Worcester

2015 Result:
Conservative: 22534 (45.3%)
Labour: 16888 (34%)
Lib Dem: 1677 (3.4%)
Green: 2024 (4.1%)
UKIP: 6378 (12.8%)
TUSC: 153 (0.3%)
Independent: 69 (0.1%)
MAJORITY: 5646 (11.4%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: West Midlands, Hereford and Worcester.

Main population centres:

Profile:

Politics:


Current MP
ROBIN WALKER (Conservative) Born 1978, son of former cabinet minister Peter Walker. Educated at St Pauls School and Oxford University. Former Communications advisor. First elected as MP for Worcester in 2010.
Past Results
2010
Con: 19358 (40%)
Lab: 16376 (33%)
LDem: 9525 (19%)
UKIP: 1360 (3%)
Oth: 2355 (5%)
MAJ: 2982 (6%)
2005
Con: 16277 (35%)
Lab: 19421 (42%)
LDem: 7557 (16%)
UKIP: 1113 (2%)
Oth: 2020 (4%)
MAJ: 3144 (7%)
2001
Con: 15712 (36%)
Lab: 21478 (49%)
LDem: 5578 (13%)
UKIP: 1442 (3%)
MAJ: 5766 (13%)
1997
Con: 18423 (36%)
Lab: 25848 (50%)
LDem: 6462 (13%)
Oth: 886 (2%)
MAJ: 7425 (14%)

Demographics
2015 Candidates
ROBIN WALKER (Conservative) See above.
JOY SQUIRES (Labour) Born Shrewsbury. University lecturer. Worcester councillor.
FREDERICA SMITH (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Aberystwyth University. Customer services manager. Taunton Deane councillor since 2013.
JAMES GOAD (UKIP)
LOUIS STEPHEN (Green) Engineering manager. Contested Worcester 2010.
MARK SHUKER (Independent)
PETE MCNALLY (TUSC)
Links
Comments - 108 Responses on “Worcester”
  1. This will be an interesting seat to analyse on 2nd May: the constituency has the same boundaries as Worcester City Council, which has 10 divisions on the county council. Labour should be about 10% ahead if the national opinion polls are reflected locally.

    Divisions / nominations:

    1. Bedwardine: Con, Lab, LD, UKIP, Green, BNP, TUSC.
    2. Claines: Con, Lab, LD, UKIP, Green.
    3. Gorse Hill & Warndon: Con, Lab, UKIP, Green.
    4. Nunnery: Con, Lab/Co-op, Green, BNP.
    5. Rainbow Hill: Con, Lab/Co-op, UKIP, Green, TUSC.
    6. Riverside: Con, Lab, UKIP, Green, BNP, TUSC.
    7. St John: Con, Lab/Co-op, Green, BNP, TUSC, No Description.
    8. St Peter: Con, Lab, LD, Green.
    9. St Stephen: Con, Lab, Green.
    10.Warndon Parish: Con, Lab, UKIP, Green.

  2. Worcester result:

    Con 7,776 (33.4%)
    Lab 7,733 (33.2%)
    UKIP 3,225 (13.9%)
    Green 2,744 (11.8%)
    LD 1,271 (5.5%)
    Others 530 (2.3%)

    Changes since 2010:

    Con -6.1%
    Lab -0.2%
    UKIP +11.1%
    Green +10.3%
    LD -13.9%
    Others -1.1%

    Swing, Con to Lab: 3.0%

  3. I’m surprised there hasn’t been more discussion of this result. On the face of it, it looks bad for Labour to have failed to overturn a 6% Tory lead from the general election, although they might point to the high share taken by the Greens and surmise that most of those voters would opt for Labour at a general election.

  4. I think Robin Walker would be very heartened by that set of results. Sure, Labour will regain some Green votes but the Tories could regain some UKIP votes. And if the national polls narrow (as I think they will), he’ll more likely than not have enough to hang on.

  5. yes, very worrying for Labour really. The party will now have to work hard to get enough of the anti-Tory vote to win the seat, but a Tory hold looks more like after this.

  6. The more I look at the results from last Thursday, I wonder if the Conservatives really haven’t done too badly overall. The holds in Staffs, Northants, Somerset and Devon particularly stand out. But also the resilient performance in Bristol.

  7. Umunna on Newsnight thought they’d won Northants and no one else in the studio corrected him. Think he meant Nottinghamshire. Y’know, we won somewhere up there north of Watford, begins with an N anyway.

  8. “The more I look at the results from last Thursday, I wonder if the Conservatives really haven’t done too badly overall.”

    The lowest ever Conservative vote is pretty bad in my book.

    But it coincided with utterly dredful Labour and LibDem performances too.

    2015 will be February 1974 redux.

  9. The Labour projection of 29% seems a bit low to me. Would they really have done that badly if London, Scotland, Wales, Bimingham, Manchester, etc. had voted on May 2nd? The opinion polls would have to be out by about 10% if so.

  10. Labour led the Conservatives by 3% in these elections in 2005 and they did worse relatively this year.

    So if the Conservatives are at 25% then 29% for Labour sounds reasonable.

    Labour could be doing better relatively in Scotland, Wales and London but only if they’re piling up votes in safe areas.

  11. From 97-2005 – Labour held this seat with larger majorities than that currently enjoyed by Robert Walker – and any kind of national poll lead in going resultr in seats like this turning Red

    Howerver historically this isn’t a marginal seat and Labour’s victory in 1997 was their first ever here – although older seats did contain staunchly Tory rural areas which were removed in 97

    Still not the sort of the seat the Tories can afford to lose

  12. On its old boundaries this seat had the closest result in the 1945 election – George Ward held the seat for the Conservatives with a 4-vote majority over Labour.
    I am not optimistic about this seat from a Labour point of view though it’s conceivable Labour can govern on its own without winning here. The results since 2001 have been rather similar to Gloucester though in the past the 2 seats haven’t been that similar much of the time

  13. Tim, yeah that was the first time Labour took Worcester. I remember around the time, the Worcester Woman character was targeted as a Blair voter in the same way the party was eyeing the Mondeo Man of genuinely marginal seats like Basildon.

    More recently, Caroline Flint made a speech about how those voters are now the Aldi Mum and Crawley Man.

  14. Yes, I think Robin Walker will survive here- I think these kinds of seats are going to deprive Labour of an overall majority though I accept Barnaby’s contention that it is conceivable that Labour could govern along without winning this.

  15. *alone

  16. LAB GAIN FROM CON MAJ: 6%
    LAB 39
    CON 33
    LD 14
    UKIP 7
    GRN 4

  17. I agree with Tory and suspect Labour might fall short in such seats – Worcester, Gloucester, Crawley – although UKIP’s pressence will certainly help them

    On their current lead I think Labour would win all three, but like most on here, I expect the polls to narrow between now and polling day

  18. The Tory majority and swing required to for Crawley seem a tad high for Labour to gain at the moment IMO. I’ve argued before that Henry Smith will hold in 2015, but demographically it is trending to Labour in the longer term. Certainly in another 10, 15 or 20 years (depending on how quickly those demographics change) it might become a reliable SE seat for them.

  19. “On its old boundaries this seat had the closest result in the 1945 election – George Ward held the seat for the Conservatives with a 4-vote majority over Labour.”

    When you say its ‘old boundaries’, it’s worth clarifying here that the Worcester seat then did not inlcude extraneous areas as it did from 1950 to 1997. It may have been these areas which kept the seat Tory in 1966 for example (although Droitwich itself is no Tory stronghold either), but in 1945 the Worcester seat was just Worcester itself – indeed it was more tightly drawn than now as the city council area has itself expanded since then

  20. You’re quite right about Droitwich, Neil. Even in 2010, I doubt the Tories had much of a lead in the town- 400 or so, say?

  21. Hopefully, Pete can enlighten us about Droitwich if he has the time.

  22. Its hard to say – I don’t have figures calculated in that area although I think Andy might. Clearly Labour would have carried it in 2005 when they won both CC seats easily but their vote fell dramatically in 2010 – losing a third of their total vote. Its noticeable how they came nowhere near to regaining these seats in 2013 so it does look as if they are facing the kind of long term decline here that they do in so many other small towns in the Midlands and South. It’s ahrd to believe they can have been all that competitive in Droitwich with only 15% in the constituency as a whole and it isn;t as if all their vote would have been concentrated there as historically they have had some strength in Evesham too. Perhaps ‘historically’ is the operative word here though and increasingly so for Droitwich too

  23. Thank for the info Pete. Looking at the 1945 result the numbers of votes cast did look rather small & it now makes sense that Worcester was drawn tightly around the city boundaries at that time. It is interesting therefore that Labour not only won but won quite easily between 1997 & 2005 inclusive. Although Mid Worcs now contains Droitwich & Evesham, which both have a Labour presence (the former nowadays rather more than the latter), it has nevertheless been (I think I’m correct in saying) the safest Tory seat in the W Midlands region since 2001 – it was Sutton Coldfield in 1997.

  24. I don’t think Mid Worcs has been the safest seat in the West Midlands region since 2001. Lichfield, South Staffs and Sutton Coldfield were safer in 2010 for example in terms of percentage majority. Aldridge-Brownhills registered the highest share in 2010; Mid Worcs was second with 54.5% just beating Lichfield on 54.4% (which itself beat Sutton Coldfield for the first time on 54.0%).

  25. ‘I don’t think Mid Worcs has been the safest seat in the West Midlands region since 2001. Lichfield, South Staffs and Sutton Coldfield were safer in 2010 for example in terms of percentage majority. Aldridge-Brownhills registered the highest share in 2010; Mid Worcs was second with 54.5% just beating Lichfield on 54.4%’

    That’s interesting as Aldridge-Brownhills used to be a marginal seat

    i think even Brownhills – once a staunch Laboir area – votes Tory nowadays

    Litchfield too used to have Labour MPs – at least when it was paired with Tamworth – and Labour won it, courtesy of a by-election, in the late 80s/early 90s

    Just backs up the assertion is another thread of the long-term Tory trend in Staffordshire

  26. Actually Brownhills still elects Labour councillors most of the time. The problem for Labour is that hardly anywhere else in the constituency does now although Rushall-Shelfield has been won in very recent times.

  27. Lichfield was very nearly won by Labour in 1997 and now it’s safer than Sutton Coldfield which was one of the Tories’ safest in that election.

  28. By % majority over the second placed party, Aldridge-Brownhills is the safest Conservative seat in what is termed ‘the West Midlands’. As Barnaby says, Brownhills itself remains somewhat Labour-leaning though the Tories will carry it fairly cleanly in 2010-style circumstances. The Tories will have had massive leads in Pelsall and Streetly and tidy leads (comfortably more than 2 to 1) everywhere else barring Brownhills.

  29. Actually Brownhills still elects Labour councillors most of the time.

    At locals maybe but I’m pretty certain that the Tories carried all six wards in this seat at the general election of 2010 – including Brownhills and Rushall Shelfield

  30. And yes, Labour won Rushal-Shelfield in 2012 and came very close in 2011. But I don’t think they did got anywhere near carrying it in 2010.

  31. Tim- yes the Tories will have carried all six in 2010. They will probably have led Labour by about a thousand in Brownhills and about 1500-2000 in Rushal-Shelfield. Everywhere else, they’ll led Labour by at least three to one.

  32. I remember driving through Brownhills in the mid 90s – the difference with neighbouring Aldridge was quite stark

    Like much of the West Midlands it had the look of a Labour town and I’m surprised that the Tories carried it – although I imagine the stock of Richard Shephard has never been higher

    There’s not many on the fringes of British politics to earn the respect he has from both sides of the House

    Tony Benn might be another – obviously from the other side of the politocal divide

  33. Tony Benn isn’t another – at least whilst he was still in the house, he was loathed by a significant section of his own party.

  34. Yes, my understanding is that Shepherd is widely respected (and quite rightly in my view)- though I dare say the Cameroons find him inconvenient.

  35. Tragic that Shepherd didn’t become Speaker, instead of the ridiculous buffoon we had foisted upon us.

  36. I’ve met Richard Shepherd and he is extremely courteous. I agree he would have made a good speaker

  37. ‘Tragic that Shepherd didn’t become Speaker, instead of the ridiculous buffoon we had foisted upon us.’

    Having Shepherd as Speaker would rob the Tories of one of the few intelligent members of the hardline Right still in the House

    I think even I would find that regrettable

  38. I can see what Tim means. Although I would place myself on the Right of the Tory party, I align myself more with people like Richard Shepherd and Jacob-Rees Mogg than with firebrands like Philip Davies and Peter Bone, as entertaining as they are. Saying that, I identify more with Bone and Davies than with arid ‘Britannia Unchained’ tendency like Raab, Kwarteng etc. Interestingly, Raab and Kwarteng appear to get much more of a hearing from the leadership than the other people I’ve mentioned, despite being more extreme in my view- at least on economic matters.

  39. ‘Interestingly, Raab and Kwarteng appear to get much more of a hearing from the leadership than the other people I’ve mentioned’

    It’s probably because they are new and less prone to purposely provocative and offensive remarks that the likes of Bone and Davies seem particularly fond of

    I don’t think even these two would seek to defend the salve trade as Kwarteng has been accused of

    I do though think there is a difference between those on the right who say what they say through genuine conviction – like Shepherd, Teddy Taylor, Rhodes Boyson and Nick Winterton – to those who do it to score points with the grassroots – Burley, Kelly and Kwarteng

  40. The latter sort of ‘right-winger’ once included Bercow of course.

  41. ‘The latter sort of ‘right-winger’ once included Bercow of course’

    Bercow was one of the most right wing of the 97 Conservative intake – which even by Tory standards was pretty right wing

    Still, God forgives those sinners that truly repent… (lol) and it is ofcourse this Dascous-inspired conversion which explains why Bercow is so despised in Tory circles now

    It’s no entirely dis-similar with what happened to Portillo – just more extreme

  42. Portillo was never a Monday Club style social conservative like Bercow was. He was a mainstream 1980s Thatcherite.

    Shepherd is also not easily categorised as hard righ eithert. He is in many ways better described as an extreme libertarian with a lot of views which are not shared by many on the right – a consistent support for complete freedom of information and civil liberties, for example. This is married with his extreme euroscepticism. Somewhat oddly, he was a leading critic of the Northern Ireland peace process in the 80s and 90s, though he is quite quiet about it now.

  43. Hemmelig- I think the same goes for Rees-Mogg, who has often spoken out about surveillance laws.

  44. ‘He is in many ways better described as an extreme libertarian’

    Which to me is as right wing as it gets – survival of the fittest

    I also think the comparison Tory has made between Shepard and Rees Mogg does a dis-service to the former

    Whilst not without its moments, Rees-Mogg career as an MP hasn’t been quite as gaffe-prone as some commentators were hoping, but he doesn’t command anything like the respect from all sides of the House that Shepard does

    And again, whilst not as dim-witted as some would have yoiu believe, I think intellectually Ress-Mogg is light years behind Shephard – a truly great Parliamentarian

  45. “Which to me is as right wing as it gets – survival of the fittest”

    I’m unsure whether Shephard’s ultra-libertarianism stretches into the economic sphere….I suspect he is not such an extreme believer in “survival of the fittest” as some of the younger names you mentioned earlier. Shephard’s libertarianism is focused on civil liberties, freedom of information and Europe.

  46. Bercow has always been unpopular with most Tories, as much when he played comedy right-winger as in his suck-up to New Labour period. I doubt he has held a genuine conviction in his life.

  47. Prediction for 2015-
    Labour- 41%
    Walker (Conservative)- 38%
    Liberal Democrats- 11%
    UKIP- 6%
    Green- 2%
    Others- 2%

  48. Can’t remember which thread it was but earlier today there was a discussion about whether Tamworth or Stafford was a better bet for Labour.

    On thing that can be said is that Tamworth is more volatile than Stafford, so on that basis Tamworth may be a slightly better bet:

    Stafford, maj:

    1997: Lab – 4,314
    2001: Lab – 5,032
    2005: Lab – 2,121
    2010: Con – 5,460

    Tamworth, maj:

    1997: Lab – 7,496
    2001: Lab – 4,598
    2005: Lab – 2,569
    2010: Con – 6,090

  49. it was under Cannock Chase Andy. Part of the reason I feel Stafford is particularly hopeless is the hospital issue.

  50. Cllr Linda Whitehouse defected from the Tories to UKIP here back in September. She was the fourth Tory Cllr to defect to UKIP in Staffordshire.

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