East Surrey

2015 Result:
Conservative: 32211 (57.4%)
Labour: 6627 (11.8%)
Lib Dem: 5189 (9.2%)
Green: 2159 (3.8%)
UKIP: 9553 (17%)
Independent: 364 (0.6%)
MAJORITY: 22658 (40.4%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Surrey. The whole of the Tandridge council area and part of the Reigate and Banstead council area.

Main population centres: Caterham, Warlingham, Horley, Smallfield, Lingfield, Limpsfield, Oxted, Godstone, Bletchingley, Woldingham.

Profile: The whole of Tandridge council area and the neighbouring commuter town of Horley, just outside Gatwick airport (a major employer in the seat). The seat is a collection of extremely affluent commuter towns and villages in the London green belt, set amongst the North Downs countryside.

Politics: A very safe Conservative seat. It was most famously represented by former Chancellor and Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe, who was the MP here between 1974 and 1992. He was replaced by Peter Ainsworth, who served in the shadow cabinets of William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith and David Cameron but retired in 2010..

Current MP
SAM GYIMAH (Conservative) Born 1976, Beaconsfield. Educated at Freman College and Oxford University. Former businessman and entrepreneur. First elected as MP for East Surrey in 2010. PPS to David Cameron 2012-2013, Government whip 2013-2014. Undersecretary for Education since 2014.
Past Results
Con: 31007 (57%)
Lab: 4925 (9%)
LDem: 14133 (26%)
UKIP: 3770 (7%)
Oth: 805 (1%)
MAJ: 16874 (31%)
Con: 27659 (56%)
Lab: 7288 (15%)
LDem: 11738 (24%)
UKIP: 2158 (4%)
Oth: 410 (1%)
MAJ: 15921 (32%)
Con: 24706 (53%)
Lab: 8994 (19%)
LDem: 11503 (24%)
UKIP: 1846 (4%)
MAJ: 13203 (28%)
Con: 27389 (50%)
Lab: 11573 (21%)
LDem: 12296 (22%)
Oth: 742 (1%)
MAJ: 15093 (28%)

2015 Candidates
SAM GYIMAH (Conservative) See above.
DAVID LEE (Liberal Democrat) Contested East Surrey 2010.
HELENA WINDSOR (UKIP) Contested East Surrey 2010.
SANDY PRATT (Independent)
Comments - 109 Responses on “Surrey East”
  1. I think Bletchingley was in Reigate before it was in this seat, but I don’t know when.

  2. Have Bletchingley, Warlingham, and Caterham been in Reigate from 1885 to 1974 and this seat since then?

  3. I’d say so Harry. Reigate was a much larger seat until this one was formed. Indeed, when it was, Sir Geoffrey Howe who had been MP for Reigate switched to this seat where he stayed until his retirement in 1992. This constituency was also the fictitious seat of the Tory leader in A Very British Coup.

  4. No Caterham & Warlingham were never in the Reigate seat. They were in Wimbledon from 1885-1918 and in East Surrey since then (this was of course for a time quite different from this seat as it included Coulsdon & Purley and excluded the Godstone rural distirct which included Bletchingley. Godstone rural district was part of the Reigate seat between 1950 and 1974 and it was that area which Geoffrey Howe followed into this new Surrey East

  5. part of Wimbledon? My, there were some odd ones in those days, what with Hampton being in with Uxbridge….and there must be innumerable other weird examples.

  6. The old Surrey East seemed to contain most (primarily the commuter towns south of Croydon itself) of what is now in Croydon South and the northern parts of the current Surrey East – Caterham, Warlingham, Whyteleaf, Woldingham

    Back then there was of course a Croydon South seat which more closely resembles today’s Croydon Central

    I am shocked to learn that Caterham in particular was ever in the Wimbledon seat – simply because by the standards of this densley populated area they are quite far apart

  7. It wasn’t densely populated in 1885 though!
    The Wimbledon county constituency covered the whole of the then county of Surrey which is now in Greater London except for those parts in the Kingston and Richmond boroughs and of course those areas which were separate borough constituencies like Croydon and the Inner London boroughs. It did however include Freehold voters from these boroughs

  8. Pete is right. The population of Wimbledon borough was only 15,950 in 1881- though by 1901, it had increased to 41,652. Caterham will still have been a village at that stage. I don’t think a Caterham UD was created until 1899.

  9. *by ‘borough’ I meant ‘sub-district’.

  10. The old Surrey East was of course an ultra-safe Tory seat – quite a bit safer than the Reigate seat at the time, although I think the two seats would be equally safe if they existed today

  11. Nevertheless Labour have never been anywhere near winning Reigate. One doughty soul, Cyril Garnsworthy, stood no fewer than 7 times for Labour in Reigate, but he was eventually rewarded with a peerage.

  12. Have Labour ever won a seat in Surrey – as the county is today?

  13. Yes. Spelthorne in 1945-50

  14. As the administrative county is today, the only area represented by Labour was Spelthorne. Of course at that time it was in Middlesex and it included areas like Feltham so its a moot point whether Labour would have carried that part which is in Surrey now – you might say it was ‘too close to call’ if you weren’t worried about getting another ticking off from Barnaby 😉

  15. That seat was partially rather than wholly in the modern Surrey though.

  16. Not a chance, the only hope would be if the Epsom and Ewell seat in the 1997 landslide had just contained Epsom and Ewell itself (without Ashtead, Nork, Banstead & Tattenhams) and a lot of the LD voters tactically voted Labour. Even then it would probably at best vote be like Spelthorne or Hertsmere with 3 – 5,000 majority. Although there are some large areas of deprivation the majority of Epsom area is well off. More likely that of the LD’s were second in 1992 (if the parlimentary seat was on borough boundaries) that the LD’s would swallow up the remaining Labour vote like they did in nearby Carshalton and Wallington.

  17. Labour did of course outpoll the Conservatives in the local elections in the present-day Spelthorne, in 1995. However, the Tories retained control of the council that day – one of very few where this was the case, and I think almost incredibly the only one in Surrey.

  18. David Lee reselected as LD candidate.

  19. The declaration for this seat was televised in both 1983 and 1987, back when Geoffrey Howe was Chancellor of the Exchequer. Of course once he retired from the Commons in 1992, this stopped. The BBC showed it in 1983 but not in 1987, while ITN did both years.

  20. It was shown in 2010 although I can’t remember which channel.

  21. It might have been ITN’s coverage. I certainly don’t think the BBC showed it, and going through your Sky clips Andy I don’t think it was them either, so I would say it was ITV personally.

  22. I’ve uploaded a few segments from ITN but after that I ran into technical problems.

  23. CON HOLD MAJ: 28.6%
    CON 46.4
    LD 17.8
    Lab 16.4
    UKIP 13.4
    GRN 4.5

  24. I give up.

  25. Windsofchange is back to being an idiot again.

    He is predicting a Tory share of the vote substantially below 1997.

    The probability of that happening here, where the demographic movements to a modest extent favour the Tories, is close to zero.

  26. Not only Labour, but UKIP and, to a much smaller but still measurable extent, the Greens were not all combining to take away the votes of new voter groups the Tories won that enabled them to become the largest party.

  27. Notice I predicted an only slightly reduced Conservative majority though- more comparable to 2001 levels due to LDs being second with a lower vote share than present.

  28. Can I ask how close you live to East Surrey?

    I live half a mile from the border of this seat and know it reasonably well; I can therefore tell you with some authority that your prediction is nonsense.

  29. I found out that a facebook friend of mine today friended Sam Gyimah. This friend is the Vicar of Whyteleafe. I don’t think it’s likely he’ll vote for Gyimah though, though I could be wrong.

  30. A Conservative majority almost halfway between the 2001 and 2010 ones is ‘nonsense’? The Conservative vote will fall here but the decline in LD vote and proportionally small Labour advances will ensure relatively constant majorities.

    In rural sorts of areas with plenty of natural wealth, did many people not vote Tory for safeguarding the environment and conservation- daily issues for these types of voter? Being heavily pro-fracking for example will not go down well (pardon the pun).

    The Tory record has been far from impressive at all angles compared to past performance despite essentially irrelevant coalition partners- the Tories effectively have had a majority.

    Surrey is less affected by drops in Tory vote proportionally, but with a much higher average vote share, don’t they have more to lose in real (not proportional) terms?

  31. Take the train from Lingfield to Victoria at 7.30am on a weekday and I assure you you will have a very different impression. There are so many umbrellas and bowler hats it looks like an episode of Reggie Perrin from the 1970s. This is a very wealthy stockbroker seat. Even if UKIP do well the Tories will remain somewhat above 50%.

  32. If I was to make a prediction for 2015, it would be-
    Gyimah (Conservative)- 55%
    Lib Dem- 22%
    UKIP- 11%
    Labour- 10%
    Others- 2%

  33. Stockbrokers work in the City or Canary Wharf and don’t take trains into Victoria… I don’t think a bowler hat has ever been seen in Canary Wharf and I haven’t seen one in the City for decades… I am a stockbroker… if even such a thing exists any more….(we are all investment bankers or private wealth advisers these days)

    I think HH’s train is the one that goes to Hogwarts…..

  34. I think that people are over predicting the Tory vote share here. The UKIP vote share here will surely be around the 20% mark.

    Assuming a UKIP national share of between 10 and 15%, the most likely scenario in 2015 for them:

    CON: 49%
    UKIP: 22%
    LD: 16%
    LAB: 10%
    OTH: 3%

  35. I don’t understand the assumption on here that UKIP voters are not wealthy people. UKIP has many members from all socio-economic backgrounds.

    It is as if some posters are trying to find a way in which they can look down on UKIP. As many of the polling companies have been weighting their polls based on 2010 results, the opinion polls are by and large flawed in their methodology.

    The polls are not designed to deal with the situation we are currently in, with the massive growth of a minor party into a mainstream one within an election cycle. The formulae used are simply not designed to deal with the numbers.

    Look at the election results we have had, they are the most reliable indicator of party support there is. UKIP have support at a level that is about 5 or 6% above what the polling averages are saying.

    There will be a big shock in their vote share come Election Day for sure, and I am not even a supporter of theirs.

  36. I think that there are two clear best and worst case scenarios for 2015. The Tory position solely rests on UKIP’s performance. An excellent UKIP performance would destroy the Conservative party but even if UKIP don’t do extremely well in 2015 it will be very difficult for the Tories to even be the largest party:

    Conservative best case nationally:

    CON: 33%
    LAB: 32%
    LD: 13%
    UKIP: 12%
    OTH: 10%

    Conservative worst case nationally:

    LAB: 31%
    UKIP: 24%
    CON: 22%
    LD: 13%
    OTH: 10%

    My personal prediction at present (most probable scenario):

    LAB: 32%
    CON: 28%
    UKIP: 18%
    LD: 12%
    OTH: 10%

    Due to the high UKIP shares electoral calculus is practically useless as the local elections have shown that their support is now better concentrated. I expect to see a lot of ratio swings as opposed to uniform swings, and lots of variation across regions (e.g. CON vote staying up in London and to a similar extent in Scotland, with big swings to UKIP in rural safe Tory seats in places like Norfolk and Sussex).

  37. In a general election where the government of the country is at stake, a political party which currently has no seats in parliament is not going to get 5 to 6% more votes than is shown in scientifically conducted opinion polls. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves whether they support UKIP or not. UKIP will almost certainly enjoy a substantial increase in their share of the vote from 2010 but the idea that they will get half as much again as the polls show is simply not credible.

  38. A poll today put them on 19%.

  39. I exclude Opinium from my theory as they do not re-allocate their findings according to 2010 results. While the re-allocation process is designed to improve the accuracy of the findings, when you have such a massive multiplication in the level of UKIP support, the process simply does not work; as it is not designed to work with extreme changes.

  40. There is no way UKIP will beat the tories in the general election. That is just comedic. The best case is also clearly better than 33% – given that we are currently polling around that (maybe a point lower) with 18 months to go.

    I would be very very surprised if UKIP beat the Lib Dems, and if they beat either of the main two parties it would be the biggest political upset ever.

    Best Case

    Con 38
    Lab 33
    LD 14
    UKIP 7

    Worst Case

    Con 31
    Lab 37
    LD 14
    UKIP 13

    Something like that.

    I currently favour

    Con 35
    Lab 35
    LD 15
    UKIP 9

  41. The conservatives are currently polling 32% nationally, it would take something drastic to happen for the governing party to lose 1 in 8 of its current vote in the next year and a half.

  42. to 111

  43. “Stockbrokers work in the City or Canary Wharf and don’t take trains into Victoria”

    Are you are deliberately being a twat just to annoy people?

    You obviously know nothing of this area. The rail service through Lingfield runs from East Grinstead to Victoria. Those heading to the city change at East Croydon for London Bridge. And plenty of senior people working in financial services use Victoria station. There are hedge funds everywhere in Mayfair and Belgravia.

  44. “I am a stockbroker… if even such a thing exists any more….(we are all investment bankers or private wealth advisers these days)”

    That’s funny….last week you told us you were an expert metals analyst. Can’t you even keep track of your own lies? It’s the first rule of being a good troll.

  45. well I am an investment banker in the resources sector (ever heard of such a thing?)…

    So stick that under your bowler hat…

  46. I have done enough work with banks, notably Macquarie, to know that those who sell shares in resource companies are not experts in the markets which those companies operate in. That is why they employ teams of research analysts. So I repeat….it is very unlikely that you are both a stockbroker and an expert metals analyst, therefore it is quite likely that you are a lying troll.

  47. It is really quite laughabale that you expect the people who read these postings to believe that ANY rush-hour train into Central london has ANYONE with a bowler hat on.. was that supposed to be tongue in cheek…?

    The only vaguely stockbrokerish activity near Victoria was the old Salomon Brothers dealing room that was built above the station and has been gone for decades.. No-one at Salomon Brothers ever wore a bowler hat.. geez.. how dumb do you think we all are.. who’s the troll? and who is condescending?

  48. “those who sell shares in resource companies are not experts in the markets which those companies operate in”.

    Don’t tell Macquarie that.. they may never speak to you again…

  49. I worked in the city for a decade and never saw anyone wearing a bowler hat.

  50. I went to school in this constituency and went to school with the aforementioned bankers, who, if they haven’t moved up to Battersea and Islington, travel in from here into London on a daily basis. No bowler hats seen but certainly smart umbrellas!

    I doubt the centre-right/right wing vote share would go down. However would say that UKIP supporters like Farage may probably feel at home here and in Sam Gymiah, an MP who was PPS to Cameron (may not be liked as much, though as a son of a Stockbroker, less resentment towards him than other Tory heartlands??) and someone who is fairly cosmopolitan and having already faced down a deselection attempt when he was first selected in 2010, I can see a decline in the Tory share but not by much

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