Redditch

2015 Result:
Conservative: 20771 (47.1%)
Labour: 13717 (31.1%)
Lib Dem: 1349 (3.1%)
Green: 960 (2.2%)
UKIP: 7133 (16.2%)
Independent: 168 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 7054 (16%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: West Midlands, Hereford and Worcester. The whole of the Redditch council area and one ward from Wychavon.

Main population centres: Redditch.

Profile: The town of Redditch was originally the centre of the needle industry but massively expanded after its designation as a new town in the 1960s, seeing large new housing developments spring up to home the overspill population of Birmingham. It is now partly a dormitory town for the urban West Midlands, partly a retail and business centre in its own right as the home of Halfords and GKN.

Politics: The Redditch constituency was created in 1997 (the town previously having been in Mid Worcestershire) and was initially won by the Labour party`s Jacqui Smith. Smith held the seat with modest majorities throughout the Blair-Brown governments, rising to become the first female Home Secretary before becoming embroiled in the expenses scandal and, in due course, becoming one of the most high-profile MPs to lose their seat at the 2010 election.


Current MP
KAREN LUMLEY (Conservative) Born 1964, Barnsley. Educated at Rugby High School. Former Company secretary. Wrexham councillor 1991-96, Clwyd councillor 1993-96, Redditch councillor 2001-03. Contested Delyn 1997, 1999 Welsh Assembly elections, Redditch 2001, 2005. First elected as MP for Redditch in 2010.
Past Results
2010
Con: 19138 (43%)
Lab: 13317 (30%)
LDem: 7750 (18%)
UKIP: 1497 (3%)
Oth: 2316 (5%)
MAJ: 5821 (13%)
2005*
Con: 15296 (38%)
Lab: 18012 (45%)
LDem: 5602 (14%)
UKIP: 1381 (3%)
MAJ: 2716 (7%)
2001
Con: 14415 (39%)
Lab: 16899 (46%)
LDem: 3808 (10%)
UKIP: 1259 (3%)
Oth: 651 (2%)
MAJ: 2484 (7%)
1997
Con: 16155 (36%)
Lab: 22280 (50%)
LDem: 4935 (11%)
Oth: 227 (1%)
MAJ: 6125 (14%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
KAREN LUMLEY (Conservative) See above.
REBECCA BLAKE (Labour) Redditch councillor 2004-2007 and since 2011.
HILARY MYRES (Liberal Democrat) Former Calderdale councillor. Contested Calder Valley 2010.
PETER JEWELL (UKIP) Born Redditch. Businessman.
KEVIN WHITE (Green) Born Redditch. Contested Redditch 2010.
SETH COLTON (Independent) Kitchen and bedroom designer.
Links
Comments - 51 Responses on “Redditch”
  1. Tim Jones: “My father, who’s very political but not a Tory, always has a handful of Tory politicians he holds in extremely high regards. Brighton Kemptown’s Andrew Bowden was one, and John Biffen”

    Yes, Biffen was a decent MP, as was Bowden. I got my first tour of the Houses of Parliament through Andrew Bowden, as I went to Ardingly College, also his alma mater. He was a school governor there during my time. I did a Government and Law course as part of the Learning for Living strand they ran. The HoC visit was the absolute highlight of the course, having attended meetings of Mid Sussex District Council and West Sussex County Council, which to a 17 year old were like watching paint dry. I realise now that I was just a typical youngster with a very low attention span!

    The highlight of the visit was waiting for the meeting room which AB had booked for 3 pm to become available. As we were waiting, the door opened and out walked Derek Hatton and Eric Heffer, right at the time they were involved in the dispute with Neil Kinnock over the routing out of Militant (Heffer had walked out of Kinnock’s speech at the Labour Party Conference where he denounced the Labour leadership in Liverpool). They looked very disapprovingly at this bunch of obviously public school kids waiting to come into the room. He managed to get us into a debate, which turned out to be about the route of the Okehampton Bypass. There was just the Minister (I think it was the Secretary of State, Nicholas Ridley, whose daughter would later teach me History at university), and about 15 MPs, mostly Tory, from the West Country, plus Dennis Skinner and Michael Foot, both of whom used to attend virtually every debate. That was almost as soporific as the council meetings, but once I was a driver a few years later, I appreciated its importance.

    It’s funny – Bowden was equally respected by all sides of the House, and within his own party. He was regarded as being on the Right – perhaps he might have been on Law and Order, but was very happy to hold Margaret Thatcher’s feet to the coals over issues such as the NHS, which was a massive employer in his constituency with the Brighton General and Royal Sussex County Hospitals (though I think BGH is now in Brighton Pavilion).

    We also had Tim Renton, the local MP, visit Ardingly. He was another I had great respect for, and was a member of his local party for a while. Other well-respected Tory MPs were Sir Geoffrey Pattie and Sir George Young. These were true gentlemen. With some honourable exceptions, today’s MPs seem to reflect the state of the party. As an example, look at Rosena Alin-Khan’s Twitter account, and Nadine Dorries’ response to her very reasonable question in the House of Commons about support for carers.

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