2015 Result:
Conservative: 16692 (33.7%)
Labour: 16156 (32.6%)
Lib Dem: 644 (1.3%)
UKIP: 15718 (31.7%)
Independent: 79 (0.2%)
Others: 275 (0.6%)
MAJORITY: 536 (1.1%)

Category: Three-way Marginal

Geography: South East, Essex. Part of the Thurrock council area.

Main population centres: Grays, Purfleet, Tilbury, South Ockendon, Chadwell St Mary.

Profile: An industrial and largely working class seat on the Thames Estuary, at the far southern corner of Essex. The seat contains the major container port of Tilbury and Tilbury power station and the industry of Purfleet, which is home to Esso and Unilever factories. It is a white working class seat, but also has more affluent areas like the recent Chafford Hundred development near the large Lakeside shopping centre. The seat also contains the northern end of the Dartford Crossing over the Thames.

Politics: This used to be a safe Labour seat, but has trended towards the Conservatives over the years. It was first won by the Tories in 1987, but held for just a single term before being won back by Labour. It became a marginal by 2005, and in 2010 it was won by the Conservatives on the narrowest of margins. In 2015 it was a primary target for UKIP, resulting in one of the closest three-way marginals in the country, with just two percent of the vote separating first and third place.

Current MP
JACKIE DOYLE-PRICE (Conservative) Born 1969, Sheffield. Educated at Notre Dame school and Durham University. Contested Sheffield Hillsborough 2005. First elected as MP for Thurrock in 2010. Government whip since 2015.
Past Results
Con: 16869 (37%)
Lab: 16777 (37%)
LDem: 4901 (11%)
BNP: 3618 (8%)
Oth: 3656 (8%)
MAJ: 92 (0%)
Con: 14261 (33%)
Lab: 20636 (47%)
LDem: 4770 (11%)
BNP: 2526 (6%)
Oth: 1499 (3%)
MAJ: 6375 (15%)
Con: 11124 (30%)
Lab: 21121 (57%)
LDem: 3846 (10%)
UKIP: 1271 (3%)
MAJ: 9997 (27%)
Con: 12640 (27%)
Lab: 29896 (63%)
LDem: 3843 (8%)
Oth: 833 (2%)
MAJ: 17256 (37%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
JACKIE DOYLE-PRICE (Conservative) See above.
POLLY BILLINGTON (Labour) Born 1967. Educated at Sussex University. Head of communications for Citizens Advice, former BBC journalist and special advisor to Ed Miliband.
TIM AKER (UKIP) Born Aveley. Educated at Nottingham University. Head of UKIP policy unit. Contested MEP for East of England since 2014.
DANIEL MUNYAMBU (No description) Born Kenya. Basildon councillor since 2011, originally elected as Labour.
Comments - 588 Responses on “Thurrock”
  1. THE RESULTS- I think the only chance of this result not being shown live, is if it clashes with Sheffield Hallam, Thanet South or Jim Murphy’s seat. It’s one of the most interesting & important seats of the whole election. With such a tiny majority to overturn, the fact labour aren’t winning this in the polls is a real headache for them. The fact UKIP are favourites makes it even bigger news, whichever of the 3 win it.

  2. I don’t think the Thurrock declaration has ever been shown before.

  3. I imagine it wouldn’t be shown live if it clashed with Whitny or Doncaster North or even Uxbridge and Gordon.
    What time is it due to declare.

  4. I think it would be fascinating to watch.

  5. Time to reopen the debate on what seats will be televised?

    Leaders’ Seats
    – Doncaster North
    – Witney
    – Sheffield Hallam
    – Thanet South
    – Gordon
    – Holborn and St. Pancras

    Lab/Con Marginals
    – Lancaster and Fleetwood
    – Bedford
    – Dewsbury
    – North Warwickshire
    – Etc.

    UKIP Targets
    – Clacton
    – Rochester and Strood
    – Thurrock
    – Grimsby
    – Rotherham
    – Great Yarmouth

    Odds and Ends
    – Brighton Pavilion
    – Bradford West
    – Buckingham?
    – Wyre Forest?

    – Bristol West
    – Norwich South

    We Don’t Agree with Nick
    – Brent Central
    – Manchester Withington
    – Redcar
    – Wells
    – Solihull

    We Might Agree with Nick
    – Cambridge
    – Bermondsey
    – Cardiff Central

    We REALLY Agree with Nick
    – Westmoreland and Lonsdale
    – Sutton and Cheam
    – Twickenham

    We Agree with Nicola
    – Paisley
    – East Renfrewshire
    – INBS
    – RSL

    Probably some on there that are wrong, and some I’ve missed. Do shout up.

  6. I’d add East Belfast to that list. Also probably Sunderland central seeing as it seems to declare about an hour before anywhere else.

  7. Gordon is not a leader seat only a former leader seat.
    I would say all 3 of Sunderland seats simply as there is nothing else to show at that time.
    Uxbridge will be shown as well because of Boris.
    Birmingham Edgbaston gets shown usually as well.

  8. Hopefully one of the Wandsworth seats – though none look very marginal this year (a rarity)

  9. North Antrim? It’s an early declaration and potentially important for government formation, even if Paisley’s re-election is a formality.

  10. IIRC Thurrock came through at about 8:30am in 2010.

  11. I think there are only about 200 counting centres because in the urban areas a single venue is used to count many constituencies. For example in Birmingham they count 11 in the same place. That makes it easier to broadcast more declarations.

  12. Yep Sheffield counts six.

  13. I’ve heard that all 3 Walsall seats will be counted in the same place for the first time.

  14. I now think Thurrock will be a UKIP gain with Labour in second place.

  15. Wirral West will probably be shown as well. Esther Mcvey is well Known.

  16. In fact Thurrock came through at 10:14am in 2010:

  17. UKIP Gain. 100 Maj.

  18. BBC reporting that Labour are third and UKIP and the Tories are neck-and-neck here!

  19. CON hold by 500 or so, LAB in second, UKIP in third

  20. Well this result was a shocker!

    Well done to Doyle-Price for retaining the seat and slightly increasing her majority. I honestly thought she was toast here. Was it the fear of the SNP that helped her here?

    Well done to Billington for coming a very close second. Very shocked that Aker came third (despite the closeness of the votes for the top three candidates). I expected him to win this seat.

    Does anyone know if there has ever been a tighter three-way marginal in a General Election than this result.

    2020 is going to very, very interesting here!

  21. I think Hampstead and Kilburn 2010 was ever so slightly closer than here.

  22. Everyone asks that question and l keep answering it, and no-one takes a sodding blind bit of notice. In 1945, there were only 50 votes between the Conservatives (who won) and the Liberals, represented by their leader Sir Archibald Sinclair, grandfather of Viscount Thurso, who were third, with Labour sandwiched in between.

  23. The closest ever result was Caithness 1945 when the then Liberal leader Sir Archibald Sinclair was defeated. The tories won from Labour by just 6 votes with the Liberals 60 votes behind.

  24. What seat Barnaby?

  25. Oh duh! Thanks CDB

  26. yes l forgot to say it was Caithness & Sutherland. l’m not very well today.

  27. All three candidates were good.
    Rather a relief for the Tories.

  28. I don’t think the Lab candidate was any good here. I saw a report on local BBC News about a group of migrants being found dead in a lorry. Doyle-Price was compassionate and warm, commenting that Britain should always be a home for people fleeing persecution. Akers was awful, no warm compassionate words appropriate for the tragedy, just a line saying Britain shouldn’t be a home for anyone fleeing persecution given they’ve travelled through a safe country. Under his position Britain wouldn’t give shelter to anyone unless France or Ireland are tyrannically dictatorships. Billington basically said the same as Aker!

    Also Doyle-Price was very clear and strong when asked about a possible Tory-UKIP coalition. She said she’d resign the Tory whip and sit as an independent rather than have anything to do with UKIP! She seemed very principled to me and stuck up for her values. I respect politicians for doing that even if I don’t agree with them, what I can’t stand are politicians that follow public opinion like sheep. She deserved to win here – it’s not often I say that about Tories!

  29. Anthony, can we have a tab to click on in order to access the list of UKIP target seats, please?

  30. I’ve been told that a lot of African families from East London have moved to South Ockendeon.

    I wonder if that’s part of the reason why Labour managed to hold onto a decent second place here.

  31. That was hardly an achievement. Labour should have won here easily.

  32. Thurrock had for many years had an unusually high Labour vote because of the Irish Catholic dockers who moved out from the East End, particularly after their homes were blitzed in World War Two. I suspect quite a few of them got jobs at Tilbury.This vote has become less Labour because sectarianism has declined as a force in British politics and new generations have assimilated with the local population.

    Anthony’s demographics give a racial breakdown for every seat, from which it appears that the non-white vote in this seat whilst not negligible is not particularly high either.

  33. It’s not particularly high compared with London but it is easily the most ethnic seat in Essex.

  34. “I’ve been told that a lot of African families from East London have moved to South Ockendeon.”

    We were discussing that about three years ago when the census data came out. IIRC the African population increased from about 1% in 2001 to about 10% in 2011.

  35. Go shopping at Lakeside and the ethnic split is roughly 50:50 white:nonwhite. Though many shoppers will be travelling in from London I’d wager the nonwhite percentage in Thurrock will be quite a bit higher now than in 2011. The contrast with Bluewater on the other side of the Thames is certainly illuminating.

  36. Labour could command a huge vote here in 1979 despite a large negative swing (11%).
    The Tory vote is about the same in 2015 as 1979 here allowing for boundary changes.
    But they lost control of the council quite quickly after gaining a majority in 2004 which I thought was a sign the apparent long term trend to them here was being checked.

  37. It must be the rural bits lthat keep this seat blue. The parts of Thurrock I have been through are as grim as North Woolwich.

  38. IIRC the Tories actually won split representation in the Ockendon area in 2004 but Labour or UKIP got it later.
    Whatever the reasons, UKIP has damaged Labour more here unless there is massive churn which some Tories seem to believe but I don’t think is entirely credible.

  39. I think the Tories holding this seat was one of the most impressive performances of the election. I was sure it be a Lab/UKIP contest.

  40. Caithness and Sutherland was the closest ever three way marginal so far as I know.. Howver, the closest result between first and second was Ilkeston in 1931, if I remember rightly, when National Labour beat Labour by two votes.

    I think I have asked this a considerable time ago, but can the returning officers, who certainly do use their best endeavours, really get the result right to hte last vote. In these days wehre we are increasingly aware of sttistical inaccuracies, should we not be aware of the variance when results are declare/ Perhaps it should be agreed that elections should be re-run when there is less than, say, ten votes between the two leading candidates. I think that was in effect wat happened at Winchester in 1997.

    Also, in relation to the time it takes to count votes, a seat like Thurrock, where it is known in advance the result is likely to be close, is never going to rush to be one of the early declarations.

  41. Another question. Am I right in thinking that Jackie Doyle-Price’s vote here was the lowest in percentage terms, at 33.7%, of any winning candidate in 2015?

  42. In England yes. Belfast South had lower though.

  43. Actually, in England, the Liberal Democrat MP for Southport, John Pugh, won with a lower winning vote share-31.0% (notably representing a drop of 18.7% from his 2010 vote share).

  44. The Lib Dems and the Tories both had stupendous momentum backwards in Southport.

  45. Recount territory beckons once more for this seat next time I think- but any one of three parties can still realistically win here.

  46. True about Southport Joe. It was a very strange result really- UKIP hit the Tories hard, while Labour appear to have taken a huge chunk out of Pugh’s vote share. I think if the Tories locally are able to counter UKIP locally before 2020 they can start entertaining genuine hopes of actually still winning again one day in Southport, but if demographic changes continue to go against them in the longrun, I wouldn’t rule out a Plopwellesque Sheffield Hallam situation next time with Labour snatching second place away from the Tories. The Lib Dems are very fortunate in Southport for the timebeing I think because the opposition is heavily split.

  47. S Ockendon now seems to be Tory despite being almost entirely council-built. lt would be stretching it to describe any part of the seat as rural, but there are perhaps semi-rural areas which do give the Tories a decent vote.

  48. I’m with Barnaby- can’t really see any rural or even semi-rural communities in this seat. The only bits which look archetypcally Conservative are the Chafford wards and they are essentially private newbuild housing estates for the lower-middle and middle-middle classes.

  49. Aveley is pretty middle-class compared with the rest of the seat as well, and l reckon that’s just about Labour’s weakest area.

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