2015 Result:
Conservative: 24400 (43.5%)
Labour: 14606 (26%)
Lib Dem: 10152 (18.1%)
Green: 1332 (2.4%)
UKIP: 5481 (9.8%)
TUSC: 178 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 9794 (17.4%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: Eastern, Hertfordshire. The whole of the Watford council area and part of the Three Rivers council area.

Main population centres: Watford, Abbots Langley.

Profile: Covers the borough of Watford and some of the commuter villages around it, including Abbots Langley and Langleybury. It is part of the London commuter belt, but is also an economic centre in its own right, housing the headquaters of several major companies such as JD Wetherspoon, Mothercare and Camelot.

Politics: Historically this was a classic Labour vs Conservative marginal, regularly swapping between the parties with the ebb and flow of party popularity. It was won by Labour in the 1997 landslide, with Claire Ward becoming the second youngest MP at the age of 24. Since then the Liberal Democrats have made strong advances in the seat, narrowly taking second place from the Conservatives in 2005 and making this a tight three way marginal by the time of the 2010 election. The Conservative victory here was in the face of a double handicap - not only did they start in third place behind the Liberal Democrats, but their original candidate for the election, Ian Oakley, was forced to stand down in 2008, and was later convicted of criminal damage and harrassing his Lib Dem opponent. Richard Harrington eventually won anyway, with a small majority over the Liberal Democrats in second. The collapse of the Liberal Democrats in 2015 left him with a far safer majority.

Current MP
RICHARD HARRINGTON (Conservative) Born 1957, Leeds. Educated at Leeds Grammar School and Oxford University. Former Managing Director then Chairman of a holiday resort development company. First elected as MP for Watford in 2010. Junior international development minister since 2015.
Past Results
Con: 19291 (35%)
Lab: 14750 (27%)
LDem: 17866 (32%)
BNP: 1217 (2%)
Oth: 2084 (4%)
MAJ: 1425 (3%)
Con: 14634 (30%)
Lab: 16575 (34%)
LDem: 15427 (31%)
GRN: 1466 (3%)
Oth: 1292 (3%)
MAJ: 1148 (2%)
Con: 15437 (33%)
Lab: 20992 (45%)
LDem: 8088 (17%)
GRN: 900 (2%)
Oth: 955 (2%)
MAJ: 5555 (12%)
Con: 19227 (35%)
Lab: 25019 (45%)
LDem: 9272 (17%)
Oth: 234 (0%)
MAJ: 5792 (10%)

2015 Candidates
RICHARD HARRINGTON (Conservative) See above.
MATT TURMAINE (Labour) Head of Client Services for BBC Worldwide. Watford councillor since 2012.
DOROTHY THORNHILL (Liberal Democrat) Born 1955, Tenby. Former teacher. Former Watford councillor. Elected mayor of Watford since 2002.
NICK LINCOLN (UKIP) Born 1969. Businessman.
AIDAN COTTRELL-BOYCE (Green) Born 1987, Liverpool. Educated at Bristol University.
Comments - 603 Responses on “Watford”
  1. Boris Johnson is still the top choice of Conservative Party members when they are asked to consider who should succeed Theresa May in the top job.

    A ConservativeHome poll of party members found 24% backing him, double the 12% of support for second-place Sajid Javid.

    The two former Brexit Secretaries were the next top choices, with Dominic Raab and David Davis both polling 11%.

  2. But – as I said – you wrongly stated he was top choice of Tory supporters, after you slurred them.

    Then you ignored this week’s IpsosMori poll of Tory supporters showing Boris to be the least popular choice.

    Therefore BJ is unpopular with both Tory MPs AND Tory voters.

    Name recognition explains ConHome polls, although HH has pointed out in the past that their polls are not just of members.

  3. This should amuse HH.


    ‘George’ Jabbour was one of the Cameroon ethnic defectors and has since stood in all parts of the UK, albeit very unsuccessfully in Scotland, Wales & NI.

    He was named Jaber Jabbour when he wrote an article for ConHome, although I’ve listed previously the dozen Tory PPCs who anglicised their names in order to stand.

    The Jabbours worked for Asad in Syria, so I only hope this one didn’t(!)

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