South Staffordshire

2015 Result:
Conservative: 29478 (59.4%)
Labour: 9107 (18.4%)
Lib Dem: 1448 (2.9%)
Green: 1298 (2.6%)
UKIP: 8267 (16.7%)
MAJORITY: 20371 (41.1%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: West Midlands, Staffordshire. Part of the South Staffordshire council area.

Main population centres: Codsall, Featherstone, Brewood, Cheslyn Hay, Great Wyrley, Kinver, Landywood, Wombourne.

Profile: This is a long thin seat, curling around the west of the Metropolitan West Midlands and covering the rural hinterland of Wolverhampton and Dudley. The seat has no substantial towns, and is made up of commuter villages..

Politics: A safe Conservative seat, represented (along with its predecessor South West Staffordshire) by Sir Patrick Cormack until his retirement in 2010. In the 2005 general election the vote in this seat was countermanded after the death of the Liberal Democrat candidate after the close of nominations.

Current MP
GAVIN WILLIAMSON (Conservative) Born 1976, Scarborough. Educated at Raincliffe School and Bradford University. Former managing director in a property consultancy. Contested Blackpool North and Fleetwood 2005. First elected as MP for South Staffordshire in 2010. PPS to David Cameron since 2013.
Past Results
Con: 26834 (53%)
Lab: 10244 (20%)
LDem: 8427 (17%)
UKIP: 2753 (5%)
Oth: 2182 (4%)
MAJ: 16590 (33%)
Con: 13343 (52%)
Lab: 4496 (18%)
LDem: 3540 (14%)
UKIP: 2675 (10%)
Oth: 1581 (6%)
MAJ: 8847 (35%)
Con: 21295 (50%)
Lab: 14414 (34%)
LDem: 4891 (12%)
UKIP: 1580 (4%)
MAJ: 6881 (16%)
Con: 25568 (50%)
Lab: 17747 (35%)
LDem: 5797 (11%)
MAJ: 7821 (15%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
GAVIN WILLIAMSON (Conservative) See above.
KEVIN MCELDUFF (Labour) Contested Staffordshire South 2010.
Comments - 186 Responses on “Staffordshire South”
  1. The 2005 poll was held 6 weeks after the general election because the Lib Dem candidate died. Thus it probably isn’t fair to compare with 2005 with 2010 as 2005 resembled a by-election.

  2. CON HOLD MAJ: 18%
    CON 44
    LAB 26
    UKIP 13
    LD 11
    GRN 4

  3. 2015 IMHO

    Con 41 (-12)
    Lab 26 (+6)
    UKIP 19 (+14)
    LD 7 (-10)
    Others 7

  4. Conservative hold – majority 14,000.

    I think Labour will beat UKIP to 2nd place.

  5. The Lib Dem candidate is Robert Woodthorpe Browne, who has previously fought numerous elections, and so Anthony has details for the profile above, his previous contests are-
    1. Stood in Harlow in 1979 General Election
    2. Stood in London Central in 1979 European Election
    3. Stood in Kensington and Chelsea in 1997
    4. Stood in Kensington and Chelsea in 1999 by-election
    5. Stood in Mid Worcestershire in 2001
    6. Stood in Sedgefield in 2005

  6. I have met the Robert Woodthrope Browne at a Team 2015 Lib Dem event seemed like a pleasant guy. Who had no interest in entering Parliament but was a committed Liberal in his youth back when we were reduced to a rump.

  7. Conservative Hold. 12,000 majority.

  8. Gavin Williamson is Chief Whip. Suggests another cabinet post for Mark Harper. Big promotion for someone who has never been a minister – long time PPS to David Cameron.

  9. Gavin Williamson remains chief Whip. Crucial role in the new parliament.

  10. Just been named as the replacement for Fallon as UK Defence Secretary.

  11. Its like season 2 of hoise of cards

  12. Interesting that the Chief Whip gains such a prominent cabinet role.

  13. Whilst I repeat my belief that someone who became an MP only 7 years ago simply shouldn’t be in the Cabinet, I see nothing that surprising about this appointment.

    I’m more amused by the attacks from a few Tory MPs. I think Jake Berry said he’s a “slimeball” (presumably as Gavin switched to May to stop Boris), but also because Gavin is from a normal background and attended a State school. I’d actually not quite understood why Berry switched from GO to Boris at the time, ’til that list reminded me he was shagging Boris’ assistant.

    Although the prize for the most amusing aside goes to I think Andrew Pierce for noting that,”I see some members of the Cabinet aren’t as averse to a deep dark Brexit as they were in the tv debates.” That was on a par with his ending the paper review noting how Spacey was out on Hampstead Heath years ago! [again proving the point that something can’t be defamatory if its true]

  14. Surprising as his name wasn’t discussed widely last night. Morduant must be gutted.

  15. As per the Guardian, a female Tory MP has been briefing journalists in the Commons tea room that this man is a ‘self serving c***’. Sounds about right given what I’ve seen of him. I can also guess who the female MP is (hint: the least senior of the three women on the ‘dossier’).

  16. I’ve not seen the list of names but I would guess the MP using the language was the same one who was crying when Boris announced he was withdrawing from the race for the leadership…

  17. Hmm. I didn’t have her down as particularly sweary. But yes you could be right. Williamson hates Johnson with a passion.

  18. She’s like a slightly less eccentric, female Godfrey Bloom.

  19. It does seem odd to move Gavin Williamson away from a role where he was, by all accounts, brilliant (and at a time when that role is particularly important), to a new job where he’s thoroughly untested, having never been a minister or had any military experience.

    I guess it’s a classic case of the Peter Principle – “managers rise to the level of their incompetence”. The theory that Williamson effectively fixed the job for himself is highly plausible.

  20. Williamson has a fair amount of political capital, it seems like he is starting to spend it.

    Unless he has applied some pressure to the PM I think it is an odd move, when there are other people who might be adequate for that job.

    Maybe May has made an astute move, promote someone who has done a good job as chief whip, and bringing in Esther McVey to try and appeal to those on the fringes of the party to stay in line? Genuinely non plussed with that one.

    Could backfire in a bad way. McVey clearly appeals to the rank and file…

  21. Never really understood why McVey is so well-liked by the Tory base (nor for that matter why she’s particularly lynch-worthy among the left). She just seems kind of… meh.

  22. According to Tim Shipman (whose sources rarely let him down), Gavin Williamson is Theresa May’s preferred successor.

    Which, given her reverse Midas touch, is probably not a good thing from his perspective…

  23. I’ve just seen PollTroll’s comment from November.

    I’m not entirely sure McVey is popular with the Tory base. I think that it is because she is so vilified by Labour that she is continually put forward by the party. If Labour had left her alone, I’m no so certain she would have made such a fast return to government.”If they hate her so much, she must be doing something right”

  24. I can’t imagine Williamson as PM he’s always been like the back room guy. The malcolm tucker of the conservative party

  25. It’s pretty clear that Gavin Williamson is serious about the top job. The first thing he did as defence secretary was to arrange an interview with the Daily Mail in which he called for returning ISIS fighters to be shot on arrival. Those are the actions of a man conscious that he backed the wrong horse in the EU referendum, and trying to win over the Tory rank and file.

  26. He appears to me a fixer. I’m not sure what his politics are but I think he is concerned mainly with the Conservatives appearing stable and united. Which is why i find his recent behaviour weird.

  27. Codsall Ward (County Council) By-election, 08.02.18, caused by the death of the Conservative Cllr aged 57:

    Conservative 1,274
    Green 329
    Labour 283

    Codsall South Ward (caused by the death of the same cllr):

    Cons 490
    Labour 82
    Green 50

    Turnout: 20%.

  28. ‘It’s pretty clear that Gavin Williamson is serious about the top job. ‘

    that may well be but everything he’s done up until this point suggests he lacks the class, dignity, intelligence and charisma to pull it off – which to be honest doesn’t distinguish him from most of today’s political high flyers

    Like many young Tories, he comes across – to me anyhow – as a little odd

  29. Do you want to read 5000 words on Gavin Williamson?

    If you are anything close to a normal human being, your answer should be, “I’d rather gouge my eyes out with a rusty fork.” But here they are anyway:

  30. Looks like he is trying to rebuild his chances – seems unlikely.

  31. And I can’t believe last November May seriously considered Andrea Leadsom for defence Secretary.

  32. ‘Do you want to read 5000 words on Gavin Williamson?

    If you are anything close to a normal human being, your answer should be, “I’d rather gouge my eyes out with a rusty fork.” But here they are anyway’.

    Very,very funny. Bravo sir. And no, I’d rather lick a cheese grater, but thanks.

  33. ‘And I can’t believe last November May seriously considered Andrea Leadsom for Defence’.

    Sadly, I can believe it. Her continued presence in Cabinet is bewildering, along with Williamson, Grayling, Bradley, Truss etc etc.

  34. I think one of the reasons this lot haven’t rebelled against May in Cabinet is that in their quieter moments they’re absolutely amazed they’ve reached such a high position in the land….an amazement shared by many others.

  35. Hard to disagree with these comments.

    Have to say though I’ve been quite impressed listening to Greg Clark on the TV these past few weeks. He seems to know what he’s talking about and is the MP for the next door constituency to me, where he seems well regarded. He’s not a Brexiteer though so hasn’t got a cat in hell’s chance of succeeding May.

  36. If a no deal is possible Clark and those of the same view may well be forced to resign if May does try and stand on for no deal (backed by the cabinet Brexiters and converts ).

  37. BM11- yes, as I wrote in the Bromsgrove thread, I would anticipate quite a number of resignations en masse if the UK looks like it will proceed with ‘No Deal’. Hammond, Clark, Gauke, Perry, Lidington…the likes of Bradley and Brokenshire would probably walk too.

  38. Bradley and Brokenshire – ultra loyal to May – will only go if May herself goes.

  39. Well, May would have to go anyway if we have No Deal. Not eben she could cling on after that. No Deal would probably be the biggest balls up for Britain since Suez.

  40. No Deal will probably last a mere few weeks until we are forced by sheer chaos to sign on the EU’s dotted line, hopefully for something not too much worse than what’s on offer now. Or maybe even to go back in and forget Brexit ever happened (if we’re lucky enough to get that option). This is the paradox of the Brexiters; the harder the Brexit the less sustainable it is and the more likely it will be reversed. The smart Brexiter should surely want an initially soft Brexit that will cause no chaos and therefore sustain (this probably describes where Gove is, for example).

  41. “No Deal would probably be the biggest balls up for Britain since Suez.”

    Suez damaged the living standards of nobody in the UK. It punctured the puffed up delusions of empire on the Tory backbenches and hastened the end of National Service, both good things IMO. A walk in the park compared to a chaotic crash out Brexit, from which none of our living standards would be immune.

    I’d say it could easily be the biggest balls-up since appeasement.

  42. I’m not old enough to have lived through the three-day week or the winter of discontent, but from what I have read on those and on the no-deal scenario, the level of disruption seems comparable. But this, of course, is different because it’s entirely self-inflicted. Other catastrophes were due to government mishandling of an already perilous situation, whereas this looming disaster (if it comes to pass) will have originated in the very heart of Westminster.

  43. The three day week and winter of discontent (the latter I just about remember as a very young boy) are appropriate comparators yes. Both caused huge, lasting damage to the politicians held responsible for them. The WOD left Labour out of government for nearly 20 years, the TDW totally killed off the postwar one-nation Tory party as a force for government. But the serious material impact on peoples’ day to day lives was mostly only temporary. Unless there is capitulation I fear that won’t be true of no deal Brexit. In that respect the rationing and controls of WW2 and its aftermath is perhaps a better comparison.

  44. The power of the internet would make any food or medicine shortages much harder to manage – it would be easy to find out if some areas had more supplies than others- and without rationing people would just flock to where there is more available. This would also risk major social tensions.

  45. Exactly so. The “we’re all in it together” portrayal of WW2 rationing would be absolutely impossible today (it was arguably a bit of a myth even then). Prices would soar and the food, medicines etc would go to the highest bidder, with the government impotent to stop it in today’s internet economy.

  46. After 8 long years of austerity, I think the Tories might be a bit timid to go back to the ‘we’re all in this together’ well, but you never know.

  47. And of course, wartime rationing constituted a level of government control that modern Tories wouldn’t countenance under any circumstance.

  48. Gavin Williamson has announced that 3.200 troops are on standby incase they are requested to help manage any effects of No deal.

  49. Scary stuff. And this is someone (Williamson) who is apparently ‘open’ to the idea of this managed no deal bollocks.

  50. You Gov polling from the a few weeks ago showed that the public did not expect to see troops if a no deal occurred. So this might change opinions against No deal or be seen by those who a sympathetic to a no deal as a another scare story.

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