North Swindon

2015 Result:
Conservative: 26295 (50.3%)
Labour: 14509 (27.8%)
Lib Dem: 1704 (3.3%)
Green: 1723 (3.3%)
UKIP: 8011 (15.3%)
MAJORITY: 11786 (22.6%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: South West, Wiltshire. Part of the Swindon council area.

Main population centres: Swindon, Highworth.

Profile: Swindon originally grew to prominence as a railway town - Brunel built the Great Western Railway works here in the 1840s, and for most of the twentieth century railway manufacture remained the major employer in Swindon before the final closure of the industry in the 1980s. Industry remains important - several industrial estates in the town include BMW and Honda plants, Motorola and Intel. With economic expansion has come population growth, with Swindon being split into two seats in 1997. Swindon North also includes the town of Highworth to the north-east, a traditional market town that is a base for tourists visiting the Cotswolds.

Politics: Both the Swindon seats are key marginals, both won by Labour in 1997 after the previous Conservative held Swindon seat was split in two, both gained by the Conservatives in 2010. Swindon North is now the marginally more Conservative seat, with a slightly lower proportion of social housing and a slightly less ethnically diverse electorate.

Current MP
JUSTIN TOMLINSON (Conservative) Born 1976. Educated at Harry Cheshire High School and Oxford Brookes University. Contested Swindon North 2005. First elected as MP for Swindon North in 2010. Junior minister for Work and Pensions since 2015.
Past Results
Con: 22408 (45%)
Lab: 15348 (31%)
LDem: 8668 (17%)
UKIP: 1842 (4%)
Oth: 2029 (4%)
MAJ: 7060 (14%)
Con: 17041 (38%)
Lab: 19612 (44%)
LDem: 6831 (15%)
UKIP: 998 (2%)
Oth: 403 (1%)
MAJ: 2571 (6%)
Con: 14266 (34%)
Lab: 22371 (53%)
LDem: 4891 (12%)
UKIP: 800 (2%)
MAJ: 8105 (19%)
Con: 16341 (34%)
Lab: 24029 (50%)
LDem: 6237 (13%)
Oth: 130 (0%)
MAJ: 7688 (16%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
JUSTIN TOMLINSON (Conservative) See above.
MARK DEMPSEY (Labour) Educated at University of Gloucestershire. Policy advisor. Swindon councillor since 2010. Contested The Cotswolds 2005, 2010.
JANET ELLARD (Liberal Democrat) Volunteer coordinator and former teacher. Contested Monmouth 2011 Welsh assembly election.
Comments - 128 Responses on “Swindon North”
  1. If I may repeat myself, as I mentioned above the potential methodological flaws of the study in question:

    “More generally I do have concerns as to the methodology of the study. Mechanically counting the number of TV appearances made by individuals with a particular allegiance in that way takes no account of the actual content of the appearance. It seems to operate under the assumption that any appearance by a representative is positive for the group concerned in terms of getting its message across. That isn’t necessarily the case”.

  2. What Kieran said in the first instance. Very much the essence of the failure of the study to take into account the context and content of the stories that are reported.

    Sadly I am on a tight schedule at work this week before my holiday next week otherwise I’d go into more detail, but Kieran sums it up perfectly.

  3. Are you willing to suggest a better way in which any BBC bias isdetected & measured?

  4. This seat is becoming a typical Tory middle-England seat. Rather boring until something turns up.

  5. Well, until Labour become competitive again it will stay that way. It’s quite significant (and entirely typical of such seats) that the Labour vote has declined for 4 consecutive elections and by a total of 10,000 votes.

    That’s a lot of votes to win back.

  6. The Swindon North result was shown live on the BBC’s Wales election night programme. Not sure if it’s still available on the BBC iPlayer.

  7. ‘This seat is becoming a typical Tory middle-England seat.’

    I disagree

    It’s seats like this which highlight Labour’s huge problems

    Swindon North isn’t typically middle England. It’s a predominantly white working class seat, albeit one with a relatively high rate of owner-occupation and for the Tories to win this with a five figure majority just shows how little credibility Labour currently has with the southern white working class – they did better in the 1980s

    Tomlinson placed a bet while at university that he would be Prime Minister before the year 2038. He stands to win £500,000 should this happen – how arrogant

  8. I don’t think he’ll win his £500,000.

    Who was the last bald bloke to be Prime Minister? I think Home, but of course he never won an election….before him it was Churchill in the 1950s. Since then it’s been perpetual humiliation for the baldies who’ve managed to become opposition leader….Kinnock, Hague, IDS.

  9. ”The Swindon North result was shown live on the BBC’s Wales election night programme. Not sure if it’s still available on the BBC iPlayer.”

    I think it is Andy, the programme along with the Scottish and Northern Irish election programmes are available for one more month.

  10. Better for Remain.

  11. No better for LEAVE by 3% according to expected 48/52% result.

  12. 55% Leave
    45% Remain

  13. Pretty much in line with how the BBC projected.

  14. Justin Tomlinson MP has been suspended from the House for 2 days for leaking a Select Committee report to an employee of Wonga.

    He today apologised to the House.

    The Committee did not believe he gained financially and said his actions were mitigated by his inexperience.

    That last sentence struck me as odd – if so inexperienced why was he made a DWP Minister?

  15. Seems pretty lenient for deliberately leaking a report to an obviously interested party. It also surprises me that an MP wouldn’t think this was obviously unacceptable, or, at the very least, that it was sufficiently questionable that they should check the rules first.

  16. Yes it is lenient. This is exactly the kind of thing that brings MPs into disrepute.

  17. Justin Tomlinson’s suspension starts today.

  18. What Tomlinson has categorically failed to explain is his motives in leaking the report to the Wonga employee in the first place

    Two days off work hardly strikes me as a sufficient reprimand

  19. It isn’t really a mystery as to what his motivations where, money makes the world go round and all that.

  20. Rivers10 – they accepted that he didn’t ain financially from the leak.

    But as with all things with MPs gains are often further down the line.

    Incidentally I spotted Esther McVey at a railway station the other day. I’d forgotten she got some paid role in that area (even if it was only 18 days pa or whatever) It’s bad enough having to avoid salesmen, chuggers, bogus beggars etc hanging around train stations without ex-Ministers getting in the way too!

  21. Big Swings in the south

    Corbyn = Heir to Blair.

  22. The Swindon result is undoubtedly alarming for the Conservatives.

  23. First result that has seriously concerned me.

  24. UKIP vote not falling as far as it should here.

  25. It was Swindon North which showed in 2015 that the exit poll was on the right lines.

    As the only result so far from outside the North East it is suggesting the same for 2017 at the minute.

    Worth checking the You Gov MRP model which is proving highly accurate at the moment.

  26. Exactly my thoughts from Shaun and James
    I was finishing off, and out having a pizza with some people, saw the first few results
    on my phone.
    The NE results still offered some encouragement.
    Our group broke up and I headed back to watch everything and log into results.
    Saw this result and immediately knew the Tories were in deep trouble despite the increased vote.
    And it was this result in 2015 which confirmed an overall majority likely.

  27. Justin Tomlinson has been promoted to Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work.

  28. 3 Cons Cllrs have defected to Ind Group here.

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