Stafford

2015 Result:
Conservative: 23606 (48.4%)
Labour: 14429 (29.6%)
Lib Dem: 1348 (2.8%)
Green: 1390 (2.9%)
UKIP: 6293 (12.9%)
NHA: 1701 (3.5%)
MAJORITY: 9177 (18.8%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: West Midlands, Staffordshire. Parts of the Stafford and South Staffordshire council areas.

Main population centres: Stafford, Penkridge, Wheaton Aston.

Profile: Consists of the town of Stafford and its rural hinterland. Stafford is the historic county town of Staffordshire and traditionally it was a shoemaking town. More recently it has been a centre for heavy engineering and the construction of turbines and engines, an administrative centre and a dormitory town for Stoke and Birmingham. The seat is bisected by the M6, which runs northwards through the middle of the seat.

Politics: For most of the last century Stafford has been a Conservative seat, the two exceptions being the 1945 Labour landslide and 1997-2010, when Labour took the seat after favourable boundary boundary changes, the sitting Conservative MP Bill Cash instead choosing to conrest the newly created Stone seat. The losing Conservative candidate in 1997 was David Cameron, the future Tory leader and Prime Minister.


Current MP
JEREMY LEFROY (Conservative) Born 1959. Educated at Highgate School and Cambridge University. Former Chartered accountant and former director of Tanzanian Coffee Board. Newcastle-under-Lyme councillor 2003-2007. Contested West Midlands region in 2003 European elections, Newcastle-under-Lyme 2005. First elected as MP for Stafford in 2010.
Past Results
2010
Con: 22047 (44%)
Lab: 16587 (33%)
LDem: 8211 (16%)
UKIP: 1727 (3%)
Oth: 1667 (3%)
MAJ: 5460 (11%)
2005*
Con: 17768 (39%)
Lab: 19889 (44%)
LDem: 6390 (14%)
UKIP: 1507 (3%)
MAJ: 2121 (5%)
2001
Con: 16253 (37%)
Lab: 21285 (48%)
LDem: 4205 (9%)
UKIP: 2315 (5%)
Oth: 308 (1%)
MAJ: 5032 (11%)
1997
Con: 20292 (39%)
Lab: 24606 (48%)
LDem: 5480 (11%)
Oth: 248 (0%)
MAJ: 4314 (8%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
JEREMY LEFROY (Conservative) See above.
KATE GODFREY (Labour) Educated at Oxford University.
KEITH MILLER (Liberal Democrat)
EDWARD WHITFIELD (UKIP)
MIKE SHONE (Green) Former Stafford councillor for the Labour party. Contested Stafford 2010.
KAREN HOWELL (NHA) Head of compliance for a care and social housing charity.
Links
Comments - No Responses on “Stafford”
  1. These were the votes cast in the four urban Stafford divisions:

    Lab: 5,593 (39.7%)
    Con: 4,936 (35.0%)
    UKIP: 2,745 (19.5%)
    Green: 621 (4.4%)
    TUSC: 189 (1.3%)

    These divisions have an electorate of about 43,000 which means there are another 27,000 voters in the rural areas of the constituency.

    I think we can safely say that if Labour were only ahead by 657 votes before the rural areas are added the Conservatives would have carried the constituency relatively comfortably.

  2. Still astonishing Labour can do that well though – after the hospital issue.

  3. In fact of the 34 county council seats the Tories won across Staffordshire, in 22 of them it was UKIP rather than Labour who took second place. I think this emphasises even more the Tory victory here and clearly shows how the county is moving away from Labour.

  4. Although if UKIP were taking a lot of votes from Labour in Staffordshire and UKIP decline at the general election Labour would probably get a lot of those votes back.

  5. “Still astonishing Labour can do that well though – after the hospital issue.”

    As I suggested Joe, Labour have the public sector block.

  6. To be fair, that’s a decent Tory result in urban Stafford.

  7. Labour weren’t that far behind in Penkridge, about 350 behind the Tories. I am absolutely amazed that UKIP failed to put up a candidate there – it was a straight fight between Lab & Con.

  8. Labour were miles behind the Tories in all the other areas apart from Penkridge which is why I haven’t endeavoured to add up those votes. It would be awkward because I think all of the rural county council divisions outside Stafford are divided between constituencies.

  9. Staffordshire results by division:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0At91c3wX1Wu5dHhKUk9GU1d5R3pIUzdHZ09ZNzAtLUE#gid=0

    Votes:

    Con 68,395
    Lab 56,172
    UKIP 45,401
    LD 7,904
    Green 1,445
    Others 9,513

    Total 188,830

    Percentages:

    Con 36.22%
    Lab 29.75%
    UKIP 24.04%
    LD 4.19%
    Green 0.77%
    Others 5.04%

    Changes since 2010 general election:
    (Excluding the 3 Stoke-on-Trent constituencies isn’t perfect because Stoke-on-Trent North contains a lot of voters from Newcastle borough)

    Con -9.82%
    Lab +1.16%
    UKIP +18.85%
    LD -13.69%
    Green +0.52%
    Others +2.98%

  10. That’s a swing to Labour of a fraction under 5 & a half per cent. That is almost exactly in line with the national picture, if the national vote share projection is correct, so it doesn’t seem to be true that Labour did worse here than average; the fact that such a swing occurred & yet the Tories have retained control by a relatively clear 6 seats suggests that this county council was much harder for Labour to take than some pundits said. Clearly there were variations in the swing; a national swing of that size would make the Stafford constituency pretty much a dead heat, whereas in fact the Tories got a fairly clear majority there, but the swing was quite a bit more than that in Cannock Chase, which will perhaps be a decent consolation to the party as it’s the one seat that has to be gained to see them with a chance of office. The hospital issue makes Stafford a particularly hard gain, though it’s also clear that Tamworth is going to be tough too.

  11. Stafford and Tamworth will be very difficult for Labour to take, but there is a reasonable Lib Dem vote in Stafford. However, Labour must win here if it is to be confident of a majority. I hope Progress’ Campaign for a Labour Victory does some work here.

  12. Cannock Chase is looking good for Labour, although it has to be pointed out that the combined Tory and UKIP vote was over 50%. On the other hand, a lot of those UKIP votes were probably from people who would otherwise vote Labour.

  13. I see very little evidence that Stafford and Tamworth will return a Labour MP in 2015. But I think Labour’s chances in Cannock Chase are better than even as things stand.

  14. Probably the grey area is Burton. A lot there depends on differential turnout, since so much of that constituency is either solid Labour or solid Tory, with not a great deal in between except Uttoxeter.

  15. Great Haywood has been in this seat since 1997 before which it was in Mid Staffordshire from 1983, which seats was it in before then?

  16. Great Haywood had previously been in the following constituencies: Stafford (1918-1949); and Stafford and Stone (1950-1982).

  17. There was a by-election here after the death of Hugh Fraser in 1984. The SDP did quite well, and as a result in 1987 there was a slight swing to them although it remained safe for Bill Cash. Funny how far the Lib Dems then went on to collapse in 1992- Labour’s progress here was quite fast.

  18. “Labour’s progress here was quite fast.”

    Actually I think Labour’s performance here in 1997 was pretty underwhelming considering the swings they obtained in similar kinds of midlands seats.

    The boundary changes to Stafford in 1997 were substantial, moving a large chunk of safe Tory territory off to the new Stone seat, leaving the new Stafford seat more focused on the town. I think it reduced the Tory majority in 1992 down to about 5000.

    Given that, for Labour to win by only 4000 in 1997, with the Tories retaining almost 40% of the vote, was not a particularly strong performance compared with the national swing. The Tories must have been close or slightly above their 1992 performance here in 2010 and I do not see this seat being a Labour gain in 2015.

  19. That can be little doubt that the new Stone seat did take some of the Tory-voting wards from Stafford – but it was made up from bits of other constituencies too – Mid-Staffs and Staffs Moorlands – a bit like Weaver Vale in Cheshire

    It should also be remembered than the five-figure majority Labour achieved in Moorlands was due to boundary changes that moved the monolithically Labour ward of Kidsgrove into the seat, turning it into a Labour seat on the 92 poll

    When you throw into the mix Labour’s failure to win Litchfield – which looked as fairly straighforward gain on paper – and even Stone – Labour’s performance in Staffs in 97 was pretty underwhelming, whereas the Tories performance in 2010 was very good for such an undesirable county

  20. ” Funny how far the Lib Dems then went on to collapse in 1992″

    Not really — the same thing happened in a number of Staffordshire seats, such as Mid Staffs, Staffs SE, Newcastle-under-Lyme.

  21. “When you throw into the mix Labour’s failure to win Litchfield – which looked as fairly straighforward gain on paper – and even Stone”

    The swings in those seats were about 10% so about the same as the national average, so they weren’t really straightforward gains. In fact the swing in Burton was less at 9%.

  22. LAB GAIN MAJ : 2%
    LAB 38
    CON 36
    LD 11
    UKIP 9
    GRN 4
    OTH 2

  23. I really think your predictions are overestimating the likely swing from the Tories to Labour. I don’t see any evidence whatsoever that Labour will take this. Quite apart from anything else, the Stafford hospital issue – many would say rightly – is a serious drag on Labour’s vote in this constituency at present.

  24. Quite a few of WOC’s predicted swings are in 1997 territory, which is quite astonishing really.

  25. Not far from 1997 territory at any rate.

  26. I agree there is no evidence to suggest that Stafford will be a Labour gain, however I think there could be a recovery, both parties will be around 40 per cent.

    Conservative 44 Labour 40 UKIP 7 LD 6 Oth 3::

  27. It would seem I have failed to factor in changes in swings that have changed in more recent polls. In that light, I will be amending my predictions.

    CON HOLD MAJ : ~1%
    CON 38
    LAB 37
    LD 11
    UKIP 9
    GRN 4
    OTH 1

  28. I fear it will be no better for Labour than KingTut’s prediction. Perhaps worse in fact.

  29. http://www.staffordshirenewsletter.co.uk/Stafford-s-MP-tells-abusive-tweets-calls/story-26051960-detail/story.html

    “KATE GODFREY has revealed how Labour infighting drove her to report fellow party members to the national executive.

    Stafford’s prospective parliamentary candidate said she had been subjected to offensive tweets and abusive phone calls from a number of people for months. But it was when some of the messages were published on the internet that she decided to make a complaint to Labour’s national organisation.

    Ms Godfrey, speaking exclusively to the Newsletter, said there had been “months of angry meetings” within the local party, “frankly abusive” tweets, and “a streak of misogyny”.

    An investigation is now under way into the conduct of several individuals. National officials travelled to Stafford last week to hold hearings after five members of Stafford Labour Party were suspended. Two members have since resigned.”

  30. Local TV news last night highlighted claims that the Govt are keen to ‘close’ Stafford hospital. Could health action gain some traction here?

  31. If they save their deposit anywhere it’ll be here I imagine (excluding former MP Richard Taylor in Wyre Forest).

  32. Con 41
    Lab 34
    Ukip 9
    Ld 9
    Green 4
    Nhap 3

  33. i think it could be even wider a gap than that in this particular seat.

  34. Conservative hold – majority 4,000.

  35. The Lib Dem candidate is Keith Miller.

  36. There are too many candidates who have been to either Oxford or Cambridge University.

    They MAY be clever, however they may have their heads in the Clouds. and not be able to relate to ordinary people.

  37. Dinbych Dai,

    I have a very stupid Chrome plugin my friend installed which changes the phrase “the cloud” to “my butt”. As a result your post above looks VERY odd.

  38. Conservative Hold. 2,000 majority.

  39. CON hold 2500-3000 region

  40. Con hold 2800 majority.

  41. Labour candidate Kate Godfrey:

    “I am Labour through and through. Yet over the last couple of days, thousands of people have told me that I should leave the party. What did I do to attract such attention? What was it I did that made people so angry?

    I wrote something. Not an article, so much as a raggedly little statement of feeling that just happened to be shared by thousands. A statement of disappointment and of anger that Jeremy Corbyn has appointed as his key adviser a one-time Stalinist called Seumas Milne. And I stand by it. I hold no brief for Milne. It kills me that Labour does. I think Milne is an apologist for terror, and will always be an apologist for terror. I think that he never met a truth he didn’t dismiss as an orthodoxy and that nowhere in his far-Left polemic are actual people represented.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/11951587/Seumas-Milne-will-finish-Labour-off.html

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