive given there were only 50 Jewish MPs full stop. Many representing large poor Jewish communities in the East End. Things started to change after Suez crisis. Lots of Jews were supportive of action in Egypt and when Labour MPs voted against it they lost their seats because of Jewish voters swinging to the Tories in the next election. A bit like Tommy Robinson I think the left viewed Jews as victims but today they now view the Palestinians as victims.

    There obviously exceptions. Barry Gardner though a member of the New Labour government has been a Corbyn loyalist was vice chair of friends of Israel. Lisa Nandy, once touted for leader by corbyn supporters like Owen Jones became critical of many party positions under Corbyn, is chair of friends Palestine. Layla Moran, tbf of Palestine descent but in a party that doesn’t really discuss the conflict as at great length as Labour does, is also in friends of Palestine. I understand the former tory leader of North Herts was very pro Palestine and wouldn’t provide kosher for the leader of tye Conservative party in 2005

  20. Just as anti Semitiam was in vogue in right wing circles, 100 years ago, today it’s anti Islamism, largely as a result of the terrorist atrocities perpetrated by people who said they were doing it in the name of Islam

    Hence the split between the old right – Duke, Taaki, Griffin and the New – Robinson, wilders, Baker – which is unequivocally pro Israel – primarily because they are the state most engaged in killing Islamics.

    It really is as simple as that.

  21. If only they had more sympathy with the Kurds who have done most the heavy lifting in killing islamic fundamentalists in Northern Syria and in return face attacks by Turkey

  22. Let’s be fair, the danger of the far right is not as an electoral force, the repeating pattern across the West is that when the far right gets even a sniff of legislative power, the mainstream parties band together to shut it out.

    The real threat of the far right is twofold: influencing the discourse/shifting the Overton window; and breeding terrorists.

  23. Tim:
    “Just as anti Semitiam was in vogue in right wing circles, 100 years ago, today it’s anti Islamism, largely as a result of the terrorist atrocities perpetrated by people who said they were doing it in the name of Islam”
    And the huge demographic change in the Western world, which has seen the Muslim populations of Europe grow at an unprecedented level.

    “Hence the split between the old right – Duke, Taaki, Griffin and the New – Robinson, wilders, Baker”
    Who is Taaki? (Surely not Taki in the Spectator.) And who is Baker?

    And Matt, maybe instant run-off is slightly different to other preferential voting systems for picking one candidate as winner, and it’s all about how the votes are redistributed. I’m not an expert on that.

    Interesting history on Labour and Jewish voters – I didn’t know about Suez. I wonder if there’s any long-term polling on their voting patterns? I do recommend the BBC Radio Archive on 4 prog which Jo Coburn did about this subject a few years ago:
    (Honestly, I don’t work for the BBC, I just find that radio documentaries are one of the ways I like to learn about politics etc)

    There was a similar one on the World Service from 1990 which can still be heard too (Omnibus: British Jews from Socialism to Thatcherism).

    Basically, Jewish voters have largely moved up the social scale since the initial wave of immigration in the early 20th century, and this moved them from Labour to the Conservatives, the same way as happened with Maggie and the C1s/C2s. It certainly doesn’t mean that all Jewish voters are rich (which perpetuates a stereotype), but many are in affluent middle-class areas of Finchley, Golders Green, Hendon etc. David Lammy described his Jewish voters (in Stamford Hill?) as not being well-off, and needing a Labour government. That may be a difference between Orthodox and Liberal/Reform/secular Jewish areas. Plus, as with other minority groups, Jewish voters can easily be sympathetic to conservative ideas.

  24. By Taki I was referring to taki theodaracopulos and Baker Tory MP Steve Baker, two fairly unhinged individuals that frequent the fringes of right wing politics yet have profoundly different views on Jews and Israel

    Of course, demographic change in the west has played a massive part in part in changing attitudes towards Jews and Muslims but it’s no surprise that an increasing amount of today’s European and American far right look to Israel as sone kind of fatherland – the holy grail as it were

    Let’s face it, there’s much in Israel for such people to admire and to my mind they seem like tailor-made bedfellows

  25. I had a feeling you were referring to Taki Theodoracopulos (Taki, the Spectator columnist). He’s hardly in the same league as David Duke and Nick Griffin. I’m not sure Steve Baker is in the same league as Tommy Robinson and Geert Wilders ever. Taki does seem to have some odd views. Baker came across as quite moderate when discussing racial issues on Politics Live not long ago. He is an evangelical Christian and fairly socially conservative. Hardly on the fringes, even if it isn’t to our taste.

  26. Baker might not be as dislikeabke as some of his fellow right wing colleagues – Andrew Bridgen, Mark Francoise for example – but he’s every bit as Conservative and like many on today’s Right – he’s hugely pro-Israel.

    I wasn’t trying to compare him to Tommy Robinson beyond the fact he’s yet another – albeit very different – pro-Semitic right winger when they 30/40 years ago you couldn’t find any

    Show how the right has evolved as has the Left – which obviously during Israel’s early years were it’s biggest cheerleaders.

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