2015 Result:
Conservative: 21291 (44.5%)
Labour: 16336 (34.2%)
Lib Dem: 1582 (3.3%)
Green: 1369 (2.9%)
UKIP: 6864 (14.4%)
TUSC: 175 (0.4%)
Independent: 67 (0.1%)
Others: 115 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 4955 (10.4%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: Eastern, Hertfordshire.

Main population centres: Stevenage, Knebworth, Codicote.

Profile: The first of the post-war newtowns, Stevenage boomed in the 1950s and 1960s.


Current MP
STEPHEN MCPARTLAND (Conservative) Born 1976, Liverpool. Educated at Liverpool University. Former Director of Membership for BritishAmerican Business. First elected as MP for Stevenage in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 18491 (41%)
Lab: 14913 (33%)
LDem: 7432 (17%)
UKIP: 2004 (4%)
Oth: 1811 (4%)
MAJ: 3578 (8%)
Con: 14864 (35%)
Lab: 18003 (43%)
LDem: 7610 (18%)
UKIP: 1305 (3%)
Oth: 152 (0%)
MAJ: 3139 (7%)
Con: 13459 (32%)
Lab: 22025 (52%)
LDem: 6027 (14%)
Oth: 942 (2%)
MAJ: 8566 (20%)
Con: 16858 (33%)
Lab: 28440 (55%)
LDem: 4588 (9%)
Oth: 306 (1%)
MAJ: 11582 (23%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
STEPHEN MCPARTLAND (Conservative) See above.
SHARON TAYLOR (Labour) Educated at Stevenage Girls Grammar. Stevenage councillor since 2000. Leader of Stevenage council since 2006. Hertfordshire county councillor since 2007. Contested Stevenage 2010. Awarded the OBE in 2012 for services to local government.
SUSAN VAN DE VEN (Liberal Democrat) Born Beirut. Cambridgshire councillor.
GRAHAM WHITE (Green) Educated at Middlesex university. Herbalist.
CHARLES VICKERS (English Democrat) Contested Stevenage 2010.
DAVID COX (Independent) Managing director. Contested Stevenage 2010.
Comments - 78 Responses on “Stevenage”
  1. Although this seat remains slightly marginal, I doubt Labour will be anywhere near close to winning this or others similar to it in 2020.

  2. I agree with A Brown that UKIP did appear to do the Tories more damage than Labour in safe Labour seats in the NE and in S Yorkshire, where the Tories got a relatively high swing in 2010.

    But in many other seats it seemed to be quite clearly the other way round – unless there was a great deal of churn.

  3. it’s too early to come to such a conclusion TheResults. Although of course you could prove to be right.

  4. So we don’t know who will be leading any of the three main parties, what the result of the Euro-referendum will be, what state the economy will be in by 2020, and what sort of platforms the parties will be standing on, but we’re putting this down as a clear Tory hold now? Even though there was barely a swing in the seat at all in 2015.

  5. I am yes. I may turn out to be wrong though.

  6. How is this seat likely to be altered in the next boundary changes?

  7. This MP was just on the BBC Daily Politics.

    He was arguing against the cuts to Tax Credits and for the strivers.

    It was refreshing to see that he knew the detail in terms of thresholds and tapers and how the changes would hit eg teaching assistants on £11k pa.

    He voted against the changes last month, along with David Davis MP. It seems a dozen other Tory MPs now agree with him.

    A Lords ‘fatal’ motion is due to be tabled, as the exchanges were not in the Tory manifesto. GO now has a month to ‘tweak’ the changes in the Autumn Statement (the words of Andrew Mitchell MP).

    It was also interesting to note that this MP still has a slight Scouse accent, as opposed to what ether McVey had! I suspect if this MP had stood in Wirral West they might have held the seat.

  8. HH – to be fair to Joe JB, he did make a prediction of a Tory share of 46% here in 2015 and so he was on the money.

  9. I wouldn’t be so confident. He isn’t a very personable man. A school friend has moved to Stevenage to live with his girlfriend, he decided to vote Labour in the end because it was a marginal but McPartland convinced him to vote for anyone but Tory. Also my mother works for Carers in Hertfordshire and organised a Carers Hustings in Watford and Stevenage as the marginals, McPartland refused to turn up and was very rude to her. I would hazard, as reported in the Guardian, his opposition to Tax Credits would be the 5.3 thousand voters on Tax Credits in his constituency larger than his own majority. I may be bias but among Tories he certainly is one of my least favourite.

  10. It’s interesting that it isn’t the wealthy Wets such as Ken Clarke who are objecting to the Tax Credit cuts. He spoke in favour.

    It’s the MPs like this one and David Davis who first voted against and now over a dozen Tory MPs such as Andrew Percy have joined them.

    McPartland spoke well and said GO should say he got it wrong!

    The real problem is that Statutory Instruments should never be used for such major changes, as this was.

    Grayling did it on doubling to 2 years before employees have Employment Tribunal rights. Anything like this should be voted on by MPs in a Bill.

  11. “The real problem is that Statutory Instruments should never be used for such major changes, as this was.
    Grayling did it on doubling to 2 years before employees have Employment Tribunal rights. Anything like this should be voted on by MPs in a Bill”.

    Yes. Agree with all of that.

  12. If Wiki is correct LAB still hold 30 out of 39 seats on Stevenage Council… quite a disparity between that and the GE result, in a seat that I would suggest is demographically trending towards the Tories much like other ‘newtowns’.

  13. Also Council elections had Labour on 39% of the popular vote and Conservatives 36% in May

  14. It’s trending to the Tories nationally (though the Parliamentary seat also takes in some of the surrounding villages from North Herts and East Herts), but the local authority has interestingly been in unbroken Labour control for over 40 years. Even under Foot and Brown. Possibly one of the very few in the south to achieve that. Either this particular Labour council has a good reputation or there is some other factor that hasn’t been explained.

  15. Boundaries will be one factor (and I suspect divergence will grow after boundary changes, with the parliamentary constituency gaining more strongly Tory wards from the surrounding area). But currently the Stevenage council area makes up the vast majority of this constituency. I’m not aware of any other places which are straight CON-LAB fights where the parliamentary and council results diverge so much.

  16. Indeed including parts of North and East Herts will be a factor

  17. Yes, it wa a bit odd.

    He shared all of the IDS criticisms of GO on Tax Credits, Universal Credit and so on, but then cites IDS’s personality as the problem.

    Baroness? Ross Altman did this too. Although her failure to understand a principled stance might have something to do with her joining Labour, LDs and the Tories until one gave her a job!

    Almost as amusing as Hastings’ Amber Rudd saying his manner was moral and aloof when she is almost as patronising as McVey and Soubry.

    I’d be amazed if put in a room together whether Claire Perry, Heidi Allen et al would all get out alive!

  18. ‘I’d be amazed if put in a room together whether Claire Perry, Heidi Allen et al would all get out alive!’

    Heidi Allen seems genuinely lovely – I don’t think she deserves to be compared to the likes of Amber Rudd (highly patronising) or Claire Perry (attention-seeking and hugely unpopular in Westminster)

    And I wouldn’t pay much attention to what Ross Altman – who has probably hasn;t done anything principled in her entire life – says

  19. TJ – HA looks good, but is as much of an attack dog during select committee or a Q in the House as Soubry or Perry.

  20. Cllr Doug Bainbridge (Longmeadow ward) has defected from Labour to the Conservatives here.

    He said during a photo-call with the MP at Westminster, “The Labour Party in Stevenage are becoming more extreme as they follow Jeremy Corbyn.”

    The Momentum branch of Stevenage released a statement condemning the move and said his ward deserved better.

  21. Not sure Stevenage Labour Party has become particularly Corbyn friendly. Sharon Taylor the PPC is a moderate. I think one of the county cllrs elected in May is a corbynite. It’s perhaps not as anti a corbyn CLP as Watford is but its not as pro as Hatfield & Welwyn

  22. Matt
    “Not sure Stevenage Labour Party has become particularly Corbyn friendly”

    It probably hasn’t, I’ve heard of similar rumblings in pretty much all CLP’s, in all cases councillors so moderate they’re basically already Tories can’t handle the most minor shifts to the left. What makes this even more slimy is that it more often than not isn’t principle that’s driving these people rather its the fact that many are at best totally mediocre councillors who managed to worm their way into nominations or committee positions in earlier years through cronyism and stitch ups alone and now that they’re actually facing competition (in most cases not even from Momentum) they’re jumping before their pushed. Those who defect to the Tories are the biggest careerists who no doubt hope to continue on the gravy train as Tories.

    In my mind this is good news. The dead wood is once again purging itself, local party democracy is being revitalised and it comes at the expense of a handful of councillors that shouldn’t have even been selected as councillors anyway.

  23. Matt W – Yes, new towns don’t strike me as the place for the far Left. Some Old Labour were of course old before the recent influx. Indeed the only Militants I have met bar one were all aged 55-75 and that was a decade ago.

    River10 – do you know if any Lpool Cllrs will be deselected?

    You’ll have seen the ‘Labour at war’ article in the Echo, though that didn’t appear to be anything much and not Right v Left of the Party, but rather more a few wel known obese cllrs slagging each other off and generally being aggressive in emails.

  24. Stevenage has always had a very moderate Labour council. There is clearly a lot of split ticket voting here, Lab locally and Con in GEs. The last Labour MP here Follett was an uber Blairite Blair Babe as well.

  25. Lancs
    Re Liverpool their have been no deselections, their were also only a couple of vacancies (excluding seats we don’t currently hold) in Picton and Wavertree, I know for a fact that our candidate for the Wavertree ward is a die hard Corbynista, no idea about Picton but assuming their not otherwise I would have heard something.

  26. TCTC, Con slightly favoured

  27. RIP Shirley Williams. She represented several seats, none of which exist any longer, but I think the town of Stevenage was the key area so it seems appropriate to post about her here. I think she was widely respected across the political spectrum. On BBC election coverage from 1979, a high-profile Tory is fulsome in his praise of her. It was her opposite number in Parliament I think. A huge figure in postwar British politics, and if the BBC have any sense, she’ll get a decent tribute. She had real gravitas and charisma – the kind of thing so sorely lacking now, whatever you thought of her views.

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