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. Labour predictably took another seat in Southway ward from the Tories last night in a by-election – the party won the ward by 2-1 over the Tories last year – but it was a considerably worse result for the latter party than last year.

    Labour 1,247
    UKIP 764
    Conservative 487
    Independent 290
    Liberal Democrat 82
    TUSC 22

  2. Shows that UKIP could do rather well in Plymouth in the future, which could make it very difficult for the Tories to hold Plymouth Sutton & Devonport in 2015.

  3. I’ve always thought Plymouth was somewhere UKIP could actually win, if they put in the necessary effort and time. A big ‘if’ of course.

  4. That is a dreadful result. Congrats to labour

  5. Plymouth is obvious UKIP territory with lots of working class Tories – who used to support the SDP

    But the effect will be to deliver both seats comfortably to Labour.

  6. I thought Labour might hold both seats in 2010 actually – particularly with 2 fairly right wing Labour MPs
    which may appeal to the seat

  7. Defence cuts also tend to impact elections in Plymouth – according to Alan Clark’s diary this had a lot to do with the SDP’s success in the city in the late 1980s.

  8. Merseymike – are you and Mike Homfrey the same person?

  9. David Owen was originally MP for Plymouth Sutton until Feb 1974 and then became MP for Plymouth Devonport.

    I understand that the pre-1974 Plymonth Sutton became Plymouth Devonport and the pre-1974 Plymouth Devonport became Plymouth Drake. Alan Clark’s Post-1974 Plymouth Sutton had been largely carved from Devon (and largely returned there in 1997 as Devon South West).

  10. I also understand that the 1997 boundary changes more of less reversed the boundary changes of Feb 1974 to the pre-1974 boundaries.

    The 2010 boundary changes seem more radical, and I wonder what was their logic?

  11. HH: sorry, yes. It depends whether I send from my mobile or my laptop. I’d like to blend them into one ID if Anthony is able to do this

  12. Ah I see. I thought so – I had been treating you as one person when making comments.

  13. 2012 council election results for this constituency:

    Labour: 11,637 (51.4%)
    Conservatives: 5,975 (26.4%)
    UKIP: 4,685 (20.7%)
    Liberal Democrats: 214 (0.9%)
    Greens: 136 (0.6%)

    Total votes: 22,647

    Compared to the 2010 council election results here:

    Labour: +14.6%
    Conservatives: -5.2%
    Liberal Democrats: -16.5%
    UKIP: +9.6%
    BNP: -0.8%
    Greens: -0.1%

    Swing from Con to Lab: 9.9%

  14. David Owen is the most ‘principled’ person from the gang of four and I agree with his analysis on Ed Miliband and that UKIP is the new SDP.


  15. ‘David Owen is the most ‘principled’ person from the gang of four and I agree with his analysis on Ed Miliband and that UKIP is the new SDP.’

    A high proprtion of UKIP voters might very well be the same people who backed the SDP in the eatly 1980s (that would certainly be the case here) – largely out of increasing disaffection with Labour and Tory – but any simlarity between the two parties ends there

    The SDP was a soft-left continental-style social democratic party, whereas UKIP is a party of the hard right, somewhere between the BNP and the Conservatives

  16. It is easy to over analyse what makes people vote in a particular way. For hardened politicos, such as those who read and write here it is difficult to understand that people swing between polar opposites.

    Political affiliation is less like football allegiances now. Individuals will rotate between supporting different parties and not voting at all.

    I do not find it surprising that UKIP has polled best where the Lib Dems have done well in recent years. It is a sign of weakness and disaffection with the Labour and Conservative parties. In Scotland the SNP picked up support in the same electoral space.

    I think it unlikely UKIP will get very close to Westminster seats, they lack the depth of organisation to target effectively. For the Euro elections I would expect them to be second in lots of constituencies when the local counts are published, particularly in traditionally safe seats.

  17. Yes, I expect them to top the poll in the europeans, but maybe even come 3rd behind the tories in number of constituencies won.

  18. For UKIP to top the poll but come third in terms of seats won, they’d have to win the seats where they did come top extremely comfortably. Given their lack of organisation, that’s deeply unlikely. More plausible is that they come first in a large number of constituencies, but it’s a wave of froth that has little impact in most of those same seats in 2015.

  19. Or alternatively, they will get lots of 2nd places, whereas the tories and labour will get lots of poor 3rds.

  20. Edward hit it on the spot.. A “wave of froth”…. they have maybe done about as much as they can do on a disorganised basis. They would need to step it up a notch to make serious gains. Picking up votes in low turnout council by-elections with a thin crew is a lot easier than blanketing a council area where as many as 20 seats might be in play next May. Not only is it organisational from the people point of view but its also equipment and wherewithal. Most LibDem branches have printing equipment, some have premises, Many Tory and Labour branches have premises and all have “infrastructure” and methodology. Unless a UKIP branch has some real experts who have defected from the majors, the effort will be powered by disaffection alone.

  21. I still don’t see UKIP coming first in the euro elections. There are too many electoral deserts for them – Scotland, London and to a lesser extent Wales – which means they would have to do unrealistically well everywhere else to come out on top nationwide.

    I expect Labour will top the poll but with a relatively uninspiring vote share, not that different to the county elections this year.

  22. With the repugnant billionaire Paul Sykes bankrolling them I imagine UKIP will be almost dead certs to win the Euro elections in 2014

    The Europeans only have themselves to blame after forcing this ghastly PR voting sysyem on us which gave a foothold to the likes of UKIP and the BNP in the first place

  23. While a few million pounds may seem a lot of money it will only go a long way if spent of TV advertising.. Producing more leaflets that won’t be distributed or will be over-distributed in some places with many areas uncovered may mean they get less “bangs for the bucks” than might be imagined if the same money was given to parties who know how to use it.

    He has had a tendency to be divisive within the UKIP too. It will be interesting to see if he doles the cash to the whole party or selected favorites.

  24. i believe ukip,s best time will be in the next labour Government because the eu stops a lot of left wing stuff i.e why do you think the CBI is pro eu as long as we don,t keep falling apart and making silly errors as we are doing.

  25. “With the repugnant billionaire Paul Sykes bankrolling them I imagine UKIP will be almost dead certs to win the Euro elections in 2014”

    Paul Sykes is not a billionaire, though he is probably worth more than £500m. I wouldn’t personally describe him as repugnant either. His crowning business achievement was building the Meadowhall centre, which I think everyone can agree has done wonders for Sheffield.

    Sykes was a high profile bankroller of the Hague and Howard leaderships and electorally it didn’t do either much good.

  26. H.Hemmelig: It must be considered though that UKIP is a party with minimal financial backing when compared to the Conservatives etc.

    Sykes endorsement is enormous for UKIP. We have seen what UKIP can do with a couple of hundred thousand. With even just a million or two behind them from Sykes they could do huge damage on us as Conservatives.

    As we all know, money talks in elections.

  27. “Sykes endorsement is enormous for UKIP.”

    But you’re talking as if his endorsement is something new. Sykes gave millions to UKIP in 2004 as well. We’ll have to wait and see who is right, but personally I don’t expect UKIP to do better than a respectable second place.

  28. “As we all know, money talks in elections.”

    Not always in this country….if elections were all down to money, the Tories would have won a landslide in virtually every general election in living memory. The Referendum party spent many millions and got very little return for Goldsmith’s investment.

  29. “I don’t expect UKIP to do better than a respectable second place”

    i agree we have just not got the right mix yet.

  30. I believe that you are enormously underestimating UKIP’s performance next year. I am wary of the threat they pose however.

  31. “I don’t expect UKIP to do better than a respectable second place”

    I really hope you are right. I’m no fan of UKIP!

    But the turnout in european elections is so low around 30% and Ukip supporters are motivated to vote in the european elections and disproportionately elder who are most reliable voters.

    The Bnp got 6.5% of the vote and will pull 1-2% – a lot of their voters will turn to Ukip.

    Ukip will do badly in Scotland and London but will get support elsewhere. It’s between Labour and Ukip for first place.

  32. I think also that people are prematurely writing off the Tories in the euro elections. Their poll ratings are far from calamitous, in contrast to Labour in 2009, so I find it hard to believe they will go down to the same degree of defeat. I think we may well see Labour, UKIP and the Tories quite close together, something like 27%-25%-23%, with Labour securing an underwhelming first place similar to the county council elections.

  33. I don’t think the BNP will take more than about 3% in the Euro elections. Some of it will go back to Labour, some to UKIP.

  34. I think they’ll be lucky to do even that well. The party is now in freefall & voters know that if they back UKIP they can now have some of the BNP’s policies without backing a genuinely fascist party. The fact that in recent years they’ve been unable even to field candidates in wards they were winning not many years ago (one example which comes to mind is Castle & Priory ward in Dudley, and there are plenty of others) shows the extent to which that baleful organization is collapsing.

  35. Its going to be fun seeing NG lose his seat.

  36. I doubt he’ll appear at the count if he’s lost his seat.

  37. My prediction for 2015 here:

    Lab 42
    Con 25
    UKIP 17
    LD 8
    Others 8


  38. “How Labour is failing to grasp Ukip’s appeal to angry white voters
    It’s not just the economy that those who have left Labour feel strongly about – it’s modern Britain’s society and culture too

    After warnings from a shadow minister and the leader of Unison, the Fabian Society identified six Labour-held seats that Ukip – now the most working-class party in Britain – effectively “won” at the elections last month. In Rotherham, Rother Valley, Dudley North, Plymouth Moor View and Penistone and Stocksbridge, the speed of Ukip’s advance, coupled with evidence of a broader decline in blue-collar support for Labour, led the Fabians to talk of a “considerable vulnerability to Ukip”.

  39. *Seabeck (Lab) 18,145
    Meldrew (UKIP) 11,156
    Richards (Con) 9,060
    Plopwell (LD) 1,037
    Ike (Green) 598

    Lab Hold
    Maj 6,989

  40. Who’s Richards?

  41. a very good prospect for UKIP.

  42. I can see UKIP doing well here. This area is one of the most deprived in the country. The political establishment forget about areas such as this and the locals will rebel. They see UKIP as the only option against a sea of lies and broken promises.

  43. Partisan stuff. Cut it out.

  44. I think Labour will hold on fairly comfortably but UKIP have a good shot at second placeb because both the Tory and LD votes could collapse quite badly in a seat with these characteristics.

  45. Ouch.
    Does anyone like my prediction above?

  46. It isn’t wholly implausible actually although a UKIP advance of that scale would most likely hold the Labour vote down a bit as well. If UKIP can get into second place in some ‘safe’ Labour seats like this then they would be in a very good position to benefit at the following election when a Miliband led government has plummed Hollandesque levels of unpopularity

  47. That could be one silver lining – if it comes about…..

  48. BARNABY MARDER I’m not in any political party , I don’t have a particular favourite either, but if I did join one it sure as hell wouldn’t be UKIP.

  49. Good selection by the Tories though, an Afghan war veteran.

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