The UKPollingReport election guide for 2010 has now been archived and all comments will shortly be closed. The new Election Guide for the 2015 election is now online at http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/2015guide. The old site is archived at the UK Web Archive.
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Corby

2010 Results:
Conservative: 22886 (42.2%)
Labour: 20991 (38.7%)
Liberal Democrat: 7834 (14.44%)
BNP: 2525 (4.66%)
Majority: 1895 (3.5%)

2005 Results:
Labour: 20913 (43.1%)
Conservative: 19396 (40%)
Liberal Democrat: 6184 (12.7%)
Other: 2034 (4.2%)
Majority: 1517 (3.1%)

2001 Result
Conservative: 17583 (37.2%)
Labour: 23283 (49.3%)
Liberal Democrat: 4751 (10.1%)
UKIP: 855 (1.8%)
Other: 750 (1.6%)
Majority: 5700 (12.1%)

1997 Result
Conservative: 18028 (33.4%)
Labour: 29888 (55.4%)
Liberal Democrat: 4045 (7.5%)
Referendum: 1356 (2.5%)
Other: 640 (1.2%)
Majority: 11860 (22%)

No Boundary Changes:

Profile: Corby grew from a small village to become a medium-sized industrial town in the 1930s after the development of the steel industry in the area. Large numbers of workers were brought down from Scotland. After the war it became a designated newtown and again there was a large amount of Scottish immigration leading to the image of Corby as being a small island of Scottish industrialism in the middle of the English countryside – the 2001 census found almost 20% of people in Corby itself were born in Scotland. In the 1980s the steel works closed leading to massive unemployment in the area, though since then the economy has largely recovered.

Until recently it is one of the largest towns in the country without a railway station, with train company Midland Mainline instead running a half-hourly bus service to Kettering station.

The constituency of Corby includes not only Corby itself and the local authority of Corby, but also the majority of the largely rural East Northamptonshire council, including Thrapston and the market town of Oundle, best known for its public school. While Corby itself tends to vote Labour, the now solidly Tory East Northamptonshire makes the constituency a close marginal.

portraitCurrent MP: Louise Bagshawe (Conservative) educated at Woldingham School and Oxford University. Author.

2010 election candidates:
portraitLouise Bagshawe (Conservative) educated at Woldingham School and Oxford University. Author.
portraitPhil Hope(Labour) born 1955, London. Educated at Wandsworth comprehensive and Exeter University. Former teacher and management consultant. Kettering councillor from 1983-1987. Northamptonshire County councillor from 1993-1997. Contested Kettering 1992. First elected as MP for Corby in 1997. PPS to Nick Raynsford 1999-2001, PPS to John Prescott 2001-2003. Parliamentary under-secretary in the office of the DPM 2003-2005. Under-secretary in the department of education 2005-2007 and in the Cabinet Office since 2007. In 2007 he underwent successful chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin`s lymphoma (more information at They work for you)
portraitPortia Wilson (Liberal Democrat) Staff nurse. Northampton councillor since 2007.
portraitRoy Davies (BNP)

2001 Census Demographics

Total 2001 Population: 97186
Male: 49.2%
Female: 50.8%
Under 18: 24.8%
Over 60: 19.3%
Born outside UK: 5%
White: 98.4%
Black: 0.2%
Asian: 0.5%
Mixed: 0.6%
Other: 0.3%
Christian: 72.1%
Full time students: 1.8%
Graduates 16-74: 13.6%
No Qualifications 16-74: 33.2%
Owner-Occupied: 68.2%
Social Housing: 23.5% (Council: 17.3%, Housing Ass.: 6.2%)
Privately Rented: 5%
Homes without central heating and/or private bathroom: 4.4%

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

838 Responses to “Corby”

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  1. We nearly ended up with her in Battersea (she was beaten in the selection by Jane Ellison). Would she have cleared off from there too? Presumably would also have been a certain Labour gain in a by-election: Thamesfield, which was the safest Tory ward in Wandsworth, was only narrowly held when Eddie Lister went off to work for Boris. I don’t think I’d have enjoyed campaigning much. Secondly, a lot has been made of Corby being a bellwether seat. This by-election has removed that characteristic from it in my view. Andy Sawford will surely get a boost in 2015: look at Ribble Valley. Won by David Waddington with a massive majority in 1987 (about 20,000), then lost to the Lib Dems. It was regained in 1992, but only by about 6,500.

  2. I was trying to say that Labour could easily hold Corby but not win the next General Election. Not that I think that will particularly worry them unless things turn around very quickly.

  3. With regard to the Libdems – the interesting fact is that the Tories won a lot of marginals from Labour last time. Not enough to give them a majority, and the problem they have is that some formerly marginal seats aren’t really marginal any more . So, of the 40 target seats for the Tories next time, 20 of them are held by the Libdems.

    I have my doubts as to whether they will get 16%. It will depend how many of them decide not to vote Tory. I think left-leaning Libdems will vote Labour,

    The Tories problem is that they remain very strong in their heartlands but there aren’t any more seats they can win there other than from the Libdems

  4. Labour did do well in the Thamesfield by-election, as they subsequently did in Southfields too, but were about 400 short of winning, quite a wide margin really. I looked at the 2010 local election results & thought that Wandsworth Common seemed to be the safest Tory ward of the lot. Having said that, there were, and are, a LOT of safe Tory wards in the Borough.
    LBernard – yes it’s true she could have sought another seat. It did occur to me that she may not have realised what a large rural element there is in this seat. However, I may be doing her a serious injustice. I know that most contributors here will be happy enough about almost any injustice caused to Mrs Mensch!
    Re Robin, I think it’s perfectly possible that Labour could be outpolled by the Tories in 2015, but I don’t see significant defections direct from Labour to the Tories as all that likely. Labour were very close to their core, minimum vote in 2010. I still tend to think that Labour as the narrowly largest party in a hung parliament is more likely than any other single scenario; but it’s still too early to be confident about forecasts. Let’s see how the economy performs.

  5. “Secondly, a lot has been made of Corby being a bellwether seat. This by-election has removed that characteristic from it in my view.”

    To be fair most of the talk of this being a bellwether seat was by Labour with a bit of the BBC dutifully parotting the Labour spin. The fact is this does not really fit the bill as a bellwether seat. It does happen that it has gone with the party which formed the government at each election since it was created, but that is only because, with the exception of the last election they have all been very clear victories for one party or the other. It was notionally a Labour seat in 1979 and Labour could have won it in 1983 and 1987 without coming close to depriving the Conservatives of an overall majority. Even in 1992 it was so close (0.6% Tory lead against 7.5% nationally) that despite the fairly small overall Conservative majority, they could have lost Corby and still won a majority. In 1997 Labour’s lead was 10% higher than their national lead. Only in 2001 and 2005 did the difference between the two parties approximate to the difference nationally and that was almost entirely a result of differential turnout.
    It is difficult to be sure in the absence of concurrent local elections in 2010, but it seems likely that the differential was reduced a bit then leading to another result in which the Tory lead locally was considerably smaller than nationally. Certainly it is now true that technically this is a seat the Conservatives need to win in order to win a majority (since they won it without even winning a majority) which was not the case in the 1980s. Nevertheless on the basis of the 2010 result it remains a seat which would be Labour in an even year, whether that is measured in votes or seats.

  6. Interesting fallacy. Just because a seat is won by the winning party doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a true bellweather as Pete says.

  7. Yes I agree that it’s an excellent analysis. Any seat which differs to such an extent from a national norm can’t be described as a true bellwether,

  8. I also agree with Pete. It might have more swing voters than it used to in corby itself though but it is not a bellwhether. Elmet and rothwell is another divided seat but there are a lot of swinhg voters aswell

  9. depends what we mean by bellwether, if we’re talking about somewhere that would represent a bare overall Labour majority at the current time/this parliament , then somewhere like High Peak would fit the bill.

    I personally expect Bingham to retain that seat by 2.5% in 2015 (in the context of Labour falling 15 seats short of a majority nationally in 2015).

    I agree that Corby would probably have been very narrowly gained by Sawford without a by election in 2015 anyway so is not a bellwether in that respect.

  10. “LBernard – yes it’s true she could have sought another seat. It did occur to me that she may not have realised what a large rural element there is in this seat”

    I do think there may be some truth in that comment Barnaby. I still think she done well to win Corby in the first place but I am doubtful that this is a seat we will win back, unless the national situation moves in the Tories favour. I’m very much with A Cairns that Sawford will just about hold on in 2015.

    I tend to agree with most that I am quietly predicting a hung parliament in 2015 with Labour being the largest party. This may change in the coming 2.5 years with one party looking more like winning than the other. The Tories will need to pinch the SW seats from the Lib Dems if we are to win however.

    What I will say about this by-election is that it shows that there is still hope for the Tories, not everyone gave up on the government in Corby which is a small positive for us.

    An excellent post upstream by Pete.

  11. To add a bit more to the above analysis, I note that on Anthony’s list of Labour target seats from 2010, Corby is number 27. The list up to that number includes three LD and one Green seat so it is number 23 of Conservative held seats. If Labour were to win all the seats on the list up to and including Corby but none of the seats beyond that they would have 285 seats and the Conservatives would have 284.
    Obviously if the Conservatives held Corby but lost the 22 higher up the list then the figure would be reversed so in that sense it is a bellweather (THE bellweather indeed) in terms of which party is the largest in seats. But of course that scenario implies a swing from Conservative to Labour of 1.7-1.8% which would mean the Conservatives were clearly ahead in the national popular vote by about 3.5%

  12. It also presumes that there will be no Con-LD swing.

  13. @ LBERNARD

    I think you’re wrong in predicting Labour the largest party in a hung parliament. We are in the mid-term of the current parliament – in all probability at the absolute ‘nadir’ of the government’s fortunes – and yet in the latest YouGov poll David Cameron leads Ed Miliband by a 33% vs. 25% margin in terms of who will make the best Prime Minister. Believe me, that sort of measurement will be for more of a factor come the big day.

    Why do people insist on ignoring the lessons of historical precedent? Throughout most of 2008 – the ‘nadir’ or Gordon Brown’s government – the Conservatives consistently polled 45% in voting intention surveys, against 25% for Labour. One person on this blog used this to predict that Labour would not be able to get above 26% come the general election: they in fact did signifcantly better than that. So, too, the Conservatives will do much better than you are currently predicting. That is the inevitable consequence of the ‘swing back’ which occurs in favour of any governing party.

    Try and take a step back and look at the facts: the 10% currently enjoyed by UKIP will mostly fold into the Tory vote come 2015. The Conservatives are a properly established party with thriving branches throughout the UK, whereas UKIP are a protest vote. If eight of UKIP’s current ten percentage points fold back into the Tory share that alone will give them a net 4% ‘swing-back’ against Labour, and that’s before taking into account the likely return of some current Labour supporters into the Conservative fold.

    The only question for the next general election is whether or not Labour can do well enough to prevent the Tories obtaining an overall majority. With a likely fall in the number of Lib Dem seats, that’s going to be a struggle.

    The day after the next election I’m going to embarrass some of you by re-printing the posts you made during this mid-term.
    (No offence).

    Trust me, it’s going to be Election Night ’92 all over again.

  14. ‘Try and take a step back and look at the facts: the 10% currently enjoyed by UKIP will mostly fold into the Tory vote come 2015. ‘

    I have to say I agree with the Hood

    The only question really is will it be enough to win the Tories a majority – and i susoect they’ll probably just fall short

    For this to happen, the LD’s need to make a slight recovery to at least 15%, and the UKIP vote does need to return home – but I believe it will

  15. “think you’re wrong in predicting Labour the largest party in a hung parliament. We are in the mid-term of the current parliament”

    I’m just guessing Robin Hood. I’m not saying that will happen but I’m just taking a punt. Of course things can change, which is what I went on to say…

    …”This may change in the coming 2.5 years with one party looking more like winning than the other”…

    By no means am I saying that Labour will hands down win in 2015. It’s too early to be certain. I haven’t even thought about the effect of UKIP. I’m waiting until the Euro elections before I cast assumptions about how well they’ll do in 2015.

  16. I think its a given they will do well in that. It’ll most likely be a 3 way fight for first place given that its a very tory issue.

  17. If the Tories couldn’t get a majority in 2010, I doubt whether they will be able to in 2015. Simply because the bulk of the LD vote where it matters – the northern and midlands marginals – is very likely to go to Labour.

    It will also make a difference as to whether the LD’s can hold on to seats won because of strong personal votes or incumbency, and that’s very hard to predict.

    However, Labour may not win enough additional seats to get a majority either.

  18. I think that’s a fair point Mike but under these provisos – economic recovery (and the coalition will argue that the economy is now stronger even if it’s not), slight Lib Dem recovery and UKIP voters going back to Tories in the general election

    Another key factor is whether the Tories can actually get the revised boundaries through – and with the support of a few monority parties there has been speculation they might just do that

    If that happens I think it will be very difficult for Labour

  19. “Another key factor is whether the Tories can actually get the revised boundaries through – and with the support of a few monority parties there has been speculation they might just do that”

    Oh gawd.

    We’ve just had the “why don’t the Tories get many votes in Liverpool” discussion again for the 426th time. And now our old favourite, the “new boundaries” discussion is making its umpteenth re-appearance. There are more repeats on this site at the moment than on UK GOLD.

    For the millionth time, the new boundaries are as dead as Monty Python’s parrot. Cameron needed the Lib Dems to vote for them because he knows that 20 or so backbenchers on his own side, including Mrs Dorries, would find an excuse to vote against for selfish reasons. In the unlikely event he could bribe all the minor parties to back the new boundaries, he still can’t get past that obstacle.

  20. Robin Hood

    Where all your theories of historical swingback fall down is that none of them refer to a coalition government which began due to the majority party being way short of being able to govern on its own.

    Even if the polls “swing back” all the way to 2010, they will only return us to a state of hung parliament with no clear winner. If Labour win 10-20 seats from each of the Tories and the Lib Dems it will be enough for them to form a Lib-Lab coalition. That will be pretty easy for them even if the Tories are 3-4% ahead in the national vote.

  21. “We’ve just had the “why don’t the Tories get many votes in Liverpool” discussion again for the 426th time. And now our old favourite, the “new boundaries” discussion is making its umpteenth re-appearance. There are more repeats on this site at the moment than on UK GOLD.”

    Unfortunately, as I have said before (appropriate in a posting about repeats no doubt) inbetween elections there is little new to discuss. We continually go over the same ground again and again and again for those who were not listening the first time.
    So long as general partisan political discussion is still officially barred on the site (although Anthony seems to have gone AWOL for the past 6 months or so) there is going to be nothing new to say for much of the next year.

  22. Hi Shaun.

    We have missed you.

  23. “Unfortunately, as I have said before (appropriate in a posting about repeats no doubt) inbetween elections there is little new to discuss. We continually go over the same ground again and again and again for those who were not listening the first time.”

    I could accept that argument if it weren’t for the fact that it is mostly the people who started those discussions the first time – yes you Tim Jones – who insist on re-starting them and going back over the same old tired ground.

    There’s quite a lot to discuss right now with a myriad of by-elections, and the police commissioner elections to digest. For example nobody has thought to have a discussion on why the Tories might have done much better than expected in those elections. That would be so much more interesting than all these tired repeats. I suspect this is why many of the veteran posters including your good self are increasingly giving the site a miss these days.

  24. ‘I could accept that argument if it weren’t for the fact that it is mostly the people who started those discussions the first time – yes you Tim Jones – who insist on re-starting them and going back over the same old tired ground.’

    It you object to them so much why bother replying at all – given that you are one of the posters who knows quite a lot about such things and thus has something to say – which I generally find informative

    As much as I might disagree with Shaun’s views he at least keeps this site interersting and makes it worth visiting, which it wouldn’t be in my opinion if we just limited ourselves to making non-subjective comments about the constituencies themselves

    Besides I make these points because I don’t agree with the conclusions reached by the other contributors – but if I’m not ‘allowed’ to do that by the self-proclaimed ‘rulers’ on this site (and I don’t mean Anthony) then fine.

    I recognise some people don’t like being challenged

  25. Now everyone has had a moan lets get back to the important stuff…

    Why are the Tories performing so badly in Liverpool?

  26. LOL that has got to be a joke LBernard surely after the lengthy discussion we’ve been having since Friday on that very subject on Liverpool Wavertree! Talk about sarcasm! Unless you’re being serious?

  27. I think that was the joke :P

  28. HH – the boundary changes might go through afterall
    from what I have heard – although agree with you that the arithmetic is challenging.
    The new draft isn’t as bad for the Libs.

  29. 2015

    Conservative: 23115
    Labour: 23081
    UKIP: 2088
    Ind Scot Nat: 1778
    English Dem: 1721
    Liberal Democrat: 1716

  30. The proportion of people in Corby borough born in Scotland had declined to 12.7% in 2011 from nearly 20% in 2001

  31. This is one of the constituencies with a 10+% increase in JSA Claimants compared to November 2011. And unlike many other seatswith such increase, it doesn’t fit into a geographical pattern (Northern Ireland, North East, South Wales).

  32. Last summer, during a discussion of white working class seats, I promised to post some data once the census had been published. Now ward and constituency data hasn’t been published yet, but local authority data has, and outside the big cities and the new unitaries, there is a reasonable congruence. I therefore think it would be of interest to post this data now. It is for England & Wales only.

    Working class is measured in the traditional way as SES categories 5-7. I have recalculated the percentages to exclude those that ONS is unable to classify (never worked etc). I have classified areas with more than 40% in these groups as working class. For ethnicity I have looked at the percentage white both including and excluding “other white” (as distinct from British & Irish). The other white figure is quite small generally except in Eastern England. A district is counted as white if it has a white percentage of over 95%.

    I can’t remember where the original discussion was, but I have posted this on Corby, as it is the most working class local authority in England & Wales (55%).

    Since UK Polling Report doesn’t do tables I will give lists instead. All in order of percentage working class.

    Over 50% working class and 95% UK & Irish

    Blaenau Gwent, NE Lincolnshire (Grimsby)

    45-50% working class and 95% UK & Irish

    Bolsover, Ashfield, Neath Port Talbot, Barrow, Redcar & Cleveland, Torfaen, Hartlepool, Barnsley, Copeland, Caerphilly, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Halton, Waveney, Sunderland, Allerdale (Workington), S Tyneside, Tamworth.

    Over 45% working class and 95% white (% other in brackets)

    Corby (9.1%), Boston (12.5%), Merthyr Tydfil (2.7%), Mansfield (3.5%), Yarmouth (3.6%), North Lincolnshire (Scunthorpe) (3.2%), Doncaster (2.8%), Fenland (5.9%), South Holland (7.3%), Wakefield (2.3%).

    40-45% working class and 95% UK & Irish

    Durham (county), Carlisle, Knowsley, Cannock Chase, Bridgend, Wigan, St Helens, Flintshire, East Lindsey, Chesterfield, Scarborough, Amber Valley, Erewash, Tendring (Harwich & Clacton), North Warwickshire, Sedgemoor (Bridgwater), Wyre Forest, Newark & Sherwood, Pembrokeshire, Weymouth & Portland, NW Leicestershire, Torbay, Carmarthenshire.

    40-45% working class and 95% white (% other in brackets)

    Bassetlaw (2.4%), Wrexham (3.4%), Lincoln (5.3%), Gateshead (1.9%), Breckland (5.6%), Blackpool (2.1%), Kings Lynn/West Norfolk (4.5%), Plymouth (2.7%), Gosport (1.6%).

  33. I would comment that there are few areas in the south here (Weymouth is a rare exception) but quite a lot in the east, including semi-rural areas. This replicates the original list to some extent, and marks out a distinctive feature of England’s social geography. These areas also have much higher numbers of non-British white people – we assume mostly rural workers from Eastern Europe. The caricature is of Lithuanian potato pickers in Boston (second most working class local authority). The biggest surprise to me in this list is Torbay!

  34. Paignton is very working-class IIRC.

  35. I think Oundle was in Wellingborough from 1974 to 1983 and Peterborough before that

  36. Paignton is indeed quite ‘tacky’ but I too am surprised that Torbay is on that list – I had been told that quite a few working class pensioners from the NBorth chose to retire there but I’m not sure how true that is

    The fact that about half of the seats that make up those towns.areas are Tory shows how less class-based British politics is nowadays

  37. Paignton is indeed quite ‘tacky’ but I too am surprised that Torbay is on that list – I had been told that quite a few working class pensioners from the North chose to retire there but I’m not sure how true that is

    The fact that about half of the seats that make up those towns.areas are Tory shows how less class-based British politics is nowadays

  38. Paignton is more ordinary yes,
    although the bay is attractive.

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