Tonbridge & Malling

2015 Result:
Conservative: 31887 (59.4%)
Labour: 7604 (14.2%)
Lib Dem: 3660 (6.8%)
Green: 2366 (4.4%)
UKIP: 8153 (15.2%)
MAJORITY: 23734 (44.2%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Kent. The southernmost part of Sevenoaks council area and part of Tonbridge and Malling council area.

Main population centres: Tonbridge, Edenbridge, West Malling, Wrotham.

Profile: A rather sprawling rural seat, the market town of Tonbridge is in the centre of the seat, with two swathes of rural Kentish villages on either side - the southern part of Sevenoaks council to the west, including the town of Edenbridge, and to the north the villages lying between Sevenoaks and Maidstone, including Borough Green, Wrotham and West Malling.

Politics: This is an affluent and attractive swathe of the London commuter belt and as solidly Conservative as would expected. It was held by Sir John Stanley from its creation in 1974 until his retirement in 2015 with no serious threat to Conservative dominance.

Current MP
TOM TUGENDHAT (Conservative) Educated at Bristol University. Former journalist, army intelligence officer and military advisor. First elected as MP for Tonbridge & Malling in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 29723 (58%)
Lab: 6476 (13%)
LDem: 11545 (22%)
UKIP: 1911 (4%)
Oth: 1659 (3%)
MAJ: 18178 (35%)
Con: 24357 (53%)
Lab: 11005 (24%)
LDem: 8980 (19%)
UKIP: 1721 (4%)
MAJ: 13352 (29%)
Con: 20956 (49%)
Lab: 12706 (30%)
LDem: 7605 (18%)
UKIP: 1169 (3%)
MAJ: 8250 (19%)
Con: 23640 (48%)
Lab: 13410 (27%)
LDem: 9467 (19%)
Oth: 707 (1%)
MAJ: 10230 (21%)

2015 Candidates
TOM TUGENDHAT (Conservative) Educated at Bristol University. Former journalist, army intelligence officer and military advisor.
MARY VARRALL (Liberal Democrat) Born Evesham. Garden designer. Contested Bexhill and Battle 2005, 2010.
Comments - 86 Responses on “Tonbridge & Malling”
  1. What relation if any is Thomas Tugendhat to Christopher Tugendhat?

  2. What local connections does Thomas Tugendhat have?

  3. None…as far as i can make out…the locals just liked him.

  4. tom tugendhat is the nephew of christopher

  5. I see that the European Election results here were: –
    UKIP 11360
    Lab 3660
    LibDem 1995.

    UKIP would seem unlikely to win here, but are not totally out of the running if they can build up a strong local campaign.

    Tugendhat seems to be a rich Londener swanning into the seat, although perhaps that is not so different from the considerable number of commuters who travel from here to financial etc. jobs in the City.

    What is the strength of the Tory party membership here.

    There has been speculation as to whether Nigel Farage will stand in Thanet South or somewhere else. This seat, which is not so far from his Westerham home, would be one of the better choices for his if he were not to stand in Thanet South. It is to my mind a better chance for him than other suggestions that have been made, such as Folkestone and Hythe, where the Tories are better used to a fight and have a strong incumbent MP.

    Of course, I assume that Nigel Farage would have to be selected by local UKIP members if he wanted to stand here.

  6. ukip winning here is bonkers!? not in a month of sundays…farage needs a reasonable wwc base in a constituency he’ll fight. Tonbridge and Malling will be a Tory seat till hell freezes. they “won” the euros in lots of tory strongholds, but these voters will go back…

  7. UKIP can’t win here and won’t win here.

    This will be held by the Conservatives, probably still with over 50% of the vote, and UKIP might only manage about 12-14% if that.

  8. A required swing of 27% in an affluent commuter belt constituency would require momentum that one could describe only as ‘stupendous’.

    UKIP won’t get near and the Conservatives will clear 55%.

  9. The way things are going for UKIP at the moment if NF doesn’t say soon if he’ll stand, and if so, where, then there could be a decline in their fortunes…

  10. And after all, this is an insanely safe Tory seat in deepest most middle-class Kent, so UKIP will be lucky if they come third, never mind entertaining any thoughts of actually winning the seat…

  11. This, Sevenoaks (although they could extract a good vote from Swanley) and Tunbridge Wells are likely to be UKIP’s weakest performances in the GE. I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see them getting above 20% in a number of Northern and Eastern Kent seats.

  12. They’ll do a lot worse still in some seats. Leicester E, Bradford W, East & West Ham, several Birmingham seats come to mind.

  13. Oops, let me clarify my last post. I meant weakest performances in Kent not the country as a whole. As I read that back, it does sound misleading.

  14. Labour candidate: Claire Leigh.

  15. Lib Dem candidate is Mary Varrall, who previously stood three times in Bexhill and Battle.

  16. Don’t know if anyone’s interested, but Jack Straw’s first election campaign was in this seat in February 1974-

  17. Tonbridge and Malling is an ultra safe Tory seat.
    Though UKIP will be a distant second in most Kent seats. The recent electoral calculus I looked at the other day had them distant second in every Surrey seat except Guildford (LD) and Epsom and Ewell (Lab – oddly here but not Spelthorne)

  18. The Trroes appear to feel that they can use this constituency to shoo in an establishment candidate from the capital. Sadly, they are probably right.

  19. That’s not all that odd Surrey Politics. A look at the 2013 CC election results shows UKIP well ahead of Labour in all Spelthorne divisions, except Stanwell which was yet again won by Labour. Even there UKIP were right up with the Tories which was basically why Labour held on.

  20. As a resident of Tonbridge, I feel compelled to point out that probably 90% of the residents of the constituency are “rich londoners” who have “swanned in” so I feel they’ll feel right at home with the Tory candidate! 😉

  21. seats like this make you dispair at our electoral system

  22. “As a resident of Tonbridge, I feel compelled to point out that probably 90% of the residents of the constituency are “rich londoners” who have “swanned in” so I feel they’ll feel right at home with the Tory candidate!”

    Prestwick – Two friends of mine moved from South-East London to King’s Hill in West Malling so what you say rings true.

  23. Conservative Hold. 20,000 maj


    Very intresting article about the opinions of the residents of Tonbridge regarding the forthcoming EU Referendum.

  25. Talking of straw polls, where’s Paul Way when you need him?

  26. It’s a straw poll. It means as much as PAUL WAY’s straw polls in the run up to the election. A sample size of 68, even if you have a balanced sample (and you don’t) tells you literally nothing

  27. “Talking of straw polls, where’s Paul Way when you need him?”


    Haha! I loved Paul Way’s straw polls! He predicted that the Lib Dems would win the seat of Greenwich and Woolwich with a huge majority at the 2015 General Election! Haha!

  28. Not the most surprising result of the night by any means :
    SEVENOAKS Penshurst, Fordcombe and Chiddingstone

    Sue Coleman (The Conservative Party Candidate) 438
    Richard Giles Streatfeild (Liberal Democrats) 253
    Annette Webb (Labour Party) 54

  29. To be honest, these “regulation” Tory holds have been the outliers in recent weeks…

  30. Tom Tugendhat endorses Micheal Gove for leader (And rules out supporting Hancock/Hunt/Rudd/Javid).
    Tugendhat is known to dislike Boris.

  31. Mr Tugendhat comes across as a fairly reasonable individual. Unless it’s loyalty towards a fellow Surrey MP, I’m surprised he’s endorsing Michael Gove, who comes across as too weird to be Prime Minster material.

  32. Tonbridge is in kent.
    Gove would struggle with public likeability – he is someone I can’t imagine the public ever warming to .

  33. At least Gove is up to it intellectually, even though I disagree with him on many things. But I agree he is an odd guy, and the Brexiteer lot must be pretty suspicious of him by this point. Additionally, the thought of Sarah Vine picking out curtains for No 10 does make one a little nauseous.

  34. The other thing about Gove – I don’t think he is capable of winning a general election. Two main reasons: first, it’s difficult to quantify exactly but he comes across as really weird to non-politicos, similar to how Ed Miliband did; and second, there are a generation of parents – the sort of people who swing elections, who still blame him for their kids’ struggles with exams, perhaps they even blame him for them missing out on university altogether.

  35. ‘At least Gove is up to it intellectually, even though I disagree with him on many things’

    With the exception of Javid, he’s one of the few front runners you could say that about

    But I think PT is right too – Gove would struggle to win a general election and unfortunately for him its something I think most Tories are fully aware of

    You wouldn’t expect him necessarily to be a natural pick for one of the party’s centre-right rising stars

  36. Tom Tugendhat has posted a tweet wondering the odds on the goverment leaving the EU and triggering no deal before parliament returns – it appears it is legally possible but would cause no deal to be even more chaotic due to even less preparation.

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