2015 Result:
Conservative: 14479 (35.2%)
Labour: 17637 (42.9%)
Lib Dem: 1966 (4.8%)
Green: 1444 (3.5%)
UKIP: 5392 (13.1%)
TUSC: 223 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 3158 (7.7%)

Category: Semi-marginal Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Darlington.

Profile: The constituency is drawn tightly around the town of Darlington itself, with its rural hinterland in the Sedgefield seat that almost surrounds it. Unlike much of the rock-solid Labour areas surrounding it, Darlington was never a coal mining area - rather this was a railway town, the home of the first passenger railway and a prosperous engineering town, and it remains an affluent town with a solid Conservative vote in its western suburbs.

Politics: Darlington is a reliable Labour seat, but unlike most of the North East it is not impregnable. There is a solid base of Conservative support here and, indeed, it was a Conservative seat between 1983 and 1992, represented by Michael Fallon, now sitting in the far safer Tory bastion of Sevenoaks.

Current MP
JENNY CHAPMAN (Labour) Born 1973, Surrey. Educated at Hummersknott School and Brunel University. Former prison psychologist. Darlington councillor 2007-2010. First elected as MP for Darlington in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 13503 (31%)
Lab: 16891 (39%)
LDem: 10046 (23%)
BNP: 1262 (3%)
Oth: 1194 (3%)
MAJ: 3388 (8%)
Con: 10239 (26%)
Lab: 20643 (52%)
LDem: 7269 (18%)
UKIP: 730 (2%)
Oth: 507 (1%)
MAJ: 10404 (26%)
Con: 12950 (32%)
Lab: 22479 (55%)
LDem: 4358 (11%)
Oth: 967 (2%)
MAJ: 9529 (23%)
Con: 13633 (28%)
Lab: 29658 (62%)
LDem: 3483 (7%)
MAJ: 16025 (33%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
PETER CUTHBERTSON (Conservative) Born 1983, Darlington. Educated at Hummersknott Academy and Essex University. Political consultant.
JENNY CHAPMAN (Labour) See above.
ANNE-MARIE CURRY (Liberal Democrat)
Comments - 64 Responses on “Darlington”
  1. Is she the MP who said she didn’t write an acceptance speech because she was convinced she’d lose?

  2. Jenny Chapman tweeted about a year ago that if Corbyn stayed as leader she’s lose her seat.

    When this result came in I knew the exit poll was right. If the Cons were to make significant gains this was one of the 10 or 15 most likely.

  3. She was almost in tears at the end of the declaration and the Green candidate had to hug her.

  4. She said she did not have a speech prepared for this outcome, means she believed it was very tight and over 3000 majority was very unexpected and the national picture was not what she expected of course.
    I guess she had a winning speech along the lines of despite a bad night for Labour Nationally managed to hang on here etc.

    No names but some experienced LP councillors expected a loss based on canvass returns in their wards as the focus would have been on known 2015 supporters and enough of these went Tory to lose New voters and Con-Lab switchers were largely not picked up in the returns, plus GTVO of 2015 supporters was better than anticipated.

  5. Mowden Ward By-election, 16.11.17:

    Cons 652
    Lab 285
    LD 111
    Green 26

    10% swing to the Conservatives.

    Red Hall & Lingfield Ward By-election, 16.11.17:

    Lab 249
    Cons 230
    Ind* 46
    Green 20
    LD 11

    7% swing to the Conservatives.

    * Labour’s victor was 18-year-old, Rahman Sharifah. Ironically, he may have been saved by Britain First’s candidate who failed to register as a Party in time. Although the booby prize for the week has to go to the LDs.

    If I was as paranoid as Rivers10, I might claim that the failure to report last week’s ward by-elections here was being partial, given Labour’s underperforming. (The Tories also gained a ward from Labour in Waveney on a 6% swing).

    I’m not, so I won’t.

  6. Jim Jam – that’s a good point and was borne out by the responses of those canvassed by Labour in the BBC2 docu in both Sarah Champion’s seat and a London seat (5 door stepped said they wouldn’t vote Labour “‘cos of Corbyn”, as did two telephone canvassed).

    Stephen Kinnock’s face as the exit poll was shown on tv was the standout moment, in a docu that probably just reinforced stereotypes.

    Corbynistas were shown as enthusiastic and evangelical in their zeal, although the end credits did show most to be young ethnic members in London.

  7. As only 14% of people voted Tory cause of Corbyn it does show that canvassing is no longer an art accurately gauging the public mood. It was very successful in helping HQ in targetting adverts on the social media of people they canvassed. So it may live for another day.

    Youre right though about that sterotyping as a white agnostic in Sheffield that worshipping london ethnic generation x corbynista is not true of all of us

  8. Lancs u forgot the swing to lab in the other waveney seat dont give rivers more ammunition

  9. If you remember one of Rivers10’s complaints was not to spam the site with every ward result – merely the interesting ones with large swings.

    As for ammunition, I’ve yet to see any (he failed to rebut my chronology of his moaning at all).

    But if you like, I can post the (equally uninteresting) Fylde result where the Tory share rose 8% to 73% on Thursday! (in order to be fair I should of course point out that the Labour share fell 15% to 20%).

  10. Pretty sure the Labour winner of the by-election last week is female.

  11. Are you being funny or did you not mean fell from 15 to 20. Tbf i haven’t seen rivers

  12. Cockerton ward by-election, 12.07.18 (caused by the death of the Labour Cllr, aged 46):

    Lab 555
    Cons 239
    LD 104
    Ind 93
    FB 67
    Green 34

    Matt W – care to cite Waveney again?

  13. According to ConHome, Darlington has had to scrap its selection process because the three candidates shortlisted were all snapped up by other constituencies first.


    In general, it seems like most of the Tory selections at the moment are being contested by the same few dozen ambitious go-getters zigzagging the country as they apply for every marginal seat.

  14. And just over a year later that was the case during the filling of the safe seats.

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