Tatton

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
2010
Con: 24687 (55%)
Lab: 7803 (17%)
LDem: 10200 (23%)
Oth: 2541 (6%)
MAJ: 14487 (32%)
2005*
Con: 21447 (52%)
Lab: 9716 (23%)
LDem: 9016 (22%)
UKIP: 996 (2%)
Oth: 239 (1%)
MAJ: 11731 (28%)
2001
Con: 19860 (48%)
Lab: 11249 (27%)
LDem: 7685 (19%)
UKIP: 769 (2%)
Oth: 1715 (4%)
MAJ: 8611 (21%)
1997
Con: 18277 (37%)
Oth: 30515 (63%)
MAJ: 12238 (25%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
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.
TINA-LOUISE ROTHERY (Green)
Links
Comments - 443 Responses on “Tatton”
  1. “…it’s inconceivable she will enjoy anywhere near the same sort of margin once Brexit talks begin and she belatedly realises that the Europeans have no reason whatsoever to give us a good deal…”.

    What you’re basically saying there is that it’s “inconceivable” that your assessment of the chances of a the U.K. getting a good deal is incorrect. You might be right, but I think “inconceivable” is stretching it a bit.

    “A leader like Clegg would be a God send for the Lib Dems right now”.

    He would be doing precisely what Farron is doing now; pursuing a line as close as he dares to arguing that the referendum result should be declared void. It’ll go down well in the likes of Richmond Park or Twickenham, but like a bucket of cold sick in the Lib Dem’s erstwhile heartland of the south west.

  2. Kieran
    The people of the SW must really love cold sick then judging by all the local by-elections the Lib Dems have been winning down there..

    The County Elections will give us a better idea of course so best to wait and see before making assumptions, perhaps?

  3. Probably libdem parish council byelection wins are what stopped May calling a GE. All those westminster seats just ready to tip over

  4. “The people of the SW must really love cold sick then judging by all the local by-elections the Lib Dems have been winning down there..”.

    Apples and Oranges. I’ll wager basically telling people they voted the wrong way in the referendum, and that their vote should therefore be overruled, will be more of a hinderance in national elections than it is at local level.

    Greater minds than mine have attempted to prove the predicitce power of local by election results with regard to the next general election with little success.

  5. I feel that the Lib Dems will recover in the SW eventually, but it might take more than one parliament. The rural and semi-rural areas will lap up Theresa May’s “I stand for the forgotten people” schtick.

    Basically, SW areas – particularly Devon & Cornwall – voted for the Lib Dems did so because they weren’t wealthy enough to be Tory or urban enough to Labour. At the moment Brexit/Theresa May has revived working-class Conservatism but at some point the membership will elect another Etonian and that is the time to strike.

  6. I think that’s a fair assessment. The Lib Dems will be back in the SW, but I don’t think it’ll be in 2020 (which I fully expect to be the year of the next GE).

  7. PC – yes MPs can go abroad – but not at the expense of the regime – if they honestly want to learn anything about the Country.

  8. Well, the Lib Dems will have to be doing a lot better in the polls compared to the Tories to start winning many seats in the SW. However what the local by-elections show is that they can once again mobilise anti Tory votes and that will be enough to close the gap in numerous seats..

    2020 is a long way away however and I expect the Tories will be doing a few % worse and the Lib Dems a few % better by then…

  9. “However what the local by-elections show is that they can once again mobilise anti Tory votes and that will be enough to close the gap in numerous seats..”.

    This isn’t the 1990s. There isn’t an anti-Tory majority just waiting to swing behind the best placed “progressive” alternative. Many of the seats we’re talking about voted majority Brexit and voted 50%+ Tory and UKIP in 2015.

  10. Working class Conservatism has been on the rise a long time before May became PM – look at the amount of working class constituencies the Tories won in 2010 and 15 – and that was under Etonian David Cameron

    May has certainly tapped into this and it probably helps explain why UKIP is floundering

  11. ‘There isn’t an anti-Tory majority just waiting to swing behind the best placed “progressive” alternative. Many of the seats we’re talking about voted majority Brexit and voted 50%+ Tory and UKIP in 2015.’

    Even some Brexiters (obviously not yourself) are beginning to concede that the upcoming EU exit talks will be amongst the hardest the UK has ever had to negotiate and the Tories are in the, unfortunate position you could argue of being in government, which means they will get the flack if things go tit’s up. Obviously I’m less confident than yourself that the likes of Davis, May, Fox and Johnson are capable of getting a good deal for the UK, but despite Corbyn the result of the next election will hinge on these talks, which haven’t even started yet

    Util they do trying to predict the next election is a fool’s game

  12. ”However what the local by-elections show is that they can once again mobilise anti Tory votes and that will be enough to close the gap in numerous seats..”

    @Andrew

    That is not what they show at all. The only real positive the Lib Dems can take from these utterly meaningless elections is that their brand isn’t toxic and most people are rather meh about them (though not very many people at all passionately support them). People vote Lib Dem in these almost entirely insignificant contests mostly as a protest against the council/something the council has done, the Lib Dems have a strong local candidate or because the Lib Dems throw the kitchen sink at the contest campaigning about potholes and dogsh*t. It has nothing to do with ‘mobilising anti-Tory votes’. Lib Dem supporters would be well advised not to believe their own propaganda.

    ”2020 is a long way away however and I expect the Tories will be doing a few % worse and the Lib Dems a few % better by then…”

    We have no way of knowing that. Only time will tell.

  13. ACoBA – The Advisory Cttee on Business Appointments is still to give Osborne advice on the Evening Standard appointment.

    They’ll make their decision public – but what’s taking them so long?.

  14. Pepps,
    If you take the trouble to do a bit of research you will find that every Lib Dem gain made in a General Election has been based on local government success. It is a prerequisite, although not a guarantee, of course. In the coalition years the Lib Dems were not making net gains in local by-elections and we’re making huge losses in May local elections. Now we are in a very different world, and where the Lib Dems are the challengers to the Tories they will get back most of the tactical votes they lost in 2015 to Labour and the Greens.. However, the Tories will hold most of those seats on current polling by mopping up UKIP votes.
    But dismissing these results as “insignificant” displays a complete misunderstanding of how the Lib Dems manage to defy gravity (even when on 20% in the polls) to win seats in FPTP, and is also insulting to the people who choose to vote in them (over 40% in some of the seats we are discussing)

  15. I could add that many past Lib Dem gains followed decades of neglect and complacency by lazy MPs from the two main Parties. If voters choose to replace them by someone who actually cares about their concerns, that shows good judgement. Tory and Labour MPs who hold off strong Lib Dem challenges find that they too have to pay attention to potholes and dogsh*t…. How tragic for them when they are so much more cerebral than their constituents….

  16. “Tory and Labour MPs who hold off strong Lib Dem challenges find that they too have to pay attention to potholes and dogsh*t…. How tragic for them when they are so much more cerebral than their constituents….”.

    I’ll make two points about that. Firstly I would question whether it’s a good thing for MPs to feel they have to essentially duplicate the role of a local councilor.

    Secondly, 2015 showed how fragile Lib Dem success built on those kind of foundations can be. Voters with no deeper commitment to the party than a feeling that its representatives are pretty good at dealing with “potholes and dogsh*t” will likely desert the party en masses if it finds itself on the wrong side of a big national issue.

    In fairness I am sure I’ve read somewhere recently that there are some in the party that recognise this. That unless it builds up support based on a deeper ideological commitment it leaves itself vulnerable to an even worse wipeout than that it suffered in 2015.

    Realistically the Lib Dems are only ever going to hold power as a junior coalition partner. That’s a very tough gig. Parties across the democratic world habitually lose support after playing that role. To survive that kind of event a part needs a committed core of support.

  17. ”In the coalition years the Lib Dems were not making net gains in local by-elections and we’re making huge losses in May local elections.”

    No but their vote held firm in areas where they’d traditionally had local government strength which caused many Lib Dem over optimists to kid themselves into thinking they’d hold 40+ seats because ‘in the areas where we are strong our vote will hold up’ but they didn’t consider that in general elections people are mostly voting on national issues/who they want the government to be. Thus nobody least of all Lib Dem supporters saw the collapse coming.

    ”If you take the trouble to do a bit of research you will find that every Lib Dem gain made in a General Election has been based on local government success. It is a prerequisite, although not a guarantee, of course.”

    That is true but have you ever wondered why the Lib Dems held so many seats in areas that are ‘naturally’ Tory yet comparatively few in areas that were ‘naturally’ Labour despite also having sweeping local government successes in these Labour areas? The reason is because the Tories became unprecedentedly unpopular in the period from the mid 90s to the mid 00s which gave the Lib Dems the unique opportunity to grab constituencies deep within their natural heartlands if they could build up a local base. It is very unlikely that the Tories will become that nationally loathed in the foreseeable meaning that despite any local government success in Tory areas it is unlikely that these will translate into parliamentary success in any more than a handful of seats. Ironically with the state Labour is in the Lib Dems could have done to them what they did to the Tories at the height of their unpopularity if their parliamentary vote share and local government bases hadn’t been annihilated in these places.

    ”Now we are in a very different world, and where the Lib Dems are the challengers to the Tories they will get back most of the tactical votes they lost in 2015 to Labour and the Greens.. However, the Tories will hold most of those seats on current polling by mopping up UKIP votes.”

    Doubtful on crosstabs in polling I’ve seen the Lib Dem retention rate of their 2015 voters being as bad as 60%. This would indicate to me that most of the tactical votes they received (the only reason they didn’t collapse even further) have mostly melted away why they’ve lost voters that voted for Brexit (quite a substantial share of their 2015 vote actually) whilst gaining a fair amount of anti-Corbyn Labour votes and a handful of liberal remain Tories. This is why in a general election held today they’d get above average increases in the likes of Manchester Gorton, Richmond Park (from their 2015 share), Islington South and Finsbury whilst going substantially backwards in the likes of Torbay and Eastbourne despite still having strong local government bases in those places.

    ”and is also insulting to the people who choose to vote in them”

    I have not insulted Lib Dem voters (I have voted Lib Dem in the past) I have merely challenged the false notion often peddled by Lib Dem supporters that good results in these local by-elections equate to national support and votes in general elections. This is because they usually have turnout several times smaller than general election turnout (voters who only vote in general elections disproportionately vote either Tory or Labour) and are mostly fought over local issues while national issues do not feature at all.

  18. ”Tory and Labour MPs who hold off strong Lib Dem challenges find that they too have to pay attention to potholes and dogsh*t”

    Those issues people blame on the council/councillors not the national government. It is very common for people to switch their vote to the Lib Dems locally as a protest against an incompetent, lazy or just simply very unpopular Tory or Labour council while steadfastly sticking to either Lab/Con for general elections.

  19. Survation have carried out a rare constituency poll in this seat, in light of Osborne’s new job:

    CON 58
    LAB 17
    LD 12
    UKIP 9

    Doesn’t look like George is in much danger!!

  20. Agree that neither Osborne nor the Conservatives are in trouble here.

    Interesting that there’s basically no change between the red and blue teams but the LDs and UKIP appear to have swapped which follows the pattern that’s appearing at a UK level with the Lib Dems on the rise (slightly) and UKIP on the retreat (slightly)

    These figures are roughly within the margin of error so it’ll be interesting to see more constituency polls in both leave and remain seats.

  21. I doubt there will be a whole lot of constituency polling any time soon. The relatively poor record of Ashcroft’s 2015 polls – which carried the same error as national polls and had other issues with the way the results were presented, particularly in Lib Dem held seats – has probably put people off paying for them. We didn’t even get any for Stoke or Copeland (barring some very dodgy ‘polls’ by Labour Leave and Leave.EU in Stoke). This Tatton poll was paid for by 38 Degrees, who presumably were fishing for something showing an anti-Osborne backlash. Obviously a poll of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Bath or ever somewhere like Ashfield would much more interesting…

  22. ‘Survation have carried out a rare constituency poll in this seat, in light of Osborne’s new job:
    CON 58
    LAB 17
    LD 12
    UKIP 9
    Doesn’t look like George is in much danger!!’

    That certainly contrasts with the picture painted by the hard-Brexit-supporting tabloid press (Daily Mail, The Sun), who made out that local lifelong Tories were outraged and disgusted at Osborne’s extra circular work at would never vote for him again

  23. For completeness a separate question in the same poll showed a majority agreed he should choose between being a newspaper editor and an MP. But the truth is that, in the absence of any viable alternative for voters in this seat, many are still likely to vote for him. The bigger danger could be boundary changes in this area – though that might also be an excuse for seeking a safe London seat if one comes up.

  24. ‘ though that might also be an excuse for seeking a safe London seat if one comes up ‘

    Although if Osborne were to go down that route he would have to chose his seat very carefully

    Now Brexit has passed, most Remain-supporting Tory MPs are backing the government and their vision of Brexit

    I can’t imagine too many local associations wanting to pick somebody capable of taking the government’s demented approach to Brexit to task

  25. “I can’t imagine too many local associations wanting to pick somebody capable of taking the government’s…approach to Brexit to task”.

    Why should any local Tory association be interested in doing that? Fundementally if people don’t like the government’s approach to Brexit then they’re not going to be voting Conservative come 2020, irrespective of whether the candidate put up in a particular area might also be unhappy at the government’s approach.

    FPTP in single member constituencies doesn’t allow voters to make a choice between candidates from the same party whose views on some policies differ. Anyone who thinks that would be a good idea should be supporting PR, which I don’t believe you do, Tim (a stance that means you’re not quite as progressive as you probably like to think you are).

  26. For the record, this is not the first constituency poll of the parliament – there was one in Richmond Park, and it had Zac winning by 25 points (make of that what you will).

    I guess this is the first constituency poll to ask the “if there were a general election tomorrow…” question.

  27. Even by your standards Kieran that”s a pretty outlamdish thing to say Remainers in places like Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey et al will still be voting Tory in 2020 or whenever – with or without a Corbyn-led Labour Party

    Richmond Park will almost certainly be won back by the Tories in the general election – albeit by a Tory more sceptical of Brexit than Goldsmicht

  28. Being accused of saying things that are”outlandish” by someone blithely asserting that the Tories will “almost certainly” win back Richmond Park at the next GE is more than a little ironic.

  29. I agree with Walt – the upper middle classes who voted for Remain in places like South Bucks, Chelsea although maybe not Richmond Park, won’t be deserting the Tories any time soon, although if the Liberal Democrats had a genuine Liberal like Clegg leading them – as opposed to a Social Democrat like Farron – they might provide such voters with food for thought

    Whilst there are indeed philosophical right-wingers in academia, there are few with the Sun-reader/Essex man views that Kieran espouses

  30. “Whilst there are indeed philosophical right-wingers in academia, there are few with the Sun-reader/Essex man views that Kieran espouses”.

    Is that piece of patently ridiculous pigeon holing really the best response you can come up with to my gentle dig at you for not supporting PR?

  31. On the precise point that was being discussed, I don’t doubt that there will be Conservative inclined voters who don’t like Brexit, and/or the government’s strategy for implementing it, who nonetheless decide to stick with the party for want of any alternative. But surely they are likely to do that whatever the precise views of their local Tory candidate. There really is then little incentive for local associations to choose candidates critical of the Brexit strategy out of some kind of tactical calculation.

  32. Leaving all the personal insults to one side Kieran, I don’t disagree that local associations will be more than disinclined to pick candidates critical of the government’s Brexit strategy – hence my original post suggesting that Osborne will find it difficult if he were to seek a new seat in somewhere like London, but I don’t see too many of the 35/40% or whatever of Tory voters who voted for Remain not voting Tory in 2020, because as you say, there is no alternative

    My point is there should be. Ever since the Mastricht and despite the best efforts of Cameron and to a much lesser extent Clegg,, the UK hasn’t really had a liberal, centre-right party in the mould of the VVD in Holland or the Christian Democrats in Germany, and I think there’s more room than ever for a party like that now

  33. Tim Jones

    Whilst such a party ought to have the support of a sizeable portion of the electorate to be competitive – I for example would support it and i voted tory in 2010 – voters aren’t always as logical in their political as we anoracks too often assume

    Who for example would have thought UKIP a logical choice for former Lib Dem voters

  34. Of course Germany and the Netherlands both have proportional electoral systems. If the UK had then in all likelihood you would always have the type of soft liberal/conservative party you say you want to vote for as an available option.

    On Tory candidates, I think fundementally we are focusing on two different things. Your concern seems to be the future balance of opinion within the Conservative Party, while I am just looking at what might happen at the next GE. If the Tories go down to defeat in 2020 then all those standing under the party’s colours will be natively effected, whatever their views on Brexit.

  35. ‘Who for example would have thought UKIP a logical choice for former Lib Dem voters?”

    Anybody who recognised that the LibDems were simply a protest vote to many people and lost that designation when they joined a governing coalition and made themselves establishment.

    GreenKIP took over the mantle of protest parties at that point

  36. Tim J – both can be true, of course. It’s a very Tory area AND they dislike his choice:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/27/george-osbornes-constituents-think-should-choose-mp-newspaper/

    It’s only fair to report what Survation found:

    60% of his constituents said GO had amoral obligation to have only one job;

    and 40% of Tory voters said it made them less likely to vote for him again.

  37. ‘Anybody who recognised that the LibDems were simply a protest vote to many people and lost that designation when they joined a governing coalition and made themselves establishment.’

    I think many people, including the Lib Dems themselves, recognised that much of their vote was a protest vote – they just underestimated how numerous they were

  38. The fact that the South West returned so many LD MPs yet was a strong area for UKIP in Euro elections showed there must have been plenty who voted for both

  39. In a cynical way, I can kind of admire the way that GO clearly doesn’t give two shits for what the British public think of him.

  40. Oh yes, he’s been consistent throughout his life.

  41. Osborne stepping down, inevitably.

  42. Good riddance.

  43. Yes, he gave the scoop to the Evening Standard, but missed the deadline for the print edition, so it’s just online (according to Andrew Neil).

  44. Esther McVey is on the Tatton shortlist, along with Katherine Fletcher and Cllr Alex Williams. See http://www.conservativehome.com/parliament/2017/04/exclusive-esther-mcvey-shortlisted-for-tatton.html

  45. As always, amused that people who were hailing Osborne as this century’s foremost economic genius less than 2 years ago are now reviling him even though none of his economic views or policies have changed one iota.

    The rest of us saw through him a lot earlier. Must have been that big blue rosette that obscured the vision of the others.

    Anyway, I’d expect that the Tory vote share would increase with a new candidate. Although McVey would test that theory.

  46. Esther McVey’s chicken-running adventures continue. Having been rejected by the local Conservative Association in Hornchurch & Upminster, she’s seeking the nomination here instead.

    I have a sneaking feeling she might end up standing in Wirral West again…

  47. Chris R – I don’t know many who ever hailed GO – except himself and DC!

    But seriously, posters on here certainly didn’t.

    We all knew he was the most inexperienced Chancellor ever and only got the job ‘cos he was Dave’s best mate.

    Polltroll – I have a feeling she’ll end up with neither.

  48. I really don’t know why McVey doesn’t stand in Wirral West. The margin is so wafer thin, and the polls pointing to a heavy defeat by Labour, I can’t see her not winning there.

  49. Esther Mcvey has won the Tory Selection here.

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