Dudley North

2015 Result:
Conservative: 11704 (30.8%)
Labour: 15885 (41.8%)
Lib Dem: 478 (1.3%)
Green: 517 (1.4%)
UKIP: 9113 (24%)
TUSC: 139 (0.4%)
Others: 156 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 4181 (11%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

Geography: West Midlands. Part of the Dudley council area.

Main population centres: Dudley, Sedgley, Gornal.

Profile: Covers the northern part of the Black County industrial town of Dudley, including the town centre, Castle and Zoo and some of the town`s large inter-war council developments, such as the Priory, Old Park and Wrens Nest estates. To the north-west is the more affluent settlement of Sedgley and the seat also contains the suburban areas inbetween.

Politics: While the Conservatives came close to victory in 2010 Dudley North has been a consistently Labour seat, as was its predecessor Dudley East before it. There has, however, been significant support here for smaller parties. UKIP managed a strong third place in 2015 and one of their strongest performances here in 2010. In 2005 the BNP managed one of their strongest performances in the country here, getting almost 10% of the vote under Simon Darby, the party`s deputy leader who was briefly a councillor here between 2003 and 2004. The original Conservative candidate for 2015, Afzal Amin, withdrew under bizarre circumstances after allegations he had been working with the English Defence League.

Current MP
IAN AUSTIN (Labour) Born 1965, Bury St Edmunds. Educated at The Dudley School and Essex University. Former journalist and advisor to Gordon Brown. Dudley councillor 1991-1995. First elected as MP for Dudley North in 2005. PPS to Gordon Brown 2007-2008, Government whip 2008-2009, Parliamentary Under-secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 2009-2010.
Past Results
Con: 14274 (37%)
Lab: 14923 (39%)
LDem: 4066 (11%)
UKIP: 3267 (8%)
Oth: 2072 (5%)
MAJ: 649 (2%)
Con: 12874 (31%)
Lab: 18306 (44%)
LDem: 4257 (10%)
BNP: 4022 (10%)
Oth: 1949 (5%)
MAJ: 5432 (13%)
Con: 13295 (34%)
Lab: 20095 (52%)
LDem: 3352 (9%)
BNP: 1822 (5%)
MAJ: 6800 (18%)
Con: 15014 (31%)
Lab: 24471 (51%)
LDem: 3939 (8%)
Oth: 3183 (7%)
MAJ: 9457 (20%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
LES JONES (Conservative) Dudley councillor. Contested Halesowen and Rowley Regis 2001, 2005.
IAN AUSTIN (Labour) See above.
MIKE COLLINS (Liberal Democrat)
BILL ETHERIDGE (UKIP) Educated at Parkfield High School and Wolverhampton Polytechnic. Former sales manager. Contested West Midlands Police Commissioner election 2012. MEP for the West Midlands since 2014.
WILL DUCKWORTH (Green) Born 1954, Dudley. Teacher. Dudley councillor since 2012. Contested Stourbridge 2012, West Midlands 2014 European election.
DAVE PITT (TUSC) Firefighter.
Comments - 139 Responses on “Dudley North”
  1. Apologising on behalf of the Labour Party is probably what was insulting to this MP, especially when we know Corbyn doesn’t represent over 80% of their MPs.

  2. Much as I agree with Ian Austin’s views on Corbyn I don’t think the heckling was very good form given the occasion.

  3. If such behaviour were grounds for deselection then Jeremy Corbyn would have been deselected every other day during the Blair years.

    Eco, you really do need to calm down a bit. UKPR is not The Canary.

  4. Harry Porter – From 1832 to 1885 electors in borough seats who had the county vote qualification, could vote in the county election. This meant that county election boundaries overlapped with borough ones in most of the country.

    “The Reform Act of 1832

    Statutes 2 & 3 Will. IV cap.45

    Taken from Norman Gash, The Age of Peel (London, Edward Arnold, 1973), with the kind permission of Professor Gash. Copyright of this document, of course, remains with him.

    Most text-books for the period summarise the main provisions of the reform act. A few special points may be noticed here.

    A large proportion of pre-1832 voters continued to enjoy their old franchise. In the counties the historic 40/- freeholder was not disturbed. Even if his property lay within a borough boundary he remained a county elector unless otherwise qualified for the borough franchise. In the old boroughs which still returned members after the act the ancient franchises also remained intact during the life-time of their possessors and subject to residence.”

  5. Harry Porter – part 2: From 1885 until 1918 freehold owners of land worth 40/- in a parliamentary borough, who were not resident, acquired a county vote. Other kinds of tenure, such as a non resident leaseholder, did not get a county vote.

  6. Not so sure about that one. I think it all depends on how well UKIP perform in 2020 (which remains to be seen).

  7. Con Estimate
    You do appear to be changing your views quite frequently here, we discussed this seat the other week and you were saying you thought the closeness of the result in 2010 was anomalous and this is in reality a reliable Lab seat?

    I believe your benchmark was any Lab seat were the 2015 majority is bigger than it was in 2005, this seat is only 2 points of that.

  8. 2017 Est:

    CON 38%
    LAB 36%
    UKIP 18%
    OTH 8%

  9. It would appear that Mrs May’s visit to Alderdale Avenue (on the Northway estate in Sedgley) was not appreciated by every local residents (though it is probably a solid Conservative road).


    However the fact she visited this seat indicates the Conservative’s ambition in the West Midlands. Clearly they believe the 2015 UKIP vote is soft and likely to move heavily in their direction.

  10. Recount underway here.

  11. Ian Austin holds on by 22 votes.

  12. I think May and even more so the Tory party will come to regret their hard Brexit stance and the votes it has and will cost them in areas where they should thrive – kensington, battersea, cambridge, oxford, hove, reading

    May thought she was being really canny with her hard Brexot stance but this shows it has completely back fired showing herself as the complete and utter amateur that she is

  13. Not sure it is so much hard Brexit as the general attitude that has come with it – May’s infamous ‘citizens of nowhere’ line, the lack of any sustained attempt to re-assure EU citizens they’re wanted, the attacks on anyone questioning any aspect of the way Brexit is being pursued, the way Brexit has been allowed to dominate the whole policy agenda. Given all this why would any liberal think they should vote Conservative?

  14. Not sure the Conservatives should be thriving in the likes of Hove or Cambridge- very left-liberal these days.

  15. Plopwell

    Ashfield is a district, not a town.

    The towns are Sutton in Ashfield and Kirkby in Ashfield.

    Still, the Conservatives are no doubt fully familar with these new “heartlands”. Arf.

  16. ‘Given all this why would any liberal think they should vote Conservative?’

    And therein lies the problem

    You can’t expect to thrive as a party if you ignore say the 40% or whatever of the electorate that consider themselves small l liberals and that includes many business leaders who have a dire view of the current PM

    Cameron was always criticised from within his party for going out of his way to underline his liberal credentials, but he presumably managed to win enough of the ‘liberal’ vote to get his party a majority – something that’s been proven beyond Theresa May – who seeing Labour’s current 6% poll lead (but who believes opinion polls now) has some serious questions to ask herself

  17. There’s shade, and then there’s Hawthorn shade. Brutal and bloody funny.

    Agree with Jack S and Tim. I suppose Theresa can’t help it that she’s so provincial.

  18. ‘To win a majority now the Conservatives will need to win seats like Ashfield, this and Penistone.’

    I don’t think that’s likely

    Unless Brexit is a success – and as much as I try I just can’t see it – such places will become poorer and as the party which took us out of Europe, the Tories will be the ones who quite rightly get the blame

    Surely a far better course of action would be for them to take this opportunity to have a ‘softer’ more consensual Brexit and actually put the country first for once.

    It would make plenty of political success too and would mean that they would be unlikely to lose seats like Kensington and Battersea

  19. Plopwellian Tory continues to make up facts…I have the original book entitled Crap Towns and I’m happy to report that it doesn’t include anywhere in my home district of Ashfield….however his own home town of Milton Keynes certainly is included, very high up the rankings. Also calling their own seats crap towns is hardly going to endear these places to the Tories long term.

    Tim Jones-

    Seems like we’re headed for the softest of Brexits now – Norway/EEA membership in all but name, at least as a so-called temporary solution, meaning free movement most likely stays. The Tories’ new hard brexiter voters in Mansfield etc may well be heading back to Farage.

  20. Ian Austin signals he will vote for May’s deal

    The Likelihood is no Labour Mp who votes for the deal wiil stand at the next referendum – they will either be deselected or the whip removed

  21. This utter hypocrisy from the leadership. Jeremy Corbyn, you voted against your own party 534 times, often with the Tories, and especially on European issues, and you were never suspended from the party.

    There are good progressive reasons to vote against the government on the basis that this is a downgrade on the status quo. There are equally good progressive reasons to support the government on the basis that, if no consensus is reached within Parliament, we leave without a deal by default, which is the worst possible outcome. If I were Jeremy Corbyn, I’d offer a free vote.

  22. Id say that a free vote is very unlikely and maybe a bit pointless (as they is not really that many Labour Mp’s who would vote for the deal first time around even without any punishment) – whip suspension is all rumors and guesswork based on what the resulting reaction in the grassroots will be,

  23. In Europe this very common practice. If you dont obey the whip you lose it.

  24. But in Europe, whipping practices aside, legislators have a much stronger check on their executives because they have proportional representation. That means a governing party can’t have everything its own way simply by bullying its backbenchers (which is the case in majoritarian systems like ours).

  25. Tbus is very true. I suspect we are going this way in a future of hung parliaments

  26. Ian Austin has said he might quit Labour.

  27. Ian Austin has resigned from the Labour Party but won’t join the Independent Group.

    Only a hunch but I have a feeling him, Frank Field and probably a couple of others are planing to launch their own party.

  28. Remarkable result here, the council remains deadlocked with 36 Labour and 36 Tory representatives. How on earth do they form a cabinet?

  29. Grand coalition? Councilors defecting?

  30. Blimey. Ian Austin has not merely renounced Labour here but positively endorsed the Conservatives.

    We have had plenty of interparty movements in British politics recently but this is the closest we’ve come to a straight red/blue floor-crossing since the Blair years.

  31. Ian Austin has asked John McDonnell to withdraw his lie – that he is employed by the Tories – and apologise.

    He has been an unpaid trade envoy for 3 months, alongside 20 other Parliamentarians including 4 from Labour.

  32. Labour candidate is Tony Tinley, Unite EM regional officer.

  33. Forget my latest comment, I thought I was writing in Derby North rather than Dudley North.

  34. Not a problem and thanks Andrea for your tireless updates. You seem to get the info before the msm or Labour twitter!

    Do you know when the NEC is meeting to hear the case of Vaz or the other (6?) selections which have been referred back/up in recent days?

  35. Vaz’s case has been referred to a special NEC sub-panel.

    The selection panels are sorting out latest selections, some are going to be decided today. They still have to pick up candidates for Dudley North (shortlist is a Birmingham Cllr, a Bristol Cllr, a Cllr from Sandwell and one woman Dudley), West Bromwich West, Jarrow.

    Then there are the some further selections for hopeless seats where the candidate has been dropped in recent days.

    The Coventry South woman has been endorsed after a re-interview. The NEC imposed the candidate they wanted in Bassetlaw (not sure why they were so keen to move seas and mountains given it is not a safe 30% majority)
    Lewell-Buck, Osamor and Sharma has been reselected despite having lost the trigger ballot.

    Other than Vaz, who is else still in doubt?

    If Byrne was referred back because of procedural issues, it went to the Organization Sub-Committee. So possibly already decided this week. A NEC representative was present at the selection meeting (that doesn’t guarantee that the NEC rep knows which rules to fallow!)

  36. Labour candidate chosen today is Melanie Dudley. Used to be the assistant chief executive of Sandwell Council

  37. Thanks Andrea.

    Is that due to Vaz apparently being ill? Could they hold it by ‘phone or Skype?

    The 6 I think were Osomor et al ie 3 current MPs and 3 selected PPCs, but I don’t have a list to hand.

    The Echo says Corbyn/NEC is looking into Dan Carden’s alleged anti-Semitic singing but that wasn’t one of the six.

    West Derby was only referred on Wed pm or Thursday am so not decided yet.

  38. “Could they hold it by ‘phone or Skype?”

    yes, some of these interviews they are via skype because some of NEC members can’t be present, etc. The original Bassetlaw candidate was re-interviewed by phone.

    I wonder if they are trying to convince him behind the scene to give up on his own

  39. Fair chance this will have the biggest majoirty of tory gains considering how tight it was in 2017, its ultra leave nature and no brexit party.

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