2015 Result:
Conservative: 24941 (53%)
Labour: 5988 (12.7%)
Lib Dem: 4667 (9.9%)
Green: 4845 (10.3%)
UKIP: 6656 (14.1%)
MAJORITY: 18285 (38.8%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: South West, Devon. Part of South Hams council area and four wards from the Torbay council area.

Main population centres: Kingsbridge, Salcombe, Dartmouth, Totnes, Brixham.

Profile: A picturesque seat on the South Devon coast, it takes in Brixham at the southern end of Torbay - the "English riveria", the small market and coastal towns of South Devon with their thriving tourist industry and up onto the edges of Dartmoor. Tourism is the main industry throughout the area. Like most south coast tourist towns a high proportion of people have come here to retire and the constituency has one of the highest proportions of over 60s in the country. In Salcombe in particular, which is also popular for sailing and yachting, this has pushed property prices up to some of highest outside London. Salcombe and Brixham also retain active fishing industies.

Politics: The seat and its predecessors have been represented by the Conservative party since 1924, thought at many recent elections it has been very tightly fought with the Liberal Democrats. The current MP, Sarah Wollaston, is unusual in having been selected in a true open primary with a postal ballot open to all electors.

Current MP
SARAH WOLLASTON (Conservative) Born 1962, Woking. Educated at Royal Naval School Tal Handaq and King`s College London. Former general practitioner. First elected as MP for Totnes in 2010. She was selected as the Conservative candidate in 2010 through an open postal ballot.
Past Results
Con: 21940 (46%)
Lab: 3538 (7%)
LDem: 17013 (36%)
UKIP: 2890 (6%)
Oth: 2462 (5%)
MAJ: 4927 (10%)
Con: 21112 (42%)
Lab: 6185 (12%)
LDem: 19165 (38%)
UKIP: 3914 (8%)
Oth: 199 (0%)
MAJ: 1947 (4%)
Con: 21914 (44%)
Lab: 6005 (12%)
LDem: 18317 (37%)
UKIP: 3010 (6%)
MAJ: 3597 (7%)
Con: 19637 (37%)
Lab: 8796 (16%)
LDem: 18760 (35%)
Oth: 4024 (7%)
MAJ: 877 (2%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
SARAH WOLLASTON (Conservative) See above.
JULIAN BRAZIL (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Bristol University. Teacher. Contested Brent South 2001, Falmouth and Camborne 2001, Totnes 2010.
JUSTIN HAQUE (UKIP) Born London. Educated at Wandsworth Comprehensive and Newcastle University. Stockbroker.
Comments - 331 Responses on “Totnes”
  1. “Well, if I were Sarah Wollsaton, the reports that electoral fraudster Darren Grimes was sniffing around my seat would probably be enough to convince me to fight on.”

    Anybody who seriously thinks Darren Grimes is going to be allowed to stand as a Tory MP needs their head examined. He has fulfilled his purpose and the Leave establishment has spat him out. I’d say the odds on him sharing a prison cell with Aaron Banks should be higher than becoming the next MP here.

  2. HH makes a valid point (re: people getting on), but I would counter argue that these are exceptional circumstances. At this point, it looks likely that May will leave office being considered one of the worse PM’s since the war. Whilst we can all admire the grit and determination, very few will consider May’s Premiership a success. In those circumstances, her say so/ seal of approval will count for very, very little. You also failed to mention Cameron and May, who may not have hated each other but certainly didn’t get on well.

  3. Guido confirms the government is spending “hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayer cash” defending the Electoral Commission against Darren Grimes’ legal challenge.

    For this alone, it’s pretty certain he’ll be barred as a potential candidate by CCHQ.

    So far he’s crowdfunded £64,000 out of his £100,000 target. Given what’s ranged against him there would seem a pretty high risk of him being ruined (and maybe convicted as well).

  4. It feels a bit pathetic for they to be a push for Grimes or another star Brexiter to want this seat just so they can replace Sarah Wollaston when they don’t have any connection to the seat.

  5. The crowdfunding is kind of interesting, because I’m sure Grimes could get the money from some wealthy Brexiteer if he wanted. It’s largely a show of strength. Very similar to the crowdfunder that hit its target overnight when Alex Salmond was arrested for sexual harassment. Both play to an “establishment vs the people” narrative.

  6. ‘It feels a bit pathetic for they to be a push for Grimes or another star Brexiter to want this seat just so they can replace Sarah Wollaston when they don’t have any connection to the seat.’

    Whatever their opinions on Brexit, I can’t imagine there will be too many here would want a hard-working constituency focused MP to be replaced by some spotty little geek with no connection to the area whatsoever

    That the idea seems to gaining traction shows just quite how maniacal some of these hardcore Brexiteers really are

  7. Sarah Wollaston has implied on twitter that she will resign the tory whip if ‘ the main objective of the government becomes to implement a disastrous & irresponsible No Deal’

  8. Sarah Wollaston is facing a motion of no confidence against her in the next few weeks.

  9. Sarah Wollaston has resigned the Tory whip to join the Independent Group.

  10. This is the most obvious mover in my mind, as she owed her position to the wider public and not the Party.

    I assume she’ll help the Ind PPC in East Devon (if they both contest again).

  11. This is someone who I could see holding her seat as an independent.

  12. I’d also give Heidi Allen a decent chance, especially given South Cambridgeshire Council is now under Lib Dem control.

    On the Labour side, Chuka Ummuna probably has the best chance, as he is the highest-profile name and represents just about the most Remain-voting place in Britain. Among other plausible defectors, I think Ian Murray has built up a big personal vote in Edinburgh South and would stand a chance if he jumped ship.

  13. Yes, all three are good shouts.

    On the other end of the spectrum…Anna Soubry has no chance. A bit of a shame IMO as I’ve grown quite fond of her. But she isn’t stupid and has clearly thought about the ramifications of doing this.

  14. ‘This is the most obvious mover in my mind, as she owed her position to the wider public and not the Party.’

    Absolutely – she always seemed on borrowed time in the Tory Party, although I thought she might actually defect to the Lib Dems

    Interesting to hear the comments of Robert Halfron who as a wise Tory is almost a contradiction in terms

    Secretly I imagine May’s delighted to see the back of any Tory MP who wants her to come good on the pack of lies she spouted on the steps of number 10 when first becoming PM about creating a more equal Britain and all the rest of it

    During her miserable tenure the UK’s become moire divided than ever – if her or my lifetime – and she’s so utterly awful that she’s managed to fracture perhaps the only thing she does care about – the Tory Party

  15. What is it Halfon said?

  16. What is it Halfon said

    Very similar to what Damien Green said – making no attempt to deny that the Tories have been taken over by the Right, or that May’s handling of Brexit has been anything other than a disaster and urging her to return to the themes she spoke about once Brexit is dealt with (but as we all know once it is, those Tories May is bending over backwards to appease will kick her out)

    What he didn’t seem to realise was that those themes May spoke of were scribbled on a bit of paper by Fiona Hill or Nick Timothy to make it look as if May was a compassionate Conservarive, which of course is how her predecessor marketed himself, and May herself has absolutely no interest – and never has – in being a social reformer

    She;ll be remembered for one thing – making the worst mess possible of Brexit

  17. May in fact was distancing herself from the posh Quad – after she had just sacked GO.

    Indeed long before Heidi was an MP, the only (few) Tories to vote against Universal Credit, tuition fees increase etc were the working class Tories from the Right and Frank Field when in Labour.

    The Wets tend to represent the leafy shires none of which were UC trial areas. But Heidi is different in that she used her maiden speech to criticise GO’s proposed Tax Credit cuts (as if she had literally just discovered the impact).

  18. Election Maps UK

    49 minutes ago

    Rumour that Sarah Wollaston MP will be joining the Lib Dems imminently.
    46 replies .

  19. It’s been confirmed that Wollaston has defected to the Liberal Democrats.

  20. 54% Tory vote in 2017 with Labour in second place. Seems a big ask to hold her seat but possible assuming she is well liked locally.

  21. ‘It’s been confirmed that Wollaston has defected to the Liberal Democrats.’

    Now Johnson has fully re-toxified the Tories, the Lib Dems seems like a far more natural home for moderates like Wollaston

    The Lib Dems did come very close here with Rachel Oliver in 2001, and if they are back to 20% level, this is the sort of seat they would hope to have a chance in and Wollaston’s candidature will be a definite help

  22. Though the yougov poll on lib dem tory marginals suggests a lower swing in these seats than nationwide with only 11 gains on 8-9% swing rather than the 30 odd gains on twice the swing tge national polls are suggesting

  23. She probably has a better chance of holding on than Chuka does. Not sure that’s saying much though.

  24. I would agree with both of those statements.

    Totnes town is very Lib Dem/Green friendly but is outweighed by the huge rural area around it. The other towns like Dartmouth and Brixham are typical Brexity coastal towns. IMO Wollaston’s only chance is if the Brexit party massively ate into the Tory vote, not likely in current circumstances.

    I don’t think Chuka will hold his seat. Labour will throw the kitchen sink at it.

  25. The rural parts of the constituency didn’t stop it voting as a whole for remain in 2016.

  26. ‘The rural parts of the constituency didn’t stop it voting as a whole for remain in 2016.’

    This constituency actually voted Leave by 53% to 47%, in contrast to South Hams which excludes Brexit-keen Brixham

    I think Wollaston actually has a pretty good chance (albeit no more than 50/50) of holding here as she clearly has a pretty substantial personal vote

    The most interesting seat would be Heidi Allen’s Cams South seat if she defects to the Lib Dems – which is both pro-EU and safely Tory yet on paper looks like a pretty straightforward Lib Dem gain

  27. “The rural parts of the constituency didn’t stop it voting as a whole for remain in 2016.”

    As Tim says, it didn’t. But it’s still a bit of a simplistic argument. My own seat of Mid Sussex voted Remain by (I think) 54-46. I doubt even Gloy Plopwell could keep a straight face predicting a Lib Dem victory in Mid Sussex, this time round at least.

    As long as BJ can hold off the collapse of UK farming I doubt we’ll see the Lib Dems win here. Unlike Tim I think Heidi Allen has a much better chance given that her seat is increasingly full of wealthy commuters to Cambridge.

  28. The Lib Dems have done well in Local elections in Allen’s seat – it is a clear target for them if she does formally join.

  29. Many people speculated when Allen was made leader of the ill-fated Change UK that part of the reasoning was that she was probably the best-placed MP to hold her seat under the new label.

  30. Amused that LD MEP Caroline Voaden says Woolaston hasn’t been chosen as the PPC and it sounds as if Voaden wants it!

    Although both could be out of a job in a few months’ time.

    I realise Totnes is ind-minded, but with SW having been chosen in a primary, I suspect she forgot to ‘ok’ the local LD party members first before announcing she was now their rep.

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