North Warwickshire

2015 Result:
Conservative: 20042 (42.3%)
Labour: 17069 (36%)
Lib Dem: 978 (2.1%)
Green: 894 (1.9%)
UKIP: 8256 (17.4%)
TUSC: 138 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 2973 (6.3%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

Geography: West Midlands, Warwickshire. Part of North Warwickshire council area and part of the Nuneaton and Bedworth council area.

Main population centres: Bedworth, Coleshill, Atherstone.

Profile: A strangely shaped seat to the north-east of Birmingham where it snakes westwards from Bedworth around the seat of Nuneaton, takes in Coleshill and then curves back east south of Tamworth to include Atherstone north of Nuneaton. The seat is largely the rural hinterland between Birmingham, Tamworth, Nuneaton and Coventry, and might be expected to be the sort of semi-rural commuterland where the Conservatives dominate. In fact it covers a large part of the old North Warwickshire coalfield, and as such there is a solid Labour vote here.

Politics: A Conservative vs Labour marginal seat. It was won by the Conservatives on its creation in 1983, was won by Labour in 1992 (unseating the then Conservative MP Francis Maude, who subsequently resurfaced in Horsham) and returned to the Conservative fold in 2010.

Current MP
CRAIG TRACEY (Conservative) Former insurance broker. First elected as MP for Warwickshire North in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 18993 (40%)
Lab: 18939 (40%)
LDem: 5481 (12%)
BNP: 2106 (4%)
Oth: 1746 (4%)
MAJ: 54 (0%)
Con: 15008 (32%)
Lab: 22561 (48%)
LDem: 6212 (13%)
BNP: 1910 (4%)
Oth: 1248 (3%)
MAJ: 7553 (16%)
Con: 14384 (32%)
Lab: 24023 (54%)
LDem: 5052 (11%)
UKIP: 950 (2%)
MAJ: 9639 (22%)
Con: 16902 (31%)
Lab: 31669 (58%)
LDem: 4040 (7%)
Oth: 711 (1%)
MAJ: 14767 (27%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
CRAIG TRACEY (Conservative) Insurance broker.
MIKE O`BRIEN (Labour) Born 1954, Worcester. Educated at Blessed Edward Oldcome RC School and North Staffordshire Polytechnic. Solicitor. Contested Ruislip Northwood 1983, North Warwickshire 1987. MP for Warwickshire North 1992-2010. Under secretary of state at the Home Office 1997-2001, Minister of State at Foreign Office 2002-2004, Minister of State at the DTI 2004-2005, Solicitor General 2005-2007, Minister of state for Work and Pensions 2007-2008, Minister of State for Energy 2008-2009, Minister of State for the NHS 2009-2010.
ALAN BEDDOW (Liberal Democrat) Born 1966. IT project manager. Contested Warwick and Leamington 2010.
WILLIAM CASH (UKIP) , Son of Conservative MP Bill Cash. Journalist and publisher.
Comments - 206 Responses on “Warwickshire North”
  1. Lab gain, 3600 majority.

  2. Amazing that Lab failed to gain this!

    Lab 17,069
    Con 20,014 (? didn’t quite hear)

  3. The Tories have held this with a much increased majority of about 3000.

  4. Jesus!!!

  5. A seat which AGAIN Kinnock gained in 92. WTF has happened????

  6. I think the explanation is many voters in England and Wales were horrified by the idea of being effectively run by Sturgeon and Salmond.

  7. I think we are witnessing the break up of the UK

  8. Wow, increased majority in a marginal like this?

  9. That is abysmal from Labour’s side.

  10. Miliband is a goner

  11. He’ll resign soon I think.

  12. A new Labour leader will be in place by the autumn, bank on it!

  13. Full result:

    Con 20,042 42.3%
    Lab 17,069 36.0%
    UKIP 8,256 17.4%
    LDem 978 2.1%
    Green 894 1.9%
    Other 138 0.3%

    Majority 2,973

    Swing 3.0%

  14. I thought this might happen although not by such a wide margin. It’s next door to Tamworth which is swinging away from Labour.

  15. I have to agree with Andy on the reasoning. In the country’s only remaining three way Con/Lib/Lab fight, anecdotally that was a motivator behind voting for the former two rather than Labour.

    What I can’t understand is how all the polls got this battleground so wrong pre-exit poll – it’s been solidly neck-and-neck since dissolution. Well, longer than that, but it’s been clear since then that the SNP were on for a seat count in the 40s or 50s and presumably holding the BOP, so you’d think any anti-SNP Lab to Con swing would have shown up?

  16. All the scaredy-cat tories who decided to walk away rather than face the voters must be feeling a little silly.

  17. I was shocked when Nuneaton came through, but even more so when the result here was declared. Even with Mike O’Brien standing again they couldn’t take the seat back!

  18. I personally admire defeated MPs who cone back to fight again, however there seems to be something of a pattern of such candidates doing badly

  19. That’s true. It is almost if nowadays once the voters have rejected an MP, the chances of that same ex-MP getting back for their old seat at a future election go down, that’s the pattern I think we’ve seen at this election with the clear exceptions, albeit in London, of Joan Ryan and Dawn Butler, and Rob Marris in Wolverhampton South West, where the long-term trends are towards Labour locally such is the social make-up of that seat. Everywhere else, former Labour MPs trying to get back to Westminster after five years didn’t do so- Mike O’Brien here, Bob Blizzard, Patrick Hall etc.

  20. Incidentally, there was no sign of the Lib Dem candidate Alan Beddow when the declaration was made- was he possibly one of the many unsuccessful candidates for his party in no-hope areas who knew they weren’t going to do at all well and so stayed at home instead?

  21. Patrick Hall in Bedford didn’t do terribly given the national result. The Conservative majority there is now a bit lower than 2010 so it’s still likely to be competitive. Unlike North Warwickshire which saw the Conservative majority rise.

  22. Hate to post here for a third successive time, but the result here clearly underlines just how this seat is moving away from Labour. As Andy pointed out further up, this seat is next door to Tamworth which now looks unlikely to be won by Labour for the foreseeable future, as they have completely fallen back there, but to an even worse extent.

  23. Bedford has a significant EM population whereas N Warks and Tamworth don’t.

  24. Good point that. RE Patrick Hall he did do fairly well, but still couldn’t get back because Richard Fuller also increased at the same time.

  25. I’m a resident of North Warwickshire who normally votes Labour or LibDem. This time, though, I voted for Craig Tracey, the new Conservative candidate. It’s the first time in my life I’ve ever voted for the Tories, at either local or national level, and the reason was not because I was worried about the SNP running the country, or because I believed all the lies about Labour and the economy, or because I didn’t like Ed Milliband – quite simply, I wanted to stop Mike O’brien getting back in to Parliament. He’s the worst MP I’ve ever known, quite simply a career politician who had little interest in the concerns of his constituents. Few local people trusted him after he opposed construction of the M6 Toll (or the Birmingham Northern Relief Road as if was then called) through the constituency, then changed his mind the moment he was elected and appointed to a comfortable government job. I heard of a known local LibDem activist who wrote to O’Brien, as his MP, asking for support with a particular issue only to get a letter back saying he should “take the problem to your LibDem friends”. Stories like this were quite common, and I know several people who, like me, would have voted Labour if the candidate in North Warwickshire had been just about anyone else. I don’t say this is the only reason Labour lost here this time, as clearly bigger, national events were in play too, but it certainly played a part. And go back to 2010, when the Tories won here by the tiniest of margins and I for one chose to vote LibDem rather than support O’Brien (who I had expected to win anyway), and I think it’s quite likely that the outcome in North Warwickshire was affected by the long held sense of betrayal that at least some local people still felt and will never forget. One final point I’d like to mention is that I seriously considered voting Green this time, but in the end I felt it was just too important to vote for the candidate with the best chance of keeping Mike O’Brien out. Like almost everyone else, I was expecting a hung Parliament, and I sort of hoped for a minority Labour government to emerge, so I didn’t think one more Conservative MP would make that much difference. Having said that, I still don’t regret my choice. Even a Conservative government wifh a small majority was, for me and at least, a price worth paying to keep O’Brien out of Westminster. At least now we have a local MP who, like his predecessor, Dan Byles, seems likely to make the interests of his constituents his main concern.

  26. Agree that O’Brien may have been a liability for Labour here. If you look at his record, he won 4 elections and lost 3 here. I think Labour might be able to re take in 2020 with a much younger and more active candidate. I think a few other factors helped the tories here.

    As someone who lives here, the tory leaflets did seem more ‘localised’, and the Labour stuff was more on national issues, and seemed to be a bit of a copy and paste campaign.

    There’s also the old mining vote dying off here. It’s noteworthy that places like Kingsbury and Baddesley now have tory councillors for the first time. Once you strip away the Labour tradition, what you’re left with is a quite rural constituency with very little deprivation.

    The tories might also be benefitting from ‘white flight’ from Coventry, particularly in Bedworth. Labour can’t have carried Bedworth by much more than 1000 votes this year, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they started losing council seats here before too long.

    Pretty much, this could be Craig Tracey’s as long as he wants it unless Labour pull their finger out locally or begin to appeal to more ‘middle england’ voters. Otherwise, this could go the way of Tamworth or Rugby with time.

  27. I went to Kingsbury recently – it didn’t seem anywhere near as run down as I expected. I fully expect this seat to become a fairly safe tory seat like Tamworth within the next generation.

  28. Yes I agree that this seat will continue to move towards the Conservatives. I see something like this for 2020-
    Tracey (Conservative)- 46%
    Labour- 35%
    UKIP- 15%
    Green- 2%
    Liberal Democrat- 1%
    Others- 1%

  29. Again – who knows.
    Boundary changes perhaps.
    There may be a long term trend to the Tories now underway here but without knowing what the overall political situation will be
    whether or not Labour are prepared to look hard at how they are more on the side of those who work in and run businesses of all sizes,
    it’s impossible to say so early.
    From the reaction I got on Northampton N and some other threads, and from what we have seen elsewhere, they re-act very defensively to these points, so I suspect will not stomach these sorts of changes although there may be a bit.
    Some of them seem to delude themselves they lost in seats like this because Ed M was a hard right winger,.

  30. THE RESULTS – apropos UKIP % vote share you gave above –
    I should (instinctively) have thought in GE2020 the UKIP vote share here and in similar constituencies will either be very low (0% – 5%) or very high (35% – 55%)…?

  31. Maybe so.

  32. Bit terse mate..are you OK?

  33. I am indeed fine. Just running out of things to say on here!

  34. I think Labour will struggle to win here in 2020 given they couldn’t overturn a majority of 54 this time.

  35. Interesting to compare how the party split between the Warwickshire city constituencies and the Warwickshire non-city constituencies has changed between 1992 and 2015:

    City – Con 3 Lab 12
    Non City – Con 6 Lab 2

    City – Con 0 Lab 12
    Non City – Con 9 Lab 0

    The trend of towns -> rightwards and cities -> leftwards is also visible in other places.

  36. AW’s description on the seat profile makes one wonder how many of these weirdly-shaped constituencies that the Tories hold are going to be first line victims of the shrinkage of seat numbers from 650-600?

  37. “AW’s description on the seat profile makes one wonder how many of these weirdly-shaped constituencies that the Tories hold are going to be first line victims of the shrinkage of seat numbers from 650-600?”

    The surrounding seats are Conservative.

  38. The abandoned review will be abandoned in turn as the electoral numbers are not even vaguely the same as they were when the last one was put together. Tens of thousands have dropped off the register in various constituencies and populations have changed quite significantly in many others.

    Having said that here are the proposed changes for Warwickshire North..

    The seat certainly loses some of its more egregious gerrymandering and assumes a more compact shape.

  39. “Interesting to compare how the party split between the Warwickshire city constituencies and the Warwickshire non-city constituencies has changed between 1992 and 2015:

    City – Con 3 Lab 12
    Non City – Con 6 Lab 2

    City – Con 0 Lab 12
    Non City – Con 9 Lab 0”

    I thought that Sutton Coldfield was a Birmingham City constituency despite not carrying the Birmingham prefix.

  40. If you took one look at the map you would see that Warwickshire is oddly shaped and that is why this constituency is likewise.

    Instead you prefer to make imbecilic accusations of gerrymandering.

  41. “I thought that Sutton Coldfield was a Birmingham City constituency despite not carrying the Birmingham prefix.”

    Its in the borough of Birmingham but that doesn’t make it a ‘city’ constituency.

    Even so it has swung significantly to Labour since 1992.

  42. Maybe. Though I imagine in part that may be because Sir Norman Fowler will have had a more substantial personal vote than Andrew Mitchell. Even in ’97 Fowler kept the swing down when other seats on the edge of cities were falling like nine-pins on 12 and even 15% swings.

  43. I don’t follow, Maxim. If Sutton Coldfield counts as part of Birmingham becasue it is part of the foremer West Midlands Metropolitan County area (and indeed part of Birmingham itself!), surely Croydon South is a “city” constituency because it is in the Greater London Council area.

    By the same token, this seat is not part of a “city” because it is part of Warwickshire, which is a non-Metropolitan County.

  44. I am not sure we got the agree on the argument but we agree on the conclusion.

  45. Nearly 70% Leave- goodness me.

  46. Craig Tracey’s majority went UP here from 2, 973 to 8, 510, I think confirming this seat’s demographic trends…

  47. I think the result here is a good illustration of changing voting patterns rather than any demographic change in the seat.

    Labour did best in Urban, Remain voting seats, whereas this seat is the exact opposite being semi-rural and very strongly Leave.

  48. Maybe you’re right.

  49. I hope I can say this in the most non-partisan way I can and referring to the demographic makeup hugely benefiting the Tories here- but this really was a thoroughly excellent result for Craig Tracey, even with the incumbency factor being borne in mind as well.

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