Mid Sussex

2015 Result:
Conservative: 32268 (56.1%)
Labour: 7982 (13.9%)
Lib Dem: 6604 (11.5%)
Green: 2453 (4.3%)
UKIP: 6898 (12%)
Loony: 329 (0.6%)
Independent: 958 (1.7%)
MAJORITY: 24286 (42.2%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, West Sussex. Part of the Mid Sussex council area.

Main population centres: East Grinstead, Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, Cuckfield.

Profile: A long, twisty seat along the eastern side of West Sussex. The seat consists of three towns, East Grinstead, Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill, and a rural area to the west around the village of Cuckfield. The area is on the rail line from Brighton to London, and is mainly an affluent middle class commuter area, though is also home to company headquarters and businesses in its own right. The village of Hickstead is situated in the seat, but its famous showjumping course is actually just over the boundary in Arundel and South Downs.

Politics: The seat has been represented by the Conservatives since its creation in 1974. Though the 70s and 80s it was a rock solid Conservative fortress, but during the years of Liberal Democrat strength the majority here was cut to four figures. With the Lib Dem collapse the Conservatives once again enjoy an overwhelming majority.

Current MP
NICHOLAS SOAMES (Conservative) Born 1948, Croydon, the grandson of Sir Winston Churchill. Educated at Eton. Former Equerry to Prince Charles and stockbroker. MP for Crawley 1983-1997. First elected as MP for Mid Sussex in 1997. junior agriculture minister 1992-1994, Minister of State for the armed forces 1994-1997. Shadow Defence secretary 2003-2005.
Past Results
Con: 28329 (51%)
Lab: 3689 (7%)
LDem: 20927 (37%)
UKIP: 1423 (3%)
Oth: 1487 (3%)
MAJ: 7402 (13%)
Con: 23765 (48%)
Lab: 6280 (13%)
LDem: 17875 (36%)
UKIP: 1574 (3%)
MAJ: 5890 (12%)
Con: 21150 (46%)
Lab: 8693 (19%)
LDem: 14252 (31%)
UKIP: 1126 (2%)
Oth: 601 (1%)
MAJ: 6898 (15%)
Con: 23231 (43%)
Lab: 9969 (19%)
LDem: 16377 (31%)
Oth: 740 (1%)
MAJ: 6854 (13%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
NICHOLAS SOAMES (Conservative) See above.
DAISY COOPER (Liberal Democrat) Born Suffolk. Educated at Nottingham University. Strategic planner. Contested Suffolk Coastal 2010.
BEKI ADAM (Independent) Born Cuckfield. Runs a farm business.
Comments - 361 Responses on “Sussex Mid”
  1. Not sure why Mims Davies is getting so much criticism for switching to this seat. Its only about 3% safer than Eastleigh. Hardly worth the effort of changing if it was for a safe seat.
    Also unlike Eastleigh this is Remain voting territory and perhaps more susceptible to a Lub Dem advance than Eastleigh. As a Brexiteer, she would have had an easier time staying where she was.

    In which case, it leads me to the conclusion that her reasoning for swapping is probably true. And so who are we to judge her personal circumstances?

  2. A majority of 100 is the best-case scenario for the Tories and it’s unlikely everything will go their way – but with a good campaign and the help of the Brexit Party – whose whole pitch seems to be based on getting enough MPs to be able form a majority with the Tories – they could quite plausibly in by a landslide

    Considering all his mis-steps – suspending Parliament, attacking MPs who had been threatened by Brexit-supporting members of the public, going back on his ‘dead in a ditch’ statement showing frankly a pathetic grasp of certain details of his own Brexit deal and appointing Dominic Cummings -the most evil man that has ever been at the heart of government – as he senior advisor, Johnson has come out of all this remarkably well, and the omens do look good

    Davies is actually quite an interesting candidate as unlike most Brexiteers she identifies with the Left of the party, following in the footsteps of her predecessors in that respect

  3. Shaun

    I’m of course sympathetic to Davies re her personal problems but the optics of chicken running are nevertheless terrible and that is why the Tories previously banned it outside of boundary change elections.

    Davies was the only vaguely local candidate (I think she was a Mid Sussex councillor in the past).

    I strongly disagree that Mid Sussex has more Lib Dem potential than Eastleigh, look at how the Libs dominate Eastleigh council, though it’s possible they might all be focused on winning Winchester. There isn’t much chance of a Lib Dem victory in Mid Sussex whilst Corbyn remains Labour leader and their local base here, which was strong before the coalition, has atrophied.

  4. “A majority of 100 is the best-case scenario for the Tories and it’s unlikely everything will go their way”

    I think its astonishing 9 years into a governmemt for us even to be contemplating a majority of 100!!! Following 9 years of pretty historically good local election results as well, this Tory party which we are all told is hopelesy extreme is clearly doing something right!

    One thing that I will be looking forward to in the evemt of a Tory majority will be the final amd lomg overdue implimentation of the fair boundaries that the boundary commission habe drawn up. Which will only serve to increase whatever the Toty majority is even further.

    Beyond that, we need to reform the system to stop Patliamemt being able to hold up or reject boundary commission recommendations.

  5. The above comment is way too flattering to the Tories. They are currently favoured to win because 1) many.people are terrified of a Corbyn government, and 2) the Leave vote is coalescing around them. In short, they’ve bern phenomenally lucky with how things have worked out. In.other circumstances they’d be out on their ears. This is nothing like the Thatcher era when.the Tories were setting the agenda and winning the vast majority of the arguments.

  6. Tristan could not be more correct – see comments above

    Corbyn, Brexit and pure good fortune are the reasons behind the Tories double-digit lead

    Sensible policies, sound arguments and effective governance aren’t on offer from either Labour or the Tories at the moment, so we have an election likely to be determined by identity politics and the tribe the Tories seem to have cobbled together seems more numerous than that of their opponents

  7. Tbf when Thatcher achieved the same % as May did in 2017 she achieved a majority of 100 precisely because of the split opposition (that can be called luck).

    Also she hadn’t yet won the arguments on privatisation or trade union s etc at that stage – that came 2 – 5 years later.

    It isn’t just small c conservatism that is popular since DC went, it’s that many disliked the corporatism of GO. [DC/GO would have killed for the 40% that the Tories maintained in the polls over the past 3 years.] Although I think many of that lot still run CCHQ.

    The policies enacted over the past 3 years have certainly been more ‘sensible’, than the Fixed Term Parliament Act, the Royal Marriages Act and much of the rest that the Coalition enacted. A lot of the virtue signalling didn’t even come from the LD side of the Quad: it came from DC & GO.

    The main difference with 2017 is that Labour supported Leaving and ending free movement etc then. That they no longer do is why they are down most in their former heartlands.

  8. “Corbyn, Brexit and pure good fortune are the reasons behind the Tories double-digit lead”

    The Tories don’t have a double digit lead – it’s down to about 6% in a poll today.

    Who knows which way things will shift from here but my own expectation is for a Tory majority of 30-40 on vote shares similar to 2015.

  9. 12% lead in the latest large poll.

  10. In fact I’ve just double checked and the Tories have indeed had a double digit lead in 29 of the last 40 polls.

    Although Labour’s problem is more the fact that they have been below 30% in 39 of those 40 (and they have never managed to poll their opinion poll rating on GE day in 10 of the last 12).

  11. Surprisingly for someone well connected Henry Newman did not get selected in any of the retirement seats.

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