Stratford-on-Avon

2015 Result:
Conservative: 29674 (57.7%)
Labour: 6677 (13%)
Lib Dem: 6182 (12%)
Green: 2128 (4.1%)
UKIP: 6798 (13.2%)
MAJORITY: 22876 (44.5%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: West Midlands, Warwickshire. Part of the Stratford-on-Avon council area.

Main population centres: Stratford-upon-Avon, Henley-in-Arden, Shipston-on-Stour, Alcester.

Profile: A large, affluent, rural seat, making up the western part of Warwickshre and stretching from the edge of the Cotswolds in the south all the way up to the outskirts of Redditch and the urban West Midlands. Settlements are mostly historic market towns and villages, with the most important town being Stratford-upon-Avon, a tourist centre intiminately connected with its most famous son, William Shakespeare, and home to the the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Politics: A very safe Conservative seat, held by the Tories since its creation in 1950 with the brief exception of 1995-1997 when the sitting Conservative MP Alan Howard defected to the Labour party. Past members of Parliament include the disgraced Secretary of State for War John Profumo, former cabinet minister Angus Maude and former shadow foreign secretary John Maples.


Current MP
NADHIM ZAHAWI (Conservative) Born 1967, Iraq. Educated at Kings College School and University College London. Former CEO of YouGov. Wandsworth councillor 1994-2006. Contested Erith and Thamesmead 1997. First elected as MP for Stratford on Avon in 2010.
Past Results
2010
Con: 26052 (52%)
Lab: 4809 (10%)
LDem: 14706 (29%)
UKIP: 1846 (4%)
Oth: 3129 (6%)
MAJ: 11346 (22%)
2005*
Con: 28652 (49%)
Lab: 10145 (17%)
LDem: 16468 (28%)
UKIP: 1621 (3%)
Oth: 1354 (2%)
MAJ: 12184 (21%)
2001
Con: 27606 (50%)
Lab: 9164 (17%)
LDem: 15804 (29%)
UKIP: 1184 (2%)
Oth: 1156 (2%)
MAJ: 11802 (21%)
1997
Con: 29967 (48%)
Lab: 12754 (21%)
LDem: 15861 (26%)
Oth: 1453 (2%)
MAJ: 14106 (23%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Stratford on Avon

Demographics
2015 Candidates
NADHIM ZAHAWI (Conservative) See above.
JEFF KENNER (Labour)
ELIZABETH ADAMS (Liberal Democrat)
EDWARD FILA (UKIP)
DOMINIC GILES (Green)
Links
Comments - 91 Responses on “Stratford-on-Avon”
  1. ‘I agree re L & S being winnable with the right candidate and more so under May than DC – I remember the By-election just and it seemed to be one of the few places still with proud Northern WWC Tories even in the 1990s. The Tory PPC in the By-election had a camp Lancashire accent which I recall on NW News too’

    No Tory would have been able to win that seat at that time – 1995 – the nadir of Tory fortunes

    The 20% drop in the Tory vote was actually relatively modest compard to the 32% drop in Christchurch, the 30% drop in Newbury and the 25% in Eastleigh

    Especially given that the seat was one of the few three-way marginals

    I would say this looks on paper one of the Tories most likely gains in 2020

  2. i think it was 9.8% in Hemsworth, West Yorkshire

  3. Even lower in Barnsley I think

    Generally the safer the seat had been for the Tories in 92 – the bigger the drop in their vote

  4. http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-3823849/How-Tory-MP-s-370k-oil-firm-debts-470m-small-investors-suffer-share-price-crash.html

    Zahawi again.

    I hadn’t realised he was a former aide to Jeffrey Archer!

    I suppose with safe seats it takes the local Con Assoc Executive to do something, otherwise it’s a seat for life.

  5. I suppose with safe seats it takes the local Con Assoc Executive to do something, otherwise it’s a seat for life.

    it s up to the shareholders in the first instance , and the association. They, being sound tories, will not wish to pry into his business affairs…. if he has done anything illegal that’s of course a different matter. Tory constituency associations actually like have wealthy MPs. It was only a couple of generations ago, that MPs were expected to pay large amounts to the association. I was reading before the war that tory mps were expected to pay about £300 a year into the association, when an MPs salary was £400 a year.

    Anthony Eden, being young and relatively poor by the standards of the day, when he was selected in 1923, got his father in law to chip in.

  6. Well the Assoc Exec in the first instance, surely.

    Yes, I realise that was the case in the past.

    But it is now the fourth occasion (including the taxpayer paying to heat the outbuildings for his animals from memory), that his finances have made the papers.

  7. But it is now the fourth occasion (including the taxpayer paying to heat the outbuildings for his animals from memory), that his finances have made the papers

    Agreed. It does look like carelessness, as Oscar Wilde says… Jacob Rees-Mogg has wide selection of external interests and income sources, but nobody has questioned his integrity.

  8. No, it’s the shareholders, before the Association. If someone is an MP and a barrister and acts in an improper way as a barrister, it’s his client that is responsible for reporting him.

  9. That used to be the case.

    These days MPs have to register all outside interests of course.

    The Assoc Exec have the power to deselect, not the shareholders.

    The SFO might want to take a look though and shareholders might want to contact them, I agree.

    I also don’t believe you can separate the role, ie when he is an MP and when he is not as you suggest.

    Nigel Evans’ former barrister was found with drugs. The Bar Standards Board then investigated him even though he did nothing wrong in Court.

  10. the power to deselect is with the Association but they will only do so, if something drastic has been found.

    As I said, the issue in the FIRST INSTANCE (sorry for crazy capital for emphasis) is with the shareholders.

    people go on about deselections but they are actually quite rare… I can think of 3 tory deselections in the last 15 years… Nick Hawkins, Tim Yeo and Ann Mackintosh…others of course were impaled on the expenses scandal and resigned.

    An MP practising as a GP, or an accountant, or in Rees Mogg’s case as the head of an investment management company, obviously has a distinct role as from being an MP… it’s a creeping totalitarianism in our system over the last 40 years to think the MP is purely a state functionary dependent on the government. He is not.

    He or she is not a civil servant. S/he represents a constituency, even if under a party label, but the crazy Miliband notion that the MP’s earnings should be restricted by statute is a far left idea that anti-democratic, creating a legislature which is entirely dependent on party whips for career advancement or even remuneration. It’s sad.

  11. Well as we pay their salaries they are civil servants in that sense. It was Rikind who (wrongly) claimed they were self-employed, of course.

    The role is distinct but we can’t pretend that a lot of MPs only receive Directorships because they are or were MPs.

    It’s why IPSA was needed, but I realise many still hate having to provide receipts for their claims.

    Plus, I’m not discussing the merits or otherwise of HOW MUCH an MP earns outside.

    It’s whether anything untoward was involved in obtaining their income that’s the concern and if Con Assocs still behave in the way you suggest (although I doubt it), they are silly indeed and shouldn’t be too surprised if it bites them on the backside. From my coverage in the NW, Assocs tend to complain that CCHW failed to carry out sufficient vetting and the Assoc would indeed like to know more about the past of potential Candidates before they select them as the PPC.

    Yes, de-selections weren’t needed in most cases after the Telegraph story, as most such as Steen just retired – even if some, such as Kirkbride and her husband tried their hardest to cling on.

  12. *CCHQ

    I agree with you re the importance of the independence of the backbencher from the Govt and I’d cut the size of the Govt payroll vote, but I don’t see that’s relevant.

    Incidentally, it’s an interesting line (if this is the thought process behind the behaviour of Tory Assocs of the past) that I almost believed myself: that wealthy MPs aren’t going to be tempted unlike some poor Labour MPs.

    Whilst it’s true that ex Labour MPs were jailed for expenses fraud, only one was poor and of the Tories who abused the expenses system, 11 were Millionaires. It seems that rich MPs always want to be richer.

  13. Nadhim Zahawi suspected of fiddling his tax return: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/04/tory-mp-nadhim-zahawi-tax-haven-balshore-berkford-investments-gibraltar

    Not all that surprising. He’s always come across as one of the Vaz-type figures you can’t quite trust.

  14. ‘He’s always come across as one of the Vaz-type figures you can’t quite trust.’

    I think that’s an apt comparison

    When first elected in 2010 Zahawi looked as if he was likely to be fast tracked into the cabinet, but since then his political career seems to have completely stalled – largely because of allegations like the one in this case

    I’d like to think that people like him have had their day – but in Brexit Britain I’m smart enough to know better!

  15. Indeed re this MP.

    See my posts upthread of

    Nov 2013 and Oct 2016.

  16. Actually looking at his bio above, I hadn’t realised he was a Cllr so young.

    It does seem to be a particular problem for those who get onto the Conservatives’ Candidates’ List in their 20s. ie they join the bubble and become ‘entitled [to use the Rifkind phrase] before they’ve even grown up (as I think Michael Brown put it, or maybe it was Matthew Parris but you get the idea).

    I’m thinking of Mark Menzies, Nigel Evans, ie scandals both financial and moral. I’m sure – the age thing – is true in other Parties eg Simon Hughes.

    [Whilst true re Vaz, the Tories have faced more of a problem with scandals amongst their ethinc Cllr ranks – particularly the 20 or so of those who defected under DC and have since appeared in Court for theft or assault – than MPs]

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