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. Are you serious, why would this constituency so heavily buck the trends. If anything there will be a bigger than usual collapse in LD vote as the 2000 by election effect unwinds. Why would labour decrease as well? No way the few loyal labour voters left will now decide to defect to Cleggs mob.

  2. Teddy go away your predictions are just plain silly!

  3. Is Teddy trying to wind us up on here?

  4. More dirty tricks from the Tories I suspect

    IMO Teddy’s a Tory planted specifically to discredit the Lib dems further by making ludicrous predictions

    It’s not the first time it’s been done on this site and it won’t be the last, and with Crosby runnig their campaign I reckon we will see one of the most negative campaigns in living memory – focussing purely in the inadequacies of the Labour team rather than some of their few achievements in office

    And Labour will no doubt will adopt the same approach – as they already have

  5. Apocryphal stories… I heard that Ben was surprised on the doorstep to hear that some constituents think he is actually the MP due to the sheer volume of LibDem material coming through to them…

    Easily done of course because Noakes is not at home in either the town (Romsey) nor the city (Soton)..

    As for Romsey.. those who fail to note its proximity to the LibDem fortress of Eastleigh do so at their peril…most of the southern end of Test Valley is dominated by LibDem councillors

  6. “most of the southern end of Test Valley is dominated by LibDem councillors”

    Not really no

  7. Should I nuance that and say the multimember wards that aren’t subject to the TVBC gerrymander are dominated by the LibDems?

  8. You can say that the Lib Dem held wards are dominated by Lib Dem councillors. I’m not sure which other way you could phrase it which would actually turn out to be accurate. Might be better still if you leave the spin and bullshit for your Focus leaflets rather than trying it on with the kind of knowledgeable people you’ll find on this site who a) will know the truth and b) aren’t likely to be floating voters in this constituency

  9. Oh guys , Teddy is very entertaining so don’t discourage him.

    The Conservatives held this seat in 1997 with a majority of nigh on 17%, which shows how naturally Consevative it is even in a bad year. All the results since have been heavily impacted by the by election but now the seat will probably return to normal – Newbury style. Despite her very mixed press I expect Caroline Nokes to have a majority of at least 15%.

  10. Thanks for the gratuitous abuse Peter.. LibDems hold the most populous wards around Romsey… including the two most populous Romsey wards (Tadburn and Cupernham), as well as Valley Park (the most populous ward in the south of the Boroug)h and North Baddesley the second most populous ward…

    And I didn’t get this off a Focus I got it off the TVBC data sheets on the borough website..

  11. Yes that may be true Antiochian but local Lib Dem votes often don’t equal national Lib Dem votes. As Stephenpt said this seat will swing like Newbury 2010 where the affects of that by-election come undone. The Tory majority will probably be over 20%. The Lib Dems will always have a base here but not enough to win unless the Tories are having a catastrophe of a year but this year is the turn of the Lib Dems to implode.

  12. So just to be clear, Mr. Antiochian, this another Lib Dem gain you are not predicting?

  13. It may not be a Tory blowout, but they will hold it. If I had to guess…

    CON 44
    LD 32
    UKIP 14
    LAB 8
    GRN 2

  14. Runnymede… show me one gain/hold/loss I have predicted?

    Seems to be a recurring fantasy in here.. an urban myth… I haven’t made a single prediction anywhere about any seat..

  15. Exactly – you huff and puff and make frequently inaccurate comments about seats and Lib Dem strength within them, but never seem to go beyond that…

  16. Interesting that the unsuccessful Lib Dem candidate in Romsey in 1997, Mark Cooper, resurfaced in Southampton Itchen in 2001, a much worse seat for his party by far. Maybe if it hadn’t been for the by-election he would have been the candidate here that year.

  17. Also, the Lib Dem candidate in 1992 in Romsey and Waterside George Dawson later stood in 1997 for New Forest East, after boundary changes made that new seat a successor to the former R&W.

  18. P.T Richards I don’t think the Lib Dems will keep the swing against them at 1.5% it is likely to be significantly higher not least due by-election unwind. My thought are 6% of Lib Dems go Labour, 4% to the Tories, 3 % to Ukip; 6% of Tories go Ukip; 1% of Labour goes ukip leaving:
    Con: 48% (-2%)
    Lib: 28% (-13%)
    Ukip: 13% (+10%)
    Lab: 11% (+5%)
    Swing Lib to Con: 5.5%
    If the greens stand I’ll take Labour down 2 and the Lib Dems down 1.
    I actually believe it could end up being worse than this for the Lib Dems…

  19. The Greens are standing.

  20. Well then:
    Con: 48% (-2%)
    Lib: 27% (-14%)
    Ukip: 13% (+10%)
    Lab: 9% (+3%)
    Grn: 3% (+3%)
    Swing Lib to Con: 6%

  21. Runnymede… you need to keep consistent.. you said I was making predictions then when I pointed out the error you said I “huff and puff”..

    Yesterday I was accused of calling Maidstone for the LibDems when to my knowledge I had never done any such thing.. I was also accused of calling Watford and OxWAb..

    This morning I was accused of not knowing anything about Test Valley when I am most likely running as a candidate.

    Clearly I am unnerving some people…

  22. Are the Greens going to stand in every seat or are there some that they aren’t? They did say that they were aiming to stand in most if I recall correctly but that was before this so called ‘Green surge’ so has most turned into all?

  23. no read my original mail –

    I wrote ‘So just to be clear, Mr. Antiochian, this another Lib Dem gain you are not predicting?’

  24. Saying he has called gains for the Lib Dems is a tad unfair. But he has sort of said in a roundabout way that the Lib Dems have a chance in seats where their chance of winning in May is blatantly negligible. However many of these are seats they could potentially win in the future.

  25. Read my comment: “Clearly I am unnerving some people…”

    There are a lot of posters on here not making predictions.. and I am one of them..

  26. The wonders of subliminal marketing… methinks people are seeing things in my tealeaves when I am not even drinking tea..

  27. I’d actually be very interested to see a poll in Maidstone. I’m sure the Tories are ahead, but by how much, exactly? Would be interesting to know.

  28. I simply don’t understand why so many presumably intelligent people are incapable of being objective when talking about their own party

    I prefer the Lib Dems to both Labour and the Tories, (and the Greens and UKIP for that matter) and I will certainly be voting for them in 2015, but even if they hold onto to more than half their seats (more than possible) they are going down big time – as almost every poll and every election between 2010-15 has shown

    I can’t believe anyone would be as stupid as to think that overplaying the chances of the party they support is a good way of getting people to vote for them.

    It certainly won’t work on a site like this

  29. I don’t support the Lib Dems.

  30. I thought you’d switched from LD to Liberal Party Antiochian?

  31. In the great Churchillian tradition I reratted

  32. I think accusing Lyndon Crosby of posting comments you personally dislike is a tad excessive.


    You have been hyping the lib dems in maidstone for ages…it ain’t going happen, just as Antiochian was ramping their chances in Oxford West.

    It’s one thing being partisan but another being totally partial in talking about likely outcomes, as Tim Jones said, an intelligent man/woman should be able to support a party without being like some demented Pollyanna when rating their electoral chances.

  34. “ramping their chances”? That’s a laugh… wasn’t it the Tory MP pleading for a little help that started off that conversation??

    I thought it was me hyping in Maidstone? Imposters to the left of me, imposters to the right! Capitalise that at your leisure (or inclination)..

    Maybe someone will venture next that Teddy is my “predicting persona”… but then again isn’t Teddy a Tory plant according to village gossip? He is pretending to be a LibDem to secretly warp the minds of other posters into thinking that …. into thinking what? All too Kafkaesque…

  35. And another thing Antiochian – you don’t have to end almost every post with a series of dots! …….

  36. Its the way they can tell I am not Teddy… or maybe I am… removing the dots just to fool them.. cunning I am….

  37. Peter, I’m not “hyping the Lib Dems in Maidstone.” I’m watching the local conditions and saying that they will hold up fairly well there, although they no longer have a plausible chance of winning.

    That’s not at all ridiculous, so stop downbeating anyone who disagrees with you.

  38. I think Peter Crawford might be unto something

  39. Imagine my shock, Robberbutton.

  40. Reading this lot anyone would think the Tories were at the height of popularity – not languishing at 31% in the polls.

    Tactical voting will be the election’s swingback story, and will lead to some very odd results. Nokes will no doubt hold here but a blowout it won’t be.

  41. ‘Reading this lot anyone would think the Tories were at the height of popularity – not languishing at 31% in the polls.’

    They are hardly languishing.

    They are more or less neck-and-neck with Labour, which is no mean feat considering the amount of unpopular decisions (cuts) they would say they have had to make and the relatively low-calibre of the current crop of government ministers.

    I thought Labour might have be onto something in highlighting – albeit totally hypocritically – the sheer number tax avoiders bankrolling the tory party but recent polls suggest that only had minimal impact

    Tactical voting will certainly produce some surprising results in the upcoming election but i think the Tories could be – and perhaps ought to be – in a considerably worst position than they currently are, three months before a general election

  42. Saying there is going to be a shock Lib Dem gain here or that they are even going to be within 10 points of winning is ridiculous. This is the Lib Dems equivalent of 1983 or 1997 they will take a massive beating with very little consolation. Watford is the only real place they may stand a chance due to the special circumstances of Thornhill running and it being a three way marginal thus needing a lower vote share to win. The Lib Dem vote here will collapse into the low thirties at the very least if not the high twenties. In Oxford West and Abingdon which is a much more ‘naturally liberal’ seat than here they were down eight in September and their polling has only got worse not better. Plus there will be a large by-election unwind akin to Newbury 2010 which the Lib Dem over-optimists thought they had a shot in… they ended up losing by 21% and that was when their poll ratings were actually good. Something similar will happen here. I would quite frankly be shocked if they lost by less than 15%. Local election results often don’t mean much when it comes to the Lib Dems particularly as a significant chunk of their local vote often tends to vote for other parties nationally (here probably the Tories but in other places Labour). Of course Lib Dem supporters are of course free to believe they have a chance here, Winchester, Maidstone, Montgomeryshire, St Albans, Oxford West, Ashfield or what ever other seat they want to pluck of mid air. But I’m sorry you are going to be severely disappointed on election night (more so than the norm) when you see the results showing the Lib Dem vote falling by large amounts in most of these places.

  43. I predict-

    Conservative: 44
    Liberal Democrat: 34
    Labour: 10
    UKIP: 10
    Others: 2

    Only uncertainty re placing is who’ll come in third

  44. The gap between the Tories and the Lib Dems will probably be a fair bit wider than 10% particularly due to the final unwind of that by-election. Therefore I expect that the Lib-Con swing to be above average, I think the Tory majority will be closer to 20%. Perhaps a 10% Tory majority may be more realistic for neighbouring Winchester?

  45. my word Mr Gropecock is back! Oddly, l was talking about him to my wife & a friend at lunch, and now here he is again.
    Pepperminttea has it about right.

  46. Wouldn’t be surprised to see UKIP in second place here.

  47. Let’s hope his friend Mr Plopwell won’t be joining us again soon.

  48. Tories used the opportunity of their PPC’s Freepost to include fotos of the borough council candidates… Tsk, tsk… did the same in North West Hampshire…

    May come back to bite them…

  49. Barnaby – my ears are burning! What were you saying about me at lunch with your wife and friend?

  50. Nothing, just mentioned your handle. To be fair, Adam, despite his rather eye-catching and silly handle, his actual predictions are far from the silliest you’ll see on this site. They’re actually fairly well-considered for the most part.

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