2015 Result:
Conservative: 21026 (46.6%)
Labour: 13133 (29.1%)
Lib Dem: 1346 (3%)
Green: 1013 (2.2%)
UKIP: 8356 (18.5%)
TUSC: 215 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 7893 (17.5%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: Yorkshire and the Humber, Humberside. Part of the North East Lincolnshire council area and two wards from the North Lincolnshire council area.

Main population centres: Cleethorpes, Immingham, Barton-on-Humber.

Profile: A slightly misleadingly named seat - it includes Cleethorpes, the seaside town to the south of Grimsby, but most of the seat is made up of territory north of Grimsby, curling round the southern bank of the Humber estuary to include the port of Immingham and Barton-on-Humber, the town that stands at the southern end of the Humber bridge. The seat includes two huge oil refineries just north of Immingham and Humberside airport near the village of Kirmingham.

Politics: A Conservative-Labour marginal, Cleethorpes was won by Labour on its creation in 1997 and taken by the Conservatives in 2010.

Current MP
MARTIN VICKERS (Conservative) Born 1950, Cleethorpes. Educated at Havelock School and Lincoln University. Former constituency agent for Edward Leigh. Former North East Lincolnshire councillor. Contested Cleethorpes 2005. First elected as MP for Cleethorpes in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 18939 (42%)
Lab: 14641 (33%)
LDem: 8192 (18%)
UKIP: 3194 (7%)
MAJ: 4298 (10%)
Con: 16247 (37%)
Lab: 18889 (43%)
LDem: 6437 (15%)
UKIP: 2016 (5%)
MAJ: 2642 (6%)
Con: 15412 (36%)
Lab: 21032 (50%)
LDem: 5080 (12%)
UKIP: 894 (2%)
MAJ: 5620 (13%)
Con: 16882 (33%)
Lab: 26058 (52%)
LDem: 5746 (11%)
MAJ: 9176 (18%)

2015 Candidates
MARTIN VICKERS (Conservative) See above.
PETER KEITH (Labour) Born Belfast. Sales director. Married to former MP Shona McIsaac.
ROY HOROBIN (Liberal Democrat) Teacher.
STEPHEN HARNESS (UKIP) North East Lincolnshire councillor since 2014. Contested Cleethorpes 2010.
CAROL THORNTON (Green) Educated at King Edward VII Community College. Rural Development Worker.
MALCOLM MORLAND (TUSC) Born Cleethorpes. Retired lecturer and social worker.
Comments - 129 Responses on “Cleethorpes”
  1. Although it was widely perceived before 2010 that Ian Cawsey was doing a better job as Labour MP for Brigg & Goole than Shona McIsaac did here, in fact Cawsey did rather worse than she did. It may be that the 2 seats are not trending in the same direction; certainly, on a long-term basis Labour are far stronger in the town of Cleethorpes itself than was the case before the 1992 election. It’s a shame that it’s not possible to tot up the results for the 2012 local elections, since not all of the wards in the seat voted last year. It looks like a close-run thing in the making. I didn’t realise until today that Martin Vickers is fairly elderly for a member of the 2010 intake. He seems so far to have made less impression than Andrew Percy & surely is more vulnerable than Percy is. Percy could face a fairly close race anyway but has a better chance of holding on.

  2. I find it difficult to assess which long term direction this seat is going.
    As on the old site, it’s white working class but also a seaside resort.

    Shona McIsaac sounded like a fairly good MP – her vote clearly fell back in stages after 1997 but the Labour vote would still be quite high by long term standards here.

    Likewise the Con vote isn’t bad either.
    Here it is the LDs who have been in long term .

  3. long term decline

  4. I think she indicated she wouldn’t stand again in 2010,
    indicating it was a marginal seat, and it always comes to an end.
    Whether it’ll come to an end for us sooner rather than later I don’t yet know – I’d be more optimistic about doing quite well in this kind of territory if we can offer something more to middle England.

  5. Barnaby I think the Brigg & Goole seat would be better for swing voters for the Tories.

    In Cleethorpes the Con vote didn’t rocket,
    but the Labour vote perhaps more likely to just wander off into absentions.

  6. The Tories have arguably done okay here after 1997- vote up by 9% points (better than average), Labour down by 19% points (worse than average for them). I think that compares adequately with Conservative performances in other seaside seats.

    Saying that, I think this is seat considerably more vulnerable than neighbouring Brigg and Goole, which seems to be becoming more of a commuter area by all accounts.

  7. Perhaps the Tories will gain Grimsby and lose Cleethorpes!

  8. Unlikely.

    For what it’s worth, Brigg & Goole is also more agricultural than Cleethorpes, which will work in the Tories’ favour.

    Andrew Percy is a serial rebel, which is a double edged sword. On the one hand it may increase his personal vote, but on the other it may make CCHQ dis-inclined to help his campaign.

    This is quite fertile UKIP territory and I expect their fortunes will determine whether or not the Tories hold on.

  9. Places like Thorn in Brigg and Goole may be getting a bit better for the Tories,
    although one would expect Labour to get their core vote out better in Goole.
    I think the Tories will manage to hold both seats actually.

  10. If you mean Thorne (the place you were curious about on your train journey) then it is getting better for the Conservatives.

    But its in Don Valley not Brigg & Goole.

    You wouldn’t be able to make that train journey at the moment after a landslip from Hatfield pit demolished the railway line:

    The picture is worth seeing.

  11. As to this constituency I would say the northern Immingham/Barton side is trending Conservative and the southern Cleethorpes side is trending Labour.

    But HH is correct about the UKIP potential here and I would add Grimsby as well.

    Brigg & Goole will continue to trend Conservative.

  12. Yes, sorry Thorn is Don Valley – think you corrected me on that before,
    although it seems similar to areas in B&G which are becoming more popular for commuters.

  13. a poorly shaped seat i am surprised that the boundary com in the past (or cons for that matter) have not moved Scartho from grimsby and put Sidney Sussex into grimsby. Then again i would like to see both norths lincs back into Lincolnshire

  14. Result of the Humberston & New Waltham by-election

    UKIP 1098 42.0%
    Con 738 28.2%
    Lab 470 18.0%
    LD 311 11.9%

    The third UKIP gain in the space of a month

  15. Pete

    There are comments you might like on the Falkirk / Kettering / Coatbridge and Airdrie pages.

  16. We should aim to take Brigg and Goole and Cleethorpes, Labour did well in Lincolnshire last year and not to bad this year – although we should have WON the County Council. Also, these two MPs are Eurosceptic Tories. We will need to put up a very tough fight, but then again the rise of UKIP will help.

  17. Bob, neither of these seats are in Lincolnshire Council area. I dont think you can say Labour should have won the County Council. They were a country mile off.

  18. How on earth anyone could think that Labour could win Lincs County Council beats me. Bob has surpassed himself this time. Even in 1997, Labour still won only 1 of the 7 seats in the county council area, and only came close in one other one, and closish in one more. Indeed, not even in 1945 did any of the other equivalent seats fall – Holland with Boston was an extremely unusual seat in that Labour won in 1918 but never since. Perhaps to be charitable he is under the mistaken impression that this seat & the others in the NE Lincs & N Lincs council areas are governed by Lincs County Council. I will be pleasantly surprised if Cleethorpes is a Labour gain in 2015.

  19. Brigg & Goole and Cleethorpes are not in the modern Lincolnshire. They were annexed by Hull and East Yorkshire in the Seventies to form. Humberside and are now parts of North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire UA’s.

  20. Even Gloy didn’t manage to create imaginary boundaries.

  21. i think bob is good at making up stories lol

  22. Forecast for 2015

    Con 39
    Lab 37
    UKIP 16
    LD 8

  23. yes, yet again I think A Brown is talking sense. I fear that this is a Humber Bridge too far for Labour. It is annoying that it is impossible to compute the vote in the constituency in the last local elections, because there are wards from N Lincs as well as NE Lincs, and not all of the seat voted at the same time. What I did see didn’t suggest Labour doing quite well enough to achieve the swing necessary.

  24. No Labour candidate has yet been selected to fight this seat and there is a lot to do on the ground to win it in 2015.

  25. There are strong rumours that Chris Shaw covets the seat. I think selecting him as the Labour candidate would be a huge mistake, given his performance as leader of NELC. It’s important that the choice be local rather than some central party drone. Terry Thurgood and Alex Wallace have all the credentials, as does the emerging David Bolton.

    In terms of the work required to ensure a Labour victory, well Martin Vickers seems to be doing the job for them. voting against the interests of his constituents, without any form of consultation whatsoever, Vickers has completely alienated himself from the voters in the constituency.

  26. LAB GAIN MAJ : 4%
    LAB 38
    CON 34
    LD 12
    UKIP 12
    GRN 3

  27. I’m not as optimistic as that. The local election results aren’t conclusive since not all wards in the constituency voted at the same time, but although Labour have retaken control of NE Lincs the results in the Cleethorpes constituency wards looked a bit patchy to me, and I don’t see this as a likely Labour gain unless it’s a clear-cut victory nationwide. At present this one’s in the Conservative column for me.

  28. Labour selection: Peter Keith.

  29. It certainly looks like a seat that has been trending away from labour in ever election since 97, so it’s quite plausible that the Tories will retain this seat next year although they will have to work hard to do it.

  30. I don’t think the Tories will have a problem holding either this seat, or Brigg & Goole. Partly because the incumbent MPs are a very good fit for their seats. Whenever I’ve visited north Lincolnshire I have found it a strangely traditionalist place, despite it not being a particularly pretty or wealthy area. Arable agriculture clearly dominates the culture of the area.

  31. Just searched for the name Peter Keith. Unless it is someone completely different, seems that he is the partner of former Cleethorpes Labour MP Shona McIsaac, who lost the seat in 2010.

    It’s not completely unheard of that a partner or spouse contests and/or represents the same constituency as their other half. Ann Cryer was Keighley MP, but it was over 20 years after her husband. I wonder how constituents are going to respond, given how recently McIsaac was MP.

  32. Yes, he is her husband.

  33. An interesting marginal – I’d expect the Tories to be ok here.

    UKIP may be more persistent though and the LD vote is likely to fall to about 10% – about the same as UKIP.

    It looks here though that some of the LDs are C leaning ones.

    I think the long term trend here is somewhat against Labour but not overwhelmingly so given the faded seaside resort component.

  34. Martin Vickers might hold here with a majority in the region of 1500-2000. UKIP could do rather well given the territory, and the Lib Dems might fall back quite a bit.

  35. I thought Shona McIssac was ok actually – swings do seem quite high here so I wouldn’t like to say it’s safe forever

  36. UKIP certainly have the potential to damage Labour just as much as the Tories in seats like this IMO.

  37. I agree. The Tory voter base contains many farmers, who presumably will not appreciate UKIP’s attitude to the EU or immigration. By contrast the working class vote in rural areas, long neglected by Labour, seems ripe for UKIP.

  38. Maybe you’re both right about this seat and general area, but I do think in other seats Labour may be prising their voters off UKIP leaving the Tories the net exposed – when the picture in May 2013 was very complex indeed with UKIP.

  39. Is Immingham the most Labour leaning part of the seat?

  40. I think Immingham was just Labour in 2010 – but that is a poor result for them – they used to be well ahead.
    Labour are stronger in the middle of Cleethorpes.

  41. Immingham is essentially marginally Labour, unless it’s a very good year for the party. It’s quite a gritty port, but it was traditionally outside the National Docks Labour Scheme, like Felixstowe. That has played a role in limiting Labour’s lead in the town. As Joe says central Cleethorpes has Labour’s strongest wards. The seat looks very oddly drawn on a map with Grimsby basically sitting right between the 2 main towns of the seat.

  42. Yes, Labour’s best ward in the constituency is the Cleethorpes town ward Sidney Sussex (no relation of the Cambridge college!) which Labour will have carried pretty comfortably even in 2010. The adjoining Croft Baker ward is also pretty reliably Labour if I recall correctly.

  43. This was the result of the 2009 Euro election in North East Lincolnshire:

    Con: 8,068 (26.6%)
    UKIP: 7,383 (24.4%)
    Lab: 4,559 (15.1%)
    LD: 3,100 (10.2%)
    BNP: 2,832 (9.4%)
    Green: 1,815 (6.0%)
    Oth: 2,521 (8.3%)

  44. Thanks for the heads up re Immingham. Agree that the shape of Cleethorpes is a weird one indeed when you look at a map of NE Lincs. The boundaries of Great Grimsby puts me in mind of the country Lesotho which is surrounded by South Africa. Only difference being that Grimsby is by the Humber, whereas Lesotho is completely landlocked.

    In the Euros UKIP should do quite well in both North and NE Lincs. I also think they’ll come 2nd overall in South Yorkshire.

  45. Sidney Sussex ward must have something to do with the Cambridge college of that name. But I’m not quite sure what. I remember David Lidington (Aylesbury, C) quite well from when he was at Sidney Sussex college.

  46. He was a University Challenge contestant I think.

  47. Barnaby inspired me to do some research. It turns out that I need to correct myself. According to the Sidney Sussex college website, it once owned much Cleethorpes. Therein must lie the link.

    One of my favourite historians- Tim Blanning- is still a Fellow at Sidney Sussex.

  48. *much of Cleethorpes

  49. That figures. I think that Newnham ward in Bedford may have a similar reason for its name, though I’m not quite sure.

  50. I agree with Barnaby et al about the very odd shape of this seat, with Grimsby almost splitting it in half. I wonder why the boundary commission choose to draw the seats this way rather than, say, Grimsby South & Cleethorpes and Grimsby North & Immingham. And whether this might happen in the future.

    In a good year for the Tories like 2010 they could probably just about win both seats.

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)