The Thirty Most Extreme Places in Britain
Part 2 : Political Extremes

This page first posted 21 April 2017

Electoral Calculus has developed a large database giving very detailed political and demographic information.

You can see the results for any single locality by entering a postcode in this search box:   

In the first part of this article, we looked at demographic extremes. That revealed the sixteen localities which have either the smallest or largest value of the eight key census indicators across the country.

In this concluding part, we look at political measures and review the places which are extreme in one direction or another for each measure.

  1. Left/Right wing – economic political attitudes
  2. International/National – nationalist political attitudes
  3. EU Referendum – how many people voted to leave or remain in the EU
  4. Conservative vote – how many people voted Conservative at the general election
  5. Labour vote – how many people voted Labour
  6. Liberal Democrat vote – how many people voted Lib Dem
  7. UKIP vote – how many people voted UKIP
  8. Green vote – how many people voted for the Green party
  9. SNP/PC vote – how many people voted either SNP or Plaid Cymru
  10. Appendix : Geography – geographical extremes

Notes: Analysis excludes those output areas with fewer than 50 voters. If several areas share the same extreme value, then the most populous area is used. Census data is taken as at 2011. Political affiliation is given as at the 2015 General Election. Picture, Map and Data credits are at the end of this page.

1 Left/Right Wing

Electoral Calculus has developed a measure of economic political attitudes on the left/right spectrum. Leftist attitudes involve larger government, more government spending, generous welfare benefits and a distrust of business. Rightist attitudes want smaller government, lower taxes, less generous welfare and a pro-business free-market stance. The scale runs in two opposite directions, similar to geographical longitude, with the left wing going from 1° Left (very mildly left) to 100° Left (extremely left) and the right wing running from 1° Right (very mildly right) to 100° Right (extremely right). The centre point (0°) lies between the two wings.

Using political modelling and voting patterns, we can determine an estimate for the left/right position of each seat, ward and locality in the country. The national average is 0° (centrist).


The most left-wing locality in the country is the north end of Havelock Road in Brighton, East Sussex. (example postcode BN1 6GQ). This is a residential neighbourhood which is a bit inland from the famous seafront.

The area has a left/right position of 47° Left, which is the most left-wing in the country.

The area cast most votes for the Greens at the general election (48%), but there was also a strong Labour vote (36%). Residents also voted overwhelmingly to Remain in the EU by 98% to 2%, and the area is also very stongly internationalist.

On census measures, the residents of this locality feel quite British, are in good health, and have very good jobs and high social status. Around 80% of them are middle class.

In summary, this is a prosperous and attractive street whose residents are highly suspicious of capitalism and are strongly supportive of left-wing internationalism.




The most right-wing locality in the country is Ennismore Garden Mews in the City of Westminster ward of Knightsbridge and Belgravia (example postcode SW7 1AW). Geographically it is situated in the middle of Knightsbridge, near to both Harrods and the Royal Albert Hall.

But politically, it is on the edge with a left/right position of 57° Right.

The residents vote overwhelmingly Conservative (80%) at the general election, and are mildly internationalist, but less so than the North London average. They voted to Remain in the EU, but not by a large margin.

The area also includes a student hall of residence for Imperial College, which lowers both the average age (26 years) and the proportion of UK born residents (only 43%). Residents are in good health, and have very good education, good jobs, and high social class.

This appears to be a very well-off area in one of the most sought-after parts of London.


Paradoxically, the census demographics of these two areas are very similar, with both enjoying strong economic success. Despite that, the residents have very different political outlooks.


IndicatorHavelock Road,
Brighton
Ennismore Garden
Mews, Westminster
All GB
Party WinnerGreenCONCON
Economic Position47° Left57° Right
National Position47° Int15° Int1° Int
EU Leave %2%43%52%
British Identity45%31%29%
Good Health64%67%48%
UK Born90%43%88%
Good Education79%84%39%
Good Job80%73%51%
High SEC77%85%51%
Average Age44.925.748.5
ABC1 Class80%91%53%

2 International/National

Along with the traditional left/right axis, Electoral Calculus has a second political dimension looking at nationalist attitudes. It has two wings: internationalist (or globalist) and nationalist. Internationalists believe in openness to immigration, support for the EU single market, a multicultural Britain which treats all residents equally and a Britain engaged abroad. The Nationalist wing is hostile to immigration, dislikes EU freedom of movement, defines British as 'born here', and puts a more isolationist Britain first. These definitions are adapted from original work by the Social Market Foundation last year.

The internationalist side of the axis runs from 1° Int (very mildly internationalist) to 100° Int (extreme internationalist) and the nationalist side runs similarly from 1° Nat (very mildly nationalist) to 100° Nat (extreme nationalist). The national average of 1° Int is very close to the central position of 0°.


The most internationalist locality in Britain is Oldfield Road in the Stoke Newington area of the London borough of Hackney (example postcode N16 0SU).

It has a position on the nationalism axis of 64° Int, which is the most internationalist in the country.

The street has consistent political beliefs. It is pretty strongly left wing and strongly supports the Labour party, who got 64% at the general election, with the Greens in second place on 28%. And a colossal 99% of residents voted to Remain in the EU, which is one of the highest levels in the country. (See next section for the actual highest.)

Demographically, the area is doing well. Residents are mildly youthful, have good health and education, and have good jobs and high social class. Around 90% of residents are middle class. They feel more British than average.

This appears to be a relatively prosperous street of urban professionals who believe strongly in left-wing internationalism.



The most nationalist area of the country are a few streets around the central section of Walton Road in Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex. (example postcode CO14 8NW). This is a seaside town which is part of the Clacton constituency, the only seat won by UKIP at the last general election.

This area has a position on the nationalist axis of 50° Nat, which is the most nationalist in Britain.

It is also fairly right wing, and voted heavily for UKIP (66%) at the general election. Its voters chose overwhelmingly to Leave the EU by 91% to 9%.

Residents are older than the national average, do not enjoy good health, and feel much more English (85%) than British (11%), and are mostly UK born. They tend to me less well educated, and have more routine jobs.

This appears to be a working-class right-wing area which is strongly nationalist.

IndicatorOldfield Road,
Hackney
Walton Road,
Walton/Naze
All GB
Party WinnerLABUKIPCON
Economic Position23° Left18° Right
National Position64° Int50° Nat1° Int
EU Leave %1%91%52%
British Identity45%11%29%
Good Health68%32%48%
UK Born80%93%88%
Good Education78%23%39%
Good Job82%34%51%
High SEC79%43%51%
Average Age42.561.248.5
ABC1 Class90%40%53%

3 EU Referendum

Another key political indicator is the proportion of people in each area who voted to Remain in or Leave the EU at the referendum on 23 June 2016.

Using the district council official results, along with political modelling based on party affiliation and census demographics, Electoral Calculus has estimated the EU referendum result in every ward and output area locality. The values across an entire district have been chosen to match the district's known total vote, which is important to ensure the results are as accurate as possible.

The national average for Leave is 52%, with Remain on 48%.


The most pro-Remain locality in the country is around the south end of Buckingham Road and Leopold Road in Brighton, East Sussex (example postcode BN1 3RD). This is an attractive residential area in central Brighton, the only seat won by the Green Party at the general election

People in these streets voted almost unanimously for Remain at the EU referendum. Of the 157 electors, it is estimated that none of them voted to Leave. (Though there might have been one or two in reality.) Brighton as a whole voted 69% to Remain.

Residents also voted extremely strongly for the Greens (61%) and mildly for Labour (27%) at the general election. They are very left wing and highly internationalist in outlook.

On economic measures, these streets are doing well and their inhabitants have good jobs and high socio-economic and social grades, along with good education levels. They are younger than average, and very middle class.

In summary, this is a well-to-do area of Brighton filled with young left-wing internationalist professionals.



At the other end of the spectrum, the locality which was the most in favour of leaving the EU is the north end of Bilton Grove and the nearby section of Marfleet Lane in Kingston upon Hull (example postcode HU9 5XZ).

This area is estimated to have voted Leave by 98% to 2%. Of the 88 electors, only about 56 people voted, of whom an estimated single person voted to Remain. Kingston upon Hull voted overall to Leave by 68%.

Politically, this area tends to be a bit right of centre, is very nationalist, and voted strongly for UKIP (58%) at the general election.

Residents feel English (86%) much more than British (10%) and almost all residents are UK born. They have poor health and education, despite being averagely aged. The economic indicators for the area are significantly below the national averages.

Overall, this is a poorly-off area of a right-wing working-class neigbourhood which is strongly nationalist.


There is a strong contrast between these two neighbourhoods, which are at opposite ends of the economic spectrum as well as the EU referendum.

IndicatorBuckingham Road,
Brighton
Bilton Grove,
Hull
All GB
Party WinnerGreenUKIPCON
Economic Position35° Left12° Right
National Position45° Int47° Nat1° Int
EU Leave %0%98%52%
British Identity35%10%29%
Good Health53%25%48%
UK Born84%96%88%
Good Education75%12%39%
Good Job77%14%51%
High SEC77%14%51%
Average Age36.448.448.5
ABC1 Class83%22%53%

4 Conservative vote

A basic, but interesting, political measure is the percentage of voters who supported each of the major political parties at the most recent general election in 2015. Although this is not officially published at the ward or locality output area, this can be estimated from local election results and census demographics, making sure that small area votes add up correctly within each seat to match the known seat total vote.

In this and some following sections, we discover the small local neighbourhoods which had the highest levels of support across the nation for the various parties.

The locality with the highest Conservative vote share is a British Army base in Hampshire, which is home to two regiments of the Army Air Corps in Middle Wallop (example postcode SO20 8DY).

Residents are estimated to have voted 98% Conservative. Of the 287 people who voted at the general election, only about half a dozen did not cast their vote for the Conservative candidate.

The inhabitants have strong right-wing views and a strong British identity. They are balanced on the international/national axis, but voted heavily to remain in the EU.

They have very good health, are younger than average (35 years old) and have good education. They have very good high-status jobs (mostly in the defence sector), and 95% of them are classified as middle class.

This army-influenced area is right-wing, British and economically successful without being nationalist.



By comparison, the least Conservative area in the whole country is Medbourne Crescent, Gaywood Avenue and Gaywood Close in Kikby near Liverpool (example postcode L32 7PA).

Of the 126 votes cast at the general election, it is estimated that no votes were cast for the Conservative candidate (though there might have been one or two who went against the model). Overall, the Conservatives only got 7% of the votes across the whole seat of Knowsley.

In these streets, Labour won 79% of the vote, with the Greens coming a distant second with 11% and UKIP third with 9%.

Politically, the area is strongly left-wing, only mildly internationalist, and voted fairly clearly to leave the EU.

Inhabitants feel English (82%) rather than British (17%) and have poor health and bad levels of education. Economic conditions are not good, and most employment is routine and not high status.

This appears to be a traditional working-class area which is not strong economically and sees nothing attractive in the Conservative party.



IndicatorArmy Air Corps,
Middle Wallop
Medbourne Crescent,
Kirkby
All GB
Party WinnerCONLABCON
Economic Position36° Right34° Left
National Position3° Int7° Int1° Int
EU Leave %29%59%52%
British Identity43%17%29%
Good Health78%23%48%
UK Born85%100%88%
Good Education60%9%39%
Good Job90%25%51%
High SEC91%15%51%
Average Age34.850.948.5
ABC1 Class95%16%53%

5 Labour vote

The locality with the highest Labour vote share is an area around the Scotland Road/Kingsway junction in the Everton area of Liverpool (example postcode L5 5BH). Here, inhabitants voted Labour at the general election by 99%. Only about one voter out of 74 voted against the Labour party (probably for UKIP). Labour won the seat (Liverpool Walton) with 81% of the vote overall.

The residents are strong left-wing, quite internationalist, but very balanced on the EU referendum. Their health and age are only a little below average, but their education levels are a bit below average. Economic indicators are not great, with only 21% of people having a good socio-economic status. But conditions are better than many areas.

The area is working-class Labour, and is just getting by. Residents are strongly committed to the Labour party.



IndicatorScotland Road,
Liverpool
All GB
Party WinnerLABCON
Economic Position36° Left
National Position16° Int1° Int
EU Leave %49%52%
British Identity25%29%
Good Health42%48%
UK Born89%88%
Good Education26%39%
Good Job38%51%
High SEC21%51%
Average Age45.348.5
ABC1 Class28%53%

6 Liberal Democrat vote

Although the Liberal Democrats lost ground at the last general election, they retained strength in some areas. The part of the country which has the most Lib Dem support is a remote part of the Scottish Highlands about the junction of the A835 and A837 around Ledmore, Ledbeg and Elphin. This 15-mile long strip is towards the west coast of Sutherland (example postcode IV27 4HF).

The people here voted Lib Dem by 83% at the last general election (though the SNP won the seat).

The residents are midly left-of-centre, and mildly internationalist, but voted heavily to leave the EU. They are mostly UK born, slightly older than average, but have fairly good health and education. Jobs around here are not so great, with agriculture and transport being a big employer, but the socio-economic status of residents is a fraction above average.

This is a rural neighbourhood, which although not rich, is self-confident enough to go against the trends sweeping the rest of Scotland.


IndicatorLedmore,
Highland
All GB
Party WinnerLIBCON
Economic Position8° Left
National Position7° Int1° Int
EU Leave %70%52%
British Identity28%29%
Good Health54%48%
UK Born98%88%
Good Education47%39%
Good Job33%51%
High SEC54%51%
Average Age55.248.5
ABC1 Class28%53%

7 UKIP vote


The area with the highest UKIP vote share at the general election is in Jaywick in the UKIP's only seat Clacton. Sections of Tudor Green, Boleyn Way, Park Square East, Crossways and Meadow Way form the most UKIP area of the country (example postcode CO15 2SQ).

Residents here voted 70% for UKIP, with Labour a distant second on 16%.

On other measures, the inhabitants are only mildly right-wing, but strongly nationalist and voted 93% to leave the EU.

They feel English (87%) rather than British (10%), are elderly and in poor health, and have not had good levels of education. Economic indicators are generally well below national averages.

This is a poorly-off area in one of the most deprived parts of England. People here strongly supported Douglas Carswell when he stood for UKIP here in 2015.


IndicatorTudor Green,
Jaywick
All GB
Party WinnerUKIPCON
Economic Position6° Right
National Position49° Nat1° Int
EU Leave %93%52%
British Identity10%29%
Good Health24%48%
UK Born97%88%
Good Education9%39%
Good Job35%51%
High SEC24%51%
Average Age62.148.5
ABC1 Class36%53%

8 Green Party vote

We have already encountered the locality with the highest Green vote at the general election. It is the same set of attractive streets in Brighton around Buckingham Road and Leopold Road which had the highest vote to remain in the EU.

Please go to the EU Referendum section for full details of this neighbourhood.

9 SNP/Plaid Cymru vote

The 2015 election was a historic watershed for the SNP as they swept to victory in 56 out of 59 Scottish Westminster seats. They broke out of their traditional strongholds in the north of Scotland and won seats all over the central belt and the borders.

The Scottish area with the highest vote for the SNP was actually in the Scottish new town of Cumbernauld, about 15 miles north east of Glasgow. The locality is made up of much of Baldorran Crescent and sections of Earl's Hill (example postcode G68 9BL). This locality voted 94% for the SNP.

The residents are pretty strongly left-wing and internationalist, and voted heavily to remain in the EU.

They are fairly average of many indicators, though there socio-economic standing and social grade are a bit above average, as is their age. Only 65% of inhabitants describe themselves as Scottish only, with 23% preferring to feel Scottish and British.

This is a fairly respectable neighbourhood which is doing alright. Whilst left wing, inhabitants have rejected the Labour party and embraced the SNP, though they may not be fully committed nationalists.



Over in Wales, Plaid Cymru had a less successful general election and only won three seats out of 40. One of these, Arfon, also boasts the most Plaid Cymru supporting area of all Wales. This is some streets around Abercaseg and Adwy'r Nant in Bethesda, Gwynedd (example postcode LL57 3PE).

People here voted 84% for Plaid Cymru. Labour was in second place with just 9%.

Residents are quite left-wing, mildly internationalist and voted clearly to stay in the EU. They feel very Welsh (84%) and only slightly British (7%), and enjoy good health. In economic terms, jobs are fine, but not very special, and this is a relatively working class area.

Overall these streets appear to be a fairly comfortable left-wing working-class area, which is not attracted to Labour but identifies strongly with the Welsh nationalist tradition of North Wales.


IndicatorBaldorran Cres,
Cumbernauld
Abercaseg,
Bethesda
All GB
Party WinnerSNPPlaid CymruCON
Economic Position29° Left26° Left
National Position25° Int10° Int1° Int
EU Leave %23%39%52%
British Identity35%7%29%
Good Health44%56%48%
UK Born99%98%88%
Good Education34%31%39%
Good Job54%40%51%
High SEC71%40%51%
Average Age57.347.548.5
ABC1 Class60%36%53%

10 Appendix : Geography

We have seen the thirty places in Britain which are extreme either politically or demographically. For any reader who is still hungry for more political geography, we conclude with four bonus locations which are geographically extreme in Great Britain.

In this section we look at the Ordnance Survey co-ordinates of all 227,759 output areas in the database. These co-ordinates are called Easting and Northing and correspond approximately to longitude and latitude respectively. There are, of course, four geographical extremes: most westerly (smallest easting), most easterly (largest easting), most southerly (smallest northing) and most northerly (largest northing).

Note that positions of output areas are taken as their centroid or centre-of-gravity, rather than their extreme point. Also this analysis is restricted to Great Britain, and excludes Northern Ireland which otherwise would have the westernmost location.

Within Great Britain, the most westerly location is the Island of Vatersay, which is the southernmost inhabited island in the Outer Hebrides, south of the island of Barra (example postcode HS9 5XA).

Its easting co-ordinate is 085559.

Politically the residents voted strongly for the SNP (74%) with Labour in a distant second place (17%). Residents are strongly left-wing and quite internationalist. They voted very clearly to remain in the EU.

The feel very Scottish (87%) rather than British (11%), and everyone was born in the UK. They have good health but education levels are a bit below average.

Economically, available jobs are concentrated in agriculture and travel. But socio-economic grades are higher, which may reflect a population of retired people.

As a remote agricultural community, similar to Ledmore, Highland, jobs are not fantastic, but people are healthy and have relatively high status.


The most easterly location of Great Britain is the well-known Ness Point in Lowestoft, Suffolk. (example postcode NR32 1BT).

Its Easting co-ordinate is 654926, meaning it lies 570km (355 miles) to the east of Vatersay.

This area voted mostly Labour (55%) at the general election, although the seat of Waveney was narrowly won by the Conservatives.

Residents are mildly left-wing, quite nationalist and voted strongly to leave the EU. They are younger than average, but not in great health. Their education levels are significantly below average and the economic indicators for the area are also poor.

This is a rather depressed industrial area of urban Suffolk. Geographical extremity can often be a negative factor for economic activity and Lowestoft suffers from that effect.


The most southerly output area in Britain is the streets around Church Road on St Mary's, the largest of the Isles of Scilly (example postcode TR21 0PT).

Its Northing co-ordinate is 010635, only 10km north of the edge of the Ordnance Survey world.

The residents voted Conservative (43%) and Lib Dem (29%) at the general election. The seat (St Ives) was gained by the Conservatives from the Liberal Democrats.

Politically, the residents are economically and nationally centrist. They voted narrowly to leave the EU, and feel quite British. They score around the average for many indicators, but above average for education and socio-economic class.

Despite its geographic isolation, this appears to be a pleasant and relatively prosperous part of the country.


The northernmost locality in Britain is the area around Saxa Vord on the island of Unst in Shetland (example postcode ZE2 9EF). Unst in the most northerly inhabited island in Britain.

Its Northing co-ordinate is 1213660, which makes it 1200km (750 miles) north of the Isles of Scilly.

Politically, the Saxa Vord residents voted more for the SNP (42%) than the Liberal Democrats (29%), but the Lib Dems held the Orkney and Shetland seat.

Residents feel more Scottish (67%) than British (21%). The inhabitants are mildly left-wing and mildly internationalist, but voted narrowly to leave the EU.

They have good health, despite being a bit older than average, but education levels are below average. The economic status of those in work is a bit low, with fairly routine occupations in personal care and machine operation. But nearly half the population is over 60, so many people are retired and their economic status is better than those of working age.


IndicatorVatersay,
Outer Hebrides
Ness Point,
Lowestoft
Church Road,
St Mary's
Saxa Vord,
Unst
All GB
Party WinnerNATLABCONNATCON
Economic Position25° Left7° Left1° Right8° Left
National Position19° Int16° Nat3° Int9° Int1° Int
EU Leave %34%74%46%52%52%
British Identity11%24%38%21%29%
Good Health61%32%49%59%48%
UK Born100%87%96%97%88%
Good Education29%17%49%28%39%
Good Job29%32%51%37%51%
High SEC66%29%59%48%51%
Average Age49.544.154.955.548.5
ABC1 Class35%27%53%37%53%

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