2015 Result:
Conservative: 23606 (50%)
Labour: 12304 (26.1%)
Lib Dem: 1427 (3%)
Green: 1110 (2.4%)
UKIP: 8727 (18.5%)
MAJORITY: 11302 (24%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: West Midlands, Staffordshire. The whole of Tamworth council area and part of Lichfield council area.

Main population centres: Tamworth, Fazeley, Shenstone, Harlaston, Elford, Little Aston.

Profile: Consists of the compact Tamworth council area itself, consisting of little more than the town itself, and some rural wards of Lichield to the west and north. Tamworth is a historic market town that ballooned after the second world war with extensive housing development to home the excess population of the urban West Midlands. The seat also contains the town of Fazeley, essentially a suburb of Tamworth, some more rural villages to the west and north and the extremely affluent suburb of Little Aston, which spills over into the area from Sutton Coldfield.

Politics: A marginal seat between the Conservatives as Labour. As South East Staffordshire it was held by the mountainous Conservative whip and former Regimental Sergeant-Major David Lightbown until his death in 1996, after which it was won by Labour on an equally mountainous 22% swing. It was won back by the Conservatives in 2010. Historically the seat is most associated with Sir Robert Peel, whose 1834 Tamworth manifesto was the foundation of the modern Conservative party. Peel`s former home, Drayton Manor, is now the site of an amusement park and zoo in the constituency.

Current MP
CHRISTOPHER PINCHER (Conservative) Born 1969, Walsall. Educated at the LSE. Former IT consultant. Contested Warley 1997, Tamworth 2005. First elected as MP for Tamworth in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 21238 (46%)
Lab: 15148 (33%)
LDem: 7516 (16%)
UKIP: 2253 (5%)
Oth: 235 (1%)
MAJ: 6090 (13%)
Con: 16232 (37%)
Lab: 18801 (43%)
LDem: 6175 (14%)
UKIP: 1212 (3%)
Oth: 1320 (3%)
MAJ: 2569 (6%)
Con: 15124 (38%)
Lab: 19722 (49%)
LDem: 4721 (12%)
Oth: 683 (2%)
MAJ: 4598 (11%)
Con: 18312 (37%)
Lab: 25808 (52%)
LDem: 4025 (8%)
Oth: 546 (1%)
MAJ: 7496 (15%)

2015 Candidates
CHRISTOPHER PINCHER (Conservative) See above.
CAROL DEAN (Labour) Office manager for Richard Burden. Staffordshire councillor 2001-2009.
JENNY PINKETT (Liberal Democrat) Retired teacher. Contested Tamworth 1997, 2001, Cannock Chase 2005, Tamworth 2010.
Comments - 163 Responses on “Tamworth”
  1. The swing here in 2010 was of the type that would have delivered a clear Conservative overall majority.
    This probably is one of those places where a large swing only means a large swing the other way is credible,
    but I’d still expect the Tories to hold on.

  2. This US effectively a new town and behaves like it with big swings. The Council changes hands regularly too and as all the wards are marginal it can mean almost complete change from one election to the next. I could see UKIP winning disillusioned Tories here and letting Labour win

  3. I couldn’t completely rule that out, but Labour’s performances here since 2010 have been underwhelming. Labour did gain a lead in terms of votes over the Tories in the 2012 elections, but the villages which complete the constituency are so hugely Tory that Labour needs a pretty clear lead in Tamworth town itself to win, and so far this parliament that hasn’t happened.

  4. I think this seat is trending Tory (as is Staffordshire generally- in stark contrast to the West Midlands conurbation). therefore, I think Mr Pincher will hold on. Saying that, Mike makes a good point about the potential of UKIP here so like Barnaby, I wouldn’t completely rule out a Labour victory. But I think it’s a long shot.

  5. 2011 and 2012 local election data for Tamworth Borough Council (from the old thread):

    Con 10,375
    Lab 9,246

    Lab 7,644
    Con 6,950

    Given how well the Tories do in the Lichfield wards of the Tamworth seat, those figures do not look especially promising for Labour- but we’ll see.

  6. Quite a worrying drop in turnout in 2012 (nationally).
    Turnouts in this country were on a gentle recovery from 2003 onwards, through to 2011.
    The 2012 turnout is getting us back to 1998-2002 figures which is concerning for us all.

  7. Indeed Staffordshire is perhaps moving permanently towards the Tories.

    I suspect the best Labour can manage is to leave a small overall Tory majority on Staffordshire County Council after the election this year, and in 2015 they can only really be confident of taking Cannock from the Tories.

  8. I was a bit worried (as the 2010 majority is identical to the 1992 one) that this seat may not be trending tory but just high swing.

    However, with the tories being that close in 2012 w/o the safe Lichfield wards taking the seat looks a step too far for labour in 2015.

  9. Tamworth looks like a tough ask. That said, turnout was pretty dire in 2012. If the drop-off in Tamworth was greater amongst Labour supporters (and I have no idea whether that was the case) it may not be quite as much of an uphill climb as it looks.

    Either way though, it doesn’t look like it’ll be an easy seat to take.

  10. I’m not sure Tamworth is moving to the Tories. It might just be that it exaggerates the national swing whenever a party loses power.

  11. Joe and Andy JS- well the 1992 figures refer to South East Staffordshire rather than Tamworth. Going into the 1997 election, the Tory notional majority in Tamworth was 10% rather than 13%. Therefore, there has been some improvement in the Tory position, corroborated to some degree by the 2011 and 2012 local election results.

  12. Perhaps the point is this is the type of demographic one can’t quite see being easily won back by Labour in the near future
    but on the other hand, if the national situation is different, then they would take seats like this.

  13. I think Andy is right although I also agree that this very ethnically white seat is not one which will be Labour in an even year.
    However, it does swing very heavily in national elections.

  14. It’ll be fascinating to see how this constituency votes in the county council elections.

    The seat is almost equivalent to the Tamworth divisions plus Lichfield Rural South and Lichfield Rural East. A small part of the former division is in Lichfield constituency (namely Hammerwich) and part of Lichfield Rural East is also in Lichfield (Whittington).

  15. Labour should win all the tamworth wards (will the tories hold one though?) and the tories will hold the lichfield rural wards.
    Overall, labour will poll ahead in the constituency but probably only by a couple of thousand.

    At least that SHOULD be what happens if the tories are to be favorites to hold tamworth at the general election.



    Sheree Peaple (Lab) – 1043
    Jeremy Oates (Cons) – 842
    John Mills (UKIP) – 791
    Marguerite Stockdale (Lib Dems) – 60


    Carol Dean (Lab) – 1124
    Mick Oates (Cons) – 752
    Chris Booth (UKIP)- 730
    Jenny Pinkett (Lib Dems) – 103


    Ben Adams (Cons) – 1032
    Andy Whiles (Lab) – 970
    Stephen French (UKIP) – 754
    Tony Harvey (Lib Dems)- 146
    Eddie Jones (Green) – 100


    Chris Cooke (Independent) – 734
    Pauline Hinks (Lab) – 707
    Andrew James (Cons) – 480
    Lisa Crane (Green) – 106
    Penny Bennion (Lib Dems) – 39

    Watling North

    Brian Jenkins (Lab) – 1122
    Steven Claymore (Cons) – 1102
    Simon Johnson (Green) – 199
    Christel Roe – 79

    Watling South

    Michael Greatorex (Cons) – 1414
    Darryl Dean (Lab) – 1117
    Roger Gwynedd Jones (Lib Dems) – 185

    Wilnecote By-election (Borough election)

    Joan Jenkins (Lab) – 890
    Alex Farrell (Cons) – 873
    Roger Gwynedd Jones (Lib Dems) – 87

  17. Bad news for Labour.

    They’re going to fail to win the most votes in the crucial Tamworth marginal constituency.

    In the borough of Tamworth they’ve only beaten the Tories by 461 votes.

    When the rural votes are added tomorrow the Tories will certainly be ahead.

    Tamworth borough votes:

    Lab 6,083
    Con 5,622
    UKIP 2,275
    Others 813
    LD 533
    Green 405

  18. It does tend to back up what I’ve argued about the political trajectory of this seat- very poor indeed for Labour.

  19. Worse news for Labour, those few Tamworth failures may have cost them their Staffordshire majority before the counting even starts!

  20. UKIP averaged 27% in the divisions where they stood in Tamworth. I don’t know why they didn’t contest the other three because I think they probably would have done just as well in those.

  21. Former Labour MP Brian Jenkins won a seat in Watling North by 20 votes and his partner Joan won the Wilnecote by-election by 17 votes.

  22. The results in the two rural divisions were as follows:

    Con: 2798 (48.3%)
    UKIP: 1729 (29.9%)
    Lab: 1006 (17.4%)
    LD: 259 (4.5%)

    Total: 5792

    Adding these votes to the Tamworth borough result:

    Con: 8420 (39.1%)
    Lab: 7089 (32.9%)
    UKIP: 4004 (18.6%)
    LD: 792 (3.7%)
    Others: 1218 (5.7%)

    Total: 21523

    Changes since 2010 general election:

    Con: -6.7%
    Lab: +0.2%
    UKIP: +13.7%
    LD: -12.5%
    Others: +5.2%

    Swing, Con to Lab: 3.5%

  23. Of the 34 seats the Tories won in Staffordshire, in 22 of them Labour were not even the challenger and their closest rival was instead UKIP. I think this emphasises even more the Tory victory here.

    The comparison I’d make is with Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire which along with Staffordshire were won by Labour during the 1980s, but unlike Staffordshire were regained by Labour today. Staffordshire is clearly now moving away from Labour.

  24. Possible scenario in Tamworth in 2015:

    Lab 38
    Con 33
    UKIP 18
    LD 6
    Others 5

    What does everyone else think…………..?

  25. At very least Labour didn’t fall under 30% in 2010. But they’re going to struggle in Tamworth and probably other Staffordshire seats they lost. Only Cannock Chase appears to be their best prospect of a gain.

    The CC elections this year weren’t bad for them given how much ground they had to recover after a horrible 2009, but it’s showing us that the county is drifting away from Labour. Given that this was once a bedrock of Labour support, it should be of concern to the party. Similar situation in Northamptonshire.

  26. A Brown- I am struggling to understand the logic behind your prediction. If Labour could not even carry Tamworth in the 2013 CC elections (i.e. at the likely nadir of Conservative support in this Parliament), on what basis are they going to carry the seat in 2015 by 5% points? And why do you keep predicting that the Conservative vote share will fall by over 10% points? And why the massive support for UKIP, which is now back down to about 10% nationally?

    Here is my prediction:

    Con 45
    Lab 37
    UKIP 10
    Lib Dem 7
    Others 1

  27. The tories will hold this relatively comfortably.

  28. I think the Tories will hold this seat with a majority of about 3-4,000

  29. Cannock Chase is the only Staffordshire seat Labour have a realistic chance of gaining, but even then it won’t be anything spectacular.

  30. Adam- yes, 3-4000 is exactly where I’m at here.

  31. tend to agree. It could be a little closer perhaps, but a Con hold seems certain at this stage

  32. I feel a bit sorry for A Brown: he’s clearly a nice bloke but his predictions recently have been entirely unbelievable.

  33. His predictions have been very reasonable recently. Also, how is UKIP now down to 10%?

    Without an election there is no practical way of knowing with all of these flawed polls being thrown about.

    UKIP are on about 18% at present methinks but that is just a hunch.

  34. 111- I accept that polls are imperfect but they can suggest trends. And between 1 December and 16 December, UKIP has managed more than 15% in only 2 polls out of 20. Generally, UKIP has polled between has been between 9 and 13% which is why I’ll correct myself and say they’re currently down to about 11-12%. Still, it’s not really near 18%.

  35. And as to your other point, I don’t think the prediction of a Labour gain is persuasive, let alone by 5%.

  36. *And generally UKIP has polled between…

  37. I have decent local knowledge of Tamworth BC but particular strength in the areas in the Tamworth seat but in Lichfield BC. My family are local landowners.

  38. “The CC elections this year weren’t bad for them given how much ground they had to recover after a horrible 2009, but it’s showing us that the county is drifting away from Labour. Given that this was once a bedrock of Labour support, it should be of concern to the party. Similar situation in Northamptonshire.”

    I wonder why Staffordshire and Northamptonshire are drifting away from Labour whilst places like Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are not or at least not to the same extent? Is it down to a stronger mining/trade union tradition in the latter two and the subsequent struggles to adapt economically or are there other factors in play?

  39. Economically I would have thought that Staffs and Northants would have fared much better.

  40. Incidentally, the majority here is the same as the 1992 SE Staffs – I imagine that seat contained a decent chunk of additional Lichfield wards.

  41. The Conservatives have retained control of Tamworth Borough Council- an excellent result for them when one remembers that it was Labour-controlled between 1990 and 2004. I think Labour can well and truly forget about winning the Tamworth parliamentary division next year.

  42. Popular votes:

    Con 8,073 (42.83%)
    Lab 7,238 (38.40%)
    UKIP 3,149 (16.71%)
    Green 276 (1.46%)
    LD 114 (0.60%)

    Changes since 2010 locals:

    Con -4.62%
    Lab -4.41%
    UKIP +16.71%
    Green -1.89%
    LD -5.79%

  43. Tamworth was never really in play for 2015 as a labour gain, I don’t think.

  44. I believe there was a massive counting error in South East Staffordshire in 1987. This was the result-
    David Lincoln Lightbown (Conservative)- 25, 115 (47.19%, -3.51%)
    Miss EA Gluck (SDP)- 14, 230 (26.74%, +5.64%)
    David Edward Spilsbury (Labour)- 13, 874 (26.07%, -2.13%)

    So that’s a big rise in the SDP vote. I know there was another case of this happening in Chertsey in 1979 that was discussed on the old site. What caused this to happen, surely it wasn’t a genuine increase for the SDP? Certainly looking at the result that followed here in 1992, there was a clear correction of what happened in 1987.

  45. Yes we discussed it in length a few years ago on the previous incarnation of this website. I reckon as many as 3,000 Labour votes were placed in the SDP pile. Unforgivable mistake.

  46. As many as that? That is a terrible mistake for any counting staff to make. How on earth could it have possibly happened?

  47. Prediction for 2015-
    Pincher (Conservative)- 42%
    Labour- 36%
    UKIP- 14%
    Liberal Democrat- 8%

  48. Prediction for 2015-

    Libdem- 7%

  49. I think that is about right, Kevin.

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