Barrow & Furness

2015 Result:
Conservative: 17525 (40.5%)
Labour: 18320 (42.3%)
Lib Dem: 1169 (2.7%)
Green: 1061 (2.5%)
UKIP: 5070 (11.7%)
Independent: 130 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 795 (1.8%)

Category: Ultra-marginal Labour seat

Geography: North West, Cumbria. The whole of the Barrow in Furness council area and part of the South Lakeland council area.

Main population centres: Barrow in Furness, Ulverston, Broughton in Furness.

Profile: The Furness peninsula and the area to the north of it. Barrow itself is an important industrial town, a major deepwater port and shipbuilding town, one of few sites capable of constructing nuclear submarines. It is also important for energy generation, with the Roosecote Power Station, the terminals for the Morecambe Bay gas field, servicing major offshore wind farms in the Irish sea. Note that the town and the council are called Barrow IN Furness, but since 1983 the seat has been called Barrow AND Furness.

Politics: This is a Labour leaning seat, represented by the party for most of the time since the second world war. The exception was 1983-1992 when the Conservatives won the seat, perhaps due to Labour`s then support for nuclear disarmament and the constituency`s connection with submarine building..

Current MP
JOHN WOODCOCK (Labour) Born 1978, Sheffield. Educated at Edinburgh University. Former special advisor to Gordon Brown. First elected as MP for Barrow and Furness in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 16018 (36%)
Lab: 21226 (48%)
LDem: 4424 (10%)
UKIP: 841 (2%)
Oth: 1615 (4%)
MAJ: 5208 (12%)
Con: 11323 (31%)
Lab: 17360 (48%)
LDem: 6130 (17%)
UKIP: 758 (2%)
Oth: 922 (3%)
MAJ: 6037 (17%)
Con: 11835 (30%)
Lab: 21724 (56%)
LDem: 4750 (12%)
UKIP: 711 (2%)
MAJ: 9889 (25%)
Con: 13133 (27%)
Lab: 27630 (57%)
LDem: 4264 (9%)
Oth: 1995 (4%)
MAJ: 14497 (30%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
SIMON FELL (Conservative) Born Lancashire. Educated at Warwick University.
JOHN WOODCOCK (Labour) See above.
CLIVE PEAPLE (Liberal Democrat) Retired headteacher.
ROBERT O`HARA (Green) Small businessman and former teacher.
IAN JACKSON (Independent)
Comments - 24 Responses on “Barrow & Furness”
  1. Am I right in think the MP here stands for the Co-Operative Party as well as Labour?

    Perhaps Anthony might amend the biographies of the MPs concerned to show if they are Labour and Co-operative, rather than just Labour. This has not recently been very important, but it may be significant at the next General Election.

  2. John Woodcock MP: “I’m depressed and I’ve decided to get help”

    All those years carrying bags for Gordon Brown is enough to make anyone depressed

  3. Well that is a very unpleasant thing to say I’m afraid.

    How much do people who post on here actually know about me BTW……………………?

    Is it any wonder there are now so many Historians, NHS, ,charity workers etc in the Labour party now either………..?

    And Gordon Brown was not a good PM but I usually judge people based on a range of factors.

  4. Prediction for 2015-
    Woodcock (Labour)- 53%
    Conservative- 33%
    UKIP- 7%
    Liberal Democrat- 6%
    Others- 1%

  5. The reason I found Hemellig’s views on John Woodcock so troubling are that I have a physical neurological condition (i.e. a narrow cerebral aqueduct so I have a VP shunt which has blocked and required multiple operations over my life)

    I have been accused of having mental health problems and having panic attacks before by people who should have known better. Pressure built up in my skull 9 years ago, which was not treated promptly enough and I was gravely ill and I do not wish that on anyone else.

    I don’t have a medical background but know a surprsing amount about neurology, other medical conditions and even belatedly a bit about psychology now.

  6. I am sorry that you do not enjoy the best of physical health & wish you well for the future. I also applaud John Woodcock for being grown-up and honest with his constituents and hope that he enjoys better mental health in the years to come.

  7. And just for the avoidance of doubt I’m not someone who takes any pills or anything whatsoever.

    All I do is try and think about absolutely everything properly all the time which other people don’t bother to do.

    Hard to know where to ‘draw the line’ with people though!

  8. “The reason I found Hemellig’s views on John Woodcock so troubling are that I have a physical neurological condition (i.e. a narrow cerebral aqueduct so I have a VP shunt which has blocked and required multiple operations over my life)”

    Can you please show me where I have expressed any view on John Woodcock’s illness? All I did was link to the story and remark on how stressful it must have been to work for Gordon Brown, which after all is a well documented fact.

    We are all very sorry to hear about your problems but its a strange way to try to elicit sympathy by constantly slandering other posters and inventing things they haven’t said. Anthony told you to give it a rest yesterday so why don’t you listen to him and focus on the psephology.

  9. Gordon Brown’s office must have sometimes seemed like the Victorian Bedlam.

  10. John Woodcock has announced he’s training to be a classroom assistant one day per week.

  11. After the Euro election result, this can no longer be considered a safe Labour seat. Labour polled 4297, Ukip polled 4096. Had fake party ‘An Independence from Europe’ who polled 197 not been allowed to stand by the unfit for purpose Electoral Commission, the margin may have been as little as 4 votes.

  12. By-election took place today in Walney South . I believe the last local by-election before GE day. The by-election was for the county division but the district ward has the exact same boundaries. By-election caused by Labour Cllr resigning to move back to Scotland after divorcing John Woodcock MP.

    Result: Lab 727 UKIP 239 Con 181.
    Compared to most recent contest in that ward/divsion (2013 county elections) Lab +1.97 UKIP +3.32 Con -5.29.
    Comparing to 2010 district elections which took place on GE day, the changes are Lab -2.21 Con -18.61 (it was a straight fight back then).

  13. Labour Hold. 6,000 majority.

  14. Labour majority reduced to 795 votes. Trident must have been a factor.

  15. IF the Government increase defence spending, and decide to order more submarines to be built in Barrow, would that help the conservative at the next election, do you think?

  16. Trident was the defining factor at the last election here – the message got through that trident would be under threat if an SNP/Labour coalition governed and the Labour candidate went so far as to sign a pledge saying that he wouldn’t vote for scrapping Trident.

    Increased Tory submarine spending isn’t going to do any harm but it’s only where a Labour government potentially threatens the overall future of the yard that this seat has switched in the past. Presuming policies on Trident remain the same then if an SNP/Labour coalition is on the cards in 2020 it could go; if not, expect a swing back to Labour.

  17. If Corbyn wins the Labour leadership election this seat will probably be doomed to fall to the Tories at the next election due to Corbyn’s stances on Trident. Though if the Labour Party membership feel like throwing away seats like this due to some left wing ‘crusade’ be my guest :D.

  18. I think you’re right.

  19. Yep I completely agree. Corbyn with his views on immigration and defence will go down very badly here. Personally I will strongly consider voting tory if corbyn is the Labour leader.

  20. Who did you vote for at the general election?

  21. I voted LD in the end. Though I was undecided for a long time between LD/LAB. I sometimes vote tory in the locals but never in a national election.

  22. This was a terrible result for Labour and I’m sure the slenderness of the majority came as a big shock to John Woodcock. What is interesting however is to note how well Labour actually did here in 2010 in increasing their vote share, so I just wonder if this time round the swing to the Tories was partly a correction of the eccentric increase of five years ago as well as issues surrounding Trident, as this seat has gone against the national trend more than once in the past?

  23. It is grim how symbolic Trident has become regardless of how technically efficient it is and how relevant it is to the UK’s over-stretched defence needs.

    I recently read a magazine “Warship” in which, on the basis of defence leaks, it is implied that both Trident and Polaris before it have always had major technological problems which are inherent in the weapons system, and which cannot be put right without the procurement of a replacement system.

    My guess, leaving aside CND considerations, is that if the UK wants a nucklear deterrent that works it would probably have to be built by a different UK manufacturer, presumably a start-up company. I also suspect that it would not be based on submarine systems which are completely obsollete. We might as well have a fleet of Dreadnought battleships.

    If rational procuremment of the nuclear deterrent would cost the Tories this seat, iis it really worth £100 billion to save it? There is no way the Tories or anybody else would waste £100 billion in any other area iof government just to win one or two constituencies. So why will they do so for a defence system? Note that nothing in this post suggests that the UK should get rid of the nuclear deterrent.

    An immeidate point is that the nuclear deterrrent should be included in the current defence review and not given “holy cow” status.

    Who knows? If the Tories improved the efficiency of our defence industries they might actually win votes in defence related consitituencies.

    Let me stress again. Nothing in this post advocates that we should abandon the nuclear deterrent..It does advocate that if we have such a deterrent it should acutally work and that there are electoral implications if it does not.

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