Norwich South

2015 Result:
Conservative: 11379 (23.5%)
Labour: 19033 (39.3%)
Lib Dem: 6607 (13.6%)
Green: 6749 (13.9%)
UKIP: 4539 (9.4%)
Independent: 60 (0.1%)
Others: 96 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 7654 (15.8%)

Category: Semi-marginal Labour seat

Geography: Eastern, Norfolk. Part of the Norwich council area and one ward from South Norfolk council area.

Main population centres: Norwich, New Costessey.

Profile: Norwich South covers the majority of the wards in Norwich City Council, including the town centre, and the Norwich suburb of New Costessey which falls under South Norfolk District Council. The seat inclues the "Golden Triangle", the south-western part of Norwich near the University of East Anglia consisting of victorian properties, with a large proportion of students and young professionals. Norwich Union is the largest local employer. 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: The seat has normally been Labour`s strongest seat in Norfolk due to the relatively high proportion of council tenants on estates like Lakenham, Bowthorpe and West Earlham. The fell to the Liberal Democrats in 2010, unseating former Home Secretary Charles Clarke, but was regained by Labour in 2015. This is a target seat for the Greens, who came third here with 14%.

Current MP
CLIVE LEWIS (Labour) Former television journalist. First elected as MP for Norwich South in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 10902 (23%)
Lab: 13650 (29%)
LDem: 13960 (29%)
GRN: 7095 (15%)
Oth: 1944 (4%)
MAJ: 310 (1%)
Con: 9567 (23%)
Lab: 15904 (38%)
LDem: 12251 (29%)
GRN: 3101 (7%)
Oth: 1367 (3%)
MAJ: 3653 (9%)
Con: 10551 (25%)
Lab: 19367 (45%)
LDem: 9640 (23%)
GRN: 1434 (3%)
Oth: 1600 (4%)
MAJ: 8816 (21%)
Con: 12028 (24%)
Lab: 26267 (52%)
LDem: 9457 (19%)
Oth: 1585 (3%)
MAJ: 14239 (28%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
LISA TOWNSEND (Conservative) Educated at Simon Balle School and Sheffield Hallam University. Parliamentary assistant.
CLIVE LEWIS (Labour) Television journalist.
SIMON WRIGHT (Liberal Democrat) Born 1979. Educated at Imperial College London. Teacher. Former North Norfolk councillor. MP for Norwich South 2010 to 2015. PPS to Sarah Teather 2011-12. PPS to David Laws since 2012.
STEVE EMMENS (UKIP) Born Dronfield. Fundraiser. Contested Norwich South 2010.
LESLEY GRAHAME (Green) District nurse. Norwich councillor.
DAVID PEEL (Class War)
CENGIZ CEKER (Independent)
Comments - 594 Responses on “Norwich South”
  1. GreenLabour88 – “military record?”

    Lewis was in the TA, although yes, he did do a 12 week tour in Afghan so I suppose that counts as one.

    But it really does amuse me when over 80 MPs claim they have a military career, when only a dozen or so had one in reality.

    It tends to be a Tory falsehood though – ie they join the OTC at University, go to Sandhurst and do 3 or 6 months somewhere and resign their Commission. I think even the ego-filled MP who likes barking at police in Downing Street claimed a military career, until a Mirror journo pointed out that he’d never actually been off base.

    Incidentally Clive Lewis was a journalist for 12 years so I think it’s fair to describe that as his career until 2015.

    But I doubt his camp nature or colour would dent UKIP – quite the opposite – if he became Leader, not that they are a threat in this part of the world. In fact unless Abbott became Leader I’m struggling to think who else in the PLP might lose more Labour voters to UKIP. Possibly the Lancaster MP.

  2. Clive Lewis’s resignation is in my opinion very bad news for Labour. He is by far the most talented and likeable Corbynista and the best chance they had of turning the project around as I presume this basically kills off any chance he had at becoming leader if Corbyn goes.

  3. Lewis likeable? – he’s perhaps telegenic due to his media background, but get to know him well and I understand he’s not such a pleasant character at all. I would actually regard Corbyn as marginally more likeable, though not the bumbly likeable old grandad image that some people seem to mistakenly have got of him (confused, I believe, with his incompetence / disorganisation, which supposedly makes him endearing it seems).

  4. Stories this morning that Lewis lied about (or at least wildly exaggerated) his military service, which is unlikely to help any leadership ambitions he may have

  5. Let’s be honest, we’ve all done it at some point. The fact that two politicians as dissimilar as Clive Lewis and Iain Duncan Smith have pushed the limits of truth on their CVs indicates that this is pretty much universal behaviour. I doubt this incident will have any effect on his standing with the members – it is likely to be quickly forgotten by their selective memories if the allegations even penetrate their filter bubbles in the first place.

  6. Interesting… this could be a tight 3 way marginal!!! Lewis is probably favourite but a big lab-lib dem swing could let the blues in

  7. I guarantee that the Tories will not take this seat. They’re far too weak in the city to have any real chance. They only have Norwich North because most of that seat takes territory from outside the city itself.

  8. Quite. This is a dead-cert hold for Lewis, who might not be popular everywhere but who fits this seat like a glove.

    Incidentally, the snap election has forced him to cancel his honeymoon:

  9. Interesting. As we see the Tories are 2nd but 23% is close to the ceiling of their support then? It’s been remarkably consistent in the 23-25% range since 1997

  10. Who will finish second? Could be close between Tory and LD

  11. The 2015 result was a curious one – one would have expected a swing to the Greens given their strength in 2010, but it was pretty much entirely Lib to Lab.

    That makes this an extremely hard one to analyse. If that swing unwinds and the Tories pick up a couple of thousand UKIP votes, then like in 2010 it’s entirely possible that either Con or LD win this on less than 30% of the vote.

    Labour clear favourites though due to the number of ifs and buts involved.

  12. That the Greens stayed still in 2015 here when they surged fourfold nationally shows Clive Lewis’s appeal (and more broadly the appeal of Corbyn-led Labour Party) to prospective Green voters.

    Of course the Greens keep harping on about this “progressive alliance” but I really doubt they will stand aside in a seat where they have such local strength. It seemingly amounts mostly to standing aside in Conservative-held marginals (when what they really need to be doing is standing aside in Labour-held marginals, as by and large Lab->Con swings in this election will dwarf any effect the Green vote might have).

  13. Only the Tories pose a threat to Lewis here.In the 1983 landslide the Tories took the seat by 1700 votes on very similar boundaries – and only just lost it in 1987.I suspect quite a few Greens will vote tactically for Lewis.

  14. The Director of ICM has ordered this MP to remove the firm’s name from a bar chart leaflet he has produced as the firm has no knowledge of it.

    The MP’s office has conceded it was not a poll commissioned by ICM in the seat as they had claimed, but has thus far refused to remove the reference to ICM.

  15. They literally made up a poll. That’s new.

  16. According to the Chaminda Jaynetti it was a private polling they commissioned Represent Us and ICM did the secondary analysis

  17. No sign yet of the Tory campaign here being other than paper. Of course there may be a lot going on on the internet.

  18. UKIP announce that they will not be standing candidates in both of the Norwich constituencies at the GE, but ask their supporters to lend their votes to the Conservatives.

    This will be the most interesting result in Norfolk on election night.

  19. Incidentally, Dave Rowntree, the drummer from Blur, was elected as a Labour councillor here.

  20. In spite of the Remain vote in Norwich, I do think Labour could be vulnerable here.

    Cons are now the clear challengers here, for one thing – they will have lost some tactical votes last time.

    Clive Lewis is a bit of a marmite character, motivating voters against him as well as for him.

    The Green and LD voters here aren’t the type that will necessarily break for Lab over Con (especially with Corbyn as leader).

    UKIP aren’t standing.

    All that said, I still make Labour slight favourites here.

  21. I think Lewis will probably be fine… this type of seat (same category as Bristol W and Brighton P) is increasingly hard for the Cons to win, and I do think at least a lot of the 2015 Greens will support Lab this time.

  22. Norwich Greens are quite different to the Lab types here, and opposition between them has been very open, so I’m not so sure though you may be correct.

  23. Labour stuffed the Greens in the recent council elections. Whilst the Greens here might have no love for Labour / Corbyn, it seems plenty of their voters do.

    Also, even those Grn / LD voters who wouldn’t break for Con over Lab, I think are unlikely to ever vote tactically for Con! I suppose there might be some tactical unwind from LD to Tory, but I don’t think that will be significant. Lewis to increase his majority imo.

  24. Er, no – Lewis is not going to increase his majority at this election! (unless the polls move drastically in Labour’s favour so they are <10% behind Tories nationally on polling day).

  25. BT
    I think everyone accepts that universal swing doesn’t happen anymore so regardless of the national picture Lewis could very well increase his majority. Not saying Lewis will do so mind but I think it somewhat inevitable that somewhere Labs majority will increase regardless of the national picture, I wouldn’t even totally rule out a shock Lab gain somewhere like Brighton Kemptown or Bury North, very unlikely true but not impossible. There is always the odd anomalous result in elections and with the collapse of universal national swing such results seem ever more likely.

  26. Rivers

    Of course UNS doesn’t occur. You know I know that, that’s not in question.

    Lab might well increase a majority somewhere (Edinburgh S?), but it won’t be here.

  27. This MP has ranted that Chris Leslie is:

    “a sad lonely bitter man…who won’t be allowed to get away with behaving like this…”

    There’s certainly some egos flying around today in both of the 2 main Parties.

  28. The BBC have announced that they are bringing back Alan Partridge, and that he will be sharing his extremely supportive views on Brexit.

  29. “The BBC have announced that they are bringing back Alan Partridge, and that he will be sharing his extremely supportive views on Brexit.”

    BBC in satirical anti-Brexit shock! no sh*t!

  30. Clive Lewis has been cleared of the claims he harrassed somebody at the party conference:

  31. Opps.

    They are elements of the left of Labour who don’t like free speech, free press and some that praise the governance system of China and clearly don’t like democracy.

  32. Now now that’s enough about Tony Blair

  33. Charles Clarke the next big name Labour member to reveal they voted for a party other than Labour

  34. Clive Lewis has confirmed he is running for the Labour leadership.

  35. Lancs Observer wrote:
    “Being far Left, black and gay really is a sort of 1980s wet dream for the Corbynistas.”

    It would be if Clive Lewis was gay. Must admit, I did wonder about it myself, but was informed he has a Christian wife who is a bit iffy on gay issues. I’ve never thought of Lewis as ‘camp’, though. Of course, men can be married to women and still gay, but I see no evidence that Lewis is.

    Despite very much agreeing with him on constitutional reform, I was relieved that his leadership bid crashed and burned pretty quickly. He appears to have an unhealthy obsession with identity politics (in a Newsnight interview he must have mentioned ‘xenophobia’ about 20 times), and as has been commented upon by others, strikes me as quite nasty really. He couldn’t get enough nominations from the PLP, so probably hasn’t endeared himself to his colleagues since 2015 either.

  36. I think had RLB not stood Clive probably would have got enough nominations and I know some more soft left members who were more keen on him because of those constitutional policies. He might fancy another tilt in the future and maybe would fare better if there isn’t another young face on the left. Sam Tarry or Nadia Whittom come to mind but that’s it really

  37. To slightly defend Lancs Observer (Christ, I can’t believe I just typed those words), I also thought for a long time that he was gay. I’ve absolutely no idea why or how I came to that conclusion (certainly not from anything he said or did), so it was clearly something that was – incorrectly- out there. No, not remotely camp, and, yes, a pretty nasty piece of work by all accounts.

  38. I have great respect for any member of Parliament who has been in the armed forces as it demonstrates genuine public service and a desire to protect their country.

  39. Counterpoint: Mark Francois

  40. Fair does Polltroll – without doubt my least favourite MP in the entire house.

    Had Angela Rayner directed her controversial comment towards I don’t think the deputy speaker could have made withdraw it as it would count as factual content

  41. Had she directed her comment towards Mark Francois, you mean?

  42. I thought Clive Lewis had publicly talked about being bi (but not necessarily gay) somewhere along the line, which might explain where it came from as well as the fact he’s married to a woman nonetheless.

  43. Norwich South Labour candidate sorry for Ed Miliband goat joke
    17 April 2015

    One blogger on the internet thinks Lewis is gay, but I suppose it’s not for us here to speculate.

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