Berwick-upon-Tweed

2015 Result:
Conservative: 16603 (41.1%)
Labour: 6042 (14.9%)
Lib Dem: 11689 (28.9%)
Green: 1488 (3.7%)
UKIP: 4513 (11.2%)
Others: 88 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 4914 (12.2%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: North East, Northumberland. Part of the Northumberland council area.

Main population centres: Berwick-upon-Tweed, Alwick, Seahouses, Wooler, Rothbury.

Profile: The most northerly constituency in England, covering the border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed and much of rural Northumberland. Sparsely populated, it is one of the smallest constituencies in England in terms of population, though it covers a large geographical area. Berwick is a market town and seaport, historically contested between England and Scotland. Alwick is a rural market town better known for its castle, the seat of the Dukes of Northumberland and the second largest inhabited castle in the country (and the exterior of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films), the town is within commutable distance from Newcastle and is becoming more of a dormitory town. The constituency also includes the seaside town of Seahouses, the tidal island of Lindisfarne and the small towns of Wooler and Rothbury, popular with walkers in the Northumerland National Park. The vast majority of the seat however is sparsely populated countryside.

Politics: Dominated by agriculture this seat should be a safe Tory seat, but has been held by the Liberals and Liberal Democrats for most of the last fifty years. There was a history of Liberals being elected in the seat prior to the war and following the resignation of Lord Lambton in 1973 after tabloid revelations that he used call girls and cannabis the seat was won by Alan Beith in a by-election. Beith held the seat for over forty years, transforming it from an ultra-marginal in the 1970s to a Lib Dem stronghold. He was unable to hand the seat onto a Liberal Democrat successor though and it was regained by the Conservatives in 2015.


Current MP
ANNE-MARIE TREVELYAN (Conservative) Educated at Oxford Polytechnic. Former chartered accountant. Contested Berwick upon Tweed 2010. First elected as MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed in 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 14116 (37%)
Lab: 5061 (13%)
LDem: 16806 (44%)
UKIP: 1243 (3%)
Oth: 1213 (3%)
MAJ: 2690 (7%)
2005*
Con: 10420 (29%)
Lab: 6618 (18%)
LDem: 19052 (53%)
MAJ: 8632 (24%)
2001
Con: 10193 (28%)
Lab: 6435 (18%)
LDem: 18651 (51%)
UKIP: 1029 (3%)
MAJ: 8458 (23%)
1997
Con: 10056 (24%)
Lab: 10965 (26%)
LDem: 19007 (45%)
Oth: 352 (1%)
MAJ: 8042 (19%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
ANNE-MARIE TREVELYAN (Conservative) Educated at Oxford Polytechnic. Chartered accountant. Contested Berwick upon Tweed 2010.
SCOTT DICKINSON (Labour) Born 1984. Youth and community project director. Northumberland councillor.
JULIE PORKSEN (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Ponteland High School and Oxford University. Agricultural economist.
NIGEL COGHILL-MARSHALL (UKIP) Retired compliance officer. Contested City of Durham 2010.
RACHAEL ROBERTS (Green) Educated at Leicester University. University Careers Guidance Practitioner and Manager.
NEIL HUMPHREY (English Democrat)
Links
Comments - 696 Responses on “Berwick-upon-Tweed”
  1. Maxim
    “How many seats do the Tories have in the North East under this review?”

    Two so down one.
    Hexham remains as safe as it ever was.
    Stockton West which shaves about 1,500 of Wharton’s majority compared to Stockton South.

    Although the Berwick and Ashington seat is certainly winnable for the Tories, depends were the Lib Dem vote goes and you’ve already spoke about Darlington.

  2. “The NE proposals make for grim reading for the Tories.”

    I don’t understand. They ought to be able to win Berwick & Ashington fairly easily because traditionally the anti-Labour vote in Ashington has voted for parties other than the Tories, and Darlington is now very good for the Tories. Stockton West is also okay for them.

  3. All are possible but I really don’t know about Berwick, I’ve gave up predicting what Lib Dem voters do when squeezed. They behave very erratically. Its anyone’s guess whether Berwick Lib Dems would break disproportionately for Labour, Tories or evenly for both. They might even stubbornly refuse to be squeezed and stick with the Libs regardless, Berwick does have a long Liberal tradition.

  4. Andy
    “traditionally the anti-Labour vote in Ashington has voted for parties other than the Tories”

    What anti Labour vote in Ashington?

    In all seriousness though that might be as much a curse as a blessing for the Tories. Tory inability to make headway amongst Ashington residents might render the Libs the default anti Lab option?

  5. Also lets not forget Labs vote is probably a bit artificially low in the current Berwick seat, there is significant Lab support in the far South of the current seat around Amble, Lynemouth and Ellington and its clearly being squeezed by the Libs at present.

    Under these boundaries though they can vote for their first preference.

  6. People are talking about swings back to Lib Dem in seats further south with similar margins, but this seems to me to be a relatively straightforward Conservative hold. Tories made strong strides in 2010 and are considerably stronger nationally now. Also I think Labour’s floor is higher here Tory/LD contests in southern England. Finally, I think that the UKIP increase was down to lack of belief in the Tories making a certain big change which has now been made, hence I doubt the element of it which came from the LDs will return to them.

  7. Without the Beith factor I think this is going to be a comfortable Con hold.

  8. Cons 52.5; Lab 24.6; LD 21.6

    A result that wouldn’t have been out of place in the Lord Lambton era

  9. Looks like a natural return to form for this seat then lol.

  10. It only took 44 years for it to happen.

  11. At last lol. Had it not been for that by-election I doubt Beith would have ever won this…

  12. Labour may well have taken it in 97, though. And then maybe lost in 2001 when northern rural seats swung to Con following foot and mouth.

  13. Yes. And Labour came very very close in neighbouring Hexham in 1997 and then less so in 2001. Funnily enough, the Labour candidate here was Paul Brannen, now of course an MEP for North East England since 2014, who ironically lost in Hexham to Peter Atkinson in 2001 four years later as well.

  14. When I meant ‘the Labour candidate here was Paul Brannen’, I should make it clear I was of course referring to the general election of 1997.

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