Worthing East & Shoreham

2015 Result:
Conservative: 24686 (49.5%)
Labour: 9737 (19.5%)
Lib Dem: 3360 (6.7%)
Green: 2605 (5.2%)
UKIP: 8267 (16.6%)
NHA: 1243 (2.5%)
MAJORITY: 14949 (30%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, West Sussex.

Main population centres:

Profile:

Politics:


Current MP
TIM LOUGHTON (Conservative) Born 1962, Eastbourne. Educated at Priory School and Warwick University. Former fund manager. Contested Sheffield Brightside 1992. First elected as MP for East Worthing and Shoreham in 1997. Parliamentary under-secretary for children and families 2010-2012.
Past Results
2010
Con: 23458 (48%)
Lab: 8087 (17%)
LDem: 12353 (26%)
UKIP: 2984 (6%)
Oth: 1515 (3%)
MAJ: 11105 (23%)
2005
Con: 19548 (44%)
Lab: 11365 (26%)
LDem: 10844 (24%)
UKIP: 2109 (5%)
Oth: 677 (2%)
MAJ: 8183 (18%)
2001
Con: 18608 (43%)
Lab: 12469 (29%)
LDem: 9876 (23%)
UKIP: 1195 (3%)
Oth: 920 (2%)
MAJ: 6139 (14%)
1997
Con: 20864 (40%)
Lab: 12335 (24%)
LDem: 15766 (31%)
Oth: 921 (2%)
MAJ: 5098 (10%)

Demographics
2015 Candidates
TIM LOUGHTON (Conservative) See above.
TIM MACPHERSON (Labour)
BOB SMYTHERMAN (Liberal Democrat)
MIKE GLENNON (UKIP) Former teacher. West Sussex councillor. Contested Worthing East and Shoreham 2010.
JAMES DOYLE (Green)
CARL WALKER (NHA) University lecturer.
Links
Comments - 254 Responses on “Worthing East & Shoreham”
  1. The Residents Association ward is Marine, and the 2 CON holds are Buckingham and St Nicholas

  2. I based my prediction on a 5% CON to UKIP swing based on the local election results; my estimation of national PNV for the 2014 locals. However, as UKIP will no doubt be targeting this area heavily as they clearly have strong organisation locally, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of them taking another Conservative ward; or even God forbid both on a really strong day for them and a terrible day for us.

  3. That would give them overall control, with 15 seats.

  4. I’ll believe that when I see it.

  5. The likelihood at present is that UKIP will take 12 seats, giving them 13 overall on the council. This is assuming that UKIP are in the high 20s on their Euro vote share, and that the vote share on the day will be carried through to the locals on the same day; much like what happened back in 2009 when UKIP won around 8 county council seats.

  6. It would be a disaster for the Tories if UKIP were to be in control here, as it would be more feasible more UKIP to win here in 2015 than it was for the Greens to win Brighton Pavilion in 2010.

  7. This is the only council I can realistically see UKIP being in control of after the 2014 local elections though. However there are other places for sure that they could win control of if enough of the seats are up for election.

  8. E.g. Boston and Thanet

  9. Maybe try writing one post instead of spreading out your thoughts over four in just 3 minutes.

  10. Does anyone agree with me with my prediction of UKIP holding at least 12 district council seats here after the election next year?

  11. deafening silence

  12. This might seem a bit boring, but I find it interesting that in 1992 in the old Worthing and Shoreham seats, that there were swings to the Lib Dems from the Tories of 2.7% and 3.1%. Granted these results must have come when they still had some strength locally, but compared to how they’ve fallen back heavily since in the successor seats it does look intriguing. In Worthing, the Tory vote fell 4.7%, and in Shoreham it was 4.4%. The Lib Dems increased more in the latter, and went above 1983. The candidate for them there stood again in East Worthing and Shoreham and got even closer- Martin King.

  13. Prediction for 2015-
    Loughton (Conservative)- 45%
    Liberal Democrat- 21%
    Labour- 20%
    UKIP- 12%
    Others- 2%

  14. Interesting that here in 2001, the Lib Dems fell by 7.6%. Their candidate that year, Paul Elgood, later stood in Hove in 2005 and 2010. In next door Worthing West in 2001, the Liberal Democrat’s decrease was less drastic, 4.6%. In both seats that year, Labour increased greatly against the national trend- A 5% increase here, and a 5.2% increase in Worthing West. Since 1997, the Tories have recovered stronger here than Worthing West, by a full 8%, compared to a recovery since 1997 in the latter seat of just 5.5%, pretty much in line with the Tories’ rise nationally since 1997 of 5.4%.

  15. A lot of seats of this type, especially in the south, saw a signifcant swing from LD to Lab in 2001, with the Tories not moving much.

  16. A belated response to you here Andy…

    On South Holland And The Deepings I acknowledged your above point, but specifically referring to this seat, is it possible that demographically while this seat is changing for the Conservatives long-term, that next door Worthing West has gotten a bit worse for them than here given how slow their progress has been in comparison to here since 1997? I suppose so far, the only real signs of change here have been the stagnation of the Lib Dems and the strengthening of Labour, with little Tory movement in 2001 and 2005, but with increases perhaps made possible by the national swing, while in Worthing West they’ve hardly moved at all on 1997.

  17. The recovery in the Tory share of vote since 1997 has been alright and but for UKIP might have been even better. Labour has clearly strengthened somewhat over the long term but still experienced a big drop in 2010. In short, I don’t think this seat should give the Tories all that much concern.

  18. As to Worthing West, the Tory vote share has recovered by nearly 6% points since 1997.

  19. It’s a classic case of split opposition isn’t it here? Of course, as recently as 1992, the Tories were still able to pile up 56.5% of the vote and a majority of 14, 286 in the old Shoreham seat, though even then the signs of a shift away from them were there- A drop of 4.4% in the Conservative vote under one-term MP Michael Stephen, and a 1.8% increase for the Liberal Democrats’ Martin King who later stood here in 1997, getting even closer back in the days when the Lib Dems still dominated Adur. The result in the old Worthing was very similar in 1992, but there the Tories dropped 4.7%, and the Lib Dems went up 0.7%.

    But looking at where Labour are here now, they’re only 7.2% behind 1997, which isn’t too bad really. Somewhat tellingly, Labour in Worthing West are only 4.4% behind their 1997 position. And my point about the increases for the Tories since 1997 in these seats is that while they’ve stabilised well here, in next door Worthing West until 2010 they hadn’t had a respectable increase, not even 2%.

  20. ”As to Worthing West, the Tory vote share has recovered by nearly 6% points since 1997”

    It has, but at 5.5%, that’s barely above the Tories’ increase since 1997 of 5.4%, so the demographic changes there are obviously having some effect on their vote.

  21. Well that depends on how you interpret the figures. To my eyes, an increase that is line with the national average suggests that this seat has got neither better nor worse for the Conservatives since 1997. I think a lot of Sussex Tories would have taken a 5.4% point increase since 1997, not least in Hove!

  22. There have, as we know, been some major demographic changes in Hove over the last 25 years at least. It does seem though that in the two Worthing seats, that the fact that while here the Tories have recovered respectably, that in Worthing West they’ve done no better than the national average, really does say a lot about how that seat is trending away from the Conservatives.

  23. yes but the trend is so, so slow, there’s little point in getting all that excited about it. And Labour is still very, very weak in the constituency – it’s an achievement even to get the odd second place in local elections.

  24. But it has to be said that given this seat produced a second place for Labour in 2001, which it hadn’t done in 1997, is quite significant, given the latter was the heavier landslide victory. There were a good few other seats where Labour managed to move into second place in 2001 as well. Also, Labour in 2005 in both Worthing seats if I can put it like that, were, IMHO interestingly, still above 1997 because of their very good results in 2001.

  25. If the national polls were reflected here at the next election Labour ought to have a chance of retaking second place. But I don’t think that will happen. IMO Labour won’t do as well here as nationally and the LD vote will hold up slightly better.

  26. The Lib Dems do seem to have a core of support still here, possibly about 20%. Labour on the other hand will push close for second place here, but I would agree with you Andy they may narrowly stay third.

  27. Sorry TheResults I completely misread your remarks & thought you were referring to the Worthing W constituency. This seat perhaps does have more potential for Labour, but the party’s vote does look very soft & conditional. Obviously with Hove being next door there will continue to be limited activity here, probably in the case of the Conservatives too for the opposite reason.

  28. That’s alright Barnaby. Notice how Labour’s vote here has always been considerably stronger than in Worthing West, so it is indeed true in what you say with regards to their position here. Labour still cleared near enough 17% in 2010, IMHO good in the circumstances, considering they weren’t really all that far behind 1997 and probably well above where they would have been had this seat existed before then- After all, they did get 10.6% in 1992 in the old Shoreham seat, so I suspect they’ve probably improved their position long-term.

  29. Like many towns on the Sussex coast, Worthing has been in decline for decades, although Labour doesn’t seem to have benefitted from this state of affairs

    The same is true of Shoreham, and to me it seems curious that whereas Labour were ploicking up scores of middle class seats in soujern England in 97 – such as neighbouring Hove – they were unable to make any headway in a seat like this, which on the face of it would seem to have far more potential

    Expect a high UKIP vote

  30. Interesting post Tim. I think you live round here don’t you?

    Going back in time a bit with this question- What was it exactly that happened RE the MP for Shoreham from 1992 to 1997 Michael Stephen? I read on the old site that it had something to do with him thinking the seat wasn’t safe and so he stood down, but surely given the figures he would have been alright here in this new seat? Does anyone know exactly for certain, thanks.

  31. What do you mean by decline? Economic, cultural, social? I wasn’t under the impression it had been getting poorer over the years.

  32. TheResults – yes Stephen for some reason thought he was in danger from the LDs since the seat was IIRC slightly more urban than the previous Shoreham seat had been. He decided to seek a safer seat still, and couldn’t find one, leaving himself high & dry.

  33. That was very stupid. The tories were always pretty strong favourites here.

  34. On a par with Iain Sproat in 1983.

  35. It’s actually worse. Sproat at least had a vaguely realistic chance of losing to Labour in Aberdeen S, and would actually have done so in 1987. Stephen had no serious chance of being defeated, even in 1997.

  36. ‘What do you mean by decline? Economic, cultural, social? I wasn’t under the impression it had been getting poorer over the years.’

    From the Victorian era to the 1980s Worthing had a reputation as a genteel and fairly well-to-do seaside town

    That’s certainly not the case now

    So too Shoreham although the industrial nature of its coastline – with the harbour and all – does make one wonder how it ever got its reputation asa a nice town

    Maybe this is what Stephen feared in his ill-fated decision to find a safer seat, although he made himself few friends with his staunch defence of the live animal exports to France from Shoreham in the mid 90s

  37. ”TheResults – yes Stephen for some reason thought he was in danger from the LDs since the seat was IIRC slightly more urban than the previous Shoreham seat had been. He decided to seek a safer seat still, and couldn’t find one, leaving himself high & dry.”

    Thanks Barnaby. So Michael Stephen made a big mistake it seems in not even going for the selection for this new seat as it was then in 1997. The fact that he thought he was in danger of defeat must have said a lot about the Lib Dems’ huge presence back then in Adur, when they dominated the council.

  38. We also have to remember that Stephen’s old Shoreham constituency was an odd shape and contained wards west of Worthing, which would currently be in Worthing West

    The new seat effectively swapped those wards, for those on the Eastern finge of Worthing

    However you look at it though, Stephen good it badly wrong thinking he was in trouble here, despite the area’s grottiness

    Not sure why the Lib Dems were at one time so strong in Adur and why now they are so weak. It’s not natural territory for them at all

  39. ”We also have to remember that Stephen’s old Shoreham constituency was an odd shape and contained wards west of Worthing, which would currently be in Worthing West

    The new seat effectively swapped those wards, for those on the Eastern finge of Worthing”

    I see Tim. Does that mean the old Shoreham would be safer than this seat if it still existed? Of course Worthing West is the safer of the two seats, but has seen only a modest recovery in the Conservative vote there in recent years.

    ”However you look at it though, Stephen good it badly wrong thinking he was in trouble here, despite the area’s grottiness

    Not sure why the Lib Dems were at one time so strong in Adur and why now they are so weak. It’s not natural territory for them at all”

    Stephen did get it very wrong. As has been mentioned here before, his Wikipedia article is severely lacking in information about him. It says he was MP ”from 1992 until 1997, when his seat was abolished by boundary changes”, but it really should be edited to explain why he was no longer an MP after that date. As we know what happened on here, it perhaps should be on there.

    RE the Lib Dems in Adur, I would imagine they once did well here because they have a habit of doing well in seaside towns in Southern England, especially ones with high numbers of pensioners, and sometimes typically seaside towns that aren’t as economically successful as they were in the golden days. But as you say given how they’ve collapsed in a really big way since their salad days here, it does make it look all the more curious and difficult to explain. Unless it was something of a protest vote during the 1990s because of disillusionment with the Conservatives, that later fizzled out in the very late part of the decade, once the voters had experienced the Lib Dems being in charge.

  40. Michael Stephen could have asked any serious psephologist what the chances were of him losing his seat in 1997 and pretty much all of them would have told him it would almost certainly be a Conservative hold and that even if the Tories were reduced to 150 seats it would remain blue.

  41. That just makes his decision all the more strange. He wasn’t trying to chicken run to another seat in Southern England was he, because there were no shortage of Conservative MPs who did this in 1997, including ones whose own seats disappeared because of the boundary changes?

  42. TheResults – the Liberal thing in Adur predates the 90s by quite a long time. I can recall them regularly winning local elections in the 80s too. Labour’s progress in Hove had some influence in this seat, but the Conservatives also recovered at their expense too & basically the LDs got caught in a rather odd pincer movement. Then subsequently Labour declined sharply too.

  43. Were the Lib Dems unpopular as a result of their control of the council because they did disappear very fast here locally?

  44. Sometimes it only takes a surprisingly small number of enthusiastic local activists to get the ball rolling for a particular party in a particular council area, and of course when they move away or whatever the momentum can be equally easily lost.

    It’s only speculation but maybe the Liberals had some very active local members in the 1980s who were able to cause a stir in local politics, which lasted for about 15-20 years.

  45. That’s a good theory Andy and it probably does indeed help to have an active band of party workers if you’re to make progress in a particular area.

    The Lib Dems I think, and I may well be wrong here, so don’t quote me, always seem to have been a party renowned for their amazing ability to organise and enthuse their membership, as well as their own support base of course. I suppose it would fit in a way, given their legendary grassroots/street campaigning methods.

    Then there are other factors that can result in a party’s growing strength- Something the Lib Dems have always been good at is having one personality in the area who after building their parliamentary seat into an impregnable stronghold, then as a result influences the politics on the local scene, as has been seen with Tim Farron in Westmorland and Lonsdale for example, or as an example from yesteryear, maybe Stephen Ross in the Isle Of Wight.

    Coming back to here, though, and the result in 1997 was a clear sign that out of East Worthing and Shoreham and Worthing West, of the two it was this seat that was the real target for them, that they maybe would have expected to have won that year. This is about the third time I’ve said this recently but Martin King was the Liberal Democrats’ candidate for Shoreham in 1992, and then here in 1997, so I wonder if he might have been a councillor locally perhaps?

  46. Three words

    horse, dead, flogging

  47. ”Three words

    horse, dead, flogging”

    That’s five words actually.

  48. Not often one comes across a boring old fart who is only 20.

    At least Frederick Stansfield is about 96 🙂

  49. ”Not often one comes across a boring old fart who is only 20.

    At least Frederick Stansfield is about 96”

    Sorry if you think this discussion or me is/are boring, but I think it’s been very interesting actually, as have Barnaby Marder and Tim Jones by the looks of it given their own comments. Do you have any theories about what has happened to the Lib Dems here in the last 15 years or whatever?

  50. I’m not THAT interested TheResults, I joined in to attempt to inform & be of some help, although on this occasion I misread your comments. But I fear HH is at least partially right. You do have a tendency to overdo analysis of what are basically safe seats, and will be safe seats for a long time to come. You aren’t the only one to do this but you are somewhat guilty of it I’m afraid. It’s all very well to go overboard about how the LDs collapsed in a seat (which in this case they never looked remotely like winning in a general election), or for example go on & on about Labour gaining a council seat in Sutton Coldfield as others have done, but these are not particularly germane issues compared with the crucial marginals. Those are where the action is & while HH is perhaps a little brusque his point is by no means entirely invalid.

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