2015 Result:
Conservative: 14186 (35.8%)
Labour: 16750 (42.3%)
Lib Dem: 1368 (3.5%)
Green: 1179 (3%)
UKIP: 6148 (15.5%)
MAJORITY: 2564 (6.5%)

Category: Semi-marginal Labour seat

Geography: North West, Cumbria. The whole of the Copeland council area and part of the Allerdale council area.

Main population centres: Whitehaven, Keswick, Cleator Moor, Egremont, Millom.

Profile: A seat on the remote west coast of Cumbria. The constituency is a mixture of hill farming countryside, impressive Lake District wilderness, including Scafell Pike itself, and somewhat economically depressed former mining or iron working towns. The main town is Whitehaven, historically a coal mining town and commercial port, mining ceased in the 1980s. The Marchon chemical factory also closed in 2005 leaving the nearby Sellafield nuclear power complex as the most important source of local employment. Keswick, to the north of the constituency, was the first place to produce graphite pencils and was for many years the base of Derwent, the manufacturers of fine art pencils. They are now based just outside the constituency in Lillyhall.

Politics: Copeland and its predecessor seat Whitehaven have been represented by the Labour party since 1935, although not always with comfortable majorities.

Current MP
JAMIE REED (Labour) Born 1973, Whitehaven. Educated at Whitehaven school and Manchester University. Former Sellafield press officer. Former Copeland councillor. First elected as MP for Copeland in 2005. PPS to Tony McNulty 2006-2008, PPS to Harriet Harman 2008-2010.
Past Results
Con: 15866 (37%)
Lab: 19699 (46%)
LDem: 4365 (10%)
BNP: 1474 (3%)
Oth: 1383 (3%)
MAJ: 3833 (9%)
Con: 10713 (32%)
Lab: 17033 (50%)
LDem: 3880 (11%)
UKIP: 735 (2%)
Oth: 1396 (4%)
MAJ: 6320 (19%)
Con: 13027 (37%)
Lab: 17991 (52%)
LDem: 3732 (11%)
MAJ: 4964 (14%)
Con: 12081 (29%)
Lab: 24025 (58%)
LDem: 3814 (9%)
Oth: 389 (1%)
MAJ: 11944 (29%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
JAMIE REED (Labour) See above.
DANNY GALLAGHER (Liberal Democrat) Former Preston councillor. Contested Wyre and Preston North 2010.
Comments - 1,907 Responses on “Copeland”
  1. Fulham by-election was when Nick Raynsford was first elected to parliament in 1986. Was Matthew Carrington the Tory candidate?

  2. DaveM – that’s interesting.

    Perhaps Louise Baldock used her experience as a Lpool City Cllr and took those techniques back to her Stockton S ie Labour don’t have tellers in Lpool as turnout is low. They just leave boxes outside polling stations for voters to leave their polling cards in. Quaint – I know!

    I agree with you incidentally – telling & knocking up is better is you have enough people.

  3. Dave M

    Interesting. Beats you why it’s not done now by the big two parties at least.

    Arrogance or incompetence?

  4. Lancs

    It was my understanding that this was the policy of Labour North as they had run the election, Stockton South being a key target.

    It was not helped by the quality of the data, at times we were being asked to knock up people who were down as doubtful fives years ago! In a number of cases all we did was remind people who were voting tory to go out and vote. In the end I took charge of the team I was working with and told them to focus only on clear Labour promises and recent doubtful returns.

    In short it was a shambles, in a seat where I had been led to believe the ground war had been effective, it had not. Maybe I am just old fashioned but I know how to run elections and to do knock ups. In 1992 I was involved in the pilots of using IT on polling day and it worked but I fear that the basics of face to face contact has been lost in favour of It and phone banks.

    Simple rules can be followed, always ask if there are local issues when on the doorstep make a note of them and get a sitting elected representative to take it up before polling day. Then a week after polling day knock on the door of all of the promises to say thank you and ask if there is anything they need help with.

    The current thinking is that you just get to know the voting intention and move on as it takes to long to find out more. I find however that just asking the question about local issues very rarely brings anything up, however people are very pleased to have been asked. As to going back after the election the reaction is one of surprise and disbelief, but it always strengthen the local support base.

  5. ‘Fulham by-election was when Nick Raynsford was first elected to parliament in 1986. Was Matthew Carrington the Tory candidate?’

    The Right-winger stood in both 1986 and 1987, being victorious in the latter

  6. Dave I agree a lot with what you say, in regards to local issues I would say that is something you do in the long campaign by march and April it really is about finding out where your vote is.

    With regards to tellers I come down in the side of not using them as it cancels out the amount of people who will tell you they have already voted with the extra boots on the ground covering the knock up.

    Bt telephone knocking is used as well I prefer a combination of the two one area being door stepped one called then a switchbround later in the day

  7. DaveM – you’re absolutely right. Plus voters remember having spoken to you on the doorstep, unlike an anonymous telephone call.

    Plus in part a reply to BT – I think some who don’t answer the ‘phone do answer the door as they see you or know you’ve seen them walking up the path. Not that that means they all answer – some just carry on watching the tv in sight of you!

    With the obvious caveat that you need to be polite and close the gate. I recall a friend who stood as a Tory in an unwinnable urban ward achieved a 10% swing, but he reckoned only half was down to his efforts. Apparently his Labour opponent and/or helper had gone around looking scruffy, leaving leaflets hanging out of letterboxes and gates open etc – as at least half a dozen people mentioned this to him unsolicited, in passing (as he only leafleted as he didn’t have time to canvass).

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