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. From 1918 to 1950 the Warwick and Leamington constituency included Stratford itself, along with most if not all of the current Stratford-on-Avon District (I think in that period the constituency included Alcester, Henley-in-Arden, Wellesbourne, Coughton, Studley, Charlecote, Snitterfield etc.)

  2. This MP claimed £5,822 last year on expenses for his energy bills.

  3. The claim seems a bit excessive!

    Its a stupid system that parliament operates. MP’s should be given say £25,000 as a grant and they can spend it how they see fit. If they want grand houses they have to pay the difference for it themselves. If they can only afford a 1 bedroom flat then maybe they will have more in common with the rest of the population who cannot afford what their aspirations dictate.

    The UK is a country in relative economic decline, time to start making cuts at the trough.

  4. He also claimed on expenses for heating his stable block and is now going to repay the same after the front page of the Sunday Mirror. I was also surprised he is only 45.

  5. Thats what a life of hard travails will do to you.. LoL

  6. I stayed in this consituency in Spring 2012

    I also know that Nadhim Zahawi is a co-founder of yougov (I have no idea what the personal relationship between him, Kellner and Shakespeare is like).

  7. My forecast for 2015 here:

    Con 40
    LD 20
    UKIP 18
    Lab 17
    Others 5

  8. This is a seat that has seen defections before… seems to me like the rough treatment being handed out to the current MP for daring to challenge the countryside policy is tempting fate…

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/hands-off-our-land/10561514/Support-our-planning-reforms-or-quit-policy-board-Number-10-tells-Nadhim-Zahawi.html

  9. I’m amazed that some MPs must think we have short memories. I just caught this MP lecturing on how we must, “live within our means.” Then another expenses and directorships trougher Tim Yeo MP lecturing electricity companies.

  10. Cllr Helen Hayter and Cllr David Wise both defected from the Tory Group to the Inds Group here, last month.

  11. 2015 prediction –

    con- 45%
    LD- 23%
    UKIP- 18%
    Lab- 9%
    GRN- 3%
    BNP- 1%

    Not many surprises here , UKIP will do okay and hurt the tories , labour and the BNP but not too much to do any real bad. Conservatives hold.

  12. I think 10 is more likely for UKIP with the Tories and Labour, possibly the LDs, highher.

  13. Tory Cllr Paul Oakley has defected to UKIP here.

  14. Disagree with you on that one Robbie. More likely UKIP 23 and LibDems 18.

  15. Actually it’s Peter Oakley. Yes he has defected to UKIP in the Tanworth ward on Stratford D.C. and he’s contesting it on May 7
    as the UKIP candidate.

  16. Conservative Hold. 15,000 majority.

  17. Very strong result for Zadawi here- a 6.1% increase in vote share, and a majority of 22, 876.

  18. Zahawi I mean.

  19. Busy man:

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/aug/24/tory-mp-nadhim-zahawi-lands-job-with-oil-firm-gulf-keystone

    Can residents get a rebate if they don’t get his undivided attention?

  20. Stratford was in Warwick and Leamington from 1918 to 1950

    ‘The rural districts of Alcester and Warwick, the part of the rural district of Brailes which consists of the civil parishes of Ilmington and Stretton-on-Fosse, the part of the rural district of Stratford-on-Avon which is not included in the Rugby Division, the municipal boroughs of Royal Leamington Spa, Stratford-on-Avon, and Warwick, and the urban district of Kenilworth.’

  21. What were the wards of this constituency in 1983 and 1997? The official description of the seat for each respective year is

    ‘The District of Stratford-on-Avon’

    and

    ‘All the wards of the District of Stratford-on-Avon except the wards of Henley, Tanworth, and Tanworth Earlswood.’ (the latter three wards were in Warwick and Leamington from 1997 to 2010)

  22. ‘Nadhim Zahawi has decided to support Leave:’

    I’ve seen his name on a few lists claiming he supports ‘staying in’

    Away from the cabinet, with a few exceptions like Sarah Wollaston (she supports out) and Jonathan Djanogly (who supports staying in) the Tory Party has largely split down Left/Right lines with regards to Britain and the EU despite it not being a strictly Left/Right issue

  23. ‘I assume my MP Mark Lancaster will support Brexit’

    As somebody fairly decisively on the moderate wing of the party, I would have thought he would support ‘Remain’, but that’s a mere assumption

    At the moment it’s impossible to call, but you can guarantee it will be all we will hear about between now and polling day – as it was with the Scottish independence refrredum

  24. “I’ve also been to Tamworth en route back from York but it was one of the most ‘crap town-type’ places I have ever been to.”

    Tamworth might look unattractive but it’s got one of the best economies of any town of its type in the country as this article shows:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31148570

  25. Guido Fawkes’ spreadsheet showing which side Tory MPs are supporting in the referendum:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vp6viBi5DA4avMgR2Y8lKrrAUqJp-0zL2LZB6iVD3uU/edit#gid=450656551

  26. ‘I’ve also been to Tamworth en route back from York but it was one of the most ‘crap town-type’ places I have ever been to.”’

    Andy’s right – and much of the Staffordshire/West Midlands is like that – with even the more affluent places are fairly unpleasant on the eye. So too the East Midlands

    I was coming back from Bristol yesterday afternoon and noticed how run-down and horribly urban much of South Hampshire was

    You’d never know it ,looking at the size of the Tory majorities in the seats concerned

  27. Wirral West and Southport both look very attractive (in the main) when you travel around them but neither has a Tory MP. Sheffield Hallam is another example.

  28. ‘It really does surprise you though when you look at a place and think about how it votes. The seat next to mine (Wellingborough) looks pretty grim when I go there but it returns a Tory MP with a majority of over 16,000.’

    I too was blown by hgow grim Wellingborough was when i went through it oin a train

    Not only does it return Tories to Parliament on huge five-figure majorities but ones on the far right of the party – like Peter’s Bone and Fry

    I spent much of my childhood in Surrey, one of the Tories strongest areas – but rightly so as it’s on the whole very affluent compared to the rest of the country

    That’s not the case with these seats in places like Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Staffordshire which nowadays send Tories to Parliament with similar-sized majorities

    All very strange IMO

  29. UK politics is moving from being based on economic concerns to identity politics, the same transformation that took place in the United States a few decades ago.

  30. We’ve moved from an era of homogenous societies and increasing wealth for all to one of fractured societies where one group’s increase in wealth (and socio-political power) can only be obtained by taking it from another group.

    The USA led the way in this and it is now becoming the dominant feature of UK politics.

  31. Well we should remember that even in comparatively poor rural areas like Lincolnshire, the Conservatives have long done well. What’s arguably more novel is their hold over considerable swathes of small town, ex-industrial England. There are probably a number of factors behind this including the flight of the Tory middle-classes from the cities; economic change in those areas especially those near motorways; and Labour’s apparent inability to understand those parts of England that are not urban.

  32. I think I prefer Andy’s analysis to Richard’s, but both are essentially right.

    Like the US, the UK is also becoming a much more politically divided country – which has allowed the likes of Farage and Corbyn (see Trump or Sanders) to occupy roles and positions their fairly eccentric ideas scarcely deserve

    There’s no respect now between the two opposing groups (liberals/left-wingers and conservatives/right-wingers) and a sense that they genuinely dislike each other – which I’m not sure was always a feature of politics in the post war period in either country

    In the last few elections in the US – the Republicans – who really are the rich man’s party some people accuse the Tories of being – won 13 of the 15 poorest states, with their opponents the considerably more left-wing Democrats winning 12 of the richest 15

    This trend that Andy speaks of is well underway here too

  33. Well, the country is increasingly divided and for me, the most important split is between the worldviews of people living in cities and those living in small town/rural areas. As such, I agree that the country is becoming more like America.

  34. “In the last few elections in the US – the Republicans – who really are the rich man’s party some people accuse the Tories of being – won 13 of the 15 poorest states”

    The Republican leadership has pursued an economic policy which benefits the very rich via tax cuts and economic migration but emphasised foreign and social policies to keep the support of wwc and lower middle class voters.

    It wasn’t difficult for a skilled opportunist like Trump to exploit the flaws in this strategy.

  35. “Well we should remember that even in comparatively poor rural areas like Lincolnshire, the Conservatives have long done well.”

    It should be noted that the Labour and LibDem vote in most poor rural areas has now collapsed with UKIP being the main beneficiary.

  36. The Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into an oil company that went bust owing over £1 Billion (as well as £ms to HMRC etc).

    This MP was a non-exec Director of the firm.

    So far, he’s been unavailable for comment.

  37. ‘It wasn’t difficult for a skilled opportunist like Trump to exploit the flaws in this strategy.’

    To describe Trump as skilled opportunist gives him credit he scarcely deserves

    He’s done what he always said he would if he was ever to contest the Presidency – shamelessly play to the base of whichever party he was running for, in the hope that enough people are taken in by it

    I don’t think even he thought he’d come this far in his wildest dreams – but the extreme nature of today’s US Republican Party means they are well suited ti each other

    Hillary Clinton’s widespread unpopularity is the only reason he’s still in the race

  38. On US politics: the map of the states is misleading. The real divide is urban-rural. For example, take Chicago out of Illinois and it’s a red state; take just the urban areas of Texas and it’s a blue state-

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/8d/2012_Presidential_Election_by_County.svg/2000px-2012_Presidential_Election_by_County.svg.png

  39. ‘Labour will lose seats like NE Derbyshire, Bishop Auckland, Clwyd South, Wrexham in a few years and in a few elections time Chingford will go Lab, along with Enfield, Southgate’

    Whilst that’s undeniably true, I’m not sure Wrexham is a particularly good example as it is an urban seat, although the neighbouring Clwyd South is

    Wales is a bit different but in England it’s certainly true – despite a few outliers – Copeland, Bassetlaw, Workington

  40. ‘The majority in Wrexham is 1800 votes, so on current boundaries I think the Tories could take it in future, it’s a lot more marginal that it was in 1992 and the Tory rise was big.’

    Indeed they could but my point was that it is an urban seat rather than a rural one

  41. Maxim
    I’d agree with that list bar Halifax, I’m not going to give you my usual lecture about how “its more a case of Lab weakness rather than Tory strength” cos in the case of Halifax it isn’t, the seat is just plain and simply nit moving, politically where its always been that is a Lab facing marginal that the Tories can only win in their really good years but fall just short most of the time.

    The Tories are still below the 40% mark that was their average for the post war period and critically Lab have yet to fall below 40% there.

    Comparing to what is normally your benchmark for 2015 which is the 92 election the Lab majority is nearly identical.

    2015=Lab majority 428 (1%)
    1992=Lab majority 478 (0.8%)

    This is very much indicative of a seat that isn’t moving in any direction.

  42. ‘The Wrexham result was pretty impressive considering its an urban seat where there was a considerable LD vote in 2010’

    Indeed it was

    Of course Wrexham wasn’t the only place where the Tories seemed to benefit from a plummeting Lib Dem vote – it happened in Milton Keynes and Northampton to name but two – but they are very different from Wrexham, which is urban in a post industrial sense and considerably less affluent

    The North Wales example in interesting though as one town where Labour’s vote has held up well is the old country town of Mold, which despite its name is actually one of the more affluent towns in North Wales – certainly more so than places like Flint, Queensferry, Buckley and Wrexham which seem to be going the other way

  43. To shay Shipley hasn’t moved much isn’t exactly accurate since it went Labour in 97 and was only narrowly won back by the Tories in 2005. Philip Davies is clearly the right sort of candidate for that seat as it now appears to be rock solidly Tory again.

  44. ‘To shay Shipley hasn’t moved much isn’t exactly accurate since it went Labour in 97 and was only narrowly won back by the Tories in 2005. ‘

    Ditto Calder Valley

    Neither that nor Shipley are really comparable to Halifax given they have gone with the flow electorally

  45. But’s its less a case of it holding up well and more a case of it ebbing and flowing from Tory to Labour and back again with the electoral tide as it were

    Up until 2010 when the Lib Dems did disproportionately well, Calder Valley was a classic bellwether seat

  46. ‘Colne Valley has always struck me as West Yorkshire’s most interesting constituency’

    In some ways it is and on initial look would suggest it’s quite ahead of its time as one of those WWC post-industrial, part rural seats where then electorate shifted their loyalties from Labour to Conservative decades before similar seats started doing the same

    But during much of the post war period this was a Labour/Liberal marginal – with the Liberals winning in 1966 and 1974

    Also there were significant boundary changes in the 1980s when it was merged with Huddersfield West – an equally unpredictable seat that voted Liberal in 1950, Labour in 1964 and then Tory in 1979

  47. Would you say it’s comparable to Penistone & Stocksbridge, Bishop Auckland, Wrexham, Clwyd South, North East Derbyshire or Newcastle-under-Lyme?

    Politically I wouldn’t say it’s similar to any of them but demographically of those seats I’d guess it’s probably most comparable to either North East Derbyshjire or Penistone & Stocksbrige given its mining tradition and part rural/remote nature – although ti be honest I don’t really know either of those areas particularly well

    On a side note the late Geoffrey Dickens actually won Huddersfield West for the Tories in 1979 and yet managed to find a new seat on the Western side of the Pennines in Lancashire after the 1983 boundary changes whereas the Tories didn’t take Colne Valley until 1987.

    Dickens; seat was Littleborough & Saddleworth which has actually been recreated in the new boundary proposals – although it now has a notional Labour majority – whereas Colne Valley looks increasingly secure for the staunch Eurosceptic Tory Jason McCartney – who himself is an ex member of the Liberal Alliance/SDP

  48. MP-R – true re West Yorks.

    Although re Batley, the Tory vote held up there as well into the 1990s (due to Elizabeth Peacock). It fell away since then and won’t have been aided by the Tories fielding an Asian PPC there last time either.

    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. Although it may just be a local peculiarity as in where men call other men ‘flower’ etc.

  49. “I think seats like Forest of Dean and Colne Valley are more post-industrial than seats like North East Derbyshire or Penistone.”

    Colne Valley was a textile seat rather than a mining seat. So much stronger for the Tories historically, just like other mill towns in both Lancs and Yorkshire.

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