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
2010
Con: 16018 (36%)
Lab: 21226 (48%)
LDem: 4424 (10%)
UKIP: 841 (2%)
Oth: 1615 (4%)
MAJ: 5208 (12%)
2005*
Con: 11323 (31%)
Lab: 17360 (48%)
LDem: 6130 (17%)
UKIP: 758 (2%)
Oth: 922 (3%)
MAJ: 6037 (17%)
2001
Con: 11835 (30%)
Lab: 21724 (56%)
LDem: 4750 (12%)
UKIP: 711 (2%)
MAJ: 9889 (25%)
1997
Con: 13133 (27%)
Lab: 27630 (57%)
LDem: 4264 (9%)
Oth: 1995 (4%)
MAJ: 14497 (30%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
SIMON FELL (Conservative) Born Lancashire. Educated at Warwick University.
JOHN WOODCOCK (Labour) See above.
CLIVE PEAPLE (Liberal Democrat) Retired headteacher.
NIGEL CECIL (UKIP)
ROBERT O`HARA (Green) Small businessman and former teacher.
IAN JACKSON (Independent)
Links
Comments - 169 Responses on “Barrow & Furness”
  1. Lancs it seems to me that some councils haven’t updated their time since 2015 when there were locals. Results should be quicker.

  2. Lancs, do you know how much the media knows throughout the day, even if they can’t report it? For instance do they get any word on the exit poll as it’s coming together or (more for regional papers) word on the ground or their own exit polls in their own areas that they can use to plan tomorrow’s front pages?

  3. I doubt if John Woodcock will be on Jeremy Corbyn’s Xmas card list anytime soon but he owes him for this remarkable hold – 205 votes – in a seat where Labour should have been dead in the water.

  4. John Woodcock has been suspended from the party.

  5. John Woodcock says his suspension is a stitch-up:

    https://twitter.com/JWoodcockMP/status/1010791382473113601

    Pretty shocking if true. Suspending your political opponents on false charges is Putinesque behaviour.

  6. Pretty shocking if untrue. If he’s falsely accusing the NEC of making up sexual harassment claims that’s the kind of behaviour I’d expect of George Galloway.

    I notice none of the other MPs suspended from the party whip due to ongoing investigations into sexual harassment accusations have withdrawn their cooperation. I haven’t heard Ivan Lewis accusing the NEC of silencing him as a Corbyn sceptic.

  7. Well, I guess we’re both showing our own partisan bias here. There’s no evidence really, one way or the other.

    It is possible that both sides are acting in good faith, of course. The problem with sexual harassment is that men (and it is always men) do not always recognise that they are crossing boundaries. Even a woman asking politely for him to back off can be rationalised as her “playing hard to get”. Quite plausible that Woodcock has been seriously misbehaving, and doesn’t even realise it.

  8. Don’t get me wrong I do not assume to believe John Woodcock is guilty of sexual harassment and it’s quite likely that much like in the other cases there is no way for sure to prove that he did sexually harass someone.

    Some of his letter I agree with. It may well be better if these cases were handed over to an independent inquiry. They would be legal and independent adjudicators that couldn’t be accused of personal bias or having a personal interest. If there are found guilty they may need to start criminal proceedings.

    Though some will still accuse them of allowing a sex pest off scot free or fuelling a witch hunt, etc. In most cases accusations of sexual harassment aren’t upheld even in court because there is just almost no way of knowing for definite and people still often feel rightly that they’ve got away with it

  9. Paul D – we sometimes get news items which are embargoed until a certain time (usually for legal reasons).

    Govt, councils, police etc also supply the media with advance notice of events, so that copy is produced and ready to go to publication or so a reporter and photographer can be present, as you suggest.

  10. Incidentally, Rivers10 returned and had a discussion with PT on this thread I thought yesterday?

    It appears to have been removed today, however?

  11. John Woodcock would be more than welcome in the Conservative party and I’m puzzled as to why he has not defected yet as he is in a relationship with Isabel Hardman.

  12. Because he’s Labour through and through and wouldn’t be the first Labour MP in love with a Tory

  13. And indeed two of Labour’s five post war prime ministers were married to Tories….though they were very discreet about it there’s no mistaking the political preferences of Mrs Attlee and Mrs Wilson were not Labour.

  14. But the story of how they became involved – they were both in Nice at the time of the terrorist attack there a few years back, and her hotel was off-limits for safety reasons so he offered to share his room – is pretty heartwarming regardless of your politics.

  15. John Woodcock’s done well in that respect

    I think they share a history of suffering from depression

    And whilst Hardman’s from the Right, I wouldn’t really describe her as a Tory.

    She’s a reporter/analyser of political news rather than a creator of it

    A bit like say Andrew Neil, whose personal right wing views are irrelevant to his role and effectiveness as a pundit

  16. Today’s politics isn’t the place to be for those of a sane disposition who re prone to depression….just looking at the state of the Labour and Tory parties (and the US) from the outside is enough to make one feel very down in the dumps.

    We are lucky that governments and politicians have so little power and so much less impact on the economy these days than in decades past. Had this shitshow of politicians presided in say the 1980s they would have caused an economic calamity unprecedented in modern times. Fortunately in the modern global people are much more able to shrug them off and carry on with their lives and businesses as normal – at least they’ve been able to do so so far.

  17. There are quite a lot of people I know politically active who suffer from depression. Personally I think positive action can really help. When you see what you’re doing is changing lives for the better. I’ve felt quite down for some months but while canvassing this bloke said to me he was fed up with rubbish strewn across his road so I said to my cllr can we clean it up and get bin put in. 2 weeks later it’s being put in place and I think well that wouldnt be there if I hadnt said something. Stuff like that makes life worth it

  18. Matthew Parris has written about how those in elected politics disproportionately suffer from mental health disorders. Makes sense as few people with a normal mental balance would find politics a rewarding career.

    With national politics on both sides such a mess, I can see the attraction of focusing on pavement politics in your local patch.

  19. Tbf that’s how it’s always been. With both my parents being cllrs and dragged along to council meetings when I was still a babe in arms I’ve kind of brought up into it. I don’t find macro economics that interesting but if you want to talk about allocated grant, adult social precept, local plan, etc. I am your man. Voters have never talked about national politics either; its always parking, buses and highways. That’s the stuff that matters and you can really change lives by getting someone a stairlift, a disabled parking space, resurfacing dangerous roads, etc.

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