Reading East

2015 Result:
Conservative: 23217 (46%)
Labour: 16697 (33.1%)
Lib Dem: 3719 (7.4%)
Green: 3214 (6.4%)
UKIP: 3647 (7.2%)
MAJORITY: 6520 (12.9%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Berkshire. The eastern part of Reading and three wards from the Wokingham council area, covering the town of Woodley.

Main population centres: Reading, Woodley.

Profile: Reading is a commercial centre and commuter town in the Thames Valley in Berkshire. It is an affluent town, home to light, hi tech and service industry and houses many corporate headquarters including Microsoft, Oracle, British Gas and Prudential. Reading East is the more urban of the two Reading seats, taking in the town centre and the eastern and northern suburbs. The seat contains the majority of the University of Reading, which straddles the constituency border, but more importantly the majority of the students.

Politics: Reading East was a Conservative seat lost to Labour in the 1997 landslide. The Labour MP, Jane Griffiths, was acrimoniously deselected prior to the 2005 election following a long standing disagreement with the neighbouring MP, Martin Salter, and infighting within the local Labour party. The new Labour candidate Tony Page was defeated by Conservative Rob Wilson, who has held the seat since then.

Current MP
ROB WILSON (Conservative) Born 1965, Oxfordshire. Educated at Reading University. Reading councillor 1992-96, 2003-06. First elected as MP for Reading East in 2005. Opposition Whip 2009-10, PPS to Jeremy Hunt 2010-2013, PPS to George Osborne 2013-2014. Minister for Civil Society since 2014. Former member of the SDP. Was successfully sued for libel by his Labour opponent, sitting MP Martin Salter, in 2005.
Past Results
Con: 21269 (43%)
Lab: 12729 (25%)
LDem: 13664 (27%)
UKIP: 1086 (2%)
Oth: 1237 (2%)
MAJ: 7605 (15%)
Con: 15557 (35%)
Lab: 15082 (34%)
LDem: 10619 (24%)
GRN: 1548 (4%)
Oth: 1106 (3%)
MAJ: 475 (1%)
Con: 13943 (32%)
Lab: 19531 (45%)
LDem: 8078 (19%)
GRN: 1053 (2%)
Oth: 1013 (2%)
MAJ: 5588 (13%)
Con: 17666 (35%)
Lab: 21461 (43%)
LDem: 9307 (19%)
Oth: 744 (1%)
MAJ: 3795 (8%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
ROB WILSON (Conservative) See above.
MATT RODDA (Labour) Project manager and former journalist. Reading councillor since 2011. Contested East Surrey 2010.
JENNY WOODS (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Oxford University. University programme leader.
ROB WHITE (Green) Born 1979. Reading councillor since 2010.
Comments - 191 Responses on “Reading East”
  1. Very little point in targeting Reading East while holding seats in one ward. Might be something for them in that Lib Dem vote from 2010. For some reason I think the Greens have potential to build momentum in Bath. Of course not winning the seat, but gains locally in city wards. Plus they did well there in the Euros.

    In this seat, 2015 will see Labour clawing back some of the support they lost in the last election largely at the expense of the Lib Dems. Won’t be enough to take back the seat but they’ve done well in local and European elections during this Parliament and have a solid base.

  2. Bath has at least some of the demographic which might be to the Greens’ benefit, and they don’t have to worry much about Labour there.

  3. I reckon that the tories will hold this but I think it will be really super close actually, the conservatives did much better than you’d have expected in 2010.

    Prediction for 2015-

    Con- 39%
    Lab- 32%
    Lib- 13%
    Green- 8%
    UKIP- 8%

  4. I think either Lab or LD will do slightly better, Greens a fair bit worse (5% may be reasonable) but the others are about right.

  5. UKIP candidate selections for Reading:

    East: Peter Mason-Apps
    West: Malik Azam

    Major party candidates, Reading East:

    Con: Rob Wilson
    Lab: Matt Rodda
    LD: Jenny Woods
    UKIP: Peter Mason-Apps
    Greens: Rob White

  6. Very poor local election result for labour here in a ward they won fairly comfortably in May. It is a fairly strange ward though in its voting behaviour…

    Con 726 Lab 498 LD 448 UKIP 275 Green 105

    Ward winner:
    2010 LD
    2011 Con
    2012 LD
    2014 Labour
    2014b Con

  7. A seat to watch come May 7th.

    Clearly Rob Wilson starts as favourite. His share of the vote is however only 43% so he is dependant on a split opposition. Given the young age profile of the seat , the 20% non White vote and the above average educational level among voters, this seems poor ground for UKIP – but if their vote rises and comes disproportionately from the Conservatives that takes Wilson below 40% and vulnerable.

    The challenge will come from Labour. The Liberal Democrat position has largely collapsed since 2010. They no longer hold any seats in the Reading wards in this seat, have lost their long established control of Woodley town council (the majority of which falls in this seat) and are struggling to maintain their position in the Wokingham wards – in Earley and Woodley – which they used to dominate. Its possible that their vote could halve, mainly helping Labour. The absence of the ineffective Anneliese Dodds and her replacement by a local councillor as Labour candidate may also assist.

    The wild card is Rob White, who has almost single handed transformed Park ward into a Green citadel. When he stood in 2010 he won less votes in the constituency than he won in his council ward the same day! He may well do a lot better this time round and I doing so come to Rob Wilson’s rescue.

  8. could be tight for Rob Wilson. Incumbent government often have reduced vote. Also feel that lib dem will lose ground after the peak of 2010, and more of those voters will steer away from conservatives. UKIP might steal more votes from conservatives than others. So I think it will be tighter than expected and maybe even labour sneaking a win.

  9. Conservative Hold. 4,000 maj

  10. I think Labour might win this seat.

    Their candidate seems to have been chosen with a view to LD/Green switchers:

    “Matt was a civil servant in the Department for Education … He now works for a University.”

    Against that Wikipedia says that Mr Wilson (the Con candidate) used to be a member of the SDP.

  11. Tory hold, but reduced by a resurgent Labour who’ll easily take many 2010 Lib Dem votes with them. But the swing needed and overall boundaries (taking in Woodley) is asking too much from an opposition party this time around.

  12. Gonna be closer than thought but CON hold 2500

  13. So Labour did see a recovery, but not enough to do any real damage. The Tories saw an increase in vote as well. Labour’s rose more so there was a small swing them. Overall majority is down from 15.2% to 12.9%.

    Reading is one of Labour’s best SE towns in terms of local representation, but the constituencies elude them, bar a Blair-type as PM, and the nature of this election meant that they were never in with a chance.

  14. My high hopes were dashed, but it’s noteworthy that Reading East now has the smaller Tory majority of the two constituencies.

  15. The town centre (Abbey ward) was in the old Reading North in both its incarnations

  16. In terms of demographics, one would expect Reading East to be a better prospect for Labour than Reading West because of its higher epoportion of ethnic minority voters and its higher proportion of students, even if it is not one of the 28 seats with more than 20% students (see the Canterbury thread.).

    Labour probably recovered somewhat here by 2015 from 2005′ when they had major problems with the deselection of their MP and the unsuitability of the replacement candidate they chose.

    Reading East Labour Party has a history of being more than usually left-wing, which may not hurt them here in 2020 given the strength of the student vote here. The anti-Corbynistas won’t vote Labour anyway.

  17. 58-42 Remain.

  18. Reading East nominates Owen Smith. 55%-45%. Reading West through nominated Jeremy Corbyn

  19. Milton Keynes North: Corbyn 58 Smith 22
    Milton Keynes South: Corbyn 57 Smith 24

  20. The New Statesman are compiling a full list – Currently 11-3 in Corbyn’s favour.

  21. Interesting that Richmond Park nominated Corbyn last year is now backing Smith. Maybe the CLP was split and it was a close result?

  22. Quite a few Burnham CLPs seem to be nominating Corbyn. Though Reigate which backed Cooper is now for him.

  23. Any Idea who is running for the parties in 2017. I know Rob Wilson is running again

  24. Any predictions on this seat. It could be closer than we think. Yougov have it as a toss up

  25. This is Labour target seat 67. If it goes then we’re certainly looking at PM Corbyn

  26. IIRC Labour did well here in locals last year, and Corbyn has visited at least once. It may well have a high number of Corbynites due to the uni. But the majority looks to me to be too big to overturn unless Labour are also gaining plenty of seats.

  27. Woodley may prove Labour’s downfall here.

  28. Labour gaining seats like Reading East but losing Mansfield. What a strange night.

  29. Well I was one General Election out in tipping this as a seat to watch.

    What probably did for Rob Wilson was the very young age profile of the seat (41% 34 or below based on the Stats above) and – possibly – the Thames Valley Remain vote.

  30. Labour have a bigger majority here than any non shefield south yorkshire seat.

  31. I assume you don’t include Penistone and Stockbridge in that

  32. I think the top 25 Muslim seats not only stayed Labour but had small or even no swings eg Bradford W, Blackburn etc.

    Students seats were I think 14 out of 20 for Labour.

    There aren’t many left but Labour leavers who stood did relatively well such as Graham Stringer in Blackley & B.

  33. Actually, many of the MPs who voted for Boris’s deal just before dissolution lost their seats anyway: Dennis Skinner, Caroline Flint, Ruth Smeeth, Gareth Snell, Melanie Onn, Laura Smith.

  34. In the end people don’t care how you voted

  35. Aye.

    In 2005, Jeremy Corbyn suffered a 10% swing against him to the Lib Dems in Islington North (comparable to many other inner London seats), chiefly because of the Iraq War. The fact that he was literally the leader of Stop The War at the time was immaterial. Only the party label is important.

  36. Twas ever thus. In 1997, there was no difference in the pounding meted out to Tory pro and anti European sitting MPs.

  37. Sadly the profile of the victims reminds me of the Manchester Arena bombing (perpetrated by other Libyans, of course).

    I’m told the history & politics teacher grew up in Liverpool and he and the American victim were gay friends enjoying a drink in the park. Other victims were teenage girls.

    I’ve only been to Reading once, c 2005 and I recall it seemed fairly Asian (to me), but I see from the stats above it’s fairly normal for the South East and only half of those are Muslims. A local did say yesterday those flats – which were raided – are known locally as Beirut, but I think that’s due to the state of them and the ASBO residents rather than any comment on the ethnicity.

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