Penrith & The Border

2015 Result:
Conservative: 26202 (59.7%)
Labour: 6308 (14.4%)
Lib Dem: 3745 (8.5%)
Green: 2313 (5.3%)
UKIP: 5353 (12.2%)
MAJORITY: 19894 (45.3%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: North West, Cumbria. The whole of Eden council area, part of the Carlisle council area and part of Allerdale.

Main population centres: Penrith, Brampton, Longtown, Wigtown, Appleby, Kirkby Stephen.

Profile: A geographically huge constituency at the extreme north-west of England. The seat comprises the whole of Eden District council, most of the rural parts of Carlisle Council (Carlisle constituency is almost entirely surrounded by Penrith & the Border) and part of Allerdale. The largest population centre is the town of Penrith itself, along with smaller market towns. The seat is sparsely populated and largely dependent on agriculture and the tourism industry in the Lake District.

Politics: A safe Conservative seat, held by the party since the 1920s. Former MPs include Thatcher`s deputy Prime Minister Willie Whitelaw and former Conservative Chief Whip David Maclean.

Current MP
RORY STEWART (Conservative) Born 1973, Hong Kong. Educated at Eton and Oxford University. Former army officer, diplomat, Harvard professor, deputy governor of Maysan province, Iraq and Chief executive of an Afghanistan regeneration NGO.. First elected as MP for Penrith and the Border in 2010. Junior Minister for Environment and Rural Affairs since 2015. Awarded the OBE 2004 for service in Iraq.
Past Results
Con: 24071 (53%)
Lab: 5834 (13%)
LDem: 12830 (28%)
UKIP: 1259 (3%)
Oth: 1093 (2%)
MAJ: 11241 (25%)
Con: 24046 (51%)
Lab: 8958 (19%)
LDem: 12142 (26%)
UKIP: 1187 (3%)
Oth: 549 (1%)
MAJ: 11904 (25%)
Con: 24302 (55%)
Lab: 8177 (18%)
LDem: 9625 (22%)
UKIP: 938 (2%)
Oth: 1207 (3%)
MAJ: 14677 (33%)
Con: 23300 (48%)
Lab: 10576 (22%)
LDem: 13067 (27%)
MAJ: 10233 (21%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
RORY STEWART (Conservative) See above.
LEE RUSHWORTH (Labour) Educated at Wirral Metropolitan College. Civil servant.
NEIL HUGHES (Liberal Democrat)
JOHN STANYER (UKIP) Born Chester. Hotelier and farmer. Contested Penrith and the Border 2010.
Comments - 173 Responses on “Penrith & The Border”
  1. Rory Stewart reminds me a lot of Ed Miliband, in that he appeals disproportionately to political nerds, who are prepared to overlook the shallow factors which will likely condemn his chances in the eyes of the general public.

    Stewart is geeky, looks and sounds weird, and frankly pretty ugly, there is very little chance of the public voting for a Prime Minister like that in the modern age (note he polled the worst of all Tory leadership candidates with the public at large).

  2. ‘there is very little chance of the public voting for a Prime Minister like that in the modern age’

    i think his campaign is the only one gathering momentum following the first vote

    He’s very unlikely to make it through to the final 2 but with Hancock now gone he’s the only remaining candidate who’s positioned himself on the centre/left, and should be able to win over a fair share of Hancock supporters – who were almost exclusively on the centre left of the party

  3. HH is quite right. In fact I think Stewart is even odder than Miliband. Don’t get me wrong, I admire the guy, but he is both difficult to look at and quite odd to listen to…kind of a killer in 2019. Not that any of the other candidates could remotely be described as attractive, other than McVey and perhaps Hunt if you were feeling very generous.

  4. McVey looks OK despite having aged a lot since she was a GMTV hottie….though her horrible put-on voice outweighs the looks. Hunt OK though his eyes are a bit strange and he nods his head a lot. Javid bald, Gove weird and ugly (see Stewart), Raab OK looking I suppose, Boris is Boris.

    “He’s very unlikely to make it through to the final 2”

    Most of Hunt’s and Javid’s backers are Remainers, in the unlikely chance he can outlast those two, he might squeeze it. But it’s very unlikely and Boris would make mincemeat of him with the membership.

  5. And the leavers who back Hunt and Javid clearly don’t like Boris at all and any pledge of support would be hollow.

  6. ‘Most of Hunt’s and Javid’s backers are Remainer’

    They are whereas Gove seems the only candidate to attract those from all over the party from those on the Left like Morgan, Vaizey and Tugendhat to those on the Right like Hayes and Leigh

  7. Agreed and, I never thought I’d see myself write this, I think Gove is probably the least bad choice now. It’s unlikely we can achieve an undamaging Brexit at this point but of all the candidates Gove is probably the one with the best shot at it. Sadly the only chance he gets it from here is if Boris makes a monumental gaffe and implodes.

  8. ‘Agreed and, I never thought I’d see myself write this, I think Gove is probably the least bad choice now’

    He’s the cleverest candidate of the lot and I agree that his Brexit would certainly be the least damaging of all the pro-Brexit candidates(ie everyone apart from Stewart)

    Sadly grassroot Tories ate all too aware that he goes down badly in public and whilst he’s held with some affection not as much as Boris – very much the darling if the Right

    ‘Sadly the only chance he gets it from here is if Boris makes a monumental gaffe and implodes.’

    Which I can see happening more than ever

  9. Yep. I think Polltroll & others calling him a “fascist” is wide of the mark. He’s more like a tasteless 1970s comedian like Bernard Manning, telling risqué and racist jokes for humour and effect without necessarily agreeing with them in real life. He’s constantly at risk of going too far.

  10. Very much so. Like Trump is but Boris listens to his advisors who have advised him to keep his head down unlike Trump. And Boris does respect Democracy when at his heart Trump doesn’t.

  11. Personally I thought Stewart was the stand out performer at today’s hustings – and the audience certainly seemed to share that opinion

    I’m not sure if his odd-looking demeanour is such a drawback. People are tired of the charisma-heavy Cameron/Blair types who are very much yesterday’s men

    He seems to be the candidate with the momentum, getting out and making his arguments and whilst you can’t imagine him beating Boris, Johnson’s decision to duck tonight’s debate ought to make his coronation not the foregone conclusion most are assuming

  12. I don’t think anyone hit a home run but Javid, Hunt and Gove seemed to be stepping on each others feet to say no deal must stay on the table and we should never suspend parliament. Gove did play on his experience which I thought was good. I agree though the audience seemed to warm to Rory. His bin metaphor seems to have stuck too. I didn’t think he was that good but clearly seems to have impressed. Could go out on Tuesday but fall just short. Looks like Raab could fall short too

  13. Tim J – I agree the audience liked Rory; but, of course the audience were the public ie majority non-Tories and so not who has votes in this contest. Indeed, Rory sounds happier with Chuka in the LibDems after he fails.

  14. I thought they were all fine apart from Raab…he seemed angry, tetchy and seemed drowned out by the others. This was actually a good opportunity for him particularly (with Boris not being there), but he didn’t do well.

  15. I just think Raab’s whole campaign has showcased that he simply isn’t clever enough to make a success of being PM and therefore isnt worth the risk.

  16. Lol Raab got a 1st in Law from Oxford so on that basis is actually the cleverest of all 12 who originally declared.

  17. His comments on not understanding how reliant the UK was on Dover port for importing goods from the EU suggest otherwise

    Almost as comical as your suggestion that Boris isn’t the first choice amongst Tory voters and supporters

  18. I merely corrected your false assertion: at the time he was in fact 5th amongst Tory voters and in the betting.

    Although even a majority of members don’t want Boris in the most recent polls. He simply has a plurality of support (with 46% being the highest in a poll) – which is why the cakewalk articles on ConHome were laughable. Indeed, if Team Boris was so far ahead, there’d be no need for all of the Telegraph, ConHome and Guido articles.

  19. The MI6 stuff is bizarre- the Telgraph readers tend to like Solders and Spies

  20. ‘Indeed, if Team Boris was so far ahead, there’d be no need for all of the Telegraph, ConHome and Guido articles.’

    That’s true – although Boris is starting to look like he knows it’s in the bag

    I thought he was poor tonight although none of the candidates really shone – with nearly all of them failing to give straight answers to relatively clear cut questions

  21. So… Rory Stewart has resigned from the Conservative Party and will contest the next London mayoralty.

    Looking like a more interesting race than the widely assumed walkover for Sadiq Khan against the laughable Shaun Bailey we were all imagining a few months ago. Also have to bear I mind that the Lib Dems could be a credible challenger on current polling…

  22. “Looking like a more interesting race than the widely assumed walkover for Sadiq Khan”

    Au contraire. This will make it an even easier walkover for Khan, by splitting the Tory and Lib Dem votes. The Lib Dems might have given Khan a run for his money but with Stewart leaching their right-leaning support this is now highly unlikely.

    Have to say this is a pretty weird decision by Stewart. Though Bailey is a plank, he is at least a bona-fide Londoner and reaches out beyond the pale male stale Tory demographic. Parachuting in from Penrith isn’t likely to result in much success. I’m still expecting Khan to win on the first round.

  23. Yes, Mr Bailey can say goodbye to his chances of Stewart stands. I wouldn’t completely discount the O!d Etonians chances – he is quirky, a little odd but he’s a wonderful communicator. He’ll be an independent candidate too. By the time we get to May2020, the two old parties brands might be even held in lower esteem than now.

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