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 - 670 Responses on “Berwick-upon-Tweed”
  1. Peppermint Tea’s proposals look pretty similar to my own and I agree with his estimate of the majority in a revised Hexham.

  2. @Tory just saw your post. Seems we were thinking similar things. I think something like that may be very likely for the reasons stated above (Morpeth going into Berwick ect.)

  3. @Maxim Labour would have definitely won a Hexham that contained Cramlington in 1997 and probably in 2001 too. It probably would have been regained by the Tories in 2005 though.

    How do you submit proposals to the Boundary Commission btw?

  4. Its kinda odd putting Cramlington in Hexham, while the Tories do well in parts its primarily a gritty industrial town, plus such an amalgamation requires splitting Bedlington as has been mentioned.

    My proposals result in no town being split, no cross county seats and no hugely disparate areas being paired with each other.

  5. The BC will publish proposals in September. Thereafter there will be a consultation process, in which presumably people (in practice, mainly parties seeking to mitigate partisan disadvantage) can submit alternatives.

  6. Thank you Maxim though I admit its gonna be a really dodgy area and one party or the other is going to lose out. The issue is that Northumberland as a county is pretty much equally good for both Tories and Labour but there’s only going to be three seats and its pretty much impossible to create a marginal the closest being my proposed Cramlington and Prudhoe seat which the Tories could probably only win in a really good year, Labour would have had a 6% majority in 2015 definitely not safe but reliable.

  7. A seat including both Hexham and Berwick is going to be extremely unwiedly and in the end I suspect the BC will go with Peppermint Tea’s proposal instead.

  8. Unwieldy how? There are certainly larger constituencies in England alone. Also if Berwick and Hexham is unwieldy then Pepperminttea’s alternative Hexham is just as much so given that it also travels the entire width of Northumberland though its also much narrower almost strip like.

  9. Might I also add that Peppermintea’s alternative Berwick seat includes the Humshaugh ward so it ran right up to Hexham anyway so its pretty much just as unwieldy in that respect alone.

  10. @rivers10. No you don’t have to split Bedlington if you move Seghill with Seaton Delaval instead of it. I personally think Morpeth is best placed with Amble in the Berwick seat which essentially create a seat with all of rural North Northumberland in the same constituency. Then you can put all of the towns of Blyth, Ashington and Bedlington in a compact homogeneous urban seat. The final seat is the more suburban seat containing the rest of South Northumberland and hugging the Newcastle boundary.

    My suggestion in full (names subject to change):

    Berwick and Morpeth (electorate 76,530):
    Berwick North, Berwick East, Berwick West with Ord, Norham and Islandshires, Wooler, Rothbury, Bamburgh, Longhoughton, Alnwick, Shilbottle, Amble West with Warkworth, Amble, Druridge Bay, Lynemouth, Pegswood, Morpeth North, Morpeth Stobhill, Morpeth Kirkhill, Longhorsley, Bellingham, Humshaugh.
    Approximate notional Conservative majority over the Lib Dems: 10,000. Though if it had been contested on these boundaries it would in reality have been a bit closer than this due to some Labour voters in added wards voting tactically Lib Dem.

    Cramlington and Hexham (electorate 78,083):
    Haydon and Hadrian, Haltwhistle, South Tynedale, Hexham West, Hexham Central with Acomb, Hexham East, Corbridge, Stocksfield and Broomhaugh, Prudhoe South, Prudhoe North, Bywell, Ponteland West, Ponteland South with Heddon, Ponteland North, Ponteland East and Stannington, Cramlington West, Cramlington Village, Cramlington South East, Cramlington North, Cramlington Eastfield, Cramlington East, Seghill with Seaton Delaval.
    Approximate notional Conservative majority over Labour: 8,500.

    Blyth Valley (electorate 77,835):
    Holywell, Hartley, Newsham, South Blyth, Wensleydale, Plessey, Isabella, Cowpen, Croft, Kitty Brewster, Bedlington Central, Bedlington West, Bedlington East, Sleekburn, Stakeford, Choppington, Bothal, Haydon, College, Ashington Central, Hirst, Seaton with Newbiggin West, Newbiggin Central and East.
    Approximate notional Labour majority over UKIP: 14,500.

  11. Rivers 10- Cramlington at least adjoins Ponteland- the seat wouldn’t be that much wider than Hexham. Peppermint tea’s revised recommendation gets my vote though I am happy to accept that none is ideal.

  12. Yes I posted that thing about Bedlington before I properly read your proposals, I was basing it off Tories proposals so that’s one flaw avoided.

    My problem with your solution as opposed to mine is as follows.

    While Morpeth is a bit of an odd one I was aiming to create a fairly condense Wansbeck/Blyth Valley seat and Morpeth definitely has proximity to and greater political history with the likes of Ashington, Blyth etc. Also while its obviuously nowehere near as industrial as the likes of Ashington it is far more so than the likes of Berwick or Hexham. Pairing it with Berwick isn’t terrible mind but doing so prevents sensible solutions elsewhere.

    Also your Berwick seat can hardly be claimed to incorporate most of rural Northumberland, obviously its impossible to get ALL of rural Northumberland in one seat but the bulk of rural Hexham remains elsewhere. My Berwick and Hexham seat actually included all the rural wards bar the four Ponteland wards.

    Finally you describe your Hexham and Cramlington seat as a suburban one but this is wholly inaccurate. As well as huge rural areas it contains some seriously gritty industrial areas. You have paired massively disparate places together My aim with the Cramlington and Prudhoe seat was to actually incorporate the former coal mining town of Prudhoe and the surrounding industrial areas of Bywell and Stocksfield into another primarily industrial seat (I’ve always thought that pairing them with vast swathes of rural Northumberland and a quintessential market town Hexham was just plain weird) My Cramlington and Prudhoe seat is a truly industrial seat bar Ponteland and its far more condense than your alternative.

    I have managed with my proposals to get two near wholly industrial seats and one large rural seat. Any alternatives require a real mish mash of areas.

  13. Tory
    I just wonder why if you prefer seats to be compact you have went for two big unwieldy (and in one case very narrow and spindly) seats over the one big unwieldy seat and two more compact seats.

  14. Also I just realised in my post to Pepperminttea my phone autocorrected compact for condense for some reason??? Apologies all

  15. @rivers10 the major issue with your Cramlington and Prudhoe is the ward of Kitty Brewster is part of the town of Blyth so it needs to be in the Blyth constituency. It might look close to Bedlington but the vast majority of the electorate are in the East of the ward. The other options for wards that you could have added are Newsham, South Blyth and South Tynedale. The first two are part of Blyth as well as Kitty Brewster so can’t be added, South Tynedale on the other hand can be added. But moving Kitty Brewster back into the Blyth, Ashington and Morpeth forces Lynemouth to be removed and so you get a extremely weird final seat which stretches from Lynemouth/Druridge Bay up to Berwick and curls all the way round to Hexham bypassing Morpeth, in short extremely ugly and disjoint.

  16. Rivers 10- because my Hexham seat isn’t that much more unwieldy than the present one and my Berwick isn’t that much unwieldy than the current Berwick but your Berwick & Hexham is vastly more unwieldy than either. Let’s just agree to disagree on this.

  17. You are totally correct I missed that. However I found a simple solution, add Kitty Brewster to the Blyth seat and replace it with Choppington.

  18. And even adding South Tynedale and Prudhoe to a Cramlington seat doesn’t look quite right either…

  19. Also I am aware that adding Choppington does I suppose split Guide Post in two but towns that small are butchered in boundaries all the time I’m afraid.

  20. @rivers10 Coppington is better than Kitty Brewster but it doesn’t look right either as its near slap bang in the middle of Ashington and Morpeth. Again it would probably be ok if the electorate was concentrated in the South of the ward and contiguous with Bedlington but is not its probably more ‘Greater Ashington’. Moving that ward into your Cramlinto seat would probably require at least the moving of Stakeford (which you can do by switching it with Hartley). But even then you are still breaking up the urban area between Blyth and Ashington but still including the rather separate Morpeth.

  21. Which is why I think that Blyth, Ashington and Bedlington should be together in a compact urban constituency while Morpeth which is rather separate goes into a more rural seat with Berwick.

  22. As has been said there are never any perfect solutions (least of all here in Northumberland) the BC pretty much always propose things like I have done with slightly odd protuberances or parts of a “greater” area slipped into another seat. Staying nearby the old Blaydon seat did just that type of thing with areas that would definitely be considered part of Gateshead being incorporated. Its just unavoidable for the most part especially when they have to keep to such a rigid quota.

  23. @I agree with that more or less. The proturberance you proposed would probably be ok if Morpeth wasn’t in the seat. Morpeth is really quite separate from Blyth and Ashington anyway and removing Choppington simply breaks that tenuous link. The better choice is to put Bedlington instead of Morpeth which is easy to do and it is far more connected to Ashington and Blyth (particularly the latter) anyway.

  24. I would have to disagree that Morpeth is overtly separate to Blyth and Ashington, they have pretty much always been paired together in the same seat and as I said while not as industrial as Blyth, etc Morpeth is FAR more industrial than Berwick or Hexham.

    I think your exaggerating the extent to which Choppington breaks any link, I mean one of the main roads between Morpeth and Ashington (the A197) remains completely unsevered. The BC oftentimes propose seats where its literally impossible to get from one part to the other without exiting the constituency (their last proposal and probably new proposals for Warrington South being a great example)

    Finally if you add Bedlington instead (a town I admit has more in common with Blyth and Ashington) that then means pairing Cramlington with Hexham and they’re literally MILES apart both culturally, economically and physically.

  25. @rivers10 I think that it really has broken most of the links and the seat isn’t really isn’t continuous any more (its borderline even with Choppington), and is very disjoint with chunks of the middle of the conurbation farmed out into another constituency. Blythe, Ashington and Bedlington form literally the perfect constituency and Morpeth fits much better with the towns further north such as Amble than it does with somewhere like Blythe which it is not particularly similar to and is completely physically disconnected from anyway (and is even more so without Choppington). I do however agree that having Cramlington and Hexham in the same seat is not the most ideal scenario but it is really no worse (and is probably preferable) than putting Bedlington and Ponteland in the same seat which have even less in common than the first two.

  26. Just for fun I played around with the boundaries and came up with the following amalgamation, note I don’t like these boundaries but they’re not really that much worse than anything else we’ve came up with really. The only reason I mention them is because of the last seat which I found very interesting.

    Hexham= Safe Tory seat
    Contains all of the old Hexham seat plus Rothbury, Longhorsley and the three Morpeth wards.

    Blyth Valley= Safe Labour seat
    Contains all of Blyth Valley plus the three Bedlington Wards, Stakeford and Choppington.

    Berwick and Ashington= Reliable Labour seat due to split opposition!!!!

    Contains all of the remaining wards in Northumberland.

    I wouldn’t have guessed in a million years that a seat that contained Berwick and its immediate countryside could ever be won by Labour least of all withstand a year like 2015. But the notionals state it would have voted as follows in 2015

    Lab=18,842 34%
    Con=16,490 29%
    Lib Dem=10,177 18%
    I didn’t bother with the smaller parties.

    Labours utter domination in Ashington clinches it for them clearly. Now obviously that sizable Lib Dem vote is important, is it of the Lab leaning or Con leaning variety and how would it vote when squeezed? That would almost certainly decide the fate of this seat. Regardless though I’m amazed by this.

  27. That last post wasn’t in response to your latest post, you posted that while I was typing I’ll come up with a proper response in a minute.

  28. I really do think your overplaying the extent to which Morpeth is disconnected. As I said the BC propose seats where its literally impossible to get from one town to the next. the main road connecting Morpeth and Ashington remains totally intact there is no real issue. Also if Morpeth is completely physically disconnected from Blyth what is its relation to Berwick? There basically on opposite ends of the county. Blyth and Morpeth are much closer AND form a nice trio with Ashington AND it and Ashington have pretty much always been in the same seat.

    As for Cramlington and Hexham… if Blyth and Morpeth are different then Hexham and Cramlington are on different planets!!! Also pairing Cramlington and Hexham is just the start of the problem, as I said earlier I already had beef with the fact that the gritty ex coalmining area around Prudhoe is paired with Hexham and huge tracts of rural moorland which doesn’t make sense in my book. My proposal manages to pair ALL the industrial areas together and nearly all of the rural areas together bar Ponteland which is inevitable seeing as it separates Prudhoe from Cramlington.

    As I have pointed out your Hexham seat is HUGELY disjointed containing practically every type of ward found in the county from smart market town to vast rural countryside to gritty industrial town to semi rural industrial areas. Every issue you have raised with my proposals (reasonable issues I admit) your proposals are guilty of to at least the same if not a greater extent.

    You can be honest here since lets be real what we think is best is not going to impact on what the BC propose but your primary motivation here is partisan isn’t it? There is simply no other explanation as to why you so object to Morpeth being paired with Ashington but are fine with Cramlington being paired with Hexham.

  29. Rivers 10- one could remark tu quoque.

  30. And with respect, the BC i more likely, in my view, to follow something like our prescription than yours. At the last review they paired Hexham with a couple of traditional Durham pit villages now contained in Blaydon which would have a similar partisan effect to pairing it with Cramlington. I would be most surprised if they went for a seat shoehorning rural areas stretching all the way from Haltwhistle to Berwick when there are more compact alternatives available.

    I am also a bit miffed about your problem with Prudhoe being in Hexham- it has been part of the constituency from its creation in 1885 when I dare say it was a lot more industrial than it is today- Prudhoe West is actually fairly middle-class these days.

  31. @rivers10 I actually much prefer that Berwick to Ashington seat to lumping Morpeth on to Ashington and Blyth without Bedlington. I suspect the residents of Berwick may not agree though.

    The reasons why I favour my suggested seats especially to your first suggestion are simply as follows. The towns of Ashington, Bedlington and Blyth are a very interconnected urban block and literally form the perfect constituency. I don’t think you can link Ashington and Blyth to the physically separate Morpeth (not part of the urban block) while not including Bedlington. Creating this compact industrial seat then allows Morpeth to fit into a very nice seat with Berwick and Amble.

    Your main problems I think come from the last Hexham-Prudhoe-Ponteland-Cramlington seat? I agree it is not perfect but I think it is the best option actually. Not least because it allows for two other seats and doesn’t break up the aforementioned urban industrial block, Cramlington while being industrial in parts is more physically separate from the other 3 towns and is not contiguous with them. From what Tory says Prudhoe has always been in Hexham despite being very different from the rest of the seat and also (again from Tory) Pruhoe is becoming more middle class in parts and the same is true for parts of Cramlington. In this new seat Prudhoe is in a constituency with an area it is fairly similar to. The main vast rural parts of the old Hexham have been moved into Berwick and Morpeth so the new seat doesn’t really contain a vast rural element any more and it is more Newcastle suburbs/exurbs and is probably more the ‘Northumberland commuter seat’. Of course the seat could no longer be called Hexham and would have to be renamed Cramlington and Hexham or vice versa.

  32. Tory
    That Blaydon example is part of the reason I’m suspicious of the BC, the fact that last time it created a cross county seat when it wasn’t necessary and it just so happened to help the Tories sticks out to me. But as I said on the Lancaster thread the past is the past and I’ll reserve judgement until I see what they propose. I’m not proposing what I think the BC will propose I’m proposing what (in my opinion makes the most sense, which FWIW 9 times out of 10 means following the very rules the BC sets out only to then break them anyway)

    We obviously disagree on pairing the rural areas together but as I pointed out in an earlier post their are much bigger seats out there that also cross local authority lines and some pretty big geographical boundaries, this seat doesn’t its just stretches of rugged Northumberland with two near identical market towns. Given I have paired the vast tracts of rugged rural Northumberland together, its massively sparsely populated so of course its going to be a huge seat. I like to compare this scenario to Skipton and Ripon, its a vast seat and you could argue they’ve shoehorned hugely distant rural areas and towns together BUT they are practically identical from an economic and cultural perspective so they don’t make bad bedfellows and the alternative is too dip into suburban Bradford or Leeds some kind of “Skipton and Keighley” and “Ripon and Otley” which I’m sure you agree would just be plain weird. The alternative here is just as weird adding to the daftness of pairing Prudhoe with Hexham by now adding Cramlington too!!!

    As for Prudhoe I accept its always been there but Morpeth has always been paired with Ashington and oftentimes Blyth too and that’s being treated as unacceptable. Don’t get me wrong the Prudhoe situation isn’t a huge deal, if easier changes could be made and Hexham was within quota I’d leave it. But given the extent of the changes required in Northumberland I thought it made sense to create two wholly industrial seats and one wholly rural seat rather than portioning out areas of Labour strength to vast rural areas they have literally nothing in common with and creating two huge seats rather than just the one. As far as I can tell the only motivation for such a thing is partisan.

  33. Pepperminttea
    Well we’re obviously never going to agree so as much as I enjoy debating boundaries there is no point going over old ground. Perhaps my Berwick and Ashington seat is the best option? Its certainly the most non-partisan creating a safe seat for Lab and Tories and the closest thing to a marginal you can get given the circumstances.

    All I can say is Northumberland is being added to my list of “prove yourself BC” areas and we’ll haver to wait and see what happens.

    Onto the next area then 🙂

  34. @Rivers10 Yeah I guess we won’t agree probably we will just have to wait and see what monstrosity the boundary commission comes up with haha.

    Just out of interest I’ve managed to create 3 seats with one safe Labour, one safe Tory and one true marginal which purely from a partisan perspective is fairest.

    The marginal is compromised of (electorate 78,167):
    Holwell, Seghill with Seaton Delaval, Cramlington all wards (SE, Eastfield, E, Village, N, W), Bedlington all wards (C, W, E), Stakeford, Choppington, Longhorsley Morpeth all wards (N, Kirkill, Stobhill), Ponteland all wards (E, N, W, S), Bywell.

    The marginal would have been won by the Tories by a fair though not overly large margin, probably similar to their national margin. Though when Labour next forms a government they would almost certainly win this seat.

    The safe Labour seat then strtches up the coast from Blyth through ashington to Amble (including Shilbottle). The safe Tory seat stretch from Berwick through rural Northumberland to Hexham, Haltwistle and Prudhoe (although this seat would probably have gone Lib Dem at some point).

  35. Pepperminttea

    Not really any worse than anything else that has been proposed though for what its worth the marginal seat is a bit more Lab inclined than it should be to be a genuine “middle of the road” marginal. I worked out the notionals for 2015 and they were as follows

    Conservative=20,127 (40%)
    Labour=18,397 (36%)

    A 4% majority in 2015 obviously makes this a somewhat Lab facing marginal. I tried to mess around with it a bit to make it more Tory and thus more in line with the national average but all my efforts were thwarted, either exceeded the quota or I started to horribly split towns so as far as creating a marginal goes this is probably the best bet.

  36. You two are badly in need of a girlfriend

  37. H.Hemmelig
    I have one but absence makes the heart grow fonder as they say 😉 I spent that absence here.

  38. spend rather

  39. @rivers10 you are unlikely ever going to get a constituency that is bang on the national average and within 2.5% definitely makes it a genuine marginal especially because the Tories position in Cramlington appears to be gradually improving albeit slowly.

    Where do you get the notionals from by the way? I usually use electoral calculus but they are only ever useful when there were local elections on the same day and all relevant parties contested at all the wards in said local elections. For example here in Northumberland electoral calculus thinks that Labour only got 60 votes in all 4 Ponteland wards (because Labour didn’t contest any of those wards in 2013) which despite Labour probably getting crushed there is clearly a massive underestimate of their vote share in those wards.

  40. @H.Hemmelig. Well I have a boyfriend actually. Plus this site is a great distraction from revising lol.

  41. Sorry for not considering the possibility you were female, or gay, and good luck with the revision.

  42. I use electoral calculus too. They state in their workings that they re-allocate votes to factor in tactical voting and the fact that sometimes parties outperform/underperform in local elections.

    The problem arises as you point out when one of the main parties didn’t stand in which case EC tend to really penalise them assuming they give them any votes at all. In such scenario’s I look back at historical voting for that ward (if available) examine the vote shares at said local election then move it in line with the GE election voting figures. Its by no means perfect but I figured unless a ward acts really weird in a GE I should only be a coupe of hundred votes out across several wards so not really any major difference.

    I confess though in the case of Ponteland I actually just left it alone. For the likes of me I couldn’t figure out how EC they came up with those figures (since normally if a party doesn’t stand they put them on zero) so I figured they must have had their reasons. Looking at the old Ponteland wards voting history Labour does (as you would expect) do very poorly there more often than not falling below 5% on occasions scraping to about 10% so I figured a result like 2015 Labour were probably on the lower end of their vote share and that would have only put them at about 100 or so votes per ward anyway so across all four we’re looking at Labour perhaps being 150 or so votes higher than the EC figures. Such a small figure I decided it wasn’t worth bothering about and decided to just trust the EC figures.

  43. Get one and have plenty of fun while you can….plenty of time for nerding it up on here when you’re married with kids and all the fun has stopped!

  44. @H,Hemmelig the revision is going ok thanks :). I am gay but don’t worry about apologising for making an assumption, only the far left of my community would have a problem with it, most of us a quite happy with equality under the law.

    On another thread (I can’t remember which one) there was a discussion about the LGBT vote that I wish I had commented on. Here is my assessment of it based on my own friends/acquaintances (of several political persuasions under 25). The lesbian vote does appear to be very solidly on the left but the gay male vote actually seems to be more Tory friendly than straight males of the same age. From my observations things like anti-Islam are very much more prevalent amongst the gay male community than it is among the general population for somewhat understandable reasons. In short gay males (the demographic I know best) seem to be more to the left on social issues than the straight population of a similar age (with the glaring exception of religion, in particular Islam) but a bit to the right of them on economic issues

  45. Pepper Mint Tea,

    It would be interesting to see if those political tendencies are significant after controlling for social class, since (IIRC) most open LGBT people are middle or upper class.

  46. Or at least, someone is more likely to be openly LGBT if they’re middle class.

  47. Or higher, obviously.

  48. I doubt that’s particularly true any more. Pepperminttea is at university, most students are middle class, so his circle is naturally likely to be more middle class than average based on that alone.

    When I was 20, almost no gay person I knew supported the Tories. Now, 20 years later, most of them do. They are richer on average than straight men and don’t have to worry about kids and schools, so more focused on tax rates etc. The removal of the prejudice in the Tory party has made a big difference here.

  49. FWIW I would broadly support this view that gay males seem to lean slightly further to the right than straight males of the same age. Just throwing my little bit of anecdotal evidence in but within my local Lab party and universities Labour society all of the (to my knowledge) gay male members are of the Blairite wing of the party. So even those on the left seem to be slightly more rightwards inclined if that makes sense.

  50. H.HEMMELIG – your knowing more gay tories now than you did 20 years ago is far more likely to be because of changes in your life & who you typically rub shoulders with, rather than a genine shift to the right in gay men.

    RIVERS10 – I’m afraid that your observation about Blairite homosexuals is an even less representative sample than H.HEMMELIG’s, and is more likely to say something about right-wing homosexuals being put off by the conservatives than anything else!

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