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 - 139 Responses on “Warwick & Leamington”
  1. Warwick & Leamington, votes cast in 2013 local election:

    Pretty much a dead heat which isn’t great news for Labour given that they only need a swing of 3.6% from the 2010 general election:

    Lab: 6,356 (29.00%)
    Con: 6,353 (28.98%)
    LD: 3,814 (17.40%)
    Green: 2,646 (12.07%)
    UKIP: 1,273 (5.81%)
    Others: 1,478 (6.74%)

    TV: 21,920
    Elec: 66,340
    Turnout: 33.04%

    Changes since 2010 GE:

    Lab: -6.42%
    Con: -13.59%
    LD: -0.91%
    Green: +10.66%
    UKIP: +3.92%
    Others: +6.34%

    Swing, Con to Lab: 3.59%

  2. Not a very good UKIP performance though so it probably flatters the Tories a bit compared with elsewhere.

    I’m guessing Warwick & Leamington is a bit of an intellectual place where you wouldn’t expect a high UKIP vote.

  3. My latest prediction is:
    CON 33
    LAB 30
    LD 16
    UKIP 14
    GRN 6

  4. don’t know much about the current mp for this seat

  5. ^^ He seems to be very quiet. Never seen him in Parliament or on TV nor radio.

  6. Windsofchange

    Con down 10, Labour down 5? Are you serious?

    A ridiculously high UKIP vote for this sort of seat. The gap between Con and Lab is reasonable, but absolute vote shares are as ludicrous as usual.

  7. ‘I’m guessing Warwick & Leamington is a bit of an intellectual place where you wouldn’t expect a high UKIP vote.’

    That might explain why Labour do better here (or at least just as well) than in other fart less attractive and prosperpous towns in Warwickshire like Nuneaton and Rugby for example

    I think 1997 was the first time Labour had EVER won here (they didn’t even come close in 1945 or 1966) so they did pretty well to hold on until 2010

  8. The fact that the Greens got their highest share of the vote in any single electoral division or ward in the local elections in Leamington Brunswick shows that this isn’t the best territory for UKIP.

  9. The post-2005 boundary changes hinder the Conservatives here- Tory-leaning outlying villages such as Leek Wooton and Cubbington are now in ‘Kenilworth and Southam’ seat leaving this constituency more tightly drawn. On the pre-2010 boundaries, I suspect Chris White’s majority would be more in the order of 7000 than the 3513 it is on this set of boundaries. That is why I am not all that convinced that this will be a Tory hold in 2015.

  10. Here are the electoral calculus estimates of the Tory leads over Labour in the wards removed from W+L (with usual health warnings):

    Tanworth- 1670
    Cubbington- 1336
    Lapworth- 1272
    Leek Wooton- 1079
    Radford Semele- 329
    Henley in Arden- 1386

    The cumulative lead in these wards alone is 7072. Therefore if the figures are broadly right White may have been be looking at a majority of over 10500 had Warwick and Leamington continued to exist in its 1997-2010 form.

  11. Of course Henley in Arden is now in Stratford upon Avon as is Tanworth. The rest are part of Kenilworth and Southam.

  12. in its current guise i wonder how much of the electorate warwick comprises

    with its university – although i’m not certain its campus is in this seat – it looks like the sort of town you’d imagine to be a tight fight between the tories and liberals

    even in 1992 the liberals performed below average – as they have in every subsequent election – suggesting that labour has benefitted from tactical voting

    when you consider the tories held this seat with a majority just short of 20,000 (albeit represented by heavyweight sir anthony eden) in their annus horribilis of 1945, this has to go down as labour’s unlikeliest gain and the fact they are still in the running is commendable

  13. The main campus of the University of Warwick is actually in Coventry South. I’m suppose some academics and students may live in this seat though.

  14. The town of Warwick provides about 30% of the electorate of this seat (just over 20,000 voters) and is the best Conservative area and the weakest for the LDs. Warwick university is nothing to do with the town of Warwcik and is based on the outskirts of Coventry. There is however a large student population from that university living in Leamington which is one reason that is a relatively weak area for the Tories (for some years now they have had no district or county councillors in the town).
    The Warwick and Leamington which Anthony Eden represented in 1945 included Stratford on Avon and a swathe of rural territory much of which now comprises the Kenilworth & Southam seat

  15. Warwick itself is not popular with the student population as far as I understand that place. However Lemington is seen as the place to be, especially for the wealthier students.

  16. does roberto di matteo still live in leamington spa

  17. thanks for the info akmd, pete and joe r

    having been to the campus on an open day, i’m pretty sure i was told it was just outside the west midlands conurbation

    this was 93 and i remember the guy who interviwed me telling me that most students lived in leamington spa and that i might get beaten up if i went to the southern part of the town as it was quite rough!

    not sure whether that still bears out

    given that the seat used to contain stratford and much of what is now in kenilworth and southam, it must be one of the most reduced sized seats still to retain its orginal name

  18. That was ages ago Joe, I’d now go with
    CON 38
    LAB 33
    LD 15
    GRN 6
    UKIP 3
    OTH 5

  19. No LD to Lab swing at all, seems a bit unlikely.

    This time with a very low UKIP indeed. 5 for Others non-green or ukip seems high.

  20. “given that the seat used to contain stratford and much of what is now in kenilworth and southam, it must be one of the most reduced sized seats still to retain its orginal name”

    .I thought I had posted a correction but it didn’t appear. Most of the area of what is now Kenilworth & Southam was in fact in Rugby then (though Kenilworth itself and surrounding areas was in Warwick & Leamington)

    What you say is true however. Other cases would be Baingstoke, Chelmsford, Colchester and Peterborough

  21. Kenilworth used to be in the Rugby seat didn’t it?

  22. I’d have thought most of the LD vote would go to UKIP/Greens here?

  23. “Kenilworth used to be in the Rugby seat didn’t it?”

    Only from 1883 to 1997 when that was reflceted in the name

  24. ‘“Kenilworth used to be in the Rugby seat didn’t it?”
    Only from 1883 to 1997 when that was reflceted in the name’

    Kenilworth was in Rugby from 1885 to 1918, I thought it was then in Warwick and Leamington from then until 1983

  25. Yes it was. My previous post was obviously a typo should have been from ‘1983 to 1997’

  26. You’re right, Harry.

  27. I think it is unlikely that the Lib Dem vote will remain so high come the General Election and polling evidence would show that, certainly in the urban areas, that Labour should win the balance of these votes.
    If I was going to guess, I would make the seat virtually neck and neck with the Tories as sligh favourites with them both on around 39% – 41% of the vote come 2015.
    Not a very promising area for UKIP, they may still make it a difficult night for the sitting MP in terms of taking votes from him. Much of the decent Green vote garnered in the local elections is likely to switch to Labour come 2015 as well.
    Still, I will go with a Tory hold – just.

  28. The campus of Warwick University straddles the boundary between Coventry and Warwick, but I don’t think there’s any residential on the Warwick side.

  29. 2015 IMHO

    Lab 38
    Con 32
    LD 11
    UKIP 10
    Green 6
    Others 3

  30. Looks optimistic to me. However Labour does sometimes do better in general than local elections here. I must say that I still tend towards a Con hold; the seat seemed to move almost inexorably in terms of its demographics from the Tories to Labour between the 80s & 2001, but the former seem to have arrested this decline & even put it into reverse. Perhaps the elegant buildings of Leamington are starting to attract more aspirational people again. If Labour however wins a clear election victory nationally this seat could still be won.

  31. I’m not as confident about Warwick and Leamington as I am about Rugby for precisely the demographic reasons Barnaby mentions. Indeed, if you look towards the top of the thread you will spot me saying that I am ‘not at all confident’ of a Tory hold here. On second thoughts, I think the swing might just be a bit much for Labour here but it will be very tight.

    Conservative 41
    Labour 40
    LD 15
    Greens 2
    UKIP 2

  32. I think Labour has a middling chance of winning this, but would certainly require a much stronger lead in the polls by the next election.

    Realistically they’ll take back North Warwickshire and Nuneaton quite easily though. They did very well there in the CC elections.

  33. N Warwickshire looks like a dead cert – indeed, it would be a disaster for Labour if we failed to take it. Nuneaton is less of a dead cert but the 8% lead Labour gained there in the CC elections is distinctly useful, especially since there are Green votes to be squeezed in Weddington. I fear that Tory’s prediction is about right in Warwick & Leamington. Of course, it would be totally logical to be more worried about that seat than Rugby from his point of view – after all, Labour needs a much smaller swing in Warwick than in Rugby. A Labour gain by one vote in Warwick would be the equivalent of the parties being level nationally, whereas in Rugby it would equate to a Labour lead of about 4%, which in my view isn’t very likely at all (though not completely impossible). My thinking remains Lab gain N Warwickshire, Lab gain Nuneaton, Con hold Warwick & Leamington, Con hold Rugby (and of course the other 2 safe seats in the county). I was a bit surprised to note the quite high Labour vote in Southam in the CC elections; it didn’t strike me as potentially good Labour territory at all when I went there, though admittedly it was many moons ago.

  34. LAB GAIN MAJ : 6%
    LAB 41
    CON 35
    LD 13
    UKIP 6
    GRN 5

  35. Barnaby- I am in complete agreement with you.

    As to Southam, we should remember that in 2005, the Conservatives carried it by only 4% over Labour. Therefore, Labour clearly has a support base there. Although, Southam is a reasonably prosperous town, I note that over 16% of the housing is socially rented- higher than quite a lot of the wards in nearby Warwick and Leamington. So I can see how Labour might do okay.

  36. Interesting article on the BBC news website about the leader of Warwickshire county council wanting the county to become a whole county unitary, but the leaders of 4 of the 5 district councils being strongly against it.

    Regular contributors will know that if have strong views on this matter.

    Since it’s now coming up to the 40th anniversary of the coming into force of the 1972 Local Government Act, I might find time to give details of the unitary local government map of England and Wales I’ve been working on for some time now. There’s 178 authorities in total and I might list them region by region for anyone who’s interested.

  37. A spa town where the LDs have not have any particular traction..

  38. How could I have forgotten this one when I thought spas was the answer to one of The Result’s brain teasers…
    Yes – Adam is right – a sensible no nonsense lot here

  39. The LDs have for a long time dominated the northern half of Leamington Spa in local elections

    I’d be interested to hear Adam’s posposed unitaries unless they just involve merging existing districts whcih is a pointless exercise. You really have to start almost from scratch

  40. I don’t really see why Warwickshire should be converted into a unitary authority. Its been a county council for so long that it seems pointless to ditch that for what seems to me little to no benefit. I personally think all current CCs should remain as they are.

  41. Did Labour mitigate a potentially larger swing away from them in 2010 by James Plaskitt contesting the seat rather than stand down, having seen his majority cut down to 3 figures? A similar outcome was in Chester where Christine Russell was defending a tiny majority and lost it to the Tories but not by a huge majority.

    For what it’s worth, I see W&L being held by the Tories while Chester could be more competitive.

  42. Neil, I personally think both seats will be Tory holds though there is a slim chance that Chester could be a very narrow Labour gain.

  43. I think we’ve now had enough tinkering around with local government structures – let’s give the system proper time to bed down.

  44. JJB- given that we’ve now had forty years of technocratic high-handedness, I suspect your appeal will fall on deaf ears.

  45. Ok Pete, here I go.

    To set the background, I’ve used a number of different sources of inspiration, including the Redcliffe-Maud proposals of the 1960’s, some proposals that were rejected in the 1990’s re-organisation and the 2009 mini-reorganisation. I’ve worked on the principle that larger whole county unitaries are preferable over smaller district sized ones. This is mainly because of economies of scale, and area committees can be used to maintain some degree of local decision making on matters that are currently decided by district councils.

    Most current district councils remain unchanged, but some like Telford and Thurrock are expanded slightly, and others like Southend and Portsmouth have more radical boundary expansions. I’ve tried to respect traditional county boundaries as much as possible and minimise smaller boundary changes except when they’re absolutely necessary. And I’ve also abolished the met counties. Joint services like polcie, fire and public transport will be provided on a regional basis, so no need for county based joint services. Former met boroughs will be returned to their traditional counties for ceremonial purposes (although this creates problems in Trafford, Tameside and Dudley).

    And due to last minute changes, I’ve reduced the total number of authorities to 172, with 158 in England and 14 in Wales.

    So here’s my list:

    South East Region:

    West Kent (Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells districts).

    East Kent (remainder of Kent county council area).

    Medway

    East Sussex (County council area except Lewes district)

    West Sussex (county council area except Mid Sussex district)

    Mid Sussex (Brighton & Hove, Mid Sussex and Lewes districts).

    East Surrey (Mole Valley, Epsom and Ewell, Reigate and Banstead and Tandridge districts)

    West Surrey (remainder of Surrey county council area).

    Isle of Wight

    South Hampshire (Portsmouth, Havent Gosport and Fareham districts).

    Southampton (Southampton and Eastleigh districts).

    New Forest

    Hampshire (remainder of Hampshire county council area).

    West Berkshire

    Reading

    Wokingham

    Bracknell Forest

    Windsor and Maidenhead

    Slough

    Oxfordshire (whole county unitary)

    Buckinghamshire (current county council area)

    Milton Keynes

    Greater London:

    Current 32 London Boroughs

    Eastern Region:

    Norfolk (whole county unitary)

    Suffolk (whole county unitary)

    Cambridgeshire (current county council area)

    Peterborough

    Basildon and Thurrock (Thurrock district and Basildon New Town).

    South East Essex (Southend, Rochford and Castle Point districts, and Wickford form the Basildon district).

    West Essex (Harlow, Epping Forest and Brentwood districts, and Billericay from the Basildon district).

    Essex (remainder of Essex county council area).

    East Hertfordshire ( Welwyn Hatfield, Broxbourne, East Hertfordshire, Stevenage and North Hertfordshire districts, and Potters Bar from Hertsmere district).

    West Hertfordshire (remainder of Hertfordshire).

    Luton

    North Bedfordshire (renamed Bedford).

    South Bedfordshire (renamed Central Bedfordshire)

    South West Region:

    Cornwall

    Devon (current county council area)

    Plymouth

    Torbay

    Dorset (current county council area)

    Bournemouth

    Poole

    Wiltshire

    Swindon

    Somerset (current county council area)

    North Somerset

    Bath and North East Somerset

    Bristol

    South Gloucestershire

    Gloucestershire (current county council area)

    West Midlands Region:

    Stoke-on-Trent

    North Staffordshire (Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire Moorlands, East Staffordshire and Stafford districts.

    Mid Staffordshire (Cannock Chase, Lichfield and Tamworth districts, and South Staffordshire district north of the M54. Because of the abolishment of met counties, Walsall, Wolverhampton and possibly Dudley will be part of Staffordshire for ceremonial purposes, that why I’ve chosen the name Mid Staffs instead of South Staffs).

    Wolverhampton (current met borough plus Codsall and Perton from South Staffs district).

    Walsall

    Sandwell

    Dudley

    Birmingham

    Solihull

    Coventry

    Warwickshire (current county council area).

    North Worcestershire (Bromsgrove , Redditch and Wyre Forest districts, and Tenbury area from Malvern Hills district).

    South Worcestershire (Worcester and Wychavon districts and most of Malvern Hills district).

    Herefordshire

    Telford and Wrekin (current council area plus Shifnal and Albrighton).

    Shropshire (current council area except areas transferred to Telford and Wrekin and southern parts of South Staffordshire district).

    East Midlands Region:

    Northamptonshire (whole county unitary)

    Leicestershire (current county council area and Rutland).

    Leicester

    Derby

    Derbyshire (current county council area)

    Nottingham (Nottingham, Broxtowe and Gedling districts, plus Hucknall from Ashfield district and West Bridgford from Rushcliffe district).

    Nottinghamshire (remainder of Nottinghamshire county council area).

    Lincolnshire (current county council area).

    Yorks and Humber Region:

    Sheffield

    Rotherham

    Barnsley

    Doncaster

    Wakefield

    Kirklees

    Calderdale

    Bradford

    Leeds

    York

    Yorkshire, North Riding (North Yorkshire county council area)

    Yorkshire, East Riding.

    Hull

    Scunthorpe (renamed North Lincolnshire)

    Grimsby and Cleethorpes (Renamed North East Lincolnshire. Removing the word Lincolnshire from the names of these council areas may help remove some of the ambiguity over their status in the Yorks and Humber region, although they will stay part of Lincolnshire for ceremonial purposes.

    North West Region:

    West Cheshire (Renamed Cheshire West and Chester)

    East Cheshire (Renamed Cheshire East).

    Wirral

    Halton

    Warrington

    Trafford

    Manchester

    Stockport

    Tameside

    Oldham

    Rochdale

    Bury

    Bolton

    Salford

    Wigan

    St Helens

    Knowsley

    Liverpool

    West Lancashire (Sefton met borough and West Lancashire district)

    Preston (Preston, South Ribble and Chorley districts)

    Blackburn (Blackburn with Darwen and Hyndburn districts).

    East Lancashire (Ribble Valley, Pendle, Burnley and Rossendale districts)

    Blackpool and Fylde (Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre districts)

    Morecambe Bay (Lancaster, South Lakeland and Barrow-in-Furness districts).

    Cumbria (remainder of Cumbria county council area).

    North East Region:

    Northumberland

    Newcastle-upon-Tyne

    North Tyneside

    Gateshead

    South Tyneside

    Sunderland

    Durham

    Darlington

    Stockton-on-Tees

    Hartlepool

    Middlesbrough

    Redcar and Cleveland

    Wales:

    Monmouth and Torfaen

    Newport (current council area plus Risca and Pontymister areas of Caerphilly).

    Gwent Valleys (Caerphilly, minus areas transferred to Newport and Blaenau Gwent)

    Cardiff

    Vale of Glamorgan

    Glamorgan Valleys (RCT plus Merthyr)

    West Glamorgan (Bridgend plus Neath Port Talbot)

    Swansea

    Ceredigion and Dinfwr (Caredigion plus the eastern parts of Carmarthenshire.

    Carmarthen and Pembroke (Pembrokeshire and most of Carmarthenshire.

    Powys

    Gwynedd (Gwynedd and Anglesey)

    North Wales (Conwy and Denbighshire)

    Wrexham and Deeside (Wrexham and Flintshire).

  46. Bloody hell.

  47. At a scan you seem quite keen to leave Metropolitan ones in tact and merge rural ones….

  48. It’s a long post… Has Frederic managed even longer than Adam’s above?

  49. I agree with Joe. It seems strange that for example Torbay is unchanged but the whole of the area covered by the current Devon CC becomes a unitary. I should have thought it better to split Devon into two or three unitarieswith perhaps Torbay being joined with South Hams and Teignbridge. Also you keep the three Bedfordshire unitaries intact in what is a relatively small county both in terms of area and population while the much large Norfolk is a single unitary.
    I don’t dislike what you’ve done in Hertfordshire and agre that with this arrangement Potters Bar should go with the East but again I should probably have at least three and probably four unitaries in Hertfordshire. West Herts would be Dacorum, Three Rivers and Watford plus Bushey from Hertsmere. Mid Herts would be St Albans, Welwyn Hatfield and the remainder of Hertsmere. East Herts would be Broxbourne and most of East Herts and should possibly include Norhaw-Cuffley from WH. North Herts would be North Herts and Stevenage plus a a few of the northern parishes of East Herts like Buntingford and those in the immediate vicinity of Stevenage

  50. It’s not going to happen. I am generally sympathetic to unitaries though – for the most part.

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