Truro & Falmouth

2015 Result:
Conservative: 22681 (44%)
Labour: 7814 (15.2%)
Lib Dem: 8681 (16.8%)
Green: 4483 (8.7%)
UKIP: 5967 (11.6%)
Mebyon Kernow: 563 (1.1%)
NHA: 526 (1%)
Independent: 792 (1.5%)
Others: 37 (0.1%)
MAJORITY: 14000 (27.2%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: South West, Cornwall. Part of the Cornwall council area.

Main population centres:



Current MP
SARAH NEWTON (Conservative) Born 1961, Gloucestershire. Educated at Falmouth School and Kings College London. Former banker and Director of Age Concern. Former Merton councillor. First elected as MP for Truro & Falmouth in 2010. Government whip since 2015.
Past Results
Con: 20349 (42%)
Lab: 4697 (10%)
LDem: 19914 (41%)
UKIP: 1911 (4%)
Oth: 1897 (4%)
MAJ: 435 (1%)
Con: 16686 (32%)
Lab: 6991 (14%)
LDem: 24089 (47%)
UKIP: 2736 (5%)
Oth: 1062 (2%)
MAJ: 7403 (14%)
Con: 16231 (32%)
Lab: 6889 (14%)
LDem: 24296 (48%)
UKIP: 1664 (3%)
Oth: 1215 (2%)
MAJ: 8065 (16%)
Con: 15001 (26%)
Lab: 8697 (15%)
LDem: 27502 (48%)
Oth: 1865 (3%)
MAJ: 12501 (22%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Truro & St Austell

2015 Candidates
SARAH NEWTON (Conservative) See above.
STUART RODEN (Labour) Trade union officer.
SIMON RIX (Liberal Democrat) Educated at University College London. Marketing professional. Cornwall councillor.
JOHN HYSLOP (UKIP) Born 1953. Consultant radiologist.
KAREN WESTBROOK (Green) Driving instructor. Contested Cornwall and West Plymouth 1994 European election.
RIK EVANS (NHA) Born Canada. Businessman.
STANLEY GUFFOGG (Principles of Politics) Educated at Oxford University. Lecturer.
LOIC RICH (Independent) Self employed copywriter and journalist. Cornwall councillor since 2013. Contested Truro and Falmouth 2010 for Mebyon Kernow.
Comments - 256 Responses on “Truro & Falmouth”
  1. Sow would I but…..there have been signs that Liberal Democrat voters will vote Labour in Truro over a number of local byelections.

    What on earth are you talking about?
    So far as I can tell, since 2013 there had been one by election within the constituency, Trehaverne ward on Truro city council.
    The result:
    LD 540, Con 226 Lab did not stand

    So, unless I am missing something, there has been one, not ‘a number’ of by elections, which has not shown that LD voters will back Labour – they had no candidate!

  2. There have been those who felt that the LDs had a chance of gaining this seat – surely not now. Their opponents especially UKIP will seize on this poll.

  3. I’d previously thought the Lib Dems had a shot here. No longer. Keeping a solid second should, and probably will, be the goal. Now, I don’t think that that poll will end up as reality on election night. I’d be relatively confident even now of the Lib Dems coming second, but polling like that and recent trends suggests it could be a close thing. As long as the Lib Dems keep second, they should be able to rebuild some support down the line. If they lose second place, this seat could evaporate as a target.

  4. Quite possibly, although I have a feeling that Truro city itself is not bad territory in terms of profile for the LDs.

  5. Yes, I do agree. A lot of the Cornish cities are some of the best places for the LDs naturally, so perhaps they’ll pull back into a good place soon. St. Austell and Truro especially.

  6. Iain, you have misread my post. I was indicating that there have been signs over a number of byelections prior to 2013 which, as they didn’t work Truro due to the emphasis on Falmouth in 2013, were not shown in the Unitary Elections.
    I point you to the two city council byelections in the Boscawen ward of Truro, in the latter of which, on 29th March, 2012, Labour managed, under now Falmouth councillor Hanna Toms, to achieve 24.6% of the vote (at both byelections, she pretty pretty remarkably received 246 votes). Labour were only 27 votes behind the Liberal Democrats in 2012 and the Tories took the seat.
    In 2013, Labour didn’t really put up any campaign and in the Redannick division, which mostly covers the old Boscawen ward, Labour came nowhere and Lib Dem Cllr Rob Nolan romped home.
    My point is, where Labour puts up a fight, they have shown Lib Dem voters will vote for them, including in Truro.
    Also, sorry to type sow instead of so, slip of the fingers.

  7. This looks like being a very interesting contest and in a seat I know well. I start with the premise that UKIP will get at least 20% here, and possibly a bit more. There is a big retiree vote here which doesn’t like the cuts, doesn’t like immigration – despite it being minimal here – and doesn’t like change generally, especially the scale of development pressure around Truro. There is a perception that Newton has been an anonymous MP and I expect her vote to fall to no more than 35%. Given others will get a few %, that probably leaves about 40%, and as Labour are highly unlikely to score that here, it will come down to whether the LD’s can persuade the Labour vote across. My gut feeling is that 33% could win this seat, and there are 3 parties with potential to hit that, none of which are Labour.

  8. Three parties with the potential to hit 33%? Given the rest of your post, if you really think UKIP can hit 33% here then you need a lot more evidence than gut feeling.
    UKIP did not do particularly well in this constituency in the 2013 elections, in the Divisions they contested, and the relatively low turnouts in local elections are usually boosted by those who have a particular axe to grind and UKIP voters are usually of this sort. Despite this, they took no Divisions.
    The evidence of local by elections in Cornwall is that the UKIP vote has slipped back since 2013.
    My inclination would be a Tory hold due to a further slip in the LD vote, offsetting any Tory vote slippage.

  9. Maybe it comes down to who these disaffected locals (about the second home issue) are going to blame… I would blame the Tories.. but then again, I would, wouldn’t I…?

    UKIP going from 4% to 33% is plainly ludicrous…

  10. I agree with that.

  11. I said it was ludicrous to expect the UKIP to go from 4% to 33%.. obviously points south, like 20%, are not so ludicrous… but as CatholicLeft pointed out their performance in the 2013 elections was not so stellar as to indicate even the type of move that makes them contenders to win…

    In your first comment you skate over the fact that sometimes seats in Cornwall have gone to Labour and if the Tories had never done anything for Cornwall then how did they win this one and hold several others. All of these seats have a Cornish factor to some degree or another but a retiree from the Home Counties is less likely to feel some centuries old aggrievement than a dyed in the wool MK supporter..

    As for Tim Farron’s lobbying it does appear to be a storm in a teacup (and last March at that).. most of the constituents in Truro wouldn’t even know or care who he is… he is scarcely a national figure..

  12. Daveyd, you are wrong on a number of points. First I am local. I live in mid Cornwall, my kids go to school here, one of them in Truro. I work in Truro. I went to uni at Tremough. I used to work in Penryn. My mum got married in Truro in the 1950s. My eldest brother was born in the constituency. All my first cousins are Cornish. My uncle is a retired Cornish seaman. Yes my mum was in Exeter when I was born but you can hardly say I have no connection with Cornwall. And re Tim Farron, he made three phone calls for me, which was used against me by one person who had already decided to defect. 99.9% of the local Lib Dems are totally behind me. There are enough interesting things to say about Truro and Falmouth that are true, so please do stick to the facts.

  13. With MK now declaring a candidate, it looks like T&F leads the country with eight runners already intending to stand.

  14. I cant recall hearing Sarah Newton being mentioned in any context since her election. In a part of the country which sometimes favours big personalities (Pardoe, Mudd, Penhaligon) could this be a disadvantage?

  15. But who would seriously challenge her here?

  16. For those wondering whatever happened to Candy Atherton she appears to be causing some trouble in Falmouth Town Council.

  17. Candy Atherton is now a Cornwall Councillor as well. For a review of this constiuteuncy see

  18. My current prediction-
    Newton (Conservative)- 36%
    Rix (Lib Dem)- 30%
    Hyslop (UKIP)- 14%
    Toms (Labour)- 12%
    Kelsey (Green)- 3%
    Richardson (Mebyon Kernow)- 2.5%
    Rich (Independent)- 1.5%
    Evans (National Health Action)- 1%

  19. There was a recent hustings at the Woodlane Campus for Falmouth University. An entrance and exit poll was taken for the audience. It is clear the Green vote just dissipated apparently according to my friends ( I was not there) the candidate for the Greens was terrible and rude. She was allegedly testing under the table during the hustings.

  20. prediction for 2015-

    Con- 40%
    UKIP- 16%
    Lib- 14%
    Lab- 11%
    Green- 9%
    MK- 3%
    NHA- 3%
    Loic Rich- 1%

    Usual rule applies here for my predictions for english seats:

    1: Slightly decrease tory vote.
    2: Slightly increase Labour vote.
    3: Divide Lib dem vote by about three.
    4: Times UKIP vote by about four.
    5: Times green vote by 4-5.
    6: Keep minor parties that are standing a similar vote as 2010.

    Always delivers decent results, imo. Obviously you need to even it out to add to 100% but it’s always pretty close…

  21. Sorry Robbie: The Results forecast looks far more credible.

  22. Results’ is much more credible as obvious.

  23. Despite my inexperience, I feel like people are overestimating how much the liberal democrat vote will collapse. The result’s reckons they will get about 70% of what they got here last time around. Their polls are about 33% of what they were in 2010. That doesn’t add up.

    I also feel like the green surge as been underestimated. This party who have outpolled the lib dems in many by-elections now, have a higher membership than the lib dems and UKIP and are polling six times higher than they were five years ago.

    A 600% increase in polls and the results predicts a 50% increase in votes here?

    I’m inexperienced, But the polls are what I base my predictions on and so far my by-elections predictions have been pretty close.

  24. Robbie, the basic assumption is that the Lib Dem vote will collapse unevenly. Polls have, repeatedly, shown that to be the case. In a seat like Liverpool Wavertree, where they scored in the mid-thirties last time, they’ll probably be in the single digits in 2015, but in seats like this one, which they but recently held and wherein they have been strong for decades, their vote should hold up far better. Even Lord Ashcroft’s poll had the Lib Dems doing better here than your prediction.

    It’s also a well-documented phenomenon that minor parties’ vote shares often decrease in the actual election when push comes to shove and the vast majority of voters realize that their MP will be one of two people, and ultimately pick one of those two. That’s why the Greens will increase most in seats that are safe for one party or another (rural seats with environmental concerns and safe urban Labour seats being the top candidates for such an increase).

    The Greens will not end up getting 6-10% at the election nationally. They’ll probably be more around 3-5%, at best, and a huge portion of that will come from inner-city London seats that are, and will remain, safely Labour.

    If I were to predict this seat…
    CON 37
    LD 26
    UKIP 18
    LAB 12
    GRN 5
    MK 1
    OTH 1

    The Lib Dems will probably ultimately corral the bulk of their 2010 vote, but will still lose a fair chunk for a well-reduced second.

    Labour won’t increase much (support flows to Greens/UKIP, mostly extinguishing gains from LDs), Tories will be down a bit to UKIP but will pick up a bit (less, though) from the LDs, Greens get about 250% of what they got in 2010, MK and others take small bits.

  25. I think P.T.Richards’ prediction is a very sensible one & is likely to prove the most accurate. TheResults’s one is not bad either.

  26. I’ve no local knowledge of the constituency, but wondered if Mebyon Kernow might get some benefit from the regional devolution arguments resulting from the Scottish referendum?
    They did get quite a bit of exposure in the media as a result.
    Not expecting any meaningful increase in their vote, but 1% seems a tad low given the Indyref factor and that they got 2% across the county last time.

  27. Perhaps they will do better – it’s my understanding that this is not one of their stronger seats, though. I could be wrong, however.

  28. @Robbietriestopredictpolitics

    Its interesting to note what has happened in the past when parties have seen a significant fall in their vote.

    In 1983 Labours vote fell significantly but the largest falls often occurred in seats where their vote was already below average. So they tanked in those but were able to hold onto much of their vote in the seats which they were defending. So their number of seats remained above 200 despite only 27% of the vote. A similar pattern was evident in some seats in 2010 : result 29% votes, 258 seats.

    By comparison the Conservatives in 1997 saw some of their largest vote falls in seats where they had previously been strong. The exemplar was Enfield Southgate. This led to them losing seats than they might have expected to hold. 31% vote 165 seats.

    The Lib Dems are in new territory in the upcoming election but , in previous elections, they have often shown a tendency to lose votes in weak areas and retain them in stronger areas. This has allowed them to hold seats they might otherwise have expected to lose. The Ashcroft polls so far suggest that – at least in those seats where the Conservatives are their main rival – they may well do the same again. That background , plus the history of this seat (the Truro section has been in a Liberal or Lib Dem seat since October 1974), suggests that their vote will hold up here .

    Hope that explains my thoughts: my original posting was perhaps too concise.

  29. ‘The Lib Dems are in new territory in the upcoming election but , in previous elections, they have often shown a tendency to lose votes in weak areas and retain them in stronger areas.’

    That still seems to ber the case with the Lib Dems being mostly competitive in the seats they need to be competitive in, with their vote evapourating elsewhere

    I’d expect them to retain second here

  30. 2nd hustings occurred at the University the Labour Party was represented by Michael Foster PPC for Camborne and Redruth due to Hanna Toms’ resignation. He was again pretty poor as reflected by the opinion poll. Also, the greens sent a communications person instead of their PPC who was a lot more competent than the PPC.

  31. MQR (Jim Messina’s company) telephoned me last night to conduct a poll for this constituency.

  32. My guess for this seat:

    CON 35
    LD 21
    UKIP 18
    LAB 14
    GRN 6
    RICH 4
    MK 1
    OTH 1

  33. Yes agreed with that- Loic Rich carries a personal vote which will get him a few thousand votes here. The presence of the Greens in Cornish constituencies probably damages Mebyon Kernow I would have thought, but I don’t really know that for certain.

  34. Labour have nominated a new candidate: Stuart Roden, a Unison representative. Previously a mayor of Truro.

  35. I don’t doubt that the result will be a Tory hold on a reduced share, but there seems to be a consensus that there will be a UKIP surge that only slightly dents the Conservatives.

    Is that just a coincidence across predictions, or is there a feeling that UKIP will indeed take a significant majority of its increased share from Lib+Lab here (with Lab’s losses offset by LD tacticals returning home)?

  36. Well, some, yes, but there is also movement in other ways. LD voters go to the Tories, but more Tories go to UKIP than LD voters went to the Tories, or something like that. Obviously exact patterns change, but just because one party is up and another is down does not mean that voters transitioned directly from one to the other.

  37. Thanks for that.. clear as mud..

  38. For info, our household so far has had leaflets from the Tories, Lib Dems (x2), UKIP and the independent. The latter delivered his flyer personally.

    Nothing from Labour or the Greens, who have both had candidates drop out.

  39. interesting seat,

    CON 33
    LD 27
    UKIP 20
    LAB 10
    GRN 4
    O 6

  40. Dear Robbiestriespolitics: this is a Cornish seat not an English one and has more of a similarity to Welsh or Scottish seats.

  41. National Health Action (last week) and Labour (yesterday) have sent leaflets since my last comment.

    @John Smith

    I think the Con and LD shares will be higher than that, with roughly the same gap. UKIP share won’t be as high as that. Their best share in the recent Ashcroft polls of four Cornish seats was 20% in St Austell & Newquay; it was quite a bit lower than that in the other three.

  42. This could be the seat where I put everything I have in my savings account on a tory hold if the bookie will take it.

  43. Your savings would almost certainly be safe in that case.

  44. Considering Ashcroft put them in fourth place in June (albeit on 16%), the Lib Dems are trying surprisingly hard here. More of their boards up locally than the others. Maybe they’re hoping that the Labour and Green difficulties with candidates will help them?

    BTW, last week we received a second constituency VI poll phone call last week. I didn’t recognise the name of the company that my Dad says was given to him (“Ventura”? Like the wrestler / Minnesota governor?), but the questions were like a constituency VI poll. Not Ashcroft because some of the candidates were named.

  45. I have said this before and I shall say it again… the phone poll is now a bogus mechanism and I await election day to be proved wrong.. Things have moved on and in many parts of the country.. under 30s renting a flat do not even have a landline installed… with call screening and the rise of mobile phone, phone polls to landlines are going to go the way of the dodo bird post 2015…

  46. How do the under 30s get good internet access without a landline? Do many people now only use their mobile and/or dongles?

    Not to disagree with your point, if only because people tend not to answer their landline now unless they are expecting a call, to avoid/discourage nuisance sales calls.

  47. You can get packages now that include the three things (cable/landline/internet) and people regard the landline as a “throwaway” which they don’t use of never connect…

    The danger of phone polls these days is that it skews towards an older demographic.. what better way to catch a stereotypical UKIP supporter than a phone poll while they are sitting there having their umpteenth cup of tea for the day and fuming over some immigration statistic from the lunchtime news?

    what better way to catch the opinion of your stereotypical Green than an online poll launched on Buzzfeed?

    I launched an online poll yesterday on a local issue.. I made it in the morning… but sat on it until 8pm when the Twitter “rush-hour” begins. Useless launching it mid-afternoon as the worker bees don’t sit down to look at the feed until after their evening meal. However it was retweeted late in the evening by the local “news” site so the middle aged and retirees who are internet savvy will read it on their morning perusings.

    Some LibDems are still of the opinion that the internet and social media are the work of the devil and would gladly chip out their Focuses on a stone slab if they could get it through people’s letterboxes..

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