Welwyn Hatfield

2015 Result:
Conservative: 25281 (50.4%)
Labour: 13128 (26.1%)
Lib Dem: 3140 (6.3%)
Green: 1742 (3.5%)
UKIP: 6556 (13.1%)
TUSC: 142 (0.3%)
Independent: 216 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 12153 (24.2%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: Eastern, Hertfordshire. Most of the Welwyn Hatfield council area.

Main population centres: Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, Welwyn, Welham Green, Brookmans Park, Newgate Street, Woodside, Essendon.

Profile: Consists of the town of Hatfield and the garden city of Welwyn Garden City, built as a new town in 1920 in accordance with the ideas of Sir Ebenezer Howard. Welwyn Garden City (which is in fact a town, not a city) is a suburban commuter town for London, although like most new towns there is a large amount of social housing. Hatfield is most commonly associated with Hatfield House, the seat of the Cecil family. In the 1990s British Aerospace transferred production out the area and part of the former airfield is now the site of the University of Hertfordshire`s de Havilland campus.

Politics: Prior to 1997 Welwyn Hatfield was held by the combative right-wing Conservative MP David Evans (something of a precursor to Peter Bone, with trenchant right-wing views and a tendency to cite his wife as the epitomy of common sense in his Commons contributions), but was won by Labour`s Melanie Johnson in 1997 after an unpleasant contest that involved Evans criticising Johnson for having children outside marriage. It was regained for the Conservatives by Grant Shapps in 2005 on one of the largest Conservative swings in the country.

Current MP
GRANT SHAPPS (Conservative) Born 1968, Hertfordshire. Educated at Watford Grammar and Manchester Polytechnic. Former design and web entrepreneur. Contested North Southwark and Bermondsey 1997, Welwyn Hatfield 2001. First elected as MP for Welwyn Hatfield in 2005. Shadow housing minister 2007-2010. Minister of State for Housing 2010-2012, Chairman of the Conservative party 2012-2015. Minister of State for International Development 2015. Shapps was demoted from party Chairman after the 2015 election and resigned in November 2015 over bullying allegations against Mark Clarke, the leader of the Team2015 campaign during Shapps` time as Chairman.
Past Results
Con: 27894 (57%)
Lab: 10471 (21%)
LDem: 8010 (16%)
UKIP: 1643 (3%)
Oth: 954 (2%)
MAJ: 17423 (36%)
Con: 22172 (50%)
Lab: 16226 (36%)
LDem: 6318 (14%)
MAJ: 5946 (13%)
Con: 17288 (40%)
Lab: 18484 (43%)
LDem: 6021 (14%)
UKIP: 798 (2%)
Oth: 230 (1%)
MAJ: 1196 (3%)
Con: 19341 (37%)
Lab: 24936 (47%)
LDem: 7161 (14%)
Oth: 1530 (3%)
MAJ: 5595 (11%)

2015 Candidates
GRANT SHAPPS (Conservative) See above.
ANAWAR MIAH (Labour) Barrister.
HUGH ANNAND (Liberal Democrat) Translator. Contested Hertfordshire North East 2010, South Shields 2013 by-election.
MARC SCHEIMANN (Green) Educated at St Columbas College. Computer consultant. Contested Luton South 1997, 2001, 2005, 2010. Contested Eastern region 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014 European election.
MICHAEL GREEN (No description)
Comments - 161 Responses on “Welwyn Hatfield”
  1. I find it trivial as to why anyone in their right minds would have voted for Shapps to be honest. Seems a bit dim….

    Someone clearly got the message out to get him off the telly before the election – his perfunctory, soundbite riddled drivel was gold for other parties.

  2. Was this the biggest pro-Lab swing in a Tory-held seat?

  3. I lived in Welwyn for a year or so in 2006/7.

    IMO there are several countervailing trends in the seat.

    Most importantly there has been quite a lot of new house building, and the new houses have generally been more upmarket than the old council houses which dominate large parts of both Hatfield and Welwyn GC. It has therefore become a major recipient of white flight.

    There have also been quite a lot of Asians moving into the seat but they tend to be middle class and more Tory-leaning than average.

    I think both UKIP and the negative publicity surrounding Shapps ate into the Tory vote in 2015.

  4. Tory hold here in a byelection in Haldens. Lib Dems up, mostly at Labour’s expense.

  5. Shapps:

    “As a former Chairman I know the rules. If you stand against a Conservative you get chucked out”

    But Zac didn’t.

    No wonder he was a useless Party Chairman if he can’t understand the English language.

  6. The Tory results here are a bit lacklustre.
    Not sure why this is.
    Perhaps large swings in 2005 and 2010 and Labour’s problems in recent years have left some gap/complacency but apologies if inaccurate.

    May 2017 –

  7. Awful to think the LIb Dems could be strong in The Haldens, think that looks like Con-Lab.

  8. ”Awful to think the LIb Dems could be strong in The Haldens, think that looks like Con-Lab.”

    It used to be before this election. Haldens is certainly not ‘naturally Lib Dem’ but the Lib Dems can often pop up in random places through strong local campaigns (also in Herts they have random seats in Hemel and Stevenage for example). But regardless of their local strength it won’t vote for them in a general election though.

  9. Remember there is a large university in this seat. Plus across South Herts the LDs have a history of local strength which doesn’t convert into anything at GEs. I expect it will be no different this time.

  10. Shapps back at Transport.

  11. Shapps’s first announcement is a “review” of HS2. Scrapping the scheme is “not off the table”, apparently.

    My first thought is that Johnson would be crazy to scrap it. The sort of people who would use HS2 are upper-middle professional types; the sort of people who used to form the core of the Conservative vote, but who have recently become disillusioned, both due to Brexit and a more general populist turn. Johnson absolutely needs these people onside and HS2 is something that could really improve their lives. And what brings the voters onside also brings in money through improved productivity, and increased attractiveness to foreign investors. It is rare for political and economic imperatives to align so well and the Tories must grab the bull by the horns.

    My second thought is that the Labour Party would be crazy to campaign for it to be scrapped. Already the likes of the Taxpayers’ Alliance are disingenuously trotting out the Labour “spend it in the north” line, despite having no intention of doing any such thing, and instead being ideologically opposed to any form of public spending on anything, ever. Back in the real world, Labour don’t get the choice between spending the money on HS2 or on Jeremy’s magic beans; while the money could arguably be invested better, the choice facing them is most probably between it being spent this way or going towards tax cuts, and in that context there is only one winner.

    Given all that, but also the total idiocy of most of the people involved in frontline politics in Britain in 2019… it’s going to be scrapped, isn’t it?

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