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 - 87 Responses on “Tonbridge & Malling”
  1. Does anyone know when the Selection to replace Sir John Stanley will start and are there any candidates in the running yet?

  2. A plum seat for an open primary, I would have thought.

  3. Or what about a certain Mr. Johnson?

    I heard him say on the radio that he will run for London Mayor in 2016 but surely if he wants to be PM he’ll need to stand down in 2016 in order to work his way up in parliament.

    This would be the perfect seat to relaunch his Westminster political career again!!

  4. Yes it would. Just the right demographic for Boris.

  5. Or UKIP…

  6. No. Too prosperous for UKIP.

  7. I wouldn’t be surprised if old Boris defected to UKIP though much of his popularity does stem from his Tory background.

  8. Boris defecting to UKIP? Other than trying to be provocative, what is your rationale behind that assertion?

  9. @ windsofchance ukip has problems with ab home owners and here,s why prices (extra pop extra demand)
    2.quite a few of them are landlords(extra pop extra demand)
    3.nice place to retire i.e south of france
    ok i know they are simple reasons but they are good ones.

  10. In simple terms a lot of AB voters have done well out of the eu also i think a maj of AB voters would like some powers back but a maj would vote to stay in.

  11. Matt, Boris is the clumsy right wing core UKIP type imo, but he would find it hard to get elected under the UKIP banner I think (no offence to any kippers).

  12. Yeah right Windsofchange.

    Boris, that clumsy right wing core UKIP type who favours an amnesty for illegal immigrants.

    Why do you bother posting all this crap.

  13. Myth11

    I think you’re spot on.

  14. Yeah that’s not so he can get more support from other groups is it- talk about populist politics.

  15. Maybe so, but it would completely rule him out from joining UKIP, not that he would ever be mad enough to join.

    I actually think Boris might surprise everyone by going for a 3rd term as mayor. Nobody sane would want the Tory leadership after Cameron.

  16. To answer Christian’s post at the top of this thread, I think CCHQ are holding back the selections in this and the other 6 safe seats (NE Hants, M Worcs, Croydon S, Cambs SE, Newark and Wealden) to nearer the election.

    I would guess contenders could include Liz Stevenson (stood in Blaenau Gwent 2010), Janice Small (stood in Batley & Spen 2010), Sean Holden (Kent cllr, stood in Chatham & Aylesford 2001) and Julie Rook (stood Wolverhampton NE 2010). All are (or were) Kent-based

  17. It’s always useful to keep a few safe seats back to parachute people into just before the election.

  18. Absolutely, all parties do it

  19. H Hemmelig-‘Boris, that clumsy right wing core UKIP type who favours an amnesty for illegal immigrants.’

    Well put. I think Boris would prove a major disappointment to those on the traditional Right of the party who see him as a potential saviour. If anything, he is probably more metropolitan than Cameron is.

  20. … which is why Nadine Dorries’ enthusiasm for Boris is so baffling.

  21. I seemed to remember she was very enthusiastic for Cameron when he first became leader

  22. All Tory leaders disappoint the right – even Mrs T on occasion – and all Labour leaders disappoint the left. That’s just our system, which forces governments to the centre.

    Definitely Boris is a metropolitan Tory. It’s unfair to characterise Cameron as such, he is basically a landed patrician Tory.

  23. Yes, that’s a good point- there is perhaps an air of Stanley Baldwin about Cameron.

  24. Just found out Janice Small defected to UKIP in 2011 so it won’t be her….

  25. I am clearly not the only former fan of this blog to complain that it has now become so dominated by trolls and idiots who don’t know what they’re talking about that it is pointless coming here any more.

    Tonbridge and Malling Tory agent Andrew Kennedy has written an excellent blogpost on the subject, saying that UK Polling Report has turned into the “Walter Mitty Society”

  26. Oh Matt, looks like that Tory mate of yours on Hemmelig’s link thinks you’re uninformed and an ‘idiot’.

  27. Janice Atkinson-Small would be an excellent candidate for any party. I expect she will be elected as an MEP next year, but does anyone know if she is planning to run for parliament somewhere?

    She would have a very good chance in a Kent seat (this one leans Tory though).

  28. I think that the blog post was a little harsh on Matt. In his own words he was only offering a guess as to whom the candidates might be. He also corrected himself pretty promptly about Janice Small.

  29. “Tonbridge and Malling Tory agent Andrew Kennedy has written an excellent blogpost on the subject, saying that UK Polling Report has turned into the “Walter Mitty Society””

    Not sure it’s so excellet given he goes on saying “What is most amusing (and indicative) is Matt’s erroneous views are then picked up by the other laptop warriors and they dominate the rest of the discussion, with equally uninformed people all jumping on the bandwagon and expressing their views on who T&M will or will not select.” when the rest of discussion wasn’t about T&M potential candidates except of a comment by you regarding central parties holding out selections in safe seats to parachute favoured sons at the last minute.

  30. I thought the blog post was a bit unfair on the many comments on here which are still based on facts rather than opinion.

  31. I would completely disagree with H.Hemmelig. This site is well worth visiting for my comments alone, which are magnificent. Those of Pete Whitehead are hardly ever factually erroneous either, and sometimes other contributors have worthwhile things to say as well.

  32. I hope the various spreadsheets I put on here from time to time are useful and interesting to people. I usually do them out of frustration with official websites which don’t publish results in an easy-to-read form. For example there wasn’t a single resource for this year’s local elections which is why I put the results on Google Docs.

  33. Andy, they are very useful, and very interesting. Thank you as always for doing them.

  34. I would associate Andy with my favourable comments without hesitation. I hope people enjoyed my unaccustomed arrogance.

  35. “I hope people enjoyed my unaccustomed arrogance.”

    Haha, I did 🙂 Though to be fair, you had a point, Barnaby!

  36. stop it, I’ll get even more arrogant 🙂
    I have said before Tory that your posts tend to be pretty cogent & good as well.

  37. I’m not sure the Agent is entirely fair on Matt.
    Unlike myself, Matt rarely states his own political views and tries to make contributions which are entirely factual.
    If something or other turned out not to be as predicted with a selection, then that’s hardly an overall reflection of the poster or the site.

  38. I am not quite sure what is so offensive about my posts. I am expressing an opinion which I thought was actually allowed on this site. I am sorry if Andrew Kennedy or anyone else object to me giving an opinion. At no stage have I made out that I have some kind of inside knowledge (which I don’t), and to be quite frank, if people object to my posts then I will join others and not bother posting again.

  39. You are one of the last people who should have been attacked Matt. I do slightly suspect this agent was irritated by some of the other posts and picked on something completely unrepresentative as an example.
    Like Andrea and Van Fleet and Pete Whitehead, for example, you very rarely move off factual posts so I simply cannot understand the point he was making.

  40. Andy Stidwill is another who sticks largely to information.

  41. Thank you Joe, I appreciate that. Andrew Kennedy could have come on here, and posted what he knows, and we would all be glad of someone sharing that information. Instead, he chose to make very unpleasant and vindicative comments about one post I made – I would be interested to know what Anthony Wells makes of this.

  42. Is H Hemmelig Andrew Kennedy by any chance?

  43. I would have to agree that Matt is totally unobjectionable and seeks almost always to give us information – if it weren’t for the blue background we would find it quite hard at times to tell he is a Tory, since he is one of the least partisan contributors to the site. It was an odd target & I should have thought that Andrew Kennedy could have chosen a more apposite one. Perhaps he simply got out of bed the wrong side that morning – most of us have days like that.

  44. I’ve tried to cut out partisan comments and focus on facts recently although it’s for others to judge how successful I’ve been at it.

  45. You never did make many Andy – we are indebted to you for all your analysis of the very patchy 2013 County Council elections,
    and of course for the Election night programs, including local elections like 1981.

    Why on earth this agent referred to someone else who also sticks to facts I simply cannot understand, and I hope Matt continues to post.

  46. Conservative shortlist:

    Edward Argar (Westminster Cllr)
    Vicky Atkins (Gloucestershire PCC candidate)
    Chris Philp (Hampstead & Kilburn 2010 candidate)
    Thomas Tugendhat (former army officer)

  47. Thomas Tugendhat is the new Conservative PPC. He defeated Chris Philp in the final round. Vicky Atkins third and Ed Argar out in the first count.

  48. Thanks Andrea. Wasn’t Chris Philp on a couple of other shortlists at the same time? I assume Tories allow this, unlike Labour rules?

  49. @Lancs Observer

    Philp was also on Croydon South longlist (they are supposed to shortlist this weekend).
    Ed Argar was also on Newark shortlist (they selected last night).
    Nigel Huddleston was shortlisted in Newark and longlisted in Croydon South.
    Robert Jenrick was shortlisted in Newark (and he won the selection) and longlisted in Croydon.

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