Twickenham

2015 Result:
Conservative: 25580 (41.3%)
Labour: 7129 (11.5%)
Lib Dem: 23563 (38%)
Green: 2463 (4%)
UKIP: 3069 (4.9%)
Christian: 174 (0.3%)
Others: 26 (0%)
MAJORITY: 2017 (3.3%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of the Richmond on Thames council area.

Main population centres: Twickenham, Teddington, Hampton.

Profile: The seat consists of the part of the Borough of Richmond-on-Thames that lies to the north of the River Thames. This is prosperous and leafy suburbia, with high house prices, a high proportion of graduates and little social housing. The seat has two major film and television venues - Twickenham Studios, a venue for the filming and production for many high profile films and Teddington Studios, a television studio now owned by Pinewood. The seat also includes Twickenham Stadium, the world`s largest dedicated Rugby stadium, and Hampton Court Palace and its grounds.

Politics: Twickenham was historically a safe Conservative seat but was won by Vince Cable of the Liberal Democrats in the Tories` landslide defeat of 1997. Cable was one of the most high profile Liberal Democrats, was business secretary in the coalition government and became one of the most high profile casualties of the Liberal Democrats` crushing defeat in 2015.


Current MP
TANIA MATHIAS (Conservative) Educated at St Pauls Girls School and Oxford University. Former doctor. First elected as MP for Twickenham in 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 20343 (34%)
Lab: 4583 (8%)
LDem: 32483 (54%)
UKIP: 868 (1%)
Oth: 1444 (2%)
MAJ: 12140 (20%)
2005
Con: 16731 (32%)
Lab: 5868 (11%)
LDem: 26696 (52%)
GRN: 1445 (3%)
Oth: 947 (2%)
MAJ: 9965 (19%)
2001
Con: 16689 (33%)
Lab: 6903 (14%)
LDem: 24344 (49%)
GRN: 1423 (3%)
Oth: 579 (1%)
MAJ: 7655 (15%)
1997
Con: 21956 (38%)
Lab: 9065 (16%)
LDem: 26237 (45%)
Oth: 886 (2%)
MAJ: 4281 (7%)

Demographics
2015 Candidates
TANIA MATHIAS (Conservative) Educated at St Pauls Girls School and Oxford University. Doctor.
NICK GRANT (Labour) Barrister.
VINCENT CABLE (Liberal Democrat) Born 1943, York. Educated at Nunthorpe Grammar and Cambridge University. Chief economist for Shell. Glasgow councillor 1971-1974 for the Labour party. Contested York 1983, 1987, Twickenham 1992. MP for Twickenham 1997 to 2015. Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor 2003-2010. Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats 2006-2010 and acting leader following Ming Campbells resigination in 2007. Secretary of State for Business since 2010.
BARRY EDWARDS (UKIP) Businessman.
TANYA WILLIAMS (Green) Educated at Bryanston School and Cambridge University. Human rights student.
DOMINIC STOCKFORD (Christian) Pastor.
DAVID WEDGWOOD (Magna Carta) Contested Bermondsey 1983 by-election.
Links
Comments - 572 Responses on “Twickenham”
  1. If the Lib Dems can’t win this seat back, things will be going really badly for them in the rest of the country.

  2. Mr. Pitt

    No need for that.

  3. Yeah maybe a bit far

  4. If Vince wins this we might well get a by election here. He is very old.

  5. Quint – welcome your contributions but Vince is 73/74 – that is not ‘very old’ in today’s world!

  6. Both the YouGov model and Britain Elects Nowcast are calling this seat and Kingston and Surbiton as Lib Dem gains.

    Chris K, Quint.

    My Conservative MP is standing again and he is a similar age.

  7. spent some time here this week for the blues…positive noises coming from them. some of the tories think they’ll win by 3%… If that is the case the lib dems are in dire shape.

    I don’t see how if a) the Lib dems poll the same as they did in 2015 and b) the conservatives and labour poll 5% and 3% better, respectively, then c) the yellows make net gains.

    I just don’t get it. If 2015 proved anything it showed how closely aligned the lib dems capacity to win seats was linked to the vote share nationally. Yet in every election I can remember people rely on differential swings magically keeping lib dem seats from being gobbled up by the other two main parties, the reds and the blues.

  8. Cable’s done it.

    May’s anti-immigration, anti-EU rhetoric is going down like a led balloon in London.

  9. His majority is absolutely massive as well

  10. That seems like a stretch. 14% or something like that. Big, not massive.

  11. Big for Lib Dem standards these days

  12. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40339334

    Well look at that! Didn’t expect him to run but he’s the highest profile Lib Dem and probably a favourite now.

  13. As a side point, Tania Mathias held up quite well in her vote numbers, getting a v similar number to two years ago.

    Cable will probably succeed Farron as leader, he’s certainly more palatable to the electorate (leaving aside the stuff over sexuality even) than Farron… who couldn’t ever seriously claim to be remotely liberal, in any context.

    Dragging the party kicking and screaming to the left was stupid considering where Labour had gone, and alienating 52% of the electorate (minimum) was remarkably dim.

    Whoever the leader is, needs to tack back to the centre and try to appeal to socially liberal Tory voters. Accept the Brexit decision and work towards a suitable outcome, rather than crying like a petulant child demanding as many referendums as it takes to get the desired outcome.

  14. “Whoever the leader is, needs to tack back to the centre and try to appeal to socially liberal Tory voters. Accept the Brexit decision and work towards a suitable outcome, rather than crying like a petulant child demanding as many referendums as it takes to get the desired outcome.”

    But they’ve already got their desired outcome without needing a second referendum. Hard Brexit is dead as a dodo. It doesn’t have the numbers to get through the commons. The chancellor is on record today as saying we will be staying in the customs union at least temporarily. By the way I wouldn’t be so sure that the Tories won’t be forced to hold a 2nd referendum if things get really deadlocked.

  15. Does this bring UKIP back into the equation at all or are they doomed to remain a mere irrelevance? With Hard Brexit seemingly dead I don’t really know what the government do next, especially without a mandate from the electorate at large to even have a small overall majority to get it through the Commons.

  16. 1. Farron is a liberal, in many ways. Liberalism is about letting people follow their own choices, not about believing in those choices yourself.

    2. Cable is far too old. This will be a disaster.

    3. Also a disaster because he’s not aligned well with his party on free movement.

    4. And again because of his role in the tuition fees issue.

    5. And because Cable is fairly left-wing in the party’s context, which, I agree, is not great. Lamb’s radical centrist version of liberalism would probably be a better play in the Tory-facing seats the LDs will be targeting next time round.

  17. All of that maybe true, but a tub of lard would make a better Lib Dem leader than Farron. Cable has gravitas and would be taken more seriously by the public.

    If I am in any way representative of liberal Tory voters then I think Lamb and Cable would be the most likely to take votes like mine. Davey looks like another Farronesque plonker.

  18. As a liberal-leaning Tory (albeit one who can’t imagine voting Tory under May), I think Lamb or Davey seems more likely to appeal to me and those like me than Cable, who is basically just an ancient social democrat.

    Swinson would’ve been the best bet, though.

  19. Interesting points

    As another centrist/soft tory/blairite – take your pick – Cable certainly has the gravitas that Farron somewhat lacked – but i also agree that i find arch-centist Davey or even the more technocratic Lamb a better bet longer term

    Whilst i’d happily back Cable – i voted Green for the first and last time 10 days ago – he is more identified with the party’s social democrat wing

  20. So yes agree with Pitt totally

  21. Agree with Hemelig too – a second refrendum if not a certainty imo is very likely

  22. The Lib Dems, ironically, could end up pretty much getting their Europe policy by losing. We shall see, however.

    And as I said on the E Dunbartonshire thread: I could see this as a Lib Dem tactic theorizing a second snap election. If Cable leads, he’s well known nationally, so he could rebuild without first needing to build a reputation. The LDs need to rebuild their national floor; they can’t exist effectively on 7-8% and targeting based on MPs they used to have. They need to be back to 12-15% again if they’re to be effective.

  23. I was asked by an ATM today whether I thought we should leave the EU. Maybe the ATM thinks we should have another referendum too

  24. “And as I said on the E Dunbartonshire thread: I could see this as a Lib Dem tactic theorizing a second snap election. If Cable leads, he’s well known nationally, so he could rebuild without first needing to build a reputation. The LDs need to rebuild their national floor; they can’t exist effectively on 7-8% and targeting based on MPs they used to have. They need to be back to 12-15% again if they’re to be effective.”

    There was a thick seam of very reluctant Tory votes in the 2017 GE. If the Lib Dems can reassure them that they will not give Corbyn the keys to Downing Street, perhaps keeping the idea of a moderate Con-LD arrangement on the table, under a better leader than Farron, they have a good chance of picking up these kind of votes.

  25. It depends on how long the current government lasts. The Lib Dems categorically will not work with a Conservative government while Brexit is still a live issue, so the promise of keeping Corbyn out won’t wash in a snap election. But it could do if the Tories somehow see out the whole parliamentary term.

  26. That’s a pretty idiotic attitude from a party which claims to care about the country.

    At the present time, a Con-LD arrangement would be vastly better than Con+DUP. The Lib Dems could insist on a Norwegian Brexit deal which we revisit with another referendum in 5 or 10 years time to decide whether to keep it, rejoin the EU or move further out. It would satisfy the referendum result and save us from cliff edge Brexit, and give us time to prepare for a harder Brexit later on if that’s what the country decides.

    Given Hammond’s comments yesterday the government may anyway be thinking along similar lines.

  27. The other thing you have to remember is that, of the twelve Lib Dem MPs elected, eight won their seats because they were “not the Tories”, and the other four because they were “not the SNP”. Nick Clegg and Greg Mulholland were defending Labour facing-seats and lost.

    It is therefore fair to say that very few people voted for the Liberal Democrats in order to keep Mr Corbyn out of Number Ten, as you put it. Wouldn’t it be rather undemocratic for the MPs to ignore their voters?

  28. ‘The Lib Dems could insist on a Norwegian Brexit deal which we revisit with another referendum in 5 or 10 years time to decide whether to keep it, rejoin the EU or move further out. It would satisfy the referendum result and save us from cliff edge Brexit, and give us time to prepare for a harder Brexit later on if that’s what the country decides.’

    I think that would be a sensible arrangement but hardcore Brexiters including the press wouldn’t only hold it against the Lib Dems but might even take it to the next level and encourage violent attacks on their MPs and maybe their families etc, such is their desire for a hard Brexit

    The country voted for Brexit – let them now reap what they sowed

  29. *IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT* *IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT*

    I have just posted my completed list of Conservative vote share increases at the 2017 General Election over on the Conservative Candidates page. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

  30. I think the bar for “important announcements” may have been lowered…

  31. I was being a bit ironic lol.

  32. Ahh, I see.

  33. Just thought people would maybe like to see my lists and that would be a funny way of doing it!

  34. Yes, it’s an interesting list. In taking you fully seriously, however, I was mistaken; if fully serious in intent, that indeed would have been quite an overflow of excitement.

  35. Lol fair enough.

  36. Sir Ed Davey not running so, unless one of the new Lib Dem MPs or Stephen Lloyd decides to make a last minute run, it looks like Sir Vince Cable is going to become Lib Dem leader aged 74.

    Gladstone was PM in his 80s…

  37. Could peers run or not?

  38. No, the rules specify they must be a member of the House of Commons.

  39. Cable is ok for the interim. If Swinson still doesn’t fancy the job in a few years there may be problems for the LD’s (in terms of improving their electoral
    Performance).

  40. The thinking of many LDs is that Cable can’t last long because of his age, and then Swinson who they really want will take over.

    But things often don’t work out as you would neatly plan them out. By two years down the line there could be another election at which the LDs do particularly well or particularly badly, Swinson might still not want it or have seen her reputation decline for what ever reason and other candidates (e.g. from the 2017 intake, most likely Layla Moran) might come into the frame.

  41. Remember- my main claim to fame is that Layla Moran follows me on Twitter! I’d heard of her some time before she became an MP…

  42. Lord Ashcroft once followed me

  43. lol.

  44. I think Granpa Vince will worry the Tories a lot more than Tim Farron did

  45. Oh I certainly agree. Gravitas, experience, calm head…

  46. Good result for Labour!

  47. How come?

  48. Actually I’m not sure. He did say vote Labour in Con /Lab marginals didn’t he? That ain’t gonna help him. Also He’s very Coalition. And he’s old…more likely old fogies in the Tories than forward looking Labour voters. Also he’ll make Corbyn look ten yrs younger.

  49. Whatever happens it’s a bloody long way back for the Lib Dems whoever becomes leader next I should imagine.

  50. I think the lack of a challenger means the Lib Dems think there will be another election this year, frankly, and want someone in place as soon as possible.

    Also, does anyone know Lib Dem rules on this if there’s only one candidate? Does Cable become leader automatically at close of nominations?

    I think the Lib Dems’ best hope is this:

    2017/early 2018: another snap election. May has bungled a bit more and lost power, Cable looks like the grownup in the room, Corbyn is ascendent. Lib Dems get 10%+ and something like 20 seats, mostly off the Tories (their only real chances now), gaining some strong new (or old, returning) MPs and building up their base again.

    2018: Strong (or at least decent) local election showing, possibly gaining back or building strength in a couple of the SW London boroughs they lost in ’14. Keep Watford, Three Rivers, Cheltenham, Eastleigh, Sutton, South Lakeland, while targeting areas like Winchester, South Cambridgeshire, West Oxfordshire, Maidstone, and the cities they used to control: Sheffield, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Bristol.

    2019: Hope for strong results in local elections (most of England votes, so some good opportunities), maybe a by-election win or two.

    2020: Pretty much the same. Again, look for some stronger local election results. At this point, with three cycles of local elections behind them, they’d be hoping to have 2,250+ councillors, I think, if they were doing well. And Cable resigns the summer following the local elections, depending on when the next election will be held.

    2021: Scottish parliamentary election, Welsh Assembly election. Swinson would also be trying to build up in anticipation for the Scottish election in 2021, where they’d hope to play on her as the one (theoretically; can’t see any of the Scottish Tories or Labour MPs as an obvious leadership candidate) Scottish party leader to build up again Building in Wales is obviously a huge priority; getting 3+ AMs (an official group) would probably be the target, which, thanks to regional vote, is probably plausible. In Scotland, they’d probably hope to regain Caithness, maybe Skye or Argyll, and get list seats in South Scotland, West Scotland (where Swinson’s seat would be), and maybe another in North East Scotland.

    2022: GE, probably. They’d be shooting for ~15-18%, if they’ve hit everything else above (a massive, massive “if” — again, this is a “best hope” scenario). That’d probably put their seat hopes on 30, maybe, if their targeting is decent, but the bigger factor is building back a national vote share and a decent selection of second places from which to fish for targets.

    I think that’s their best case scenario, come 2023, having ~35 MPs, ~10 MSPs, ~3 AMs, ~2,500 councillors, and around ~17% of the national vote.

    Their worst case is continuing on like it’s 1961.

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