Surrey Heath

2015 Result:
Conservative: 32582 (59.9%)
Labour: 6100 (11.2%)
Lib Dem: 4937 (9.1%)
Green: 2400 (4.4%)
UKIP: 7778 (14.3%)
Christian: 361 (0.7%)
Independent: 273 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 24804 (45.6%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Surrey. The whole of Surrey Heath council area and three wards from the Guildford council area.

Main population centres:

Profile: A strangely shaped seat on the north western edge of Surrey, with a long thin tail that stretches along the Hampshire-Surrey border. Most of the seat is made up of the merged towns and villages that make up the Surrey part of the Aldershot urban area - Camberley, Frimley, Mytchett and Ash, all affluent, expensive, middle-class commuter areas. The seat also includes Deepcut Barracks, the headquarters of the Royal Logistical Corps.

Politics: This is an extremely safe Conservative seat. It has been represented by the former journalist Michael Gove since 2005, when his predecessor Nick Hawkins was deselected by the local association.


Current MP
MICHAEL GOVE (Conservative) Born 1967, Edinburgh, adopted at the age of 4. Educated at Robert Gordon`s College and Oxford University. Former Times journalist. First elected as MP for Surrey Heath in 2005. Shadow secretary of state for children, schools and families 2007-2010. Secretary of State for Education 2010-2014, Chief Whip 2014-2015. Lord Chancellor since 2015. Former chairman of Policy Exchange. Gove is seen as one of the key modernisers within the Conservative party, socially Liberal but hawkish in international affairs. He was rapidly promoted to the shadow cabinet upon his election, becoming shadow secretary of state for children and schools in 2007, only two years after his entrance to the Commons.
Past Results
2010
Con: 31326 (58%)
Lab: 5552 (10%)
LDem: 14037 (26%)
UKIP: 3432 (6%)
MAJ: 17289 (32%)
2005
Con: 24642 (51%)
Lab: 7989 (17%)
LDem: 13797 (29%)
UKIP: 1430 (3%)
MAJ: 10845 (23%)
2001
Con: 22401 (50%)
Lab: 9640 (21%)
LDem: 11582 (26%)
UKIP: 1479 (3%)
MAJ: 10819 (24%)
1997
Con: 28231 (52%)
Lab: 11511 (21%)
LDem: 11944 (22%)
Oth: 653 (1%)
MAJ: 16287 (30%)

Demographics
2015 Candidates
MICHAEL GOVE (Conservative) See above.
LAWEEN ATROSHI (Labour)
ANN-MARIE BARKER (Liberal Democrat)
PAUL CHAPMAN (UKIP)
KIMBERLEY LAWSON (Green)
JULIANA BRIMICOMBE (Christian) Retired nurse. Contested Aldershot 2010.
BOB SMITH (Independent)
Links
Comments - 244 Responses on “Surrey Heath”
  1. Well what do you mean by it?

  2. Micheal Gove has announced the new Waste strategy
    From the views of my extended family the separate food bins could be a mini poll tax in terms of popularity – none of them who currently get given them use them and if forced (by reduced general collection), they will be a lot of underlying anger.

  3. Not sure it’s quite comparable to the poll tax…

  4. It’s funny what people get steamed up about.

    Where I live, we’ve been separating food waste for more than a decade. It seems such a simple thing to do, and I can’t help wondering why anyone would find it a burden.

  5. Well everyone in my family who has the option just refuses to do it. It’s something ripe to be exploited during local elections.

  6. Because even through it’s optional people will feel forced to or otherwise have food waste outside for weeks.

  7. I can’t help thinking that the effort needed to put food waste in a separate little box must be a lot less than that needed to lobby local politicians for the right to mix it in with landfill.

  8. Well maybe. But all the relatives I have in Essex who are offered it simply refuse to use them and consider a magnet for foxes.

  9. I have to agree with James E here…I don’t see what the problem is. i don’t have a problem with BM11 or Matt Wilson as posters, but I think they both are guilty sometimes of defending the indefensible in a rush to appear ‘inclusive’ rather than snobbish. Sometimes certain behaviour- like refusing to use a food recycling bin for Christs sake- is just lazy and pig ignorant.

  10. I am not defending it as such – i would use it- but that it is an issue which annoys people and could be something that causes problems electorally.

  11. The future challenges we all face on this are massive. I’m afraid separating out a bit of food waste will be the least of the problems. We are learning a lot of new things about what happens within landfill and all of it is pretty alarming. It’s not farfetched to expect landfill to be almost completely banned over the coming decades (we’re fast running out of space for it anyway).

    “Recycling” has too often hitherto involved shipping the plastic from our recycle bins to some poor unfortunate country in Asia where it is dumped and clogs up the seas. Again this will not be possible in the future (already China has banned import of most wastes). We will have to deal with all the waste plastic here and that includes the vast quantities that can’t be meaningfully recycled.

    Sadly a partial return to incineration may be inevitable even though the gases and by-products this produces can be very toxic.

    I have nothing but contempt for those who attempt to play politics with this….it is a challenge which should transcend politics. Remember Eric Pickles promising to restore weekly landfill bin collections for everybody in 2010? How’d that go?

  12. It’s a difficult issue. Weekly collections are popular but not the increase in council tax needed to pay for them in areas that don’t have them
    Where I am in London rubbish collection is weekly with recycling every two weeks. Just the two bins – obviously that will change but my mum and dad will never use a food waste bin unless virtually forced to do so.

  13. Tories have lost 13 seats here.

  14. Revenge of the commuters.

  15. Micheal Gove is not resigning.

  16. Micheal Gove has launched his leadership bid in the Sunday Telegraph.

  17. Gove makes the first big policy announcement of the race – pledging free citizenship to 3m EU nationals. Get’s him plenty of attention but does it help his leadership chances? Even if he makes the final two I can only see him winning if he is against a 2016 remainer like Hunt, Javid or Hancock. Against Raab or Johnson I think the tory membership will go for them.

  18. Gove is the only Leave candidate intelligent enough to realise that, if he’s going to gain any traction whatsoever in this contest, he’s going to have to differentiate himself a bit. Meanwhile the likes of Raab, McVey, Leadsom will just be parroting the same thing for the next few weeks. Advantage Johnson really because I’m not seeing a great deal of threat from the Leave side of things.

  19. “Gove makes the first big policy announcement of the race – pledging free citizenship to 3m EU nationals. Get’s him plenty of attention but does it help his leadership chances?”

    Great brain terrible judgement (as Blair said of William Hague).

    You might announce something like that as a Tory if you were running for mayor of London. In a Tory leadership campaign likely to get dirty in the middle of Brexit frenzy it is suicidal. Not that Gove has a snowball’s chance in hell of ever becoming leader anyway.

  20. Not so sure. Even Nigel Farage thought that we should unilaterally grant citizenship to the EU3m. The Tory membership is pretty right-wing, sure, but it’s not the BNP.

  21. “The Tory membership is pretty right-wing, sure, but it’s not the BNP.”

    And how would you know what the Tory membership is like? When were you a member?

  22. Prehaps forgotten but back in 2016 when Ken Clarke made the ‘ bloody difficult women’ comment he also mentioned how Gove would possibly have the UK at war with three countries at once.

  23. ‘Not that Gove has a snowball’s chance in hell of ever becoming leader anyway.’

    Beyond the fact he lacks charisma, doesn’t look the part and rubs much of the public up the wring way, Gove seems in many ways the most genuine unity candidate – able to unite both No Dealers and ex-Remainers

    He used to be very popular with the grassroots too, so I wouldn’t write him off entirely

  24. Gove would probably mainly hold tory support together in Scotland if he became leader, certainly with remain voters if either a soft brexit occured or didnt happen. He also has some roots in North East Scotland, so might not do too badly with leavers there, (even though some brexit voters there who the Tories only gained in 2017 will be lost due to some form of brexit disappointment).

    Overall not sure how he’ll do across GB and if he’ll be viewed as too continuity May however.

  25. Gove is very much a politician’s politician. He’s a pretty fearsome operator in the House of Commons (see, for example, his speech in the no-confidence debate earlier this year); but put him on a doorstep and he’s a fish out of water (and speaking of water, remember that photo of him trying to drink a glass of the stuff?)

  26. Trump seems to have forgotten Gove interviewed him.

  27. Gove might be banned from the USA the Observer somewhat dramatically reports. It’s hard to see a senior British politician being blocked through.

  28. Rumours Gove is about to withdraw…

  29. Well that’s clearly untrue given Gove’s attempt at being Neil Kinnock

  30. I think Gove has probably blown his chance and those who want to stop Boris Johnson are increasingly throwing their weight behind Jeremy Hunt – who looks almost certain to be facing Boris in the run off, which means a Johnson Premiership

    However Tory MPs are a pretty sophisticated electorate and have stuck the knife into frontrunners before – most notably Portillo in 2001 – and herein might lie Gove’s remaining hope.

    Having said that, the anti-Boris vibe which seemed so strong within certain sections of the Tory Parliamentary Party 12 months ago seems to have it not disappeared at least cooled down, and it defies belief that he managed to win round some of those MPs in the one nation group, although one wonders what they would have made of his deeply right-wing tax pledge that’s been making the news in today’s papers

  31. The somewhat-known actress Emma Kennedy is reported to be lined up as the Lib Dem candidate here:

    https://theguardian.com/politics/2019/aug/10/lib-dems-target-tories-brexit-jo-swinson-election

    I wish them the best of course, but the whole tone of the piece strikes me as one of characteristically Lib-Demmish overconfidence. I can’t see them getting 70 seats unless they outperform even the vote share they got in the European elections, which seems improbable.

  32. The atmosphere is extremely febrile at present so I can’t blame the LDs for feeling a bit more bullish. They’ve had nothing to shout about since 2015. I think Swinson could be effective in the sense that she isn’t Corbyn, Farage or Johnson (basically, she doesn’t massively get on people’s tits), but she’s a rather bland, lightweight figure really.

  33. “Swinson could be effective in the sense that she isn’t Corbyn, Farage or Johnson (basically, she doesn’t massively get on people’s tits)”

    She gets on my tits with her irritating manner rather than, with the other three, what she actually says. She really needs a voice coach to stop her saying “you know” every 5 seconds. And she needs her teeth done to stop them looking like a row of tombstones, and to change her fashion sense away from looking like a 1970s knitting pattern model.

    Places like prosperous Surrey would be there for the taking for a credible centre force led by heavyweights, but if all it consists of is beard and sandals Winning Here lightweight Lib Dems then people will clutch their wallets and reluctantly vote Tory again.

  34. ‘beard and sandals Winning Here lightweight Lib Dems then people will clutch their wallets and reluctantly vote Tory again.’

    I thought Clegg’s leadership largely brought an end to the beard and sandals brigade

    Prior to 2010 he did all he could to get them to leave, by moving the party to the centre, and then post 2010 such members were happy to leave on their own accord

    When I was involved in the Lib Dems, albeit in the early 1990s, the one thing that struck me was how normal, you could say even boring, they all were – unlike the Tories at the time who were Thatcher-heralding snobs or Labour who pre-Blair were completely dominated by trade unionists with beards

    I don;t recall any beards or sandals

  35. “I thought Clegg’s leadership largely brought an end to the beard and sandals brigade”

    And from my time as a Tory member in southern England 15-20 years ago I don’t recall anyone saying how much they hated the Scots…just goes to show how stereotypes can be exaggerated from each side.

    Clegg turned the Lib Dems from a protest party into a force serious about getting involved in governing. It is to all our shame that it ended in electoral ignominy. He is very much needed in government today.

    It’s surely hard to disagree that the old protest party has made a comeback since Farron. Nice though she is, I wouldn’t trust Swinson to run a bath.

  36. ‘And from my time as a Tory member in southern England 15-20 years ago I don’t recall anyone saying how much they hated the Scots’

    I never said hatred of the Scots was a view amongst Tory Party members – most Tories still support the Union – – more those people who now vote for them

    Even 15-20 years ago, under the leadership of the hapless IDS, the Tory Party was nowhere near as right wing as it is today

    Despite his messages of Unity, Johnson has gone out of his way to stick 2 fingers up to the 48% of the country that voted Remain, which includes many presumably former Tory voters

    He obviously thinks he can win an election without them but I don’t see it

  37. Even my father, a lifelong Conservative voter and former member, followed his political hero Michael Heseltine over top and is currently in the Lib Dem column (maybe arrogantly I like to think my own conversations with him might have helped persuade him).

    Maybe in a few seats – Putney, possibly? – there might be a significant tranche of centre-right Europhiles gritting their teeth and voting to keep out the Marxists, but if they do it will be despite, rather than because of, the actions of Boris Johnson.

  38. ‘Maybe in a few seats – Putney, possibly? – there might be a significant tranche of centre-right Europhiles gritting their teeth and voting to keep out the Marxists, but if they do it will be despite, rather than because of, the actions of Boris Johnson.’

    If Labour had any sort of sense they would use this opportunity now to rid themselves of Corbyn

    It’s a tragedy the choice of next PM is between 2 abstract extremists both advocating policies that will lead to virtual economic collapse of the UK

  39. Labour can’t rid themselves of Corbyn while the left is totally hegemonic at the grassroots level.

    The key point to note is that the majority of the party membership is not merely pro-Corbyn; it is actively distrustful of large portions of the Labour tradition as represented by the majority of its MPs. This means that the soft left cannot triangulate its way back into contention. Any deviation from the party line is seen as the start of a slippery slope.

  40. Highlights how awful for Labour Ed Miliband’s leadership was – he introduced these membership changes

    And whilst like Cameron in calling for the EU vote, he never expected it to end up the way it did, his failure to contemplate the effects of his policy have proved extremely costly to the country

  41. Lewis Goodall of Sky News is reporting local Lib Dems here think they have a shot of defeating Michael Gove.

  42. I don’t believe it for a second lol, but nice try Lib Dems. Surrey Heath actually voted for Leave in the referendum too. I don’t doubt there are some severely pissed off Remainers there, but nowhere near enough to unseat Gove.

  43. I thought that – South West Surrey (Hunt’s seat) is a remain stronghold but the Lib’s are not targeting it.

  44. Well, the MRP certainly doesn’t see this happening.

    The thing about MRP is it won’t pick up on hyper-specific local factors (it’s not going to be very reliable in predicting the impact of Luciana Berger’s candidacy in Finchley, for example), but it will start to take them into account if there are enough similar seats to form a group from which it can identify a pattern. So, its failure to spot any funny business in the Home counties doesn’t mean that there can’t be a huge swing to the Lib Dems in the odd seat; but there can’t be too many of them, otherwise it would have detected that pattern and it would have shown up in the nowcast.

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