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
Con: 19138 (43%)
Lab: 13317 (30%)
LDem: 7750 (18%)
UKIP: 1497 (3%)
Oth: 2316 (5%)
MAJ: 5821 (13%)
Con: 15296 (38%)
Lab: 18012 (45%)
LDem: 5602 (14%)
UKIP: 1381 (3%)
MAJ: 2716 (7%)
Con: 14415 (39%)
Lab: 16899 (46%)
LDem: 3808 (10%)
UKIP: 1259 (3%)
Oth: 651 (2%)
MAJ: 2484 (7%)
Con: 16155 (36%)
Lab: 22280 (50%)
LDem: 4935 (11%)
Oth: 227 (1%)
MAJ: 6125 (14%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

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.
Comments - 42 Responses on “Redditch”
  1. Was Inkberrow in
    Droitwich 1885-1918
    Kidderminster 1918-50
    Bromsgrove 1950-74
    Bromsgrove and Redditch 1974-83
    Worcester 1983-97?

  2. Interesting result in Redditch borough in the local elections:

    Lab 6,205
    UKIP 6,022
    Con 5,043
    Green 938
    LD 776
    Ind 213

    The constituency also includes about 30% of both the Harvington and Ombersley divisions from Wychavon district. The result for the Redditch constituency would then be as follows:

    Lab 6,465
    UKIP 6,290
    Con 5,963
    Green 979
    LD 818
    Others 213

  3. There was a by-election here on Thursday in the Church Hill ward. It was triggered by the resignation of UKIP councillor. Labour gained with a decent spike in their vote:

    LAB 43.9% (+11.7%) – 600 votes
    CON 24.8 (+2.2%)
    UKIP 24.3% (-10.5%)
    LD 2.9% (-1.2%)
    GRN 2.5% (-1.7%)
    IND 1.0% (+1.0%)
    IND 0.7% (-0.7%)

    Labour saw an increase in their overall majority in terms of council composition this year. They will likely have an increase in vote share at the GE as there should be some unwind from that huge anti-Jacqui Smith vote in 2010. But as that was a GE and not a by-election, the majority and swing required should keep this with the Conservatives. Plus Redditch looks like a town where UKIP has gained some traction. There’s a hefty Lib Dem vote from 2010 Labour can tap into, but their own vote is at risk from UKIP.

    Jacqui Smith would’ve lost this in 2010 anyway, but if she wasn’t caught up in the expenses row the swing to the Tories would’ve been smaller and Labour might have been in a position to gain it next year.

  4. Surprisingly little comment here for what on paper looks like an interesting race.

    Neil’s comment seems reasonable if slightly confident about the probability of a Tory hold (it was pre-Clacton to be fair). As he says, Labour’s share will certainly rise, albeit they’re unlikely to get the sort of shares Smith got pre-expenses. I agree with his assessment that there will be an element of a hangover effect from 2010 for Labour, although I don’t think it necessarily means that they can’t win.

    I suspect that some of the anti-Smith vote was at UKIP’s expense in 2010, and that they would otherwise have held their deposit comfortably. But even if UKIP’s share were in line with or slightly above their national average on GE day, and even if that did hurt the Tories, the result would still IMO be in the balance. This will surely be quite high up the losing party’s target list for the subsequent election.

    As an aside, I’d be interested to get some local knowledge on the campaign here – the candidates likely to come first, second and third are in place, and this strikes me as the sort of seat in which we would get a good idea of how an attempted two-party squeeze on UKIP might look at a local level.

  5. UKIP have done well in Redditch, at both County and Town Council elections, in 2013 gaining two seats at County level,in 2014 also two seats at Town level.
    Performing strongly in what would be considered labour strongholds yet helping labour gain seats they would not of due to splitting the tory vote,a prime example labour taking Redditch North in the 2013 County election,which was a safe tory seat.
    I expect UKIP to continue to perform well at local level in 2015,However the UKIP candidate for the 2015 Parliamentary election on present performance is not one of UKIPs better candidates,I would be surprised if he made a huge impact.I expect it to be a straight fight between labour and tory,with labour winning due to the right wing split.

  6. Which seats was the Redditch area in before 1950?

  7. Good to see you, Harry.

    Mr Whitehead will correct me if I am wrong but I think that before 1950, Redditch was in the old Evesham division.

  8. Since Redditch as a town did not exist in 1950 I think you will find that this rural area was also in Kidderminster.

  9. Did Kidderminster’s boundaries stretch that far east, John?

  10. The Lib Dem candidate is Hilary Myres.

  11. Any predictions for this seat? Will the ghost of Jacqui Smith harm Labour here in May?

  12. I think most of the harm to Labour came in 2010. She’s not the candidate here and IMO (as I’ve mentioned in earlier post) the majority here was inflated by the sheer anger towards Jacqui Smith at the time. She’d have probably lost Redditch anyway, but the expenses row put this at the lower end of Labour’s target list. In normal circumstances the swing needed would’ve been lower for Labour to win it.

  13. So are you predicting a Labour gain or Tory hold here Neil?

  14. Given the swing required and current state of the polls, I’m going to say a Tory hold. Labour will cut it down to size though. If Labour have another stint in opposition it might make Redditch a more winnable target.

  15. …in 2020.

  16. Rebecca Blake is the labour candidate for Redditch
    she is very charismatic and campaigning hard .She will take votes from the tory MP ;who has only a 5821 majority; from this alone.

    The surge in ukip support will split the tory vote
    and the collapse in the libdem vote will mostly go to labour
    plus the alienation brought about the Governments austerity
    will ensure a labour gain here in Redditch on May 7 2015

  17. In response to John Chanin above: ‘Since Redditch as a town did not exist in 1950’: Redditch grew a lot after becoming a ‘new town’ in 1964, with whole new housing estates and shopping centres built. However, before this the town has existed for several centuries (many Georgian buildings can be found around the church green; some dating back to the mid 18th century) and already had a population of 32,000 when it became a new town. Before the Redditch constituency existed, Redditch and Bromgrove were together in a joint ‘Mid-Worcestershire’ constituency. The Conservative Hal Miller was the MP for a number of years, and stood for Bromsgrove when the constituency was split.

  18. Anyone expecting this to be a landmine???

  19. Yes, but Harry was going back much further…..Tory was right and what was a very small town at the time was in Evesham.

    It is however curious how little comment there has been on an unpredictable seat that is still definitely a marginal. I certainly expect the Conservatives to hold it, but probably not by much.

  20. Conservative Hold. 2,000 majority.

  21. Perhaps the Labour 2010 result wasn’t so bad in the circumstances. The 2015 result probably a reflection of how things went in the West Midlands generally (apart from in the middle of the conurbation and in Wolverhampton SW).

  22. Given that this is a suburban seat on the edge of Birmingham, and that the MP was an incumbent seeking re-election for the first time, I don’t think that Labour did too badly here..

    In retrospect, it appears likely, by comparing the 2010 results with those in 2005 and 2015, that Jackie Smith’s expenses problems cost Labour votes in 2010

  23. Possibly yes. A fair number of votes went to the Lib Dems in 2010 aswell and it could be disproportionately these in the UKIP column in 2015.

  24. I think there’s some serious clutching at straws regarding Labour’s performance. Labour were 14% points down on 2005 and the Conservatives 9% points up.

  25. I notice there hasn’t been much discussion on seats like this since the election, which makes sense since Labour have very little chance of winning this type of constituency with their current leadership.

  26. “Labour have very little chance of winning this type of constituency with their current leadership.”

    @Andy JS

    You’re right. A Corbyn-led Labour Party has absolutely no chance of winning commuter town seats of this nature. Labour led by Kendall or Cooper would of had a good chance maybe even Burnham. I even think Labour will lose safe seats particularly those rural / former mining town seats such as Bishop Auckland and North West Durham if Corbyn is leading Labour into the 2020 General Election.

    The only hope Labour have of winning seats like this is if Dan Jarvis becomes leader. His former military service will appeal to voters in seats like this and the fact that he’s Midlander with a northern seat won’t do him any harm either. He’s currently Labour best hope of appealing to voters in non-metropolitan commuter towns – the sort of swing voters that any party needs to entice to win a General Election.

  27. Redditch parliamentary history:

    Evesham 1885-1918
    Kidderminster 1918-1950
    Bromsgrove 1950-1974
    Bromsgrove and Redditch 1974-1983
    Mid Worcestershire 1983-1997
    Redditch 1997-present

    1885-1892: Richard Temple, Conservative
    1892-1894: Edmund Lechmere, Conservative (died)
    1895-1910: Charles Long, Conservative
    1910-1918: Bolton Eyres-Monsell, Conservative
    1918-1922: Eric Knight, Conservative
    1922-1945: John Wardlaw-Milne, Conservative
    1945-1950: Louis Tolley, Labour
    1950-1955: Michael Higgs, Conservative
    1955-1971: James Dance, Conservative (died)
    1971-1974: Terry Davis, Labour
    1974-1983: Hal Miller, Conservative
    1983-1997: Eric Forth, Conservative
    1997-2010: Jacqui Smith, Labour
    2010-present: Karen Lumley, Conservative

  28. Correction – the area (along with Bromsgrove) was in Worcestershire East from 1885 to 1918

  29. Karen Lumley is standing down. Not a surprise – she’s been ill.

  30. Rachel Mclean is selected as Karen Lumley’s replacement. I had somehow missed the news of her retirement through until tonight.

  31. Rachel McLean says she “would rather chew her arm off than have dinner with Jeremy Corbyn”. Well, she sounds charming…

    (Incidentally, nobody seems to have picked up on quite how right-wing the 2017 Conservative intake is. I guess it’s more reflective of the membership at large than Cameron’s A-list was.)

  32. ‘Incidentally, nobody seems to have picked up on quite how right-wing the 2017 Conservative intake is’

    Is that right?

    There aren’t a great many of them tbh although about half of them are from Scotland – where Tory MPs have traditionally been considerably to the Left of their English counterparts

    Strange as the 2010 and 15 intakes were nowhere near as right wing as those of 2001 and 2005

  33. According to ConHome there were 29 new MPs

  34. Much of the 2010 intake came from the infamous A list, from which almost all right wingers were excluded. So hardly a surprise it was more moderate than 2001 and 2005.

    McLean’s comment is a bit weird. Dinner with Corbyn would likely involve lengthy monologues on Palestine and manhole covers. Not something I’d enjoy but hardly worse than chewing my arm off. If I could steer the conversation onto trains we might get along. Not sure why Vorbyn would go to dinner with a nobody Tory backbencher though. Instinctively I dislike people who refuse to socialise with opponents (Skinner is an exception).

  35. Skinner famously shagged a ‘Sloane ranger’ Tory gal half his age so I don’t think it’s fair to say he refuses to socialise with any!

  36. As evidence that the 2017 intake’s right-wing credentials – by my count, out of the 29 new Tory MPs, 11 are members of the ERG. That’s around 40% of them, compared to just 20% of all Tory MPs.

  37. For the record:

    Kemi Badenoch (Saffron Walden)
    Colin Clarke (Gordon)
    Simon Clarke (Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland)
    Leo Docherty (Aldershot)
    Eddie Hughes (Walsall North)
    Alistair Jack (Dumfries & Galloway)
    Stephen Kerr (Stirling)
    Andrew Lewer (Northampton South)
    Julia Lopez (Hornchurch & Upminster)
    Rachel MacLean (Redditch)
    Lee Rowley (North-East Derbyshire)

    Incidentally three of them are Scots, so the Scottish Tory MPs are not all miniature Ruth Davidsons as is commonly thought.

  38. I was certainly intrigued to find out that Nigerian immigrant Kemi Badenoch – arguably the most right-wing of the 2017 intake – went to Sussex University, albeit many years after I had

    She would have gone down there like a lead balloon

  39. Kemi Badenoch is exceptionally pleased with herself, even by MP standards. She’ll go far!

  40. Kemi Badenoch is exceptionally pleased with herself, even by MP standards. She’ll go far!

    Very far

    Yet another MP whose ego far outstrips her ability – think Chris Grayling. Matt Hancock – they are at cabinet lebvel

    In today’s Brexit-obsessed, increasingly right-wing and, some might say, mildly racist Tory party, having her in it will be like like manna from Heaven for them

    A bit like the boost Supreme Justice Clarence Thomas has been for the conservative movement in the US

  41. Thank you to Polltroll for posting that list.

    Surprised to see how many are in very marginal seats. You would think MPs in marginals might try to be a bit less controversial. I’m surprised the MP for Mansfield isn’t on it.

  42. The Mansfield MP was at another think tank launch with Gove and Javid.

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