2015 Result:
Conservative: 18684 (39.7%)
Labour: 16759 (35.6%)
Lib Dem: 1774 (3.8%)
Green: 1218 (2.6%)
UKIP: 7485 (15.9%)
Liberal: 639 (1.4%)
Independent: 516 (1.1%)
MAJORITY: 1925 (4.1%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

Geography: Eastern, Cambridgeshire. Part of the Peterborough council area.

Main population centres: Peterborough, Eye, Thorney.

Profile: Peterborough was a victorian industrial town that has grown massively since the 1970s after being designated as a newtown in 1967. It is an economically successful city with strong service and distribution industries on the back of good transport links (there are intercity trains to London and it sits just off the A1(M)). It is an ethnically diverse city - there is a significant Asian Muslim population, but also many Italian immigrants (due to recruitment for the brickmaking industry in the 1950s) and more recent Eastern European immigration. The seat also contains an area of Fenland to the east including the villages of Thorney and Eye.

Politics: A key marginal between the Conservatives and Labour, Peterborough fell to Labour in 1997 and was regained by the Conservatives in 2005.

Current MP
STEWART JACKSON (Conservative) Born 1965, Woolwich. Educated at Chatham House Grammar and Royal Holloway. Former bank manager and business development manager. Ealing councillor 1990-1998. Contested Brent South 1997, Peterborough 2001. First elected as MP for Peterborough in 2005. PPS to Owen Paterson 2010-2011. Resigned as a PPS after rebelling over the issue of an EU referendum.
Past Results
Con: 18133 (40%)
Lab: 13272 (30%)
LDem: 8816 (20%)
UKIP: 3007 (7%)
Oth: 1699 (4%)
MAJ: 4861 (11%)
Con: 17364 (42%)
Lab: 14624 (35%)
LDem: 6876 (17%)
UKIP: 1242 (3%)
Oth: 1098 (3%)
MAJ: 2740 (7%)
Con: 15121 (38%)
Lab: 17975 (45%)
LDem: 5761 (14%)
UKIP: 955 (2%)
MAJ: 2854 (7%)
Con: 17042 (35%)
Lab: 24365 (50%)
LDem: 5170 (11%)
Oth: 926 (2%)
MAJ: 7323 (15%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
STEWART JACKSON (Conservative) See above.
LISA FORBES (Labour) Peterborough councillor.
DARREN FOWER (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Walton Comprehensive and De Montfort University. Media development officer. Peterborough councillor since 2004.
DARREN BISBY-BOYD (Green) Born Belfast.
JOHN FOX (Independent) Educated at Queens Boys Secondary Modern, Wisbech. Former police officer. Peterborough councillor since 2002.
CHRIS ASH (Liberal) Peterborough councillor 1986-1994 and since 2000.
Comments - 1,108 Responses on “Peterborough”
  1. CON 7243
    LAB 10484
    BXP 9801
    LD 4159

  2. Obviously well done to Labour, but for me it’s looking like the Tories did a lot better than most people were expecting and that’s probably what swung the seat in Labour’s favour.

  3. True. Plus if you add UKIP+ED+SDP, it would have been a Brexit Party majority of 5 votes.

  4. This is the result I expected a few weeks ago although Lab a bit lower before I turned to expecting a narrow brexit party win

    Broadly in line with the national polls and compares to the 2015 result.

    Labour got 36% here in 2015 so suggests Labour are around 25/26% nationally now but LD and Green votes can probably be pulled back for them.

    Also ok Tory vote.

  5. Prof Curtice says 31% is the lowest ever winning share in a Parliamentary By-election.

    It’s equal best – with Heywood & Middleton – for a Brexiteer Party in a by-election, but not as good as Clacton or Rochester.

    He says it shows the recent Westminster polls are accurate.

  6. Turnout here was 48%.
    A good result.

  7. FORBES Lisa – Labour: 10,484

    GREENE Michael Thomas – Brexit Party: 9,801

    BRISTOW Paul – Conservative: 7,243

    SELLICK Rebeka – Liberal Democrats: 4159

    WELLS Joseph – Green Party: 1035

    WHITBY John – UK Independence Party: 400

    ROGERS Thomas – Christian People’s Alliance: 162

    GOLDSPINK Stephen – English Democrats – 153

    O’FLYNN Patrick – SDP Fighting for Brexit: 135

    HOPE – Alan – Official Monster Raving Loony Party: 112

    MOORE Andrew – Independent: 101

    RODGERS Richard – Common Good – Remain in the EU: 60

    WARD Peter – Renew: 45

    KIRK Pierre – UK European Union: 25

    SMITH Robert – Independent: 5

  8. Thoughts:
    1. An experienced candidate with a full set of policies won. This in itself is a good thing.
    2. Everyone – including me – overestimated the Brexit Party. I suspect they might prove to be a flash in the pan.
    3. Bearing in mind, he is a millionaire who had the support of the Peterborough Telegraph and the Express, Greene’s claims to be an underdog defeated by a privileged elite are very unconvincing.
    4. A shame Beki Sellick didn’t do better. A genuinely excellent candidate. Lib Dems do seem weak in P’boro.
    5. The Tories could conceivably win back the seat if Boris calls a GE this year. Or Forbes might still be MP in 2035. None of us know!
    Good luck to her.

  9. Told you that the Lib Dems would do far worse than Deepthroat’s projection. This really is not a strong area for them at all.

    This was yet another by-election which Farage could have won had he stood himself, yet his party lost because he chickened out of standing.

    Overall a most satisfying result in the circumstances. The Brexit Party momentum has come to a juddering halt. If they can’t win this kind of heavily Leave seat in such favourable circumstances it’s plain there is nothing like a majority for No Deal in the country.

  10. I agree with all comments above. Poor showing for BXP. I can’t help thinking NHS-Trump shifted a lot of votes to LAB.

    CON vote held up reasonably well and basically scuppered BXP win. I should have considered more the big Tory vote here overlast few decades.

    As for my final prediction of BXP 32 % LAB 30, I should have paid more attention to national polling whilst recalling that the constituency is a bellwether one. – and I should have heeded HHs advice on LD performance!

  11. “I can’t help thinking NHS-Trump shifted a lot of votes to LAB.”

    I think that is right. The fact that there is a very large BAME component to Labour’s core vote here, which I have repeatedly stated upthread, was also probably decisive.

    Though Labour lost a lot of votes yesterday, Corbyn has outsmarted his critics yet again. I have never bought the theory that the Barnsleys and Bolsovers would vote Brexit Party in a general election.

  12. ‘Overall a most satisfying result in the circumstances. The Brexit Party momentum has come to a juddering halt. If they can’t win this kind of heavily Leave seat in such favourable circumstances it’s plain there is nothing like a majority for No Deal in the country.’

    Agree although thus result will help Johnson is his claim that if the Tories lose the Brexit vote, Jeremy Corbyn gets into Downing Street

  13. The other thing is that if the Brexit Party had won it would probably have torched any residual hopes of the Labour Party embracing a second referendum.

    On a grander scale, this may be a crucial turning point in the history of the Labour/Tory duopoly. If the Brexit Party had won here, in the context of an unprecedentedly fragmented electoral landscape, it might have killed off the “if you don’t vote for us, the other lot will get in” argument both parties have relied on for decades. But Labour’s win, and the Tories’ respectable third place, mean the two parties took over half the votes between them here, some way ahead of where they have been in recent national polling. They aren’t dead yet…

  14. Hemmy: “I have never thought the Barnsleys and Bolsovers would vote for the Brexit Party in a general election.”

    What about some of the Tory shires?

  15. On the face of it you can make a case for it being a good result for all the 4 party’s that topped the poll

    Labour because they won
    Brexit Party because they almost won in a seat they had never contested before
    Tories because they defied the predictions of doom and their vote held up pretty well compared to the drubbing they received in the recent Euro elections
    And the Lib Dems vote went up by almost 10% in a heavily Leave voting area

  16. While this result shows no majority for no deal the Tory membership is still extremely likely to elect as PM someone who is preparing to deliver no deal.

  17. “While this result shows no majority for no deal the Tory membership is still extremely likely to elect as PM someone who is LYING THAT HE/SHE IS preparing to deliver no deal.”

    Fixed for you

    Honestly, don’t you ever get bored of posting exactly the same bloody thing?

  18. “What about some of the Tory shires?”

    Depends on the shire. I don’t see the Brexit Party winning more than 20 odd seats, largely the same old same old coastal Tory seats like Clacton, Boston and Thanet which have always been UKIP’s strongest targets.

  19. I mean, those are always the usual suspects. I’m more interested in their chances in places like Broxbourne or South Holland & the Deepings, which are more affluent, and were safe-enough Tory seats even in 1997, but nevertheless recorded 70% or so in favour of leave.

  20. It occurs to me we are heaping a little too much praise on the Conservative Party here. 21% is nothing to write home about – down fully 25% on the result at the last general election. It’s even 14% less than the 1997 nadir.

  21. I am certainly not heaping any praise on the Conservative party. I don’t think many would doubt the depth of the hole they’ve dug themselves into.

    Nevertheless not for the first time you are comparing apples with oranges. This was a by-election, and even at the 1997 GE the Tories significantly outperformed most of their by-election disasters from the preceding few years (even regaining Christchurch).

    The difference of course vis a vis the 1990s is that then there was a popular opposition sweeping all before it, and today there is not. Even if the Tories fall to 20-25% of the national vote, I highly doubt Corbyn will be able to get a majority. We are set for a very hung and fragmented parliament next time.

  22. We could be looking at a national outcome seatwise of something like:

    Lab 270
    Con 235
    SNP 43
    LD 30
    Brexit 24
    DUP 10
    SF 7
    PC 4
    Others 5

    Weirdly there isn’t likely to be that much change seats wise up or down for Labour even they struggle to get more than 30% nationally , they may lose 6 seats to the SNP and 1-3 seats to the Lib dems but they can be pretty confident of defending all their marginal seats against the Tories and making a tiny gain of seats like Milton Keynes, Northampton, Hastings etc.

    They may lose a few to the brexit party like e.g. Ashfield but that is unclear.

    Lib dems will probably fall back to 15% and won’t make more than a 15 seat gain from the Tories only where they are strong like e.g. St Albans, Hazel Grove, Cheadle etc.

    brexit party can maybe still win a couple dozen seat of the Tories. Utra brexit seats such as boston and a few ultra leave ex lab seats like Walsall N and Mansfield cant be completely ruled out.

  23. Probably a bit early to be predicting the national result? An election’s not even been called!

  24. Why on Earth did UKIP stand? They didn’t in 2017. They undoubtedly cost the BP the seat.

  25. Seems to me a very good example of the Narcissism of Small Differences.

  26. Police have confirmed that they are investigating five specific allegations of fraud in the By-election.

    The Sunday Times Insight Team have found that a Tariq Mahmood – previously convicted for postal vote fraud here – was telling on polling day, photographed with the candidate and with Corbyn, despite the Party insisting that he played no part in the campaign.

    Indeed he himself had denied that he was involved; however, they have published photographs confirming all three instances.

    Other allegations include that voters were paid and that he and other community leaders had undue influence over votes in two wards in particular.

  27. The investigation in 3 allegations (one related to bribery and two relating to postal votes) is finished with no offense found

    The investigation in the other 2 (one related to voters taking pics of the ballot papers and one made on social media about the burning of 1000 Brexit Party ballots) is still going on.

  28. Brexit Party challenging the result in court.
    By the time it all goes through the Brexit Party may well have effectively join the Tories.

  29. ~ Effectively joined the Tories or the Tories be popular enough to lead from 3-1.

  30. From Peterborough Telegraph:
    Police have ended a fourth investigation into alleged electoral fraud at the Peterborough by-election.
    Officers have previously declared that no offences were committed in relation to one allegation of bribery and two relating to postal votes, and now a fourth allegation – the burning of ballots – has also led to the same conclusion.
    This leaves just one outstanding allegation – a breach of the privacy of the vote.

  31. The fraud allegations turned out to be a load of fuss about nothing then…

    From Independent 17.7.19

    Police have concluded no criminal offences were committed in the Peterborough by-election following an investigation into a fifth and final allegation of electoral fraud.

    Cambridgeshire Police had already found no evidence of wrongdoing after probing an allegation of ballot-burning, a report of bribery, and two claims related to postal votes.

    The force said on Tuesday it had also now found no offences were committed in relation to a fifth allegation of a breach of voting privacy.

    Labour’s Lisa Forbes won last month’s election, beating the Brexit Party into second place by 683 votes.

  32. Always suspected that rumours of fraud were conspiracy theories. Given the history of fraud in majority-Muslim Tower Hamlets, and the Biradari system of political patronage in some Muslim communities, there was probably also some racism at play.

  33. I think you’re right.

  34. PT – neither, given that the Sunday Times had photos of the convicted fraudster telling for Labour and giving lifts.

    I suspect it merely means he’ll be prosecuted (again), rather than the candidate or agent having committed any offences.

    EROs & some police forces are woeful in this area. In my own area, I know of a Cllr who took proof of electoral fraud to both and neither were going to act on it ’til he turned up with a journalist and photographer!

  35. No evidence of fraud was found.
    Giving voters lifts to the polling station has long been normal practice.

  36. Not if you are a convicted of an election offence – as he was – and are therefore barred for 5 years for taking part in election campaigns in any way!

    As I said, he was photographed telling outside a polling station as well.

  37. As far as I’m aware he was convicted in 2008

  38. If I wasn’t convinced the electoral fraud allegations were absolute balls already, I certainly would be now!

  39. Another General Election imminent?
    Could be the 4th time Peterborough elects an MP within a 5 year period.

  40. Every chance this seat would revert to the Tories, which would make it four MPs in two and a half years.

    Richmond Park also likely to have the MP change three times over the same period, but Zac Goldsmith would occupy two of those terms, and likely Sarah Olney would occupy the other two, so not quite the same.

  41. Far from certain the Tories would win. They barely scored 20% three months ago.

  42. But that happened just days after the Tories scored 9% in the Euros. Very different context. On current nationwide polling they’d be the favourites here.

  43. I have lived in constituency on/off for decades and LibDems won’t win here – as long as Lab retains it’s Remainy stance and with esp with Umunna who I don’t think will be popular.

    Around half of the electorate are in the more socially mixed areas of Paddington and Pimlico which includes some large council estates (Churchill Gardens and Millbank Estate) so there’ll be a return for the support of Corbyns policies. Also the Labour PPC here is a strong one. He puts himself about a lot and is loud and likeable.

    I would say Tories are clear favourites at this moment I guess but perhaps we should wait as it’s absolutely mad at the current time.

  44. Doesn’t sound like Peterborough. A mistake I assume.

  45. The Tories should have been favourites based on the national polling in 2017 and 2019, yet Labour won both times.
    We will see what happens!

  46. The Tories should have been favourites based on the national polling in 2017 and 2019

    In 2019 everyone thought that the Brexit Party would make it their first seat, yet they fell short, albeit not by much

    Throughout the post war period Peterborough has been considerably less Labour inclined than its demographics would suggest, so 2017 was a good result for Labour (the seat was Tory in 1966 and 2005)

  47. By my reckoning, most recent General Election results show Peterborough to be a mildly Labour-inclined marginal. The Tories would probably need to be 5 points or so ahead to win here.

    Incidentally, the 2005 result was well out of line with this pattern, probably as a result of Muslim voters across the country deserting Labour in that election . They nearly all returned in 2010, and this is largely forgotten now, as most seats where this happened were safe-Labour.

  48. In Peterborough, Labour have won 8 out of 21 elections since 1945.
    In the UK, they’ve won 9 out of 20.

  49. I broadly agree with CH here.

    The high muslim vote explains Labour’s under-performance in 2005 and their subsequent over-performance since then. It made the crucial difference in winning the seat in 2017 and holding off the Brexit party in the by-election.

    In an even year this is narrowly a Labour seat on these boundaries.

  50. There was a large Muslim population in Peterborough in the 1980s too though. Has it grown a lot since? I’m not sure if it’s such a big factor.

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