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. Neil that quote you took of mine was clearly a reference to Bristol West, mentioned in the last sentence of Christian’s comment, right on top of mine.

  2. Amidst all the results coming out of ‘Super Thursday’, not hard if you missed a referendum held in St Ives on blocking the construction of second homes. Based on fears that they’re driving up house prices in the area. Backed by just over 80% of voters. But it could still be overturned by ministers. Ironically there’s one line of thought that the move could still drive up prices of existing homes where prospective 2nd home buyers are forced to compete for what is already there.

  3. Final results from Cornwall: Remain 43.5%, Leave 56.5%.

  4. I think that the Scilly Isles should be incorporated into the name of this constituency (St Ives and the Scilly Isles).

    I am surprised by the lack of advancement of Mebyon Kernow, which has fallen behind the SNP and Plaid. Several former Cornish MPs have also been ex-members of Mebyon Kernow, including Peter Bessell (Liberal Party), John Pardoe (Liberal Party), David Mudd (Conservative), David Penhaligon (Liberal Party) and Andrew George (Liberal Democrats)… perhaps indigenous Cornish voters still see the Lib Dems as the main embodiment of Cornish nationalism.

  5. Or more likely most people in Cornwall find the idea of ‘Cornish nationalism’ at best faintly embarrassing, at worst a ridiculous anachronism.

  6. People have touted this seat being the most likely LD gain in Cornwall. However, I don’t see the LD’s picking up any seats in Devon or Cornwall this time round. The number of UKIP squeeze votes is just too high. Somewhere like Bath, or maybe even Cheltenham is far more likely, thouh still not guaranteed by any means.

  7. Seems that George is standing again — at least, that’s the impression this gives.

    With him standing, I think they should gain it, but I don’t think they’ll get any other Cornish seats back.

  8. I think this constituency should be called St Ives & Scilly.

  9. Don’t imagine for a second that former UKIP voters will all go back to the Conservatives. There are surprisingly many 2010 Lib Dem/2015 UKIP voters.

  10. 6.3% Green waiting to be squeezed.

  11. I doubt too many kippers would vote LD with them seemingly planning to base their campaign around Remain and overturning the referendum result

  12. What can I say? Voters can be pretty irrational and there are a bunch of them that will just vote the “soft-protest” candidate. In 2010 that was the Lib Dems. In 2015 it was UKIP. In 2017… who knows where they will go?

  13. I agree it was always counter-intuitive that the LDs did so well in the South West when UKIP performed very well in Euro elections.

  14. Or more likely most people in Cornwall find the idea of ‘Cornish nationalism’ at best faintly embarrassing, at worst a ridiculous anachronism.

    Most people under 30 think that about “English Nationalism” as well.

    In 20 years time we will be back in the EU with strong support from the population, I predict!

  15. “In 20 years time we will be back in the EU with strong support from the population, I predict!”

    Predict, hope, tomayto, tomarto…

  16. Andrew111

    Do you think that the 27 will want us back in?

    Once bitten twice shy.

  17. ‘ In 20 years time we will be back in the EU with strong support from the population, I predict! ‘

    How did the under 30s vote in the 1975 referendum and how did those same people vote 41 years later ?

  18. “I am surprised by the lack of advancement of Mebyon Kernow, which has fallen behind the SNP and Plaid.”

    While Plaid are obviously much more of a force coming from a higher base, its not like they’ve particularly advanced.

  19. Richard,

    Well I was too young to vote in 1975, but campaigned for yes.

    Last year my wife ran the local Vote Leave campaign with my blessing and support.

    The words of Talleyrand come to mind. Not so much radicalism as idealism which gets worn away by the years.

  20. Andrew George confirmed as standing

  21. “Remember a lot of Labour retreads stood and lost in 2015, I don’t think the Lib Dems are guaranteed to retake seats they were evicted from just two short years ago”

    Agreed though this is one of the more plausible gains imho looking at the Labour and Green votes and I think the referendum result was closer than in most of the rural SW seats.

  22. As for the constituency name maybe Penwith after the old district, or even Pedn an Wlas (Land’s End in Cornish)?

  23. I also agree this might be a good chance of a one-off LD regain, more Labour and Green to squeeze than UKIP.

  24. Andrew111’s prediction is even more Remainian than either Clegg or Blair.

    Indeed you can get Evens that the EU won’t even exist in a decade, let alone the UK re-joining in 20.

  25. Are you sure Lancs, where are these odds? I’m no EU superfan but I’m pretty confident it will still exist in ten years time, and if i had to guess I’d say no other major nation will exit in that time.

  26. We don’t even know if the UK will still exist in 20 years time, let alone rejoin the EU. Pretty sure Scotland is odds-on to vote for independence next time round, and once that happens it’s not hard to see the other Celtic nations moving toward independence/reunification as well.

    (OK an independent Cornwall might be pushing the boundaries of reality a bit, even though stranger things have happened before)

  27. The Premier of the Republic of Quebec could not be reached for comment^

  28. The idea that Scottish independence is inevitable seems far fetched to me. I think a Tory led govt. in Holyrood in 2021 is just as likely

  29. Karl Marx thought that the end of false consciousness and rebellion of the proletariat against the bourgoisie to seize the means of production was inevitable.

    Still waiting…

  30. I make it that the Conservatives outpolled the Lib Dems in the locals here by about 2k. Usual caveats re local v national apply, but it makes me feel better about having backed the Tories at 6-5 before the locals following a tip on on (it also fits in well with my existing bet on the Lib Dems to win fewer than 28 seats overall).

    The Conservaives are now odds on across the board, with the Lib Dems best price evens.

  31. Existing bet on the Lib Dems to win fewer than 28 seats overall – otherwise known as “free money”

  32. I thought so. For the Lib Dems an unpopular position on a national issue will usually more than cancel out their much vaunted ground game and popular local candidates. In the SW the Lib Dem’s stance on Brexit is a classic example of said unpopular position on a national issue.

  33. I expect this one to be close (maybe even coming down to the results from Scilly) but the local results don’t exactly bode well for the LDs, suggesting the UKIP vote has gone Tory while the Labour vote seems to be holding up OK. It’ll surely depend on what happened to the independent votes.

    But given my track record on predictions that probably means a five-figure Tory majority lol

  34. The Lib Dems were talking up winning a majority on Cornwall Council before the GE was called. In the end they gained no seats (losing by-election gains) and the Tories gained 15 seats. On that basis I think LD gains in Cornwall at the GE look most unlikely.

  35. Not sure if it’s been mentioned on any of the other pages but Mebyon Kernow aren’t contesting this GE.

    I’m guessing most of the 1.1% they got here last time will go to the Lib Dems? Not that it’ll make a huge difference…

  36. YouGov currently has the Conservatives narrowly ahead (42% to 38%)of the LibDems in this constituency. That 1.5% Mebyon Kernow vote could make a difference.

    It has been poited out to me that this is the only seat in the rural South-West where the LIbDems now have a realistic hope.

  37. They’re doing alright in North Cornwall, by YouGov’s estimation (and I’ve thought so for awhile). They won’t win it, but it won’t be a blowout, either.

  38. This must be close ?

  39. Derek Thomas holds on by 312 votes.

  40. Cornwall County Council has voted to officially change the place name “Lands End” to include an apostrophe.

    A victory for grammar pedants everywhere. As someone who routinely corrects misspelt posters free of charge, I’m actually a little envious to know that someone else will be getting paid for the trouble.

  41. (And yes, I did use a split infinitive in that last post. They’re perfectly acceptable constructions.)

  42. Plenty of geographical apostrophe grey areas remain however, awaiting such formal clarification….

    Perhaps the most famous being whether it’s Kings Cross or King’s Cross – the railway companies usually favour the former but you still often see the latter.

  43. It is the cross of the King so therefore posessive singular –
    and a circumstance where an apostrophe is required.

    It’s called King’s Cross is because it is the junction point of two roads on which a statue of King George IV was built. Therefore it is “the cross of the King” and hence, King’s Cross. Kings Cross would suggest more than one King.

  44. George Thomas has signed Margaret Beckett’s second referendum amendment. Not quite sure why…

  45. I do of course mean Derek Thomas, I think I’m getting confused with George Eustice, MP for another Cornish seat.

  46. I noticed that- prehaps he now backs a second ref. Has been reports of a few more tory mp’s planning on declaring support for one today.

  47. To answer a question from the other day (BT?)

    Yes, the Liberal Party are standing here and in all 6 Cornwall seats.

    So far I’ve spotted 6 in Merseyside too as well as Lincoln, Altrincham & SW, Calder Valley…

  48. Thanks – though I suppose the question is, does that help achieve their desire of Brexit or hinder it, in seats like this?

    Certainly it will help expose the LDs’ revoke policy to any of their less engaged supporters who hadn’t paid much attention, I suppose.

  49. Generally I think the Lib Dems will pick up little in the south west this time, but this seat may well be an exception, a combination of Andrew George standing again and the island of arty-farty liberalism that is the town of St Ives itself. Depends if the second home owners decide to vote here or in Islington.

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)