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 - 184 Responses on “Runnymede & Weybridge”
  1. I am reminded of Yes Minister “irregular verbs”.

    “I am a safe pair of hands”
    “He is a Yes Man”
    “They are housetrained patsies”.

  2. He was actually touted as a possible PM himself, which raises the question of whose Yes Man he’d be at that point. (I can think of a few options)

  3. The only element of controversy would be his vote against Same Sex marriage and some of the comments he said during the debate. Other than that he hasn’t really be criticised much in the public eye.

  4. Hammond has been appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer.

  5. Runnymede and Weybridge votes 22-11 to endorse Owen Smith. Not the biggest of CLPs it seems!

  6. Labour even getting 29% here in ’97 and ’01 seems something of a miracle.

  7. Odd that the LDs never gave Hammond a run for his money here in 1997/2001/2005 given how close they came, in some cases actually winning, in a lot of other usually ultra-safe Tory seats in this part of the country.

  8. Tristan: to put that into context, Labour support in Runnymede & Weybridge in 1997 was higher than Labour support across the country is right now, according to the latest poll.

  9. We should remember that Labour used to poll respectably in the predecessor seat of Chertsey. IIRC there were /are some quitems working class areas of Chertsey. As late as 1979 the Conservative lead over Labour in Chertsey was ‘only’ 25%.

  10. * Chertsey & Walton.

  11. ‘IIRC there were /are some quite working class areas of Chertsey’

    But Labour has lost those kinds of WWC votes in the south – and increasingly the rest of the country – now. Indeed, that demographic looks more like a problem than an opportunity for Labour in seats like this now.

  12. There were particular circumstances in Esher and Walton (see that thread) because the Tory MP was unpopular. It’s now one of the safest Tory seats.

  13. ‘Indeed, that demographic looks more like a problem than an opportunity for Labour in seats like this now.’

    Like it has become for the Democrats in the US

    ‘because the Tory MP was unpopular’

    I presume you’re talking about Ian Taylor who wasn’t always popular with his local Tory association because of his pro-European views, but having secured over 65% of the vote in two successive elections, it doesn’t suggest he was unpopular with his constituents – although the old Esher seat was even more Tory than the current incarnation

  14. The Chancellor has said that the Treasury forecasts – of a rise of 500,000 – 800,000 in unemployment within a year or two of a Leave Vote – were invalid.

    George Osborne was unavailable for comment.

  15. ‘Odd that the LDs never gave Hammond a run for his money here in 1997/2001/2005 given how close they came, in some cases actually winning, in a lot of other usually ultra-safe Tory seats in this part of the country.’

    Setting aside Guildford (which they won based on local issues) and South West Surrey, the Lib Dems never really had much of an impact throughout Surrey in general elections

    They did very well in the local elections of 1993 – they won every ward in the monumentally safe seat of East Surrey apart from Oxted – but never really built on this in future elections and by 2015 most Surrey seats were as safe for the Tories as they had been in 1992

  16. https://order-order.com/2017/03/09/hammond-faces-tory-tax-revolt/

    Hammond really is getting it in the neck over the NIC increases. 18 Tory MPs have spoken out against him as of this article, and it’s probably more since.

    What is remarkable is not the number of rebellious MPs, but the variety. They come from all across the party. Anna Soubry and Iain Duncan Smith are both on that list, and it’s difficult to be further apart than those two while remaining in the same party.

    Much like Labour MPs on Article 50, there is a feeling here that punishing people for taking (or in some cases being forced into) the riskier option of self-employment is a betrayal of Conservative values.

  17. They have being ex-Ministers in common, of course.

    Indeed some – such as Morgan & Soubry – have criticised almost everything since they became backbenchers.

  18. The variety of Tory MPs rebelling reflects the fact that this is not an ideological issue but a broken election pledge- ” We will not raise VAT, National insurance contributions or income tax”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39208859

  19. Although as Andrew Neil pointed out today: the problem with that ‘fact check’ is that it is itself wrong.

    The effect is that most self-employed people will receive a tax cut, with Class 2 NICs being abolished. Only those earning over £16k pa will see a rise and even that won’t be for 2 years and will only be pennies per week.

    Hence the Labour spokesman didn’t know how to respond as he clearly wasn’t aware of that fact either.

    I find the proposed 4 yearly returns more objectionable and also for the fact that it was apparently the idea of an unaccountable HMRC official (according to BBC Moneybox).

  20. ‘The variety of Tory MPs rebelling reflects the fact that this is not an ideological issue but a broken election pledge’

    All government’s break election pledges, and whilst they usually come up with more convincing reasons for doing do than that offered by Karen Bradley on last night’s Question Time

    Hammond is finding out that nothing gets a good deal of Tory MPs foaming at the mouth than the idea of a tax hike for higher earners – however justified – and i agree with Lancs that Labour’s objection has been opportunistic in the extreme but because ultimately this is something you’d expect Corbyn’s Labour to support

  21. @ Lancs Obs

    My point was simply that this is a broken election pledge. It is acknowledged as such by many Tories, and their supporters in the press – including the likes of Norman Lamont, and David Cameron.

    This is what the Telegraph has to say about it:

    http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/revealed-the-blunders-that-led-to-budget-shambles-as-blame-game-erupts-in-westminster/ar-AAo9yOH?li=AAmiR2Z&ocid=spartandhp

  22. One important thing to note about this broken pledge is that it shows that the Conservatives are beginning to take their natural voters for granted. It is notable that opposition to this measure has mostly come from Conservative backbenchers rather than the official opposition, and centre-left think-tanks like the Resolution Foundation tentatively defended the measure. We’re inching into reverse-Blair territory here, where the government is so far ahead of the opposition that it can do more-or-less whatever it wants, including the betrayal of pledges and/or principles.

  23. ‘One important thing to note about this broken pledge is that it shows that the Conservatives are beginning to take their natural voters for granted’

    I’m not sure it shows that, I think it’s more Hammond trying to do the ‘right thing’, but it’s a very un-Conservative policy – targeting high-earners from a sector that overwhelmingly votes Tory

  24. “…I think it’s more Hammond trying to do the ‘right thing’…”

    Blimey Tim, that’s almost a complementary comment about a Conservative politician whose not a patrician wet and isn’t pro-EU. Not sure I’ve seen the like before.

  25. I think Hammond is getting honourary ‘wet’ status now on the basis of his apparent scepticism re. Brexit.

  26. Margaret Thatcher would never have tolerated such a gloating and hubristic performance from her chancellor, regardless of her lead in the polls.

  27. Some Tory MP’s feel a reshuffle and promotion of some of the rebels might solve the problem.

  28. James E – well it’s a breach of DC’s tweeted pledge certainly (though not of the law GO enacted).

    I suppose it’s whether May feels bound by the DC 2015 Manifesto?

  29. ‘Margaret Thatcher would never have tolerated such a gloating and hubristic performance from her chancellor, regardless of her lead in the polls.’

    I don’t know about that. I remember a couple of Lawson’s budgets certainly being that way inclined.

    I also remember Lawson mocking Hattersley (the then Shadow Chancellor) as ‘that great economist’.

  30. She was always obsessed with looking after “our people”, often to the irritation of her ministers. With that in mind I doubt she would have approved of targeting the self-employed, at least without a more competent presentation strategy.

    Though negatively impacted myself I can see the sense in the government slaughtering a few sacred cows, what irks me is that they won’t also look at bigger and fatter ones such as public sector pensions, triple locks, winter fuel allowance for the wealthy etc.

  31. It’s the foreign aid budget which should be the real target. Bloated and wasteful.

  32. It would be funny if the Lib Dems achieved a scoop with Morgan and Soubry but came out for Brexit themselves, forgetting they wanted to do a deal with Carswell.

  33. Runnymede: the likes of yourself have spent the foreign aid money several times over in your heads. It is to the right what Trident is to the left.

  34. No, I’m well aware how big that budget is and have perfectly realistic ideas as to what to do with it.

  35. Indeed DC made it perfectly quantifiable with the silly 0.7% pledge enacted in law.

    I haven’t heard of a sillier pure gesture politics in years. Even aid agencies’ reps said in the Sunday Times’ interview that it was daft for civil servants to get to March then have to spend £ without due diligence purely in order to meet the arbitrary minimum figure before the end of the tax year.

  36. Noticed this post from July 2016.

    Tory – there was almost certainly a big error at the 1979 count.
    Pete Whitehead, Andy Stidwill and possibly others were discussing it on the old site.
    The Tory vote share actually dropped about 1pc against October 1974 then rose substantially in 1983.
    The Tory lead was at least 10 points higher than that reported. (but obviously this is unofficial).


    Tory

    We should remember that Labour used to poll respectably in the predecessor seat of Chertsey. IIRC there were /are some quitems working class areas of Chertsey. As late as 1979 the Conservative lead over Labour in Chertsey was ‘only’ 25%.

    July 28th, 2016 at 7:36 am “

  37. My guess is the Tories had about 31,000 and the Liberal vote had too many.
    the Labour drop is rather heavy – too difficult to say about them.

  38. I’ve tried to find information about the Liberal candidate in 1979 to see whether there was any reason why he might have done much better than expected. Sometimes if you have a very well-known local personality it can skew the result. But I haven’t been able to find any information so far. Viewing the archives of the local paper might help, but I’ve haven’t visited this area recently so haven’t had a chance to look.

    The other counting mistake probably happened in SE Staffs in 1987.

  39. Hammond has scrapped his NI increase for the self-employed.

  40. Very poor effort by Hammond, especially to be undone on a relatively minor measure like this.

  41. Apparently it was announced before PMQs.

    But Corbyn asked all of his Qs on NICs – and failed to think on his feet and so missed an open goal.

  42. The conspiracy theorist in me thinks May saw this as the best way of getting rid one of the few top cabinet ministers who doesn’t support May’s position of the hardest and mist right-wing Brexit possible

  43. I can’t follow that logic.

    Keeping the policy and allowing Brexit Tory MPs to continue to attack Hammond would probably have proved more damaging for him medium term.

    I’d imagine he’ll stay as long as May wants him. [In fact Carney will probably be gone before him. 2 MPs have already said he should go now – for choosing to retain the deputy even after being made aware of her conflict of interest. But again due to stability he’ll probably see out his remaining 3 years.]

    As Ed Vaizey said “I feel stupid – I’ve been defending the policy.”

    Although as pointed out to Andrew Neil the fiscal change is a margin of error, so why all the fuss. Plus its far from the Tax Credits’ U-turn that damaged GO (although of course he’d previously been damaged in the caravan tax, pasty tax etc Budget).

  44. ‘the fiscal change is a margin of error, so why all the fuss’

    Quite. There is a longer-term issue here though: the move was aimed at stopping fake self-employment from draining revenues in the future (rather than raising revenue now) – that will still have to be addressed.

  45. I don’t think that should be a priority. On the other hand, making sure big international companies pay the right tax should be a priority IMO.

  46. Runnymede – true.

    Indeed the effect is now that those low earning self-employed will receive a tax cut of £146 pa next year (with the abolition of Class 2 NICs).

  47. I feel sorry for Runnymede (the place not the poster):

    it rejects 91% of parking fine challenges from residents here.

    Yet Basingstoke accepts over 95% of challenges:

    http://news.sky.com/story/best-places-to-get-off-parking-fines-revealed-10825844

  48. question:

    the british press was infantile in reading too much into the PM’s refusal to guarantee Hammond’s job post June.

    I can’t remember any PM making any public guarantee about anyone’ cabinet post before the election took place. firstly, it looks presumptuous and May is pathologically averse to appearing to be arrogant. Secondly, if she were foolish enough to guarantee one cabinet minister’s job it would start a guessing game about the others with similar such questions being asked about them.

    Really, I don’t see how the PM could win from answering that type of question.

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