Wirral South

2015 Result:
Conservative: 15566 (37.2%)
Labour: 20165 (48.2%)
Lib Dem: 1474 (3.5%)
Green: 895 (2.1%)
UKIP: 3737 (8.9%)
MAJORITY: 4599 (11%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

Geography: North West, Merseyside. Part of the Wirral council area.

Main population centres: Heswall, Bebington, Bromborough, Eastham.



Current MP
ALISON MCGOVERN (Labour) Born 1980, Bromborough. Educated at Wirral Grammar School and University College London. Former communications officer for Network Rail. Southwark councillor 2006-2010. First elected as MP for Wirral South in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 15745 (39%)
Lab: 16276 (41%)
LDem: 6611 (17%)
UKIP: 1274 (3%)
MAJ: 531 (1%)
Con: 13168 (33%)
Lab: 16892 (43%)
LDem: 8568 (22%)
UKIP: 616 (2%)
Oth: 460 (1%)
MAJ: 3724 (9%)
Con: 13841 (35%)
Lab: 18890 (47%)
LDem: 7087 (18%)
MAJ: 5049 (13%)
Con: 17495 (36%)
Lab: 24499 (51%)
LDem: 5018 (10%)
Oth: 315 (1%)
MAJ: 7004 (15%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
JOHN BELL (Conservative) Born Liverpool. Educated at Keele University. Teacher and lecturer.
ALISON MCGOVERN (Labour) See above.
ELIZABETH JEWKES (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Newark Girls Grammar and University of East London. Businesswoman. Contested Ellesmere Port and Neston 1992, Vale of Clwyd 2005, City of Chester 2010.
DAVID SCOTT (UKIP) Educated at Quarry Bank High School and Aberdeen University. Teacher and lecturer. Contested Wirral South 2005, 2010.
PAUL CARTLIDGE (Green) Former police officer and teacher.
Comments - 229 Responses on “Wirral South”
  1. Yeah I know but Matt raised the possibility and it has to be said that the MP here may only really begin to worry in a few years time if new boundary proposals really are considered. Like you say I agree really- I can’t see the current review happening for the reasons you refer to, and also surely more importantly because of the untenable constitutional position the government, Parliament as a whole and the entire country has to suffer with at present- this current sitting may well be abandoned within months. I predict a second election in the Autumn, a la October 1974.

  2. It requires a 2/3 majority of MPs to support an early general election. This only happened because May and Corbyn were both extremely optimistic about their prospects and obviously one was right.

    I really don’t both leaders will be as optimistic about their prospects now.

  3. The current proposals are most certainly dead there is no way the DUP wouldn’t oppose reducing their own seats to 7 and giving SF 3 more. However, that doesn’t mean a future draft will not be visited.

  4. Sorry Rivers10 but it is plain false of you to claim that I:

    * “refused to acknowledge McVey’s unpopularity”

    Frankly, as I suspect I am the only UKPR poster who has interviewed her, I in fact detailed her shortcomings on here over 4 years ago and pointed out that Esther loves to promote herself a lot, but simply was not up to speed policy-wise or held any strong viewpoints. Indeed EcoWirral agreed with my assessment of her. Tory members told myself that Esther and Caldeira were – like Grayling – not good on the doorstep.

    What is plain silly, is to assert from two or three voters that from a 5 week campaign you somehow believe that many of the 60,000 voters here were aware that the Tory PPC was a) a moderate and b) that was a positive.

    It is simply a fact that Caldeira admitted on air that he failed to vote in the EU Referendum and so I believe it’s self-evident therefore that there was no reason to believe 2015 UKIP voters would turn out for him.

    I would have thought Rivers10 would be pleased that Labour’s attacks on him were so easy and effective. This would not have been so easy had the PPC been the local Cllr or indeed any other Merseyside Tory PPC.

    Incidentally Wirral West voted fairly evenly as did the rest of the Country. But of course we are comparing the 2015 and 2017 results in both seats and asking the question why Caldeira underperformed compared with the other 20 seats in the city region.

    So yes, I do claim that any other Tory PPC would have performed better, given that Caldeira’s performance was in the bottom 10% of all 630 Tory PPCs. Although my main points were that he was a non-local millionaire and so yes, the other Tony (Cox) a normal local would have performed better – and in line with all of the other seats in Merseyside where the Tory % rose in 2017.

    [The only element where Rivers10 may have a point is that I have twice referred to the fact that a rightwinger, Barry Porter, held his seat throughout the 1980s and 1990s. But again it remains a fact, irrespective of whether it does not fit in with how Rivers10 believes voters behave.]

    It is also a fact that there were thousands more 2015 UKIP Voters in both seats than LDs and I hardly think it’s controversial to point out that a TRG Tory here is not likely to garner the former’s widespread support.

  5. Lancs
    Re McVey if you have stated before that she was a drag on the doorstep in 2015 then fair dues and I can only apologise, I must be getting you mixed up with somebody else on that issue. Re the other points though…

    “What is plain silly, is to assert from two or three voters that from a 5 week campaign…”
    Not just me other canvassers reported similar things, we just couldn’t deploy the “Tory candidate is crap” technique, this was particularly frustrating in West since that formed the bedrock of the campaign in 2015. As for them being moderates it makes total sense. A very large % of the electorate in both seats (particularly the wealthier areas) are your typical middle class liberal that would probably vote for a Ruth Davidson Tory party without question but keep getting driven away by the “nasty party” perception. I found it noteworthy that multiple people reported reservations about May but liked the Tories PPC’s

    “Incidentally Wirral West voted fairly evenly as did the rest of the Country”
    Its estimated to have been 60% Remain

    “Although my main points were that he was a non-local millionaire and so yes, the other Tony (Cox) a normal local would have performed better”
    Then why didn’t Sykes do better in South? Yes his vote rose but the swing against the Cons in South was only slightly lower than in West.

    ” I have twice referred to the fact that a rightwinger, Barry Porter, held his seat throughout the 1980s and 1990s”
    As you well know the Wirral has changed a lot since those days. I’d hazard a guess that most of the Tory vote in the Wirral from back then has long since passed on.

    “It is also a fact that there were thousands more 2015 UKIP Voters in both seats than LDs”
    I never said otherwise but I have pointed out to you before that the turnout in both seats was well up and there are very few students in the Wirral to attribute that to, this doesn’t suggest that there were thousands of abstaining kippers otherwise turnout would have fell or at best remained static.

  6. “The current proposals are most certainly dead there is no way the DUP wouldn’t oppose reducing their own seats to 7 and giving SF 3 more. However, that doesn’t mean a future draft will not be visited”

    The issue then though is that starting over would mean using the new electoral register which contains over 2 million extra people (primarily in Lab seats) that were signed up for the EU ref and this election. This means that many previously below quota Lab seats are now within quota or even oversized. Meaning the scope for the review to hurt Labour is reduced and the number of Tory losers increases.This raises the very real prospect of multiple Tory MP’s voting against it and this time the Cons don’t even have a majority let alone a large one to ensure it passes.

    Plus there is little that can be done about NI, any future review would probably still shaft the DUP primarily due to the small size of the Belfast seats 3/4 of which the DUP hold with low(ish) vote shares.

  7. All reasons why it is probably doomed in the near future at least? I would never claim to be an expert of any kind on these boundary proposals, but given the last lot were thrown out as well before these ones were even being considered, how many times do we expect this to happen until eventually some compromise is finally made by the Boundary Commission and we don’t end up with the total number of constituencies being reduced to something as absurdly low as 600? I wouldn’t necessarily all-out advocate keeping the current number at 650, but if there had to be reductions I wouldn’t chop out nearly 8% of the current seats.

  8. Rivers10:

    Fair enough re the mistaken identity. It certainly wasn’t me!

    In your second para you are again doing the very thing I often accuse you of: taking anecdotes and projecting them into a Tory candidate you would prefer as opposed to rightwinger you’d hate and assuming the electorate agree with you. Populists tend to be popular – it isn’t a controversial point I am making. You don’t have to like them.

    Yes you’re right re middle class liberals, but of course I’m not referring to them. I was referring to the 2015 UKIP voters who would not be inclined to vote for Caldeira or Sykes. But I sympathise that you found it hard to attack Caldeira on the doorstep as I don’t ever recall him saying anything political. Merely slogans such as “cleaner, greener…and… that works for everyone.”

    “why didn’t they do better” – they all did, my very point!

    “I never said otherwise” – but you have done precisely that in 2015 (denied the fact that there were many more UKIP voters on the Wirral) Indeed I first made this point 2 1/2 years ago.

    Yes some have died out, but no I don’t accept your claim that most of the Tory vote that elected Barry Porter in 1992 has “long since passed on.”

  9. Looking at the figures here today it is kind of hard to believe the Tories last won here at all just 25 years ago- but there we go, the demographics have become evermore favourable to Labour with a combination of the Merseyside Effect and the middle class public sector workers commuter element.

  10. Forgive me if i am wrong but proposing a second draft would not require a new review?

  11. Not sure about that. I would have imagined that would indeed be the case, especially if one is to assume the current proposals are destined to be abandoned- they haven’t yet been officially one way or the other so surely any new review would take years of more planning and research on the Commission’s part?

  12. Given that he does live on Merseyside and appears to have fairly vague political beliefs it’s rather surprising that Caldeira didn’t join the LibDems instead. It’s not as if you can get far as a Tory here.

  13. Indeed. Perhaps he genuinely felt they were the party for him? God knows…

  14. “As is repeatedly being emphasised the boundary review is stone dead, at least for the foreseeable future many a Tory MP have openly admitted as such. I doubt the gov will even bother putting them to a vote.”

    I sincerely hope you are wrong. This should be way above party politics or individual considerations. It should simply happen as a matter of course every few years without politicians involvement except to rubberstamp it perhaps if it needs primary legislation.

    Why on earth it should be subject to different outcomes at preceding general elections is beyond me. Surely MPs should have learnt their lesson by now in taking the public for granted over expenses and other matters they have been out of touch about, without this kind of blatant self-preservation.

  15. I wouldn’t hold your breath. I know I’m not over issues like this.

  16. Sadly the MPs who want to retain their positions in Parliament will go to any lengths to do so.

  17. BT Says – it is the present boundary review, with its highly controversial terms of reference limiting parliamentary seats to 600, which is dead in the water. It is generally seen as a politically partisan tool by the Conservatives, even though academics have worked out that following the general election results of 2017 its partisan effects would be far less anti-Labour than was originally expected. It is not the case that a fair & impartial boundary view, one which will not seek to reduce the number of MPs so drastically, is dead in the water. A fair review with acceptable terms of reference has every chance of passing even with a hung parliament.

  18. But boundary reviews have never been fair because you always end up with seats that are drastically different in terms of the size of their electorates and the reviews themselves do very little to redress that

  19. Afraid that’s true. It doesn’t really matter how much seats are changed around you will always end up with a new constituency or two that is simply ridiculously undersized or over-sized sadly.

  20. Merseymike – I think merely timing explains it as I suggested.

    You’ll know that in 2006-8 the LDs were losing 10 seats per year to Labour in Lpool – ie that swing back preceeded the LDs’ Coalition years’ problems.

    So there’d have been virtually nil for LD HQ to offer him (after all only Rennard & Storey got Peerages after 35 years). Plus they had many seasoned campaigners in Merseyside so why would they have wanted him?

    I’m told by a Tory member that Caldeira was really green/new to elections and that coupled with his abrasive/control freakery meant they just couldn’t work with him. From memory he applied for 8 seats and failed to get any to stand in in 2015. He was in fact very lucky they even allowed him to stand in 2017, as he was already the Metro Mayoral candidate – and that barred Sean Anstee from being the Tatton PPC (the WW link being that Esther ended up applying and being selected).

  21. I gather that the government’s going to have a new boundary review, in which the number of seats will remain at 650 or thereabouts.

  22. I heard that but seems like a waste of time

  23. ”I heard that but seems like a waste of time”

    Hardly. The boundaries were last changed for the 2010 election so boundary changes to represent shifts in the electorate for the next election which will be in the late 2010s/early 2020s is the right timeframe.

    ”A fair review with acceptable terms of reference has every chance of passing even with a hung parliament.”

    Will Labour accept the equalisation in size of Welsh constituencies though? Even if the overall constituency number is kept at 650 Wales will still lose a fair few seats.

  24. I know why we are having a boundary change review and I don’t dispute a need for one. My surprise is merely at the Tories having spent 7 years trying to get 600 seat boundary review through parliament is settling for 650 again.

  25. Well there was only one vote that was narrowly lost.

    I think the 600 seat pledge was DC’s in 2010 so it isn’t surprising if it’s being dropped.

  26. I take it keeping it around 650 doesn’t favour the Tories?

  27. Bromborough ward by-election, 23.08.18:

    Labour 1,253 47% (down 3%)
    Cons 749 28% (up 16%)
    LD 454 17% (up 13%)
    Ind* 147 6%
    Green 59 2% (down 1%)

    The positive Tory swing was probably due to their candidate apparently being a popular former shopkeeper, the rain today and holiday season, as well as the fact that Wirral Cons seem better organised since Cllr Ian Lewis became Group Leader.

    Probably a combination of all of the above, although I did hear an amusing anecdote from a Labour Cllr mate who complained that 8 of their voters in one road were all still in Benidorm today! [Although more likely to be from the Halewood S by-election which was closer]

    * The Ind was a LD Cllr for years (although was briefly Lab)

    Incidentally, I wonder if EcoWirral is still with the Greens?

  28. Labour lose control of the Wirral.

    A big swing to the Greens in opposition to the council’s housebuilding plans. As someone who walks past at least half a dozen homeless people every day on the way to work, I am furious that a party so proud of its radical progressive agenda is campaigning and winning on a NIMBY ticket.

  29. That doesn’t apply on Merseyside though. We have 28,000 vacant residential properties and the population is still falling in half of the county.

    Indeed, it is bonkers beyond belief – in a city region whose population has almost halved over the past 50 years – to say we should build on parks that have existed for over 100 years in some cases.

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