North Thanet

2015 Result:
Conservative: 23045 (49%)
Labour: 8411 (17.9%)
Lib Dem: 1645 (3.5%)
Green: 1719 (3.7%)
UKIP: 12097 (25.7%)
Others: 136 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 10948 (23.3%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Kent. The western part of Thanet council area and the north-eastern part of the Canterbury council area.

Main population centres: Margate, Herne Bay, Westgate-on-Sea, Minster.

Profile: The seat consists of the north-eastern coast of Kent, made up of the seaside towns of Margate, Westgate-on-Sea, Birchington and Herne Bay and their rural hinterlands. The towns all suffer the common problems of traditional seaside towns that have seen their economies decline since the growth of international tourism. Margate in particular has some of the most deprived areas in the whole of the South East region and has become the focus of redevelopment efforts including the building of the Turner Contemporary galley and the redeveloping of the traditional Dreamland amusement park. The seat also includes Manston airport.

Politics: Despite the comparative poverty in Thanet, this is a solid, safe Conservative seat. Thanet North has been held by Conservative MP Roger Gate since its creation in 1983. In 2015 UKIP took second place from Labour and won the local council, the first council under majority UKIP control.

Current MP
ROGER GALE (Conservative) Born 1943, Poole. Educated at Hardye`s School, Dorchester and Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Former radio and television producer. Contested Birmingam Northfield 1982 by-election. First elected as MP for Thanet North in 1983. PPS to Archie Hamilton 1992-1993, PPS to Jeremy Hanley 1993-1994. Producer of the Today Programme 1973-1976, Director of BBC childrens television 1976-1979. President of Conservative Animal Welfare. Knighted for public and political service in 2012.
Past Results
Con: 22826 (53%)
Lab: 9298 (21%)
LDem: 8400 (19%)
UKIP: 2819 (7%)
MAJ: 13528 (31%)
Con: 21699 (50%)
Lab: 14065 (32%)
LDem: 6279 (14%)
UKIP: 1689 (4%)
MAJ: 7634 (17%)
Con: 21050 (50%)
Lab: 14400 (34%)
LDem: 4603 (11%)
UKIP: 980 (2%)
Oth: 835 (2%)
MAJ: 6650 (16%)
Con: 21586 (44%)
Lab: 18820 (38%)
LDem: 5576 (11%)
Oth: 438 (1%)
MAJ: 2766 (6%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
ROGER GALE (Conservative) See above.
FRANCES REHAL (Labour) Born Ireland. Educated at St Raphaels Convent of Mercy, Loughrea and Kings College Hospital. Childrens Centre co-ordinator and former nurse. Awarded an MBE for services to children and families in 2009.
GEORGE CUNNINGHAM (Liberal Democrat) Born 1956. Educated at Oxford University. Diplomat and former army officer.
PIERS WAUCHOPE (UKIP) Barrister. Former Camden councillor for the Conservatives. Tunbridge Wells councillor since 2012. Contested Hampstead and Highgate 2005 for the Conservatives, Kent Police Commissioner election 2012 for UKIP.
ED TARGETT (Green) Educated at SOAS. Journalist.
CEMANTHE MCKENZIE (United Thanet) Managing director.
Comments - 196 Responses on “Thanet North”
  1. Not sure that’s so unexpected.

    Others likely to be severely at odds with their constituents include Victoria Borwick (Out, Kensington will be firmly In) and Chris Bryant (very In but the demographic stats suggest Rhondda will be very Out).

  2. JS – Kensington as in people or voters? Remember EU citizens etc won’t have a vote.

    Generally Tory voters are split as the nation is. I realise there aren’t many UKIP voters (80% support Leave) there but there’s more of them than Greens (who I think are the most pro-EU).

  3. Central London constituencies will be among the most pro-EU in country, including the Tory ones.

  4. Yes, only Oxford and Cambridge may be higher.

  5. Jack Sheldon: other cases of the above:

    Matt Warman (in)/Boston & Skegness (out)
    Zac Goldsmith (out)/Richmond Park (in)
    Potentially most of the North East?

    Also of note is Orkney and Shetland, who despite being the only place to vote to stay out in 1975 have consistently elected MPs from the most pro-European party since 1950. No idea which way they will go this time though.

  6. Andy JS: I still feel the most pro-EU constituency will be one of the Edinburgh seats. I’m not sure we’ll get information on how seats voted though, results are reported by council district.

  7. Should say that the previous MP for South Thanet, Laura Sandys, was and still is one of the leading truly pro-European Tories. Her successor is, however, firmly an outer.

  8. Not particularly surprising, though, Jack, since Craig Mackinlay used to be a UKIP activist and candidate before he was elected for South Thanet!

  9. PollTroll: votes will be counted by district in England, Wales and Scotland so we may not get constituency results. I agree that Edinburgh Central or Edinburgh South would produce a very high Remain vote.

  10. Pretty much every non-London Metropolitan seat with large student populations will vote Remain. Within those boroughs, however, we could see much closer results in predominantly working class seats.

  11. All the Edinburgh seats will run up big scores for Remain. I can’t currently see any part of Scotland that’s likely to vote to Leave. I think attitudes have changed very substantially in the more remote parts of the country since 1975, and I’d be very surprised if places like Orkney & Shetland and the Western Isles voted to Leave.

  12. Maldon, Basildon and Castle Point as well I would’ve thought. Hard to predict a few of the other Essex districts…commuters to London, affluence in certain areas etc make things unpredictable.

  13. I don’t think the heavily unionist parts of Northern Ireland will necessarily vote to remain, My understanding is that the nationalist community is pretty much monolithically in favour of staying in the EU, but that the unionist community is much more split, and that a majority of unionists will likely vote to leave.

  14. ‘Yes, only Oxford and Cambridge may be higher.’

    I read somewhere at the weekend (The Times I think) that St Albans was the most pro-EU constituency in the UK

  15. St Albans is a slightly surprising one. Nice, above average income town though with a huge number of commuters to London, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.

  16. I’m a bit sceptical about that. Believable that St. Albans would be more pro-EU than average – commuters, wealthy, has retained a significant LD vote despite their national decline. But would have thought London, Edinburgh, nationalist parts of NI and the student hotspots would be more pro-EU.

    Incidentally, continuing our discussion from yesterday the MP there, Anne Main, is very pro-Brexit.

  17. I can’t talk for everyone but I’m from St Albans and I am pretty undecided as are most people I know

  18. St Albans will probably be one of the most pro-EU places in that part of the country. UKIP are rather weak there compared to elsewhere in Hertfordshire.

  19. One of the main reasons is the proportion of people with degrees in St Albans is 46% which is one of the highest figures in the country outside London, and — whether we like it or not — they’re more likely to be pro-EU.

  20. ‘whether we like it or not — they’re more likely to be pro-EU.’

    Not really surprising but away from the politicians and business leaders, I’ve yet to met one genuinely intelligent person who supports Brexit

  21. With the exception of Stevenage and *maybe* Hemel Hempstead (maybe) I can’t really picture the rest of Hertfordshire being overly pro-Leave or UKIP friendly. Even those two aren’t probably that high up the list of Eurosceptic town.

  22. *towns

  23. Welwyn Hatfield could be fairly close. Also, Broxbourne is a bit of oddity in being wealthy but fairly Eurosceptic for the Home Counties.

  24. I’d expect Leave to win in Stevenage, Welwyn, Hemel Hempstead and Broxbourne

    Leave could make a clean sweep in Essex – although I’d expect Saffron Walden, which is Essex only in name, to buck the trend

    I think Leave will win all the seats in Lincolnshire too

  25. I think the Lincoln result will be a tad closer than other parts of the county.

    Also, is Chelmsford as Eurosceptic as other towns/boroughs in Essex?

  26. Owen Jones has advocated for Brexit. Whatever you think of him, an oxbridge graduate and journalist he is certainly an intellectual in favour of Brexit

  27. Jack S – the figures in the press in NI today were that of the 3,000 polled:

    Unionists were 65% for Leave.

    80% of Nationalists support Remain.

    The small Alliance/non-aligned/Green voters are 90% Remain.

    Scotland is more pro-Remain than Northern Ireland on those figures.

  28. Andy JS – yes. Well, results will be reported by Council area in England.

    But as you know Counts organise physically in sports centres etc and count as they do, so eg in Liverpool it’ll be easy to see notional results for 4 constituencies, even if they are not actually reported as they were with the Euros in 1999 and 2004. [But I agree cross-border seats such as Garston & Halewood won’t be].

  29. Matt Wilson: actually he’s changed his mind and is now in favour of reform from within. He initially decided to back leaving off the back of the election of Syriza and their subsequent treatment by Merkel and co. It seemed at the time like an emotional reaction to news that deeply upset him, rather than a well thought-out decision.

  30. ‘I think the Lincoln result will be a tad closer than other parts of the county.
    Also, is Chelmsford as Eurosceptic as other towns/boroughs in Essex?’

    Fair points

    Lincoln does have a university – albeit one of the least well thought of in the country – and Chelmsford has always had a reputation as considerably more liberal than elsewhere in Essex

  31. Let’s get local. Electors in both North Thanet and South Thanet are more likely to vote Leave than those in the country generally.

  32. “Not sure that’s so unexpected.

    Others likely to be severely at odds with their constituents include Victoria Borwick (Out, Kensington will be firmly In) and Chris Bryant (very In but the demographic stats suggest Rhondda will be very Out).”

    Potentially a number of the remaining Lib Dems may find themselves in this position, for instance:

    Nigel Forman (In, Carshalton & Wallington may be one of the few London “Out” areas)
    Norman Lamb (In, North Norfolk firmly Out)


  33. …meant Tom Brake of course…don’t know why i went back in time there!

  34. @PollTroll
    Fair enough, thanks for the update.

    David Icke backs Brexit, does he count?

  35. I thought that David Icke would, given the chance, have the UK ruled by aliens.

    Coming back to earth, how does the current size of this constituency, and also of South Thanet, compare with the quota for the forthcoming boundary changes?

  36. It is proposed that five wards from this seat (effectively, Margate) will be transferred into the new Thanet East constituency (I would call it Isle of Thanet). Thanet North Coastal wil include instead Herne Bay and Whitstable along with the rural areas in-between. Short of a big UKIP resurgence, this will make for a safe Conservative seat.

    Can somebody think of a better name than Kent North Coastal?

  37. Garden of England, Water’s Edge

  38. This seat will only include four wards from Thanet: Birchington North, Birchington South, Thanet Villages (which will include Manston, MInster and Sare), and Westgate-on-Sea

  39. Kent Coastal? Shorter than Kent North Coastal.

  40. UKIP Cllr Peter Evans (Salmestone ward) has defected to the Conservatives.

    UKIP have therefore lost their overall majority on the council.

  41. UKIP lost their overall majority some time ago

  42. 28 out of the 56 the local paper said.

  43. Labour has gained Margate Central ward from Ind elected originally as UKIP. Don’t yet have the final figure but think it was pretty clear.

  44. Two by-elections caused by the death of a Conservative Cllr (who was elected as Labour but defected after a decade):

    Thanet Villages ward, 11.01.18:

    Cons 620 49% (+23%)
    LD 313 25% (+25%)
    Lab 206 16% (+6%)
    Green 66 5% (-7%)
    Ind 52

    * No UKIP candidate even though they run the Council.

    Birchington and Rural ward (Kent CC):

    Cons 2,534 57% (+6%)
    Lab 856 19% (+3%)
    LD 561 13% (+1%)
    UKIP 357 8% (-8%)
    Green 169 4% (-2%)

  45. Birchington South ward by-election, 26.07.18:

    Conservative 651
    Labour 265
    Liberal Democrat 117

    Conservative Gain (from UKIP).

  46. Sir Roger Gale has been made a privy Councillor.

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