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
Con: 26915 (56%)
Lab: 6446 (13%)
LDem: 10406 (22%)
UKIP: 3146 (7%)
Oth: 1237 (3%)
MAJ: 16509 (34%)
Con: 22366 (51%)
Lab: 10017 (23%)
LDem: 7771 (18%)
UKIP: 1719 (4%)
Oth: 1651 (4%)
MAJ: 12349 (28%)
Con: 20646 (49%)
Lab: 12286 (29%)
LDem: 6924 (16%)
UKIP: 1332 (3%)
Oth: 1238 (3%)
MAJ: 8360 (20%)
Con: 25051 (49%)
Lab: 15176 (29%)
LDem: 8397 (16%)
Oth: 787 (2%)
MAJ: 9875 (19%)

2015 Candidates
PHILIP HAMMOND (Conservative) See above.
JOHN VINCENT (Liberal Democrat) Contested Crawley 2010.
Comments - 188 Responses on “Runnymede & Weybridge”
  1. Apparently UKIP have gained a seat here in a by-election in Foxhills ward. No details yet though

  2. The Cameroons have got the Conservatives into a 3 front war against Labour, LibDems and UKIP.

    And are now discovering what a niche market there is for ‘progressive’ metropolitanism mixed with wealth/business cultism.

    The world is not one big Notting Hill dinner party.

  3. UKIP 336 40.2%
    Con 318 38.1%
    Lab 181 21.7%

    The Tories also lost a previously safe seat in Aldwick East (Arun distriuct) to the LDs in a very close Eastleigh style three way split with UKIP getting around 30%

  4. The Conservatives are simply not giving their voters anything to be enthusiastic about. I dislike Richard’s class-based obsessions but there is a kernel of truth in his analysis – bread and butter issues matter to ordinary voters, they are not interested in ‘positioning’. The latter is for opposition, not government.

    UKIP now have a real chance to make a major electoral breakthrough. They should be aiming at getting 40% or more at the European elections.

  5. Congratulations are due to UKIP. I don’t know where Foxhills ward is – could someone enlighten me?

  6. I believe its the Ottershaw area , near Chertsey

  7. I’m working right next to there, in Addlestone. Hadn’t really heard about it. A respectable Labour share of the vote but it would be rather amazing for the party to win in Ottershaw, though I suspect it may have happened in the past in truly exceptional years.

  8. ” I dislike Richard’s class-based obsessions but there is a kernel of truth in his analysis ”

    I dislike having to make them but the class war is being waged against us and declining to point that out would be akin to surrender.

  9. Aggregate votes from the 2012 local elections in this constituency:

    C 10508 49.8
    Lab 3739 17.7
    LD 2043 9.7
    RIRG 1766 8.4
    UKIP 1413 6.7
    SGHI 836 4.0
    Ind 503 2.4
    Green 184 0.9
    OMRLP 99 0.5

    RIRG is the Runnymede Independent Residents Group, and the SGHI is the St. George’s Hill Independents.
    The councillor elected for Virginia Water (75% Conservative in 2012) is called Margaret Roberts.

  10. @runnymede

    Is Philip Hammond any good? Always gives the impression he’s a bit out of touch with reality.

  11. UKIP gain ward in Wentworth.

    That must be in this constituency surely đŸ˜‰

  12. Wentworth must be in this seat yes.
    I hesitated about Surrey Heath but think it’s party of the Runnymede District.

    Hammond did well on Question Time in Ipswich last night, on an otherwise pretty dreadful program
    with noisy support for the Metropolitian elite
    unless it was just certain people making a lof of noise.
    Slightly surprising given the location.
    I loved the no nonsense program from Stockton a year or so ago when Emily Thornbury was told phone yacking was completely boring and irrlevant to the average person.

  13. No, the UKIP gain was in the other Wentworth, the one in S Yorks, from Labour. Labour did however gain a seat in Weymouth – from 4th place no less.

  14. I’m surprised the leftie parties don’t make more of a show in the university wards – Egham itself, but mostly the students are in Englefield Green. I suppose it might be down to the utter Conservative dominance of the non-student vote, the fact Royal Holloway seems to attract a more conservative-inclined student base, and the fact Royal Holloway looks like one of the smaller universities by student numbers.

  15. In Labour’s very strongest years in the mid-90s they were getting councillors elected in both Englefield Green (surely almost entirely because of the student vote) and Egham proper. There was also some potential in Addlestone, rather more still in Chertsey, and a little minority support in some parts of Weybridge & even Ottershaw. But even at that time the great majority of Weybridge remained Tory, Virginia Water remained massively so, and there were also large villagey Tory votes in places like Thorpe & Lyne, and Labour were never unequivocally ahead anywhere except parts of Chertsey. Thus even at that time, while Labour were able to compete in surprisingly large chunks of the constituency, there were always just enough totally solidly Tory areas to prevent it becoming all that interesting.

  16. Thanks for that, BM. Interesting stuff.

  17. Yes, thanks, Barnaby- informative as always.

  18. Royal Holloway was always known as the local university for people who didn’t want to travel far when I was at school in south Bucks – certainly I would see the likely student population who would choose a college in Egham as conservative

  19. IIRC as well, around a quarter of the intake a few years back were from private schools, which I imagine must rank as one of the highest proportions of any university? Whilst coming from a private school doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a conservative – heck, I went to one and I’m a leftie, and I certainly saw plenty of private school kids strut around like they were the next Karl Marx – but you’d think most of them would be rather conservative.

    And I’ve heard that reputation as well. Plus, Egham is by no means a classic student town. Nobody goes to Royal Holloway for the nightlife, and I’m guessing that may appeal more to a conservative-inclined student?

  20. Amazing building, Royal Holloway.

  21. Sure is.

  22. Mike – oddly enough, of the 4 Labour councillors elected in my borough in 1998, 2 are now Professors at Royal Holloway College. 1 of them is my cousin.

  23. I think John Loony mentioned once that he attended Royal Holloway which I found an interesting piece of information.

    The occasion on which I saw the building was after visiting the Savill Garden a few years ago, on my way to the Runnymede memorial.

  24. Prediction for 2015-
    Hammond (Conservative)- 53%
    Liberal Democrat- 19%
    Labour- 17%
    UKIP- 10%
    Green- 1%

  25. It’s quite often fairly close for second place here, and I think that with our still just-about-existent support in parts of Chertsey & Egham we in the Labour Party might hope for a narrow second – but it won’t be very close for first. Of course, this constituency is suffering, at least in Chertsey, from serious flooding which is also affecting Spelthorne, Windsor & other nearby constituencies. Chertsey Bridge was closed for a couple of weeks over the New Year, reopened for several weeks but things are very serious in the town now.

  26. IIRC, Labour won Chertsey St Ann’s as recently ago as 2002 and came very close in 2012.

    Labour won Egham Hythe as recently as 2003 but didn’t even put up a candidate there in 2010. In 2012, the Tories carried it 51-33 over Labour.

  27. Interestingly enough, in some of the wards where the students at Royal Holloway are concentrated they’re actually represented by independents. As I understand it, the independents range across the spectrum – some frankly too conservative for the Conservatives, and others sometimes drawn from the academic community and fairly left-wing. But my point is, it means that other parties like Labour have a harder time building up their own base in these student wards so long as the anti-Tory vote coalesces round those independents, which would rather make Labour’s task of coming second in the constituency abit harder.

  28. Tory – I gather that the intention of the local Labour Party is to target Chertsey St Anns & perhaps Egham Hythe as well.
    If the students of Royal Holloway are conservative, my son will not be out of place since he is an undergraduate there at present. This is probably the only constituency he visits more frequently than I do.

  29. It seems odd that Labour comfortably beat the Lib Dems into second place in 1997

    15,176 votes is a fairly respectable tally in a seat as wealthy as this

    I wonder from where their vote would have come from

  30. Blair Tories

  31. Hammond seems to be very comfortable here. He’s performed well since 1997-

    2001- +0.1%
    2005- +2.7%
    2010- +4.5%

  32. ‘Blair Tories’

    I guess that’s exactly what it was – although I have never heard that phrase before –

    There were quite a few seats in surburban Surrey where Labour came 2nd after achieving negligible vote tallies in 92

    In the more rural seats, the Lib Dems stayed in 2nd

  33. Although as Barnaby has alluded to their are areas of natural and/or historic Labour strength in Chertsey and in Egham Hythe which long pre-date Blair. Labour were also able to win wards in Addlestone in good years like 1990. The old Chertsey & Walton would have been even better for Labour as they were strong in Walton itself and in Hersham North

  34. Yes and in fact I mentioned some of that in my post of July 20th. I have twice as it happens taken part in by-elections in Addlestone, both of which were narrowly lost, one in the middle 80s & one in the Blair years of the middle 90s. I also worked in Walton-on-Thames in the 1985 county council elections, where I was acquainted with the Labour candidate through the Arts for Labour organization of which I was briefly Membership Secretary (she won quite comfortably against the Tories, despite the division including the pretty hopeless Walton Central ward which included some very exclusive roads south of the town centre such as Bowes Road & Midway; and I also worked more recently to try & save Labour’s last seat in Elmbridge, which was unsuccessfully defended by Irene Hamilton, who worked professionally for the Richmond-upon-Thames Labour Group between 1998 & 2002 & whom I also knew (still know) very well – that was in Hersham North. Now Labour are looking a basket case in all the wards in Hersham, Walton-on-Thames & W Molesey which have had Labour councillors in the past, though Chertsey & to some extent Egham are rather different. Egham was I think separated from Chertsey for parliamentary purposes until 1997, being in the old NW Surrey division.

  35. Chertsey by election result

    Conservative 489

    Labour 329

    UKIP 327

    Monster raving 15
    Turnout 28.8%

    Labour heavily targeted the ward – campaigning on the flooding.

  36. If the tories lost it, you would have thought it would have been to UKIP to be honest.

  37. Yes – but they held on.
    I’m not sure what the result was when it was last fought but Chertsey has elected Labour councillors – under different boundaries probably.
    Labour flooded the area.

  38. Clearly you must have been there, as I was, but I didn’t see any Tory party workers except the candidate, his wife (who is a Labour supporter in any other election apparently) & another local Tory councillor. This is not Labour’s strongest ward in Chertsey which is St Anns. This does represent a distinct though not huge improvement in the Tory performance since the last by-election in 2012. UKIP haven’t done badly at all since their organization has declined considerably in the area in the last year or so. The Tories concentrated on making sure the postal vote was OK & this was the way they managed to hold on against what, as you say, was a stiffish Labour challenge – but you’ll have to take it from me Joe that the ward was in no way “flooded” by Labour Party workers. There was only a quite small nucleus of Labour people on the ground, though it has been worked fairly consistently in the last 3 years.

  39. It looks like Philip Hammond is going to the DWP in the reshuffle. Probably a wise move since it’s the sort of department where he can demonstrate his reputation as a numbers man. It’ll be good practice for him considering there’s a good chance he’ll be shadow Chancellor in the next parliament.

  40. i doubt very much whether he’ll be shadow chancellor if the tories are out after 2015…there’s a whole new generation coming up….he’s not a very good communicator. he comes across as a slightly irritable accountant or small businessman.

  41. Philip Hammond = Foreign Secretary.

  42. That’s a good promotion for PH then.

  43. James Peel – Funny you should say that because Sky’s Jon Craig has just confirmed that Hammond will be replacing Hague and described Hammond as:

    “Dry as dust and a bean counter but a safe pair of hands”!

    Yes, Hammond isn’t the life and soul the party but I thought that was harsh of Craig!!

  44. Philip Hammond is very charismatic.

  45. I met Phillip Hammond twice when the Tories were in opposition and I found him very impressive.
    Has strong views but bases them on knowledge and logic and I think is highly competent.

    He had a good understanding of the health service and pensions (which Labour did a good job wrecking – but it wasn’t all their fault).

  46. I like him. He’s a bit like John Major.

    It’s the quiet ones I find to be the best operators.

  47. I’ve heard several “announcements” & “confirmations” but they’re still educated guesswork at the moment in some cases.

  48. He does look and come across as very boring but I think thats unimportant if he is doing a good job. Hammond also looks ever so slightly different to the Notting Hill set and doesn’t come across as arrogant.

  49. Prediction for 2015-
    Hammond (Conservative)- 53%
    Labour- 19%
    Liberal Democrat- 17%
    UKIP- 10%
    Green- 1%

  50. LBernard – Just discovered that Hammond went to a conprehensive school!

    Even though he comes across as less arrogant than the Notting Hill clique as you mentioned, I always assumed he went to a private or grammar school! Very surprised!

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