General Election 2017: Bassetlaw constituency profile

Nottinghamshire’s most northerly constituency, Bassetlaw is considered a somewhat safe Labour seat – if by no means a shoe-in.

Labour’s John Mann has been MP here since 2001 and won a majority of 8,843 in 2015, but his share of the vote has slid from 61 per cent in 1997 to 48.6 per cent last year.

However with no Green or UKIP candidate standing in 2017, it will take some campaign by his rivals in the Conservative and Lib Dem camps, and by independent Nigel Turner, to unseat him.

Result in 2015: LABOUR HOLD – John Mann
Majority: 8,843
Electorate: 77,480
Turnout: 63.62 per cent

Constituency boundary

Bassetlaw Constituency boundary. Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database right (2017)

Questioning the candidates


Leon Duveen – Liberal Democrats

Why should people vote for you?
“I’m not a career politician and although I’m fighting for the Lib Dems I’m also running my own small business [as an IT consultant for the NHS]. I’m standing up to bring power back to ordinary people. I’m not beholden to unions or business.”

What local issue is most important in Bassetlaw?
“Jobs. Making sure we get good quality jobs into Bassetlaw. We’re ignored by Nottinghamshire because we’re right up in the north of the county and we’re ignored by Yorkshire because we’re not there. I would approach companies and work with the district council to get companies to come and invest here. We have a wonderful workforce up here – people know how to graft when they need to.

What has the area most got going for it?
“The people. I moved here 28 years ago and I immediately found the people here were wonderful, welcoming and opening. We brought our kids up here [because of that].”

John Mann

John Mann – Labour

His website states: “He is very much a “hands-on” Member of Parliament getting involved in issues that directly affect the day to day lives of his constituents.  The campaigns and the issues that he has raised in Parliament are often in direct response to concerns that have been raised by Bassetlaw residents.

“This has led to John running high profile campaigns on consumer debt, heroin and treatment for addiction, the overzealous staking of grave stones and the double charging by solicitors for miner compensation claims.

“In 2003 he ran a successful campaign to keep Bassetlaw Hospital A&E open and in 2006 he won the campaign to stop Bassetlaw Primary Care Trust from being merged into a wider county-wide primary care trust.  In this current climate he continues to speak out on local health provision and the impact of the cuts on behalf of the people of Bassetlaw.

“John sits on the influential Treasury Committee, where he has tackled the Chancellor over road fuel taxes and has challenged leading bankers over their bonuses.  John has previously served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Minister for the Olympics Tessa Jowell, and for Richard Caborn, then Minister for Sport. ”

Annette Simpson

Annette Simpson – Conservative

Why should people vote for you?
“I would be a strong local voice for all of Bassetlaw in Westminster, both urban and rural. I have been a district councillor for eleven years, worked in business locally and also immersed myself in community activities including singing in a church choir.

“Voters should also realise that this election has a very important national dimension. You can only get the strong and stable leadership offered by Theresa May by voting Conservative on June 8. A vote for anyone else could risk letting Jeremy Corbyn, propped by others including the SNP, into Downing Street.”

What local issue is most important to people in Bassetlaw? 
“Bassetlaw voted overwhelmingly to leave the European Union, and now we are leaving, residents want the best possible deal from Brexit. As the MP I would work closely with Theresa May to ensure Bassetlaw does get the best deal and our communities benefit from a future Global Britain.”

What has the area most got going for it?
“We have a proud industrial heritage locally. My Grandfather was a miner and my Dad was a steel worker. This has made us tough. We are hardworking, never afraid to show a bit of grit and have a great sense of humour too.”

Nigel Turner

Nigel Turner – Independent

Why should people vote for you?
“I don’t believe any one will represent my values or my beliefs. People have got really disillusioned with politics. I’m going to ask people what they actually want – something the professionals don’t do. They don’t listen.”

What local issue is most important to people in Bassetlaw?
“We need to try to revitalise the two major towns in our district and there’s the safety of the public when they come into town as well. I don’t want to be controversial but there’s no real security in town. In the 1970s I was a policeman and the greatest presence is a visible police presence.”

What has the area most got going for it?
“We have a strong community here. We’re hard working folk. It’s a working class area and I’m from a working class background. We like good value for our money. People here are honest, genuine people. It’s totally the opposite, I would suggest, to Westminster.”

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