2015 Result:
Conservative: 28192 (55.6%)
Labour: 7771 (15.3%)
Lib Dem: 5099 (10.1%)
Green: 2762 (5.4%)
UKIP: 6152 (12.1%)
Independent: 729 (1.4%)
MAJORITY: 20421 (40.3%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: South West, Wiltshire. Part of the Wiltshire council area.

Main population centres: Salisbury, Wilton, Amesbury.

Profile: A large rural seat covering the south-eastern part of Wiltshire, it includes part of the West Wiltshire Downs AONB and the New Forest in the south, then the southern part of Salisbury plain, including Stonehenge. The seat lost much of its military presence to Devizes in the 2010 boundary changes, though Westdown Camp and the aircraft testing site at MoD Boscombe Down remain within the seat`s boundaries. The main settlement is the cathedral city of Salisbury.

Politics: This is a reliable Conservative seat held by the party since 1924. The Liberal Democrats were the main competition and with the collapse in their support the Conservatives have a majority in excess of forty percent. Historically the area contained the most nortorious of all rotten boroughs - the seat of Old Sarum, the original site of Salisbury which was moved in the thirteenth century. Despite this the seat continued to return two MPs to Westminster until 1832 despite eventually having no resident population at all.

Current MP
JOHN GLEN (Conservative) Born 1974, Bath. Educated at King Edward's School and Oxford University. Former director of the Conservative Research Department. Contested Plymouth Devonport 2001. First elected as MP for Salisbury in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 23859 (49%)
Lab: 3690 (8%)
LDem: 17893 (37%)
UKIP: 1392 (3%)
Oth: 1647 (3%)
MAJ: 5966 (12%)
Con: 25961 (48%)
Lab: 9457 (17%)
LDem: 14819 (27%)
UKIP: 2290 (4%)
Oth: 1795 (3%)
MAJ: 11142 (21%)
Con: 24527 (47%)
Lab: 9199 (17%)
LDem: 15824 (30%)
UKIP: 1958 (4%)
Oth: 1095 (2%)
MAJ: 8703 (17%)
Con: 25012 (43%)
Lab: 10242 (18%)
LDem: 18736 (32%)
Oth: 4249 (7%)
MAJ: 6276 (11%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
JOHN GLEN (Conservative) See above.
THOMAS CORBIN (Labour) Train driver.
KING ARTHUR PENDRAGON (Independent) Born 1954, Wakefield, as John Rothwell. Former serviceman. Contested Aldershot 1997, 2001, Winchester 2005, Salisbury 2010.
Comments - 31 Responses on “Salisbury”
  1. Prediction for 2015-
    Glen (Conservative)- 46%
    Liberal Democrat- 29%
    Labour- 12%
    UKIP- 11%
    Others- 2%

  2. Please note I am the Parliamentary Candidate for the Green Party in the Salisbury Constituency. Please allow me to submit a photo and details as per the above. Many thanks.

  3. Any campaign news from this constituency?

  4. Conservative Hold. 10,000 maj.

  5. Given that Sir Edward Heath has been dead for ten years the Summer stories about his sexuality, and possible paedophilia, are of limited contemporary relevance. But if the course of justice was possibly perverted when a woman with a criminal record for brothel-keeping raised allegations about a former prime minister this is a matter that does require further investigation and if appropriate criminal charges – within a reasonable timescale..

    Sir Edward Heath may have been MP for Old Bexley but it is well-known that by the mid-1990s he was living in Salisbury.and any criminal allegations relating to him would have been likely tp concern the Wiltshire Police Force.

    Let me make clear that I do not personally know anything of any such allegations, but I do read the newspapers.

  6. My goodness John Glen had an extremely good result here- The Lib Dem collapse here was absolutely extraordinary.

  7. The problem for the opposition in this seat is that nobody is clearly in second, or indeed third, place.

  8. That is indeed the case. The good increase for Labour would suggest they might be on the up here long-term now the Lib Dems are nowhere in the area, but I don’t actually really know how much of it was in fact down to simple tactical unwind as it had become clear the Lib Dem challenge had faltered many years ago in this seat. But suffice to say the Tories now have over 50% of the vote, which might now make it even more unclear in the future who can mount the most realistic challenge to John Glen- The opposition is so heavily split the seat will likely never be lost to another party, but I think Labour might well take second place here again next time.

  9. The Results- well it depends what you mean by ‘on the up’. If you mean that Labour can keep managing a distant second I agree with you but anything more than that is most unlikely given that the seat is semi-rural with a large proportion of white, reasonably well off electors over the age of 45. Salisbury itself offers some (limited) opportunities for Labour but it only constitutes half the electorate and probably less than half of that part of the electorate that actually votes.

    I think the nearest Labour came to winning Salisbury was 1966, when they were 10% behind the Conservatives. There was once a respectable Labour vote but it dissolved after 1970 when the Liberals started contesting the seat again. The Conservatives have arguably also strengthened over time, their 2010 vote share being the highest since 1970.

  10. The Liberal vote here was surprisingly los in the 1960s and in particular one wonders why the Liberals failed to put up a candidate in 1966. This may seem a long time ago but it could have made the difference between the Liberals coming second and winning in 1979 and the 1980s.

    It is difficult to see the LibDems coimg back from their fourth place last May.

  11. I think their potential vote is actually greater now the Lib Dems have sunk here, but I would guess they’d struggle to get more than 20%. But the Tories are very safe here for a long time to come because the collapse of the former challengers in this seat has benefited John Glen massively, not only with an increased vote share at their expense and a massively increased majority, but the Lib Dems being knocked into fourth means the battle for second place this time was essentially worthless.

  12. The announcement of the Stonehenge bypass will undoubtedly have helped the Tories here.

    Robert Key was a very socially liberal Tory long before it became fashionable, especially on gay issues and AIDS. It almost certainly subdued the Lib Dem challenge in the 80s and 90s, and he got one of the best Tory results in the country in 1997. Not sure where Glen sits on the left/right spectrum.

  13. I agree with Frederick’s point above that the Lib Dems are going to struggle to recover here in the long-term. However, I will say though that that does not necessarily mean they should give up on this seat. In a few elections time and with the right candidate, they could with hard work fix some of the heavy damage that has been done to their vote share in this seat, and during the next 10 years should at least try to get their vote share back into the 20%+ range. But realistically without changing my name to Gloy Plopwell I in fact suspect they might only manage about 7-8% if they’re really lucky here in 2020 TBH.

  14. Hemmelig- The points you make are also extremely valid.

    John Glen has clearly been a popular local MP as well I think. Also the Tories arguably underperformed here a bit in 2010 given Robert Key had stood down, possibly taking a bit of personal support with him. Therefore, I suspect his departure gave the Lib Dems the opportunity they needed to realistically win here, but even then with a 10% increase in vote share they could only get a swing of 3.6% and finished nearly 6,000 votes behind John Glen.

  15. The Stonehenge by-pass is dead in the water.. and Nick Clegg was the sucker they got to go out and announce the thing… Moreover its not a by-pass but a tunnel and at one point had a billion pound price-tag. It is not popular as it is clearly just a talking piece when what is needed is a widening of the A303 where it narrows down to two lanes at Winterbourne Stoke.

    The bulk of the population in this seat (80%) is Salisbury itself with the balance largely being Amesbury (which is close to the A303). Salisbury is a long way from Stonehenge relatively speaking, so there are few votes in a bypass of Stonehenge..

    What is really needed is a Salisbury by-pass as the town is a traffic nightmare…

  16. “The Stonehenge by-pass is dead in the water”

    Doesn’t seem to be the case….see this local press article from just a few weeks ago

    I fail to see why it would be “unpopular” given that it is one of the country’s most notorious traffic blackspots….I can’t ever recall driving on the A303 without spending an hour or so crawling past Stonehenge. It must drive the locals mental. Putting the road underground will also surely protect and enhance the world heritage site.

  17. True.. its a nightmarish blackspot but people from Salisbury don’t use it… it takes people from somewhere else to somewhere else.. even if you lived in Amesbury you would head East on the A303 and avoid the traffic jams..

    I know it well and the solution is pretty simple (bulldoze one side of the mainstreet of Winterbourne Stoke) and certainly isn’t with a price tag of more than tens of millions of pounds certainly not tunnels costing hundreds of millions. .

    Ironically there used to be a rail line to the Bulford army camp in spitting distance of Stonehenge.. closed in 1952 so we cannot blame Dr Beeching…

    On another issue, Amesbury is growing like crazy and will necessitate a redraw of Salisbury pretty soon.. This might imply losing Amesbury from the north and picking up pieces of Southwest Wilts (around Tisbury)

  18. I live less than 10 miles from the A303 as well as carrying a massive amount of tourist traffic it is certainly used a lot by local people (though many will avoid using it at certain times of day/year!)

    It is hopelessly unfit for purpose (there is more than one place where it narrows from dual to single carriageway) and local businesses in particular have been trying to get it improved for many years.

    If – and it remains an if, I think – the plans to improve this road go ahead it will certainly be long overdue and popular locally.

  19. When one sees a billion dollar tunnel project one knows implicitly that its promoters do NOT want to build it.. It’s hot air..

    I live 300 yards from the A303..

  20. I guess from the other side, an improved A303 may drag a lot of traffic off the M4 and get clogged up again soon after the work is completed.

    It’s ridiculous that the main route from London to Somerset, Devon & Cornwall is not dual carriageway along its entire length. I do expect this government to prioritise infrastructure spend on the south west as a way of keeping hold of ex-Lib Dem seats….also see the new bypass being built just outside Torquay.

  21. This seat will be a Lib Dem gain with stupendous momentum in 2020 with a strong local candidate!

  22. Hemmelig, where is there any sign of this government wanting to spend money on anything?

    NIMBYism is ripe (and rife) and rampant across the south and southeast. There is no other reason for the A303 not being widened than the aforementioned villages. With the slow pace of approvals and then construction the Tories won’t have anything to dish up to their newly captured Cornish strongholds by 2025 let alone 2020.

    Moreover one of the chief gripes in Devon and Cornwall is second-homism and improved road communications with London will just make it easier for the barbarians to arrive at Cornwall’s gate…

  23. I think Labour could increase a little bit more here in 2020-
    Conservative- 58%
    Labour- 18%
    UKIP- 10%
    Lib Dem- 8%
    Green- 5%
    Others- 1%

  24. I use the A303 a lot and thoroughly agree that it drastically needs upgrading. Runneymede makes a huge understatement in saying that it goes from 2 to 1 lanes more than once – it’s loads of times! It is also largely unlit and is easy to get caught out when overtaking at night where the road suddenly narrows.
    Surprisingly we don’t often have a problem in Winterborne Stoke although it’s an annoying place as you have to slow down quite suddenly.
    IMO any improvements to the A303 need to be geared towards having it dual carriageway the whole way.
    Whilst upgrading it would upset some people, my general gut feeling is that it would generally be viewed positively by more so any government that manages to implement this would probably stand to benefit although I think that it could be to a fairly limited extent.

  25. If the Tories want to upgrade raods as a way of buying seats in 2020, wouldn’t they be better improving roads in Cornwall. For good reasons, the powers that be would like people to use the M4/M5 rather than the A303.

    We also ought to look at rail improvements. In terms of sheer economics, and I would have thought politically too, wouldn’t it be better to write-offf the utter shambles of the Great Western electrification and go ahead with the Midland and Trans-Pennine schemes? Not least, it is about time that contractors were punished but cancellatgion without compensation when they are totally incompetent. Perhaps this might encourage the others.

    Some oppostiion party here and in the near South-West generally ought to expose the Coalition and now the Tories on this. For good measure they should point out that if they were on the continent the Exeter to Basingstoke and Bristol to Southampton lines would have been electrified half a century ago.

    Salisbury is one of far too many Southern seats where the Tories have been in power for ages simply by doing as little as possible so that people don’t complain. For the good of poltics it is time that they were pushed by people wishing to compete.

    While we are at it, what has John Glen done in life except be Head of the Conservative Research Department and then an MP? From Anthony’s potted biography it would appear not a lot.

    One would expect an Oxford graduate (in what subject? – is he numerate?) with Glen’s background to be beginning to climb tthe ladder by now in terms of either ministerial office or membership of a select committee. If he is not careful he will be left behind the 2010 intake..

  26. I doubt Labour is on the up here at all the demographics are not favourable to them nor are getting more favourable. The only reason they had a decent increase was because they got their squeezed votes in Salisbury city proper back from the Lib Dems. I struggle seeing Labour getting much above 20% in this seat even in a good year.

    It is also worth noting that the percentage share of the vote achieved by John Glen in May was also higher than any the Tories got in Salisbury even in the Thatcher years (highest since 1970 when there were only two candidates) and the highest percentage majority since the by election of July 1942! (though the boundaries would have been different) I struggle to see any party (least of all Labour) threatening the Tories in this seat at least in the medium term.

  27. Salisbury St. Edmund & Milford by-election: big Conservative gain from Lib Dem:

    Conservative 425 [36%; +13.1%]
    LD Greg Condliffe 262 [22.2%; -20.8%]
    Labour 232 [19.7%; +5.2%]
    Green 215 [18.2%; +10.7%]
    Independent 45 [3.8%; +3.8%]
    [UKIP [0.0%; -12.1%]]
    Majority: 163
    Percentage change since 2013

  28. According to a BBC reporter, LEAVE have won in Sailsbury. If LEAVE are winning in affluent, middle class and leafy Salisbury, it looks like it’s game over for REMAIN!


    The report following Operation Conifer is to be published tomorrow (Thursday), by the Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police.

    Apparently it will state that there were 7 allegations that were sufficiently credible to justify questioning Ted Heath under caution, were he still alive, including the alleged abuse of boys aged under 14 in Guernsey and Jersey.

    Whilst there are Heath defenders on one side and conspiracy theorists on the other, John Glen MP gives thoughtful support to the Chief Constable for his hard work and determination in carrying out the investigation in the face of vocal opposition, in particular from James Gray.

    The report did at least prove that Heath owned and drove two cars (despite not having a licence), whereas his defenders had claimed one of the allegations, “couldn’t be true, because he didn’t drive.”

  30. Common sense at last:

    The gvt has a lot of of explaining to do, bizarre the media has been so compliant for months.

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