Thursday, 15 April 2010

A Look @: Norfolk

This post excludes the two Norwich constituencies which can be found here. Currently the Conservatives are the main party in Norfolk holding 6 of the 9 Parliamentary seats and they'll be looking to consolidate this position in May. One of those seats is a by-election gain from Labour who currently hold two seats in the county. The Norfolk Council elections in 2009 were decisively won by the Conservatives who gained thirteen seats to now hold 60 out of the 84 seats. Labour lost 19 seats which has left the Liberal Democrats as the second largest group with 13 councillors. They also hold the remaining Westminster seat.



Notional Majority

Swing Needed



Great Yarmouth

Anthony D Wright




CON Gain

Norfolk North

Norman Lamb




LD Hold


Keith Simpson




CON Hold

Norfolk Mid





CON Hold

Norfolk South

Richard Bacon




CON Hold

Norfolk SW

Christopher Fraser




CON Hold

Norfolk NW

Henry Bellingham




CON Hold


Anthony D Wright took Great Yarmouth off the Conservatives in 1997 but he's in for a tough battle to hold onto it this year. The swing needed leaves Wright's seat #66 on the Conservatives target list and he was slightly caught up in the expenses scandal. Wright received a payout of around £10,000 in exchange for moving out or accepting higher rent bills in his London flat. Wright himself moved and argues that his conduct actually saved the taxpayer money. Regardless of the rights and wrongs it's an awkward issue for the current MP and one the Conservative candidate Brandon Lewis hopes will give him the edge in this key marginal. Lewis has been the leader of Brentwood Council (in Essex) since 2004 and I think he'll can manage the win on the national swing alone; Tory Gain.

Norfolk North had been the Conservative's for over thirty years before Norman Lamb won the seat for the Lib Dems in 2001. He successfully defended his seat against the Tory blogger Iain Dale in 2005 and Lamb increased his majority in the process. Trevor Ivory is the Conservative candidate hoping to regain this seat for his party but I think Lamb will win this quite comfortably; Lib Dem Hold.

Broadland is the new seat in the county and Keith Simpson has followed many of the wards from his old Mid Norfolk seat into this constituency. Simpson had been the MP for Mid Norfolk since 1997 and judging by the notional majorities they are both fairly safe Conservative seats. Simpson was only slightly caught up by the expenses scandal, making it into the Telegraph for his many light bulb purchases. He ended up repaying over £300 in wrongly claimed phone bills but compared some other Norfolk MPs his problems are minor. Dan Roper is the Lib Dem candidate in Broadland and he'll be hoping to translate his party's strength in North Norfolk into a second Parliamentary seat. The safe money is on Simpson though; Tory Hold.

The Mid Norfolk seat is a lot different to the one the Conservatives had held since 1983. It combines the western half of the old seat with quite a few wards from the southern seats, in particular the South Norfolk seat. According to the Rallings & Thrasher figures this hasn't changed the vote share that much, both other sources show this as safer than the Broadland seat for the Conservatives. They have selected George Freeman, an ex-NFU Parliamentary officer and candidate for Stevenage in 2005, as their candidate and he'll be quite confident of holding this 'open' seat. Labour are notionally second by their candidate Elizabeth Hughes is likely to be fighting with David Newman of the Lib Dems for second place; Tory Hold.

South Norfolk has been the Conservatives since 1950 and they don't look like losing it this time despite the boundary alterations shaving 2000 off Richard Bacon's majority. They took twenty seats of the Lib Dems in the 2007 South Norfolk District Council Election and so Bacon should be confident of securing a third term as an MP. Jacqueline Howe is the Lib Dem candidate she'll do well to reduce the majority; Tory Hold.

The Conservatives have held South West Norfolk since 1964 but their MP here is standing down after just one term. Christopher Fraser cited family reasons and insisted his decision was had nothing to do with his expenses claims. Whilst it is true his wife is ill, not having to defend Fraser's necessary claim of almost £2,000 for 215 trees and a fence should help the Conservatives hold this seat. Elizabeth Truss is their candidate in what is a fairly safe seat but she herself knows what its like to hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons. The A-List candidate was selected despite allegations of an 18 month affair with the Tory frontbencher Mark Field. Peter Smith will be the Labour candidate battling against the swing but I think Truss will win, despite the controversies; Tory Hold.

Henry Bellingham was first elected in North West Norfolk in 1983 but he lost his seat in the Blair landslide. Bellingham only spent 4 years out of Parliament and regained his seat in 2001. He secured a nice majority in last election and he is more likely to increase it this year than lose his seat to Labour's Manish Sood; Tory Hold.

1 comment:

  1. Manish Sood has been getting his 15 minutes of fame!