Richmond (Yorks)

2015 Result:
Conservative: 27744 (54.8%)
Labour: 7124 (14.1%)
Lib Dem: 3465 (6.8%)
Green: 2313 (4.6%)
UKIP: 8194 (16.2%)
Independent: 1811 (3.6%)
MAJORITY: 19550 (38.6%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: Yorkshire and Humberside, North Yorkshire. The whole of Richmondshire council area and part of Hambleton council area.

Main population centres: Northallerton, Richmond, Stokesley, Leyburn.

Profile: A geographically huge seat that covers a vast swathe of rural North Yorkshire, including much of the Yorkshire Dales national park, Swaledale and Wensleydale, and part of the North Yorkshire Moors to the East. Most of the constituency is small villages and hamlets - the only towns are Northallerton, Richmond, Stokesley and Leyburn. The local economy relies upon agriculture and tourism, though the constituency also includes the army base at Catterick Garrison.

Politics: Richmond is a very safe Tory seat, held by the party over a century, notably by former Foreign Secretary William Hague and former Home Secretary Leon Brittan. William Hague held it only narrowly in the 1989 by-election that originally returned him to Parliament, with only the split between the SLD and the continuing SDP seeing Hague home safely.

Current MP
RISHI SUNAK (Conservative) Born Hampshire. Educated at Winchester College and Oxford University. Former businessman. First elected as MP for Richmond (Yorks) in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 33541 (63%)
Lab: 8150 (15%)
LDem: 10205 (19%)
GRN: 1516 (3%)
MAJ: 23336 (44%)
Con: 26722 (59%)
Lab: 8915 (20%)
LDem: 7982 (18%)
GRN: 1581 (3%)
MAJ: 17807 (39%)
Con: 25951 (59%)
Lab: 9632 (22%)
LDem: 7890 (18%)
Oth: 561 (1%)
MAJ: 16319 (37%)
Con: 23326 (49%)
Lab: 13275 (28%)
LDem: 8773 (18%)
MAJ: 10051 (21%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
RISHI SUNAK (Conservative) Born Hampshire. Educated at Winchester College and Oxford University. Businessman.
MIKE HILL (Labour) Trade union officer.
JOHN HARRIS (Liberal Democrat) Teacher. Married to Baroness Harris of Richmond.
LESLIE ROWE (Green) Accountant and charity management consultant. Contested Croydon North West 1987, Ealing Acton 1992 for the Liberal Democrats, Richmond (Yorks) 2005, 2010 for the Greens.
JOHN BLACKIE (Independent) Richmondshire councillor, Leader of Richmondshire council, North Yorkshire councillor .
ROBIN SCOTT (Independent) Born Catterick. Educated at Wensleydale School and Newcastle University. Businessman. Richmondshire councillor since 2013, originally elected as a Conservative.
Comments - 212 Responses on “Richmond (Yorks)”
  1. I don’t think the English Democrats were ever meant to be a far right party in the beginning. The former Doncaster mayor Peter Davis left the party while he was still in that position (so he was an independent up til his defeat in 2013), saying that a lot of former BNP members had joined.

  2. *Davies.

  3. I didn’t realise until I read it on the Shipley profile here a few months ago that Peter Davies is the father of the ultra-rebellious Tory backbencher Philip Davies.

    Based on his wiki page it seems Davies Sr. has been a member of five different parties, and an independent candidate.

    Despite this his politics seems not dissimilar from his son’s.

  4. As it happens there was a district & county double by-election in this constituency last night which was counted today. The Conservatives easily held Northallerton South ward on Hambleton council and they also held the Northallerton county council seat. UKIP was second in the county council seat, Labour in the district council one.

  5. For some reason English “civic nationalism” has never really taken off. There has never been an English equivalent of the SNP or Plaid. English nationalism seems irrevocably tied to the far right.

  6. Putting 2005 in that category is a little bit tenuous. Without their 70 Scottish and Welsh MPs Labour would have lost their majority but would still have had a clear plurality.

  7. I think Labour polled more votes last year in England than they did in 2005.

  8. North Yorkshire County Council (Northallerton By-election):

    Conservative 654
    UKIP 278
    Labour 233
    Yorkshire First 131
    Green 58

  9. Matt W – if true, that’s due to Turnout only however.

    Although I agree Blair was lucky to get the majorities he did with the % he polled.

  10. Catterick By Election Result:

    CON – 228
    LIBDEM – 203
    IND – 112
    GREEN – 3

    CON Gain from IND

  11. I wonder if it might be an idea for May to approach Lord Hague about becoming DPM? Willie Whitelaw was de facto DPM from the Lords from 1983 until December 1987 when he retired after suffering a stroke. I can think of worse ideas.

  12. Btw- Mr Sunak got almost 64% here this week- normal service resumed after the blip in 2015.

  13. Upper Dales ward (County Council) by-election, 17.10.19:

    Cons 884
    Ind 741
    LD 204
    Green 107

    Cons Gain from Ind.

  14. Rishi Sunak is the new chancellor – but with a combined special advisor team he is effectively a puppet of N.10

  15. This must be one of the most low-key, but also most important, budget Britain has had in generations.

  16. The task for Labour is set out by, I have to admit, the likeable Sunak – massive borrowing and investment and public spending. Close to a mid 2000s Labour budget and more generous than any Tory budget ever.

  17. Difficult to know how much of this would still be there without the recent economic downturn. The Tories are (correctly) doing what Gordon Brown did in 2008.

    However, I do suspect we’d have had some loosening even without the intervention of covid-19. As much as I and many others mocked claims that Labour had “won the argument”; well, they’ve certainly *changed* the argument at the very least.

  18. One could reasonably argue that it’s a victory for Corbynism.

  19. One could. But Jeremy Corbyn clearly isn’t doing that, is he?

  20. I’d rather argue it’s a victory for Blairism. They’re hardly offering us free broadband.

  21. In fact it appears to be the death of Blairism & GO.

    Both sides now hate the corporatists.

    Plus all experts appear to say that eg if majority at home, then spending more than recovers once they’re ‘let out.’

    If anything online purchases may net increase – although not sure how Tesco & Amazon will cope.

  22. Tories not bothered about the national debt which is now €1.8 TRILLION. (It was approx 400bn on 2004/5 and 600bn in 2007/8.(

    Wonder what Thatch would have made of it?

  23. It was a very un-Tory budget

    World’s apart from the hardline austerity-heavy, right-wing budget Osborne unleashed in 2012, backed of course by the Lib Dems

  24. “World’s apart from the hardline austerity-heavy, right-wing budget Osborne unleashed in 2012”

    Look at Deepthroat’s comment above yours. Osborne doubled the national debt. In what universe can that be described as austerity?

    Yes it’s deeply depressing that Boris is doubling down on unsustainable spending rather than trying to establish a long term path towards living within our means. But it’s merely a worsening of what every chancellor has done since Brown.

    One day the interest rates will start to inch up again and the interest payments on the national debt will get so high that we risk default. After bankruptcy nobody lends to you again so you *have* to live within your means…a permanent balanced budget.

  25. The politics of sound money has been roundly defeated in this country since the departure of George Osborne. Partially this is because austerity has run out of road (both in terms of its own terms – our deficit is far more manageable than it was when the Tories came to power – and because of the creaking public sector). However, there is also a lot of economic snake-oil which is worming its way into public debate, which doesn’t help. The difference between “tax cuts pay for themselves” AnCaps and “printing money pays for itself” MMTers is not so big.

    Though it’s difficult to know how much of the budget’s contents was in the pipeline regardless and how much constitutes emergency measures.

  26. “our deficit is far more manageable than it was when the Tories came to power”

    *holds head in hands*

    The national debt was £800 million when the Tories came to power, and has now more than doubled to £1.8 trillion. On what planet is that “far more manageable”?

    It’s just as stupid as saying that if I borrowed £100,000 last year without paying any of it back, but only borrowed an extra £50,000 this year, my debt has now become more manageable. It is an insane way of thinking. But because of the obsession with talking about deficit rather than debt, even the intelligent members of the electorate such as yourself are taken in with this horse manure.

  27. But the Tories got elected in 2010 by promising to tackle the budget deficit, not the national debt – and they achieved this last year despite everyone saying that they wouldn’t

    Of course they largely did this on the backs on the poorest members of society by quite frankly vindictive policies like the bedroom tax, but that’s largely what you get with Tory governments

    I don’t think its any bad thing that Johnson has abandoned this hardline approach – even if his reasons for douing so are purely political

  28. I find it worrying that you don’t think that an inexorably rising national debt matters, and that you can’t see that one day there will come a time when it gets so high we will be unable to handle the interest repayments and therefore have to default. And when that happens, borrowing will be impossible, meaning that any kind of deficit will similarly be impossible. Minor cuts like the bedroom tax will pale into insignificance compared with the huge retrenchments that would have to take place.

    People broadly understand that all this regard to their own personal debts but can’t translate that to the country as a whole.

    Boris is turning into Burlusconi, whose irresponsible spending sent Italy a long way down this road already.

  29. They have not eliminated the deficit and it is projected to grow. They have achieved day to day surplus that is not tge same thing though

  30. The levels of borrowing for infrastructure look borrowed straight from Labour’s 2019 manifesto rather than it’s 1997. Clearly no one in the Labour party is going to say this though otherwise they’d look rather stupid voting against it

  31. “The levels of borrowing for infrastructure look borrowed straight from Labour’s 2019 manifesto”

    Yep. Tories bemoaning that McDonnell was going to send us to hell in a handcart are now applauding Boris for basically the same policy. Well, I’m not going to be a hypocrite. Corona virus does necessitate a bit of short term flexibility but planning for the national debt to rise by more than GDP growth every year eventually leads to national bankruptcy.

    One day balanced budgets will be a popular political idea once more, but I suspect we will have to go through another 1970s period first.

  32. ‘One day balanced budgets will be a popular political idea once more, but I suspect we will have to go through another 1970s period first.’

    I certainly agree with that

    It does seem that those politicians more interested in balancing budgets than cutting taxes and increasing public spending have disappeared from both of the main parties

    The Reagan administration in the 1980s actually turned the US from the world’s biggest creditor to its biggest debtor, leaving it to Democrat Bill Clinton to balance the books

  33. Corona does necessitate spending measures but we’re committing to invest more than Italy who really are in a bad situation

  34. “The Reagan administration in the 1980s actually turned the US from the world’s biggest creditor to its biggest debtor, leaving it to Democrat Bill Clinton to balance the books

    Because, oh horror of horrors, Clinton raised taxes – arguably the last political leader in either the US or UK who was prepared to do so.

    We are never going to achieve a balanced budget simply by slashing public services with no thought to the revenue side of the equation.

    Tories who ideologically oppose tax rises at any price forget that Thatcher increased taxes substantially in her first term, as did John Major and indeed George H W Bush.

  35. Hemmy: my current understanding is that the deficit is currently low enough that, although debt is rising in cash terms, and possibly in real terms, it is rising slower than the economy is growing and hence falling as a percentage of GDP.

    This percentage is still *far* higher than it was pre-2008, but I don’t see any branching history in which that is not the case. I find it a highly disingenuous attack line coming from a Labour Party who otherwise act like money is a grand capitalist conspiracy that only exists to suppress the proles.

  36. (Nevertheless, you are right on the basic point that unfunded spending is ultimately ruinous. The problem, as ever, is that voters always believe that paying more tax is Somebody Else’s Problem.)

  37. “my current understanding is that the deficit is currently low enough that, although debt is rising in cash terms, and possibly in real terms, it is rising slower than the economy is growing”

    The economy grew by about 1% last year, even in a good year it rarely grows by more than 2-3% nowadays. The change in the national debt from 800bn in 2010 to 1800bn in 2020 is a growth of slightly over 8% per year. What you are saying can’t be true.

  38. HH – yes & no. Maggie continued the monetarist cuts begun by Callaghan. She cut all rates of income tax, but I concede that VAT etc were increased.

    Tim – it was New Labour who introduced the spare room subsidy/bedroom tax to the private sector [in the same way that it was Labour under Blair who introduced re-testing of sickness claimants and welfare to work programmes] Tories merely extended it to social housing claimants and the DWP spend has increased every year and in fact quite largely during the DC/GO years when in one year benefit claimants received a 5.2% pa increase (the then RPI). Cuts were made but in fact the largest cuts were to local govt, unis etc

  39. First comment for a few years – although I have been reading the site the whole time…

    HH – I share your concern on the national debt but I am completely nonplussed as to a potential solution. Tax rises will never be a vote winner and as this article from last year shows, the tax burden on high earners is also incredibly high.
    It actually makes a mockery of all the talk of the ‘rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer’.
    As a high earner myself I would have been significantly better off under Blair than the current administration (I wasn’t a taxpayer until 2012) and it has got to the stage where there seems very little point in earning more money when such a small amount of it finds it’s way into your account.
    What the solution is, I don’t know and I suspect that as you mention, default is alarmingly likely. Personally I blame mass uncontrolled immigration as where the problem started under Blair and continues until the current day for dragging down wages but unfortunately it appears that the damage has been done and there is no way back now.
    If the government increases taxes on the higher earners, more will continue to drift overseas (therefore reducing tax receipts) and if they put up taxes on lower to middle income earners then this affects so many people then they simply won’t last in office.

  40. ‘and it has got to the stage where there seems very little point in earning more money when such a small amount of it finds it’s way into your account.’

    As I understand it the current income tax burden is thus:

    up to 12k – tax free
    12-50k – 20%
    50-150k – 40%
    150k+ – 45%

    That to me seems about right – and is part of the reason why inequality has stopped increasing at the alarming rates it did throughout the Thatcher and Blair years

    And its going to take more than an article in the inequality-championing Daily Torgraph owned by the ghastly Barclay brothers to make me think otherwise

    Rich people still pay more in tax in most other European countries

  41. TJ

    At face value, that is correct although obviously there is NI as well on top of that.
    What you don’t mention is that for every £2 you earn over £100k, you lose £1 of your personal allowance. To save you the maths that’s an effective tax rate of 60%.
    I don’t expect you to think that’s too much but don’t be surprised if the people who are paying this see it differently which could long term see their contributions to the exchequer decrease to the detriment of a far wider body of people.

  42. Democracy: not sure I recognise the name. Hi!

    I’m not convinced by your thesis that there is no more tax to squeeze from the wealthy. It is true that income inequality has gone into reverse since peaking just before the 2008 financial crisis; but wealth inequality continues regardless. I’m not totally convinced by the case for a pure wealth tax, but at the very least we could raise corporation tax & capital gains tax, as currently the tax balance between labour and capital is far too soft on the latter. When that is the case, you end up with a scenario where the rich continue getting richer even as the notional GINI coefficient has stabilised, because they continue to accrue wealth in a way that isn’t necessarily measured as income.

    Corporation tax is already strikingly low in this country at 19%.

  43. PT

    Well obviously its a hypothesis, no-one actually knows what would happens if taxes were to be raised on the better off and obviously there will always be some who stay put and don’t go offshore but to my mind that’s the most likely scenario (more richer people moving to tax havens).
    I think my main point is the unfairness of the 60% tax rate between £100 & £125k. Those paying this aren’t really rich people – many would be small business owners and whilst comfortably off, are actually being far harder hit by the exchequer than those earning far more (at least in relative terms).
    Whilst I agree that corporation tax is low and could potentially be increased, I don’t think that a wealth tax is a good idea. The problem with tax rises generally is they tend to kill aspiration. We do need people who are willing to take risks and invest capital etc.
    Don’t also forget the number of indirect taxes that the better off contribute hugely to as well such as stamp duty (it shoots up massively on more expensive houses).

  44. I don’t support a wealth tax or a hike of the top rate as I think the current rate is more or less the right balance between those who can afford it contributing most whilst not killing off aspiration – and the proof is that as PT states inequality has decreased since 2008 – but those at the very top keep earning more, often regardless to how they perform, and there must be some way of getting more from them

    As I’m not altogether convinced that that many actually create that much wealth for the country at large, I’m not sure that the country would necessarily miss them as much as their supporters claim

    Apart from that I think the direct level of tax is about right – and dare I say credit to the government for making it that way.

  45. TJ

    Ah well I don’t suppose we’ll ever see eye to eye on this issue (or most others I guess) but do you get my point about the 60% tax rate for people earning £100-125k? It’s a stealth tax if I ever saw one and doesn’t even hit the richest very hard.
    I get your point that some may not contribute as much as they could do as you say (obviously there’s no way of measuring it) but its worth remembering that you need an awful lot of say £50k taxpayers to replace 1 £200k.

  46. Democracy: if you’re taking home £100,000 to £125,000 you’re among the richest 4% of the country. You are, by any sensible persepctive, very rich. You may not feel like it, because society is incredibly efficient at segregating people by wealth, so rich people end up mixing only with other rich people, but it remains the case that undoing this alleged “injustice” involves giving lots of money to people who clearly don’t need it.

  47. PT

    Yes I am very well aware of that fact (and for the record I’m not complaining about my current situation which by any measure is extremely good). I do mix with other people who are significantly less well off than myself though, I have family members older than myself that earn less than half what I do and I appreciate what it is to struggle to make ends meet which is why I give several thousand a year to charities and friends that I know who are in more difficult circumstances than myself.
    In any case whether I or anyone else is ‘rich’ or not isn’t what my original point was about which is that I am very concerned about how the government is to live within its means long term.

  48. Have to agree with PT’s last post entirely – to be fair I don’t think he was using Democracy as the personal example even if the case fits

    I do get Democracy’s point about the 60% rate but it does seem a bit rich – no pun intended – and again I’m not directing this at Democracy – for those fortunate enough to be in that top 5% to complain about a tax system that most have done pretty well out of. The top rate of tax is still lower than it was for the entirity of the post war period up until Thatcher’s rebalancing in the early 1980s

    Democracy is right in that the government should focus their tax grabs more on the super rich than the rich, but having ruled out a wealth tax I’m all ears as to how, but when there are people sleeping on the streets and families in work relying food banks i am not going to lose too much sleep about the those on 100k plus who think they are paying too much tax

  49. TJ: well I already mentioned CT and CGT as two levers you could pull. Land value tax is another one; that is arguably a form of wealth tax, albeit a uniquely good one as land is a fixed-quantity asset and hence you don’t have to worry about deterring “land creation”.

    Or you could just introduce, say, a 70% income tax band at £1m. There’s no shortage of ways to do it!

  50. I think we have a bit of common ground here actually. I’m not against the better off paying a larger proportion of their earnings than average – its always been that way and always will be I just think that a better and fairer way of doing it would be for say a 50% rate above £100k and perhaps a further rate at £150-200k ish.
    As you say I think a land tax would be an interesting option to explore – not without it’s problems but a far better option IMO than an increase in CGT or CT.

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