South West Surrey

2015 Result:
Conservative: 34199 (59.9%)
Labour: 5415 (9.5%)
Lib Dem: 3586 (6.3%)
Green: 3105 (5.4%)
UKIP: 5643 (9.9%)
NHA: 4851 (8.5%)
Others: 320 (0.6%)
MAJORITY: 28556 (50%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Surrey.

Main population centres:


Politics: The seat and its predecessors have been represented by the Conservative party since 1910, and has been represented by three cabinet level ministers in a row (former Secretary of State for Employment Maurice MacMillan, former Health Secretary Virginia Bottomley and now Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt). The Liberal Democrats were once a strong force here and in 1997 and 2001 it was a close marginal. Since then the Conservatives have once again built up an robust majority.

Current MP
JEREMY HUNT (Conservative) Born 1966, Godalming. Educated at Charterhouse and Oxford University. Former entrepreneur and English language teacher. First elected as MP for South West Surrey in 2005. Shadow culture secretary 2007-2010. Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 2010-2012. Secretary of State for Health since 2012. Hunt was deeply involved in the Leveson inquiry. Hunt was made responsible for the decision on whether to approve the News Corporation takeover of BSkyB and was accused of being too close to News International.
Past Results
Con: 33605 (59%)
Lab: 3419 (6%)
LDem: 17287 (30%)
UKIP: 1486 (3%)
Oth: 1462 (3%)
MAJ: 16318 (28%)
Con: 26420 (50%)
Lab: 4150 (8%)
LDem: 20709 (40%)
UKIP: 958 (2%)
Oth: 172 (0%)
MAJ: 5711 (11%)
Con: 22462 (45%)
Lab: 4321 (9%)
LDem: 21601 (44%)
UKIP: 1208 (2%)
MAJ: 861 (2%)
Con: 25165 (45%)
Lab: 5333 (9%)
LDem: 22471 (40%)
Oth: 659 (1%)
MAJ: 2694 (5%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
JEREMY HUNT (Conservative) See above.
PATRICK HAVERON (Liberal Democrat)
LOUISE IRVINE (NHA) Born 1957, Paisley. Educated at Harlaw Academy and Aberdeen University. GP.
PAUL ROBINSON (Something New) Businessman.
Comments - 271 Responses on “Surrey South West”
  1. Totally agree with PT’s second paragraph, of which the likes of Dorries is a perfect example.

  2. I have to add that I think Hunt will be an infinitely better foreign secretary than Johnson and to be fair to May isn’t the worst choice for the job

  3. On paper Johnson had the right credentials; hes been an international correspondent, speaks various languages, born and grew up abroad, etc.

    Hunt has none of those attributes but has the winning attribute of not being Boris

  4. Not quite correct, he can speak Japanese.

  5. My apologies

  6. I *think* he also speaks Mandarin? His wife is Chinese.

  7. Hunt desperately showing a bit of leg (and the rest) to the Tory faithful at conference today. These set piece speeches are often uses to butter up the right of the party (think of May’s 2015 speech in which she banged on about immigration…despite having been the Home Sec for over five years at that point).

    I think.the comparison to the USSR was rather crass but I guess it did the job.

  8. ‘These set piece speeches are often uses to butter up the right of the party (think of May’s 2015 speech in which she banged on about immigration…’

    Doesn’t always work

    Another Hunt, who was also on the Left of the party – David this time – gave a staunchly Eurosceptic Right-Wing speech to the party conference in 93 – and Major gave him the boot in the next government reshuffle

  9. “Major gave him the boot in the next government reshuffle”

    He was made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1994, not sure that qualifies as the boot. He resigned from the government of his own volition in 1995 after Major survived Redwood’s leadership challenge.

    Not that this negates your overall point though. Surprised you didn’t mention Portillo’s ludicrous Who Dares Wins speech in terms of failed attempts to energise the right wing conference faithful. Also Major himself with the disastrous Back to Basics speech, and Peter Lilley making jokes about single mothers. Even the great Ken Clarke wasn’t immune, with his ridiculous teaming up with John Redwood in 1997 in a desperate ill-founded attempt to stop Hague winning the leadership.

    On the point in hand, Hunt was doing pretty well at being the kind of professional diplomatic Foreign Secretary that Boris was painfully incapable of being. This has ruined his USP and undoubtedly damaged his prospects IMO. Not that a long-serving Tory Health Secretary has any realistic prospect of becoming Prime Minister anyway.

  10. Was that Peter Lilleys little list?

  11. On one occasion yes…on several others he burst into song.

  12. ‘Also Major himself with the disastrous Back to Basics speech’

    interestingly, if my memory serves me as correct, that was at the same conference that Hunt made his speech

    I remember after leaving government Hunt became very critical of it, embracing the Ian Gilmour argument that the Tories had abandoned One Nation Conservatism, and placing him squarely to the Left of Tony Blair’s New Labour

  13. Yes, in the dying years of the Major government 1995-97 it became noticeably more right wing even as its majority evaporated. The whipless bastards were brought back into the fold and the aggressive rhetoric ramped up – remember the ludicrous Beef War with the EU? It became increasingly obvious that Blair would win a landslide victory hence there was a scorched earth policy of forcing through radical policies at lightening speed – privatisation of British Rail a particularly awful example of the damage caused by that rush to beat the clock.

    Wikipedia states that Hunt returned to business in 1996 so clearly anticipated the loss of his seat despite it having a 12000 majority in 1992.

  14. Ah Portillo’s ‘Who Dares Wins’ speech. A punchy, well delivered speech in my opinion…just a shame the content was so ill advised. Major’s forced smile/ grimace after it.was tighter than a duck’s backside. To be fair to him, Portillo is on record as deeply regretting that speech.
    I don’t remember Peter Lilley bursting into song, but I do remember reading about John Smith singing the theme tune to Neighbours in the Commons once…can’t remember the context.

  15. “I don’t remember Peter Lilley bursting into song”

    Google his party conference speech as Deputy Leader (it would have been 1998 or 1999). He sang a song about New Labour to the tune of Land of Hope and Glory.

  16. Also gilbert & sullivan

  17. It was the 1998 party conference. Irritatingly now removed from YouTube (it was on there some months ago)

    Here’s a news report on it

  18. ‘Hardened observers declared it the most embarrassing platform performance in living memory’.

    I think Liz Truss’ ‘performance’ in 2014 may have surpassed this, although it’s hard to judge without seeing footage. I remember Ann Widdecombe having a stinker one year as well…perhaps 2000?

  19. Wasn’t Ann Widercombe speech about drugs policy which after it went wrong she blamed Portilo for sabotaging it
    Gavin Willamson’s rather bland speech yesterday showed how his chances of succeeding May have diminished and that key players such as the Sun have took against him.

  20. Never mind The Sun. Even chief Tory lickspittle Quentin ‘shouty’ Letts gave Williamson a bad write up today in The Mail.

  21. “I think Liz Truss’ ‘performance’ in 2014 may have surpassed this, although it’s hard to judge without seeing footage. I remember Ann Widdecombe having a stinker one year as well…perhaps 2000?”

    IDS and his Quiet Man routine undoubtedly beats those two….not least because despite it being utterly cringeworthy in 2002 he brought it back again the next year.

    I was in the audience for Widdecombe’s speech. Though I disagreed with the policy it wasn’t embarrassing in the IDS sense.

  22. How could I forget about the IDS clunker. Awful, awful speech. Incidentally, I think that was the same year as May’s ‘nasty party’ speech…hard to believe it now, but she was praised in some quarters for that speech, and certainly wasn’t regarded as the stiff, awkward presence that she is now. Having said that, the pressure was off back then…now all eyes are on her, and it shows.

  23. Liz Truss actually joked about her ‘cheese’ speech in her introduction to Hammond today. Whilst I don’t rate her very much, both her and Nicky Morgan have lightened up since their respective demotions. Again, easier when the pressure is off.

  24. IDS comes across as deranged in public but is actually the nicest of nice blokes in private….the exact opposite of many (most) MPs. He is living proof that nice people generally make very poor politicians.

  25. Talking about speeches being leadership bids – Esther McVey is clearly getting herself into position – her revelation about having been in foster care today gets a front page appearance on Tommrow’s Daily Mail. Through the New Statesman say her relationship with Philip Davies might put off tory mp’s from backing her.

  26. Hmmm. Comments on the Daily Mail website seem to imply that Esther is being rather economical with the truth regarding her back story. These embellishments, if they are found to be that, could come back to bite her on the arse. Still, at least her hair looked good.

  27. She lost her seat in 2015 with larger than average swing against her because of how popular she was. Is this someone the Tory Party want as their leader

  28. I don’t think there’s anything in the whole macabre puppet-show of British politics quite so vomit-inducing as the friendship-with-benefits between Philip Davies and Esther McVey

  29. ‘…hard to believe it now, but she was praised in some quarters for that speech’

    The praise her ‘nasty party’ speech received in the media was replicated amongst Tory members as a whole – many of whom havre never forgiven her for it

    In the late 90s – albeit when the Tories were at the peak of their unelectable unpopularity – Anne Widdecombe was regarded as a star performer at party conferences

    IDS 2003 speech – quiet man “turning up the volume” – is a good shout for worst conference speech ever

  30. A friendship with benfits sounds very quintessential

  31. that should read “wasn’t replicated”

  32. It’s true that speech marked her card Tim, but I think had she won a thumping majority last year and had been rather more successful at negotiating Brexit, all would have been forgiven. To be fair, she did work.pretty hard in the intervening years to butter up the right of the party.

  33. but I think had she won a thumping majority last year and had been rather more successful at negotiating Brexit, all would have been forgiven.

    i agree

    it’s easy to forget the amount of goodwill there was towards May when she first became PM

    She was seen as fart more in touch with people than Cameron, won praise from those from the centre and left following her talk of wanting to right injustices,seemed open to Brexit and during her first weeks in the job enjoyed a 20+ lead over a hopelessly divided Labour Party

    How quickly things – and perceptions of those within it – change in the political world

  34. May was originally seen as an arch moderniser. Not just the nasty party speech, but her enthusiastic support of Portillo’s leadership bid. Clegg agreed to her becoming Home Sec largely because she was seen as a liberal. After becoming Home Sec she seems to have swung strongly to the right, on social issues like immigration especially. She would never have become PM had she not done so.

  35. Looking back, I think the Abu Qatada case probably had a huge impact on Theresa May. Spending months and months trying and failing to deport a single person (and a person that even I, an unashamed open-borders obsessive, think should have been deported) must change your perception of Britain’s immigration system.

  36. Jeremy Hunt effectively launches his leadership bid by appearing to state No Deal is a good outcome. As Javid is said to be opposed to no deal their plans to work together seem to have failed.

  37. He is blatantly setting his stall out in this interview. Says Britain will ‘flourish and prosper’ after leaving the EU, even in the event of no deal, and admits that he wants a ‘crack’ at the top job (no shit…we hadn’t noticed Jeremy). It’s so blatant and transparent that you almost have to admire the chutzpah. See also: Sajid Javid’s 5,000 tweets today about his sodding Christmas card competition that he had for kids in his constituency. The kids were sweet…Sajid not so much.

  38. I don’t think Javid has done any Home Secretarying at all since he was promoted – everything action has been taken with leadership in mind. I suspect deep down he’d like to relax immigration, but that’s just not going to put him in number ten.

    Jeremy Hunt has at least got Nazanin Zahari-Ratcliffe out of jail. Fair play for that. But his new-convert zeal for hard Brexit is even less convincing than May’s was.

  39. The botch over whether the government should intervene over citizens in the US facing capital punishment was Jarvid.

    Hasn’t she gone back to prison?

  40. She is still in prison. I don’t think her conditions has improved since July through he visited her daughter and looked statesman like (which Boris would not have been.)
    Javid was quoted as saying the new settled status scheme is too lenient for existing EU citizens living here.
    The Sunday times through are saying Gavin Barwell is trying to arrange a no deal vs May deal referendum – No deal would clearly win such a referendum.

  41. Idk if clearly is the right word. The polling shows a tight run thing so snyone who thinks May Deal vs No Deal will guarentee May Deal is fooling themselves

  42. BM11- that’s not quite what the article says (Sunday Times). Lidington and Barwell are trying to propose a binary referendum (no deal vs May deal) in the hope/ expectation that Parliament will amend it to include a third option (Remain). There is absolutely no way that the likes of Lidington will countenance no deal. If no deal were to proceed, I would guess that Hammond, Lidington, Perry and Gauke would all resign immediately. But, unlike you, I don’t think it will come to that.

  43. A further complication could be that the Spanish government might collapse during the winter due to Yellow vest movement spreading to Barcelona and Catalan separatists planning massive protests and threatening to collapse the government. If the Spanish right get in – in a coalition including parties that want to Invade Gribalter, then it’s hard to see how EU deals will get through.

  44. The Sun are saying Tory Mp’s see Jeremy Hunt as the frontrunner to succeed May.

  45. Oh god

  46. There does not appear to be any genuine ‘frontrunner’ if you look at the bookies’ odds. There is no contender with ‘best odds’ shorter than 11/2.

  47. To be fair, he’s probably been the strongest Cabinet performer in the last few months. I did think Javid for quite a while, but he seems to have run out of steam.

  48. Grayling has gone from 20/1 to 250/1 as has Crabb.

    Even Farage is below that @ 150/1.

    Indeed you could probably still win (net) by having £1 on upto a dozen as it is usually an unexpected 20/1 who wins.

  49. Crabb chances were killed by all his personal life problems.

    One named contender had an alleged consensual but still scandalous encounter on that leaked list which could reappear in the public domain were they to run for leader I suspect.

  50. Jeremy Hunt is being tipped to vote for No deal tommrow in the free vote contrary to the PM and most of the rest of cabinet.

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