Stoke-on-Trent South

2015 Result:
Conservative: 12780 (32.7%)
Labour: 15319 (39.2%)
Lib Dem: 1309 (3.3%)
Green: 1029 (2.6%)
UKIP: 8298 (21.2%)
TUSC: 372 (1%)
MAJORITY: 2539 (6.5%)

Category: Semi-marginal Labour seat

Geography: West Midlands, Staffordshire. The southern part of the Stoke-on-Trent council area.

Main population centres: Longton, Fenton.

Profile: Stoke-on-Trent is actually an amalgamation of six towns, heavily associated with the industrial pottery industry. The most famous British pottery brands such as Wedgwood and Spode are all based in or around Stoke. This is also a former coal mining area, with the last coal mine in Stoke closing in the 1990s. Stoke-on-Trent South covers the two most southern of the six towns, Longton and Fenton, as well as the Mier Park estate (built on the site of old aerodrome) and Trentham, the most middle class suburb of Stoke.

Politics: Historically Stoke-on-Trent South has been the least safe of the Stoke seats for Labour, but that is by the standards of a city that is solidly Labour. Stoke-on-Trent South has been Labour since its creation in 1950, and Robert Flello retained a ten percent majority at the last election..

Current MP
ROBERT FLELLO (Labour) Born 1966, Birmingham. Educated at Kings Norton Boys School and University of Wales. Former tax and financial advisor. Birmingham councillor 2002-2004. First elected as MP for Stoke on Trent South in 2005. PPS to Bob Ainsworth 2009-2010.
Past Results
Con: 11316 (28%)
Lab: 15446 (39%)
LDem: 6323 (16%)
BNP: 3762 (9%)
Oth: 3005 (8%)
MAJ: 4130 (10%)
Con: 9046 (24%)
Lab: 17727 (47%)
LDem: 5894 (16%)
BNP: 3305 (9%)
Oth: 1848 (5%)
MAJ: 8681 (23%)
Con: 8877 (25%)
Lab: 19366 (54%)
LDem: 4724 (13%)
BNP: 1358 (4%)
Oth: 1703 (5%)
MAJ: 10489 (29%)
Con: 10342 (22%)
Lab: 28645 (62%)
LDem: 4710 (10%)
Oth: 1436 (3%)
MAJ: 18303 (40%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
JOE RICH (Conservative) Barrister.
ROBERT FLELLO (Labour) See above.
PETER ANDRAS (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Babes

Comments - 160 Responses on “Stoke-on-Trent South”
  1. I have received a good 8 or 9 election leaflets from the Conservatives here where I live and around 5 or 6 from Labour. For the first time ever, both parties are taking this seat seriously and that may indicate that there is a genuine battle going on for the first time really.

    My feeling is that Jack is going to win. I will certainly be voting for him and I have encouraged several others to do so.

    But you never do know with Stoke-on-Trent. After 72 years in Labour hands, it is hard to imagine the words Stoke-on-Trent in blue.

    Its going to be on a knife-edge, but the Conservatives could just squeak it.

  2. Just been to vote and it seems my polling station is reporting a steady but not busy flow of voters up until around 16.00.

    My polling district is a mixture of solid Labour areas and the sort of swing areas that Tories need to win if they are going to win the seat.
    Could it indicate that Labour voters are choosing to stay at home?

    We will only know after 10pm.

  3. Thanks Shaun,

    Always good to get some news from on the ground

  4. “Just been to vote and it seems my polling station is reporting a steady but not busy flow of voters up until around 16.00.”

    Lovely to see you back Shaun. Hope all’s well with you.

    Have to say I noticed the same here in Mid Sussex. Wife & I almost always vote together in mid-afternoon (though, I think for the first time ever, not for the same candidate this time). In 2015 it was very brisk at the polling station, today more like a morgue, though the few people I did spot were Con friendly demographics of elderly and white van man types.

  5. Lots of reports of good turnout for Lab-friendly demographics, but also beginning to get reports of a lack of enthusiasm among their Tory counterparts. I live in a ward that voted 74% Conservative just a few weeks ago, and the polling station was empty.

    I’m preparing for a Labour government…

  6. Think Labour could do it…

  7. It would take the polls being well out one would think, especially as the last few seem to have shown fractional movement back to the Tories

  8. I’m presuming RESULTS is talking about Stoke South rather than nationally.
    And I wouldnt be surprised but…Tories could squeak in this time.

    I am told at 7ish a polling station up in Kidsgrove in Stoke North was so busy there was a que.
    High turnout in Kidsgrove doesnt bode too well for Stoke North…although Tories narrowly took the area in the county elections in May on a split Labour vote.

  9. The Conservatives have gained this seat.

  10. Have the conserviaties regain any of the seats they lost to Labour in 2015. Dont think they have.

  11. Plopwellian Tory

    When, a few months ago, you told me to “bugger off back to Europe” if I didn’t like Brexit, I believe I said that one day you & your party would regret treating Remainers with such arrogance. However I certainly didn’t expect that day to come as soon as this.

    Message to your esteemed leader Mrs May, who has accomplished the impossible feat of making the leadership of IDS look good, you need to resign NOW.

  12. He’s young. He’ll learn.

  13. Agreed. She has abs NO authority and is an now a sad and lonely figure.

    I would not be at all surprised to see a Sept election with Boris Johnson in charge of the Tories. ..but I know you will probably disagree HH as I believe that you aren’t a fan of Bojo.

  14. “but I know you will probably disagree HH as I believe that you aren’t a fan of Bojo”

    He’s probably preferable to May soldiering on. Hard Brexit appears to be off the table now and someone like Boris would be best placed to sell that to the Tories’ new hard leaver voters in Mansfield and Walsall North.

  15. There is a lot to sort out. Good morning all.

  16. I know I should celebrate my democratic freedoms, but I don’t think I could stomach another election so soon.

  17. “I know I should celebrate my democratic freedoms, but I don’t think I could stomach another election so soon.”

    I think that view will be quite widespread in the electorate, which is why a second election will be fraught with danger. But as Alex F says, there may be few alternatives.

    “There is a lot to sort out. Good morning all.”

    Morning Joe. A mixed night for you re Zac and Vince.

  18. Morning HH – to be honest it’s a kind of relief when you know the score.
    It’s been quite stressful fighting a campaign with 20% leads and suddenly to find you’re in danger.
    I think I agree with Anne W on the coverage just now that we kind of convinced ourself it would be ok.
    I’m astonished by these Labour increases in Cornwall for example.

  19. Morning Joe. This is heaven for election geeks. But turmoil for the country…I suppose. As a “loony leftie” I am nearly in tears and the adrenaline is still pumping.

    HH can I ask plse where you posted yr suspicion about me…?..would like to see it…ty

  20. Morning Alex.
    A bit of insight on Twickenham,
    we did spot a very high turnout.
    I had to work late the night before, and spent the pm/evening in Hampton Hill, and Hampton North.

    I think I’ve slightly lost faith (for the moment) in any party saying “it looks good on the ground etc”. Sometimes I don;’t think it drills down into what people are really intending to do.

  21. It was on one of the defence/target pages I believe, during a chat with Peter Crawford, who refused to believe my suspicion! A few days ago.

  22. Basically the Tories seem to have done well in places with elderly populations (I note Christchurch is now their second highest % vote share behind South Holland and The Deepings) despite the ‘dementia tax’. Amongst this group there appears to have been direct Lab->Con switching as well as UKIP->Con switching.

    However what did for them was a huge rise in youth turnout and they did beyond abysmally in areas with young populations. If the composition of the electorate had been the same as 2015 the Tories would probably have won a comfortable majority. The reason many senior Tories thought the exit poll was wrong was probably due to their canvassing returns showing strong performances amongst the 2015 electorate. This I think lulled many (including me) into complacency and whilst I (obviously) heavily dislike Corbyn credit where credit is due for engaging them and I hold my hands up and admit I was wrong in disregarding his ability to do this.

    Looking to the future the Tories are going to have to fundamentally rethink the way they approach the youth and they can simply no longer cater to the needs of the elderly whilst ignoring the young. Housing would be a very good place for them to start. I don’t think most of the youth are naturally inclined to socialism but that’s what they end up voting for en masse when the Tories ignore them and someone in Labour comes along promising them everything under the sun regardless of whether it is credible or not.

    In short something fundamentally has to change in the way politics is conducted in this country and this includes addressing the coarsening of the political debate (which we have all been guilty of from time to time) and try to be a bit more civil to those we disagree with.

  23. “I know I should celebrate my democratic freedoms, but I don’t think I could stomach another election so soon.”

    I think that happened in Scotland. Turnout was down, in contrast to the rest of the United Kingdom.

    Indyref 2014, Election 2015, Scot Parl and Brexit 2016 and Locals last month – voter fatigue hitting the SNP disproportionately as Unionist voters were a little more enthused?

  24. Peppermintea,

    Thanks for your excellent post. I think your comment about the generational aspect of this vote is spot on (and I speak as someone closer to the elderly than younger part of the spectrum). The issue of housing is so important to so many young voters – and indeed their parents who see their children being deprived of the opportunities that they had to become owner occupiers – that this has surely been a factor (Not I add that I found any of the proposals being put forward in this area by the parties very convincing). I would also suggest that the May approach to Brexit was unlikely to improve her standing among younger voters who largely started from a Remain position – whether they were reconciled to the referendum result or not.

    Quite how the Conservatives can become more voter friendly whilst maintaining their dominance amongst older voters is however another matter altogether…

  25. “The issue of housing is so important to so many young voters – and indeed their parents who see their children being deprived of the opportunities that they had to become owner occupiers – that this has surely been a factor”

    Also young parents with kids at primary school.

    My wife has been telling me for weeks that Mumsnet etc has been absolutely fizzing with anger about school cuts. Headteachers blatently telling parents not to vote Tory. I laughed it off at the time as a leftie echo chamber but I was wrong; it seems to have been a significant factor behind poor Tory results in London and the south.

  26. Yes, I’m told there was an increase in turnout of young mums voting in the NW too.

    This fell around 10-15 years when ‘stranger danger’ led to many schools which were polling stations closing for the day and so there obviously wasn’t the footfall compared when people happened to be there anyway.

  27. Another factor I laughed off was Southern Rail, but it quite clearly was a decisive factor in Croydon, Eastbourne, Brighton and almost lost Hastings.

  28. HH- who would you prefer as next Tory leader? As a centrist I’d prefer Rudd probably but that isn’t happening after her close call.

  29. Ken Clarke 🙂

    Seriously though, how about Hammond. Whomever stood up to Mother Theresa has surely improved their chances now. Osborne’s departure was also too hasty.

  30. Osborne looked pretty happy with life on ITV. Once he’s finished pissing himself laughing he may regret stepping down so quickly though.

  31. I wonder when the ‘liberal’ wing of the Tories will plunge the knife. Soubry on tv last night seemed willing to do it immediately.

  32. Indeed. Apparently Tebbit just said he (GO) is “a despicable man”, so I assume he blames him/the Standard for London or it could just be he’s saying what the Right of the Party think.

    GO has just tweeted a cartoon of an Orangeman with May in his pocket – and of course GO is heir to a baronetcy in the Irish Republic so that isn’t a surprise and may also explain Tebbit’s hatred for GO’s metropolitan liberalism and GO’s hatred of social conservatives who gain seats such as the DUP.

  33. I’m looking forward to Bonking Boris leading a coalition with the Paisleyites

  34. Labour have paid the price here for many years of complacency or worse.

  35. Tebbit has said his fair share of “despicable” things against fellow Conservatives….Portillo not being “a normal family man” being one of them, destroying his leadership bid.

    As one of the most long serving and determined of the euroloons I’m afraid Tebbit bears more responsibility for the mess we find ourselves in than most.

  36. He’s always been on the winning side though (I recognise you believe he was wrong on the EU Ref).

  37. I actually quite like him when he let’s the skinhead mask slip a bit. But he’s not in a strong position complaining about the disloyalty of others. He was also one of the big thorns in Major’s side.

  38. From my vantage point in this part of the world, it seemed like the Tories were sweeping all before them. Now I know why.
    Tory vote UP by around 17% in every single one of the Stoke constituencies! And the first Stoke Tory MP since 1935!

    Surely I thought, if the Tories are doing so well here, then they’ll be doing even better elsewhere? Right?
    A reasonable conclusion, isn’t it?
    But apparently not.

    I note that Labour failed to regain a single seat in Staffordshire or (Warwick aside) most of the West Midlands in general.

  39. Shaun,

    Agreed. The Conservatives certainly can’t complain about their performance in the West Midlands, gaining 2 seats – this and Walsall North – and only losing Warwick/Leamington.

    They also broke even in the East Midlands (lost Derby North and High Peak, gained Derbyshire NE and Mansfield).

    So apart from Scotland this was probably their best regional performance.

  40. Considering that Nick Timothy’s ideology – and hence the Conservative manifesto – is very much rooted in his West Midlands upbringing, that’s perhaps to be expected.

    Although I would rather say “least awful” rather than “best” performance.

  41. I imagine the torries will have been disappointed not to have have lowed a Labour Majority in any of the Birmingham seats through.

  42. Rob Flello deselected as LD candidate, due to his anti-abortion and same sex marriage stances.

  43. Quite strange, seeing as it’s based on his comments/votes years ago – i.e. not something fresh since he joined the LDs recently.

  44. Yes its the same old story of the illiberal undemocratic party.
    How dare you have an opinion different to our authorised opinion.

  45. ‘Rob Flello deselected as LD candidate, due to his anti-abortion and same sex marriage stances.’

    That’s absolutely ridiculous.

    Moral issues such as abortion and same sex marriage are clearly personal issues for a candidate’s conscience and can’t be dictated from above

    I could not vote LD on that basis if I lived in this seat

  46. I agree, but it’s why David Alton left the LDs 20 years ago.

    Paddy increasingly made it impossible to be a LD and hold such views.

    If Farron was still leader Flello might have survived. Given that in fact 3 LD MPs voted against although none are now MPs.

  47. I disagree. The liberal position is to vote for people to be able to make their own decisions, despite your private disapproval. That was Tim Farron’s view of gay marriage.

    It’s also my view on weed. I don’t approve of cannabis, I doubt I’d use it if it were legal, but I think other people should be allowed to make different decisions to me. I think if you’re the sort of person who wishes to impose your moral values upon everyone then the Liberal Demcras probably isn’t the party for you.

  48. Farron’s view is plain bonkers (even more so than those avidly for or against). He opposes x, views it as sinful, but votes for it!

    You can’t have a personal stance and vote against it. Conscience votes mean you vote with your conscience.

    Paddy’s view was you can’t make your own decision on these votes and remain a LD.

  49. “The liberal position is to vote for people to be able to make their own decisions, despite your private disapproval.”

    Even if you are someone who sincerely believes that abortion is murder, you mean you should still vote for other people to choose to ‘murder’ babies because they don’t believe it is murder, they think it is a woman’s right over her own body?

    Rather than have a free vote where MPs vote with their consciences?


  50. “I could not vote LD on that basis if I lived in this seat”

    Well the Lib Dems know that here in what is perhaps one of the most anti Lib Dem areas of the country, its not a problem that many voters are going to have to face.

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