2015 Result:
Conservative: 22104 (42.3%)
Labour: 19696 (37.7%)
Lib Dem: 1055 (2%)
Green: 1761 (3.4%)
UKIP: 7580 (14.5%)
MAJORITY: 2408 (4.6%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

Geography: Eastern, Suffolk. Most of the Waveney council area.

Main population centres: Waveney, Beccles, Bungay, Kessingland, Blundeston.

Profile: The north-eastern corner of Suffolk, close to the Norfolk border and in many ways looking more to Norwich than to Ipswich. Lowestoft was once mainly a fishing port, but this has declined over the years (although Birds Eye frozen foods does remain a major local employer). Oil and gas also used to be a major industry here, with Shell`s southern operations base in Lowestoft harbour, but this too is in decline. Instead Lowestoft has started to look towards renewable energy and is the home of the operations base for the Greater Gabbard wind farm. Tourism also remains a major employer. The constituency contains Ness Point, the most easternly point of the British Isles.

Politics: A marginal seat that has been a bellweather since its creation in 1983, being held by the Tories until 1997, won by Labour in their 1997 landslide and held by them until the Conservative victory in 2010.

Current MP
PETER ALDOUS (Conservative) Born 1961, Ipswich. Educated at Harrow School and Reading University. Former Chartered surveyor. Contested Waveney 2005. First elected as MP for Waveney in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 20571 (40%)
Lab: 19802 (39%)
LDem: 6811 (13%)
UKIP: 2684 (5%)
Oth: 1273 (2%)
MAJ: 769 (2%)
Con: 16590 (33%)
Lab: 22505 (45%)
LDem: 7497 (15%)
UKIP: 1861 (4%)
Oth: 1200 (2%)
MAJ: 5915 (12%)
Con: 15361 (33%)
Lab: 23914 (51%)
LDem: 5370 (11%)
UKIP: 1097 (2%)
Oth: 1425 (3%)
MAJ: 8553 (18%)
Con: 19393 (34%)
Lab: 31846 (56%)
LDem: 5054 (9%)
Oth: 318 (1%)
MAJ: 12453 (22%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
PETER ALDOUS (Conservative) See above.
BOB BLIZZARD (Labour) Born 1950, Bury St Edmunds. Educated at Culford School and Birmingham University. Teacher. Waveney councillor 1987-1997. Leader of Waveney council 1991-1997.MP for Waveney 1997-2010. PPS to Nick Brown 2001-2003. PPS to Douglas Alexander 2005-2007. Government whip 2007-2010.
STEPHEN GORDON (Liberal Democrat)
SIMON TOBIN (UKIP) Former Waveney councillor for the Conservative party.
GRAHAM ELLIOTT (Green) Smallholder. Waveney councillor since 2007. Contested Waveney 2001, 2005, 2010.
Comments - 149 Responses on “Waveney”
  1. Barnaby

    I love you too.

    (As I can’t stand trolling personally, I’m going to credit you with mistaken identity, given that you admit you’ve not read the posts. It’s clear that some trolls have been busy on this thread, but they happen to be Labour ones in this case)


    BT Says

  2. Oh dear….. This is indeed a polling site, not an overt platform to defend an incumbent MP by drawing negatives out of objective comment made by others with differing opinions. BT is clearly upset and a nerve has been touched. I gave a polling prediction, supported by my reasoning. This is a great site offering a chance to voice views; I don’t agree with BTs politics, but I don’t need to. Likewise if someone doesn’t agree with me then that’s fine. It’s called democracy and I don’t need any lessons about government, politics or partisan leanings. Peter Aldous has a 769 majority and I stand by my earlier and balanced prediction concerning a winning margin for Bob Blizzard, growth in second place challenge for UKIP and the local councillor shake- up. I don’t work for any political party, I’m just a chap who loves Lowestoft and hates to see creeping injustice. So BT can go and cry as much as he wants – doesn’t mean that my views should change. Happy days!

  3. Polaris

    Thanks for the clarification on your well-balanced, objective and unbiased comments on the Waveney candidates untainted by unfounded personal slurs in any way


  4. Don’t direct any thanks toward me, BT – it wasn’t any form of clarification or redress for your benefit (er…why would I do that?). I was providing a summary for the wider site readership/contributors.

    Last full day of the campaign today. Great to see it all unfold

  5. My hunch is Labour will gain Bedford and Norwich North, but the Tories will hold Ipswich and Waveney. This is despite the fact that Norwich North is a more difficult target on paper for Labour than Ipswich and Waveney.

  6. LAB gain but by as little as 1000-1500

  7. Labour Gain. 2,000 maj.

  8. I didn’t get many predictions right but I was right here to predict a Tory hold.

  9. And with the only party to have promised a 3rd River crossing elected at a Parliamentary (local and national) level, and won a majority on the district council Thursday, the good folk of Lowestoft finally have the light of a 3rd road crossing at the end of the tunnel for the first time.

    No national government / PM has promised this before.

    A truly historic time for Lowestoft – it’s been campaigned for for 116 years apparently!

  10. Disappointing again here for Labour, but was the swing towards the Tories minimised somewhat by the presence of the ex-MP Bob Blizzard standing again or did it not likely make a great deal of difference and would Labour have achieved the same result with a new candidate?

  11. Jim Prior the former MP and anti-Thatcherite has died.

  12. Peter Aldous out in Bungay today. As a newcomer it was the first time I had met him. Didn’t seem like a typical Tory: quite bohemian in his dress and didn’t come across as an ideologue or headbanger. Not a reason for voting for him, but difficult to demonise, I would have thought.

  13. It always surprises me this is still a marginal (though I suspect it won’t be after June 8).

  14. ”It always surprises me this is still a marginal (though I suspect it won’t be after June 8).”

    Lowestoft which provides most of the electorate I believe is quite a grotty town with (I think) somewhat similar demographics to neighbouring Great Yarmouth. It certainly isn’t a picturesque, rural seat like the other (non Ipswich) seats in Suffolk.

    But you are right it won’t be remotely close this year. Labour did horribly in this years county council elections only winning a meagre one seat (a net loss of 3) while the UKIP seats in Waveney all went Tory.

  15. Orielensis

    You’re right, Peter Aldous is very inoffensive. Probably why he’s never likely to have a leading cabinet role either.

    He’s quite a good listener though, and easily seems to work with people if other stripes – if you look at the debates etc he co-sponsors or asks questions in.

    Instrumental in some of the U-turns after the Omnishambles budget in 2012, especially the caravan tax which he didn’t hold back from criticising.

    Although a fairly posh guy from the rural area, he’s been a good advocate for working-class Lowestoft, securing an Enterprise zone and the long-awaited 3rd Road bridge commitment from the government.

    Interestingly I think the Labour areas were most strong for Leave – if this pattern is the same elsewhere, it supports the likelihood of big swings in the marginals / medium town seats like Stoke, Sunderland, Lowestoft, Grimsby, etc.

  16. Aldous seems a very likeable character although quite unworldly – a bit like Oliver Letwin maybe

    Comfortable Tory hold

  17. Jeremy Corbyn is campaigning here today. Bound to help the Tory vote.

  18. Cons hold 9,000!!

  19. This is the only seat in England that I can find thus far where Labour’s vote share fell.

  20. 2,408 to 9,215 majority.

    A very humble (even though posh-sounding rural type) MP. Non-abrasive and reaches out to people locally (and at Westminster actually) of all political stripes.

    Infrastructure and economy have been steadily improving on his watch, not least the famed 3rd crossing.

  21. Looking at the traditional Tory held marginals this is one of the few bright spots for the Tories where there was a swing towards them.

    One thing nobody has commented on much is that this election means the swing Lab would need to become the largest party or even possibly form a majority is now significantly below where it was going into this election.

    Putting aside the loss of her majority that fact alone renders this election a failure from the Tories perspective.

  22. I did spot (May11th post) what I thought was Aldous’s pleasant non abrasive personality, which must have helped him buck the trend, though there were clearly other factors.
    Could I just point out to BT that posh doesn’t equal arrogant, anymore than arrogant equals posh- but I know what he means

  23. “This is the only seat in England that I can find thus far where Labour’s vote share fell.”

    It also fell in Oxford West & Abingdon, though obviously that was down to a squeeze.

  24. I think it has to be said that on what was on the whole a disappointing night for the Conservatives overall nationally, this result stood out as one of their real excellent ones. Whether it be the performance as MP over the last seven years of Peter Aldous, the continuing unwind of the Labour vote now Bob Blizzard is no longer the candidate, or demographic change simply unfavourable to Labour, this nevertheless was a strong result for them here.

  25. Maybe so.

  26. This result really stood out to me- A rare Labour vote share DECREASE and a massively increased majority for Peter Aldous…

  27. ” “This is the only seat in England that I can find thus far where Labour’s vote share fell.”

    It also fell in Oxford West & Abingdon, though obviously that was down to a squeeze. ”

    Twickenham and Richmond Park too.

  28. How about this formula?
    It is the only seat in England where Labour were in contention and its vote share fell back

  29. It’s a strange one because I know Blizzard held up his vote share very well in 2015 somewhat and his decrease was only slight- unless this is a delayed swing because Aldous’ result two years ago wasn’t a huge improvement on his initial gain in 2010?

  30. Sorry to come back to this seat but it stood out for me as one of the Conservatives’ real results of the night, if not it- Along with North Warwickshire, Amber Valley, Mansfield, North East Derbyshire, Stoke-on-Trent North, Copeland (perhaps?), Erewash, and Walsall North. Notice how well the Tories did in the Midlands- mainly East…

  31. I agree. And Mansfield probably outstrips this because it was a gain. What I perhaps should have said is this was one of their best results in a seat they held…

  32. True. Loss of Burstow’s incumbency couldn’t have helped the Lib Dems either, and I suspect if Brake hadn’t stood again in next-door Carshalton and Wallington, something similar in vote share changes might well have happened there in the Tories making a gain.

  33. But North Warwickshire stood out in particular to me personally because this was once upon a time a realistic Labour target, with Tory majorities of just 54 in 2010 and 2,973 in 2015. But their failure to even get close last time round with the ex-MP signalled for me the end of their chances here in the near future, and the result with incumbency for Craig Tracey here confirms that I think.

  34. Says it all. I think Craig Tracey has now got himself entrenched and the days of Mike O’Brien’s tenure are probably now a dim and distant memory in the ex-coalfield areas of North Warwickshire now.

  35. Conversely South Stockton was a surprise loss given that the Tories did quite well in the North East (not well enough to win some of their targets up there though) yet lost one of the seats they held, despite the MP being reasonably well liked by all accounts

  36. That was a bit of a shock I’ll freely admit. Maybe the Labour candidate was also popular?

  37. This was the only seat in England and Wales, outside of a couple of Lib Dem successes where Labour no doubt ‘lent’ votes, where Labour’s vote % fell.

    A number on here have surmised on the reasons, and the MP has rightly been cited as one reason for this, particularly the way he has paid attention to the working-class people in Lowestoft, got infrastructure going, and reaches across the aisle more generally. He is a good listener in general.

    I think the below link illustrates perfectly the point why less obvious Tory voters are voting for Peter Aldous in this seat from the traditionally Labour town of Lowestoft that contributes most of the electorate.


  38. Also for the record spookily enough Labour fell in vote share in North Norfolk as well- not a million miles from this seat. A further link between Waveney and North Norfolk is that they were both represented by a father and son- Jim Prior of course in the old Lowestoft seat and then here for four years after a name change, and his son David Prior was the last Tory MP for North Norfolk from 1997-2001 before Norman Lamb got in and became fully entrenched.

  39. Yes but North Norfolk was a Con-Lib marginal like I cited.

    Waveney was the only Con-Lab marginal where the Lab vote % fell, and as we know mostly the Lab vote % was substantially up (average of 10% across the board).

    That’s why this seat was unique in the 2017 election in that sense.

  40. ‘But North Warwickshire stood out in particular to me personally because this was once upon a time a realistic Labour target’

    It was at one time a pretty safe Labour seat, with the party enjoying a comfortable majority – although these sort of post-industrial areas in the Midlands and North have been swinging away from them for some time now

  41. North Warwickshire has a lot of similarity to Sherwood on the opposite side of the midlands, both were mining seats until the mid/late 90s and have gentrified quite attractively since. Electorally their results have also been very similar going back to 1983.

  42. In the local elections I understand the Labour results were worse in North Warwickshire than in Nuneaton although that may only be because of divisions which changed hands, rather than proper analysis of the votes.
    Even so, it seems to indicate local elections can’t always be trusted – on either side.

  43. Wrong way round – Labour results worse in Nuneaton than N W

  44. Nuneaton probably has more younger Labour voters than North Warwickshire and the bigger turnout in the Genreal Election had an impact.

  45. 2 by-elections in Lowestoft (Waveney District Council) yesterday.

    KIRKLEY – Lab hold

    Lab 374
    Con 217
    Lib 84
    Ukip 78
    Gre 30

    turnout 14.4%

    A fairly straightforward hold for Lab but <50% vote in a very deprived ward where Tories are normally 4th or 3rd at best – not 2nd like this time.

    ST. MARGARET'S (N Lowestoft) – Cons gain from Lab

    Con 487
    Lab 410
    Ukip 119
    Lib 88
    Gre 65
    turnout 18.4%

    Conservatives' first ever Waveney district councillor for St Margaret's ward, adding to their majority on council.

  46. Its odd that the Kirkley which was a marginal was a hold but St Mags a safe seat was lost

  47. Quite possibly there were local factors.

    I remember earlier this year (before the GE was called), the Lib Dems picking up a council seat in a rather grim ward in Sunderland, having come from below 10% in previous results. Turned out it was because the incumbent Labour councillor hadn’t turned up to work for six months (which was what had triggered the by-election). No wonder they weren’t that keen on the party.

    No idea what happened here, but some kind of local controversy may well be at play.

  48. It may well be that as there was a swing to labour in kirkley but clearly a swing to cons in st mags

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