Romsey & Southampton North

2015 Result:
Conservative: 26285 (54.3%)
Labour: 5749 (11.9%)
Lib Dem: 8573 (17.7%)
Green: 2280 (4.7%)
UKIP: 5511 (11.4%)
MAJORITY: 17712 (36.6%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Hampshire. Part of the Test Valley council area and two wards from Southampton.

Main population centres: Romsey, Basset, Stockbridge, Kings Somborne, Barton Stacey.

Profile: Mostly consists of the affluent towns and villages of the Test Valley, stretching northwards from Southampton. Romsey itself is an affluent town - partially a commuter town for Southampton and it also has some high tech manufacturing industry in its own right. To the south the seat includes two wards from Southampton, relatively wealthy suburbs that include some of the University of Southampton halls of residence.

Politics: The Romsey seat was created in 1983 and was initially a safe Conservative seat. The Conservative MP Michael Colvin died in a house fire in 2000 and the Liberal Democrats won the subsequent by-election on a 13% swing, mostly from an extreme squeeze on the Labour vote. Unlike some other Lib Dem by-election gains the party did not manage to build this into a large majority, the seat was held only very narrowly in 2005, regained by the Conservatives in 2010, and by 2015 was once again a very safe Tory seat.

Current MP
CAROLINE NOKES (Conservative) Born 1972, Lyndhurst. Educated at La Sagesse Convent and Sussex University. Test Valley councillor 1999-2011. Contested Southampton Itchen 2001, Romsey 2005. First elected as MP for Romsey and Southampton North in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 24345 (50%)
Lab: 3116 (6%)
LDem: 20189 (41%)
UKIP: 1289 (3%)
MAJ: 4156 (8%)
Con: 22340 (44%)
Lab: 4430 (9%)
LDem: 22465 (45%)
UKIP: 1076 (2%)
MAJ: 125 (0%)
Con: 20386 (42%)
Lab: 3986 (8%)
LDem: 22756 (47%)
UKIP: 730 (2%)
Oth: 601 (1%)
MAJ: 2370 (5%)
Con: 23834 (46%)
Lab: 9623 (19%)
LDem: 15249 (29%)
Oth: 1824 (4%)
MAJ: 8585 (17%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Romsey

2015 Candidates
CAROLINE NOKES (Conservative) See above.
DARREN PAFFEY (Labour) Educated at Southampton university. University lecturer. Southampton councillor since 2011.
BEN NICHOLLS (Liberal Democrat) Born Stoke. Educated at Cambridge University. College manager and former civil servant.
SANDRA JAMES (UKIP) Born Nantwich. Educated at Rochester Grammar School and Portsmouth University. Businesswoman. West Sussex councillor since 2013.
Comments - 176 Responses on “Romsey & Southampton North”
  1. Guess its late enough in the piece to safely comment that the LibDem effort in this seat has been nothing short of intense bombardment (despite it not being an officially sanctioned target).

    The election having coincided with the all-up borough election has actually been fortuitous for the LibDems, as the Romsey end of the Test Valley Borough have a very strong presence that might well be about to become stronger…

  2. Conservative Hold. 9,000 maj

  3. Con 54.3 (+4.6)
    LD 17.7 (-23.5)
    Lab 11.9 (+5.5)
    UKIP 11.4 (+8.8)
    Green 4.7

    Con majority 17,712 (36.6%) up from 4156 (8.5%)

    Test Valley Borough Council results

    Con 38 (+2) LD 9 (-3) Ind 1

  4. So this was another unexpectedly strong Lib Dem performance that didn’t materialise…

  5. Indeed.

  6. The LibDems ought to be able to make a solid comeback here in 2020.

  7. Yes, perhaps up to 20%?

  8. ‘So this was another unexpectedly strong Lib Dem performance that didn’t materialise…’

    Clearly not, but in the context of what happened elsewhere they can console themselves that at least they hung on to 2nd place

  9. Yes, losing almost 60% of your vote in a seat you once held and dropping below 20% of the vote must be very heartwarming.

  10. I didn’t mean that. The closest venture towards reality when discussing LD prospects used to be conceding that a seat mightn’t be won in 2015 but they’d be well placed for a comeback 5 years later

  11. Anyone thinking the LDs were going to do anything here, a seat fading since the by-election victory, and Sandra Gidley not restanding, was out of their mind.

  12. @ Robber – Doubtful of a Lib Dem recovery in 2020: it will take longer than a space of 5 years for the public to regain confidence in the party and for the party to be in contention here… The Tories lead with a 36.7% majority.

  13. I think the Lib Dems are out of the game here for a very long time to come now. For 2020 I would predict here-
    Conservative- 57%
    Labour- 15%
    Lib Dem- 13%
    UKIP- 9%
    Green- 5%
    Others- 1%

  14. This seat wont even exist in 2020 so rather an exercise in futility..

  15. Probably yes.

  16. If I recall correctly, the inelegantly named “Romsey and Southampton North” would have replaced by “Romsey” had the 2013 boundary changes gone through. The notional Conservative majority in the proposed Romsey would have been double that in “Romsey and Southampton North” in 2010 the Conservatives could well be sitting on a notional majority of over 20,000 in 2020, which would take some seriously stupendous momentum to overturn.

  17. “would have been replaced by…

  18. To elaborate further, I suspect that the “dogleg” of Eastleigh will be combined with the eastern side of the Southampton Test seat in a new entity (Bitterne?). The University suburbs of Bassett and Swathling will be combined in a new Southampton Itchen that shall be all on the west side of the river. Southampton Test should move westwards to pick up Rownhams and some other quasi-Southampton pieces of R&SN.

    Meon Valley, a totally artificial construct, is liable to be axed with big chunks going to Winchester to make up for Chandlers Ford probably going to Eastleigh.

  19. Then we have Carolyn Nokes who looks set to lose her seat altogether..

    If she can persuade Julian Lewis to take a pension she might fancy her chances in New Forest East & Romsey. Here she will be rewarded will all the grotty suburbs across the Solent from Southampton which are real “slit your wrist territory” but to compensate she will be left with all the most LibDem parts of her current constituency i.e. the town of Romsey.. so good luck, Carolyn..

  20. ‘Here she will be rewarded will all the grotty suburbs across the Solent from Southampton which are real “slit your wrist territory” but to compensate she will be left with all the most LibDem parts of her current constituency i.e. the town of Romsey.. so good luck, Carolyn..’

    If somewhere as dire as Southampton Itchen can go Tory (and I was reminded just how dire it was when I went through the seat on Sunday afternoon), Carolyn Noakes – poor candidate though she is – will have little problem here with the newly drawn seat

    Hampshire is Tory heartland – and the fact than an urban and middle income seat like Basingstoke withstood the Labour tide of 97 and 2001

  21. But as the Bevois ward is solidly Labour and moved from Test to Itchen in that proposal then Itchen would never have been won by the Tories..

  22. Antiochian you are seriously deluding yourself if you think that the LibDems could threaten the Tories in a redrawn New Forest East and Romsey. If you do indeed think that prepare to be very, very disappointed.

  23. The boundary commission’s final proposal was for a Romsey seat. In 2010, the Conservative majority in Romsey & Southampton North was 4156. Anthony Wells estimates the Conservative majority in 2010 in the proposed Romsey would have been 8500:

    In 2015, the Conservative majority in Romsey would presumably have been in excess of 20,000 compared with a majority of 17,712 in Romsey & Southampton North. Somehow I doubt Ms Nokes will be losing much sleep.

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