Newton Abbot

2015 Result:
Conservative: 22794 (47.3%)
Labour: 4736 (9.8%)
Lib Dem: 11506 (23.9%)
Green: 2216 (4.6%)
UKIP: 6726 (14%)
TUSC: 221 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 11288 (23.4%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: South West, Devon. Part of the Teignbridge council area.

Main population centres: Newton Abbot, Kingsteignton, Dawlish, Teignmouth.

Profile: Covers the town of Newton Abbot and the strip of coast between the estuaries of the Teign and the Exe. Newton Abbot is a historic market town that boomed as a Victorian railway town, it was the home of the south Devon Railway works and British Rail had workshops here until 1981. To the east of the town is the wide estuary of the River Teign and the collection of villages around it. On the coast Dawlish and Teignmouth are both former fishing villages that became popular seaside resorts with the coming of the railway and have remained popular with tourists and people retiring to the coast.

Politics: There has been a seat centred on this area since 1983, called Teignbridge until boundary changes in 2010. It was originally a solid Conservative seat but in some previous elections has been a close marginal between the Tories and Liberal Democrats.


Current MP
ANNE-MARIE MORRIS (Conservative) Born 1957, London. Educated at Bryanston School and Oxford University. Former lawyer and owner of a marketing company. West Sussex County councillor 2005. First elected as MP for Newton Abbot in 2010.
Past Results
2010
Con: 20774 (43%)
Lab: 3387 (7%)
LDem: 20251 (42%)
UKIP: 3088 (6%)
Oth: 783 (2%)
MAJ: 523 (1%)
2005*
Con: 21593 (35%)
Lab: 6931 (11%)
LDem: 27808 (46%)
UKIP: 3881 (6%)
Oth: 685 (1%)
MAJ: 6215 (10%)
2001
Con: 23332 (39%)
Lab: 7366 (12%)
LDem: 26343 (44%)
UKIP: 2269 (4%)
MAJ: 3011 (5%)
1997
Con: 24679 (39%)
Lab: 11311 (18%)
LDem: 24398 (39%)
Oth: 2557 (4%)
MAJ: 281 (0%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Teignbridge

Demographics
2015 Candidates
ANNE-MARIE MORRIS (Conservative) See above.
ROY FREER (Labour) Publican.
RICHARD YOUNGER-ROSS (Liberal Democrat) Born 1953, Surrey. Educated at Walton County Secondary School for Boys and Oxford Polytechnic. Contested Teignbridge 1992, 1997. MP for Teignbridge 2001-2010.
ROD PEERS (UKIP)
STEVEN SMYTH-BONFIELD (Green) Counsellor.
SEAN BROGAN (TUSC)
Links
Comments - 239 Responses on “Newton Abbot”
  1. Con Estimate
    Re Cheltenham I’m not so sure, if there was a by-election there I’d certainly put the Libs as favourites. The thing is as much as peeps have been reading loads into Richmond it was fairly unique not only in that it was VERY Remain but also had a high profile incumbent standing as an independent, is a super affluent area etc etc.

    Cheltenham might not have been as heavily Remain as Richmond but its more “Lib friendly” in most every other respect. Property prices haven’t reached the insane levels of Richmond, the Libs have been extremely robust locally and still control the council and of course their not trying to overturn a 20,000 odd majority.

    Its pretty obvious Brexit was the nail in Goldsmiths coffin but clearly a lot of Remainers voted for him regardless of his views on that issue. In Cheltenham though I imagine the Libs vote was made up of many people who will have voted Leave but would probably still back the Libs in an election. Throw in the fact that there will certainly be some quite peeved off Liberal Tories in the seat and I’d put the Libs as clear favourites in Cheltenham if there was a by-election.

    Brexit may have been a catalyst for the Lib Dems revival but how an area voted in the referendum isn’t the sole measurement of their electability. For example say there were by-elections in the following Tory held seats. Chelsea and Fulham will have been hugely Remain but the Libs would probably have no chance of winning it, Eastleigh on the other hand was a win for Leave but I’d have the Libs as definite favourites in a by election.

  2. “Brexit may have been a catalyst for the Lib Dems revival but how an area voted in the referendum isn’t the sole measurement of their electability” EXACTLY RIGHT.

    Cheltenham is, I think, one of the absolute best prospects in the whole country for the Lib Dems. They dominate the council. They held it 92-15. They still came close in ’15. If Martin Horwood stands again, I’d say it is — behind Edinburgh W and Cambridge — their third easiest gain on the night.

  3. Doubtful. They don’t have the same local standing in many. East Dunbartonshire will slip far away without Swinson. NE Fife maybe… No to K&S, Twickenham without Vince? Not sure. Eastbourne, Lewes, and Bath are all maybes, but they have much further to go in Bath especially.

  4. Personally I think the Libs best bet for a regain is Bath, I’m pretty amazed they lost it to be frank, the new Tory MP has got in some trouble locally, the seat was hugely Remain, on paper very Lib friendly demographics and there is a big Green and Lab vote for them to squeeze.

  5. I’m not so positive on the last two of your Labour gains. I tend to think 2015 was a one-off for Labour in Hallam. Not sure they’ll get that close ever again.

    As for Southport… That’s harder to say.

    And I really think people are underestimating the LD chances in Cheltenham, but overly ramping them elsewhere. Cheltenham is FAR more likely to be regained than Torbay and probably more likely than St. Ives and Thornbury since the former MPs there look unlikely to stand again. Horwood is less necessary to LD hopes in Cheltenham than George in St. Ives (basically was his personal fief more than an LD seat) or Webb in Thornbury (a seat he basically single handedly made LD). Cheltenham was LD before Horwood and likely will be after him, too.

    Additionally, even if he’s not necessary, he’s already been reselected so there’s that. I’d expect him to easily defeat Chalk next time around.

  6. Don’t think I’d expect Horwood to “easily” beat Chalk but I think Cheltenham is probably the LDs best shot at a seat in the SW along with Bath

  7. Although the Tory majority is quite small Torbay district had the highest percentage Leave vote in the EU referendum of any district in the SW. I suggest that makes the parliamentary seat a tougher Lib Dem target than it might first appear.

  8. Kieran is absolutely right re Torbay- the Tories can have a lot of fun in that seat regarding Farron’s statements on Brexit. I think an increased Conservative majority is on the cards.

  9. Why does Sanders stand accused of sour grapes?

  10. I’m guessing that would be to do with the fuss he’s made about Tory election expenses?

  11. George Eaton for one believes that the likes of Torbay are not beyond the Lib Dems’ reach:

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2016/12/why-lib-dems-can-win-leave-seats

    A lot has been said about whether Brexit will affect voting in the next general election when it may be a done deal by then. My personal take on it is that, while Brexit may not itself be an issue at that point, it will have massively changed the playing field in terms of the issues on which voters make their decisions. Leave voters will be more likely to turn to the Conservatives not because they want to leave the EU (or I guess stay out of it), but because they harbour cultural values that the Conservatives also hold and which Brexit has made more salient (whereas before these values may have been trumped by issues which caused them to vote for another party).

  12. Also probably worth pointing out that the council area boundaries aren’t the same as the constituency. Brixham and Blatchcombe (west Paignton) aren’t in the constituency and I’d guess would’ve been particularly good for Leave given UKIP’s performance in the locals – not that it would make a huge difference.

    I expect it will still be a Lib Dem target assuming they can persuade Sanders to run again, but it’ll be a lot trickier to regain than the majority suggests.

  13. Wouldn’t like to make too many predictions this far ahead of the election but I can certainly see Labour losing their deposit here. How that might help or hinder the Lib Dems (or Tories/UKIP for that matter) remains to be seen.

  14. I’m not particularly bothered what George Eaton thinks given his track record in punditry. It is one thing for the Lib Dems to do well in council by-elections quite another for them to pick up a seat like Torbay in a general election when you can be sure that the Conservatives will be absolutely merciless in exposing Farron’s statements about Brexit to the electorate.

  15. Not sure about Bath but most of those look very plausible.

    Of course some of them might not exist at the next election (Lewes for instance)

  16. Con Estimate
    “I can see dozens of lost deposits for Labour in 2020”

    You appear to have basically just got the list of seats where Lab got around or less than 10% of the vote and just assumed they will lose their deposit in all of them. I mean come on dude you surely know that when the main parties vote share goes so low its actually quite stable and represents their absolute core. There are seats where Lab/Cons have been bouncing along at 10% for decades with practically no change regardless of the national picture.

    I know you think the Tories are heading for a 1000+ seat majority and soon Lab will be polling in negative figures but the constant Tory ramping and Lab bashing is getting tiresome now and I’ve been humouring it for the past year.

  17. Con Estimate
    2015 proves how stupid it is making predictions so early, most everyone in the media and on this site got it badly wrong. If you predicted 2015 right than congrats but your not a seer you’ve got an awful lot wrong recently most notably the Richmond debacle which yes I will keep bringing up until you tone things down a bit.

  18. Who knows he might yet admit such a thing (I don’t think he did however) all I keep reiterating is its super early, if nothing else think back to this point in the last cycle.

    It was pre omnishambles so the Tories support hadn’t even fell to its lowest point
    UKIP had barely come out of the woodwork
    The SNP where a complete non issue at Westminster who had only just won a majority in the Scottish parliament.
    The Greens were not even on anyone’s radar.

    Fast forward just 3 years and the Tories had closed Labs lead, UKIP were polling third and had won two by-elections, we had the “Green surge” and the SNP were set to clean sweep Scotland.

    In these volatile times literally anything can happen and as I keep saying I don’t even think Corbyn will be leader come 2020.

  19. It is pretty clear that Conservative Estimate is clueless. He often posts utterly contradictory things within minutes. Over the past couple of days, for example, he has ramped Torbay as one of the more likely Lib Dem gains, before switching seamlessly to saying that it would have a large increase the Tory majority. He has also posted a few times on the number of Lib Dem seats he expects, with a range from about 5 to 25 varying day by day.

  20. If Corbyn ever admitted he had voted leave he would be chased out of Westminster with sharpened pitchforks.

  21. We could speculate on the effects of Corbyn coming out for Brexit all day long its pointless though since it would have resulted in a leadership challenge that he would have actually lost all prior to the vote even being held. There is no chance in hell the PLP would have tolerated the Lab leader coming out for Brexit and the membership (which is overwhelmingly pro EU) would have lost faith in JC instantaneously. For the record the PLP could have put up literally anyone short of an arch Blairite against a pro Brexit Corbyn and I would have voted for them and had they put up a Blairite ultra I would have had to abstain being unable to vote for either option.

    The reason Corbyn and McDonnell changed their tune on Europe was because they knew their supporters were so pro EU and wouldn’t stand for them coming out for Leave. Whether JC or JMc believed what they were saying is no longer the point, they simply had to say it at the time given their support base.

  22. Truthfully no, the left have their reasons for opposing the EU but ultimately their mostly based on quite antiquated notions that were relevant in the 70’s but not as much today, I ultimately think both JC, JMc and most of the old Bennite types close to the leadership (with the exception of Skinner of course) came to that conclusion having saw what terms the debate was being fought on.

  23. “Truthfully no, the left have their reasons for opposing the EU but ultimately their mostly based on quite antiquated notions that were relevant in the 70’s but not as much today…”

    I think it’s a gross oversimplification to portray left wing Euro-scepticism as some kind of relic of the past, much as it might be convenient for those who want to denigrate Euro-scepticism by associating it with the extreme right. Hostility to the EU on the left is borne out of the strong suspicion that the EU would prevent any British government from intoroducing radical left wing policies. That’s certainly why the two main railway workers unions supported brexit.

    As the EU is now more powerful than it was forty years ago that’s a more relevant critique now than it was then.

  24. “Hostility to the EU on the left is borne out of the strong suspicion that the EU would prevent any British government from intoroducing radical left wing policies. That’s certainly why the two main railway workers unions supported brexit.”

    More specifically, because EU law prevents proper renationalisation of the railways, and the fact that foreign utilities from elsewhere in the EU (ironically mostly nationalised themselves) now control swathes of our rail system…Deutsche Bahn the prime example.

    None of these concerns would be addressed by a soft Brexit hence I’d expect there to be clamours for a harder Brexit from some on the left as well as the right.

  25. 2 Tory activists have said CCHQ lied re the Battlebus in the 2015 GE and in Election Expense Returns and that they were briefed to help gain 4 seats in the South West including here:

    http://www.channel4.com/news/tory-whistleblowers-election-expenses-conservative-party-battlebus

    The MP and the other 3 were unavailable for comment.

  26. Sky has obtained emails from a Tory MP to the Party chairman:

    http://news.sky.com/story/expenses-scandal-tory-mps-say-party-officials-covering-own-backsides-10801909

    CCHQ accused of incompetence, complacency and shifting the blame.

    I’m sure this won’t come as a surprise to HH, JJB et al.

  27. The CPS has confirmed that they have received files from Devon & Cornwall Police and 10 other police forces.

  28. Full list:Avon & Somerset, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Devon & Cornwall, Gloucestershire, Greater Manchester, Lincolnshire, Metropolitan, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, and West Yorkshire.

    Notable absence of Kent (so far).

  29. Now comes the game of trying to work out which seats within each police force might be the ones being questioned. These are realistically going to be Con/Lab and LD/Con marginals, as the Tories were not expecting to win seats from Labour or lose seats to the Lib Dems. Hence:

    A&S: Bristol NW, Somerton & Frome, Wells, Yeovil, Thornbury & Yate
    Cumbria: Carlisle
    Derbyshire: Amber Valley, Erewash, High Peak
    D&C: N Devon, Torbay, N Cornwall, St Austell & Newquay, St Ives
    Gloucestershire: Cheltenham, Gloucester, Stroud
    Greater Manchester: Bury N, Cheadle, Hazel Grove
    Lincolnshire: Lincoln (maybe the Tories were also worried about Boston & Skegness?)
    London: Croydon C, Ealing C & Acton, Ilford N, Kingston & Surbiton, Twickenham
    Northamptonshire: Corby, Northampton N, Northampton S
    Nottinghamshire: Broxtowe, Sherwood
    West Yorkshire: Pudsey (possibly Morley & Outwood, even though it looked very hard to win, there was a prize scalp on offer)

  30. I’d be wary of automatically assuming all of these files are exclusive to the Conservatives – this could well be the case, of course, but both Labour and Lib Dems have been implicated in election expense tomfoolery too, e.g. Fleetwood (I believe – Cat Smith anyway) and a few Lib Dem campaigns. I think the Fleetwood investigation ended up being closed with no charges brought.

  31. True but the list of seats for where Labour/Lib Dems might have overspent will be more-or-less the same. Oddly enough targeting marginals is equally sensible for all parties.

  32. Police have passed a file to the CPS to decide whether to charge Devon & Cornwall Police & Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez.

    It relates to the 2015 General Election when she was Agent for 2 seats in Devon and false accounting has been alleged.

    Hernandez denies she knowingly provided false returns and merely submitted what was supplied to her.

  33. So everybody is blaming everybody else.

    Typical politics really

  34. test

  35. Richard Younger-Ross managed to lose his county council seat by 22 votes

    Lib Dems now tied with Labour on seven seats each on DCC. Four of them in Teignbridge

  36. Lib Dems have 10, Labour have 7, according to Wiki. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devon_County_Council_election,_2017

    10 ≠ 7.

  37. Mr Pitt is right. The local strength of the Liberal Democrats over labour should provide a robust springboard which can turn Newton Abbott yellow for good.

  38. Rubbish.

    I was in this seat last week, and elsewhere in the region including Cornwall North. The vibe isn’t good for the Lib Dems and I expect them to gain virtually nothing west of Bath this time.

  39. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-39816409
    (I’m guessing they meant to say 2009 rather than 1989 though) For some reason Wikipedia has lumped the three independents in with the Lib Dems. Look at the map of divisions and you can count the seven yellow ones.

    Agreed with H.Hemmelig on Lib Dem chances west of Bath. The only realistic prospect this time is St. Ives but I wouldn’t put any money on that after the election results in Cornwall.

    Newton Abbot might be a decent long-term prospect though they won’t even be close this time.

  40. Teddy, that’s not what I said. Just that MikesInDeovn had his numbers wrong. But that was my mistake — Wiki has updated. Mea culpa.

  41. Seeing as no-one seems to have posted the 2017 results yet:

    Con 55.5 %
    Lab 22.2 %
    Lib Dem 20.8 %
    Green 1.8 %

    One of the more shocking results imho. Not because of the winner (never really any doubt about that) but for the Lib Dems being pushed into third place by Labour, especially since Labour have no councillors in the area and aren’t really competitive locally either. I’d been surprised at the number of Labour posters in Newton Abbot and Teignmouth in the run-up but would never have predicted second place.

  42. Anne -Maire Morris recorded using the N word at an event also attended by other Conservative MP’s. Be interesting to see if they is any after effects.

  43. In all likelihood, a bit of local fury which will be forgotten in a week.

    Had this occurred at the beginning of an election campaign, like the former Isle of Wight MP and his comments on homosexuality, it might have been different. Ultimately this was a stupid thing to do, and it’s deeply concerning that elected representatives are still using this kind of language in 2017, but I don’t think it’s the sort of thing that can end a career. I guess it depends exactly what she said – if it was just dropped in as a bad attempt at edgy “humour”, or whether it was part of a greater exposition of genuinely white nationalist views.

  44. It be hard to avoid her having the whip suspended.

  45. Really? It’s a crazy phrase to use, but being stripped of the whip is an overreaction

  46. Well, I guess Naz Shah had the whip removed for antisemitic comments she made years before even became an MP.

  47. It’s just a phrase… An ill judged offensive phrase but that’s different from actually saying substantive negative things about the ethnic group in question

  48. The whip has been removed. I dont think it helped her cause what her Husband said recently as well.

  49. Lol. I should just give up commenting on politics.

  50. Ugh, I’ve just heard the recording.

    She doesn’t even realise how wrong what she’s said is.

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