South West Norfolk

2015 Result:
Conservative: 25515 (50.9%)
Labour: 8649 (17.3%)
Lib Dem: 2217 (4.4%)
Green: 2075 (4.1%)
UKIP: 11654 (23.3%)
MAJORITY: 13861 (27.7%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

Geography: Eastern, Norfolk. Part of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk council area and part of Breckland council area.

Main population centres: Downham Market, Thetford, Swaffham.

Profile: A largely rural seat in Norfolk, stretching from rich agricultural fenland in the west to the pine forests around Thetford in the east. The electorate is scattered across small villages, the market towns of Downham and Swaffham and the much larger town of Thetford. Thetford in particular has a large Portuguese community, attracted by agricultural and factory work. To the north of Thetford is the Stanford Training Area, a large area containing several evacuated and purpose built villages for British army training.

Politics: The South West Norfolk seat was held by Labour in the 1950s, but with the decline of Labour's traditional rural vote it has become a safe Conservative seat, with the former cabinet minister Gillian Shephard its most notable recent MP. The current MP Liz Truss received some media attention after her original selection when it was revealed she was having an affair with an MP, resulting in an unsuccessful attempt to deselect her by local Tories described in the press as the "turnip taliban".


Current MP
ELIZABETH TRUSS (Conservative) Born 1975, Oxford. Educated at Roundhay School and Oxford University. Former management accountant and deputy director of Reform. Greenwich councillor 2006-2010. Contested Hemsworth 2001, Calder Valley 2005. First elected as MP for South West North in 2010. Under-secretary of state for Early years education 2012-2014. Environment Secretary since 2014. Truss`s initial selection as a candidate was controversial - shortly after her selection it was revealed she had an affair with Conservative MP Mark Field, resulting in some local calls for her deselection. A vote by local party members later backed her as candidate. Truss is the founder and convenor of the Free Enterprise Group of Conservative MPs.
Past Results
2010
Con: 23753 (48%)
Lab: 9119 (19%)
LDem: 10613 (22%)
UKIP: 3061 (6%)
Oth: 2604 (5%)
MAJ: 13140 (27%)
2005*
Con: 25881 (47%)
Lab: 15795 (29%)
LDem: 10207 (19%)
UKIP: 2738 (5%)
Oth: 506 (1%)
MAJ: 10086 (18%)
2001
Con: 27633 (52%)
Lab: 18267 (34%)
LDem: 5681 (11%)
UKIP: 1368 (3%)
MAJ: 9366 (18%)
1997
Con: 24694 (42%)
Lab: 22230 (38%)
LDem: 8178 (14%)
MAJ: 2464 (4%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
ELIZABETH TRUSS (Conservative) See above.
PETER SMITH (Labour) Contested South West Norfolk 2010.
RUPERT MOSS-ECCARDT (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Downham Market Grammar and Nottingham University. IT security consultant. Former Cambridgeshire councillor. Contested Cambridgeshire Police Commissioner election 2012.
PAUL SMYTH (UKIP)
SANDRA WALMSLEY (Green)
Links
Comments - 74 Responses on “Norfolk South West”
  1. OK….Truss has been moved to Justice.

  2. Truss gets Justice. Hmm.

  3. Really surprising decision.

  4. A former Lib Dem heading the justice department – not sure what the Tory Right will make of that

  5. Liz Truss is the new Justice Secretary. Compared to some it could have been i am quite happy at that. I think the Legal world will be too.
    First Female Lord Chancellor is an historic moment considering how old the postilion is.

  6. Probably a good one to continue Gove’s reforms, she’s not devoid of innovation herself.

    A better fit than putting her in Education – which somehow wouldn’t have helped May’s ‘government for ordinary people’ perception given that Truss is quite an upmarket Cameroon type.

  7. As predictions go, BM11’s assetion that the legal establishment will like her takes the biscuit

    They utterly despise her, and with good reason too, and if May has any sense, Truss should be the first out of the door come 9 June

  8. Liz Truss and LD candidate both missed the declaration due to illness –

    http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/politics/elizabeth-truss-taken-ill-before-her-victory-confirmed-1-5054621

  9. Truss Chief Sec to the Treasury – a demotion. Not unexpected after awful time at Justice.

  10. Liz Truss has been moved to Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Had May not been weakened so much she probably would have been out of the cabinet.

  11. This is a pretty big demotion, frankly. But totally unsurprising…her time at Justice was a pretty miserable one. I guess this is the danger when you rise up the ranks too quickly.

  12. “Liz Truss is the new Justice Secretary. Compared to some it could have been i am quite happy at that. I think the Legal world will be too.”

    Not one of the happiest UKPR predictions. LT was described to me by a young tory MP as the “worst Lord Chancellor in a thousand years”!

    I think she’s quite able but has been miscast in quite senior roles. classic case of being promoted too quickly. she should be a junior minister and never have been appointed to cabinet so soon, but it’s all about empire building and fulfilling diversity quotas.

  13. @ Peter Crawford.

    Can I ask you again the question about Heidi Allen (who is my MP) as posted on the Penrith thread, please?

  14. James E,

    I understand there was a move to deselect heidi allen. heard the vote was down to 1 at the exec. stage., ie before it went to the membership. It’s anecdotal but that’s what’s being said.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if she stepped down next time.

  15. @ Peter Crawford

    Thank you for that.

    I asked because there has not been any reporting at all either locally or on the web of any attempt to deselect her. It also appears per the local party’s own news page that Heidi Allen was re-selected by a secret ballot of the local Executive Committee – a group with only around 10 members.

    Do you still maintain that she was “within one vote of deselection” on 28th April – i.e. would have been unable to stand in a wider vote by members?

    https://www.southcambridgeshireconservatives.org.uk/news/heidi-allen-selected
    https://www.southcambridgeshireconservatives.org.uk/news/heidi-allen-selected

  16. @ Peter Crawford
    Thank you for that.
    I asked because there has not been any reporting at all either locally or on the web of any attempt to deselect her. It also appears per the local party’s own news page that Heidi Allen was re-selected by a secret ballot of the local Executive Committee – a group with only around 10 members.
    Do you still maintain that she was “within one vote of deselection” on 28th April – i.e. would have been unable to stand in a wider vote by members?

  17. James E.,

    the process is 1) as a sitting tory mp you have to be ratified by exec then 2) if you fail to get their endorsement it goes to wider membership…

    so technically she would have been 1 vote away from a wider vote among the membership.

    It’s embarrassing… she would have won…

  18. Was Super Thursday last night for local by-elections with 12 seats up for grabs, not a lot of change but some interesting results most notably here in Breckland. all of last nights results are as follows…

    Thetford Priory (Breckland)
    LAB: 57.7% (+28.0)
    CON: 29.5% (-3.7)
    UKIP: 12.8% (-24.3)
    Labour GAIN from Conservative

    Trimdon & Thornley (Durham) result:
    LAB: 65.4% (+15.2)
    IND: 20.0% (+20.0)
    LDEM: 6.7% (-3.7)
    CON: 6.4% (-12.8)
    GRN: 1.6% (+1.6)
    No UKIP this time
    Labour HOLD

    Halton-with-Aughton (Lancaster) result:
    LAB: 27.4% (+18.0)
    GRN: 27.2% (-0.9)
    CON: 26.2% (+2.0)
    LDEM: 19.3% (+19.3)
    No Ind (-38.3)
    Lab GAIN from Ind (apparently the first time Lab have ever won this ward)

    Nene Valley (Northampton):
    CON: 52.5% (+10.1)
    LAB: 22.4% (+7.8)
    LDEM: 19.2% (+9.3)
    GRN: 5.9% (+5.9)
    No UKIP (-19.6) and Ind (-13.6)
    Con HOLD

    Eastfield (Northampton) result:
    LAB: 50.5% (+13.5)
    CON: 29.5% (-4.1)
    LDEM: 20.0% (+16.7)
    No UKIP (-21.3) and Grn (-4.9)
    Lab HOLD

    Stretton (East Staffordshire):
    CON: 47.2% (+2.1)
    IND: 28.2% (+28.2)
    LAB: 19.2% (-0.4)
    UKIP: 3.2% (-24.4)
    LDEM: 2.2% (+2.2)
    Con HOLD

    Washburn (Harrogate) result:
    CON: 75.3% (+0.3)
    LAB: 12.5% (-0.9)
    GRN: 8.4% (+8.4)
    YORK: 3.9% (+3.9)
    No UKIP (-11.6) as prev.
    Con HOLD

    Kingstone (Barnsley) result:
    LAB: 57.5% (-2.4)
    LDEM: 19.2% (+19.2)
    CON: 8.8% (-3.5)
    GRN: 6.8% (-4.1)
    BNP: 5.8% (-5.2)
    DDIP: 1.9% (+1.9)
    Lab HOLD

    Toddbrook (Harlow) result:
    LAB: 52.2% (+13.6)
    CON: 36.1% (+11.4)
    UKIP: 7.3% (-29.4)
    GRN: 3.0% (+3.0)
    LDEM: 1.4% (+1.4)
    Lab HOLD

    Haven’t been able to find the exact figures but there were also two Con HOLDS in…
    Chedburgh (St. Edmundsbury).
    Hundon (St. Edmundsbury).

    Also an Independent GAIN from the Lib Dems in Tain and Easter Ross (Highland) but due to the weirdness of the electoral system used in Scottish locals it will have to take someone else to explain the figures.

    Make of all this what you will

  19. My uncle used to live in Stretton 20-30 years ago….it is one of those modern commuter villages dominated by 70s and 80s housing. I’m pretty sure Labour would have been competitive there in the Blair years so a pretty bad result for them there.

  20. Rivers: locals in Scotland are generally STV but local by-elections are AV (I think, if not simply FPTP). In the olden days it was common for Central belt seats to be 3 Lab / 1 SNP, then to go 4 Lab in a by-election despite the SNP gaining over a quarter of the vote in that by-election.

    As for the English results – still good for Labour but not quite as impressive as some of their wins have been in recent weeks. Eastfield is probably the pick of the bunch – I wonder, given it’s the sort of place that will be crucial at the next election, whether Labour canvassers have been particularly active in Northampton recently.

  21. The ukip vote in breckland appears to have gone all to Labour

  22. Rivers – here are the St Edmundsbury results :

    St Edmundsbury, Chedburgh

    Conservative 372 (65.8% – previously unopposed)
    Labour 128 (22.7%)
    Liberal Democrat 65 (11.5%)

    St Edmundsbury, Hundon

    Conservative 357 (80.6% – + 17.2%)
    Liberal Democrat 86 (19.4% – did not previously stand)

    Thanks for putting up the others.

  23. 29th Sep Thetford Priory ward By-election result:

    Labour 58% (+ 28%)
    Cons 30% (-4%)
    UKIP 13% (-24%)

  24. Good result for Labour there. But it would be useful to know when the last election for the ward was, to make sense of the plus and minus figures.

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