2015 Result:
Conservative: 26552 (58.6%)
Labour: 8311 (18.3%)
Lib Dem: 3850 (8.5%)
Green: 1714 (3.8%)
UKIP: 4871 (10.8%)
MAJORITY: 18241 (40.3%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: North West, Cheshire. Part of the Cheshire East council area and part of the Cheshire West and Chester council area.

Main population centres: Knutsford, Wilmslow, Alderley Edge.

Profile: A semi-rural seat in Cheshire, Tatton lies to the immediate south-west of Greater Manchester, and largely consists of prosperous and affluent villages inhabited by Manchester`s affluent middle class. The main towns are Knutsford, Wilmslow and Alderley Edge, which has become well known as the home of the Manchester super-rich, most notably several Manchester United football players. The name Tatton is drawn from Tatton Park, a stately home within the constituency.

Politics: Under normal circumstances the seat is solidly Conservative. In 1997 however it was famously lost to the television news reporter Martin Bell, standing as an independent candidate against the then Conservative MP Neil Hamilton who had become embroiled in the cash-for-questions scandal. Labour and the Liberal Democrats stood aside for Bell and he successfully won the seat. Having pledged to serve only for one term, Bell stood down in 2001 and the seat once again became a safe Conservative berth.

Current MP
GEORGE OSBORNE (Conservative) Born 1971, London, heir to the Osborne baronetcy and wallpaper company Osborne and Little. Educated at St Paul's and Oxford University. Former special advisor and political secretary to William Hague. First elected as MP for Tatton in 2001. Shadow chief secretary 2004-2005, shadow chancellor 2005-2010. Chancellor of the Exechequer since 2010.
Past Results
Con: 24687 (55%)
Lab: 7803 (17%)
LDem: 10200 (23%)
Oth: 2541 (6%)
MAJ: 14487 (32%)
Con: 21447 (52%)
Lab: 9716 (23%)
LDem: 9016 (22%)
UKIP: 996 (2%)
Oth: 239 (1%)
MAJ: 11731 (28%)
Con: 19860 (48%)
Lab: 11249 (27%)
LDem: 7685 (19%)
UKIP: 769 (2%)
Oth: 1715 (4%)
MAJ: 8611 (21%)
Con: 18277 (37%)
Oth: 30515 (63%)
MAJ: 12238 (25%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
GEORGE OSBORNE (Conservative) See above.
DAVID PINTO-DUSCHINSKY (Labour) Educated at Oxford University. Bank director.
GARETH WILSON (Liberal Democrat) Software designer.
STUART HUTTON (UKIP) Chartered engineer. Cheshire East councillor.
Comments - 456 Responses on “Tatton”
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  1. Has George Osborne become a West Ham fan?

    He seems keen on blowing bubbles.

  2. Well he wouldn’t be the first Cheshire Tory to do so- a certain Mr Barber sat for the neighbouring Altrincham and Sale seat.

  3. I am speaking in allusions as I am on AW’s naughty step.

    But well done on spotting the ‘inner truth’.

  4. I am appalled that a Conservative government thinks it’s a great idea for the state to underwrite people’s mortgages at a time when housing remains massively overvalued and we are facing the inevitability of many mortgage holders defaulting when interest rates finally have to rise.

    It is the economics of the madhouse and completely spoiled the budget for me.

    It’s not like we have got public money to throw down the toilet willy nilly, nor that we don’t know the dangers of stoking up housing bubbles by now.

    I hope it was a meaningless gimmick rather than actual policy.

  5. HH

    It seems a widespread view on the websites, the columnists and among the ‘real world’ people I know.

    For all the PR of imitating Thatcher’s ‘the ladies not for turning’ its clear that the government have u-turned and abandoned any pretence at deficit reduction and economic rebalancing, instead going for a feel good bubble.

    All it does it make the 2015 election even more necessary to lose.

  6. I’m afrasid HH is correct on this one. It would be better to stick the course, and for the most oart we have done. The panic button of any grpowth by any means I hope is a detail in the event

  7. I also agree with HH’s analysis on this – it was a complete sop to the mid-market papers and underscores one of the very big downsides of having a character like Osborne in charge of such an important department: all short-term politicking and tactics, no long-term economic strategy for the good of the country.

  8. It was the sort of budget Gordon Brown would have given.

    Personally I’ve never thought Osborne wanted to be an ‘economic’ Chancellor rather he saw the position in political terms.

    Both as a weapon to fight the other parties and as a weapon to fight rivals within the Conservatives – supporters would be given concessions while opponents woudl have their budgets starved.

  9. “For all the PR of imitating Thatcher’s ‘the ladies not for turning’ its clear that the government have u-turned and abandoned any pretence at deficit reduction and economic rebalancing, instead going for a feel good bubble.”

    I really don’t know how they are going to get a feel good bubble off the ground right now.

    I spent most of the last week doing business in continental Europe and – with the partial exception of Germany – everybody is mired in relentless gloom.

    The consensus view is that both GDP and IP across the EU will continue to decline through 2013 and probably through much of 2014 too. And that’s without accounting for shocks like Cyprus possibly blowing up.

    Like it or not we are part of that reality and no amount of mortgage or childcare subsidies are going to make the majority of people feel good. We would be much better to level with them about what has to be done for the country to be able to move forward long term.

  10. WIll be interesting to see if Labour manages to get back into second place here.
    LD support in Wilmslow has faded (present in the County Council elections in 2005).

  11. Labour may just squeeze back into second. But there is quite a low ceiling for them here. I doubt if they even carried the Tatton segment of Northwich in 2010.

  12. ” Like it or not we are part of that reality and no amount of mortgage or childcare subsidies are going to make the majority of people feel good. We would be much better to level with them about what has to be done for the country to be able to move forward long term. ”


    What is changing fundamentally is that the two centuries of world economic dominance the industrial revolution gave the West has ended. With that loss also goes the West’s military and political dominance.

    Without these there is no basis for the higher living standards people in the West have become used to and to which because of politicians promises they now feel entitled to.

  13. And then what happens to out political overclass in a West where most people experience falling living standards but see ever widening wealth imbalances between then and a self-perpetuating ‘elite’.

    Not a recipe for social harmony.

    People might accept an increasingly unequal society if they are still gaining in prosperity albeit at a slower rate than the overclass.

    But not when they’re not.

    That’s why the political establishment can’t level with people because the consequences would threaten their own position.

    So instead we get ever more desperate attempts to hold economic reality at bay with the inevitable consequence that the ultimate crash will be made even worse.

  14. The Conservative share here is actually very low when you consider the 1997 boundary changes increased the Tory share from 55% to about 63%.

  15. yes, it’s for the most part a very wealthy seat, and it may be that Osborne isn’t liked that much more locally than he is nationally.

  16. Andy JS- well it’s not all that easy to assess how well Osborne is doing. Notionals aren’t precise and the circumstances of the 1997 election deprive us of a bottom line for assessing likely Conservative support in the seat. What we can say is that the Tory vote share in Tatton has recovered in line with the Tory vote share nationally from 2001. Given that I reckon Osborne is performing averagely-though no better than that. I doubt he is the sort of character who would elicit much enthusiasm in places like Knutsford and Wilmslow.

  17. Swing from 2005 was certainly not good. Before 2005 I doubt many would have heard of him particularly. Balls and Osbourne both did badly and both are pretty unpopular I think its fair to say.

  18. It is down more than the average since 1992 here,although it has climbed back quite significantly aswell.

    But the Tories did manage a notional 32,235 votes here in 1992 (62.2%)
    and Labour 19.0%. So they’ve done pretty well.

    The Tories really should have got back to at least 27,000.

  19. A Nicholas Winterton-style populist would probably do better here. Though Osborne doesn’t strike me as much of a constituency man regardless of whom he represents, he is obviously more suited to somewhere like Kensington or Chelsea and Fulham.

  20. Yes, the Wintertons were very popular round this way.
    I have some family/friends in Prestbury.
    They used to vote Labour but ended up supporting him.

    They got on quite well with ordinary voters from other parties aswell.

  21. I don’t think the Winterton’s felt very welcome in a party run by the Notting Hill Set.

  22. I had a friend in the Labour Students at Cambridge. He showed me some correspondence he had with Winterton who was his MP at home, and was extremely impressed with his courtesy & willingness to engage in dialogue, and generally spend time having a correspondence with someone who wasn’t going to vote for him. Winterton may not always have been positively liked, but he was certainly greatly respected by most.

  23. Andy JS

    Do you have the ethnicity census numbers for Leeds NE?

  24. Alwoodley

    WB 72.7
    WO 5.2
    As 12.6
    Bl 2.9
    Mi 3.0
    Ot 3.7

    Chapel Allerton

    WB 51.2
    WO 6.1
    As 14.9
    Bl 18.3
    Mi 6.9
    Ot 2.5


    WB 68.9
    WO 5.5
    As 15.3
    Bl 3.3
    Mi 3.5
    Ot 3.5


    WB 65.9
    WO 6.0
    As 17.9
    Bl 3.8
    Mi 3.8
    Ot 2.4

  25. 2001 figures


    WB 84.8
    WO 4.4
    As 6.6
    Bl 1.3
    Mi 1.6
    Ot 1.4

    Chapel Allerton

    WB 62.0
    WO 5.0
    As 13.2
    Bl 14.1
    Mi 4.6
    Ot 1.0


    WB 78.5
    WO 4.4
    As 12.0
    Bl 1.6
    Mi 2.0
    Ot 1.5


    WB 79.3
    WO 4.8
    As 10.3
    Bl 2.4
    Mi 2.2
    Ot 1.1

  26. 1991 figures – ‘In ethnic groups other than white’ (2011 results in brackets

    5.3% (22.2%)

    Chapel Allerton
    33.8% (42.6%)

    11.0% (25.6%)

    10.3% (27.9%)

  27. I’ve just realised this is all on the Tatton thread which is a bit unhelpful. I asume this is because Leeds NE has the bug which means it doesn’t show in recent comments. I wonder if Anthony is able to move posts from one thread to another? If not I shall repost them there myself and ask him to delete these

  28. Pete

    There’s a question for you on the Hammersmith page.

  29. I have replied

  30. Thanks, Pete- the Barons Court data is particularly helpful for showing why the Tories didn’t do that well in the Hammersmith seat in 2010.

  31. “I am appalled that a Conservative government thinks it’s a great idea for the state to underwrite people’s mortgages at a time when housing remains massively overvalued and we are facing the inevitability of many mortgage holders defaulting when interest rates finally have to rise.

    It is the economics of the madhouse and completely spoiled the budget for me.”

    Well. Said.

  32. Re GO’s “China Deal” do people remember when China became a partner rather than an enemy? I just read about Tory MPs referring to Red China in the ’70s and ’80s and one even refused to go with a delegation and went to Taiwan instead as a protest.

  33. Chief Whip has been published, by Miss N Rowe. Extracts on Order Order. George Osborne’s lawyers say she is unreliable.

  34. My prediction for 2015-
    Conservative- 53%
    Labour- 23%
    Liberal Democrat- 18%
    UKIP- 5%
    Others- 1%

  35. The rich are getting richer: The people that pull the strings don’t actually have a problem with the soaring national debt or the impoverishment of the masses, as long as they’re still getting richer, they’ll pat Gideon Osborne on the head and tell him what a remarkably good job he’s doing.

    Tory Tribalism: The Tories are not a political party, they are a tribe. It doesn’t seem to matter how inept, dishonest or unpopular any member of their tribe becomes, they will support them. If the odious and incompetent Iain Duncan Smith can hang onto his job at the DWP (despite his appalling track record of failure), it is hardly surprising that a bloke that made a £242 billion accounting error is allowed to keep his job as Chancellor.

    Inherited privilege: They say that “scum always floats to the top” and nowhere is this more true than the British establishment. The British establishment, and especially Westminster politics are absolutely riddled with air-headed toffs that only made it to the top through inherited privilege. Meritocricy is an alien word to these people, and they have worked tirelessly to undo the social progress of the post-war mixed economy. Nowhere is this inherited entitlement culture more obvious than the Tory party, which is riddled with millionaires from establishment families.

    Media complicity: The corporate media is almost completely dominated by right-wing apologists that are disinclined to criticise one of their own, and the BBC is simply a mouthpiece of the establishment. Whichever party is in power are their paymasters, so they’ve always toed the line, but since they were castrated over the “sexed up” Iraq dossier, they’ve been even more compliant than before. The lack of mainstream media criticism of George Osborne’s catastrophic economic miscalculations is a clear demonstration that the majority of them support his agenda, despite the fact that it has already added more to the national debt in just 3 years than Neo-Labour added during their 13 years in office.

    Lack of alternatives: If Winston Churchill were alive today he’d be absolutely appalled at the intellectual paucity of the Tory party. It has gone from a party that produced great statesmen and orators like Benjamin Disraeli and Winston Churchill, to a party of self-serving careerists with an unhealthy obsession with a particularly egregious bunch of pseudo-scientific theories known variously as “Thatcherism”, “Neoliberalism” or “Neoclassical Economics”, where talentless nobodies like David Cameron and George Osborne have effortlessly risen to the top of the party. The modern Conservative party (aside from one or two very rare exceptions) has become a moral and intellectual vacuum. An echo-chamber for absurd “greed-is-a-virtue” pseudo economics, stuffed full of members of the inherited wealth entitlement classes. There’s virtually nobody in the Tory party that is actually capable of doing anything differently.

    Even if it wasn’t then, It is absolutely clear now, how much of an absurdly over-optimistic fantasy George Osborne’s 2010 economic forecasts were.

    It is also clear that his Office for Budgetary Responsibility Recklessness is just a rubber stamping organisation, designed to use neoliberal economic dogma to add a veneer of economic legitimacy to barkingly mad economic plans. Their failure to spot the £242 billion hole in George Osborne’s figures was bad enough, but their insultingly feeble post hoc excuses are perhaps even worse.

    This £242 billion miscalculation also demonstrates how gullible Osborne’s fellow Tories, the right-wing press and the UK business lobby were to lap up his extraordinarily over-optimistic financial predictions back in 2010. They wanted desperately to believe that a good bout of neoliberal dogma would sort everything out, but instead it crushed the life out of the economic recovery that had started in 2009, gave us three long years of economic stagnation, and as a consequence, millions of working people have seen their wages eroded away by inflation month after month after month to pay for Gideon Osborne’s reckless economic experiment.

  36. Returning to topic, here is my prediction-

    Con 54
    Lab 22
    LD 16
    UKIP 6
    Others 3

  37. *Others 2 sorry

  38. Nonsense from A Brown above. I haven’t got anything like the time to rebut the points above in detail, but suffice to say it’s ridiculous to compare the debt incurred over the last three years with the debt incurred over a thirteen period where the economy grew strongly (or at least debt-fuelled consumption gave the illusion of it growing strongly).

    I’ve said before that no political party will really grasp the nettle of the political party until we start to re-base the money in circulation more in line with the assets we have available to back it. Anything else is playing games with a fiat currency and hoping the general populous is doesn’t realise.

    The realignment I’m proposing would be painful in the extreme – we’d all have to consume a lot less as we don’t earn that much as a country. But, it would be a step towards an economy where the actual level of wealth was more transparent – currently we’re printing money for fun and it’s all ok because all of the other countries are doing it as well.

    There’s a very high risk that it will all come crashing down – I hope it doesn’t but I’m not optimistic.

  39. …..and, as it turns out, nonsense from me also in the post above. Second paragraph should read ‘grasp the nettle of solving our economic problems……’

  40. I see that income tax receipts from the self-employed from 2012/13 were £2bn lower than expected last month.

  41. People spending more on energy bills are spending less on maintenance? Skilled tradespeople miss out.. So the house-buying boom may not have translated into something that White Van Man makes money out of… The Tories should be careful in thinking that a property price surge will also warm up voters…. it may have the opposite effect for far more people.. though I guess for small minds they will argue higher stamp duty income will make up for other undershooting..

  42. Absolutely. A 12% rise in house prices just makes them 12% less affordable to most. Incidentally, there isn’t much of a boom in new housing. GO’s family wallpaper business reported a £0.5m loss and Tory PPC Tony Caldeira’s cushion firm reported a £3m loss for the second year and a warning it may breach its bank overdrafts.

  43. Does anyone remember Stars In Their Eyes, because looking at George Osborne makes me think he’d do a very good impression of Dean Martin for some reason…

  44. For those expecting growth in GDP to win the election for the Conservatives.

    Average annual earnings increases:

    1983 May 8.9%
    1987 May 8.6%
    1992 Mar 9.1%
    1997 Apr 4.0%

    RPI annual increase

    1983 May 3.7%
    1987 May 4.1%
    1992 Mar 4.0%
    1997 Apr 2.4%

    Notice how well people were doing before the 1992 election, I think it helps explain the ‘surprise’ Conservative victory. Likewise notice how little real earnings were increasing by in 1997.

    The economy was in excellent shape in 1997, certainly far better than in 1992, but people weren’t benefiting and so the Conservatives didn’t benefit.

    Now remember that currently RPI is higher than annual earnings increases.

  45. The flip side being that unemployment was substantially higher in 1992. In the early 90s recession people were made redundant while the wage increases of those remaining in work were unaffected. Today companies have avoided redundancies by holding down wages for all. For the electoral prospects of the Tories the former is probably better, and better for productivity too, though it is good that we still have relatively low unemployment it will not benefit the government electorally.

  46. ‘The economy was in excellent shape in 1997, certainly far better than in 1992, but people weren’t benefiting and so the Conservatives didn’t benefit.’

    I think by that time people had just had enough after 18 years of Tory rule – as the economy they handed to Labour in 1997 was in a better shape than that which won them elections in 1983, 1987 and 1992

    1997 was arguably the election where the economy mattered least

  47. What effect the kind of indicators highlighted above by Richard have on the next GE will depend on whether people are more influenced by the absolute position or the direction of travel. As this article shows the latter might lead people to be well disposed to the government:


    The absolute position is still well behind that of 6-7 years ago.

  48. The direction of travel will still be crap compared to previous decades.

    What we have experienced is a fundamental shift, caused by globalisation, from an economy where gains were based on employment to one where gains are based upon ownership.

    Which means that economic gains are now being concentrated the higher up the wealth scale you go.

    With a political establishment increasingly being drawn from similarly privileged people we will see increasing working class dissatisfaction with the system.

    It is this which UKIP are currently tapping into.

  49. I should add that the only thing which has so far masked this shift has been ever increasing debt.

    A trillion quid from the magic money tree keeps people sated on their consumption drug.

    But how long before the magic money tree is picked clean?

  50. I think Tatton CLP are quite active, even if they obviously don’t stand a chance of winning. Labour’s percentages here haven’t been too disastrous – impressive considering Tatton includes two of the three areas known as the ‘Golden Triangle’ in Cheshire, Wilmslow and Alderley Edge. I won’t repeat the statistics about millionaires per square mile and highest house prices in the country, but Alderley Edge actually has a council estate. Manchester is red through and through, so surely some of the newly minted Mancunians who move out to Cheshire must be tribally Labour. A stand-up comedian apparently did a gig in AE at a hotel and asked, ‘who here is working class?’. They decisively answered ‘I am!’. Mind you, it’s a similar kind of ‘new money’ to that found in Thatcher’s Essex. Will Osborne increase his majority next year?

    A Brown, very interesting post. I agree with the comment that the Tories aren’t so much a political party as a tribe. Fascinating quote in Peter Mandelson’s book: he speaks to Osborne at a party, who says that his constituents aren’t interested in ideology. They join the Conservatives because they’re lonely divorcees or widowers who want to meet people. A LD friend of mine described the Tories as ‘the least political’ of all the parties.

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