Tuesday, 13 April 2010

A Look @: Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire is split into two unitary authorities; Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Both are controlled by the Conservatives who also hold 6 of the 7 Parliamentary seats in the county. The other is currently held by the Liberal Democrats. In Peterborough the Tories have gained 11 council seats during this Parliament and they currently hold 44 of the 57 seats. In the Cambridgeshire election in 2009 the balance of seats between the two largest groups remained unchanged. The Conservatives run the council with 42 of the 69 seats and Lib Dems form the opposition with 23 seats. The Greens and UKIP have a councillor each sitting on this unitary authority.



Notional Majority

Swing Needed




Stewart Jackson




CON Hold

Cambridgeshire NW

Shailesh Vara





CON Hold

Cambridgeshire NE

Malcolm Moss




CON Hold


David Howarth




LD Hold


Jonathan Djanogly




CON Hold

Cambridgeshire SE

James Paice




CON Hold

Cambridgeshire S

Andrew Lansley




CON Hold


Stewart Jackson gained Peterborough for the Conservatives in 2005 and he has since seen his notional majority increased by the boundary commission. His seat now includes a couple of rural wards to the north east of the city, resulting in a net gain of over 1000 Conservative voters. However, he might need the extra help as he received some bad press over his expenses claims. Jackson claimed quite a bit for his second home, including £300 for work on his swimming pool. Although he accepted that claim in particular 'could be constructed as excessive' he may not have endeared himself to his constituents when he called some of them 'whingers and moaners' over their criticism of the Tory led council. But with the swing against him I don't think Ed Murphy will be able to regain this seat for Labour; Tory Hold.

North West Cambridgeshire is a seat that the Conservatives have held since it was created for the 1997 election. Shailesh Vara became its second MP in 2005 but he attempted to claim for expenses incurred before his election could cause him a problem as he seeks a second term. Vara probably doesn't have much to worry about though as he is defending a large majority against a spilt opposition vote. I can't see either Chris Gudgin for Labour or the Lib Dem PPC Kevin Wilkins get close to a win; Tory Hold.

North East Cambridgeshire lost two wards to the Peterborough constituency but the slightly reduced majority wasn't the reason the Conservative MP Malcolm Moss decided to stand down. Moss had been an MP for over twenty years and just didn't want to serve another five year term. This leaves the Conservative PPC Steve Barclay as the clear favourite to win this open seat and I doubt either Peter Roberts for Labour or Lorna Spencely for the Lib Dems will get too close to a gain; Tory Hold.

David Howarth is the only non-Tory MP in Cambridgeshire and he will not be seeking re-election in his Cambridge seat after serving only one term. Howarth leaves Parliament to concentrate on his academic work and so Julian Huppert, a former Cambridgeshire councillor, will hope to hold this for the Lib Dems. Daniel Zeichner is the Labour candidate hoping to regain a seat his party lost at the last election but he'll be up against it. The Conservatives have Nick Hillman running but they were a long way back in 2005. The Lib Dems have a nice majority, and many more councillors in the constituency, so I can't see them losing this; Lib Dem Hold.

Huntingdon was John Major's old seat and Jonathan Djanogly held this for the Conservatives in 2001 when the ex-Prime Minister stood down. Ordinarily this would be a very safe seat but Djanogly has been hit hard by the expenses scandal. After revelations he'd claimed for automatic gates and an au pair the MP ended up repaying around £25,000. This might be enough to save him from the chop but I'm sure the Lib Dem candidate Martin Land will be hoping to capitalise on any anti-expenses feeling in the constituency. His party recently won a district by-election in the seat which will give Land hope of causing an upset, but Djanogly has a big majority to lose. Could be interesting, but will probably be a Tory Hold.

James Paice has been the Conservative MP for South East Cambridgeshire since 1987 and I can't see a reason why he won't be re-elected in May; Tory Hold.

Cambridgeshire South was established in 1997 and Andrew Lansley has been elected for the Conservatives ever since. But the Shadow Health Secretary is a second home flipper so Sebastian Kindersley will be hopeful of a surprise gain for the Liberal Democrats. As with most of these expenses seats it will be hard to predict an upset without some local input so I'm sticking with a Tory Hold.


  1. The South East Cambridgeshire contest is wide open, mark my words!

  2. For any particular reason Geoffrey?!

    [Geoffrey Woollard is an Independent Candidate in South East Cambridgeshire...and you can see his blog by clicking on his profile!)

  3. Cambridgeshire County Council is not a unitary authority. As your article shows Cambridge is different from its surroundings; I think one council for a new area - "Greater Cambridge" would address problems we currently have of decisions affecting the city being taken without any elected representatives from the city having a say.

    I think your statistics disagree with your article when you say the Lib Dems have a nice majority in Cambridge. They have a slim majority and may lose some support to a high profile Green candidate.

    I think any election is wide open; the result depends on which way the electors vote, and they can vote anyway the like.


    Richard Taylor

  4. Just like to mention that the NW Cambs Branch of UKIP has continued to nearly double it's vote in every election since I stood as the UKIP Parliamentary Candidate in 2005.

    I've recently been elected as a Town & Parish Councillor and we continue to increase in the number of votes we recieve in elections.

    Yours indeed for the cause,
    Cllr. Robert H. Brown