Warwick & Leamington

2015 Result:
Conservative: 24249 (47.9%)
Labour: 17643 (34.9%)
Lib Dem: 2512 (5%)
Green: 1994 (3.9%)
UKIP: 4183 (8.3%)
MAJORITY: 6606 (13.1%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: West Midlands, Warwickshire. Part of the Warwick council area.

Main population centres: Warwick, Royal Leamington Spa.

Profile: The constituency consists of the two titular towns and some of the countryside to the south-west. Warwick and Royal Leamington Spa form a single urban area and are both affluent and successful towns. Warwick`s castle and historic buildings makes it a tourist destination, and the good communication links make the area a popular location for companies and hi-tech industry. The Technology park to the south of Warwick is home to the National Grid`s gas control centre, Jet and Bravissimo, while IBM and Volvo also have bases here. Leamington is perhaps the more industrial of the two towns, and the council estates to the south of Leamington form the core of Labour`s support here. Warwick university is not in the constituency, indeed, it is not even in Warwick - instead being situated on the southern edge of Coventry.

Politics: Historically Warwick and Leamington has been a safe seat for the Conservative party, most famously represented by Sir Anthony Eden from 1923 until 1957. It was a surprise gain for Labour in their 1997 landslide, and James Plaskitt managed to retain the seat in 2001 and (extremely narrowly) in 2005 before it returned to the Tories in 2010.


Current MP
CHRIS WHITE (Conservative) Born 1967. Educated at St Gregorys Catholic School and Manchester University. Former Engineer. Contested Warwick & Leamington 2005, Birmingham Hall Green 2001. First elected as MP for Warwick & Leamington in 2010.
Past Results
2010
Con: 20876 (43%)
Lab: 17363 (35%)
LDem: 8977 (18%)
UKIP: 926 (2%)
Oth: 890 (2%)
MAJ: 3513 (7%)
2005*
Con: 21972 (40%)
Lab: 22238 (41%)
LDem: 8119 (15%)
GRN: 1534 (3%)
Oth: 921 (2%)
MAJ: 266 (0%)
2001
Con: 20155 (38%)
Lab: 26108 (49%)
LDem: 5964 (11%)
UKIP: 648 (1%)
Oth: 664 (1%)
MAJ: 5953 (11%)
1997
Con: 23349 (39%)
Lab: 26747 (45%)
LDem: 7133 (12%)
Oth: 1378 (2%)
MAJ: 3398 (6%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
CHRIS WHITE (Conservative) See above.
LYNNETTE KELLY (Labour) Born Coventry. Educated at Coventry University. Academic. Coventry councillor since 2004. Contested Birmingham Yardley 2010.
HASEEB ARIF (Liberal Democrat) Born Leamington Spa. Educated at North Leamington School and University of London.
ALASTAIR MACBRAYNE (UKIP) Wine merchant.
AZZEES MINOTT (Green) Educated at Bishop Challoner Catholic Collegiate Girls School and Coventry University. CAB advisor.
Links
Comments - 148 Responses on “Warwick & Leamington”
  1. The postal votes can be validated during the day and are then ready to count when the other results come in.

    Having been to many counts, I do not understand why there has to be a result on the night. I have seen recounts resumed the following day, as the counting staff were exhausted. The overtime bills for police and officials are also a factor. Until we get electronic voting, which would speed things up and facilitate council and parliamentary elections on the same day, we are stuck with a Victorian approach.

    The Returning Officers should make sure they get it right and if that means taking their time, so be it.

  2. Conservative Hold. 2,000 majority.

  3. A Conservative vote share of 48% is good going given how tightly the seat’s boundaries are now drawn around the towns themselves. I dare say they’d have quite comfortably cleared 50% on the pre-2010 boundaries and managed a five figure majority.

  4. There is actually quite a large rural area still in this seat (even though it was made more compact in 2010).
    And the very attractive small town of Henley in Arden, with it’s Tudor buildings and which is part of the Stratford District (and on the railway via Birmingham Moor Street to/from Stratford).
    I’m trying to do some drawings here when get time.

    Leamington Spa does look more varied than I remember it, particularly from the south side, but that is in line with other descriptions.

  5. Seems to actually be a high swing Midlands seat (and one that can re-elect with increases).
    I do think some of the Liberal left vote has still been squeezed by Labour in the two major centres from the 1990s onwards though.

  6. JJB- no, Warwick & Leamington is very compact these days. The only semi-rural wards still included are Bishop Tachbrooke and Budbrooke. Henley in Arden is in the Stratford constituency.

  7. I thought that was not so? Must be looking at something incorrect. I was surprised it said it remains so I’m sure you are right.

  8. Thanks – Labour must have thought the Tory support would be packed into one seat. Didn’t quite work out.

  9. These maps are nice – thanks.

  10. Although of course the Boundary Review will of necessity restore some of the rural hinterland to this seat. Last time they added Radford Semele from Warwick District, and Long Itchington, Snitterfield, and Claverdon from Stratford District. This wasn’t the most obvious way to extend the seat as the 4 rural wards are in different places round the town. Indeed the original proposals did include Henley, but for some reason they deleted this following consultation and added Long Itchington just north of Southam on the other side of the town instead.

  11. There might not be any boundary changes in Warwickshire if the electorate has continued to grow in recent years.

  12. It hasn’t.

  13. But the point is unless Warwickshire is going to go back down to 5 seats again it will retain 6 seats and the 6 current seats have pretty equal electorates which therefore means there won’t be much change.

  14. Andy, you haven’t been paying attention. The Boundary Commission no longer works with counties, but with regions in order to meet the 5% tolerance on the quota. At the aborted review they dealt with Warwickshire’s 5 and a bit seats by creating a “Kenilworth & Dorridge” seat, crossing the border with Solihull. This would have been by no means the daftest seat we have seen.

  15. Especially since the authority of Solihull covers many different towns and suburbs that still have distinct identities to at least a small extent. I am surprised it ever got classed as a ‘metropolitan borough’ since Solihull, unlike nearby Birmingham, is not a city of any kind.

  16. John: I don’t see that change actually happening.

  17. May 2015 electorates:

    Kenilworth & Southam: 63,957
    Nuneaton: 68,037
    Rugby: 71,655
    Stratford-on-Avon: 71,304
    Warwick & Leamington: 71,578
    Warwickshire North: 70,152

  18. I wonder if the zombie proposals will be resurrected, the regional/5% tolerance did throw up some horrors. A village like Dorridge in a constituency name. But of course there’s already North Hykekam in Lincs.

  19. Hykeham.

  20. Based on 2015 electorates the quota for a 600 member parliament is 75,375. 5% tolerance gives you the range 71,600 – 79,150 (rounded). Warwickshire will be entitled to 5.64 seats, perhaps a fraction more after individual registration comes into full effect. All the existing Warwickshire seats except Rugby (barely) are below this quota.

    The obligations of the Boundary Commission are law, although there will need to be a vote to put them into effect as I understand it. There will therefore be a cross-county seat which is roughly half from Warwickshire and half from somewhere else. Coventry will need a small bit of topping up, but this will probably be Meriden & Balsall Common. Otherwise it will have to be Staffordshire (unlikely, although Tamworth could be linked with Atherstone), Worcestershire, or West Midlands, as Leicestershire & Northamptonshire are in the East Midlands. A seat similar to that recommended last time is the most likely outcome, as “North Solihull” will be linked to Birmingham unless the Boundary Commission sees sense and splits Birmingham wards (also unlikely). Of course you could link places like Henley, Alcester & Bidford with Worcestershire if the numbers add up better….

  21. Was the 58.8% Remain in this council areas the most impressive Remain result ?

  22. Remember that Warwick is a university town (albeit the campus itself is in Coventry), so not that surprising.

  23. Not terribly surprising- a comfortably off small ‘l’ liberal place in which the status quo had appeal. It wouldn’t surprise me if a narrow majority of Tory voters went for Remain here.

  24. Corbyn is speaking here now.

    It seems to be because he knows the PPC from Islington, rather than any co-ordinated effort to visit target seats.

  25. As remarked on another thread the other day the strategy seems to be very clear: Corbyn visiting CON-held marginals, staying away from LAB defences. Candidates in LAB-held marginals will be very happy not to have him visit.

  26. But half of those he’s visiting aren’t even marginals.

  27. Well, I guess he has to go through the motions – or maybe he believes that he can win in such places because wherever he goes the “JC Fan Club” are there to greet him.

    Brings back memories of poor MIchael Foot’s travails in 1983 when he often ended up in the most unlikely places courtesy of a disorganised and disfunctional campaign.

  28. Before here he was in Worcester. I wonder if this will go on right up to polling day…or will they run out of once Labour-held seats and they’ll be sending him off to Maidenhead?

  29. “…or will they run out of once Labour-held seats and they’ll be sending him off to Maidenhead?”

    It’s odd you should say that – I’ve actually seen several online comments from the well-meaning but clueless* along the lines of “Well Maidenhead voted remain and so clearly they will turn on Theresa May for a progressive alternative”.

    *Not on UKPR obviously, on Twitter and BTL comment sections.

  30. Well there you go……

  31. SBJME19,

    The trip to Worcester was even worse than you thought.

    Given the travails and problems of Worcestershire Royal Hospital (2 deaths on trolleys earlier this year), here was the opportunity for a rip-roaring attack on the Conservative stewardship of the NHS, with particular reference to local issues (cheap but effective).

    Instead Jeremy gave a generic speech on mental health provision – as already covered by Teresa May just days ago.

    You give the man an open goal and he misses every time.

  32. The local elections in Warwickshire were less bad in this area for Labour than in the rest of the county.

    This may be due to the proximity to Warwick University (actually in Coventry). There does seem to be a theme of university cities turning in poor conservative support. In the county elections look at Oxford, Exeter, Norwich, Swansea and Cardiff. Most universities are in unitary authorities so there is not a lot to go on.

    The universities probably hold concentrations of Corbyn fans not seen in the rest of the world.

  33. Can anyone explain the Labour gain here???

  34. The Results:

    I’ll try to take up your challenge though I partly share your surprise too.

    1. The seat is very tightly drawn around the urban areas : there’s very little rural hinterland to help the Conservatives.

    2.10% BAME electorate.

    3. As noted above, quite a bit of high tech industry, especially computer games. I understand such industries are less than enthused about the prospect of Brexit.

    4. Talking of which an estimated 55% remain vote which – for the West Midlands was quite high.

    This was incidentally the sole Labour gain in the West Midlands.

  35. Which also means of course I owe Mr Corbyn an apology for my post on May 8th!

  36. Surely the large swing to labour was nothing to do with the BAME population. Unless this has somehow increased wildly in the past 2 years, it must be much the same electorate which gave the Tories a swing of 3% in 2015.

    I’d see ‘Point 4′ of what StephenPT says above as the crucial factor. Only the largest pro-leave constituencies tended to show swings to the Tories, and even there the effect was very uneven. However, Labour consistently did well in constituencies which were 50:50 or thereabouts in the EU referendum. Here Remain had a 10% lead which is about the level for Remain at which the Tories generally started to see their vote share fall – as happened here by 3.5%. the actual rise in the Labour vote was broadly in line with what they achieved across the country, but just a bit more.

    So Remainers’ revenge would be my explanation.

  37. What’s striking to me in this seat was the 3.5% decrease in the Tory vote share.

  38. Stoneleigh & Cubbington Ward By-election, 05.10.17:

    Cons 53% (+13%)
    Labour 33% (+15%)
    LD 12% (+ 12%)
    Green 3% (-10%)

    No Independent (30%) this time.

  39. I know the Tories did particularly badly here back in June but does anyone know why they dropped by 3.5% when almost everywhere in the West Midlands they went up?

  40. @The Results

    A significant proportion of Warwick U’s students live in this seat. (hello, graduate of the institution posting).

    Leamington is essentially a student town (I know it’s a long way from campus, but that’s what happens when you build a large university basically in a swamp in the countryside). And as it’s an agreeable (if expensive) town, a lot of graduates stay there after graduation.

    and many of the academics live in and around Kenilworth.

    So while it’s strictly true that Warwick University is not in this constituency, it does still have a very significant – and growing – effect on this seat.

  41. Also this seat obviously voted quite heavily to Remain in the EU, something that was a rarity in the West Midlands and no doubt didn’t help the Tories.

  42. Warwick was the only council area in the West Midlands to vote Remain. I think the Labour gain was a response to that.

  43. I believe most of Warwick University’s students live in either Coventry South or Kenilworth & Southam (the latter of which must be the safest Tory seat which includes a significant student population).

  44. No, most live in either Earlsdon (which I assume is in Coventry South) or Leamington. A few, but not really many, live in Kenilworth (despite it being nearer the campus). Leamington has lots of accommodation for students to rent, at the south end of the town or slightly out of town on the Sydenham estate.

    The Leamington that most people imagine before they visit consists only of the north part of the town. It’s an entirely different part of town once you cross the railway at one end of the main street.

    Quite a bit of Keeping up Appearances was filmed in Leamington, but it’s largely the part where Hyacinth’s sister and Onslow lived.

  45. (the latter of which must be the safest Tory seat which includes a significant student population)

    Surely that honour goes to Guilford.

  46. Guildford rather

  47. This seat was ranked as one of the richest in the country by a Barclay’s report back in 2003, when house prices are taken into consideration.

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)