Reigate

2015 Result:
Conservative: 29151 (56.8%)
Labour: 6578 (12.8%)
Lib Dem: 5369 (10.5%)
Green: 3434 (6.7%)
UKIP: 6817 (13.3%)
MAJORITY: 22334 (43.5%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Surrey. Part of Reigate and Banstead council area.

Main population centres: Reigate, Redhill, Banstead, Tadworth, Kingswood.

Profile: An affluent commuter seat, straddling the M25 to the south of London. Several insurance and financial companies have their headquarters here but the towns and villages here mostly serve as dormitories for London workers.

Politics: A very safe Conservative seat, held by the party since 1910. There is little real competition to the Conservatives at a Parliamentary level, and at a local level the main alternative to the Tories are the candidates of local residents associations. Previous MPs for the seat include Geoffrey Howe, who briefly represented the seat between 1970 and 1974 before moving to the East Surrey seat after boundary changes, and George Gardiner, the right-wing Conservative MP who was deselected in 1997 over his criticisms of John Major and briefly became the Referendum party`s only MP.


Current MP
CRISPIN BLUNT (Conservative) Born 1960, Germany. Educated at Wellington College and Sandhurst. Former army officer and special advisor to Malcolm Rifkind. Contested West Bromwich East 1992. First elected as MP for Reigate in 1997. Parliamentary under-secretary for prisons 2010-2012. Blunt famously resigned from the Conservative frontbench after the close of polls on local election day in 2003 to call for a vote of no confidence in Iain Duncan Smith, but the call fell flat after the Conservatives made greater than expected gains. In the event Iain Duncan Smith would be removed six months later.
Past Results
2010
Con: 26688 (53%)
Lab: 5672 (11%)
LDem: 13097 (26%)
UKIP: 2089 (4%)
Oth: 2432 (5%)
MAJ: 13591 (27%)
2005*
Con: 20884 (49%)
Lab: 8896 (21%)
LDem: 9896 (23%)
UKIP: 1921 (5%)
Oth: 1008 (2%)
MAJ: 10988 (26%)
2001
Con: 18875 (48%)
Lab: 10850 (27%)
LDem: 8330 (21%)
UKIP: 1062 (3%)
Oth: 357 (1%)
MAJ: 8025 (20%)
1997
Con: 21123 (44%)
Lab: 13382 (28%)
LDem: 9615 (20%)
Oth: 702 (1%)
MAJ: 7741 (16%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
CRISPIN BLUNT (Conservative) See above.
ALI AKLAKUL (Labour)
ANNA TARRANT (Liberal Democrat)
JOE FOX (UKIP) Contested Reigate 2010.
JONATHAN ESSEX (Green) Chartered civil engineer. Reigate and Banstead councillor since 2010, Surrey councillor since 2013. Contested Reigate 2010.
Links
Comments - 101 Responses on “Reigate”
  1. Agree with HH about background, JJB and Barnaby re the Lib Dems.

    On Mr Blunt, it’s an awkward one but I still don’t thnk he should have to reapply for his seat. The Tories need to be a mixed bag if we are to appeal to a wider audience.

  2. The FT article is taken slightly out of context. He made very clear he was staying out his full term as mayor. Then some say he will head to the City to “make his stash” over a year or two then move to a safe seat.

    This is rather amusing because BJ even by modern City standards does not have much City gravitas, the only way he would make a quick killing in two years would be to become a trader and he might very well lose a bank way more than he makes them.

    Despite what the public might assume about how easy money lies in the City, this chap can not just breeze in and make a pile in that short a time frame, particularly as whoever takes him on would know in advance that he was “moving on” pretty fast and would also be well aware of his erratic patterns. Also the firm would then need to be treated at arms-length if he did become PM, which would put them at a disadvantage against competitors.

    Thus I would see a direct segueing into a safe seat post-expiry of his term. Leaving things drift while he makes some money would tempt fate that May gets a jump on him. However, he would need a sitting member to throw themselves on their sword to give him a berth.

  3. Have to agree with you there Antiochan.

    I have worked in the City and still have numerous customers there. It is a very hard life work-wise in return for the mega bucks, even for those at the very top. If Boris thinks he can just swan in and be paid millions for bumbling about I suspect he will be disappointed. Especially in the new regulatory environment, a bumbling buffoon type is not the kind of person a bank is going to want to hire.

    In terms of Boris’s leadership ambitions, the old adage applies – the Tory leader is almost never someone who has been seen coming. The favourite candidates are almost always disappointed. So I would judge Boris has very little chance, and he has made it perfectly clear he has no interest in returning to Westminster if he’s not going to be leader.

  4. With Boris having now been given the Cameroon blessing for double-dipping (Mayor and MP at once) the race to find a seat is on…

    The City will have to wait….

  5. Blunt is fighting for his re-selection with a new website.

    http://www.blunt4reigate2015.com/comments.php

    Will 100 endorsements by his collegues be enough to convince the membership?

  6. This MP looked very glum in the Commons today. Do we know when the Assoc EGM is?

  7. All membership reselection ballot for Blunt from 31 October. Result expected on 18 November.

  8. Blunt has won reselection, according to The Guardian.

  9. Margin of around 5 to 1, apparently.

  10. The stupidity of some people in politics is beyond parody.

    You would have thought the people behind the deselection attempt would have made some effort to gauge Blunt’s support amongst the membership before embarking on such a divisive course of action. This vote strengthens Blunt immeasurably, and makes his opponents look like complete idiots. There are not so many sitting MPs who could secure 80-85% in a reselection ballot.

  11. ‘The stupidity of some people in politics is beyond parody’

    I agree – but it does seem to be especially pronounced in Tory Party local associations up and down the country

  12. If Blunt gets 80%+ then it’s difficult to imagine just how unappealing his opponents in the local association must be.

  13. When Castle Point Association tried to deselect Bob Spink in 2005, he won the postal ballot 507 to 78. I don’t know the figures for Cormack in South Staffs last time.

  14. Surely it’s time for the members to replace the executive if they have so little in common.

  15. 2015 Prediction

    Con – 51
    LD – 16
    UKIP – 16
    Lab – 14
    Other – 3

  16. I honestly think this is a better prediction for Reigate, particularly given the Green strength here which can draw protest votes that would otherwise go to UKIP, which will nonetheless do much better than in 2010:

    Con 45
    Lab 21
    LD 16
    UKIP 10
    Green 6
    Others 2

    The Liberal Democrat vote will fall significantly here,I think,and the Green strength in Redhill should mean we (by which I mean my fellow Greens) can save our deposit here in 2015.

  17. Curiously, Crispin Blunt (an ex-Army man), supported the joint SNP/Plaid motion ‘That this House believes that Trident should not be renewed.’​

    The vote was held on 20th January.
    37 MPs supported the motion: Blunt was the only Tory to do so. He was with the likes of George Galloway, Jeremy Corbyn and Dennis Skinner.

    I also thought it interesting that Mike Hancock voted for the motion (he representing an area which has deep connections with the Senior Service).

    (364 MPs voted against the motion)

  18. Yes, very odd for an ex Minister too. All Labour ex Defence Ministers support Trident, as do the Barrow and Copeland MPs.

  19. Anna Tarrant is the Lib Dem candidate.

  20. Conservative Hold. 17,000 maj

  21. Composition of this constituency:

    1885-1918: The Municipal Borough of Reigate, and the Sessional Divisions of Dorking (except the parishes of Effingham and Mickleham), Godstone (except the parishes of Caterham, Chelsham, Farley, and Warlingham), and Reigate.

    1918-1950: The Municipal Borough of Reigate, the Urban District of Dorking, and the Rural Districts of Dorking and Reigate.

    1950-1974: The Municipal Borough of Reigate, and the Rural District of Godstone.

    1974-1983: The Municipal Borough of Reigate, and the Urban District of Banstead.

    1983-1997: The Borough of Reigate and Banstead wards of Chipstead Hooley and Woodmansterne, Horley East, Horley West, Kingswood with Burgh Heath, Reigate Central, Reigate East, Reigate North, Reigate North Central, Reigate North East, Reigate South Central, Reigate South East, Reigate South West, Salfords and Sidlow, and Tadworth and Walton.

    1997-2010: The Borough of Reigate and Banstead wards of Banstead Village, Chipstead Hooley and Woodmansterne, Kingswood with Burgh Heath, Reigate Central, Reigate East, Reigate North, Reigate North Central, Reigate North East, Reigate South Central, Reigate South East, Reigate South West, Salfords and Sidlow, and Tadworth and Walton.

    2010-present: The Borough of Reigate and Banstead wards of Banstead Village, Chipstead Hooley and Woodmansterne, Earlswood and Whitebushes, Kingswood with Burgh Heath, Meadvale and St John’s, Merstham, Preston, Redhill East, Redhill West, Reigate Central, Reigate Hill, Salfords and Sidlow, South Park and Woodhatch, and Tadworth and Walton.

  22. Just saw a BBC report about the gay pride march and it got me thinking: is Crispin Blunt the only MP who is out in both senses of the word?

  23. Nigel Evans and William Wragg as well. And Michael Fabricant who is bi-sexual (http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2014/11/23/michael-fabricant-reveals-sex-life-after-kgb-style-mail-interview/).

  24. Don’t forget Conor Burns (Bournemouth West) Stuart Andrew (Pudsey) and Daniel Kawczynski (Shrewsbury) who has said he is bisexual.

  25. Justine Greening came out today.

  26. Polltroll – you are joking?

    There’s about 90 MPs. Although admittedly I think only half are out in the public sense (most of the rest are just known amongst Parliamentarians and media).

  27. There’s a curious pattern to the Surrey councils:

    West Surrey voted Leave, Central Surrey voted Remain strongly and East Surrey voted Leave.

    Any ideas as to why ?

  28. I have been thinking about Surrey a bit.
    I think East Surrey is just a little more working class and less London influence? (certainly compared to places like Dorking, Farnham and Haslemere).
    But Epsom and Ewell was Remain.
    Godstone was UKIP in 2013

  29. It’s also in that slightly more urban Gatwick, Croydon corridor.

  30. Urban but not London urban.

  31. Graduates % at 2011 census:

    Elmbridge 43.85
    Epsom & Ewell 35.98
    Guildford 39.52
    Mole Valley 37.94
    Reigate & Banstead 33.96
    Runnymede 29.92
    Spelthorne 25.95
    Surrey Heath 34.47
    Tandridge 32.97
    Waverley 40.14
    Woking 38.36

    Professionals % at 2011 census:

    Elmbridge 24.41
    Epsom & Ewell 22.88
    Guildford 24.52
    Mole Valley 22.44
    Reigate & Banstead 20.64
    Runnymede 18.88
    Spelthorne 16.30
    Surrey Heath 20.32
    Tandridge 18.82
    Waverley 23.88
    Woking 22.92

  32. Epsom and Ewell is higher than I’d have expected – maybe it is a convenient spot close to London.

    I think Andy’s list does help. Places like Waverley, Guildford, Dorking are a bit different in make up to the far ends of Surrey.
    There are a few Spelthornish spots in areas near Gatwick.
    Surrey Heath, near Bracknell is also a bit brash.

  33. Looking at that data it looks like Leave really overperformed here.

  34. Across Surrey only 52% voted to Remain. Nowhere near enough if they were to win nationally.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36618907

  35. What’s the definition of a professional job. I would have thought most graduates work in white collar jobs especially those 35+.

  36. The 2011 census site probably has the definitions.

  37. It’s usually AB in the old jargon. Most studying law or medicine end up as A, but I think only a third do of some BA subjects.

    I think a lot of graduates end up doing clerical (C1) jobs.

  38. Crispin Blunt was the only Tory MP to vote against the Trident amendment last night. 322 voted in favour.

  39. I’d say he’s more of a free spirit, rather difficult to pigeonhole with any particular label.

    Chairs of select committees are often more independently minded (see also Sarah Wollaston). There’s probably a couple of reasons: most obviously, they work cross-party and so hear a range of opinions on their given area; but also, independently-minded MPs are more likely to be elected to the chair in the first place since they tend to win the most votes from opposition MPs.

  40. “I think it’s refreshing that our parliamentary parties are broad churches rather than two homogenous blocks voting homogeneously against each other at every turn.”

    Apart from our Scottish friends. The SNP Politburo clearly do a good job as their MPs are always unanimous in votes. Lenin and Stalin would be proud of them.

    Anyone who now tries to suggest they are simply perfectly like-minded and united and happen to think the same way will be laughed off the site. Although, if that were true, it would be even more chilling because it suggests the ‘loyalty test’ takes place before candidate selection even.

  41. ‘Blunt strikes me as quite a moderate’

    Blunt is an old fashioned One-Nation Conservative with a background in the military – a kind of latter-day Michael Mates

    He’s waaay to the Left of most Tory MPs on social issues like crime, and despite being very partisan and increasingly Eurosceptic I was as surprised as his decision to support Brexit as his revelation that he was gay

  42. Tim – yes, I never thought he would support Brexit either.

  43. ‘Apart from our Scottish friends. The SNP Politburo clearly do a good job as their MPs are always unanimous in votes. Lenin and Stalin would be proud of them.’

    You’re right

    Although you could argue the SNP is the broadest church of all, given thew party’s past representatives have ranged from hanger/floggers like Andrew Welsh to old fashioned socialist like Jim Sillars, although although under Sturgeon they have become a fairly standard social democratic party

  44. They wear social democratic clothes, at least when it suits them. But they are a broad church beneath the surface, even if the Westminster party is very, very effectively whipped. Witness the almighty struggle the SNP government at Holyrood had passing equal marriage due to the protests of homophobes like John Mason and Bill Walker – so much so that it was actually implemented in England and Wales before Scotland.

  45. Reigate CLP has nominated Jeremy Corbyn for leader. Interesting as they supported Yvette Cooper last time.

    My hunch would be they nominated early last time, before Corbyn built up a head of steam.

  46. UKIP Cllr Christian Stevens has defected to the Conservatives.

  47. Conservative Cllr David Jackson has defected to Inds here.

  48. Crispin Blunt just said, “The electorate got it wrong.”

    No, really.

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