2015 Result:
Conservative: 5816 (14.9%)
Labour: 26468 (67.6%)
Lib Dem: 1396 (3.6%)
Green: 1626 (4.2%)
UKIP: 3838 (9.8%)
MAJORITY: 20652 (52.8%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

Geography: North West, Merseyside. Part of the Wirral council area.

Main population centres: Birkenhead.

Profile: A gritty working class industrial seat facing Liverpool across the Mersey and connected to it through the Mersey tunnel. This is a seat facing problems of unemployment and deprivation, of industrial terraced housing and council blocks. Historically the main source of employment was the shipbuilding industry and it continues to cling on in the area, with the new owners of the historic Cammell Laird name still repairing ships in the old Cammell Laird Docks.

Politics: A safe Labour seat, held by the party since its creation in 1950, since the 1980s by towering majorities.

Current MP
FRANK FIELD (Labour) Born 1942, Edmonton. Educated at St Clement Danes School and Hull University. Former further education teacher. Hounslow councillor 1964-1968. Contested South Buckinghamshire 1966. First elected as MP for Birkenhead in 1979. Minister for Welfare Reform 1997-1998, he was appointed to think the unthinkable, did so, and was reshuffled out of the position, resigning rather than accept an alternate position. He publicly criticised Gordon Brown as Labour leader, backing Geof Hoon and Patricia Hewitt's calls for a leadership ballot. He is a social Conservative, somewhat detached from the Labour mainstream and seen as a guru of welfare reform, albeit, one often more admired from the political right than the left. He was appointed as David Cameron`s poverty tzar in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 6687 (19%)
Lab: 22082 (63%)
LDem: 6554 (19%)
MAJ: 15395 (44%)
Con: 4602 (17%)
Lab: 18059 (65%)
LDem: 5125 (18%)
MAJ: 12934 (47%)
Con: 4827 (17%)
Lab: 20418 (70%)
LDem: 3722 (13%)
MAJ: 15591 (54%)
Con: 5982 (15%)
Lab: 27825 (71%)
LDem: 3548 (9%)
Oth: 1168 (3%)
MAJ: 21843 (56%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
CLARK VASEY (Conservative)
FRANK FIELD (Labour) See above.
ALLAN BRAME (Liberal Democrat)
Comments - 168 Responses on “Birkenhead”
  1. ‘Without expressing which side of the debate she’s fed up with – she just thinks it’s totally irrelevant to the big issues facing the country and she’s totally right. I imagine she’s speaking for many non-politicos right now.’

    I think she’s one of many. Many of my Tory-supporting friends think this is largely an irrelevance

    At the rusk of being accused of anti-semitism myself it’s not too surprising that the most Jewish-dominated industry in the UK (the press) should seek to use the anti-semitic tag to demoinize a man they clearly despise

    What is surprisingly is that those newspapers that are making the biggest deal of it are those who are the last to speak (if they speak at all) whenever a Muslim, a black or an Asian is a victim of racism

  2. Hemmelig: “Without expressing which side of the debate she’s fed up with – she just thinks it’s totally irrelevant to the big issues facing the country and she’s totally right. I imagine she’s speaking for many non-politicos right now.”

    See also: Brexit.

  3. HH
    “He’ll sadly be as forgotten as Danczuk in a year or two (another of Lancs favourites if I recall)”

    Lancs predicted that Danczuk was in with a good chance of winning Rochdale as an independant in 201…as it happened Danczuk got less than 2 percent

    I think Frqnk Field would do better, a held deposit would be possible, 10 percent or more? Less so

  4. “See also: Brexit.”

    I don’t think even the most disinterested Joe Bloggs on the Clapham Omnibus would say that Brexit is irrelevant among the big issues we face today. This might have been the point you were trying to make but it doesn’t read that way.

    “I think Frqnk Field would do better, a held deposit would be possible, 10 percent or more? Less so”

    Field has been around for donkeys’ years, has a good name as a campaigning MP and hasn’t been mired in repeated sex scandals. So you’re probably right. Though Birkenhead is much more “donkey with a red rosette” territory than Rochdale is.

  5. Hemmy: okay, put it this way, Brexit was an irrelevance to the country until we voted for it. It was an internecine war within the Conservatives in the same way that the anti-Semitism/Palestine/IHRA stuff is in Labour, that in both cases held back the parties from their pursuing their primary goals.

    Back on FF, he’s said he won’t trigger a by-election. From a purely psephological perspective, I feel we need one (in a seat more relevant to the next general election than Lewisham East, or indeed Birkenhead) to test the waters, because I’m not convinced current polling methodology has yet quite caught up with the shifts in the electoral landscape. Peterborough would certainly be interesting.

  6. Polling is dead MRP is the future

  7. The thing is, I saw how MRP got results at the last election, but instinctively I don’t trust it because I don’t know how it works.

    If polling is irreparably broken, well I think that’s not only a shame from an academic point of view, but it does have real-world consequences. No matter how often people repeat that Peter Hitchens quote (you know the one), polling really does help politicians learn what their electorates want. Since democratic politics is largely an exercise in giving voters what they want, if you lose the ability to reliably obtain that knowledge then both politicians and voters lose out.

  8. MRP crunches quite large samples, in the GE YouGov polled 50,000 people which is why its so expensive, and then it maps what we know from British Election studies like turnout, demographics, general psephology, etc. onto the population as a whole which is why they were able to predict results by constituency without having to resort to uniform swing.

    I’m not sure determining policy based on polling is a particularly good way to govern imo and I think the excuses made by Matt Singh & co that we’d be worse off without it while probably true just isn’t good enough. Pollsters really need to uo their game and actually win back people’s trust and threats of black market polling or odds fixing with dodgy commissions just dont cut it

  9. I think its too early to call curtains on traditional polling but I do agree that its on very shaky ground.

    The problem as I see it is that its pretty much impossible for pollsters to properly determine the electoral landscape and then factor this into their filters etc. What I mean by this is that the last two UK elections (with their respective polling bloopers) the US election, the EU ref etc all had the same problem. the filters were wrong and what’s worse they were all wrong in different directions, over estimating or underestimating certain groups likelihood to vote. How can the pollsters expect to predict how enthused the young are in a given election? Yes I know they ask questions on that but as we’ve seen the public often often straight up lie.

  10. The problem is when it comes to GE inaccuracies in polling didnt really matter from 1997-2010 since they got the result right even if they were out but the last 2 elections produced entirely different results highlighting that unless the result isnt in doubt modern polling struggles.

    What really tops it off is most pollsters wpuld have got the 2015 election right had they been using 2017 weighting and the 2017 result right with 2015 weighting. What a paradox to find yourseld in

  11. I tell you what could renovate polling (in a very bad way) – the power of big tech.

    Right now, Facebook probably has as good a handle on what the British public thinks as Yougov. That’s actually terrifying considering they’re not even trying to investigate us like that, they just happen to have world-class market research (using datasets far, far larger than
    any pollster could manage) as a byproduct of their business model.

  12. Frank Field has said he will not join the new Independent Group and that he has his own plans. Are we going to see a second splinter of Pro-Brexit Labour Mp’s?

  13. At 76 years old, his only ‘plans’ should be retirement. Mhairi Black is too young, this old duffer is too old.

  14. Frank Field has confirmed he’ll stand as an Independent at the next election.

    Efforts to find a replacement Labour candidate ran into difficulties, as the person forgot the keys to the Town Hall.

  15. Can’t see him getting anywhere near winning.

  16. For those not familiar with local politics, I should point that there is now an Ind Group of (ex Labour) cllrs who are campaigning with Frank Field.

    They can be seen here wearing their Ind rosettes:

  17. Wirial council has fallen into No Overall Control. Not sure if it end up Labour Minority, Labour with the Greens or Tory led council.

  18. Labour just beat the Ind (ex-Lab supported by Field) after a recount in one ward here.

    The Greens, LDs and Tories all gained from Labour on the Greenbelt issue – as well as council waste and alleged deception – so I wouldn’t rule out entirely a grand anti-Labour coalition, but I imagine Ian Lewis would want to wait ’til next year for a few more gains.

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