Thurrock

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
2010
Con: 16869 (37%)
Lab: 16777 (37%)
LDem: 4901 (11%)
BNP: 3618 (8%)
Oth: 3656 (8%)
MAJ: 92 (0%)
2005*
Con: 14261 (33%)
Lab: 20636 (47%)
LDem: 4770 (11%)
BNP: 2526 (6%)
Oth: 1499 (3%)
MAJ: 6375 (15%)
2001
Con: 11124 (30%)
Lab: 21121 (57%)
LDem: 3846 (10%)
UKIP: 1271 (3%)
MAJ: 9997 (27%)
1997
Con: 12640 (27%)
Lab: 29896 (63%)
LDem: 3843 (8%)
Oth: 833 (2%)
MAJ: 17256 (37%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
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.
RHODRI JAMIESON-BALL (Liberal Democrat)
TIM AKER (UKIP) Born Aveley. Educated at Nottingham University. Head of UKIP policy unit. Contested MEP for East of England since 2014.
ABA KRISTILOLU (All People)
JAMIE BARNES (CISTA)
DANIEL MUNYAMBU (No description) Born Kenya. Basildon councillor since 2011, originally elected as Labour.
Links
Comments - 640 Responses on “Thurrock”
  1. ”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.”

    H.Hemmelig – You’ve got a point. I’ve never been to Lakeside but been to Bluewater several times. If you go shopping their on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, most of the women look like Katie Price / Jordan and most of the men look like Joey Essex!! Haha!

  2. Some of them do but in general Bluewater is far whiter and far posher than Lakeside

  3. *there

  4. Through when I went Lakeside just before last Christmas it was around 75% white including those getting of the train from London with us. Being it was a working weekday (it’s quieter than a Saturday) locals were probably more predominant as well.
    I don’t think that many cross the river to go to the one on the other side especially not by public transport which is generally poor.
    Basildon figures could be changing a fair bit as well. I was there a couple of weeks ago and I say 15-20% of shoppers in the town centre were non white.

  5. I have been to Bluewater, albeit not recently. My recollection is that the ethnic mix at Bluewater is not that much different from Lakeside.

    There is a considderably more varied ethnic mix at Westfield Stratford, which absolutely heaves with customers and which, with two mainline stations as well as DLR, is much more accessible than either Bluewater or Lakeside. From East Kent it is Stratofrd that I would now choose to go to

    Westfield is a good ten years newer than Bluewater or Lakeside, as well s being much bigger. Politically, this illustrates how Thurrock in particular and also seats like Dartford and Gravesend are continully struggling to keep up economically.

    All this will change again in 2018 when Crossrail opens.

  6. Frederic Stansfield – Most of my friends who live in east Kent and south east London hardly go to Westfield Stratford and shop at Bluewater quite frequently. Most travel by car or train (nearest train station is Greenhithe).

    Ebbsfleet Garden City (the first phase has just been completed) and the Paramount London theme park (which will be bigger than the Olynpic Park) will have a huge economic and political effect on the Dartford seat. The garden city will undoubtedly boost Tory votes in the Dartford seat.

  7. I overlooked the problems of getting into the heart of East London by car, and clearly many people do shop at Bluewater and Lkeside or they would be struggling financially, which as far as I know they are not doing. However, the point remains that Westfield Stratford is huge by comparison with the out of city centres (incidentally, it also seems to be considerably busier that the original Westfield).

  8. I have only been to Westfield Stratford once and I thought it nowhere near as good as Bluewater. Not my type of shops I suppose but also much more difficult to navigate.
    Bluewater also has very good parking and is basically next door to Ebbsfleet. In general terms I would have thought of it as broadly comparable to Lakeside in terms of who shops there. I don’t often go to Lakeside myself (apart from to Ikea sometimes) but quite a few friends do as it is open an hour later.

  9. One thing that these megashopping centres have in common is that they are all ferociously opposed to any sort of public activity, such as clllecting for charity, let alone political canvassing.

    Given the major part these shopping centres play in contemporary everyday life, there is a serious question as to what effect thiese poliicies have on political life.

    Arguably, the privatiisation of retail shopping areas is a substantial and unfair contravention of rights to free speech.

  10. Frederic Stansfield – You’re absolutely right. I’ve never thought of this before. You’re very insightful. I wonder what implication this has on future political discourse in this country?

  11. I have been looking, in relation to the Wentwoorth and Deane thread, about the task UKIP faces in relation to the swing required to gain seats.

    Assuming a uniform swing from the winning party to UKIP, and current boundaries, the number of seats UKIP would get asuuming various levels of swing to UKIP are as follows: –
    1% swing 2 seata (Clacton and Thurrock)
    2% swing 4 seats (as above plus Thanet South and Hartlepool)
    3 % swing 7 seats (also Boston and Skegness, Heywood and Middleton and Dagenham and Rainham)
    4% swing 12 seats (also Rochester and Strood, Mansfield, Great Grimsby, Stoke-on-Trent North and Rother Valley)
    5% swing 21 seats
    6% swing 36 seats (or 37 if Blyth Valley, where the swing required is exactly 6%, is included)
    7% swing 68 seats (or 69 including Ashton Under Lyne)
    8% swing 139 seats

  12. Labour have suspended Cllr Terry Brookes here as he has been charged with the possession of child pornography.

    He was Cabinet Member for Public Protection!

  13. 4% swing 12 seats (also Rochester and Strood, Mansfield, Great Grimsby, Stoke-on-Trent North and Rother Valley)

    Not sure how you’ve done your maths. UKIP are 15.2% behind Labour in Stoke-on-Trent North so the swing needed is 7.6%. In Mansfield the gap is 14.3% the so swing needed here is 7.2%.

    UKIP are also in 3rd place in both Stoke-on-Trent North and Mansfield so would have to leapfrog the Tories. Labour are in a strong position to continue to win these two I would argue while the anti-Labour vote remains so split.

  14. I have taken the target list from http://www.electionpolling.co.uk

    Mea culpa, I have taken the swing needed as the majority, so I have halved it in all cases,

    Where UKIP are third, for the sake of simplicity I have assumed a swing from the winning party to UKIP with the second party’s share of the vote remaining the same, which I think is what electionpolling,co.uk did. This is admittedly unlikely in the real world but it simplifies matters.

    It is arguable whether the anti-Labour vote is split or whether the Labour Party under Corby is likely to be divided, and therefore likely to lose votes to UKIP where they are strong.

    On the basis of recent local by-election results, it is possible that UKIP are falling back, in which case they will have at best one seat.

  15. That was the most avowedly WWC PPB I’ve seen in years.

    It was UKIP’s on BBC1 for the Locals.

    It featured Tim Aker and concentrated on him helping residents of an estate with housing issues.

    An OAP decried that Labour had failed to reply after 2 months, but UKIP helped him.

    A younger couple (skinhead & tattoo) hugged Aker, as he’d helped them too.

    Farage even said to Aker “It’s really us against the middle class, isn’t it.”

  16. UKIP’s success here suggests that if it is experiencing the same change as parts of outer London it isn’t showing up in the results yet.

  17. Some indications coming in on live feeds that UKIP might become the largest party on Thurrock Council.

  18. Just heard an amusing story from my father, a civil servant involved in the delivery of the Lower Thames Crossing project which would run through this constituency and is highly unpopular locally.

    During the referendum campaign, George Osborne appeared on Radio 4 commented that “a vote to leave the EU could cause the government to cancel some of its biggest infrastructure projects”.

    Big vote-loser in Thurrock. Within minutes the UKIP co-leader of the council (UKIP and the Tories are tied on 17 councillors each) was designing posters implying that a vote to leave would mean the end of Lower Thames Crossing.

  19. ‘Biggest falls in Tory vote % since 1983’

    Hove just misses out with 20.6% but the Tories got 61% of the vote in 1983 to Labour’s 14%, so it you were basing in on where the Labour vote has increased the most, I think Hove would be top of the list

    I’m surprised seats like Brent North, Mitcham & Morden and Ealing North don’t feature either

  20. Good stuff Max

    I’ll be particularly interested in those seats that have seen the biggest Tory increase since 97

  21. It’s interesting that the Tory numbers aren’t so extreme in either direction.

    This possibly confirms that Labour are piling up votes in fewer places, and Tory votes are conversely more efficiently spread. Of course, if a 30% Labour increase means they just win a seat for the first time in a long time (Hove?) then this kind of knocks that argument sideways a bit. And there always are ‘exceptions [like this] which prove the rule’ I suppose.

  22. Maxim
    Re Kingswood I don’t know the area but I’ve read other posts on here that have said it and neighbouring Somerset NE are prime “White Flight” areas with much of Bristol’s middle class moving out of the city proper into those areas.

    Kingswood in particular was also home (and still is) to much of Bristol’s social housing much of which will have been sold under right to buy.

  23. @Maxim Kingswood is a world away demographically from constituencies like Broxtowe or Gedling.

    For starters Kingswood has favourable boundaries for the Tories since 2010 losing the heavily Labour city of Bristol ward of Hillfields as well as Staple Hill while picking up more Tory friendly areas from the old Wandsdyke of Bitton and Hanham (incidently North East Somerset also became more Tory after gaining the Bathavon wards).

    But yes even with boundary changes there has been a sharp pro-Tory trend in this area. Kingswood was traditionally a very WWC area with a mining heretige indeed it was in Tony Benn’s Bristol South East up until 1974. While Kingswood itself remains quite WWC and Labour still do relatively well in the town itself, right to buy and Labour’s general problems with the skilled private sector working class have diminished this strength massively (electoral calculus actually estimates that Skidmore narrowly carried both Kingswood town wards). A lot of the rest of the seat has seen housing stock snapped up by the Tory voting private sector middle class as well as probably a large amount of new build housing shown by this rising electorate in the area (‘Avon’ gained a seat in 2010). This is virtually identical to the trend which has essentially finished Labour in Keynsham just across the border in Somerset.

    On the other hand what has made Broxtowe and Gedling trend Labour was the growth of the public sector middle class in the area and the decline of the private sector one partly driven by the expansion of Nottinghams university sector and the decline of industry in the city (i.e no more facrory managerial class). Although Bristol has also had a huge expansion in its university sector the public sector workers and students chose to live close to the centre in places like Clifton, Redland and Cotham, and the huge houses which were once the residences of Bristol’s affluent upper middle class were converted into student houses or ripped up into flats which has caused the Tory collapse in the centre of Bristol. This is opposed to colonising working class areas on the outskirts like the Kingswood area which are instead increasingly being taken over by the Tory voting private sector middle class.

    Hope that helps a bit ;-).

  24. ‘This possibly confirms that Labour are piling up votes in fewer places, and Tory votes are conversely more efficiently spread. ‘

    Which is the exact opposite of the situation between 1997-2005 where is was the Labour vote that was better spread out

    ‘Could you please explain what is happening demographically in Bristol North West. I’d be really grateful’

    I’m sure Peppermint can give a better reply than me but having visited the area a couple of times a year for the past 12 years or so, Bristol North West seems like a very divided seat between well-off suburbia like Stoke Bishop, Henleaze (a one-time Lib Dem stronghold) and to a lesser extent Westbury, and deprived multi cultural areas with quite a bit of council housing, like Southmead, Lockleaze and parts of Kingweston.

    There’s also a more traditional WWC blue collar voters in the industrial port of Avonmouth, an old Labour stronghold where they would have almost certainly been outpolled by the Tories in 2015 (and probably in 2010 too)

  25. The Lab figures are probably more extreme due to the extra 14 years of demographic change. I understand the years being chosen as the parties’ respective nadirs but perhaps changes with 1992 would be better as the election outcome was similar to 2015 and it would show how areas have changed politically over the same time frame

  26. @Maxim, Tim’s explanation of Bristol North West is largely correct but here is my go at adding to it:

    As Tim says it is a very divided constituency with large extremes of wealth a poverty. I shall try to deal with each local government ward in turn:

    The wealthiest part of the seat is easily Stoke Bishop which is really the ‘new Clifton’. Although the houses up in Stoke Bishop don’t look as impressive as those in Clifton (which have the large bay windows, extremely high ceilings etc.) they are actually proper houses unlike the majority in Clifton which have been torn up into flats and it is where Bristol’s upper middle class, white collar professionals reside. Although many Bristolians will immediately identify Clifton as the poshest part of the city, it isn’t really anymore (though there are still a few remnants of its former wealth in the outer bits) and Stoke Bishop has been quietly wresting the title from it for years. Needless to stay Stokey B is rock solidly Tory and will remain that way for a long time.

    Westbury-upon-Trym is wealthy though not as much as Stokey B and it has more of a ‘pleasant, villagey, hanging basket and wisteria, long way from the city centre feel to it’ (or at least that’s how it feels to me whenever I go through it on the bus) it probably wouldn’t feel out of place if it was a village somewhere in Surrey. I have also been told it has a substantial retired population though I’m not sure how credible this is (though it wouldn’t surprise me). Needless to say it is solidly Tory too (or it was until it was put in a ward with the next area).

    While Westbury doesn’t really feel to be part of the city (or at least the centre) Henleaze does. It’s housing stock (or what I’ve seen of it, I know Henleaze less well) is very different to Westbury’s and much more similar to areas to its south like Clifton except I believe they are still actually family houses. It is probably similar to how Cotham and Redland were in their pre-student heydays, staunchly middle class with a socially moderate to liberal inclination. The Lib Dems used to dominate the Henleaze ward when it existed but its merger with Westbury it takes a huge hit to their position, one of their councillors did manage to hold on narrowly in the new 3 councillor ward due I guess to local popularity but the other 2 were way behind the Tory slate. I imagine a good chunk of the Lib Dem local voters here are happy to back the Tories nationally though. However this could potentially be a problem area for the Tories down the line if the demographics start to go the way of its southern neighbours, its just about close enough to the uni and contains the right type of housing stock for conversion into flats/student houses (not saying it will happen but its something to keep an eye on), however Westbury on the other hand is neither close enough to the centre on contains appropriate ‘student’ housing.

    Avonmouth in the far north west of the city (literally mouth of the Avon) is an area which used to be staunchly Labour full of fairly deprived, white working class council estates. However, right to buy took off big style here and the area shifted into the marginal camp. Unfortunately for the Tories the commission merged the ward with most of the old Kingsweston in a new ward called Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston. Right to buy never took off in Kingsweston the way it did in Avonmouth and *I think* council housing is still the plurality in that (now abolished) ward. Thus the Tories never had as much of a foothold there though the Lib Dems popped up randomly (as they often do) and won Kingsweston several times before its abolition (though they are nowhere in the merged ward). The Tories did pretty well to hold on to 1/3 councillors in the merged ward seen as they probably had no much local campaign infrastructure in the merged ward. I don’t know this area well enough to know for sure exactly where the Tories draw their votes from but by reading the description Shirehampton might be a good bet. This area is slowly trending Tory.

    Henbury and Brentry is another ward that I believe used to be Labour leaning back in the day. Again right to buy took off here but unlike Avonmouth, Henbury and Brentry (the two places essentially sit on top of each other) has substantial affluent areas in it. While there are some pretty deprived, ‘chavvy’ bits near Aldi the ward is fairly decisively Tory leaning nowadays, which Labour would need a convincing nationwide victory to snatch, due to the party being able to form a winning coalition of ‘the right to buy skilled working class’ and the white collar professionals living in the wealthier parts of the ward.

    Southmead is like Henbury except with no/very few affluent bits, less owned and mortgaged properties and probably a fair amount of low paid public sector workers due to being centred around Southmead hospital. Essentially Henbury – every Tory friendly demographic = Southmead. Obviously safe Labour though it did vote for Brexit (which is not overly surprising).

    My guess is Horfield is the ward that will give the Tories the biggest headache in the years ahead. There are signs the hipsters of Bishopston are starting to creep further up Gloucester Road into the southern parts of Horfield. The Tories sitting councillor survived here by 1 vote at the last council election. There are some niceish middle class, non hipster bit here where the Tories will get a decent vote.

    I know very little about Lockleaze apart from that it is deprived so I am going to make a conjecture about it based on how it votes/surrounding wards. My guess is that it is the most multi-cultural of the wards in Bristol North West seen as it borders Easton and Eastville which both have high Muslim populations. It probably has some hipster bits in the areas close to Bishopston and Ashley but not a huge amount seen as the green vote has never been that high or anywhere near enough to threaten Labour. It voted remain at the EU referendum suggesting that it is significantly less WWC than somewhere like Southmead.

    Bare in mind I don’t know every part of Bristol in depth but I think this is a reasonable summery. Hope this helps :-).

  27. Pepps
    I have to say one of the more insightful and in depth constituency descriptions I’ve seen on this sight, a very enjoyable read and I feel all the more knowledgeable on Bristol (a city I haven’t had the good fortune to visit) having read it. Thank you for taking the time to post that.

  28. ‘But yes even with boundary changes there has been a sharp pro-Tory trend in this area. Kingswood was traditionally a very WWC area with a mining heretige indeed it was in Tony Benn’s Bristol South East up until 1974. While Kingswood itself remains quite WWC and Labour still do relatively well in the town itself, right to buy and Labour’s general problems with the skilled private sector working class have diminished this strength massively (electoral calculus actually estimates that Skidmore narrowly carried both Kingswood town wards). A lot of the rest of the seat has seen housing stock snapped up by the Tory voting private sector middle class as well as probably a large amount of new build housing shown by this rising electorate in the area (‘Avon’ gained a seat in 2010). This is virtually identical to the trend which has essentially finished Labour in Keynsham just across the border in Somerset.’

    But Kingswood is the sort of WWC/LMC place that has been trending Tory over the past 15 years or so, as we’ve seen in similar seats throughout the Midlands and South

    The only thing that stands it out from other such seats is that it’s urban

    Politically Bristol’s a very interesting city – with lots of different parts trending in different directions

  29. @Paul D

    “The Lab figures are probably more extreme due to the extra 14 years of demographic change.”

    No. If you look MPR gave us the biggest falls for Tories since 1983 and the biggest falls for Labour since 1997 as well as the reverse gains in the opposite year. So we have a like for like comparison in that sense – and both Labour’s biggest rises (since 1983) and biggest falls (since 1997) are more pronounced that the corresponding Tory biggest rises and falls.

    So, irrespective of which date period this noticeable difference holds.

  30. And thanks MPR for putting something interesting with numbers on this thread.

    Some of us don’t get quite as excited by discussions of where boundaries should fall and in which towns etc. – until figures and comparisons are produced. 🙂

  31. Yes, it’s double the average national swing Lab-Con in the 1997-2015 time period.

    Classic example of Labour’s loss of swathes of the WWC in the Southern half of the country and now threatening the North of England.

  32. ‘Leeds also stands out in that parts of the City of Leeds (Morley & Outwood, Pudsey, Elmet & Rothwell’

    but none of those places are Leeds proper – which in reality has shifted just as far away from the Tories as most other big cities

    Up until 1997 the two seats in Northern Leeds were reliably Tory and now you couldn’t imagine either being won back

    And again, Tories have made the most progress in WWC like Morley

    Areas like Pudsey and Wetherby have always been quite middle class

  33. I think Birmingham Edgbaston is still very winnable for the Tories. They’ve done well there locally and Gisela Stuart’s majority has never been more than 5000. Stuart does probably carry a reasonably strong personal vote, though clearly demographics have helped her somewhat.

    If Ruth Davidson one day gets bored of Holyrood and decides to run for Westminster then an Edinburgh seat, depending on boundaries, may come into play again. But would certainly be tough.

    The others are hard to disagree with you on.

  34. ‘Edgbaston could go Tory in a landslide, along with Northfield’

    Northfield is an unusual seat in that it was won by the Tories in 1970, lost to Labour in a by-election in 1982 and then won back by the Tories until they lost it in 1992

    Up until that point it had been as reliably Labour as Edgbaston was reliably Tory

    Now ot looks the more likely of the two to flip

    I wouldn’t rule out Exeter or Brighton Pavilion either

    Property in Brighton is becoming so expensive that it will soon become a town which only the rich can afford to live in – it already is to extent

    The ever-increasing amount of students will help balance things out a bit and currently Pavilion looks a bad prospect for the Tories indeed but I don;’t see that lasting for ever

    And I think Ben Bradshaw has made Exeter look a lot safer for the Labour than it really is

    And Edinburgh’s wealth should mean that if the Tories do ever come back into business North of the Border, the Scottish capital will have something to do with it

  35. @Tim Jones

    I don’t know Exeter well but I think Bradshaw takes more credit than is probably deserved for Labour holding there. Its demographics are not dissimilar to Brighton and Hove/central Bristol and I think Labour’s improvement there is probably more down to that than him continuing to keep the New Labour flame burning. They have also performed strongly there in locals.

  36. “If Sturgeon stood in Edinburgh SW or this seat she could win it.”

    Wow! I knew that the SNP were successful recently, and quite a power-hungry lot – but Nicola Sturgeon standing and winning a seat in Essex might be stretching things just a wee bit.

    🙂

  37. Maxim
    “The following seats the Tories won in 1992 and will most likely never hold again”

    I’d agree with that pretty much.
    I would add though two local seats to me Sefton Central (then Crosby) and Wirral South.

    Sefton Central (Crosby) taking into account boundary changes, Tory vote.

    1992=32,267 47.4%
    2015=16,001 29.4%

    Wirral South (boundaries have remained the same)

    1992=25,590 50.8%
    2015=15,566 37.2%

    The decline has been quite stark and I just cant see the Tories ever winning these back even in a landslide.

  38. “Property in Brighton is becoming so expensive that it will soon become a town which only the rich can afford to live in – it already is to extent
    The ever-increasing amount of students will help balance things out a bit and currently Pavilion looks a bad prospect for the Tories indeed but I don;’t see that lasting for ever” High house prices doesn’t always mean Tory vote. If every unaffordable area was monothonically Tory then Hackney and Islington would be Conservative strongholds particularly in the South of the Boroughs.

  39. Maxim, are there not any seats in London which might fit your description? Or is it a case of seats in London having unpredictable long-term demographic shifts (you never know where the next upmarket housing estate is going to be built) and hence it’s harder to say that the Tories will “never” win a particular area.

  40. ^And most of Scotland, of course.

  41. ‘Yeah there are seats I don’t think the Tories can ever win again: Ilford South, Croydon North, Ealing North, Walthamstow, Edmonton, Hayes and Harlington, Lewisham East, Lewisham West.’

    Such seats do indeed seem to out of the Tories range for good

    ‘There were seats that were Lab or notionally Lab in 92 that I struggle to see them taking back in the future:
    Cannock Chase
    Forest of Dean
    Kingswood
    Sherwood
    Staffordshire Moorlands
    Thurrock (the 2015 majority is deceptive imo)’

    I would have thought such seats will come back into play when Labour get a leader than can relate to WWC English voters – and after the mauling I suspect they will get in 2020, I strongly believe they will

    The Tories have done very well to win staunchly working class seats like Cannock and Thurrock, which were once monolithically Labour – especially with an upper class leader

    i don’t them as UK equivalents of West Virginia quite yet

  42. Staffordshire is quite an apt comparison although it doesn’ quite have the strong mining or heavy industry heritage of West Virginia – not in today’s ceremonial county anyhow – and I don’t think the people are quite as backwards

    Interestingly the home counties where the Tories did better in 2010 than 1992 were Hertfordshire, Essex and Kent – with all their concrete-heavy new towns and delapidated seaside resorts (Kent and Essex)

  43. I am one of the very very few people in the world who have lived in both West Virginia and Derbyshire, so I am uniquely qualified to tell you that the two are totally and utterly different.

    West Virginia’s unique backwardness and inbreeding comes from its historical remoteness, which only started to erode when the interstate roads were built from the 1950s onwards. Derbyshire has been extremely well connected by water, road and rail since the days of the canals, and especially so since the M1.

    There isn’t really an equivalent to WV in the UK at all, but the closest comparison culturally would probably be Norfolk.

  44. Labour will not win a election until they can win the likes of Thurrock, I have been there recently I am sorry to describe it as an utter shithole of a place. The part I went through (near Grays) just one of the most utterly grim places (that is just outside Greater London) I have ever been through. Thurrock may get winnable if it starts to go like Redbridge but I think Havering in between prevents that.

  45. ‘The part I went through (near Grays) just one of the most utterly grim places (that is just outside Greater London) I have ever been through’

    Have to agree

    The coastal bit with all its heavy industry makes it look like Teeside – just with a nastier ‘Essex’ edge

    But you’re right, if Labour can’tr win here they can;t win anywhere and given that Labour had a 20,000 majority in 1997, it’s quite clear that yet again UKIP’s presence has harmed Labour more than the Tories

  46. Actually the swing to Labour here in 1997 was absolutely massive- 17.2%. So Thurrock is a constituency that has gone back on them spectacularly in the space of four elections, to the extent that although they’re still very much in contention, the position for Labour does look a little bit misleading and deceptive- I can see the nearly third of the vote UKIP have here breaking quite well for the Tories in 2020 more than it will for Labour for some reason.

  47. MPR, I think your list of 11 Scottish seats from 1992 should have Ayr in place of Gordon (though the closeness of the latter was a nasty shock for the Lib Dems on the night). The script written by the pundits had the Conservatives holding only Eastwood, Dumfries and Tayside North. The BBC election night interview with Malcolm Rifkind just as the Scottish upset was emerging is one of the highlights of the 1992 coverage.

  48. I’d have assumed Sefton Central would have been in there for the Tory vote share?

  49. “Someone talked about demographic change here before the election, but the Labour vote seems to move inversely to the demographics.
    So Labour must be losing more WWC voters than gaining BME voters.”

    The Tories won here in 2015 on a very low vote share thanks to a lot of traditional Labour voters voting UKIP.

    I also think this is the kind of place where the BME vote will probably be less universally Labour than in east London. There are a lot of aspirational voters here, of all colours. The 2020 election could be the one where the Tories make massive inroads into the ethnic minority vote, if Labour don’t get rid of Corbyn. Many blacks and Asians will have just as low an opinion of Corbyn as most white voters do, especially those in self employment or working in the private sector. IMO this is a big danger for Labour.

  50. H Hemmelig- yes that’s by no means unthinkable. Of course we saw signs of that phenomenon in Harrow in 2015.

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