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
Con: 20343 (34%)
Lab: 4583 (8%)
LDem: 32483 (54%)
UKIP: 868 (1%)
Oth: 1444 (2%)
MAJ: 12140 (20%)
Con: 16731 (32%)
Lab: 5868 (11%)
LDem: 26696 (52%)
GRN: 1445 (3%)
Oth: 947 (2%)
MAJ: 9965 (19%)
Con: 16689 (33%)
Lab: 6903 (14%)
LDem: 24344 (49%)
GRN: 1423 (3%)
Oth: 579 (1%)
MAJ: 7655 (15%)
Con: 21956 (38%)
Lab: 9065 (16%)
LDem: 26237 (45%)
Oth: 886 (2%)
MAJ: 4281 (7%)

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.
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.
Comments - 596 Responses on “Twickenham”
  1. Vince Cable believes “Brexit may never happen”.

    I’m struggling a bit here, so I’m throwing this out as a challenge – can anyone devise a plausible scenario in which we do stay in the EU after all? Even the single-issue headbangers at The New European seem to have given up hope on that front and are now looking to fudge things Norway-style.

  2. It does appear the polls are moving away from Brexit. It may be that the issue starts to hurt the Tories that they change their mind

  3. You think so? I could have foreseen it being overturned by Parliament in the wake of the Brexit vote, but Parliament then ratified the decision by a thumping majority. The 318 Conservative and 262 Labour MPs (and for that matter, ten from the DUP) were then elected on manifestos committed to honouring the decision. Many people voted Conservative because they trusted them to deliver Brexit, and many people were persuaded by Labour making similar reassurances. So Brexit is now tied to a genuine election with constitutional weight, rather than just a notionally advisory referendum.

    On top of all of this, as Jeremy Corbyn pointed out in his rebuttal to the Queen’s Speech, the Tories’ legislative programme for the next couple of years is pretty thin, and lots of what is there is Brexit-related. If they junk Brexit on top of that, what are they actually going to be doing?

  4. Brexit may continue unperturbed by public opinion sliding. If David Davis does topple May there is no turning back. However, if two years from now Brexit is still going on and inflation is still rising with wages continuing to fall i think the DUP may pull their support or at least abstain on any important legislation. May might stand down and someone like Hammond takes over. The Lib Dems might agree to supporting the Tories on legislation involving housing and mental health in exchange for a referendum on the final deal.

  5. Polltroll
    “can anyone devise a plausible scenario in which we do stay in the EU after all?”

    Not saying this will happen obviously but here’s a “semi” plausible hypothetical scenario. Don’t take this too seriously its mostly just a bit of fun.

    The current gov plods along as it currently is with negotiations, they go as disastrously as they have so far with literally none of the UK’s demands being met and the UK being forced to capitulate on each and every issue. With each passing month the high profile Brexiters like Fox become more and more unhinged with talk about the unpatriotic BBC and how we should all support British tie makers post Brexit becoming the norm and doing the cause of Brexit no good whatsoever. At the same time the “anti Brexit” voice becomes louder, emboldened and more unified, sounding less like “Remoaners” and more like genuine, respected concerns, around this point a pro Remain cabinet member in a pro Remain seat (Justine Greening?) breaks ranks and comes out publically saying Brexit should be stopped, May promptly sacks her which causes no amount of disquiet amongst the pro Remain Tory backbenchers.

    All the while it becomes apparent that Britain is almost certain to crash out of the EU without a deal and the dire economic ramifications of such an outcome become ever more clear. As the UK slips back into recession May’s talk of “no deal being better than a bad deal” becomes as much a parody as “strong and stable” was and under pressure from Hammond and the business community the gov focus is instead directed towards the creation of a transition arrangement to buy them more time for the proper exit deal

    New years day 2022 and May is still PM, Britain is still in the EU having in 2019 used all our diplomatic capital to secure a 5 year transition arrangement that maintains the status quo until 2024 thus buying us more negotiating time, however the country is still in the depths of a recession caused by Brexit uncertainty amongst other issues. Having already blown more than half that new negotiating time and only proven further how shambolic Brexit is going to be (looks like our outstanding payments equal over 50 billion etc) and on the eve of an another GE which the gov looks set to lose (polling consistently showing a 5-10 point Lab lead and also a consistent lead for staying IN the EU should the ref be held again) the government starts to panic, the Brexiters become even more delusional with at some point Fox making a totally outrageous pro Brexit/anti EU comment that becomes something of a government scandal and forces his resignation (again) while disunity amongst Remainers (in both parties) is now open and common.

    May is disposed in a leadership challenge which is very narrowly won by the “safe pair of hands” Phillip Hammond who immediately charts a more pro EU stance for the sake of the economy with some of his new cabinet actively supporting Norway style EEA membership. Tory civil war now threatens to rip apart the party which does nothing for its poll ratings. Lab meanwhile (now led by Clive Lewis, Corbyn having voluntarily stood down due to age concerns but also increasing disquiet amongst the overwhelmingly pro EU membership) is still walking the “all things to all people” tightrope on the EU but has definitely shifted with the times. its policy seems to vary from soft Brexit to a second referendum with nobody quite being able to pin them down (not that this seems to harm them) Lab once again seems to have become a repository for angry Remainers without angering working class leavers too much.

    GE election 2022 results in a Lab minority gov propped up by the “progressive alliance” (Libs, SNP, Plaid, Green) who emboldened by national polling on Brexit demand a “referendum to review the decision to trigger article 50” Having himself resigned the Lab frontbench several years earlier over the triggering of article 50 and facing a backbench rebellion over the issue prime minister Lewis is forced to concede to the demands on the stipulation once again that its only an “advisory referendum to gauge public opinion”

    The unofficial 2nd EU referendum results in 54% “Remain” vote in large part due to a more enthused youth vote, lower turnout amongst Leavers but most importantly a horrible “pro Leave” campaign which (with the complete destruction of UKIP over the last few years and the loss of credibility of many of its past figureheads like BoJo) quickly descended into farce and accusations of pro establishment stitch ups and conspiracy theories.

    The wake of the result see’s even more frothing from Brexiters which leaves a vacuum for a measured response from the Remainers who note the new ref was just “advisory” and highlight that this doesn’t mean we’ll be staying in the EU just that the situation is to be reviewed. This does something towards calming matters and people mostly go on with their lives. Meanwhile an independent non partisan committee is established to examine routes forward and in the mealtime Britain remains in the EU. The findings when they emerge a few years later quietly endorse continued EU membership on economic grounds. Despite the frothing of arch Brexiters at this “stitch up” the country and indeed the world has moved on over the past decade and Brexit just doesn’t pick up the salience it once did, a new UKIP style party emerges in response to this but it remains pretty fringe and Brexit is never seriously again revisited as an issue.

    As I said don’t take that too seriously I’m just having some fun

  6. Wow that came out a long longer than I planned, kudos if anyone actually bothers to read that XD

  7. Thanks Rivers, I enjoyed that πŸ™‚ It made me feel like singing “Imagine”, Donald Tusk-style.

    The one thing I’m not sure is how flexible Article 50 is on the timings. Are we really allowed to extend the deadline? I guess ultimately it would fall under the ruling of the ECJ, and I’m sure they’d let it slide.

  8. Extension of the 2 year deadline for leaving is not a matter for the ECJ, Polltroll, but it would need unanimous agreement of the EU27. So if the UK were to ask to extend it would be quite conceivable that one or more of the 27 would say ‘no’.

  9. Vince Cable has been reported to police for allegedly submitting a false return and by spending over the limit in the recent General Election here.

    The complainant is quoted in the Sunday Times as having uncovered various expenses which do not appear in the Return which would – if they had been – have easily breached the limit, as even the return filed was just under the permitted limit.

  10. Link? Google isn’t turning up anything.

  11. The ST is behind a paywall but I can tell you which page it’s on if you like.

  12. Aren’t you still allowed to view two free articles a week?

    Anyway, you’d think that someone else would have reported it second-hand. It seems the majority of so-called journalism these days is just rehashes of other papers’ scoops.

  13. In fact if you google ‘Vince Cable Expenses’ it does indeed bring up The Times, Express and a few others quoting the complainant.

  14. Oh yeah, there it is:

    Oh well, none of these complaints have gone anywhere. Of the thirty or so Tory candidates that were implicated in the 2015 scandal, the police dropped charges in all cases except one. I imagine it will be the same here.

  15. Vince Cable has appointed Lord Storey, 68, as Shadow Minister for Young People.

    Ming, 76, is also back in their Shadow Cabinet.

  16. Former LD Leader of the Opposition on the local council and GLA member, Cllr Stephen Knight, has joined his partner Cllr Jennifer Churchill (they’re both Teddington councillors) in defecting from the LDs to the Labour Party. Whilst Jennifer Churchill is fighting West Twickenham ward for Labour, Stephen Knight isn’t planning to fight the council elections. This gives Labour an actual council group for the first time since the party was wiped out after boundary changes in 2002 (Labour would have won 5 seats on the old boundaries).

  17. Again – Not my post above – impersonator.
    Posted by
    Real Joe James B

  18. With some knife-edge votes on Brexit legislation in the commons last night, Vince Cable (who was absent) has some explaining to do.

  19. He has been a huge disappointment since he came back to the commons, both as Lib Dem leader and as an MP.

    A friend of mine is a constituent of his and we were chatting about it last week in the context of the ongoing Brexit chaos. My friend is the typical wealthy Con / Lib Dem swing voter you find in this part of London. A city worker and devout Remainer, he voted for Vince in 2017 but is pretty scathing about his lack of impact since.

    Pretty clear to me that Cable is too old and needs to make way for someone younger – trouble is who.

  20. I never thought he was the right choice for leader but you are right who would have been. Really Vince is about 10 years too late.

  21. Trying to be bipartisan here – I think Vince was an excellent cabinet minister but is woeful at being the kind of showman you need to be as a political leader these days. The direct opposite of Boris if you like, or Corbyn. Politics is very short of that particular skill set today and I for one would be delighted if May appointed Cable to the cabinet. But as Lib Dem leader he’s hopeless.

  22. Well, Theresa May is hardly charismatic or a ‘showman’ (I don’t want to say showgirl) but I understand what you mean. Cable has been disappointing since he was re-elected, and as a few of you have said,is rather too old to be a leader of a political party.

  23. I think that’s exactly Theresa May’s problem. A relative of a friend is a senior civil servant at the Home Office and she is full of praise for May’s performance there, despite (I guess) being well to the left of her politically. Boris has the showmanship but it seems every single civil servant in the Foreign Office hated his guts.

  24. To be fair, I can’t think of a single British politician who is/was both a master of details and a natural showman.

    (Also think it’s a stretch to call Corbyn a showman. His policies are generally more popular than he is.)

  25. “To be fair, I can’t think of a single British politician who is/was both a master of details and a natural showman.”




    A few more I’m sure, but a short list

  26. John McDonnell and Diane Abbott stood on the same policies and both lost

  27. Cable has been disappointing since he was re-elected’

    The Lib Dems have almost become silent since Vince got the job

    Their consistency on Brexit seems to have done them few favours and despite winning more seats in 2017 there doesn’t seem to have been any sort of bounce

    Odd because in normal times you’d expect a centrist benefit to benefit given the Tories have veered off to the Right and Labour have surged to the Left]

  28. Maybe finally dispelling the belief that elections are won from the centre

  29. IMO if Labour had a more centrist leader whom Middle England wasn’t so scared of, 5/10% of the Tory vote would shift to the Lib Dems at a stroke.

  30. Nah, elections are still won from the centre. Its just that the centre wasn’t where people thought it was (and, in general, the centre is movable).

  31. I agree the centre is movable mainly cause its not a real concept. People vote for what their representatives do for them and what they like from what theyve heard.

  32. Nah, elections are still won from the centre.’

    I’m not sure that holds any more

    The majority backed Brexit – a classic example of a nutty extremist idea that only had support amongst a few oddballs of the hard Left and Right

    Social media, The Sun and Daily Mail have succeeded in their aim of turning the UK – or at least England and Wales – into a nasty, unwelcoming, uneducated and backwards-looking country

    Liberals like myself can bleat us much as we want, but I think we have to face facts and the old argument that elections are won from the centre ground no longer holds much weight

  33. I feel like we’ve been here before on the “where is the centre?” question. I have realised over the past two years that I am not a centrist at all, I am a liberal extremist.

    The average voter wants:

    The almost complete removal of private sector involvement in public services
    Greater spending on public services, though the extra 20bn for the NHS will suffice for a while
    But no more spending on welfare than already exists, and possibly further savings
    A reduction in unskilled immigration, but otherwise co-operation with Europe
    House prices to remain stable

    As someone who disagrees with most of that, I can hardly call myself a centrist. (But I still do.)

  34. What is a liberal extremist? I’m imagining Ayn Rands Rapture atm

  35. ‘I have realised over the past two years that I am not a centrist at all, I am a liberal extremist’

    I’ve always characterised myself as an illiberal liberal

  36. Nah, not like that. Like Rand I put the ultimate value on freedom, especially the freedom to make their own mistakes, but unlike her I acknowledge that the state is just as capable of giving people freedom as it is of taking their freedom away (eg by making sure people have enough to live on, because there’s no point respecting people’s right to spend their money however they want if those people have no money to spend).

    I’m where libertarians would be if they followed through on their own assumptions, rather than using their philosophy as a foil to justify not having to pay their fair share towards society.

    Is there a word for that?

  37. Whereas I believe, if not embrace the liberal, post war consensus I don’t have a very liberal attitude towards those who reject it

  38. ‘Illiberal liberals’ (and much worse) amusingly is Liberal Party leader Cllr Steve Radford’s critique of the LDs.

    PT – not sure how the State can ‘give’ people THEIR freedom. Surely in England we’re permitted to do anything which is not unlawful ie the very opposite from the continental rights-based approach where the State does indeed sanction freedoms.

  39. Councillor breakdowns for Richmond Park and Twickenham constituencies:

    Richmond Park

    LD 17
    Con 15
    Grn 1


    LD 28
    Grn 3
    Con 2

  40. It could be Biden, but his age (he’ll be 78 in two years) and rumours that he is rather handsy with women will count against him. Depressing for the Democrats that they can’t offer up anyone better than yesterday’s man.

  41. (Pls ignore the above).

  42. Depressing for the Democrats that every viable poll shows Biden as the only candidate likely to beat Donald Trump – the most dislikeable, politically inept, moronic President in the history of US politics and the only one whose approval ratings have flatlined ever since taking the job

    He’s almost as bad as May

  43. I think Sanders beats Trump too

  44. Harris is an interesting candidate.

    Her voting record since taking her seat has been decisively liberal yet as a former attorney general she was anything but

    Don’t think she stands much of a chance for the nomination at this stage, but she is one of those liberal candidates who has a bit of something else to entice non-liberal voters to her cause.

  45. Vince Cable to step down as Lib Dem leader in May it is being reported. He will stay on as an MP.

    I do hope he writes another novel as I quite enjoyed his first one.

  46. The disappearance of the Lib Dems as a political party in today’s climate is one of the most bizarre phenomenons in British politics

    Since the 2017 election, they have managed to be lower profile than they were even under Farron, despite being the only party that has consistently represented the 48% of the country that voted to stay in the EU

    On the face of it, the likes of Soubry, Allen and particularly Wollaston seem almost tailor-made Lib Dem candidates and yet they preferred to team up with a bunch of Social Democrat-inclined Labour MPs

    And let’s not forget, Cable secured a pretty formidable endorsement from this electorate by winning back his seat with just a few hundred votes short of a five figure majority up against a pretty decent Tory incumbant

    I’m glad he’s staying as an MP though as he certainly seems more than up to it intellectually to me

  47. Jo Swinson will still be on maternity leave, so she’s out of contention. Has this opportunity come too soon for Layla Moran? Westminster insiders invariably rate her very highly.

  48. I watched her on QT not that impressed

    This might be an oppertunity for the talent from outside parliament

  49. Jo Swinson will run. She is back from her maternty leave. (she voted in person yesterday rather than by proxy.).

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