Stroud

2015 Result:
Conservative: 27813 (45.7%)
Labour: 22947 (37.7%)
Lib Dem: 2086 (3.4%)
Green: 2779 (4.6%)
UKIP: 4848 (8%)
Independent: 246 (0.4%)
Others: 100 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 4866 (8%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

Geography: South West, Glouchestershire. Most of the Stroud council area.

Main population centres: Stroud, Nailsworth, Dursley, Berkeley, Cam, Stonehouse, Frampton-on-Severn.

Profile: Consists of the town of Stroud and the small market towns and villages in the Severn valley. Stroud itself is a hilly town nestled at the foot of the Cotswolds, Stroud was once a textile town, processing the wool from the sheep farmed in the Cotswolds. It retains a small textile industry today, though light engineering and the service industry are now more important. Stroud has a reputation for being a bohemian area, Tescos and McDonalds in Stroud were both only opened after lengthy protests by local residents.

Politics: For most of the post-war period Stroud has been represented by the Conservatives, only falling to Labour in 1945 and during the Blair-Brown government. It was won back by the Conservatives in 2010. The Green party have significant representation on the local council and this has sometimes translated into Parliamentary support - in 2005 they managed to save their deposit at the general election.


Current MP
NEIL CARMICHAEL (Conservative) Born 1961. Educated at St Peters School, York and Nottingham University. Former Livestock farmer. Contested Leeds East 1992 and Stroud 2001.
Past Results
2010
Con: 23679 (41%)
Lab: 22380 (39%)
LDem: 8955 (15%)
GRN: 1542 (3%)
Oth: 1417 (2%)
MAJ: 1299 (2%)
2005*
Con: 22177 (39%)
Lab: 22527 (40%)
LDem: 8026 (14%)
GRN: 3056 (5%)
Oth: 1089 (2%)
MAJ: 350 (1%)
2001
Con: 20646 (37%)
Lab: 25685 (47%)
LDem: 6036 (11%)
GRN: 1913 (3%)
Oth: 895 (2%)
MAJ: 5039 (9%)
1997
Con: 23260 (37%)
Lab: 26170 (42%)
LDem: 9502 (15%)
Oth: 3415 (5%)
MAJ: 2910 (5%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
NEIL CARMICHAEL (Conservative) See above.
DAVID DREW (Labour) Born 1952, Gloucestershire. Educated at Kingsfield School and Nottingham University. Lecturer. Stevenage councillor 1981-1982, Stroud councillor 1987-1995 and since 2011, Gloucestershire councillor 1992-1997. Contested Stroud 1992. MP for Stroud 1997-2010.
ADRIAN WALKER-SMITH (Liberal Democrat) Contested City of London and Westminster South 1983, Stroud 1987.
CAROLINE STEPHENS (UKIP) Born Yorkshire. Educated at St Josephs College Bradford and University of the West of England. Former banker.
SARAH LUNNON (Green) Entertainer and caterer. Gloucestershire councillor.
DAVID MICHAEL (Free Public Transport) Managing director.
RICH WILSON (Independent)
Links
Comments - 182 Responses on “Stroud”
  1. Ashcroft’s constituency polling has been totally discredited after this election. The Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems all have very good reason to be totally pissed off at those polls. True, a few were kind of right…a broken clock is right twice a day and all that. Even some of Paul Way’s guesses were close to correct.

  2. I really can’t see Labour winning this seat back now Drew has retired from politics (with the exception of a 1997-style GE Labour landslide which we’ll never again experience in our lifetimes).

  3. I don’t know. A big rural seat in the SW is bound to be taken in by endless talk about food banks, tax cuts for millionaires and declaring war on gas companies.

    The next Labour candidate should find this easy pickings

  4. Don’t forget the bedroom tax! Or their new favourite word, ‘aspiration’…used primarily to describe people on 23k a year in Nuneaton and Peterborough. Let the fun times roll.

  5. ‘i really can’t see Labour winning this seat back now Drew has retired from politics’

    You keep making such statements about a wide variety of seats that Labour once held – but you can never say never

    How on earth can you confidentally you know that we’ll never again experience another 1997-style Labour landslide in our lifetimes – unless of course you can see into the future

  6. This wasn’t a particularly bad Labour result in the context of the 2015 election as they are still substantially stronger than 1992 at least unlike the most other tory held Con-Lab marginals.

    This is a must win seat for Labour in my view if they are to have any chance of being the largest party let alone a majority.

    It’s still more winnable than Kingswood and perhaps even Gloucester as well in my view.

  7. It’s still winnable in the future with the right candidate and a much much better leader than Miliband. Despite Stroud’s reputation as an arty type of place and perhaps Dursley being quite Labour leaning, perhaps even they couldn’t stomach him as PM.

  8. “It’s still winnable in the future with the right candidate and a much much better leader than Miliband.”

    Neil – Do you think Burnham would be the type of leader that could win this seat for Labour?

  9. I agree with A Brown that Labour could get back on the front foot here. But past results have indicated that corralling the anti-Conservative vote around one candidate is not necessarily going to be straightforward.

  10. I would have thought it would be tricky to find a candidate with as much local appeal as David Drew had.

  11. Cllr Mark Rees has defected from Labour to Ind here.

  12. Stroud REMAIN 55-45.

  13. Surprising?

  14. That’s what I was wondering. Stroud proper is probably quite pro-EU, but I’m not sure about the rest of the borough.

  15. There was an interesting concentration of Remain support in Oxfordshire (bar Cherwell), a group of three Gloucestershire areas, pocket of Bucks and parts of Berkshire.

  16. Well I guess this quite a liberal middle class area like it says in the description”bohemian”.

  17. Lab gain.

  18. Amazing!

    Can someone please explain how a Corbyn-led Labour Party managed to regain this picturesque seat!!!

    http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/england-gloucestershire-minchinhampton-church.html

    This General Election is crazy!

  19. Very sorry to see Carmichael go. Very good leader of the Education Select Committee and a good egg.

    C’est la guerre.

  20. Chris Riley,

    Should there be another GE soon, Carmichael may yet have the chance for his FIFTH contest with Drew.

  21. Correction: THIS was the fifth Carmichael and Drew contest.

    So an early next election would see the SIXTH duel – can anyone confirm if this would be a record?

  22. As reported by Anushka Asthana on the Guardian live stream:

    “Neil Carmichael, the former Tory MP for Stroud, who was defeated last night tells me that he felt there was a “soft-Brexit vote against me”.

    He says the Conservative election message sounded like a “hard-Brexit” to people and that had to urgently change.

    Asked if May ought to continue as prime minister, he replied: “At the moment I do because I can’t see how further turbulence will help but we need to have a rethink about how they package it and formulate [Brexit] – to something recognising that we are going to leave the EU but making sure the process does not prevent us having good relationships with the EU.”

    He said he was “very disappointed to have lost” but would keep fighting for a cross-party campaign towards a close relationship with the EU.

    “[May] needs to have a very thorough examination of how the government as a whole approaches Brexit to capture those who want to leave but also those who want a relationship with the EU in some other form.”

    He also hit out at the negative aspects of the Tory campaign saying: “There wasn’t a sense of a positive vision.” ”

    Carmichael had previously spoken against moves towards a” Hard Brexit/ No Deal” approach.

  23. Could this be a contender for Labour’s most picturesque Westminster parliamentary seat? I visited this seat for the first time in 2014 and it’s probably the most ‘un-Labour’seat you could come across! There’re some absolutely beautiful villages and market towns in this seat such as Minchinhampton (see the link in my last post in this thread).

  24. Sadly many of those Tories who’ve lost their seats, including Neil Carmichael, were good, sensible MPs on the pragmatic wing of the party. It is also a great shame to see Ben Howlett, Jane Ellison, Richard Fuller, Ben Gummer, Edward Timpson, Gavin Barwell, Nicola Blackwood and Tania Mathias defeated, among others.

  25. Jack
    “Sadly many of those Tories who’ve lost their seats, including Neil Carmichael, were good, sensible MPs on the pragmatic wing of the party”

    This is true but some of the casualties where of the kookier wing of the Tory party such as Stewart Jackson, Graham Evans, David Nuttall or David Burrowes all of whom I’m sure the Anna Soubry’s of the world are glad to see the back of.

  26. People commenting how picturesque this seat is for a Labour seat, but it’s also got a fair left-wing tradition. Forest Green Rovers, the vegan football club owned by a Labour-donating renewable energy tycoon, is based here for starters.

  27. Rivers: weeks before the election, commentators were analysing how varying numbers of seat losses would affect the centre of gravity in the Labour Party.

    Shame no-one had the foresight to do the same for the Conservatives!

  28. @Jack Sheldon

    True, very true. I cannot pretend to be upset by the result as a whole, and based in Cheshire I have friends who know the candidate who unseated Timpson and speak highly of her, but do regret the loss of good public servants like Carmichael and Timpson.

    Carmichael has made a lot of friends in education with his energy, shrewdness and even-handed approach and is unlikely to want for offers though.

  29. Neil Carmichael has announced he is leaving front-line politics.

    He has an honourary professorship at Nottingham and an excellent reputation amongst educationalists, but he’s a loss to politics and this marks the end of Stroud’s long-running ding-dong between him and David Drew for the seat.

    They contested it at 5 General Elections, 3 times ending with a majority under 1,300 for the victor. Final score 3-2 to Drew.

  30. Stroud is marching ever-leftwards. Sort of what you’d expect of a middle-class area whose local football club has gone vegan. (And if that sounds derogatory, it wasn’t meant to be.)

  31. @Polltroll

    Carmichael was just the sort of Tory who could still win there though. He only lost by 687 votes and with 45.9% of the vote.

    But you’re probably right that the wrong Tory candidate might turn this from a marginal to a relatively safe Labour seat. The most likely mistake would be to select a pro-Brexit candidate. This seat, surprise surprise, went fairly comfortably Remain.

  32. Polltroll – you’re right about Stroud itself, a town I’ve visited a few times as one of my best mates moved there a couple of years back. It comes across to me as a bit of a “hippy” bastion, and the Greens have tended to be very competitive there as well as Labour. Forest Green is in Nailsworth, which while owned by someone fairly archetypal to the Stroud demographic isn’t so “hippy” in itself. I haven’t managed to get along to Forest Green since Vince took over, even though my lot (Exeter) played them in the league and the FA Cup this season.

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