North Norfolk

2015 Result:
Conservative: 15256 (30.9%)
Labour: 5043 (10.2%)
Lib Dem: 19299 (39.1%)
Green: 1488 (3%)
UKIP: 8328 (16.9%)
MAJORITY: 4043 (8.2%)

Category: Marginal Liberal Democrat seat

Geography: Eastern, Norfolk. Most of North Norfolk council area.

Main population centres: Cromer, Wells-next-the-Sea, North Walsham, Holt, Sheringham.

Profile: A long, thin rural seat, stretching along the northern coast of Norfolk from Wells-next-the-Sea to the Norfolk broads and taking in much of the Norfolk Coast area of natural beauty. The area is made up of small villages and towns, Victorian beach resorts from a time before the Beeching cuts, fishing villages and market towns. Quiet, sleepy and remote - even the largest towns like Cromer have populations under 10,000 - and, like many coastal seats, it has one of the highest proportions of elderly people of any constituency in the UK.

Politics: North Norfolk had been a Labour seat in the 1950s and 1960s but the Labour rural vote has declined and Labour`s support has largely vanished. It was a very safe Conservative seat for Ralph Howell for 27 years until 1997. He was briefly replaced by David Prior, the son of former cabinet minster Jim Prior, who managed to hold on with only a 2.2% majority in 1997 before losing the seat to the Liberal Democrats in 2001 by a wafer thin majority of 483. The marginality of the seat and the high profile Conservative candidate - the blogger, commentator and Politicos bookshop founder Iain Dale - meant the seat received much attention in 2005, but in the end Norman Lamb easily retained his seat with a majority of over 10,000.


Current MP
NORMAN LAMB (Liberal Democrat) Born 1957, Watford. Educated at Wymondham College and Leicester University. Former employment lawyer. Norwich councillor 1987-1991. Contested Norfolk North 1992, 1997. First elected as MP for Norfolk North in 2001. PPS to Charles Kennedy 2003-2005, Lib Dem shadow secretary for the DTI 2004-2006, Chief of Staff to Menzies Campbell 2006, Lib Dem shadow health secretary 2006-2010. PPS to Nick Clegg 2010-2012, government whip 2010-2012, Under-secretary of state for employment relations 2012, Minister of State for care services 2012-2015. Unsuccessfully contested Lib Dem leadership election in 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 15928 (32%)
Lab: 2896 (6%)
LDem: 27554 (55%)
UKIP: 2680 (5%)
Oth: 603 (1%)
MAJ: 11626 (23%)
2005*
Con: 20909 (35%)
Lab: 5447 (9%)
LDem: 31515 (53%)
UKIP: 978 (2%)
Oth: 116 (0%)
MAJ: 10606 (18%)
2001
Con: 23495 (42%)
Lab: 7490 (13%)
LDem: 23978 (43%)
GRN: 649 (1%)
Oth: 608 (1%)
MAJ: 483 (1%)
1997
Con: 21456 (36%)
Lab: 14736 (25%)
LDem: 20163 (34%)
MAJ: 1293 (2%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
ANN STEWARD (Conservative) Breckland councillor since 2003, former Norfolk councillor.
DENISE BURKE (Labour) Educated at Cass Business School. Former local government officer and tax inspector.
NORMAN LAMB (Liberal Democrat) See above.
MICHAEL BAKER (UKIP) Born North Norfolk. Educated at Greshams School and Surrey University. Chemical engineer and businessman. North Norfolk councillor 1981-1987 and since 1999, previously an Independent. Norfolk councillor.Contested North Norfolk 2010.
MIKE MACARTNEY-FILGATE (Green) Retired social worker. Contested North Norfolk 1987.
Links
Comments - 352 Responses on “Norfolk North”
  1. Alex F, I’d start questioning that confidence in Swinson.

    Also, Lamb is retweeting a lot of stuff from people encouraging him to stand, which makes it seem like he will.

  2. This really stood out to me on the night as an excellent hold for Norman Lamb in my personal opinion.

  3. This was a spot which some posters were getting terribly excited about a gain which I just didn’t see. Admittedly in many cases like that I was badly wrong so perhaos the exception which proves the rule.

  4. I think this might’ve gone Tory if the early stages of the campaign reflected the later ones. The slight Tory decline was just enough here.

  5. That’s interesting.

  6. It would always have been an uphill struggle given his Brexit stance and the nature of the Lib Dem membership, the majority of which have joined since 2016 in order to oppose Brexit.

    It looks as if the current thought among many LDs is to let Cable have it, on the expectation that he won’t last too long given his age and then the person they really want (Swinson) can take over.

    On paper that doesn’t sound a bad plan, but in practice these things often don’t play out as people hope.

  7. Frank Bruno was campaigning for the Lib Dems? I hadn’t heard that. He’s supported the Tories in the past.

  8. Frank Bruno was campaigning for the Lib Dems? I hadn’t heard that. He’s supported the Tories in the past.’

    I remember Bruno as a Tory – and a pretty staunch one at that

    Maybe Brexit’s what’s done it for him

  9. And of course the mental health stuff – with Lamb being one of the few MPs who properly understands the issue and the nature of its underfunding

  10. I think the Tories will only ever manage to take North Norfolk back when Lamb retires here- he has never been beaten since he was first elected, unlike say Cable, Davey, Lloyd, Swinson etc. His personal vote, especially for a seat such as this demographically, clearly is huge.

  11. I can’t see the Tories, if (as expected) they’re playing defence next time around, focus too heavily here.

  12. Think you’re right. This is basically a safe seat for Lamb while he’s here.

  13. Wouldn’t quite go that far. Still, hard to picture the Tories trying again if it’s not a wave year for them.

  14. The Labour vote share decreased here, albeit only ever so slightly.

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