Tamworth

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
2010
Con: 21238 (46%)
Lab: 15148 (33%)
LDem: 7516 (16%)
UKIP: 2253 (5%)
Oth: 235 (1%)
MAJ: 6090 (13%)
2005
Con: 16232 (37%)
Lab: 18801 (43%)
LDem: 6175 (14%)
UKIP: 1212 (3%)
Oth: 1320 (3%)
MAJ: 2569 (6%)
2001
Con: 15124 (38%)
Lab: 19722 (49%)
LDem: 4721 (12%)
Oth: 683 (2%)
MAJ: 4598 (11%)
1997
Con: 18312 (37%)
Lab: 25808 (52%)
LDem: 4025 (8%)
Oth: 546 (1%)
MAJ: 7496 (15%)

Demographics
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.
JAN HIGGINS (UKIP)
NICOLA HOLMES (Green)
Links
Comments - 163 Responses on “Tamworth”
  1. UKIP may do slightly better than that but the basic Tory lead is right IMO.

  2. Tamworth is number 41 on Matthew Goodwin’s list of Tory seats susceptible to UKIP:

    http://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2014/09/dr-robert-ford-and-dr-matthew-goodwin-the-top-100-most-ukip-friendly-conservative-seats.html

    Rochester is, as everyone now probably knows, number 271 and Clacton number 1.

  3. Interesting BBC article about Tamworth and how unemployment in the town has been slashed and wages are soaring. I had no idea this area was doing so well, no wonder the Tories are predicted to hold:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31148570

  4. The Lib Dem candidate is Jenny Pinkett once again, who will be standing here for a fourth time-
    http://www.lichfieldlibdems.org.uk/blog/tamworth-parliamentary-candidate-is-jenny-pinkett

  5. That is a very interesting article and goes someway to explaining why the Tories are doing so well in a seat like this. If there was one Labour target seat where the Tories could increase their majority it is here. This seat is probably gone for Labour in the short to medium term. It is also important to remember that this seat isn’t just the borough of Tamworth (which the Tories won in the EU elections and held the council in 2014) but also quite a few heavily Tory, anti-Labour rural wards from Lichfield council which will kill any chance of a Labour victory in the post Blair era where Labour has turned to the left. It is not a surprise that your post has been ignored by the Labour enthusiasts who are very quick to point out that the Tories aren’t doing very well (which is completely true see my post on the Labour target seats thread) but seem unwilling to face the fact that their party isn’t doing great either, yes they will probably be the next government but relying on the SNP which will be a disaster for their English/Welsh support.

  6. This is the neighbouring seat to where I live and I have family living here. There are still plenty of Labour areas in Tamworth itself, make no mistake. The problem for Labour is the new estates that are springing up on the edge of the town, and having the wealthiest village in the West Midlands in Little Aston doesn’t help although that has always been in the seat since 1983.

  7. First post so go easy on a Tamworth resident and thought I would pass on my take of the likely outcome…

    I struggle to see beyond a Con hold here but I think all bets are off whether the incumbent has a marginal share or in fact extends the lead.

    Factors For
    Unemployment here (4.7%) has been exceptionally below the national average and I’m sure many people saw the BBC article about this recently. Claimant count of 0.6%.

    Staffordshire seems to be turning more blue in general and I think people from safe seats such as Sutton and Lichfield are moving to Tamworth for the jobs and generally more affordable accomodation.

    Factors Against
    Whilst Chris Pincher is at pains to explain he voted against HS2, the fact remains that it is conservative party policy. Not surprising to see as a result the Stoneydelph ward returning a UKIP councillor at the locals. I think this was a bit of a shock to UKIP as well as there has not really been much activity here even in recent times when it was the norm not to field a candidate. They are putting in a bit of effort now but cant see UKIP doing better than 3rd behind Lab and Con. Almost certain UKIP will steal some of the Con vote to the advantage of Lab and I can foresee this being the only way Lab will win the seat back.

    For Lab to win a majority governernment they will need to win seats like Tamworth. From memory Tamworth is the 101st Lab target seat. Based on no knowledge whatsoever (!) I forecast something along the lines of:

    Con 39% (-7)
    Lab 36% (+3)
    LD 5%(-11)
    UKIP 16% (+11)
    Other 4% (+3)

    That said, I also agree with a previous poster who stated that is there was one conservative seat on the Lab hitlist to return an increased Con majority then it is Tamworth.

    In some ways the determining factor for me is not the labour vote itself, it is what impact will UKIP have here who I would suggest are 70:30 Con/Lab supporters and the extent of the drift away of LD supporters to Lab.

  8. Conservative hold – majority 4,750.

  9. “That said, I also agree with a previous poster who stated that is there was one conservative seat on the Lab hitlist to return an increased Con majority then it is Tamworth.”

    I can think of a few other candidates. Swindon South, Worcester, Crawley for example.

  10. don’t agree re swindon south or crawley. the two parties have been tied in both polls in the former, several months apart, so it does look like a very close race. NE somerset is a genuine candidate for it, though.

  11. I think that LB1981’s prediction of a 5% swing to Labour is probably on the outer edge of probability – I’d go for more like 3% and a majority of about 4,000.

  12. Crawley may be surprisingly close actually, Battersea is a possibility to swing con. Worcester is 50/50 chance but I think the rural Welsh constituencies are possibilities. The will be a surprise or 2, if this was UK polling report 1987 none of us would have hyndburn down.

  13. Labour had a very left-wing candidate in Hyndburn in 1987.

  14. Conservative Hold. 4,000 majority.

  15. CON hold 3000

  16. Con hold 4900 majority.

  17. The result here underlines Labour’s problem with “Middle England”:

    Con 50.0%
    Lab 26.1%
    UKIP 18.5%
    LD 3.0%
    Greens 2.4%

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics/constituencies/E14000986

  18. Christ what a bloody awful result for Labour that is…

  19. Yes, one of the very worst Labour results of the night along with Kingswood.

  20. Burton, Amber Valley, Stafford, Nuneaton were all horrible results for Labour aswell. Milliband went down horribly here.

  21. North East Somerset must have been the worst out of Labour’s target seats 7.65% swing LAB to CON.

  22. Warwick and Leamington was grim too given how tightly the seat is now drawn around the towns themselves.

  23. Labour need to go back to the drawing board and fast.

  24. I know Tamworth very well and there are plenty of council estates and less well-off areas where the Labour vote ought to be very heavy if they were getting things right. Of course there are villages like Little Aston which are full of millionaires but there aren’t many voters in those places compared to the town itself. My own grandparents were/are lifelong members of the Labour Party in Tamworth. I used to help deliver leaflets for them before I was interested in politics.

  25. Tamworth is now a safer tory seat than Kensington.

  26. Ed Miliband just wasn’t a suitable PM candidate for these Midlands marginals. He must have gone down terribly with white van man and woman in this area.

  27. In several cases, Labour’s vote share dropped. Could it be said that Miliband went down worse with these voters compared to even Gordon Brown?

  28. It has been discussed that Staffordshire generally has been trending rightwards as elections during the last decade suggest.

    Adjacent constituencies such as Derbyshire S, Warwickshire N and Leicestershire NW, all of which demographically similar, also showed strong Lab to Con swings.

    Did any constituency in Staffordshire have a Con to LAb swing ? Or in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Leicestershire, Shropshire ?

  29. The Labour vote went up nearly 8% in Shrewsbury and Atcham but that was caused by the meltdown in the LD vote and the tory vote also rose a bit as well.

    It was probably just about the only seat in those areas though where Labour did slightly better and the Tories marginally worse than 1992.

  30. Richard, may I gently inquire as to why the Conservatives appear to have done rather well in small town England, including quite working class areas, despite the fact we have been repeatedly told that Cameron, Osborne etc. have no interest in or feel for the kinds of voters who live in these seats?

  31. Rather obvious I would have thought.

    The fear factor – something which the Conservatives heavily targeted, and with justification.

    Its one thing having no interest or feel for small town England but that’s far preferable to being utterly hostile.

    Labour are heavily associated with values inimical to small town England – the party of ‘immigrants and single mothers’ – an association only encouraged by Labour obsessing about the ‘bedroom tax’ and Islamophobia.

    And then added to that was the ‘Kinnock’ equivalent of this year. Namely Nicola Sturgeon. The possibility of a metropolitan Labour government under the thumb of Scottish socialists and various ‘weirdos and whatnots’ namely Australian harridans, George Galloway and a bunch of ‘druids and paddys with begging bowls’ was a very strong encouragement to vote Conservative.

    But even so the Conservatives this year still ran far behind their performance of 1992 or 1979.

  32. Yes I agree with Richard.

    It’s also worth saying that the public sector is a relatively marginal factor in much of small town England. In Tamworth, for example just 21.6% of employed residents were public sector workers in 2011- way below the national average of 28.4%.

  33. I am not sure if Richard is on the left, or not, but it does read a little like a nice comforting idea for the left – that the Tories ran a campaign of fear and smear and the gullible sheep in middle England fell for it. It’s a nice idea but I fear cobblers. Middle England is booming, unemployment is low, the public sector isn’t recruiting but the private sector is. What did we say in 1959 – “Don’t let Labour ruin it” – and very strangely enough the Tories used exactly the same slogan on posters in 2015.

  34. A Browns prediction of a labour gain by 5 points wrong by pretty much 30 points. Any worse predictions out there?

  35. I made a serious prediction about an Ind coming close to winning Richmond (Yorks). I really should have known better. There was a green poster who thought they would gain Buckingham. But there were lots of awful LD/UKIP predictions, some of which looked reasonable eg UKIP gain Rotherham which turned out horribly.

  36. WHS- knowing Richard as I do I don’t think he would disagree with you- he has often pointed out that the Conservatives are doing well in areas where there is high private sector employment.

    I think that both his and your posts contain valid reasons why Labour fared even more appallingly in small town England in 2015 than in 2010.

  37. I wasn’t that serious about some the predictions I made in late 2013 (when I was a strange mood) especially this one, NW Leicestershire and the Kent seats but I did at least expect the majorities to be cut to 4-5K in those sorts of seats and was unaware of the strength of anti Lab demographic trends in those sorts of seats.

    I’m quite happy to admit where I was wrong and that a lot of Hemellig’s analysis throughout the last parliament turned out to be spot on.

    I think it’s very clear now that seats like Tamworth, S Derbyshire and NW Leicestershire will never be won by Lab again and the best case scenario for Labour in 2020 is to win back ‘swingy’ seats like Cannock, Erewash and Amber Valley (if Lab is on at least 280 seats which is possible but still not most likely)

    Some of the LD ramping was pretty bad as well though, especially the likes of Camborne and Ashfield.

  38. …and it still continues on some other threads…

  39. Labour technically no longer “requires” Tamworth to secure an overall majority on current standings. But utterly grim for the party to slide below 30% in “non-trendy” market towns where they used to have no problem retaining support.

    I read about how prosperous Tamworth is becoming with high levels of employment. Only a convincing Blairite could win seats like this for the party and even that’s not guaranteed as small town England was starting to trend away from them by 2005 anyway.

  40. “I’m quite happy to admit where I was wrong and that a lot of Hemellig’s analysis throughout the last parliament turned out to be spot on.”

    Some of it was, whilst some of it was absolute nonsense

  41. Well he and most other people predicted LD holds in places like Eastbourne since most of the polling showed them miles ahead in those types of constituencies.

  42. Ed Milliband is definitely going to be the next Prime Minister, Labour voters will still tactically plump for Lib Dems in tory facing marginals, anyone who thinks the tories can overcome a by-election loss to Labour is mentally challenged.

    My favourite side buster of all was that the Conservatives can never win an overall majority in any of out lifetimes.

  43. Andy that isn’t really true is it? On national swing the Lib Dems were going to lose loads of seats. On Ashcroft question 1 they were going to lose loads of seats. On the Comres SW poll they were going to lose loads f seats.

    But lots of posters chose to ignore all this evidence – and the ‘from the ground’ intelligence which was doing the rounds – and focus wholly on Ashcroft Q2 instead or resort to tired old cliches about Lib Dem ‘incumbency’ etc.

  44. Labour seemed to regard Ed Miliband in a similar way to the Emperor with a new invisible coat.

    Why didn’t Labour see that the voting system to elect a leader was defective in a major way.

  45. I always thought the Tories would poll north of 300, and that there was a credible chance of a majority.

    Ed Miliband was not going to outpoll them or come near in votes (although there was a credible but unlikely chance that they could).

    I always believed the LD vote would partly come to us – from evidence in my own area and others where I have helped.

    I was quite astounded how badly the Lib Dems did though – and it was that that got the Tories over the line.
    Of course, the polls have been telling this was coming all along but in terms of LD seat retention we assumed they couldn’t be right.

  46. Its also worth noting that the Conservative’s councillors in Tamworth are far more active than most councillors. They make a real show of campaigning all year, not just at election times. This has been the case for over ten years. I regularly get leaflets from the Tory’s outside elections and nothing from other parties until the election starts. I suspect the town is more Tory because the Torys work hard to get a positive profile and an “all year round” head of steam going into a election. Labour and UKIP are non existent in Tamworth outside elections.

  47. Just 3,577 votes separating Labour and UKIP. Astonishing.

  48. 2015 was a disaster for the hard left, and the Lib Dems have deservedly suffered electoral ruin.

  49. are you honestly describing the entire Labour Party as the hard left, Joe? That’s quite ridiculous.

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