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. Apologies the above post was meant for Cannock. In Worcester, Cllr Jabba Riaz defected from the Tories to Labour in October. He represents Cathedral ward and was unsuccesful at seeking selection in another ward.

  2. 2015 IMHO

    Lab 36
    Con 32
    UKIP 13
    Green 8
    LD 7
    Others 4

  3. About right, A Brown, although the Green vote may be slightly overestimated despite the Greens’ good recent local performances in Worcester. We can at least aim to save our deposit here. The Lib Dem vote will drop sharply, but maybe not as low as 7%, and UKIP will not be riding so high in Worcester as it probably will in Worcestershire’s less urban seats (we Greens will do well there also).

  4. Ladbrokes:
    4/6 Lab
    11/10 Cons

  5. I think A Brown’s prediction is a bit optimistic for Labour. This has generally been a moderately safe Conservative seat prior to 1997 and I think the result will be extremely close.

  6. “This has generally been a moderately safe Conservative seat prior to 1997 and I think the result will be extremely close.”

    The boundary changes in 1997 made the seat far more marginal, with outlying Tory wards being moved into Mid Worcestershire (the sitting MP Peter Luff moved to this new seat also). I’m sure somebody can dig up the exact notionals, but from memory the Tory majority of about 6000 in 1992 was reduced to about 2000 by the boundary changes.

    In terms of 2015 I see this as a Tory hold.

  7. I’d be surprised if the Tories held, it would indicate a pretty resilient LD vote in precisely the sort of seat where they don’t have a sniff at winning and will be pulling all their resources out. There only needs to be a LD drop to 13% in Labour’s favour, their standard 1997/2001 base, to all but close the Lab/Con gap. Any Con -> Lab or Con -> UKIP drift would then poke this into Labour win territory.

  8. ‘This has generally been a moderately safe Conservative seat prior to 1997 and I think the result will be extremely close.’

    Indeed – 1997 was actually the first time Labour ever won Worcester – missing out even in 1945 and 1966

    With the seat having been reduced to its urban core it’s the type of place where Labour needs to win to form a majority in 2015

    I don’t think they will manage it

  9. Agreed – if Labour only manage to gain 30/35 seats or so (and that’s where I’d put my money at present) this may well not be one of them, although I think it will be close.

  10. I think Worcester will be a Labour gain whilst the Tories will hold in to Reditch. Then you’ll have the slightly unusual situation of Labour holding a cathedral city whilst the Tories hold the nearby new town.

  11. Very close, probably a tory hold.

  12. ‘Agreed – if Labour only manage to gain 30/35 seats or so’

    I think that’s more or less exactly how many seats I’d expect Labour to win in 2015

    ‘Then you’ll have the slightly unusual situation of Labour holding a cathedral city whilst the Tories hold the nearby new town.’

    Get used to it would be my advice

    The aspirational WWC voters in new towns like Redditch seem like far more plausible targets for the Tories than the middle class public sector employees that dwell in cathedral cities – although I wouldn’t say Worcester fits the latter description that well

  13. Generally right Tim, although one cannot generalise about cathedral cities. I don’t think Labour will ever be competitive in Chichester, Canterbury or Guildford.

  14. ‘I don’t think Labour will ever be competitive in Chichester, Canterbury or Guildford.’

    Labour no – but the Lib Dems have done well in such places – even if they aren’t particularly strong in the seats those settlements are in

  15. For me this is the kind of middllingly off, non-metropolitan seat that will deny Labour an outright majority in 2015. The 2013 CC result was promising for the Conservatives and Robin Walker is a good fit. I think he’ll hold.

  16. Labour was competitive in Canterbury as a city in the headiest Blair years & came quite close to winning the constituency too in 2001. In the past Labour was quite competitive in Guildford itself (though never the constituency). Chichester however has never had a strong Labour presence and no Labour district councillor has been elected in the city itself since the reorganization of local government in 1973. The one and only Labour district councillor there was elected in 1995 for Selsey S ward.

  17. Selsey South, eh? The very end of the earth (if you live in West Sussex). A strange little community, like a more established version of shacks n’shingle Dungeness and it has more than its fair share of eccentrics and oddballs. Patrick Moore of astronomy and rather unpleasant hard right viewpoint fame lived in that neck of the woods.

  18. Selsey was in the long distant past also a cathedral city. I doubt that has very much connection to its electoral history, of course.

  19. Worcester, popular votes:

    Con 7,547 (33.36%)
    Lab 6,654 (29.41%)
    UKIP 4,444 (19.64%)
    Green 2,441 (10.79%)
    LD 964 (4.26%)
    BNP 492 (2.17%)
    TUSC 84 (0.37%)

    Changes since 2010 locals:

    Con -8.40%
    Lab -4.24%
    UKIP +19.64%
    Green -0.03%
    LD -4.98%
    BNP -2.35%

    Swing, Con to Lab: 2.08%

  20. does anyone have a view on long term developments in this seat? It would appear from local election results that it may well be trending conservative….

    It certainly seems a better bet for the tories than Cannock, Wirral West, City of Chester and other seats with similar tory majorities over labour.

  21. I agree that it is a better bet for the Tories than all the seats you mention to the extent that I would be rather surprised if Labour won it.

    Worcester could well be trending Tory- the local election results since 2010 have certainly been encouraging and it seems representative of the kind of territory in which Labour appears to have significant problems i.e. England outside the conurbations.

    Saying that, the Tory majority in 2010 was only marginally better than the notional Tory majority in 1992 (6.1% vs 5.6%) and the Tory vote share isn’t that much up on 1997 though if the 1992 notionals are right, the Tory vote share fell by less than 10% points that year. So I wouldn’t say it’s clear cut.

  22. This and Gloucester are seats where Labour has a presence and weren’t too far behind in 2010. But the local elections since that point have suggested that the Tories can hold both, even if they are narrow. Neither make the most encouraging reading for Labour.

  23. Yes, this seat and Gloucester are narrow Tory holds in my view. English cathedral towns seem to be challenging for labour…though i expect they’ll gain lincoln… looking at local elections in the last 4 years, labour have made far more gains in lincoln, ipswich and cannock than they have in gloucester and worcester. I think a Blair can win the last two mentioned seats for Labour, but generally the tories should hold them.

  24. It’s been my assumption since 2011 that the Tories would hold both seats. I have a feeling that Gloucester is a bit complex, in that Labour does worse & the LDs do better there in local than in national elections, but Worcester seems quite clear cut. Labour has failed (albeit by a wafer-thin margin) to outpoll the Tories there in 4 consecutive years without much evidence of the LDs doing well, so it’s very hard to see Labour winning in a general election, unless differential turnout causes problems for the Tories.

  25. Despite this being labour target no.48 no one thinks Labour will win here. Is there anyone brave enough to go against the grain and go for Labour here?

    My prediction

    Con 39
    Lab 36
    UKIP 14
    LD 7
    GRN 4

  26. Depends on how hard the local party work but I certainly wouldn’t rule them out. Wouldn’t stick my neck out and say “definitely Labour gain” though.

  27. I tend to agree with CountyDurhamBoy & all those who make the Tories the favourites in Worcester. MrNameless’s comment is also one I’d agree with.

  28. Its not so much that Worcester is trending Tory, more that its essentially a Tory seal, albeit with small majorities, except in a very good year.

  29. “Labour’s Chuka Umunna makes Wichita/Worcester gaffe”:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-28150247

  30. Even worse than the Labour MP who mixed up villages recently.

    Does again demonstrate the incredible narrowness of outlook of the SPAD political class though…the world outside a few smart London postcodes is a mystery to them.

  31. Ashcroft has Labour 2 points ahead of the Conservatives here.

  32. Ashcroft poll:

    Lab 36
    Con 34
    UKIP 17
    LD 5

    I continue to lean towards a narrow Conservative hold.

  33. One of those ones where the results of this area will be a good forecast of the rest of the countires.

  34. Surprised by that figure, even though it’s tight. As with Gloucester which is higher up (where the Ashcroft poll indicated a small Tory lead) I just can’t picture a Labour gain. Still have Worcester down as a narrow Conservative hold.

  35. This seat like at least 20-30 others – one where the CON/UKIP/right wing split will hand LAB a win.

    Is it possible Nigel Farage will try a rapprochement between the Tories?? and UKIP & decide not to put candidates in seats where there’s a eurosceptic Tory??.

    He did this of course in Clacton and Rochester for GE2010 and has indicated in the past that he may do this nationally (in selected seats)

    Let’s look at 14 ‘eurosceptic’ CON MPs who defied a 3 line whip, in Oct2011, on a motion demanding an EU referendum in 2013 – so they are genuine eurosceptics (at least).

    They face losing their seats to LAB by small margins (predicted 4-10% because of a significant UKIP vote in the seat). These 14 MPs are:-

    ANDREW (PUDSEY)
    DE BOIS (ENFIELD N)
    BYLES (WARWICKSHIRE N)
    JACKSON (POSH)
    MCCARTNEY (COLNE VALLEY)
    MCCARTNEY (LINCOLN)
    MILLS (AMBER VALLEY)
    MOSLEY (CHESTER)
    NUTTALL (BURY N)
    OFFORD (HENDON)
    REES-MOGG (SOMERSET N EAST)
    REEVELL (DEWSBURY)
    VICKERS (CLEETHORPES)
    WALKER (WORCESTER

    So do you think Farage not fielding a UKIP candidate in these seats is:-

    a) very likely
    b) probable
    c) not very likely
    d) c’est impossible
    or
    e) horseshit

    ty…deepthroat

  36. Ashcroft poll:

    Con 40%
    Lab 34%
    UKIP 13%
    Greens 7%
    LD 4%
    Oth 2%

    http://lordashcroftpolls.com/constituency-polls/

  37. Con hold, majority 1400.

  38. I too would tend towards a Tory hold here as well- The Ashcroft Poll for them was extremely good.

  39. A pub in Worcester is holding a series of 10 hustings with the Candidates and was featured on The One Show. All candidates turned up.

  40. Conservative Hold. 2,000 majority.

  41. CON hold but by as little as 1000 or so.

  42. CONSERVATIVE HOLD

    Con 22,534 45.3%
    Lab 16,888 34.0%
    UKIP 6,378 12.8%
    Green 2,024 4.1%
    LDem 1,677 3.4%
    Other 222 0.4%

    Majority 5,646

    Swing to Con 2.6%

  43. Labour and the Greens have done a deal to control the council here, apparently.

  44. Just read that

  45. The newly selected Labour candidate here, Mandy Richards, has run into some problems – namely that she has 14 extended restraining orders and is banned from bring legal action after a number of vexatious civil cases.

    Tweets of hers from fairly recently (ie last year) have surfaced in which she, among other things, alleges that various terrorist attacks didn’t happen, and that Inception might be real. Full thread here: https://twitter.com/ariehkovler/status/988332144723312641

    She was previously a London Assembly candidate in 2012 (Redbridge) and 2016 (West Central), after both of which she alleged fraud and took the matter to court.

    It’s the sheer quantity of this stuff that pushes it out of the funny zone and into thinking the party’s selection processes have some critical flaws.

    Stephen Bush of the New Statesman has theorised that this might be a result of the usual stitch-up method going awry. Wheeling out the competent, preferred candidate and the obvious crank only works if the members get the message and don’t vote for the crank.

  46. Yeah, I saw that too. She seems pretty mad – we’re talking Louise Mensch levels here, at least.

    Still might not stop her being elected, though.

  47. Amazing to read contributors convinced by a Labour gain in Worchester but dismiss Canterbury

  48. She hasn’t been approved by the NEC and very likely won’t be – they’ve removed candidates for less, and according to a local journo are treating the case as a matter of urgency.

  49. Matt Wilson

    Canterbury seemed unlikely at the time until politics finally caught up with the 2008 financial crisis and went cuckoo.

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