St Ives

2015 Result:
Conservative: 18491 (38.3%)
Labour: 4510 (9.3%)
Lib Dem: 16022 (33.2%)
Green: 3051 (6.3%)
UKIP: 5720 (11.8%)
Mebyon Kernow: 518 (1.1%)
MAJORITY: 2469 (5.1%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

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

Main population centres: Penzance, St Ives, St Just, Helston, Mullion, Porthleven.

Profile: The south-western tip of England, including Lands End and the Lizard. The economy used to be based on tin mining and fishing, but with the decline of both industries it is now more tourism orientated. The seat also contains the Isles of Scilly, a group of islands about 28 miles off the Cornish coast with a population of around 2000.


Current MP
DEREK THOMAS (Conservative) Born 1972. Former small businessman and development worker. Former Penwith councillor. Contested St Ives 2010. First elected as MP for St Ives in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 17900 (39%)
Lab: 3751 (8%)
LDem: 19619 (43%)
UKIP: 2560 (6%)
Oth: 2091 (5%)
MAJ: 1719 (4%)
Con: 13968 (28%)
Lab: 6583 (13%)
LDem: 25577 (51%)
UKIP: 2551 (5%)
Oth: 1738 (3%)
MAJ: 11609 (23%)
Con: 15360 (31%)
Lab: 6567 (13%)
LDem: 25413 (52%)
UKIP: 1926 (4%)
MAJ: 10053 (20%)
Con: 16796 (31%)
Lab: 8184 (15%)
LDem: 23966 (44%)
Oth: 1241 (2%)
MAJ: 7170 (13%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
DEREK THOMAS (Conservative) Born 1972. Small businessman and former development worker. Former Penwith councillor. Contested St Ives 2010.
CORNELIUS OLIVIER (Labour) Cornwall councillor since 2013.
ANDREW GEORGE (Liberal Democrat) Born 1958, Cornwall. Educated at Helston Grammar and Sussex University. Deputy director of Cornwall rural council. Contested St Ives 1992. MP for St Ives 1997 to 2015. PPS to Charles Kennedy 2001-2002, Lib Dem Shadow Rural Affairs Secretary 2002-2005, Lib Dem Shadow secretary of state for International Development 2005-2007. A former member of Mebyon Kernow and reliable supporter of all things Cornish, he was the first MP to take the oath in Cornish.
GRAHAM CALDERWOOD (UKIP) Solicitor. Contested Devon and Cornwall Police elections 2012 as Independent.
TIM ANDREWES (Green) Born 1966, Southampton. Educated at Shrewsbury School and Oxford University. Rural transport advisor. South Shropshire councillor 1995-2001, Cornwall councillor since 2013. Contested Oxford and Buckinghamshire 1989 European election, Ludlow 1997, St Ives 2010.
ROB SIMMONS (Mebyon Kernow) Born West Cornwall. Educated at Aberystwyth University.
Comments - 211 Responses on “St Ives”
  1. I know that on uniform swings etc the lib dems will lose to the Tories in St Ives but I can’t actually envisage this happening, in fact I’ll be pleasently surprised if the Tories can repeat their 2010 result and get within a couple of thousand of Andrew George. Of course if he were to stand down then that could be very different.

  2. The Lib Dems had a clean sweep in 2005! The Liberals / Lib Dems usually won the Truro seat, even in good elections for the Tories nationally (i.e. the Thatcher era).

    Honestly don’t think that ComRes poll is right, it looks more like what you would get with a standard VI question than if people are asked to think about constituency / candidates. I suppose there may be a longer term warning for the Lib Dems there that they are clearly dependent on the personal popularity of individuals such as Andrew George. They need to rebuild their popularity nationally or they will eventually lose these seats as well.

  3. The Lib Dem strength in Cornwall was always about getting the anti Tory vote behind them. Tactical voting took off there very early. I think their problem is the rise of alternative alternatives, and that they have spent 5 years propping up the Party people were voting against.

    I think Andrew George will be OK, but it’ll take a period out of office and serious consideration of their offer for the Lib Dems to recover in the SW.

  4. I get the impressoon George has a personal vote here. Am I right?

  5. Andrew George didn’t hold back here in his thoughts on hooking up with the Tories again..

  6. You would have thought that in many south west seats, Lib Dems would be more worried to reassure voters that they would not prop up a left wing Labour administration.

    A Con-LD coalition won’t happen anyway for the simple reason it won’t have the maths, at least without UKIP and the DUP, neither of whom the Lib Dems would ever work with.

  7. HH. It is too early to say that another Lib Dem/conservative coalition will not have the maths, surely?

  8. If the Lib Dems get 30 seats it would require the Tories to have 295. So I don’t think it’s too early to say that.

  9. people don’t seem to appreciate that a very high tory seat total, say 295, necessitates a large number of ld seat losses.

    To be fair to Fisher, his model gets this. he has 292 for the tories and 22 for the lib dems, leaving the coalition parties with a combined total 314.

    What is almost impossible to envisage is a world where the tories have 295 seats and the lib dems have 30, unless you suppose a low number for the tory losses to labour (under 20).

  10. I don’t know this area very well at all and stress that, so simply pose the question and would be interested to hear from those who know it far better than me.

    If Andrew George, who is certainly independent minded, has such a strong personal vote, how come the swing from LD-Con between 2005 and 2010 was 9.5%? That is very high, even for Cornwall which tended to swing fairly strongly Conservative from LD in 2010.

    Looking at the Ashcroft poll you could make him slight favourite I guess but given national levels of LD support without knowing the area that well I’d have it down as a Tory win (just).

  11. LD HOLD

    LD – 37
    CON – 36
    LAB – 9
    UKIP – 9
    O – 9

  12. According to the Lib Dems Andrew George was the factor that nearly lost them the seat last time (expenses etc.), now he is the factor that will save it…just saying…

  13. Was quickly in Penzance yesterday, loads of posters for Andrew George and some for the Greens, didn’t see any others.

  14. It does make me chuckle that the Tory candidate here is called Derek and the Labour candidate is called Cornelius! Haha! :-p

  15. My favourite one is the Crookes local election candidates in Sheffield:

    Labour: Smith, Geoff
    Green: Crossland-Briggs, Julian Rupert

  16. HH – I think AG just wants every anti-Tory voter here to vote for him, so doubt he’s worked about reassuring any.

  17. Christian – v good! There was a letter in the Liverpool Echo from an undecided/disillusioned voter that said it used to be a city represented by Bessie, Bob, Eddie and Terry and these days it’s Luciana and Tristram…

  18. Haha! Tristram Hunt was nearly selected as the Labour candidate for Liverpool West Derby for the 2010 GE but was pipped to the post by Stephen Twigg. That seat would have been more unsuited to Hunt than Stoke-on-Trent Central where I imagine he sticks out like a sore thumb when walking through his seat.

  19. Ah yes, I couldn’t think why Tristram was referred to – although there is a leading Lpool Labour activist of that name.

  20. Haha! Didn’t expect a northener to be called Tristram!

  21. LD hold 50 after 2 recounts

  22. I was in the consituency briefly last week, St Ives and the surrounds, not Penzance like H.Hemmelig. Andrew George seemed to be winning the poster campaign, although there were a noticeable number for Derek Thomas and a handful for the others.

    Did the boundary changes as well as the expenses issue contribute to the sizeable dent in his 2010 majority?

    No local knowledge at all, but I think CountyDurhamBoy might be close to the mark here.

  23. Expenses probably hurt him, yes.

  24. Boundary changes affected the last election in St. Ives very considerably The town of Hayle where Andrew George lives and is hughly popular was removed from the constituency. They have estimated that this cost him at least 5000 votes

  25. Strange what people are posting about poster in the St. Ives constituency they are either LibDem or UKIP with only one seen for Labour and Conservatives each.

  26. This is a seat that the Lib Dems might just lose. If they do lose it, then it really will be bad for them and they’ll get 25 seats or fewer.

  27. I think they’ll just hang on. It wouldn’t be an utter shock if Andrew George increased his (admittedly narrow) majority.

  28. Consideting this seat has one of the highest number of second homes in the UK (St. Ives is nicknamed (Kensington-on-Sea), does anyone think that the second home owners will switch their vote to here and vote tactically to help the Tories.

  29. St Ives attracts arty types so not all second home owners here will be Tories by any means.

    Plenty of not so nice places in this seat to balance out St Ives…Penzance in particular has always struck me as being very grotty.

  30. Ok. Thanks.

  31. Lib Dem Hold. 500 Maj.

  32. Is the consensus still LD hold?

  33. This seat has been gained by the Tories!

  34. Feel bad for Andrew George, he seemed like such a genuine and hard working MP. Hard to believe that the Lib Dems have now been effectively been wiped out of their traditional heartland. Even David Laws in the once rock solid Yeovil!!

    Suddenly D. Alex’s prediction about the Lib Dems (though he has a tactless way of expressing himself) has come true.

  35. Last seat still to declare. Will it be one last sting for the Lib Dems? Probably.

  36. So surprisingly enough Andrew George’s ‘personal vote’ (apparently negative in 2010 but positive this time around) counted for zilch.

  37. I am absolutely dumbfounded. No idea that was coming

  38. You called the Lib Dem collapse right for years, Robberbutton and Runnymede, to a lot of derision from most including myself on occasion. Well done. Worth mentioning Ben Foley on that too.

  39. Thanks for the pat on the head H.Hemmelig (sincerely, despite the usual sarcastic tone). Hopefully it will curtail my need to gloat (no promises though)

    I never said single figures, I thought about 20.

    2 points: Worst LD/Liberal result in 45 years

    Is this the first time in history they’ve had no seats in the SW?

  40. I think it might be actually

  41. One of the biggest winners from this result is Mr Dan Hodges.

    I predict that we will see a great deal less polling next time (and that the good Lord may well jack it in altogether). The willingness to pay for what has turned out to be a pile of nonsense (though a very consistent pile of nonsense) will be much reduced.

  42. don’t know that they won any SW seats in 1955 (going through list on Wikipedia)

  43. No Lib Dem seats in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Wiltshire or Gloucestershire.

    But what is really remarkable is the scale of their collapse in some of the seats, down from good second places to distant third or even fourth places. I knew they were in big trouble in some of these seats but the extent to which their vote has evaporated has exceeded even my greatest expectations/hopes.

    The patient and long-term growth of their vote over the decades since the 1970s has been shattered in a single election and I doubt they will be in a position to regain or even challenge in many of these lost seats for a long time to come.

  44. fifth in Totnes and down to two councillors on South Hams DC

  45. “No Lib Dem seats in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Wiltshire or Gloucestershire.”

    Never thought I see the Lib Dems get totally wiped out in the South West. Despite a trouble night for Labour overall, their gain in Bristol West was spectacular. I didn’t see that coming at all.

  46. It was a mirror of the Ashcroft poll. Greens’ top target henceforth

  47. *meant ‘terrible’ not trouble.

  48. Andrew George did very well compared to other Lib Dem seats in the west of England. Only Steve Webb lost by a narrower margin, and he had a huge majority to start with. The Lib Dems lost by more (sometimes much more) in supposedly safe seats such as Yeovil, Bath and Cheltenham. The Lib Dems also did much worse in North Cornwall. Only Adrian Sanders also put up a strong fight.

  49. The Tories gained this despite a drop in their share of the vote from 38.98% to 38.27%.

  50. “It was a mirror of the Ashcroft poll. Greens’ top target henceforth”

    It was pointless making St Ives a target. They kept their deposit but aside from some support in St Ives itself, their performance was nothing special.

    They polled double of what they got in St Ives, in Bath which strangely wasn’t a target.

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