Wyre Forest

2015 Result:
Conservative: 22394 (45.3%)
Labour: 9523 (19.3%)
Lib Dem: 1228 (2.5%)
Green: 1117 (2.3%)
UKIP: 7967 (16.1%)
NHA: 7211 (14.6%)
MAJORITY: 12871 (26%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: West Midlands, Hereford and Worcester. The whole of the Wyre Forest council area.

Main population centres: Kidderminster, Bewdley, Stourport on Severn.

Profile: Wyre Forest mainly consists of the industrial town of Kidderminister, a centre for the carpet industry, but also includes Stourport and Bewdley and outlying villages.

Politics: Politically the seat is unusual. It would probably be a Conservative/Labour marginal but in 2001 and 2005 it was won by an Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern candidate, Dr Richard Taylor, on the back of a campaign against the closure of the casualty unit at Kidderminister hospital. The Conservatives retook the seat from Dr Taylor in 2010. In 2015 Taylor stood again, now under the mantle of the National Health Action party, but sectured only fourth place..

Current MP
MARK GARNIER (Conservative) Born 1963, London. Educated at Charterhouse. Former Fund manager. Forest of Dean councillor 2003-2007. Contested Wyre Forest 2005. First elected as MP for Wyre Forest in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 18793 (37%)
Lab: 7298 (14%)
LDem: 6040 (12%)
UKIP: 1498 (3%)
Oth: 17270 (34%)
MAJ: 2643 (5%)
Con: 13489 (29%)
Lab: 10716 (23%)
UKIP: 1074 (2%)
Oth: 21708 (46%)
MAJ: 8219 (17%)
Con: 9350 (19%)
Lab: 10857 (22%)
UKIP: 368 (1%)
Oth: 28487 (58%)
MAJ: 17630 (36%)
Con: 19897 (36%)
Lab: 26843 (49%)
LDem: 4377 (8%)
Oth: 1982 (4%)
MAJ: 6946 (13%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
MARK GARNIER (Conservative) See above.
MATTHEW LAMB (Labour) Born 1970. Educated at King Charles I High School and University of the West of England and Birmingham University. College director. Worcester councillor since 2010.
ANDREW CRICK (Liberal Democrat) Contested Henley 2010.
MICHAEL WRENCH (UKIP) Born 1968, Kidderminster. Former soldier. Wyre Forest councillor. Contested Wyre Forest 2010.
NATALIE MCVEY (Green) Service development co-ordinator.
RICHARD TAYLOR (NHA) Born 1934. Educated at Leys School and Cambridge University. Retired hospital consultant. MP for Wyre Forest 2001-2010. Contested Wyre Forest 2010.
Comments - 215 Responses on “Wyre Forest”
  1. Still no LibDem candidate here while lots of other places are filling in fast…. which makes one suspect the party may take a pass here again and see if that’s enough to topple Garnier, combined with whatever the UKIP manage to take from him..

  2. Who is going to topple him though? Health Concern is a busted flush and Dr Taylor is 81. Many of those who might have voted for him will think he’s far too old. UKIP can’t win and Labour are far too far behind to have any chance.

  3. I do have some local knowledge of this seat, and I have to agree with H Hemmelig. If the Liberal Democrats continued to stand aside in 2010 – and given that their local government base in Wyre Forest had evaporated. it would not have been a great sacrifice – I think Dr Taylor would have held the seat. But having lost it (and the benefits of being an incumbent) , I do not fancy his chances of making a comeback at his age at all.

    UKIP won 5 wards in the Kidderminster / Stourport section of the seat in 2014 and cannot be discounted. But the Conservatives remain ahead in the Bewdley and rural sections of the seat. So Garnier will continue to represent “the dog end voters” in the particular “outlying” constituency.

  4. Lib Dems do have a candidate here now – Andy Crick.

  5. Current Skybet odds:

    Con 1/2
    UKIP 3/1
    NHA 6/1
    Lab 40/1

    So much for the bookies as a bull detector – I can’t see the parties finishing in that order.

  6. I’m expecting in the region of..
    Conservative: 42%
    Labour: 25%
    Liberal Democrat: 10%
    Independent Health Concern: 10%
    UKIP: 10%
    Others: 3%

  7. Dr Taylor will do better than that at the expense of the tories

  8. Not so sure about this one. If Dr Richard Taylor wasn’t standing again, I’d have said Conservative Hold with a huge majority of perhaps up to 8,000 over Labour.
    But Dr Taylor could well poll strongly without actually winning.

    Conservative Hold. 1,500 majority. NHS Action 2nd.

  9. In news about local politics, Fran Oborski, the last Liberal councillor in Wyre Forest, has joined the Liberal Democrats a la Michael Meadowcroft. This will likely lead to the end of Wyre Forest’s Liberal branch within due course.

  10. That will be a big boost to the Lib Dem party locally who will need all the support they can get I suspect.

  11. The was a somewhat bizarre article written by Fran Oborski on Lib Dem voice which complainined about Nick Clegg’s embracing of social mobility. This isn’t the kind of view that the Lib Dems (or any other mainstream political party) should be endorsing. But hey any increase in their local government base must be exciting for the Lib Dems at the present time even if the defector holds a highly illiberal, out of the mainstream belief…

  12. I agree. We need to keep telling the nobodies and losers of Telford, Dudley and Harlow that they really are going somewhere, and that their ‘aspiration’ isn’t misplaced, delusional crap.

  13. Is that referring to the Lib Dems?

  14. Fran Oborski has held a council seat for decades as a Liberal or Lib Dem, so must be doing something right.

  15. The funniest comment I ever read on this forum was courtesy of Tristan, however his seemingly whacky outbursts over the last few days seem to have given his game away.

  16. One suspects that Richard Taylor has probably fought his last battle in Wyre Forest as he will be 86 in 2020..

    The arrival of Fran Oborski has apparently electrified the hitherto sad LibDem crew in the seat.. Shows the mistake of standing down a couple of elections back.

  17. When the declaration for this seat was made, the returning officer only invited the candidates onto the stage to all make speeches after the result itself had been announced-

  18. It’s interesting how there doesn’t seem to be a set procedure. I guess that’s British idiosyncrasy in action.

  19. Indeed. I think it varies widely in a lot of seats but the most common practice is to declare with all candidates onstage and allow most if not all to at least say a few words afterwards.

  20. In some city seats like Haringey and Birmingham they only let the top two or three candidates speak after the result. In country areas they usually let everyone speak, even an Indy who gets 50 votes.

  21. At local elections, normally only the winners get to speak….and in multi member wards usually one victor speaks for all the others. I guess that’s inevitable or election night would get clogged up with hundreds of speeches.

  22. I think it’s only fair that all the candidates should at least be allowed to gather on the stage for the declaration at the very least. I think it’s very unfair on the people who have stood for election concerned when they’re not even allowed on the same stage or the same position as the returning officer when the results are being announced.

  23. Another very close December by-election result.

    Stourport-on-Severn ward By-election (Worc CC):

    Cons 763
    Ind Health Concern 725
    Labour 581
    UKIP 547
    Green 42

    Cons gain.

  24. The parliamentary borough of Kidderminster was abolished in 1918, when a county constituency of Worcestershire with the same name was created. It consisted of the Municipal Borough of Kidderminster, the Urban Districts of Bromsgrove, North Bromsgrove, and Redditch, and the Rural Districts of Bromsgrove and Kidderminster.

    The constituency boundaries were redrawn in 1950, and it now consisted of the Municipal Boroughs of Bewdley and Kidderminster, the Urban District of Stourport-on-Severn, and the Rural Districts of Kidderminster, Martley, and Tenbury.

    The constituency was abolished in 1983; 81.93% of it went to the new constituency of Wyre Forest, and 18.07% to the redrawn Leominster constituency.

  25. MPs for Kidderminster since 1918:

    1918-1922: Eric Knight, Conservative
    1922-1945: John Wardlaw-Milne, Conservative
    1945-1950: Louis Tolley, Labour
    1950-1964: Gerald Nabarro, Conservative
    1964-1974: Tatton Brinton, Conservative
    1974-1987: Esmond Bulmer, Conservative
    1987-1997: Anthony Coombs, Conservative
    1997-2001: David Lock, Labour
    2001-2010: Richard Taylor, Independent
    2010-present: Mark Garnier, Conservative

  26. I think Wyre Forest is an absurd name incidentally. Just call it Kidderminster as Harry has.

  27. District names like Wyre Forest are used so that people outside Kidderminster don’t feel that the constituency is mainly all about the biggest town. I think that’s the reasoning behind it, although it’s a bit of an unconvincing reasons. And there are plenty of seats which still consist of the name of one town like Burton although it includes other places like Uttoxeter.

  28. Is Dr Richard Taylor’s vote here left-leaning or right-leaning? Taylor himself is obviously quite left-leaning, but he first burst through opposing Labour’s policy on the hospital here. My guess is that if he hadn’t run in 2015 you’d have got a result something like CON 52, LAB 25, LD 4.

  29. He’ll also be 86, which is probably the greater consideration.

  30. In response to Maxim Parr-Reid’s comment above about renaming the seat, I suspect that the residents of Stourport would not be very pleased with his proposal. It is after all the 2nd largest town in the constituency : maybe not quite as pretty as Bewdley but about twice the size.

  31. Maxim-The names the MPs are use are even worse! Just keep names simple instead of a. employing those awful district names thst followed the LGA or b. using absurdly long names simply to pander to inhabitants of smaller towns.

  32. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41794625

    I suspect that this is the tip of the iceberg, and that this could be the most damaging episode the House of Commons has had to endure since the expenses scandal.

  33. It seems guido has opened a can of worms. Could be wider than expenses Holyrood looks bad too

  34. I agree that this is almost certainly the tip of the iceberg, shocking as this is I have to say it isn’t really surprising when you look at the composition of Parliament, its stuffed to the gills with sleazy old men and egomaniacs used to getting what they want from life (that applies to people from all parties)

    I’m probably being wildly optimistic but I hope this results in the following…

    1) It puts the lesser cases into context, O’Mara being a tool online years ago and Lewis making a joke is nothing compared to the actual criminal activity that is being talked about openly now.

    2) If we’re lucky this like the expenses scandal will result in a clear out of some of the dead wood in parliament.

    In reality though I expect we’ll see nothing more than an inquiry which won’t report back for several years (by which time most everything will be forgotten) and it’ll recommend some ultimately useless parliamentary regulator. One only has too listen to the silence from the MP’s (from both parties) who had called for O’Mara’s and Lewis’s heads to see how little they ultimately care, as soon as this becomes an embarrassment for all of them it quickly gets hushed up.

  35. “If we’re lucky this like the expenses scandal will result in a clear out of some of the dead wood in parliament.”

    Reminder that Doulgas “Moat” Hogg now sits in the House of Lords…

  36. I suspect OMara, Gove, et al will be remembered as the moment that it all gave way

  37. “Reminder that Doulgas “Moat” Hogg now sits in the House of Lords…”
    Don’t get me started on the Lords

    “I suspect OMara, Gove, et al will be remembered as the moment that it all gave way”
    Quite possibly and indeed this is what I find most irritating, Guido and all those Tory MP’s braying about Lewis and O’Mara have inadvertently revealed a huge scandal within Westminster, yet rather than being proud their suddenly silent, one Tory MP (name escapes me) called for a emergency debate over Clive Lewis’s behaviour (give me strength) yet I hear no calls for an emergency debate re Garnier’s behaviour…the hypocrisy is infuriating cos this blatantly partisan fake outrage over non issues damages genuine progress, they clearly don’t care they were just looking to make a cheap dig at left wing Lab MP’s

  38. RIVERS10 – Totally agree on the partisanship, but it comes as no surprise (after all, it isn’t so long ago that Thatcher allegedly kept details on her ministers for future blackmail, reportedly including “if they’d got mixed up with young boys”). The solution has to be a proper, non-partisan body with the teeth to investigate all claims correctly. I actually think that some of those MPs in the 36 would welcome that; I suspect that an MP who has had an affair with an assistant would welcome an independent arbitration which could differentiate between that and criminal wrongdoing. There is a risk that infidelities or normal, non-abusive romantic advances could be just swept up in a big pile with genuine abusers. The dangers of “The Equivalence Of Sin”!

  39. Its good really. Guido may have been committing to the public assassination of Labour MPs but opening the lid on this has revealed a great deal

  40. Ecowirral

    The former Tory whip’s famous comments about young boys referred to the Heath govt of the early 70s, as I suspect you know already. So much for not being partisan 🙂 The whip in question had left parliament before Thatcher became PM. Viewed in light of what has subsequently been alleged about Heath himself however, the comments now seem even more sinister.

  41. Two points.

    1: the allegations against Tory MPs have mostly come from right-wing papers, the Sun in particular is sitting on a lot of names (and probably is only withholding them for legal reasons). The financial incentive of the year’s biggest scoop would overrule any partisan bias.

    2: the source of this contagion is pretty obviously the Weinstein scandal. The O’Mara stuff is small beer, really.

  42. H.HEMMELIG – Sorry if I’ve made an error.,..I thought the whip in question was around for both leaders, but I may have been wrong. There was definitely reference to Thatcher holding information which may be damaging. I agree about Heath- it does make you wonder how these “weaknesses” were discovered!

    Just to balance it up (a tiny bit) I’d be interested to know whether Simon Danczuk got up to anything unpleasant in Westminster. Given the rumours about his behaviour in Rochdale, one might be excused for wondering if his humiliation in June might have been the kindest outcome for him in the long-run

  43. After quickly looking up a few things, it looks like I may have conflated two scandals. There was evidence that Thatcher knew about Cyril Smith, yet approved his knighthood, and that she protected a senior civil servant who was linked to a paedophile ring, and that the quote was indeed from Heath’s govt.

  44. Thatcher’s PPS Peter Morrison was also widely known as a paedophile. We can’t prove that the Lady herself knew but Edwina Currie, Alan Clark and Norman Tebbit all wrote about his activities with boys in their diaries.

  45. Tebbit, to his credit, got Morrison sacked as his deputy in 1986 when he was party chairman, almost certainly for this reason, but Morrison wheedled his way back into Thatcher’s affections and got a ministerial job after the 87 election.

  46. Morrison wasn’t just a dirty old pervert. He was also an alcoholic, and by the end of his career, spectacularly useless. Why Thatcher appointed him as her PPS and entrusted him to run her re-election campaign (if you can call that crappy effort that) is a mystery. Such poor judgement makes it perfectly clear that it was the right time for the old girl to go.

  47. HH is right.

    In fact most of the names I’ve heard – of historic offenders – are of the wealthy Wet variety rather than from the Thatcherite wing (even if that might disappoint EcoWirral), but that was the intake of Tory MPs in the ’70s. Morrison is also named by 3 former MPs as the Member who assisted [allegedly by a call to Leon Brittan] the ex-Bootle Labour MP in returning from Cold War Berlin after his arrest in a gay sex dungeon below a bar that had been raided by police.

    I’ve just seen the current (lesser) unredacted list which Guido is reporting on. I can’t say that any surprise me, especially not the 2 Tory MPs who are ‘often drunk and inappropriate with male researchers’ as I think it referred to one.

    Indeed the other reference to 10% of MPs misbehaving is if anything an understatement and yes, the Whips did have a black book, even if today it’s more likely kept in digital form.

  48. Incidentally, I don’t yet get the sense that this story has ‘legs’ in the same way I knew the expenses’ scandal would have.

    It may be ‘cos Guido gave the Sun an exclusive, but of tomorrow’s papers, most don’t run with it on their front pages and even those who do share it with another story:

    Telegraph, Sun & Times – MPs sex pest scandal & Spacey

    Express & Mirror – Royals

    Mail – Spacey sex scandal

    Guardian & the i – Trump

    Star – Corrie star sex scandal

    [Contrast that with the 1990s, when Tim Yeo or Ron Davies were on 10 front pages for a week]

    As Alex Salmond pointed out on ‘After the News’, the problem in 99% of cases isn’t criminality – it’s a breach of employment law, but that there’s no HR dept for researchers or SpAds to complain to, as the MP is their employer and no-one employs MPs (other than the electorate who can’t recall them).

  49. What might anger the more naïve members of the public is the idea that instead of dealing with poor behaviour, this stuff is used to strong arm MPs into voting in such a way (say it ain’t so!) That ties it into the actual process of governing.

  50. this, from Hawthorn.

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)