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. Miriam, I can guarntee you that the conservatives WILL NOT win this seat in 2015 they have zero councillors here for a start.

    It’s the equivalent of Labour gaining Sutton and Cheam and Richmond Park.

  2. She’s either a troll in the same vein as that faux Lib Dem who used to pop up on here. Can’t remember their name. Or is a pure fantasist like Bob.

  3. Not quite, as Labour have never got anywhere close in those seats, while the Tories have won Norwich South in living memory and were only 6% behind in 2010.

    Nevertheless they have no hope of winning here in 2015 or any time in the foreseeable future.

  4. “Not quite, as Labour have never got anywhere close in those seats, while the Tories have won Norwich South in living memory and were only 6% behind in 2010.”

    Yes true, in fact Labour were never that close to Carshalton and Wallington either even in the 1974 elections (about 4,000 behind), but won the GLC seat in 1973.

    As for this seat Labour gain written all over it.

  5. Does anyone believe the Greens have any chance here? I mean they were 12% behind in the last Ashcroft poll in July but have grown quite a bit since then and are often polling 7-8% now. Surely they must have closed that gap and perhaps may have a shot here? I mean if you compare the June and December Ashcroft polls for Brighton Pavilion, there was a 5.5% swing from Labour to Green in those two polls, If a similar swing was recorded here in the intervening period from the last Ashcroft poll then the Greens would be neck and neck with Labour. I still fancy Labour here but not as confidently as I did a few months ago. Perhaps I am concentrating too much on individual constituency polling…

  6. Some friends of mine were canvassing in this seat last weekend with the Young Trade Unionist Network. They report (in private communications not just optimistic PR-tweets) that there is little sense of Green momentum.

    Of course they may be doing well in areas they didn’t visit.

  7. @Stephen
    gives the Greens 2% chance of winning this constituency. Knowing electionforecast’s methodology and relevant evidence they haven’t taken into account, I am confident that the Greens have a better chance than that, but until we get another opinion poll, even I would say that Labour still have a better chance of winning it than the Greens.
    I’m not sure how anybody would detect much momentum for another party canvassing at this stage – there will be little/no physical evidence of the campaign on the ground, so unless you canvass somewhere where people are more-or-less spontaneously saying to Labour canvassers they will vote Green, you will have minimal idea. My experience is that when canvassing in contests with more than 2 candidates, finding any clue which other party people will vote for is rare.

  8. Ben Foley,

    I’m not sure how you canvass, but we find it perfectly easy to find out which party people will support because we ask them. Some do just say “bugger off” but usually Lib Dems, Tories, Greens are happy to say. UKIP tend to be positively jumping to tell us.

  9. About 25 000 manufacturing and office jobs have been lost in Norwich since 1980

  10. If Labour were to poll about 27% nationally and the Greens 10%, you’d have to say the Greens would have a good chance of winning this. Those figures are unlikely of course.

  11. This seat has a large number of voters who changed their allegiance to vote LibDem in 2010 and who are unlikely to do so again in 2015 (if they indeed are still here). Thes voters will not automatically revert to Labour, and may well coonsider the Greens if they gain momentum in the run-up to the General Election. The odds are against the Greens winning here, but the seat is still one of their best prospects.

  12. This is listed as one of ’10 constituencies to watch’, and Lesley Grahame one of ’10 new faces’ by the Graun.

  13. I think the Greens will poll the level of support they did in Pavilion in 2005….the equivalent of 9000 votes.

    Labour Gain but clearly a Green target in 2020.

  14. who knows? If they get publicity come the debates they might even have a sudden spike in support and solidify their position before the election. Like the lib dems in 2010, except hopefully they would maintain it. By 2020, who knows? They could be breathing down Labour’s necks, especially since they don’t get bashed by the media as much as UKIP.

    2020 polling prediction?

    Con- 33%
    Lab- 26%
    Green- 14%
    Lib dem- 11%
    UKIP- 10%
    other- 6%

    Maybe the green surge is a real thing?

  15. Robbie…. if Natalie performs even vaguely as poorly in the debates as she did in this BBC show last Sunday then there will be enough quotable lines to bury then by election day… she is whatever the reverse of a Cleggasm is…

  16. Bennettile Dysfunction, surely. But anyway, they must know that was awful. She surely can’t do that badly again.

  17. I live in Norwich and have no doubt at all that the Greens have LOST ground here compared with 2008 – 2010 , and will be surprised if they come in as runners up – indeed another fourth place is more likely. There was so much hype last time based on coming top in the local and 2009 Euro elections but in the end it counted for little with their Deputy leader ending up a poor fourth. His departure and decision not to stand again rather speaks volumes about how local Greens view their prospects .Moreover I think past Green success here was largely local – it would be a mistake to extrapolate much from national polls. Labour has also made quite a strong local recovery.

  18. Labour keen on the black religious vote here.One of their ‘community activists’ on the news today claiming a hate crime had occurred after windows at a local mosque were smashed.

  19. BBC QT: panel tonight in Norwich: 
    @EdwardDaveyMP,@, @ChrisBryantMP,@; Sarah Wooolaston; Suzanne Evans; Amanda Ianucci

  20. You mean ARMANDO Ianucci? (He’s a bloke.)
    I think it’s likely that when a mosque’s windows are smashed it’s going to be a hate crime. It is very strange to ridicule it as Wolf appears to. Of course it could be random vandalism, but it’s not that likely is it.

  21. Armando was director and creator of the Thick of It…

  22. The c**t’s surname has F star star star double N, so it’s IANNUCCI not c**ting f***ng IANUCCI

  23. There’s no need to watch Question Time any more because the same things are said week after week after week.

  24. Occasionally it can be good TV..Galloway last week in Finchley for example: ” You be the lions and I’ll be Daniel! “

  25. HH is right. I haven’t bothered with it in decades.

  26. Better to have it than not though, surely.

    I find BBCQT more energised and edgy than ‘Any Q’s’, which can be often soporific.

  27. The same cheap hackneyed soundbites competing to elicit a few claps from biased audiences full of plants. I do still occasionally watch as I still quite like This Week afterwards. But it’s a painful shadow of what it was in the pre-Blair era. When Dimbleby is gone gawd knows how bad it will get.

  28. Having just listened to the Greens leader Natalie Bennett give a radio interview on their manifesto I suspect they won’t be much of a threat to Labour in this seat.

  29. They will poll a fair bit here but nowhere near enough to win it this or next election. They will still get the antiestablishment and hipster vote no doubt.

  30. Galloglass, what did she say? Was it as bad as the Andrew Neil interview?

  31. Just google ‘natalie bennett interview’ the press coverage gives good taste of it.

  32. Well she was on the Daily Politics today. I didn’t see the whole thing but it was a particularly poor performance. Her views on how to deal with Putin are particularly disturbing but she did back pedal on her shocking previous statement about people being allowed to be members of terrorist organisations. She admitted that she had had some disastrous interview about housing policy earlier in the day, they didn’t say who with. Seen as Bennett’s interviews are usually disastrous this one must be in a whole other league of terrible.

  33. Yes the Putin section is rather disturbing.

    Heres the link to the interview.

  34. I’m not sure that Green supporters follow what the party’s spokespeople say or what their actual policies are all that much. Some are former Labour left-wingers who think they are a socialist party, which the party leadership would certainly deny if pressed, and many simply think that none of the other parties really represent them. I suspect, though I could be completely wrong, that a car-crash of an interview from Natalie Bennett would have less of an impact than, for example, one by Ed Miliband or David Cameron. It might have some negative effect though, at the edges. And the edges are potentially important in this election.

  35. I have to say that Caroline Lucas always comes across well in interviews even if you disagree with what she’s saying. She was much better than Adam Afriye on Newsnight on MP’s outside jobs ( but perhaps that’s not very stiff competition.)

  36. Yes – it is hard to see why she is not the leader instead of Bennett.

  37. Yeah, it really damages the Greens when journos/politicials/commenters who hate them anyway are going on and on about the interview…

    And yes, I am being sarcastic here. I mean, do you really believe the Green surge was due to lots of journos/politicials/commenters repeatedly saying of-so-nice thoings about them?

    That is not to say I don’t think the Greens’ vote won’t be somewhat down on current polls, it is just that I believe this will be due to Milliband managing to differentiate himself better.

  38. Green Gain from Lib Dem

  39. has to be a labour gain

  40. The only way the Greens can win this is if there’s a perfect 4-way split which would allow them to win with about 25%.

  41. Nope… Greens only 14% behind Labour and the collapse in the LD vote will go to the Greens. Also because this is the only possible Green Gain there will be a massive army of Green activists descending on the town or the next few weeks. Labour and the Tories will beat the Lib Dems into fourth place.

  42. It’s as I’ve said before. The Greens are doing quite well in a lot of places because they’re appearing to be a new force which their supporters think will break the mould of British politics.

    In areas where they’ve long been active (Brighton and Norwich) they’ll struggle to get as much of a boost since people have been around Greens (and may have had Green councillors) for a long time – they’re less open to the hype.

  43. Possibly but it really will depend who the LD votes go to here. I’d say a Labour win is most likely, but it might be won again on less than 30% of the vote. Definitely the most likely Green gain that’s for sure, notwithstanding the talk about Bristol West.

    If the polls continue to slightly trend to the Tories they certainly aren’t out of it either given the likely close 4 way contest (in which I agree the LD’s will come 4th) here.

  44. “a socialist party, which the party leadership would certainly deny if pressed”

    While they might amend the statement, I’d be surprised if they denied it outright. Green politics is fairly closely associated with libertarian/democratic socialism, and most of their supporters would probably call themselves social democrats, at the least.

  45. LAB – 30
    LD – 28
    CON – 26
    GREEN – 9
    UKIP – 6
    OTHER – 1

  46. Patrick – how on earth do you think Simon Wright will cobble together 28% of the vote in this seat?

    I will be a minor miracle if he avoids the teens!

  47. Why is Simon Wright so badly thought of that he’s likely to come fourth?

  48. STEPHENPT – I don’t know much about this particular seat, I had no idea Simon Wright was so badly thought of! I’m basing my figures on various polls, facts and opinions.

    Why is he so badly thought of?

    I would sooner see the tories gain this seat!!

  49. I don’t think its a personal issue at all (though Mr Wright has been one of the more anonymous members of the Lib Dem class of 2010, compared to say Huppert, Munt or Lloyd).

    I think the problems revolve around the dynamic of the seat.

    The result in 2010 was a surprise. The Lib Dems had been expected to run Labour close in this seat in 2005, partly based on the success in Norwich council elections. In the event they achieved some progress but on a much smaller scale than similar seats. After 2005 their local election position went into steep decline, mainly being replaced by the Greens. It was therefore a genuine shock that they held their vote in 2010 and this proved enough to gain the seat.

    Can they do it again? Unlikely. Labour has a new candidate which probably helps their cause as Charles Clarke was reputed to be unpopular locally. Nationally the Lib Dem vote is well down so Wright would have to find someway to counteract this – but whose vote can he squeeze? The Greens remain very active in local politics and fancy their chances. The Conservative vote has remained resiliently in the 23-25% range for 4 successive elections. Neither have much incentive to vote tactically.

  50. Looks like I’ve seriously underestimated the greens in this constituency!!!! Gotta do some thorough revision and come back with more realistic figures!!

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