2015 Result:
Conservative: 24040 (49.1%)
Labour: 13695 (27.9%)
Lib Dem: 2776 (5.7%)
Green: 1415 (2.9%)
UKIP: 6855 (14%)
TUSC: 225 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 10345 (21.1%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: West Midlands, Warwickshire. Part of the Rugby council area and one ward from Nuneaton and Bedworth.

Main population centres: Rugby, Bulkington, Wolston, Brinklow, Wolvey.

Profile: Rugby is most famous for its public school and as the birthplace of the sport of Rugby. However, the town itself is far more industrial and working class than its public school association may suggestion. It is an enginneering and industrial town, producing turbines and cement, Rolls Royce also have a factory in the seat, with engineering works in the village of Ansty. Outside Rugby itself the seat includes the countryside to the north, stretching towards Nuneaton and Coventry and including many affluent commuter villages. The seat also includes Gamecock Barracks, near the village of Bramcote.

Politics: The mix of Labour voting Rugby and the more Conservative villages makes this a key Conservative-Labour marginal, Rugby was taken by Labour in 1997 and won back by the Conservatives in 2005 (on slightly more favourable boundaries than currently). It is currently represented by Mark Pawsey, whose father Jim was the local MP during the 1980s.

Current MP
MARK PAWSEY (Conservative) Born 1957, Binley Woods, son of former Rugby MP Jim Pawsey. Educated at Lawrence Sherriff School and Reading University. Rugby councillor 2002-2007. Contested Nuneaton 2005. First elected as MP for Rugby in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 20901 (44%)
Lab: 14901 (31%)
LDem: 9434 (20%)
BNP: 1375 (3%)
Oth: 857 (2%)
MAJ: 6000 (13%)
Con: 23447 (41%)
Lab: 21891 (38%)
LDem: 10143 (18%)
UKIP: 911 (2%)
Oth: 557 (1%)
MAJ: 1556 (3%)
Con: 21344 (40%)
Lab: 24221 (45%)
LDem: 7444 (14%)
UKIP: 787 (1%)
MAJ: 2877 (5%)
Con: 25861 (42%)
Lab: 26356 (43%)
LDem: 8737 (14%)
Oth: 251 (0%)
MAJ: 495 (1%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Rugby & Kenilworth

2015 Candidates
MARK PAWSEY (Conservative) See above.
CLAIRE EDWARDS (Labour) Rugby councillor. Contested West Midlands region 2009, 2014 European elections.
ED GONCALVES (Liberal Democrat) Charity director and former journalist.
PETE MCLAREN (TUSC) Contested West Midlands region 2009 European election for No2EU.
Comments - No Responses on “Rugby”
  1. Keeping Up Appearances was set in Binley Woods, which is in this constituency. The question is: will Hyacinth vote UKIP in 2015?


  2. Contd.

    I think a narrowish Conservative hold is the likeliest result next time- a >6% swing in a non-metropolitan seat is probably just too much to ask of Labour- unless UKIP was to complicate matters.

  3. Mrs Bucket would probably have been Thatcher and Major (just) but by now would most certainly be UKIP.

    Richard probably had his postal ballot filled in by her….

  4. There is very little to suggest a Labour gain here at the moment. In some ways Labour didn’t do at all badly to be as close as they were in 2010 – probably having Andy King as the Labour candidate, and no incumbent Tory, helped reduce the swing. But it’s a longshot. I’d fancy Labour more in some seats which need a larger swing (S Thanet for example) than this one. I must confess that I’d been under the impression that the Tories had had a larger majority here than actually was the case.

  5. Doktor B: I dare say he will have done!

    Barnaby- wasn’t there some debate about the accuracy of the 2005 notional results here- some saying the Conservatives would still have won, others putting Labour ahead?

  6. That’s quite correct – it was also the case in Rochdale, Oxford E & several other seats – but even given that, the Labour result was certainly better than in N Warwickshire or Warwick/Leamington, to give 2 examples.

  7. I always imagined Labour to be much stronger in Rugby that they are

    As it says in the above profile, the reality of the town is very different from the public school image i had of it until I visited

    In many ways it’s a typical industrial, red-brick West Midlands town, and whilst towns of that nuture have swung to the Tories in recent elections, I’m surprised the Tories were ahead in the 2005 notionals, as I imagined nearly all of their vote coming from the more affluent Kenilworth area, now in a separate seat

  8. Tim: don’t forget the rural areas between Rugby and Nuneaton. These will have voted Tory over Labour by 2:1 in 2010. Binley Woods and Lawford will also have been quite solidly Conservative.

    But yes, Kenilworth is very good indeed for the Conservatives.

  9. *Probably a good deal more than 2:1 in fact. Places like Wolvey etc are Tory strongholds.

  10. ‘Tim: don’t forget the rural areas between Rugby and Nuneaton.’

    that’s true but with rugby now a single seat such voters can only represent a small minority of the electorate

    in fact Nuneaton is a good example of another industrial, red brick, West Midlands town that has been trending to the Tories in the long term. Even still, their win in 2010 has to go down as one of their most unlikeliest

  11. Yes, Nuneaton has undoubtedly been trending Conservative. As early as 2005, the Tory vote was 8% points up on its 1997 level, the Labour vote down 12% points.

  12. Rugby isn’t that large a town & I’m not at all sure that even 50% of the population of this seat lives there. The rural & semi-rural element is still major here.

  13. There are about 50,000 voters in Rugby town so somewhat over two-thirds of the total. On the ‘official’ notional results (ie the Thrasher & Rallings ones) which the BBC etc would have compared the 2010 result with, this was a notional Labour seat in 2005

  14. Well it’s grown a bit since my day, checking its population. Nevertheless, still probably about 40% of the seat’s electorate lives outside Rugby, and these areas are pretty heavily Tory.
    This is an unusual – though not unique – seat in that it voted against Labour in 1945, but for the party in both 1955 & 1970.

  15. “Nevertheless, still probably about 40% of the seat’s electorate lives outside Rugby, and these areas are pretty heavily Tory.”

    As I say it is somewhat over two thirds of the electorate are in Rugby itself – in fact nearer three-quarters. To be precise 50,554 (Dec 2010) in Rugby and 19,378 outside the town – so about 72% / 28%
    The Rugby borough wards outside the town are indeed very safely Tory but over 5,000 voters are in the Bulkington ward of Nuneaton & Bedworth and this is a marginal ward, won by Labour last May

  16. My second post overlapped with your reply Pete, I wasn’t contradicting you deliberately. It becomes clearer now why Labour are still in the hunt. Rugby itself does have its marginal wards (as well as the odd pretty safe Labour one) which I guess along with Bulkington is the battleground in the seat as a whole

  17. In the past Rugby had a tendency to go against the national swing. The Tories gained it in 1959 and held it with an increased majority in 1964. Bill Price gained it for Labour in 1966 and managed a big swing in his favour in 1970. Feb 1974 saw a further increase in the Labour majority but in Oct the same year there was a small swing to the Tories.

  18. Mark Pawsey was re-adopted as Conservative candidate on 21st March:

  19. @Tory – a lot of the outside scenes were shot in Northampton.

  20. Local election results using the whole of Rugby council apart from Dunchurch division, plus Bulkington division from Nuneaton&Bedworth council:

    Con: 8,447 (37.1%)
    Lab: 6,968 (30.6%)
    LD: 3,068 (13.5%)
    UKIP: 1,935 (8.5%)
    Green: 1,598 (7.0%)
    Others: 675 (3.0%)
    Ind: 75 (0.3%)

    Changes since 2010 GE:

    Con: -6.9%
    Lab: -0.8%
    LD: -6.4%
    UKIP: +7.6%
    Green: +6.0%
    Others: +0.1%
    Ind: +0.3%

    Swing, Con to Lab: 3.1%

  21. Actually a worse than average Labour performance. They will have wanted to be ahead of the Conservatives in the constituency if possible. It contrasts with the generally very strong performance in N Warwickshire, where of course only a tiny swing is needed for victory in the general election.

  22. Labour shortlist: Maya Ali and Claire Edwards

    Edwards is a local Cllr but she is also currently running in West Midlands Labour MEP selection.
    Ali is a Cllr in Coventry.

    Selection 13th July.

  23. I am surprised Edwards is allowed to stand in both elections. I assume she would drop out of the MEP selections if she got selected here.

  24. According to today’s “Daily Telegraph” , Conservative Membership in Rugby fell from 194 in 2010 to 155 in 2012.

    This raises an issue as to what effect low/high party membership has on Westminster election results. Has this been researched? I guess it will have been but can anybody say about the findings in psephological terms?

    It would be of interest to know what membership other political parties have in Rugby in order to assess the likely result at the next General Election

  25. Sometimes the safer the seat, the more of a rotten borough it is with small party memberships! I’m sure that this is the case w both major parties, though not necessary this seat.

    Despite this, it may be better to look at how many of the members are active, as well as non-members who are active. A popular local MP will often have lots of people who are willing to leaflet and doorknock, who wouldn’t necessary want to join a political party (especially if they perceive that they would have to go to boring meetings).

    In terms of areas with high memberships, historically there used to be some CLPs with massive memberships because the local Labour Club required political membership to obtain social membership. People paid the few extra quid to get a cheap pint! Caused much confusion when the consituencies held parliamentary selections! Equally many of these extra members wouldn’t do anything year to year and some would even vote for another political party!

    You also have some local party memberships that are high because of recruitment for either local/parliamentary selections. Most of this is legit, some of it less so. Enough said there!

  26. ‘In terms of areas with high memberships, historically there used to be some CLPs with massive memberships because the local Labour Club required political membership to obtain social membership. People paid the few extra quid to get a cheap pint!’

    That’s true

    My mother and father were regulars of the local Conservative club when they lived in Buckley, Flintshire, in the late 1970s – and both of them had stopped voting Tory many years before.

    Even my Aunty – a staunch leftie – would join them for a drink on occasion

  27. Conservative hold Hillmorton ward in a by-election tonight.

  28. Con 400 (33.0; -11.9) Lab 339 (28.0; -1.8) UKIP 231 (19.1; +19.1) LD 221 (18.2; -0.4) Green 21 (1.7; +1.7) [Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (0.0; -6.6)] Majority 61 Turnout 27.35%

    Not a good result for Labour here as their vote was down and one would have expected them to pick up the votes that the TUSC candidate had last time. Looks like Labour voters drifting to UKIP here..

  29. Did the UKIP candidate unofficially withdraw from the election in 2010? 0.9% is a very poor result and doesn’t fit in with the usual trends for a seat of this type.

  30. Good question that actually Andy I never really thought about it before mate. It’s an interesting percentage UKIP are at here, yes, albeit a shockingly low one, for the area as Andy says above. Of course there was a BNP candidate here last time who may have taken a good few potential UKIP votes. I would be amazed if UKIP weren’t at the very least able to get 3% here next time TBH.

  31. Another seat Labour can drop from their target list. In the RBC elections today Labour held their three wards but made no gains and slipped back in some wards.

    The Conservatives lost two seats (one to independent [although that ward is in Kenilworth and Southam] and one to the Lib Dems).

    UKIP came nowhere.

  32. I am interested in the candidates views on multible issues. Will there be public debates held in the Rugby area and when will they happen

  33. Barnaby, Although it was two years ago, it is just about a dozen replies further up this page.

    You mention the 1945 Election. I did live in Rugby in the 1960s, then Rugby had two large Electrical Engineering Works. During WW2, Rugby was an important manufacturing centre, consequently many men would have been in reserved occupations. And indeed, I know that many men had been sent to Rugby by the Ministry of Labour for war production. This would also apply to neighbouring towns/cities such as Coventry and Nuneaton, possibly Leicester as well. So maybe the Forces vote was slightly lower in Rugby than other towns, and I just suggest it as a possible reason to explain the Cons vote in 1945. Is that feasible?

  34. PS.

    The Jet Engine was developed in Rugby and later in Lutterworth 6 or 7 miles to the North in Leicestershire. as an example

  35. hard to say. you could be right.

  36. I live in Bulkington, went to school in Bedworth and Nuneaton, pay my poll tax to Nuneaton, do my weekly shop in Bedworth, have never been to Rugby,
    and yet now I have to vote for some bloke from Rugby.
    Putin could take lessons from our lot about fixing elections……..

  37. Rugby has become a major commuter town both to london/Birmingham.

    Will be interesting to see the results and see if it follows the southeast where former market town labour seats transform into tory commuter towns.

  38. Conservative Hold. 3,000 majority.

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