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. The Grimsby seat has had pretty much the same boundaries for a very long time I think, so the Bpundary Commission probably doesn’t want to change it.

  2. Perhaps they didn’t want to split Grimsby which would have been the alternative. Cleethorpes is however an everytthing that is lef over seat but it has created an interesting marginal. As i said on the old seat, the Liberals used to be a lot stronger in the area – even in 1979. The 2010 result is relatively strong for both major parties.

  3. Barnaby – according to Wikipedia, that part of Bedford is named after a 12th century priory. It’d be unlikely to be named after the Cambridge college because it’s a fairly common placename, the college is relatively young by Oxbridge standards and it’s never had great landed endowments. I suspect there are a lot of farms nationwide with names derived from colleges, though.

    HH – no doubt under that arrangement the Tories could win both seats, and probably in a rather less good year for them. But it’s worth pointing out they came very close to winning both seats in 2010 under the present arrangement.

  4. Are Grimsby and Cleethorpes part of East Midlands or Yorkshire & The Humber?

    If the latter, presumably that’s why Cleethorpes can’t be linked with the area further down the coast, towards Louth and Skegness. In some ways that may make more sense, and would certainly cement it into a safe Tory seat.

  5. Yorkshire & The Humber

  6. That’s right – of course in 1979 it was in Louth.

  7. Hi Pete
    If you pick this up,
    please can you rebuild the Brigg and Cleethorpes seat with the 2005 and 2010 results?

  8. Hi Joe. Its good to see you posting again.
    I don’t think that should be difficult to do although I haven’t worked out ward results for that area so would have to do it from scratch. I will try and remember to do this in the next couple of days. 2005 will be interesting as I expect it would be extremely close

  9. Being so extremely close, the winner would have depended on who was defending the seat. I have friends in the area who say that Ian Cawsey was far more respected locally than Shona McIsaac, and to a certain extent election results do show that to have been the case.

  10. That was what was said at the time, but the swing was distinctly higher in Brigg & Goole than in Cleethorpes.

  11. Thanks.
    The numerical votes will be interesting aswell.
    In 1992 it was 31,000 to 22,000.

  12. I think Joe probably made the right decision in not posting on here for a while because there isn’t that much new to discuss in mid-term. I tried to do the same myself but failed a lot of the time.

  13. Except you ANdy provided lots of analysis of the fascinating 2013 results with their good and bad for all parties. Still more to go back over there. I just got a bit bored with some of the arguments that seemed to go round in circles a bit, plus it’s been a busy period – althgough i guess that affects us all.

  14. Actually andy it would be good if you could repost the 2013 spreadsheets in one place please. Sorry can’t recall which threads they are on. I think hexham for northumberland but all the rest.

  15. Joe some of the arguments are indeed boring & pointless, without naming any names. I’m sure I’m just as guilty as certain others. But it’s now about a year until the starting gun is fired, and it’s starting to be more possible to make an educated guess about the state of the parties in 2015 than it was. The perception that the 2 parties will be broadly competitive still seems to be largely correct but almost each day I tend to change my mind about whether it will Labour or the Conservatives who will receive most votes (though not seats). It’s a Conservative day for me today 🙂

  16. Tories only 3% behind on the Guardian/ICM poll today, and Lib Dems pushing UKIP back into 4th place. To me the Tories are certainly favourites to get most votes, and UKIP will not end up in double figures (though even at 6-9% they could damage the Tories considerably).

    However the Tories winning most votes is not enough for them to stay in government, as all on here will know. For that they need 300-odd seats, ie. to lose no more than 10 net, which is quite a tall order.

  17. That’s all correct, but these polls followed 2 consecutive 7% Labour leads. The average lead hasn’t yet changed this year, remaining at 5%. If the polls of the last few days become the norm, then yes we’d have to say that the Labour lead has been cut, but in fact there’s no change yet this year. It would be a surprise if the year ends with Labour still 5% ahead; I guess Labour will be trying to hold the line & keep it to about 3% which would give them a very good chance of ending up with a slight lead in the numerical & percentage vote.

  18. I’m reasonably confident that the Tories will beat Labour in the popular vote though possibly not in seats

  19. One thing we’re seeing with the increased regularity of polling, especially YouGov’s dailies, is that a lot of variation is down to random sampling, not real changes of opinion. This means that 3% lead might actually be no lead at all, or it might be a 6% lead. We’re all guilty of attaching additional weight to the polls we like and trying to discount those we don’t, so I’d be sceptical of using poll leads as anything more than a general indicator of the broad range of possibilities, even by the end of this year. Particularly since much of the electorate won’t really start paying attention until well into the short campaign.

  20. I think we will edge the popular vote too, but be behind, perhaps considerably in the number of seats. I still think we should offer the Lib Dems PR in exchange for another coalition should we have the numbers. That would be very hard to turn down from there point of view.

  21. The right would go absolutely apeshit, many may well prefer opposition to agreeing to that (given most won’t get a job in the government anyway). It wouldn’t take many to rebel to defeat such a proposal in a commons vote, though that would depend on the size of the pro-PR wing of the Labour party, of which Miliband is a member.

    I think it will take defeat in 2015 and perhaps 2020 as well before the Tories start to come round to the idea of PR, especially if UKIP is a key feature of those defeats.

  22. I still think that there will be considerable regional differences in terms of the vote in the next election. The Tories do not appear to be very good at winning votes where they need them. There just aren’t any more seats they can win in the south

  23. They need to hold on to almost all they have in the south and midlands, and win some seats from the Lib Dems, to offset their likely losses north of Nottingham. That might just keep the Tories the largest party, but it will be tough to pull off.

  24. Whereas outside London I don’t think Labour will gain all that many seats, but I do think they will win their midlands and northern targets.

    Ukip and their effect is something of an unknown too

  25. From a purely selfish perspective, the one good thing about the likely Miliband government is that he won’t hold a referendum on EU membership, which would potentially be very damaging for small business people who trade a lot in Europe such as myself. More Conservative voters than you might think may also take this view (though certainly a minority).

    It will be interesting to see whether it turns into the Brown government mkII or whether it really will take a screeching leftward turn.

  26. ”It will be interesting to see whether it turns into the Brown government mkII or whether it really will take a screeching leftward turn.”

    If that is a likely course, then they will have to put the brakes on halfway through…

  27. A Brown style government right after the credit crunch all the way up to the 2010 election was painful.

    The one thing they should’ve never pledged was reinstating the 50p tax rate. They should basically kept quiet about the 45p rate and focused on other living standards issues. The 45p rate is a decent compromise tbh. It doesn’t send bad signals to investors like a 50p rate does but is still higher than 40p.

  28. I am increasingly thinking that the Tories will find it hard to win seats from the LDs. In my mind I have now changed Berwick-on-Tweed from a Con gain to an LD hold and have always been sceptical about Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk too which many seem to think the Tories will win, notwithstanding the fact that John Lamont is standing for Westminster – he did last time too, but still lost comfortably. I still have a few seats down as Con gains from LD but the number is reducing a little.

  29. Barnaby-

    What do you think will be the outcome overall for the LDs?…paddy power prices lib dems on 28 to 35 seats as the most likely outcome. I think they could get over 40.

  30. I have them holding 39 seats at the moment. Over 40 is more than possible.

  31. interesting…that’s rougly where i think they’ll end up… at abt. 38-42. I think the tories will do badly against them, only picking up 3-5… most of their seats have the tories in 2nd place. [I think it’s something like 38 out of 57, in which tories are 2nd]…because of this i think the yellows will hold many seats unexpectedly. I think the LDs may even hold places like Wells, very much against expectation.

  32. I would be very surprised if as few as 3 are gained.

  33. The LDs got a hammering against the Conservatives in 2011
    when the Tories were probably about 1% ahead of Labour nationally.
    There will be some incumbencies to factor in

  34. I remain of the view that Labour will be the largest party in a hung parliament. It’s not so much the North and Midlands per se that should concern the Conservatives as the conurbations- for instance, I don’t see Labour making much headway at all in the parts of Staffordshire and Worcestershire falling under Staffordshire and Worcestershire CCs but I most certainly can see them winning Black Country seats like Wolverhampton SW, Dudley South, Halesowen, and Stourbridge.

    I think the Conservatives will make gains from the Lib Dems (including Berwick upon Tweed as it happens) but I don’t see them making that many, and there won’t be enough to offset the losses to Labour. I think the Lib Dems will end up with somewhere between 35 and 40 seats.

    I doubt Cameron will make much capital out of Milliband’s reluctance to hold a referendum. Quite a lot of hard-line Eurosceptics such as myself have very little faith in Cameron’s pledge anyway.

  35. HH is right. the tories could win the popular vote, but the idea that they will, on a net basis, lose fewer than 20 seats is difficult to sustain.

    Posters on this site seem to show a wonderful ignorance about, and disdain for, betting websites, but the market, for what it’s worth, thinks the idea of the Tories holding ANY of Hastings, Kingswood, Cannock Chase, Watford, Hove and Dewsbury is a pretty tall order.

    All these seats are outside the top 20 labour targets. To be the largest party , the tories would have to hold the majority of these seats.

    Unfortunately, British electoral polls and punditry are in the dark ages. For an instance of this, there is absolutely no analysis of borough councils. Places like Ipswich, Rossendale and Darwen, Dudley South look dreadful for the tories on this basis. Yes, those elections are on smaller turnouts, but they are actual elections. Nate Silver over the in the States was brilliant on this pre 2008 and 2012.

    A Nate Silver would see the reality for what it is. It’s very difficult to see the tories reaching the 285/290 seat level which would be required for them to be the largest party.
    It’s hard for them.

    I also find the ignorance of history on this site extraordinary too. There have been only two occasions since 1945, in which a governing party has retained power after a full 5 year parliament. The first was in 1950, when labour had a majority of 6. They had a majority of 140+ in 1945. The second was in 1992, when the Conservatives had a majority of 21. They had enjoyed a majority of 102 in 1987….spot the difference with 2015!?

    No, to me it is very clear that the Tories will be out on their a**se post 2015, and i vote for them!

    i hope I am proved wrong, and will not gloat if I am right.

  36. You won’t be surprised that I agree with pretty much everything you say. However the situation for the Tories is even harder than you state. If the Tories were only very narrowly the largest party (eg if they had 285-295 seats), the Lib Dems may well prefer to do a deal with Labour. I reckon the Tories need a minimum of 295 seats, ideally 300, for them to be the only possible coalition partner for the Lib Dems. That means a net loss of no more than 10 seats – a very tall order, as you say.

  37. I see the General Election as being muddled rather than the result of a big directional change. I think the local results are good pointers to the state of the parties in constituencies. You generally can override local factors if there is a strong national trend, such as 1983 or 1997. Local campaigns matter more in tighter elections like 1992 and 2010.

    As all the parties have weaker activist bases, then they have less to offset weak national trends in particular seats.

    The Lib Dems have done much better in the seats where they have MP’s than others in recent local elections, which indicates local activist strength. They may yet out perform against a decline in national vote share.

    Some of the seats on the lists of key seats have pathetic party membership and don’t deserve to be regarded as marginal.

    Ever since David Cameron has become Conservative Party leader he has placed little emphasis on party membership and local strength. Too many of his colleagues have come through the ranks of special advisers and not local councilors or party officers, where the need for local activists are appreciate. I expect the same is true of Labour, where relations with nation unions are seen as more important than encouraging activists.

    Overall my best forecast for the General Election is for a further decline in turnout. Some of the majorities discussed on this website will prove to be too big as a result. It is too early to predict individual seats with anything but spurious accuracy.

  38. Peter Crawford- I agree with quite a lot of what you say. Nonetheless, I think you’ve overegged the pudding a bit. I think the Tories will be okay in Watford and I think they have a decent chance in both Kingswood and Rossendale & Darwen actually. But I’m with you on your central point: I can’t see how the Conservatives can end up as the largest party. Personally I think they will end up on around 265 to 275 seats.

  39. I think that’s all pretty sensible. I do, personally, think the Tories will hold Watford against a split anti-Tory vote, but the other seats listed I think will all be won by Labour. That’s my thinking at the moment anyway.

  40. I think Lab 295, Con 295, LD 35 is a plausible scenario for 2015. But for that to occur most of the swing to Labour would have to be disproportionately concentrated in seats they already hold, which is not the picture currently given by Ashcroft marginal polls.

  41. 295, 295, 35 would be a terrible result for the country. A coalition government with an effective majority of 16 (accounting for speaker/SF) would collapse within months.

  42. It’s basically a Feb 1974 scenario and I do think that something like it could well happen. It would probably mean a very weak Labour government, propped up with half-hearted support from the Lib Dems and other minor parties (as opposed to a formal coalition).

    1974 was the last time that both main party leaders were pretty much equally disliked and distrusted, which provides a perhaps uncanny harbinger of 2015.

  43. On the Feb 1974 program David Butler called it a very depressing result.
    But that’s the way the cookie crumbled and it was probably necessary otherwise we wouldn’t have had Margaret Thatcher.

    Quite different to next time of course because a result like that would ruin the country long term.

  44. interesting discussion. My point about the seats i mentioned is that the odds on paddy power and, in some cases, ladbrokes, are 2 to 1 for a tory win. In some cases like Hove and Cannock Chase the odds are 3/1 and 5/2 respectively

    If you think the tories are going to win any of these seats, you would treble your money by betting on them to win these seats. Watford is 9/4 for the tories to win.

    My point is that people who make money out of outcomes do not see the tories winning any of these seats. To have any chance of being the largest party the tory would have to win most of them.

    All I am saying is that if you think the Tories are going to win Watford, a lot of people who are hoping to make money out of these outcomes don’t. you should win money off them!

  45. Tory-

    BTW, have you had a look at the council results in Rossendale and Darwen over the last 4 years…the blackburn area, and the bits around, has seen a marked shift to labour. I would put money on Straw jr making it to Westminster in 2015.

  46. I won money on Watford last time and I’d certainly back the Tories again on those odds – likewise Kingswood..

    Anyway – Brigg & Cleethorpes

    Lab 24371 41.7%
    Con 22575 38.7%
    LD 8926 15.3%
    UKIP 2527 4.3%

    Con 27087 44.2%
    Lab 18420 30.1%
    LD 11185 18.2%
    UKIP 4094 6.7%
    Oth 504 0.8%

  47. Fascinating – thank you Pete.

    You see it is true what I say that the 2 party system has held up pretty well here.

  48. Peter- I am not sure there has been a marked shift to Labour in those wards which actually form part of the Rossendale and Darwen seat. Even in 2012, the Tories managed over 60% in Fenhurst and North Turton and would probably have managed over 60% in East Rural too (where elections appear to be every 4 years, the last one being in 2010). Sure, Labour’s vote has recovered well in Earcroft, Suddell etc but I don’t think one can infer inexorable erosion in the Tory position on the basis of those results. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it- Jake Berry has a decent chance of holding on here- albeit narrowly.

  49. *holding on there even.

  50. time will tell. re. rossendale and darwen, the labour position in blackburn is stronger than it’s ever been. I think in terms of groundgame this will have some influence in the rossendale seat. I agree it’s even stevens at the moment.

    It’ll be a close fight. By extrapolation, this is seat 71 on labour’s target. the battle ground is well in the tory territory.

    Tory, re. R &D, what about Irwell? It’ll be tight.

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