Runnymede & Weybridge

2015 Result:
Conservative: 29901 (59.7%)
Labour: 7767 (15.5%)
Lib Dem: 3362 (6.7%)
Green: 2071 (4.1%)
UKIP: 6951 (13.9%)
MAJORITY: 22134 (44.2%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Surrey. The whole of the Runnymede council area and part of the Elmbridge council area.

Main population centres: Weybridge, Chertsey, Virginia Water, Addlestone, Egham.

Profile: The seat is made up of several extremely affluent towns and villages in the London commuter belt. The M25 runs through the middle of the seat and with good train links into London is it prime commuter territory as well as providing a home to major company headquarters like those of Samsung and Compass, and research facilities for Proctor & Gamble. Virginia Water includes the extremely exclusive Wentworth estate development, home at various times to the Sultan of Brunei, Bruce Forsyth, Boris Berezovsky, Eddie Jordan and - most infamously - the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet when he was resisting his extradition during the 1990s.

Politics: This is a bombproof Conservative seat, along with predecessors it has been represented by the Conservatives almost continously since the mid-ninteenth century, with the exception of a single term after the Liberal landslide of 1906.


Current MP
PHILIP HAMMOND (Conservative) Born 1955, Epping. Educated at Shenfield School and Oxford University. Former company director. Contested Newham North East 1994 by-election. First elected as MP for Runnymede and Weybridge in 1997. Shadow chief secretary 2005, shadow work and pensions secretary 2005-2007, shadow chief secretary 2007-2010. Secretary of State for Transport 2010-2011, Secretary of State for Defence 2011-2014. Foreign Secretary since 2014.
Past Results
2010
Con: 26915 (56%)
Lab: 6446 (13%)
LDem: 10406 (22%)
UKIP: 3146 (7%)
Oth: 1237 (3%)
MAJ: 16509 (34%)
2005
Con: 22366 (51%)
Lab: 10017 (23%)
LDem: 7771 (18%)
UKIP: 1719 (4%)
Oth: 1651 (4%)
MAJ: 12349 (28%)
2001
Con: 20646 (49%)
Lab: 12286 (29%)
LDem: 6924 (16%)
UKIP: 1332 (3%)
Oth: 1238 (3%)
MAJ: 8360 (20%)
1997
Con: 25051 (49%)
Lab: 15176 (29%)
LDem: 8397 (16%)
Oth: 787 (2%)
MAJ: 9875 (19%)

Demographics
2015 Candidates
PHILIP HAMMOND (Conservative) See above.
ARRAN NEATHEY (Labour)
JOHN VINCENT (Liberal Democrat) Contested Crawley 2010.
JOE BRANCO (UKIP)
RUSTAM MAJAINAH (Green)
Links
Comments - 176 Responses on “Runnymede & Weybridge”
  1. The British press, infantile? I’ve never even heard of such an accusation!!!!

    Said no one ever…

  2. Henry Bolton suggests he may be the UKIP candidate for this seat. How do we reckon he’d do, bearing in mind that Brexit is likely to be festering nicely by the time of the next election, and Hammond will be a prime scapegoat for any brexiters in this seat?

  3. Henry Bolton? I reckon he’d have his ass well and truly kicked, as the disaster wished on us by the lies of the exiters will be even more apparent by the next election.

  4. He was the Lib Dem candidate here in 2005. Perhaps it’s the seat he lives in.

  5. It’s a surprising choice in that the UKIP vote share of 3.2% was right in line with the average for the 378 constituencies where they fielded candidates. The same was true of the 2015 result.

  6. They’ve done quite well in Chertsey in some local elections until recently.

  7. https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/10/philip-hammonds-geography-gaffe/

    A perfect metaphor for the Tories’ current directionlessness…

  8. A truly scintillating performer.

    I’ve always found dear Ruth rather overrated, but it looks like her (pretty good) speech yesterday will be the highlight of the conference.

  9. I knew conference would be pretty barren from an ideological perspective, but I thought there would at least be plenty of Machiavellian backstabbing to enjoy. But there is not even that – it’s just dreadfully dull.

  10. ‘How do we reckon he’d do, bearing in mind that Brexit is likely to be festering nicely by the time of the next election, and Hammond will be a prime scapegoat for any brexiters in this seat?’

    Surrey was one of the few rural English counties (the others being Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Sussex and Hampshire) where Remain did better than average and I would have thought by the time of 2022 arrives it will have dawned to even some ardent Brexiters that Brexit is nowhere near as good as they were told it was going to be

  11. Frank Luntz polled a focus group of Conservative voters and undecided voters.

    Unsurprisingly, Hammond was eliminated first as just, “boring.”

    In the end they decided May should stay; but, if challenged 12 voted For Davis and 12 for Mogg with a couple who couldn’t decide. The former scored the highest with the ‘mood board’ for his Ministerial despatch box performances and Mogg for his on BBC QT.

  12. Tristan – I don’t expect you to be unbiased, but you might at least wait until Conference is over.

    Indeed your posting assessment was made just 24 hours after it began.

    [Although I realise since DC it only last 3.5 days, as opposed to the week it used to last in the seaside resorts]

    A welcome change is that Members can actually speak from the podium again. Although it’ll take a while before it’s a members’ conference again, rather than just a corporates’ event in a big city centre.

  13. According to the constituency estimates, this constituency was very narrowly remain (50.2) which sounds about right given the make-up.

  14. Lancs- fair enough, although my point was more that there really aren’t any great speakers to come, barring maybe Boris (who journalists have detected a lot of hostility to at conference, which surprised me). And please don’t reprimand others re: being partisan…it’s just embarrassing coming from you.

  15. Calling Surrey a rural county is a bit of a stretch – it’s one of the most densely populated counties in England. It’s very suburban.

  16. Having had a while for the budget dust to settle, it seems that, politically speaking, Philip Hammond did a really excellent job. All the polling shows that more people are upbeat about its contents than pessimistic, and he’s done a good job of targeting the right people from an electoral perspective (in particular, the tax cuts seem to be laser-focused on affluent Tories who have become disaffected by Brexit). Labour falling into their tax cut trap was the icing on the cake.

    Not saying I approve of the actual policies. More on that later.

  17. It does seem to have been a successful budget – but paradoxically a well received budget fades away quicker because there is less press coverage reminding people of it compared to a bad budget and it’s effect’s as usual take a while to befelt.
    Budget’s having moved back to the Autumn will have slightly less effect politically anyway now – a poorly received budget will have much longer to fade away before the next local elections and the benefit’s of a popular one will have to be felt before voters are affected by it.

  18. There was a YouGov budget poll today. In comparison to last year the budget has been better recieved but there are a large amount of don’t knows and nothings changed which suggests no one has really paid attention.

    Hammond has this nack of making one or two significant changes that largely get overshadowed by the rest of the budget that is quite uninteresting. Last year he introduced compulsory purchase orders when planning committees turn down developments. Abolishing stamp duty on first time buyers altogether. This year ending PFI and increasing grant to schools while cutting capital. All massive but no one tslks about them

  19. Agreed. Governments don’t win budgets, they only ever lose them (and often over the most trivial details, eg the Pasty Tax).

    I think the most remarkable thing was that there weren’t the good growth forecasts to back up a budget like this – and yet nobody on either side of the House has pointed out the bloody obvious. It would have been the easiest thing in the world for Labour to say “public services are on the floor, growth is non-existent, you can’t keep on cutting taxes”, but, astonishingly, they pledged their support for the measure. Increasingly, it seems there is a new unholy consensus between the right and left that you can cut taxes and boost government spending and “it pays for itself”. You couldn’t put a cigarette paper between Trumponomics and Modern Monetary Theory. Perhaps this bizarre confluence was most notable in the Five Star/Lega coalition agreement, where they seemed to keep all of the former’s spending pledges and all of the latter’s tax pledges, with neither seemingly concerned by the ballooning deficits such a program would obviously incur. And this budget seems to be a hint that British politics may be going in the same direction.

  20. This happened last year too. Hammond tries to gloss over growth and the only people interested are the IFS

  21. You’ve changed your tune Polltroll. Last week you were telling me that McDonnell’s pledge of £500bn extra spending wasn’t a big deal for the public finances!

    “with neither seemingly concerned by the ballooning deficits such a program would obviously incur”

    The UK’s deficit hasn’t ballooned, it has fallen by 80% since Labour left office, and is now finally back at a reasonably normal/manageable level compared with the postwar norm (though we need to beware of the next downturn, probably not far around the corner). The national debt, though still very high, has started to edge down as a % of GDP.

    In the circumstances of looming Brexit and a very left wing opposition being so close to power, I can see why some tactical budget largesse is politically justified at the moment.

  22. Maybe he was thinking of debt as a percentage of GDP which os often conflated with the deficit and has increased from 60% in 2010 to 83% in 2018.

  23. “Maybe he was thinking of debt as a percentage of GDP which os often conflated with the deficit and has increased from 60% in 2010 to 83% in 2018.”

    The peak was in 2016 and the 83% in 2018 represents a small but welcome decline.

    Given the horrendous state of public finances after the 2008 crisis it was a choice between a decade of mushrooming government debt or the kind of instant, massive austerity we saw in Ireland and Spain (pensions cut by 10% etc). Both Brown and Osborne chose the right path on that IMO.

    The appalling level of private/consumer debt also needs to be addressed.

  24. Hemmy: I haven’t changed my tune at all. I’m happy for governments to spend more money provided they raise the taxes to do so. It’s deficits that frighten me, whether they come from unaffordable spending commitments or unaffordable tax cuts.

  25. I was much more frightened about the deficit we had in 2010 than I am about the one we have today. Over the past 8 years the government has done the opposite of what you are complaining about (overall, taxes have gone up and real terms spending has gone down) despite huge public opposition on the latter and having no Conservative majority for 75% of the period.

    The challenge now is that we are at the peak of the economic cycle, with a downturn inevitable in the next year or two, whilst spending will either go up slightly under the Tories or massively under Labour.

  26. I’m glad you raised private debt. It’s something we don’t talk about enough and it covers so much to what we as individuals accumulate to business. Imo it is a direct consequence of devolving the deficit if you follow me. For example despite seeing an increase in cash spending academy trusts are in increasingly in deficit. The decision to cut their capital spend in thus budget is wrong imo will only increase borrowing

    Going the way of our european neighbours. I don’t want to trivalise it but that was never gonna happen. Thanks to quantitative easing we could buy shares in these failing banks and save people’s finances. Many countries in eurozone could not do this. Osbourne may have opposed this and may have thought they should have gone to the wall and sold the sjares asap but even he benefited as Chancellor from not having to make deeper cuts and has been quite open about that

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