Bishop Auckland

2015 Result:
Conservative: 12799 (32.5%)
Labour: 16307 (41.4%)
Lib Dem: 1723 (4.4%)
Green: 1545 (3.9%)
UKIP: 7015 (17.8%)
MAJORITY: 3508 (8.9%)

Category: Semi-marginal Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Spennymoor, Bishop Auckland, Shildon, Coundon, Barnard Castle, Middleton-in-Teesdale, Staindrop.

Profile: This is the rural south west of County Durham, stretching westwards into farmland, open moorland and the pennine hills. There are several small towns and villages in the rural west of the seat, most notably the historical town of Castle Barnard, a tourist location and site of a major GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceuticals factory. Most of the electorate, however, is in the eastern part of the seat in the old Durham coalfield. Bishop Auckland is the historic seat of the Bishop of Durham, but in the nineteenth century became a mining town and is surrounded by other former colliery towns like Spennymoor and Coundon.

Politics: The rural western part of the seat votes Conservative, but it is easily outweighed by Labour voters in the traditional coal mining towns of the east, making this a reliable Labour seat, held by the party since 1935.


Current MP
HELEN GOODMAN (Labour) Born 1958, Nottingham. Educated at Lady Manners School and Oxford University. Former chief executive of the National Association of Toy and Leisure Libraries. First elected as MP for Bishop Auckland in 2005. Junior minister at Department for Work and Pensions 2009-2010.
Past Results
2010
Con: 10805 (26%)
Lab: 16023 (39%)
LDem: 9189 (22%)
BNP: 2036 (5%)
Oth: 3083 (7%)
MAJ: 5218 (13%)
2005*
Con: 8736 (23%)
Lab: 19065 (50%)
LDem: 9018 (24%)
UKIP: 1309 (3%)
MAJ: 10047 (26%)
2001
Con: 8754 (23%)
Lab: 22680 (59%)
LDem: 6073 (16%)
GRN: 1052 (3%)
MAJ: 13926 (36%)
1997
Con: 9295 (20%)
Lab: 30359 (66%)
LDem: 4223 (9%)
MAJ: 21064 (46%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
CHRISTOPHER ADAMS (Conservative)
HELEN GOODMAN (Labour) See above.
STEPHEN WHITE (Liberal Democrat)
RHYS BURRISS (UKIP)
THOM ROBINSON (Green)
Links
Comments - 173 Responses on “Bishop Auckland”
  1. It definitely could, but the more seats she wins the harder it becomes for Labour to oust the Tories next time as they’ve to focus on so many more seats and thus dilute their resources.

  2. Quint- I accept May is not popular with millennials (one of a vast number of issues on which I am completely at odds with my generation) but my impression is that she is very popular with middle-aged and older groups, including traditionally Labour-voting people if my dad is anything to go by.

  3. Excellent post from Matt re the differences between Cameron and May and (whether he intended it or not) a corrective to the Tory modernisers’ creed about what the party needed to do in order to win majorities.

  4. Lab hold. 1500 maj.

  5. The UKIP vote is not all going to the Tories. Some of it is coming back to Labour. Some of it won’t return to the polls. Greens are unlikely to stand. If Labour can find 2000 extra votes theyre safe. I reckon it’s doable but then I am biased. I don’t know if it is trending tory or not. The local labour cllrs seem to be popular. Could definitely help. Also Durham has relatively few marginals so Lab won’t be stretched so thin.
    Still wouldn’t be surprised by a con gain. Tory candidate is a young local entrepreneur. He did very well last time.

  6. On current polling, this seat is 100% going to turn blue. Labour won’t hold it unless there is a significant shift in pubic opinion.

    Also, there is no evidence of any of the UKIP vote going to Labour at all. The polls have been pretty consistent – whenever UKIP have dropped, the Conservatives have gone up and Labour stayed still. It is plausible that there could be some UKIP->Lab and Lab->Con switching, with the overall effect being UKIP->Con, but Occam’s razor would suggest that it’s just UKIP voters moving over to the Tories directly.

  7. Looking at it from a national pov it should turn blue. But I did some work in the UKIP heartlands and it was very very positive flr lab. Of course so hard to tell from that sample. I don’t get the feel that it’s a natural conservative seat.

  8. Labour lose it by 500 odd votes.

  9. I think this seat will turn Conservative.

  10. YouGov have this est. Lab 51 Tories 43

  11. It’s probably less likely to flip now than it was. Quite possibly the LAB poll surge is ex-Kippers in the north now going red rather than blue, blunting Tory hopes in a lot of these seats that they looked like taking a month ago

  12. Interesting documentary about Bishop Auckland Election campaign.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvzlWM26VzI

    A good increase for the Tories but they should have taken it.

  13. Interesting vid. All i woukd say in reply is while i know UNS doesnt work anymore and seats that havent had a tory for a longer period of time but i dont think this was ever going to be as easy as sone people thought. As the video says labour seat since 1931 not had a tory for 99 years it was no. 46 on the hit list and wed be looking at a maj. of over 100. By polling day im not sure this was a seat the tories were going to win for definite

  14. Derek Foster, Lord Foster of Bishop Auckland and Former MP here from 1979-2005, has died aged 81 of cancer.

  15. Kate Hoey has endorsed the Tory candidate here.

    I had assumed it was an off the cuff remark on twitter; but, it may be more co-ordinated, ie I’m told Woodcock quotes are endorsing the Tory in letters in Workington. Likewise ex-Lab MPs in Dudley etc.

  16. Kate Hoey presumably soon to be expelled from Labour like Gisela Stuart will be then.

  17. MPs here and elsewhere must feel utterly betrayed by people they probably once considered friends. It’s one thing to have former Labour MPs discredit their leader andendorse to opposition. Some of these MPs don’t like Corbyn either but to have a former colleague tell your constitutents to vote for another candidate must be hard to swallow

  18. Tbf Goodman – in the clip Hoey posted – was giggling away and mocking her in the House, so I doubt these two were ever friends.

    But it’s certainly the first time I’ve seen it where what seems like 6 ex-Lab MPs are endorsing Labour defeats in specific Tory targets.

  19. Must have been plenty of them in 1983 with several sitting SDP defectors standing in Tory targets.

  20. Yes but they weren’t Lab members still like Gisela and Kate Hoey

  21. Gisela Stuart has never been particularly tribal and has actively supported the idea of grand coalitions in the UK. Kate Hoey though would have fit quite well into a left wing eurosceptic Labour party of the 80s

  22. Not sure. Kate Hoey is also a social conservative, which couldn’t have been said about the old “loony left” (who were on the right side of civil rights arguments long before such views became the mainstream).

  23. Yes and no.

    Many mad Militants in Liverpool or Sheridan in Glasgow were indeed social conservatives. Hardly surprising given the RC or Orange areas where they grew up.

    I realise the middle class stereotypical far Left marchers in the ’80s were all very pro-gay rights etc however.

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