2015 Result:
Conservative: 19551 (40.7%)
Labour: 4166 (8.7%)
Lib Dem: 16265 (33.8%)
Green: 1557 (3.2%)
UKIP: 6540 (13.6%)
MAJORITY: 3286 (6.8%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

Geography: South West, Devon. The northern part of the Torbay council area.

Main population centres: Torquay, Paignton.

Profile: Torbay is a natural bay on the south coast, sometimes called the English riviera. The constituency consists of two of the three towns that sit upon the bay, Torquay and Paignton (the third, Brixham, is in neighbouring Totnes). Both towns are popular seaside resorts and the constituency includes tourist attractions like Paignton Zoo, Kents Cavern and Babbacombe model village.

Politics: Politically Torbay is a marginal between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives. Liberal Democrat Adrian Sanders held the seat between 1997 and 2015, but often by narrow margins. In 1997 his majority was only twelve, it increased in 2001, but fell back to just over 2000 in 2005. In 2015 the seat finally fell to the Tories. This has also been a comparatively good seat for UKIP, who held their deposit in 2005 and 2010. At a local level Torbay has an elected mayor, currently Conservative Gordon Oliver who defeated his predecessor, deselected Conservative incumbent Nick Bye running as an independent in 2011.

Current MP
KEVIN FOSTER (Conservative) Born 1978, Plymouth. Educated at Heles School and Warwick University. Barrister. Coventry councillor 2002-2014. Contested Coventry South 2010. First elected as MP for Torbay in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 19048 (39%)
Lab: 3231 (7%)
LDem: 23126 (47%)
UKIP: 2628 (5%)
Oth: 1177 (2%)
MAJ: 4078 (8%)
Con: 17288 (37%)
Lab: 6972 (15%)
LDem: 19317 (41%)
UKIP: 3726 (8%)
MAJ: 2029 (4%)
Con: 17307 (36%)
Lab: 4484 (9%)
LDem: 24015 (50%)
UKIP: 1512 (3%)
Oth: 251 (1%)
MAJ: 6708 (14%)
Con: 21082 (40%)
Lab: 7923 (15%)
LDem: 21094 (40%)
Oth: 3223 (6%)
MAJ: 12 (0%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
KEVIN FOSTER (Conservative) Born 1978, Plymouth. Educated at Heles School and Warwick University. Barrister. Coventry councillor 2002-2014. Contested Coventry South 2010.
SU MADDOCK (Labour) Educated at Leeds University. University fellow.
ADRIAN SANDERS (Liberal Democrat) Born 1959, Paignton. Educated at Torquay Boys' Grammar School. Policy officer. Torbay councillor 1984-1986. Contested Devon and East Plymouth 1994 European-elections. MP for Torbay 1997 to 2015.
ANTHONY MCINTYRE (UKIP) Retired teacher. Contested South West region 2014 European elections.
Comments - 269 Responses on “Torbay”
  1. The BBC Daily Politics are covering this now.

    It could result in jail for an Agent and a re-run of any seats affected.

  2. Galloglass – true, although…

    If simply overspent in error a Candidate can be fined £5,000 and be suspended from politics for 3 years.

    If knowingly assented to a false return, a Candidate can be jailed and barred for 5 years.

  3. It could result in jail for an Agent and a re-run of any seats affected.

    Can’t see either of these things happening, although as with the Elliot Johnson case, the more that comes about this the worst it looks for the Tory party, especially Andrew Feldman who seems to have presided over one fiasco after another and yet still manages to keep his job, presumably due to his friendship with the PM

    It really dies look like he could het away with anything – and worryingly he seems fully aware of that too

  4. 3 Questions:

    1. Is Saunders planning to stand again?

    2. (Possibly following on from Question1) Despite the circa 60% leave vote in the constituency, could this be a viable Lib Dem target (Note the 2 council by-election results referred to on up-thread)?

    3. It appears to be an open secret that this is one of the seats being investigated re the 2015 election returns. (Frustrating that the police refuse to confirm which seats are currently still under investigation). So what would be the position of Kevin Foster should he be re-elected? Could he still face charges and possible prosecution / disqualification, or does the fact that he has (I trust) been subsequently elected in an entirely legal manner mean he cannot be deprived of the seat?

  5. Good question. I would assume a conviction for a sufficiently serious offence would disqualify him (e.g. Huhne) even if he wins in June

  6. Huh wasn’t so much disqualified as resigned; I think the same would happen for anyone convicted of election tampering of any kind. They’d be forced to resign or they’d be expelled.

    I can’t see them regaining this and I’ve heard no mention of Sanders standing again (which is odd, since he’s already on the council again, so clearly still interested in holding office).

  7. Deborah Brewer selected for Lib Dems

    Should be a reasonably straightforward Con hold with Labour probably losing deposit

  8. Labour losing deposit is a bold claim, not that I think they will do well here…

  9. Conservative hold, substantially increased majority.

  10. If there is an October election, this will definitely go Lib Dem
    by 10,000.
    Or whenever the next election is. Stupendous momentum!!!
    I wasn’t completely up to date with the good mood on the ground coming back here because I was calling out desperately for paper for ages, but nobody would help.

    See from 8.54 to 11.20 here.

  11. Some pretty bold claims but some were made in more seriousness than Gloy’s one above…..sorry to hear about your trouble Gloy, make sure you ration your visits here but always good for a laugh in small doses

  12. I love the bit on the link above about keeping paper in the lounge.
    I was somewhat surprised by the majority here. It was one of the Tory better results

  13. You must look at the above link, U tube,
    from 8.35 onwards
    (to 11.20)
    reposted here


  14. I always thought it was odd that the LDs did so well here for so long. Seems to me to be the sort of seat that the Tories should generally win comfortably.

  15. I think there is a younger poorer population and I posted around 2009 that the average salary was only £12,000 IIRC.
    Demographic change of this sort tended to benefit Labour regardless of how far they were behind in the seat, but other seaside resorts had them higher to start with.
    Perhaps tactical voting went to the Lib Dems.

    It could also be one of those seats where the Tories went into shell shock after 1997 (Northavon, Eastleigh etc) although that doesn’t entirely fit with the local election result in 2000.
    Although the Lib Dems have been very sticky here until and even in 2015, there have been odd swings between all parties during that period.
    For example Labour doing well in 2005 against the trend.

    It does, however, appear to be one of the nicer semi urban seaside seats in Britain, built up on levels and quite a nice outdoor life.
    Perhaps the 2017 result does show more what one would expect, a safer Tory seat simultaneous with a higher Labour vote.

  16. Watcombe Ward By-election, 14.12.17:

    LD 655 58% (+14%)
    Cons 355 31% (+8%)
    Lab 121 11% (-9%)
    Green 9 1% (-6%)

  17. Kevin Foster has been made (unpaid) Junior minister at the Welsh Office and a (Paid) Assistant Government whip. He will also cover (Unpaid) for Chloe Smith at the Cabinet Office while she is on Maternity Leave.

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