Rossendale & Darwen

2015 Result:
Conservative: 22847 (46.6%)
Labour: 17193 (35.1%)
Lib Dem: 806 (1.6%)
Green: 1046 (2.1%)
UKIP: 6862 (14%)
TUSC: 103 (0.2%)
Independent: 122 (0.2%)
Others: 45 (0.1%)
MAJORITY: 5654 (11.5%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: North West, Lancashire. Most of the Rossendale council area and part of Blackburn and Darwen council area.

Main population centres: Darwen, Rawtenstall, Bacup.

Profile: A long hilly constituency stretching along Lancashire`s boundary with Greater Manchester and consisting of the Darwen and Rossendale valleys in the West Pennine Moors. The main towns, Rawtenstall, Bacup and Darwen are all traditional former Lancashire textile towns, increasingly becoming commuter towns for Greater Manchester.

Politics: A Conservative-Labour marginal seat. It was won by the Conservatives on its creation in 1983, gained by Labour in 1992 and regained by the Conservatives in 2005. In 2010 it was unsuccessfully contested by Will Straw, the son of former cabinet minister Jack Straw.

Current MP
JAKE BERRY (Conservative) Born 1978, Liverpool. Educated at Liverpool College and University of Sheffield. Former solicitor. First elected as MP for Rossendale & Darwen in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 19691 (42%)
Lab: 15198 (32%)
LDem: 8541 (18%)
UKIP: 1617 (3%)
Oth: 2081 (4%)
MAJ: 4493 (10%)
Con: 15397 (35%)
Lab: 19073 (43%)
LDem: 6670 (15%)
BNP: 1736 (4%)
Oth: 1561 (4%)
MAJ: 3676 (8%)
Con: 15028 (36%)
Lab: 20251 (49%)
LDem: 6079 (15%)
MAJ: 5223 (13%)
Con: 16521 (32%)
Lab: 27470 (54%)
LDem: 5435 (11%)
Oth: 674 (1%)
MAJ: 10949 (21%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
JAKE BERRY (Conservative) See above.
WILL STRAW (Labour) Born 1980, Kennington, son of Jack Straw. Educated at Pimlico Comprehensive and Oxford University. Associate director of the IPPR.
AFZAL ANWAR (Liberal Democrat) Born 1974, Nelson. Educated at Nelson and Colne College and University of Central Lancashire. Barrister. Contested Pendle 2010, Lancashire Police Commissioner election 2012.
CLIVE BALCHIN (UKIP) Financial advisor. Former Rossendale councillor for the Conservatives.
SHAUN HARGREAVES (Northern Party) Born Isle of Wight. Insurance underwriter.
KEVIN SCRANAGE (Independent)
Comments - 198 Responses on “Rossendale & Darwen”
  1. Which shows I think that those proposals are pretty useless doesn’t it?

  2. Well, they offer English MPs a veto over English legislation. What they don’t do is allow English MPs to pass legislation without non English MPs having a vote.

  3. Jake Berry MP tweeted (on 30.06.16 @ 4.48pm):

    “There is a very deep pit reserved in hell for such as he #Gove”

    He has since deleted the tweet.

    Berry was of course one of the Wets seen with Boris at both a house and at the non-launch.

  4. Another wet on Boris’s (ex-)campaign team, Ben Wallace, has written this in the Telegraph –

    Accuses Gove of leaks, not only recently but also as Chief Whip. Pretty damning. Remember that whilst all this goes on Wallace and Gove are still ministers in the same government.

  5. The brexiteers seem determined to have shat over any chance they had of running the country.

  6. I wouldn’t be so sure.

    Leadsom now has 50 MPs’ support, so should easily make it through to the membership ballot, especially when Fox gets eliminated.

    Some of the names supporting May will hinder her chances (although she remains favourite with the bookies).

  7. Gove picking up very few new supporters so now looking very much like May v Leadsom in the last two. May rightly favourite but the Brexiteers are beginning to line up strongly behind Leadsom – and probably even more strongly once Gove is out.

  8. Yes, now 2/5 with Ladbrokes for it to be May v Leadsom.

    Leadsom is also 6/4 favourite to be the next Chancellor in September.

  9. ‘Yes, now 2/5 with Ladbrokes for it to be May v Leadsom.;

    Seems an almost firgine comnclusion

    ‘Leadsom is also 6/4 favourite to be the next Chancellor in September.’

    It’s amazing that everyone on both the Right and Left imagined that whoever was next the next Chancellor would be less elitist and more caring than the current incumbent, and yet it seemsa likely the next occupant of office will be one of a handful of Tories who cares even less for the downtrodden, despite the fact they voted the way Leadsom told them to

    If she is the next leader, I fear (perhaps the wrong word as they’ve brought it on themselves) those people really have it coming for them…

  10. TJ – but again that’s based on no actual evidence and merely your prejudice.

    Although I doubt even an objective observer would argue GO wants to help the downtrodden. He was stopped from cutting Working Tax Credits. I realise you don’t like Andrew Percy et al but it’s often been half a dozen more right wing MPs who have either voted against and/or defeated GO’s plans on several occasions.

    If you read what Leadsom actually said it was more along the lines of the Tim Montgomerie stance of cutting taxes for low earners and that the Referendum didn’t cause divisions it revealed the gulf between politicians and the voters.

    Almost any Tory MP would be less elitist and personally wealthy than GO.

  11. Lancashire Observer

    A 2-3% tax cut is pretty small beer compared to the widespread deprivation Brexit will cause. Even if we do ultimately make a success of it, the short-term hit to the economy will cause plenty of job losses just for a start because as is always the case, it’s those at the bottom including the working poor who will bear the brunt of the inevitable downturn

    Whatever you say about George Osborne – and as someone who has spent most of the last six years criticising his somewhat cynical approach to politics, it would be hypocritical if I leapt to his defence now – he recognised the immense misery the Brexit vote is likely to cause to already deprived areas up and down the country

    And whether Leadsom cuts the basic rate of tax or not, I would have thought one thing she certainly will do is cut the top rate, which will no doubt earn of the approval of Aaron Banks

  12. I can’t get a read frankly on Osborne on a personal level. But no doubt that the increase in the personal tax allowance and the relatively decent minimum wage/ living wage has helped lower earners to some extent.

  13. ” Even if we do ultimately make a success of it, the short-term hit to the economy will cause plenty of job losses just for a start because as is always the case, it’s those at the bottom including the working poor who will bear the brunt of the inevitable downturn ”

    A recession is inevitable sooner or later not because of Brexit but because of the economic cycle and the fundamentally unbalanced nature of the UK economy.

    What Brexit allows is for the economy to be rebalanced – something which the political establishment have shown they have no interest in. Rather they prefer the current economy based upon rising house prices and ‘borrow and bribe’ government spending. Both of which have had a disastrous effect.

  14. Will Straw was described as a ‘Red Prince’ on the ITV Referendum program.

    He looked more like a chinless wonder to me.

  15. He has the same integrity and basic decency as his father.

  16. Certainly.

    But Jack Straw had at least a certain level of ability as well.

    Will Straw is someone who would be earning £25k if he hadn’t be born into privilege.

    Its a measure of how far the Remain campaign was divorced from ordinary voters that this prat was made their leader.

  17. Let us be thankful for the idiocy of our opponents

  18. I must admit I found the fuss about him winning this seat in the run up to last May rather amusing as if the Straw name itself was going to catapult him to victory. Thus is not an easy seat for Labour to win nowadays.

  19. Agree Jack Straw was basically a decent guy with integrity.

  20. How deep can our irony get?

  21. Does this seat become Labour or just very marginal on current proposals?

    I think they’re only proposing to swap 2 wards, but I heard this MP isn’t happy.

  22. @Lancs well it loses safely conservative Fernhurst to Blackburn and gains reliably Labour Worsley and Tory leaning Greenfield from Hyndburn. While hardly good changes for the Tories its not a catastrophe either, the notional majority is probably somewhere between 9%-10% depending on your source. Despite this not being good for the Tories these changes actually objectively do make sense.

  23. Thanks Pepp. I’d thought it must have been just losing 1 Con ward and gaining 1 Lab ward ie a double whammy almost wiping out the 5k majority.

    Yes from memory the BCE said it produces a better shaped seat.

    Inciodentally, the BCE NW Hearings have begun. Is anyone on here attending?

  24. It does create a nicer shaped and more logical seat but I still despise it, totally breaks my own rule about inter seat connectivity, there is absolutely no way to get from the Rossendale part of the seat to the Darwen part without either leaving the constituency or going on a hiking trip. Really hope the BC just carve this seat up somehow.

  25. @Rivers The easiest way I can see with minimal disruption is

    -Create a Rossendale and Padham (Rossendale borough + Gawthorpe, Hapton, Rosegrove, Cole Colough, Gannow)
    -Burnley gains Boulsworth
    -Accrington is renamed Accrington and Blackburn East (gaining Roe Lee, Bastwell, Little Harwood, Shadsworth)
    -Blackburn West and Darwen (rest of BwD borough)

    As for the partisan effects it is hard to tell re Rossendale and Padham due to heavily squeezed Tory vote in several Burnley wards though it probably is a small to moderate net help for Labour. Accrington and Blackburn East becomes much more Labour. While Blackburn West and Darwen is actually moderately marginal and a seat that would flip in a Tory wave. I can’t see them doing this though as they will not want to split Blackburn and they had no problem with R&D in the past.

  26. That’s exactly what I did in my plan for the NW.

  27. My money’s on Rivers and Peppermint being UKPR’s first gay marriage… minute they’re rowing like hell, cluttering up acres of bandwidth, the next they’re pleasuring each other intensely over the next obscure boundary change that’s popped up. The Liz Taylor and Richard Burton of UK Polling Report.

  28. I don’t think I’m Pepps type, too left wing for him probably, not to mention he’s not quite my type what with being a dude and all.

  29. @Hemming your descriptions always make me smile even though they are probably intended to be insulting :P.

  30. Lol @ HH. That was a good one. Although I don’t actually mind the two posters in question.

  31. Rvers10 – I don’t think your rule is practical though.

    I can think of several current and proposed seats where you leave one seat to get to the other end of it.

    After all the people of Anfield hardly travel to Mossley Hill and yet both are in the proposed Lpool Riverside seat. In fact Anfield isn’t even a ward bordering the Mersey so a name change may be needed.

  32. Lancs
    I know there are a few current and proposed seats that break my rule, they all should be modified in my opinion, as for Anfield in Riverside I know the two areas don’t have a huge amount in common (I personally wouldn’t pair them together) but at least you can get from one to the other while staying wholly within the seat, as for the name I’ve never really been a huge fan of the name Riverside either though Anfield not being on the Mersey probably makes no difference, in the current seat the ward of Greenbank isn’t on the Mersey either and that hasn’t stopped the seat having the name it does

  33. Yes, I suppose you could, although you’d have to go into the city centre, then back out again – to get from Anfield to Mossley Hill. Yes, Vauxhall & M Hill have nothing in common either but they are at least Riverside wards.

    In fact Speke has nothing in common with Woolton either, but I think such stark differences are normal in constituencies ie all have a poor and affluent ward.

  34. I suppose Woolton and Speke’s one claim to similarity is that they are both most definitely “South Liverpool” while Vauxhall and Anfield are definitely North Liverpool but paired with South Liverpool Mossley Hill, Riverside etc

  35. I just spotted that this MP now has a son.

    His partner (Alice Robinson) gave birth on 2nd March 2017 to Milo Radclyffe.

    Clearly this would explain why the MP announced at the end of Sep 2016 why he and his wife (Charlotte Alexa) were to separate, but “neither of us have behaved badly and it will be an amicable divorce.”

    Although these days I doubt it’s regarded as a scandal other than maybe with a few older Tory member in his Association, assuming she wasn’t a researcher.

  36. Mr Berry son must have been conceived then just before the referendum and then his full on involvement during Boris leadership campaign

  37. Think this will go Labour whenever there’s another general election.

  38. BM11 – He said he arrived 3 weeks early so it may explain what this MP was up to on Referendum night itself!

  39. At least he held his seat.

  40. Sir David Trippier was on the regional news as the “Provincial Grand Master” of the Freemasons in Lancashire.

    Jake Berry is one of only 2 MPs who have declared they are Masons. Is it something that’s strong in this area or just a thing in some Cons Associations?

    I recall it being discussed on a London seat prior to 2015.

  41. Ah Sir David Trippier- there’s a name from the past; he was Environment Minister under John Major until he lost here in 1992 I think.

  42. Could be a reason he was selected here back before 2010 election if the association has many masons.

  43. Conservative County Cllr David Stansfield (Helmshore) has been suspended by the Party, after it was revealed he admitted benefit fraud of over £4,000 a year ago.

    Labour have called for an investigation as to why he wasn’t prosecuted, why it’s taken a year to take action, why he’s only been suspended and why it took a whistleblower to reveal the information to the local press.

    The NW Cons Party refused to comment.

    Incidentally I make that 8 NW Con Cllrs who are currently still suspended including Matthew Sephton in Trafford.

  44. There was a Conservative candidate in Huddersfield West in the 1974 general election called John Stansfield, who got a mention in Martin Walker’s book The National Front after he openly sought NF votes. Wonder if he’s any relation. Lisa Stansfield is a Labour supporter though AFAIK.

  45. Cllr David Stansfield has now been expelled by the Conservative Party.

    [It seems they’re finally dealing with their backlog of disciplinary hearings – I assume the infamous Cllr Matthew Sephton is due to be heard soon?]

    Barnaby – Stansfield isn’t uncommon in Lancs/GM. I used to work with one and another is a neighbour.

  46. Jake Berry will remain as Northern Powerhouse minister but will also attend cabinet.

  47. Jake Berry has resigned from government after rejecting a move to a new role due to not wanting a lot of international travel due to having three kids under 3.

  48. Jake Berry has denied “hiding on Anglesey” after a member of the public recognised him and accused him of taking a holiday there.

    He claims that he happened to be there in a cottage holiday let when lockdown happened and so has stayed there for the past 2 months.

    I suspect once this is over, this will be investigated, especially as he has a history for this sort of thing. I recall from over a decade ago, when he stood in Manc city centre ward, he claimed to be local (as he worked as a lawyer in the ward), but lived 35 miles away. His name is also James Gilchrist, not Jake but there’s a history of Tory PPCs doing that – although usually only ones with ethnic names.

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