Norwich North

2015 Result:
Conservative: 19052 (43.7%)
Labour: 14589 (33.5%)
Lib Dem: 1894 (4.3%)
Green: 1939 (4.4%)
UKIP: 5986 (13.7%)
Independent: 132 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 4463 (10.2%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: Eastern, Norfolk. Part of the Norwich council area and part of the Broadland council area.

Main population centres: Norwch, Thorpe St Andrew.

Profile: This is the northern part of Norwich, but is actually mostly outside the boundaries of the Norwich local authority - the outer suburbs of the city like Thorpe St Andrew, Sprowston and Hellesdon all come under Broadland district council. While the Norwich part of the seat has a substantial amount of social housing, the seat is largely made up of private housing developments, though not always affluent ones, and also includes Norwich airport. The 2011 census found Norwich had the highest proportion of people without a religion of any local authority, something that appeared to go hand-in-hand with areas of high support for the Green party.

Politics: Norwich North had been a Labour seat for most of its history until boundary changes in the 1980s expanded the seat to include the suburbs beyond the city limits and made it more of a Conservative-Labour marginal. It was represented by Labour`s Ian Gibson from 1997 until 2009 when Gibson resigned, having faced criticism during the MPs expenses scandal. The subsequent by-election was won by the Conservatives on a 16.5% swing.

Current MP
CHLOE SMITH (Conservative) Born 1982, Ashford. Educated at York University. Former aide to Gillian Shephard and Bernard Jenkin, prior to her election worked in professional services. First elected as MP for Norwich North in 2009 by-election. Economic Secretary to the Treasury 2011-2012, Parliamentary secretary to the Cabinet Office 2012-2013.
Past Results
Con: 17280 (41%)
Lab: 13379 (31%)
LDem: 7783 (18%)
UKIP: 1878 (4%)
Oth: 2253 (5%)
MAJ: 3901 (9%)
Con: 15638 (33%)
Lab: 21097 (45%)
LDem: 7616 (16%)
GRN: 1252 (3%)
Oth: 1430 (3%)
MAJ: 5459 (12%)
Con: 15761 (35%)
Lab: 21624 (47%)
LDem: 6750 (15%)
GRN: 797 (2%)
Oth: 682 (1%)
MAJ: 5863 (13%)
Con: 17876 (32%)
Lab: 27346 (50%)
LDem: 6951 (13%)
Oth: 1107 (2%)
MAJ: 9470 (17%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
CHLOE SMITH (Conservative) See above.
JESSICA ASATO (Labour) Educated at Flegg High School. Advisor to Tessa Jowell. Islington councillor 2011-2013.
JAMES WRIGHT (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Anglia Ruskin University. IT strategist. Norwich councillor.
GLENN TINGLE (UKIP) Contested Norwich North 2009 by-election, 2010.
ADRIAN HOLMES (Green) Educated at Leeds University. Software developer. Norwich councillor 2004-2012. Contested Norwich South 1992, 2001, Norwich North 2005.
MICK HARDY (Independent)
Comments - 184 Responses on “Norwich North”
  1. Labour have selected Jessica Asato a 31 year old council worker. So a contest between 2 young female candidates.

  2. Norfolk results by division:


    Con 70,249
    UKIP 50,568
    Lab 49,028
    LD 23,645
    Green 14,119
    Ind 7,519
    Others 337

    Total: 215,465


    Con 32.60%
    UKIP 23.47%
    Lab 22.75%
    LD 10.97%
    Green 6.55%
    Ind 3.49%
    Others 0.16%

    Changes since 2010 general election:

    Con -10.51%
    Lab +3.79%
    UKIP +18.86%
    LD -16.80%
    Green +3.35%
    Others +1.31%

    Swing, Con to Lab: 7.15%

  3. That’s a significant Green jump in what is a strong area for them – though how much of it is concentrated where it needs to be at the GE (ie Norwich South) I don’t know.

  4. It isn’t really meaningful to compare the Green vote in the local elections to the last general election. More relevant is the comparison with 2009 when they won 10.9% of the vote in Norfolk, so there is actually a substantial decline since then. I don’t know if this is partly because they contested fewer seats this time, but they will have lost some of their more unlikely gains from that year such as in MIle Cross and Sewell

  5. Good point, it’s the wrong comparison 2010 against 2013.

  6. I think the comparison is okay for the major parties.

  7. Just replay the Newsnight interview and Jess Asato can be confident of being an MP. šŸ˜‰

  8. Paxman is just a bully
    and Chloe Smith IIRC had been kept in the dark about a policy change – hardly a reflection on her.

    I think she was explaining how the Government was clearing up the financial mess left by Labour.

    This seat could unravel from the by-election though and will be quite tough even if the Tories improve overall next time.

  9. I’m always amused to see the extent to which political anoraks think the odd appearance by an MP on a low audience programme like Newsnight could make or break said individual. The world is just not like that.

  10. I think Labour should pick this one up, although I’ve only got them down to win 15 seats in the whole of the South of England outside of London on my current prediction.

  11. I can almost see the words “Recount in Norwich North” flashing on the screen two years in advance of the election.

  12. Labour will have to poll strongly in the Norwich wards as the non-Norwich wards are moving strongly to the right for the same reasons as other outer suburban wards in the South of England..

  13. Jess Asato doesn’t seem to be much liked either here or Islington.

  14. why islington

  15. ‘Iā€™m always amused to see the extent to which political anoraks think the odd appearance by an MP on a low audience programme like Newsnight could make or break said individual. The world is just not like that.’

    Absolutely right.

  16. Wolf might be right, but his (I presume?) default position always seems to be that so-and-so is hated everywhere.

  17. “why islington”

    because she was a Cllr in Islington before being selected here

  18. An appearance on Newsnight won’t “make” anyone, but it could “break” them if they were to say or do something particularly embarrassing – this sort of thing can spread over social media and get into the papers and on Have I Got News For You.

  19. I don’t see the evidence that the non-Norwich bits of this seat are moving strongly to the right. I think there’s plenty of evidence that Labour have failed to rebound strongly there, but the UKIP vote signifies an anti-politics attitude more than it does particularly right-wing views, whilst the Tory share of the vote wasn’t stellar.

    That said, it does look like Labour will have a tough time carrying any of the Broadland wards in this seat in 2015, so it’ll come down to how many votes we can turn out of Norwich.

  20. Labour regained Norwich Council, Chloe Smith is an unpopular MP, Jess Asato has basically got the entire Labour party machine behind her. I am just glad Labour selected her, rather than that Jo Rust. At least it shows that some CLPs actually want Labour to win elections.

  21. Bob evidently knows very little about Norwich Labour, that’s all I can say.

  22. I know enough to know that they picked the right candidate here.

  23. To be honest, I’m starting to doubt whether he’s actually a Labour man at all

  24. It wouldn’t worry me if Labour lost here given their choice of candidate
    By all accounts she was a parachute relying on the large number of non active members impressed by the leaflets paid for by Sainsbury and his Not Labour entryist organisation.

    Local people will work for the much better candidate in Norwich South

  25. It would worry me though. I don’t like New Labour and never have done, but a Conservative hold here could keep Labour out of office. I hope that there are sufficient party workers in Norwich to campaign properly for the candidates in both constituencies. It’s likely to be pretty close here.

  26. @Merseymike – That ‘Not Labour’ entryist organisation which Ed Miliband supports and is a part of. Your comment has shown you do not respect the wishes of CLPs and you do not want Labour to win, so you don’t you do the Labour Party a favour and leave. At least Barnaby Marder, despite his misplaced dislike, wants Labour to take a seat that it should take and needs to take.

  27. Norwich North was a safe Labour seat till 1983 when it seems that some of the solid Labour areas were transferred to Norwich South (making the cities more Conservative seat the better division for Labour).

    In addition, what was left appears to have been combined with more Conservative suburbs outside the city boundaries (though some of these were omitted in 1997), making this the more Conservative of the cities two constituencies.

  28. Within the four City of Norwich divisions in this constituency the Tories came fourth behind UKIP, mustering just 15.2%:

    Lab 3724 (43.6%)
    UKIP 1755 (20.5%)
    Green 1447 (16.9%)
    Con 1297 (15.2%)
    LD 320 (3.7%)

    In the Broadland section of the constituency (using 50% with Thorpe St Andrew) votes were as follows:

    Con 4490 (38.1%)
    UKIP 3024 (25.7%)
    Lab 2882 (24.5%)
    LD 1115 (9.5%)
    Green 273 (2.3%)

    Totals for Norwich North:

    Lab 6606 (32.5%)
    Con 5788 (28.5%)
    UKIP 4780 (23.5%)
    Green 1720 (8.5%)
    LD 1435 (7.1%)

    Changes since 2010 GE:

    Lab +1.1%
    Con -12.1%
    UKIP +19.1%
    Green +5.5%
    LD -11.2%
    Others -2.4%

    Swing, Con to Lab: 6.6%

  29. The Tories are doing pretty appallingly inside the City boundaries but with such a lacklustre Labour vote, they may still have a chance with the Broadland area.

    I do expect this to be a more difficult seat for us than many much more marginal seats.

  30. I expect many Green voters in the local elections to switch to Labour in the General Election. The number of Tory defectors to Ukip will probably determine the outcome of this seat.

    I worry that Labour may waste effort in Norwich South which is a certain gain.

  31. I don’t have knowledge of local politics / issues here, but if Labour do win here they will either have outperformed the national swing by some margin, or else will be having a very good night.

    This is 68th on Labour’s target list, and requires a swing of 4.6%. If they are taking seats like this off the Conservatives, then one can expect them to be making big gains from the Libdems too, and we’re talking overall majority figures.

    I don’t think Labour will win a majority, and I don’t think they’ll manage a 4.6% swing against the Tories nationally (a 3% swing will be a good night for them).

  32. I agree with what you say about the swings Neil, but the reason Tory supporters are nervous about this seat is a feeling it could unravel to something very close because of the by-election and the very weak performances in the 4 City wards – although looking back, it seems we didn’t do well in that section even in 2008/9

  33. The Tory leads in this seat & Crewe/Nantwich are a little artificially high perhaps, because of the midterm by-elections in those constituencies which were utter disasters for Labour (the second in particular deservedly so). I think Joe is right, that there is likely to be an above-average Labour result here, and I would be very surprised if Labour fails to retake Crewe & Nantwich. The last unitary elections showed Labour regaining most of its traditionally strong lead in Crewe & since that town forms a clear majority of the population of that seat I feel that Edward Timpson will be very fortunate if he manages to hold on. This seat does have a rather larger naturally Tory element & the Tories do have a slightly better chance of holding it, but it will be tough if Labour gets its vote out in the Norwich city part of the seat.

  34. Labour Gain
    39% +8%
    36% -5%
    25% split amongst LD /Green/UKIP
    in no particular order

    but that’s at the moment,

    not in 2 years time

  35. I live in Norwich North and will never vote Tory , but the idea that Chloe Smith is ‘unpopular’ is pure poppycock and reflects on the ignorance of the person who made such a statement.. She is seen as a hardworking constituency MP and has acquired a personal vote – albeit not on the scale of her predecessor Ian Gibson.

  36. What on earth does working in professional services mean?

  37. Good question…

  38. Bob’s idiotic comment about Chloe Smith is very like a Liberal Democrat comment.

  39. As it happens we met some pretty apolitical people on holiday who said that Chloe Smith is unpopular. They don’t live in the constituency though – they’re about 2 or 3 miles away.

  40. I know someone who was in York CF with her who holds a somewhat less than flattering view.

  41. @Barnaby

    Re Jess Asato – I don’t personally know the woman so what I say about her is what I get from the internet. Jo Rust isn’t a well-known figure either. Perhaps in the 1970s when Labour had a Norwich party with over 1000 members they’d be in the bar of the Labour Club. Just don’t get the impression ( apart from Norwich South ) that Labour are that bothered about winning seats in Norfolk.
    Labour a few years ago had a PPC called Mary Honeyball who was a London councillor – didn’t really do a lot.Think she’s an MEP now.

  42. Yes, she is. I think she’s actually very good – but the year she was PPC was Labour’s absolute nadir so she didn’t stand a chance. She’s now a London Euro-MP and a doughty supporter of women’s rights and for secularism

  43. The LibDems have gained a seat from Labour at Sprowston West on Sprowston Town Council here. UKIP
    took 25.5% of the poll. Full details on ALDC.

  44. How is this as an estimate?
    LAB 38
    CON 30
    UKIP 13
    LD 11
    GRN 8

  45. In a 1997 style result, maybe. I don’t see an 11% Conservative drop, or UKIP/Green to be as high as you have put them. The Labour and Lib Dem figures look plausible.

  46. Thanks again Matt. Shame you’re a Tory šŸ˜‰ What adjustments would you make?

  47. I think Matt’s about right. It could well be a Labour gain but not by as much as 8%.

  48. Chloe Smith has resigned as Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office. John Randall (Uxbridge and South Ruislip) has also left the government. Wonder what’s going on here.

  49. Major reshuffle coming up?

  50. Randall’s departure may by HS2-related.

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