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Ashfield

2010 Results:
Conservative: 10698 (22.2%)
Labour: 16239 (33.69%)
Liberal Democrat: 16047 (33.3%)
BNP: 2781 (5.77%)
UKIP: 933 (1.94%)
English Democrat: 1102 (2.29%)
Independent: 396 (0.82%)
Majority: 192 (0.39%)

Notional 2005 Results:
Labour: 20656 (48.5%)
Conservative: 10414 (24.5%)
Liberal Democrat: 5903 (13.9%)
Other: 5607 (13.2%)
Majority: 10242 (24.1%)

Actual 2005 result
Conservative: 10220 (24.3%)
Labour: 20433 (48.6%)
Liberal Democrat: 5829 (13.9%)
Other: 5569 (13.2%)
Majority: 10213 (24.3%)

2001 Result
Conservative: 9607 (24.4%)
Labour: 22875 (58.1%)
Liberal Democrat: 4428 (11.3%)
Other: 2440 (6.2%)
Majority: 13268 (33.7%)

1997 Result
Conservative: 10251 (20.3%)
Labour: 32979 (65.2%)
Liberal Democrat: 4882 (9.6%)
Referendum: 1896 (3.7%)
Other: 595 (1.2%)
Majority: 22728 (44.9%)

Boundary changes:

Profile: Ashfield is a former mining consituency in West Nottinghamshire. The area was aligned with the Union of Democratic Mineworkers during the 1980s miners` strike, and became more marginal during the mid-80s (it had briefly been held by the Conservatives after a 1977 by-election), but after the closure of the mines it became a safe Labour seat. The seat covers three main towns, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Kirkby in Ashfield and Eastwood.

Ashfield council was totally dominated by Labour until 2004 when a strong independent group took almost half the seats. However, despite backing from Martin Bell, an the independent candidate at the 2005 election failed to make any significant impact.

portraitCurrent MP: Gloria De Piero (Labour) Born 1972, Bradford. Educated at Yorkshire Martyrs Catholic College and University of Central England. Former political correspondent for GMTV.

2010 election candidates:
portraitGarry Hickton (Conservative) Warehouse manager. Derbyshire county councillor since 2009. Erewash councillor.
portraitGloria De Piero (Labour) Born 1972, Bradford. Educated at Yorkshire Martyrs Catholic College and University of Central England. Former political correspondent for GMTV.
portraitJason Zadrozny (Liberal Democrat) born 1980, Ashfield. Comunity centre manager. Ashfield councillor. Leader of Ashfield council.
portraitTerry Coleman (UKIP)
portraitEdward Holmes (BNP) Former Ashfield councillor for Labour.
portraitTony Ellis (English Democrat)
portraitEddie Smith (Independent)

2001 Census Demographics

Total 2001 Population: 96691
Male: 48.7%
Female: 51.3%
Under 18: 22.6%
Over 60: 21.2%
Born outside UK: 1.7%
White: 99%
Black: 0.2%
Asian: 0.3%
Mixed: 0.4%
Other: 0.2%
Christian: 72.9%
Full time students: 2%
Graduates 16-74: 8.6%
No Qualifications 16-74: 40.8%
Owner-Occupied: 71.9%
Social Housing: 19.2% (Council: 16.6%, Housing Ass.: 2.7%)
Privately Rented: 5.8%
Homes without central heating and/or private bathroom: 3.9%

NB - The constituency guide is now archived and is no longer being updated. The new guide is at http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/2015guide

320 Responses to “Ashfield”

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  1. Agree with both of the above posts, although unlike in neighbouring Lincolnshire, Labour did gain Newark in 97′ and would probably have held it until 2005 or 2010 if not for the expenses scandall – which led to the tragic and premature death of ex-Labour MP Fiona Jones

    Rushcliffe seemed like a contrasting area to the rest of the county, the way places like Solihul, Aldridge or Sutton Coldfield contrast to the rest of the West Midlands

    The only town I saw in Bassetlaw was Worksop which didn’t seem particuarly nice

    The Tories did considerably better in Derbyshire than Nottinghamshire at the last election and a quck visit to the two counties gives an indication as to why

  2. Newark town is similar to Lincoln (although a lot smaller), with some nice bits and some rough bits, and is still quite competitive between Con and Lab. The surrounding countryside makes up quite a lot of the constituency, and like the Lincolnshire countryside it has become much more Conservative with Labour now almost invisible.

    Hard to say for sure but I don’t think Labour would have held Newark in 2005 had Fiona Jones not been under the cloud of scandal (but I agree probably she would have held in 2001).

    Worksop isn’t a pretty town but it has not lingered in depression like Mansfield and the Ashfield towns, and the Conservatives are more competitive there.

    Derbyshire is less varied politically than Notts. It has a lot more standard Con-Lab swing territory.

  3. a very sad case.
    I think she might have been innocent of it,
    and it drove her to drink, from which she died a few years later.

    I would have guessed the Tories would have got it back in 2005 though, although they might have had to wait the whole 13 years.

    I agree Bassetlaw seems to be the hardest one to tell. But Labour must be pretty safe for the time being given the result even this time.

  4. Interesting posts. I’d point out to Tim that the Bosworth seat which was held by Labour as he correctly says from 1945 to 1970 (if one can call Woodrow Wyatt Labour!) was very different from the one which exists today; the existing seat has hardly any past connection with mining, all the coalfield area of it having helped to form NW Leicestershire in 1983. Having said that Labour had already gone into a substantial disadvantage in the seat before these boundary changes took place. Nowadays only Earl Shilton within that constituency is usually a competitive area for Labour, though in my party’s landslide years we must have been at least close to level in Hinckley too. NW Leicestershire contains virtually all the old Leics coalfield, taken from both the former Bosworth & Loughborough constituencies, though it still has areas which were outside that coalfield within its boundaries which have helped the Conservatives to win it when leading nationally.

  5. I walked around Eastwood recently and thought it was quite a nice town actually – not grotty at all. I was visiting the DH Lawrence museum.

  6. One thing I noticed about the north part of Nottingham is very large pubs, built in the 1930s.
    These can also be found in parts of Metroland in London, and in NE London, but did see a lot of them in what would be Gedling constituency.

    I don’t know whether this is the case in Ashfield though.

  7. Visited my parents in Ashfield last weekend.

    The Lib Dems leafleted the constituency the other day. Seems like they are pushing hard in Ashfield for the local elections, given that my parents live in a safe Labour ward yet have still been leafletted. They presumably are pushing even harder in their more winnable wards.

    The Lib Dem leaflet was the usual disingenuous, misleading rubbish. The traditional bar chart in the top right corner, with the last general election result shown but not labelled, “it’s so close between Lib Dems and Labour”, and “the Tories can’t win here”, despite for the local elections this being a safe Labour ward with the Libs miles behind.

    It does show, though, that the Lib Dems are still beavering away in what has become relatively hostile territory for them, with the cuts. Labour have not done much work here despite being run very close last May.

  8. Not a surprise that Labour comfortably won back control of the council here.

    Result was Lab 24 (+15), LD 6 (-7), Ind 3 (-7), Con 0 (-1)

    The Lib Dems did quite well to hold on to half their seats, given what happened to them elsewhere in the north/midlands. Ashfield is not naturally the kind of area where you would expect Lib Dems to do well.

    The Independent vote collapsed more than the Lib Dems. The Tories lost their sole seat on the council in Hucknall (Sherwood constituency) to Labour.

    This will revert to being a safe Labour seat at the next election but despite a hard knock the Lib Dems remain the main opposition locally.

    Also noteworthy is the disappearance of the BNP here, in what had been one of their strongest areas, especially in terms of membership.

  9. It was a damp squib for Miliband definitely (but not a disaster) and a good result for the tories in england and Wales.

    Too many constitutional unknowns to predict the future though. If it was going to be a rout for Labour in Scotland, I am actually pleased the SNP got a majority in Scotland because Salmond can no longer dodge responsibility.

    AV defeated but perhaps the tories will wake up to the West Lothian Question now.

  10. HH, Labour did quite well in the East Midlands. As well as gaining Ashfield, they also gained Chesterfield and Gedling on huge swings and increased their majorities in Nottingham and North East Derbyshire.

    A Brown, it certainly wasn’t a fantastic night for Labour (our diabolical performance in Scotland saw to that) but it was always unrealistic for Labour to have a big comeback after the defeat we suffered 12 months ago even with the policies of the coalition. Gaining over 800 seats in the English council elections and just about managing enough gains to control the Welsh Assembly is nothing to sniff about. We made progress but are still far from ready to return to power nationally.

  11. High Peak was a good result for labour definitely. Of course I’d expect the tories to hold it by 1500+ due to boundary changes but it’s still competitive.

  12. The LD threat looks like it’s gone here
    but never assume.

  13. “One thing I noticed about the north part of Nottingham is very large pubs, built in the 1930s.
    These can also be found in parts of Metroland in London, and in NE London, but did see a lot of them in what would be Gedling constituency.”

    They do seem to be common in suburban sprawls everywhere. Even in new developments they’re still getting built but more now for eating purposes than drinking.

    Personally I don’t like them as they feel a bit soulless to me. I prefer traditional town centre or village pubs.

  14. I find them soulless aswell,
    and prefer your taste,
    and ales.

    I do think they serve a purpose when there is a match on as they can deal with the crush.

    I certainly wouldn’t eat in them – you need a traditional pub for that.
    There’s a large Metro pub in Twickenham which is quite good when the rugby is on, but the food looks horrible – just warming up and down.

  15. There are nice pubs in Georgian and Victorian suburbs.

    But I’m struggling to think of any 20C pub that is among my favourites.

    I’m getting to have more and more of a down on metroland suburban sprawl.

    The 19C had better parks as well.

  16. Ashfield 2015 most likely:

    Lab 45
    LD 22
    Con 19
    UKIP 8
    Others 6

  17. I actually think that if the candidate changes i.e. if Jason Zadrozny doesn’t stand in 2015, then I think the Lib Dem vote could fall even steeper. This may sound fantastical, but maybe something like 20%- Even in that instance, they would still only fall to 0.3% below their 2005 result- So I would say that in all eventuality the Lib Dems are still guaranteed of having a vote share above their 1992, 1997 and 2001 levels largely because of the after-effects of Zadrozny’s large personal vote that was never there before, if only at local council level in Ashfield.

  18. The Lib dems still polled around 26% here in May 2011.

    I think Merthyr Tydfil will have the biggest % drop in the LD vote in 2015 (where I can see them falling as much as 18-20 points where they were completely wiped out at local level).

  19. There will be several seats at the next election where the Lib Dem vote will more than collapse, but perhaps come near to disintegrating. RE Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney yes I agree, but there will be others like Rochdale and Chesterfield where the Lib Dems lost last time out to Labour against the national trend. If any Lib Dem MPs retire in 2015, the same 15-20% decrease may well kick in.

  20. Beaver By-election 28.02.13 result: Labour 296 (-2%), Cons 158 (-9%), UKIP 155 (+19%), Ashford Inds 85 (-2%), LibDem 79 (-10%), Ind 34 (+4%), Green 19 (no change).

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