Plymouth Moor View

2015 Result:
Conservative: 16020 (37.6%)
Labour: 14994 (35.2%)
Lib Dem: 1265 (3%)
Green: 1023 (2.4%)
UKIP: 9152 (21.5%)
TUSC: 152 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 1026 (2.4%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

Geography: South West, Devon. Part of the Plymouth council area.

Main population centres: Plymouth.

Profile: A maritime seat in Devon. Plymouth is home to the largest naval base in Europe and while the local economy is no longer dominated by the naval base, maritime industries remain important with electronics, engineering and boat building having primary roles. Plymouth Moor View is the northern part of the city and the more working class, containing many council housing developments to the north of the city.

Politics: Plymouth Moor View is the successor to Plymouth Devonport, renamed in 2010 after boundary changes removed the Devonport council ward and the naval base within it. As such it has had several distinguished past MPs - Leslie Hore-Belisha, Michael Foot and David Owen. David Owen stood down in 1992, by that time an Independent MP, and between 1992 and 2015 the seat was held by Labour. UKIP candidates have done well in both the Plymouth seats, holding their deposits in 2005 and 2010 even before their 2015 breakthrough.

Current MP
JOHNNY MERCER (Conservative) Born Kent. Educated at Sandhurst. Former army officer. First elected as MP for Plymouth Moor View in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 13845 (33%)
Lab: 15433 (37%)
LDem: 7016 (17%)
UKIP: 3188 (8%)
Oth: 2044 (5%)
MAJ: 1588 (4%)
Con: 10509 (25%)
Lab: 18612 (44%)
LDem: 8000 (19%)
UKIP: 3324 (8%)
Oth: 1568 (4%)
MAJ: 8103 (19%)
Con: 11289 (27%)
Lab: 24322 (58%)
LDem: 4513 (11%)
UKIP: 958 (2%)
Oth: 637 (2%)
MAJ: 13033 (31%)
Con: 12562 (24%)
Lab: 31629 (61%)
LDem: 5570 (11%)
Oth: 716 (1%)
MAJ: 19067 (37%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Plymouth, Devonport

2015 Candidates
JOHNNY MERCER (Conservative) Born Kent. Educated at Sandhurst. Former army officer.
ALISON SEABECK (Labour) Born 1954, Dagenham, daughter of former MP Michael Ward. Educated at Harold Hill Grammar School and North East London Polytechnic. MP for Plymouth Devonport 2005 to 2015. Partner of Nick Raynsford MP.
STUART BONAR (Liberal Democrat) Public affairs advisor. Contested Plymouth Moor View 2010.
BEN OSBORN (Green) Sound designer and composer.
LOUISE PARKER (TUSC) Jazz singer and former nurse.
Comments - 173 Responses on “Plymouth Moor View”
  1. I wonder how long Mercer will stick to his current line of ‘I’ve done nothing wrong so won’rt be apologising’

    He’s far from a conventional politician and seems to have a decent enough following from his electorate judging by the 2017 result, but his stock has been falling since then and it will be interesting to see how this plays out

  2. Johnny Mercer has announced he will refuse to vote for any non Brexit government legislation until legislation is brought forward to protect solders from prosecution for historical allegations.
    Will they do so soon? Could cause the latest rounds of Northern Ireland talks to collapse for example.

  3. Though I’m quite sympathetic to his views on this issue, it’s quite plainly ludicrous to expect such broad brush legislation could ever be enacted. It’s only practically possible to work on a nod and a wink basis, given Northern Ireland and UN commitments.

    No government can allow itself to give in to that kind of threat in any case, or every Tom Dick and Harry on the backbenches would do the same thing. It does show IMO that Mercer has no future in politics.

  4. A more limited version – only covering those not yet been charged is possible – but one covering people who have been charged would be extremely controversial and could cause absolute chaos in Northern Ireland.

  5. In practical terms none of it is possible frankly. Even disregarding the sensitivities of Northern Ireland it would breach multiple human rights obligations on a national, European and UN scale to grant members of the military immunity from prosecution for alleged abuses, even a very small segment of the military for historical cases.

    I suppose it’s not like ministers are averse to launching policies which are bound to fail in the courts, cf Javid stripping terrorists of citizenship. But on this I don’t think the government will dare to try.

  6. It makes it an issue Tory leadership contenders will have to pledge to introduce the legislation or lose support.

  7. Labour claiming it will consider to back forms of what Mercer wants.

  8. Isn’t Mercer basically calling for a form of government interference in the judiciary? It’s not up to our political system to decide on the guilt or innocence of criminal suspects, nor to uphold or drop convictions against them. I know in this case it’s motivated by noble intentions, but this is a deeply dangerous path to go down.

    Governments can write laws; they cannot administer them.

  9. Yes you are absolutely right, as I said in my post above. If they are minded to, the government can have a discreet word in the ear of a sympathetic judge or prosecutor. Anything beyond that is a no-no. I retain enough faith in the government to believe that they won’t be going down this path (though they’ll make sympathetic but meaningless noises).

  10. May’s government probably will avoid the path- a Johnson or Raab government will likely go down the path.

  11. ‘a Johnson or Raab government will likely go down the path.’

    Good job neither of those prospects look remotely likely at the moment – despite what your morbid persistence

  12. Morbid persistence – I really like that phrase. Actually it sums May up pretty well too.

  13. The thing that concerns me about the forthcoming leadership contest is that there are so many objectionable candidates that, although individually each is likely to fail, one is bound to sneak through when nobody is looking.

  14. Tory leadership contests are never won by the frontrunner – as Messers Clarke, Portillo and Davis can testify

    In many ways the most interesting candidate is Matt Hancock, who allied himself to George Osborne when entering Parliament in 2010, but has subsequently shifted to the soggier side of the party and his leadership pitch, seems to be broadly that of a one nation Conservative

    With the likes of Hunt pretending to be on the Right, this could indeed provide an opening for Hancock as the only candidate not pitching from the Right, a point which I’m sure hasn’t escaped such an ambitious politician

    Having said that it’s a pitch unlikely to appeal to the ever increasingly rightwards drift of the Tory membership, which means his chances of ultimate success aren’t likely to come to fruition

  15. Hancock is pitching to the right on Brexit more and more.

  16. Penny Moudant to announce a ban on prosecutions on solders for battle crimes – but not covering Northern Ireland (May does not want the inevitable collapse of stormont talks just yet.)

  17. Nia Griffth tweeted support for legalistic chances and the corbynite left has erupted with calls for her to be sacked over it – I can;t see her still being shadow defence sec on Saturday.

  18. Johnny Mercer has endorsed Boris Johnson.

    Could one of PM Boris first major problems be a major crisis in Northern Ireland – Mercer for example want’s prosecutions currently in the system (such as Solder F) to be stopped. Such a decision would trigger a crisis in Northern Ireland.

  19. “Such a decision would trigger a crisis in Northern Ireland.”

    We’ve already had the collapse of the assembly and the threat of a hard border, this is small beer by Ulster standards.

  20. I mean Sinn Fein openly refusing to talk to the Westmisnter goverment.

  21. Direct rule is going to come back to Northern Ireland because I can see Sinn Fein refusing to talk considering it seems Boris Johnson is preparing plans to close down ongoing prosecutions

  22. Johnny Mercer must surely be considered for Defence Sec considering how much he is campaigning for Boris he is doing.

  23. Johnny Mercer is made a junior defence minister.

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