2015 Result:
Conservative: 22833 (45%)
Labour: 18186 (35.9%)
Lib Dem: 1094 (2.2%)
Green: 1108 (2.2%)
UKIP: 7399 (14.6%)
Others: 78 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 4647 (9.2%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

Geography: East Midlands, Nottinghamshire. Part of Newark and Sherwood council area, part of Gedling council area, part of Ashfield council area.

Main population centres: Hucknall, Ollerton, Edwinstowe, Ravenshead, Blidworth, Rainworth, Bilsthorpe, Clipstone, Calverton.

Profile: Consists of the central part of Nottinghamshire - taking in wards from three local authorities, it is one of those seats that has an air of being made up of the bits that were leftover once other seats had been drawn up. Apart from the affluent commuter village of Ravenshead this is a traditional coal mining area, mostly made up of the Dukeries coalfield that was opened up in the 1920s and formed some of the most modern and prosperous mines. Unusually for a mining seat, coal mining does actually continue here - while most of the mines are gone Thoresby Colliery continues - one of the last deep coal mines in the country. The remnants of Sherwood Forest are located in the north of the constituency, around Edwinstowe.

Politics: If Sherwood is unusual as a mining seat because it is still mining, it is even more unusual for a mining seat to return a Conservative MP. The Dukeries coalfields were not historically a bastion of great Labour strength, and they were part of the breakaway Union of Democratic Mineworkers during the 1985 Miners strike. Either way, Sherwood has never become the sort of monolithically Labour seat that many mining areas have produced. On its original creation in 1983 it was won by the Conservatives while it was Labour from 1992 it was narrowly regained by the Tories in 2010. The former Labour MP, Paddy Tipping, was elected as Nottinghamshire`s first Police and Crime Commissioner in 2012.

Current MP
MARK SPENCER (Conservative) Born 1970. Educated at Col Frank Seely School. Former farmer. Gedling councillor since 2003, Nottinghamshire councillor since 2005. First elected as MP for Sherwood in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 19211 (39%)
Lab: 18997 (39%)
LDem: 7283 (15%)
BNP: 1754 (4%)
Oth: 1709 (3%)
MAJ: 214 (0%)
Con: 16172 (34%)
Lab: 22824 (48%)
LDem: 6384 (14%)
UKIP: 1737 (4%)
MAJ: 6652 (14%)
Con: 15527 (34%)
Lab: 24900 (54%)
LDem: 5473 (12%)
MAJ: 9373 (20%)
Con: 16259 (29%)
Lab: 33071 (58%)
LDem: 4889 (9%)
Oth: 432 (1%)
MAJ: 16812 (30%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
MARK SPENCER (Conservative) See above.
LEONIE MATHERS (Labour) Educated at Holgate School and Leeds University. Parliamentary assistant to Yvette Cooper.
DAN MOSLEY (Liberal Democrat)
DAVE PERKINS (Class War) Learning support assistant.
Comments - 179 Responses on “Sherwood”
  1. I’ve just read the Spectator article. Spencer sounds like a right nasty piece of work. Lisa Nandy (who I’ve never heard much about) actually did pretty well to keep it together in responding to his inane prattling. Still, as others have noted, it almost certainly won’t swing any votes either way. This should be a Lab gain regardless.

  2. Lab gain, majority 2500.

  3. Labour one up already as my postal vote is done

  4. Labour Gain. 3,000 majority.

  5. Con 45.0 (+5.8)
    Lab 35.9 (-2.9)
    UKIP 14.6 (+11.6)
    Gre 2.2
    LD 2.2 (-12.7)

    Con majority 4647 (9.2%)

    A bigger Con majority than even 1987 (7.7%).

  6. You suspect if Labour want to regain the seat, it better be soon.

  7. Not very surprising that a mining seat that always had a relatively high Tory vote even when there was still mining is trending Tory now the mining’s stopped.

  8. This seat is now more Conservative than the average for the first time ever.

    The combined Con-UKIP vote here increased from 38% in 2005 to 60% in 2015.

    Demographic trends and the Corbyn leadership can only encourage that change.

  9. Yes can’t disagree with that TBH. The Tories will be well-advised to target these seats to compensate for their declining support levels in the cities themselves. I think the seats with increasing public sector influence will continue to trend heavily towards Labour, while the post-industrial/ ex-mining seats will only get worse for them over time, with the Tories the natural beneficiaries as the old voting habits of the early post-war period die out evermore.

  10. It is an interesting question as to where ex-UKIP support would go if they fell back, and could go off in any number of directions. I too agree, however, that UKIP aren’t going anywhere anytime soon so as long as they exist they should in theory retain reasonable percentages in the category of seats we are at present discussing.

  11. With regards to this seat, when Paddy Tipping won in 1992, Labour’s gain here looked to have turned around a terrible longterm decline for them in this area, but as it turned out in the 2000s and now the 2010s, the demographic changes were still well underway, only really disguised by the national swing allowing Labour to do better here than they may have done just on the basis of the constituency’s own voting habits, as with a whole stack of other similar seats we have named. I think Sherwood now looks beyond Labour for the timebeing at least, and may now take a very good year for them to come back here- I think the situation here isn’t altogether dissimilar to North Warwickshire, for example.

  12. ” I think the situation here isn’t altogether dissimilar to North Warwickshire, for example. ”

    Plus Cannock, Nuneaton and Amber Valley.

    Leicestershire NW and Derbyshire South are perhaps a decade further along the path.

    All seven of these seats were notionally Labour in 1979.

  13. Of course the other Midlands seats you mention as well Richard. I think Labour are really going to struggle in the next 20 years as these seats continue to change to Labour’s detriment I suspect.

  14. That’s rather eccentric/ almost impossible – only leaves 5% for others.

    i think Oldham implied that the absolute UKIP ceiling is about 35% in safe Labour WWC seats in general elections (adjusting for the non ethnic minority element) in the absolute most favourable circumstances and UKIP isn’t exactly in that place being trapped under the thumb of Farage’s personality cult .

    i tend to agree with Jack Sheldon actually, I think if UKIP collapsed the Tories would be the major beneficiary in the short term even if labour held up due to Corbyn polarising anti Lab voters tactically into the con column. I don’t expect major changes in national vote share in 2020 necessarily but we could see UKIP still around 10-15%, losing votes to the Tories in marginal seats but profiting from a post referendum backlash at the Tories expense in Essex, Kent and Lincolnshire etc and old labour areas like Sunderland, county Durham, Rotherham, Oldham etc which the Tories have abandoned.

    On the subject of Sherwood, I’m not convinced this has possibly gone for good for Labour like S Derbyshire and NW Leicestershire but can only win when they’re at least slightly ahead of Con nationally like High Peak for example.

    I largely agree with what Hemmelig posted on the Stoke South thread about Nottinghamshire trends. I don’t actually see any evidence of a Tory bounce in Ashfield or Bassetlaw though where they seem to have stagnated relative to 01 and both have a Lab+LD share of more than 50%.

  15. I wonder how well Labour will do in Bassetlaw when John Mann leaves the House (which I appreciate may not be some time- he’s only 55).

  16. The interesting seat is Broxtowe, which a lot of people, even well informed and localish posters like H Hemmelig thought was going the way of Gedling. Is Soubry just bucking the trend or is the seat less Guardanista than thought

  17. It is a mix, though overall Broxtowe is more left leaning than it used to be. Just compare the Tory majority versus 1992. Broxtowe will be won again by Labour at some point.

    People on here are getting too carried away, extrapolating trends onto seats which they’ve never so much as visited. For example the idea that the Tories will hold Ashfield (where I grew up) in 20 years time is totally daft. People are not paying enough attention to the differences between seats like Sherwood and NE Derbyshire on one hand, and seats like Ashfield and Bolsover on the other. The latter seats are still fundamentally very weak for the Tories and will remain so for a long time.

  18. Bolsover will be interesting when Skinner stands down. I suspect he’s currently inflating the Labour vote a tad, and can see Labour dropping to the mid 40s per cent wise under his successor (which will surely be in 2020 as Skinner will be 87 by then).

    An evenly split opposition should however allow his successor hold comfortably and build up his/her own personal vote.

  19. @Kieran

    I’m not sure Skinner will ever stand down… think he’ll keep going until he drops dead, or at least until he’s in very poor health, because that’s what he’s like. Were he to stand in 2020 there would be the prospect of him being Father of the House and having to lead the procession to the Lords. Now that would be interesting viewing!

    I don’t know the seat so can’t be too confident in my predictions, but looking at the historical trend whilst it does seem to have experienced some of the change neighbouring seats have it has been the LAB vote going down a bit whilst the Tory vote has been unmoved. The majority is still large enough that barring an utterly disastrous election for LAB where they were wiped out virtually everywhere I think they will hold it for at least the next few elections.

  20. The diverging paths of Gedling and Broxtowe is interesting. They’re not all that dissmilar demographically- both around 90% white British in 2011 both with slightly above average proportions of public sector workers, both with about 45% of their populations aged over 45. The difference so far as I can see it is that ABs are more preonderant in Broxtowe than Gedling, which is more C1.

  21. Broxtowe is bigger and more polarised….very Guardianista around the university but further north and west it includes areas which are more like Erewash/Amber Valley in their demographics and voting habits. Gedling is more compact and increasingly an eastern extension of Nottingham city.

  22. In the 70s Beeston was better for Labour than Carlton.

  23. Broxtowe also has the M1 running through it and is within easy commuting distance to the Derby industrial areas.

    Gedling is on the other side of Nottingham and is I suspect economically dependent upon that city.

  24. Broxtowe has better boundaries for the cons than Gedling because if Eastwood were in the seat in 2010 labour would have held on.
    Gedling council,s 2 best tory wards are in sherwood but if they were in gedling in 2010 the cons would have won.

  25. What are posters’ thoughts on the upcoming Notts CC elections? I would be very surprised to see Labour maintaining control but the Conservatives may struggle to win it outright given their weakness at a council level in Ashfield and the erosion of their position in West Bridgford and much of Gedling. Perhaps their best prospects involve sweeping the likes of Retford and Hucknall (the latter of which theymay have narrowly carried in the successful defence of Sherwood in 2015).

  26. Truthfully I just don’t know with the county elections, they seem to behave very differently from other local elections and in the case of Nottinghamshire I don’t really know the area well enough to make an in depth guesstimation.

    I struggle to see the Tories clean sweeping Hucknall, even in a disaster year I think Lab would probably be able to scrape one of the seats. Also we have to consider the effect of the Lib Dems and demographic changes working against the Tories in some areas, this makes a few of the seats the Tories currently hold potentially vulnerable even in an election where they advance overall, West Bridgeford West being the most likely example, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lab or more likely the Libs pulled off a surprise win there.

  27. Mark Spencer being tipped for Chief Whip.

  28. Mark Spencer confirmed as new Chief Whip.

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