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
2010
Con: 14274 (37%)
Lab: 14923 (39%)
LDem: 4066 (11%)
UKIP: 3267 (8%)
Oth: 2072 (5%)
MAJ: 649 (2%)
2005*
Con: 12874 (31%)
Lab: 18306 (44%)
LDem: 4257 (10%)
BNP: 4022 (10%)
Oth: 1949 (5%)
MAJ: 5432 (13%)
2001
Con: 13295 (34%)
Lab: 20095 (52%)
LDem: 3352 (9%)
BNP: 1822 (5%)
MAJ: 6800 (18%)
1997
Con: 15014 (31%)
Lab: 24471 (51%)
LDem: 3939 (8%)
Oth: 3183 (7%)
MAJ: 9457 (20%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
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.
REHAN AFZAL (Apni)
DAVE PITT (TUSC) Firefighter.
Links
Comments - 139 Responses on “Dudley North”
  1. 2012 council election results for this constituency:

    Labour: 8,555 (46.5%)
    Conservatives: 4,818 (26.2%)
    UKIP: 4,304 (23.4%)
    Greens: 595 (3.2%)
    National Front: 123 (0.7%)

    Total votes: 18,395

    Compared to the 2010 council election results here:

    Labour: +9.2%
    Conservatives: -9%
    UKIP: +6.6%
    Liberal Democrats: -9.2%
    National Front: -0.8%
    Greens: +3.2%

    Swing from Con to Lab: 9.1%

  2. I suggest this is the kind of seat where UKIP mainly impacts the Tories. Though the UKIP local vote halved in 2010 when it came to the national, it’s still a very significant UKIP vote that’ll really pinch any Tory chance of taking this in 2015.

    Also suggest it’s likely UKIP will come second in the local vote come 2014.

  3. Ross Cranston must be one of the most obscure MPs to have sat in the House of Commons; he was Labour MP for this seat from 1997 to 2005. He’s Australian and a High Court judge:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Cranston

  4. The Tories look like they’d struggle to gain this.
    UKIP will I’m sure go ahead of the Lib Dems.

    But Labour may find it difficult to get a larger rise aswell given the absence of LD votes.

    It could be a bit of a stalemate and depends how the economy in this part of the West Midlands looks in 2015.

  5. I’d be very surprised if the Tories gained this in 2015.

  6. I’m out of date with the W Midlands in terms of visiting it.
    It could tie in a bit to what I said on the Tynemouth thread as something clearly didn’t work for the Tories in 2010
    and I think the Labour vote is more traditional.

    But this is partly a suburban seat.

  7. If the 2012 local election results are any guide, UKIP have scuppered any chance the Tories had of gaining this. Unless UKIP go into freefall by 2015, I don’t see how they have any possibility of pulling this off.

  8. “something clearly didn’t work for the Tories in 2010”

    Agreed. That is a big problem as if we couldn’t win seats such as this then, I cannot see how we are going to do so in 2015.

    Although I’m not a big Cameron fan I still credit him with making the party more electable in the first place. Its the nonsense he has come out with since 2010 that has made him less popular.

  9. ‘Agreed. That is a big problem as if we couldn’t win seats such as this then, I cannot see how we are going to do so in 2015.’

    But to be fair this seat (and Dudley East before it) has never been Tory before. Therefore the 2010 result was perfectly respectable

    It was the Tories inability to win traditional Conservative seats in this area like Edgbaston and Solihull that cost them the opportunity to get a majority

    ‘Although I’m not a big Cameron fan I still credit him with making the party more electable in the first place. Its the nonsense he has come out with since 2010 that has made him less popular.’

    I was willing to give Camereon the benefit of the doubt for about the first 18 months of his Premiership but since then I’ve become disillusioned too – although probably for the opposite reasons that you have

    Apart from things like gay marriage – which i still don’t undetstand what Cameron thought he would achieve by pursuing so aggrssively, the PM has governed in a way entirely consistent with Conservative values (tax cuts for the rich, benefit cuts for the poor, trebbling of tuition fees, encouraging thracking etc etc), and for me that’s why I’ve gone off him

    How so you?

  10. “But to be fair this seat (and Dudley East before it) has never been Tory before. Therefore the 2010 result was perfectly respectable”

    Agree Tim. The Tory result in this seat and a few others were extremely good even if we failed to win them.

    “How so you?”

    Gay marriage

    A lack of progress on cutting immigration (although I understand that this is difficult to acheive for numerous reasons but the Government are making headway)

    The fact he surrounds himself with too people like him means we have ended up with a Tory top table where a large chunk appear like ‘yes’ men. For example, I do not like his mate Nick Boles’ stance on the countryside and green belt. Jeremy Hunt looks like he’s never used the NHS in his life (preferring private I’d imagine) despite being in charge of health…thank God for IDS, May and Hague.

    I disagreed with raising uni fees – I do not see how this is a conservative thing to do.

    I strongly dislike his stance on Europe and the ECHR, and think his bribe to get people to vote Tory may not pay off. Naturally I hope it does.

    I strongly dislike his talk on Foreign Aid and his insistance on wasting our money abroad.

    Overall his liberal, wishy washy, very London based politics just do not sit well with me. However I am a Tory and so will vote for him in 2015 regardless, the thought of Mili and Balls being in charge scares me.

  11. could be worse, could be me in charge

  12. Interesting points

    I actually liked his stance on foreign aid – although much like his approach to gay marriage – it’s not one that will chime well with core Tory voters, many of whom have little time for any charity

    I certainly agree with you about surrouding himself with upper class ‘yes’ men who are as out of touch as he is, and he just doesn’t get why people see that as an issue – and a big one too

    I don’t like Hague and never will, but he’s a pretty effective foreign secretary and Thewresa May, who I literally couldn;t stand in opposition, has been a good hime secretary

    With IDS I don’t get this Christian thing as he is one vcarrying out some of the most unchristian reforms imaginable in social security, and suspect that like many on the right – on both sides of the Atlantic – he’s as much a Christian as he is a Communist

    I don’t think Cameron is a liberal. I think much like John Major he doesn’t really know what he is, being a pragmatist foremost and is willing to whistle whichever way the wind blows

    I also think like Major he’s a weak leader, afraid of his own backbenchers

    I think many people who remain distinctly unimpressed with Mr Cameron will still back him in 2015 because of the fear of Milliband and Balls, and I imahgine trhat’s something a negative campaigner like Lynton Crosby will home in on – even if they don’t know so now, with gives the Tories a much bigger an advantage than the opinion polls would have one believe

  13. “could be worse, could be me in charge”

    You’re much to sensible Barnaby, you’d make proper thought through decisions. I fear you’d make things better, something our current politicians are struggling to do.

  14. Tim

    I do feel sorry for him sometimes, especially about the class thing as none of us can help what class we are born into, and I think its pretty irrelevant these days. Even if Cameron surrounded himself with posh types but people who have had different life experiences, from different parts of the country, maybe even a couple of a different race then I could at least say he knows what different sections of the country are saying as he has various people in his cabinet telling him so…but too many of these men are like an identikit of one another. You’re right, that is a problem.

    I’m currently reading a book about Ted Heath at the minute and thought Cameron had a lot in common with him but your link with Major is a good one. He shuffles from one side to the next and because he does this the whole party is confused about what it stands for with different sections saying different things.

    The problem Crosby is going to have is convincing people who were close to voting Tory in 2010 (like in this seat) to back Cameron in 2015. That is going to be one tough job unless the economy really picks up over the next couple years.

  15. I second what you say about Theresa May. She is a very effective HS.

    I quite liked John Reid in the position as well and was annoyed when he was replaced.

  16. Of course none of us can help what class we are born into – but I was under the impression that in opposition Cameron was fully aware that one of the Tories main problems was that they were perceived, fairly in my opinion, as a party of the rich and privileged, – hence the drive to have people from different sections of the community as MPs, whether they be black, gay or working class

    And yet as soon as he gets elected he surrounds himself with fellow Etonians and doesn’t ‘get’ why people criticise him for being out of touch, which makes me question how intelligent he actually is

    The message from the party as a whole is definitely a confused one – and it needn’t be because as was Major Cameron is from the centre of the Tory party, despite some liberal tendencies, which should help to unite the party

    the other thing i dislike about cameron is the way he becomes nasty when he’s rattled. It makes me think that that’s the real Cameron, much like Osbourne, and all this nice guy, call me Dave stuff is pretence

    Still I think he’s greatly helped by his opposition, who fail to convince, and as long as that’s the case, he has every chance of securing re-election

  17. To stick to the point the Conservatives did very well in this seat in 2010 as they did generally in the West Midlands. While there is a suburban element particularly in Sedgley the core of this seat is Dudley itself, very working class, where the BNP has traditionally been strong and there is a large potential UKIP vote. I think this seat is more difficult than it looks on paper for the Conservatives.

  18. Indeed. Like I opined earlier, the local elections in 2012 really do seem to suggest UKIP are really hitting the Tories here, rather than Labour. In other parts of the country, the impact on both parties is more equal but not here. Obviously, there is room for an impact against Labour as well; the BNP rise in the 2000s showed as much, but even then they caused damage on the Tories, forcing them back in 2005 to levels slightly worse than that even in 97.

    With UKIP’s fortunes having improved even further, I’d expect some of that Labour support in 2012 to have been nabbed as well. But even then, I expect UKIP could push the Tories into third locally in 2014. UKIP, unless they go downhill rapidly, will put an end to Tory chances here in 2015, for however slim they were anyway.

    Interestingly, Dudley South is a comparatively different ballgame. Far less UKIP success there. Still notable support, but very much the poorer cousin to UKIP in North.

  19. LBernard – you are very kind. I would certainly make thought-out decisions, but I am very left-wing indeed. This would not be to your taste, nor, sadly, that of most of the contributors here.

  20. Sedgley has been in this seat since 1997, was it in Dudley until 1974 and Dudley East for the next 23 years?

  21. UKIP poll their fifth highest share here in 2010.

  22. A rather belated answer to Harry Porter. No – Sedgley was in BIlston before 1974 and in Dudley West subsequently

  23. UKIP will perform strongly here in 2015, though Labour will easily hold. I predict

    Labour – 42
    Conservative – 33
    UKIP – 14
    Liberal Democrat – 6
    BNP – 2
    Others – 3

  24. Dudley North, local elections:

    UKIP 6,539
    Lab 6,103
    Con 3,830
    Green 620

  25. I missed Gornal from that aggregate. The correct result was even better for UKIP:

    UKIP 8,086
    Lab 7,439
    Con 4,925
    Green 710

  26. Don’t like the look of those figures. Could Labour be in trouble here?

  27. In 2010 UKIP had their best performance in a Labour seat here.

  28. Surely a definite for UKIP’s ‘3 dozen’ target list? NF must be desperate to include as many Lab seats as he can to back up recent claims / poll success and they have a genuine chance here.

  29. Might this seat see one of the Lib Dem’s worst results in England next time?

  30. Yes this will be one of quite a few seats where the Liberals lose their deposit, and not the only one in the West Midlands.

    Dudley is very volatile but I can’t see UKIP winning it at a General Election, despite their remarkable success in Dudley Council elections.

  31. These factors help UKIP in LAB seats:
    * high numbers of C1/D/E
    * high numbers of WWC
    * high numbers of the elderly
    * low numbers of university graduates, BME, professional and economically secure occupations
    *on or near East Coast

    But UKIP find themselves up against a formidable LAB majority in almost all of LAB seats selected on the above basis.

    So:
    The seats UKIP have realistically (IMO) of winning from LAB are:-

    G GRIMSBY
    WALSALL NORTH
    DUDLEY NORTH
    ASHFIELD

  32. ASHCROFT NOV14 – weighted with DNK redistributed
    27% Conservative
    34% Labour
    3% Liberal Democrat
    34% UKIP
    2% Green
    1% Other
    Dudley North Poll CATI Fieldwork : 20th-27th November 2014

  33. The Lib Dem candidate is Mike Collins.

  34. This is of course one of many urban seats in the West Midlands that have a big right wing vote (be it Tory or UKIP for example) and conversely very small levels of support for the Lib Dems. They have never done very well at all with the WWC demographic I don’t think.

  35. They’ve managed it occasionally in isolated pockets, like some places in the South West.

  36. That’s true yes. This region however has overall not had many places of strength for them- the urban areas especially, outside of Birmingham.

  37. The Tory candidate is on the front page of the Mail on Sunday. Article says he was suspended earlier tonight due to allegations that he made some sort of deal with the EDL.

  38. Interesting. I wonder what this means now?

  39. Having just read the story…not sure how the Tory candidate will explain this one away. Shapps has already announced that he has been suspended pending an investigation.

  40. Good for Labour?

  41. Wow. Having read the article, in my judgement this is about as toxic a story as you can get and he’s totally bang to rights, as Ed Miliband would say.

  42. Hard to tell. Not good for the Tories, certainly, but might just depress turnout. Can’t see it actually driving anyone from the Tories to either Labour or UKIP.

  43. Agree with Mr Nameless…hardly a vote winner for Labour. In any case, the Tories were real outsiders here to begin with. This candidate talked a good game but he was never the favourite.

    The prospective Tory candidate also uses some interesting racist language, and boasts of ‘smashing someone’s face in’ in what he admits was an unprovoked attack. Sounds like a real charmer.

  44. dale is virtually certain to be proved wrong yet again. there is no convincing evidence ukip can unseat ian austin here.

  45. This is a bit puzzling to me I must admit. Labour hold though clearly I would say.

  46. UKIP are a lot closer to winning this seat now than they were a few hours ago.

  47. LBernard – you’re right re tuition fees not being a Tory thing. In fact it was Tory policy to abolish them in 2003 – 2005. Tim J – Cameron replaced a couple of dozen wealthy white men with wealthy gay men/black/Asian/women ie any minority, but not with workhng class PPCs. The number of ethnic defectors who end up in Court, just among Cllrs is huge, so the PR moment doesn’t last – as with the last MEP. I wonder if any PPCs will be disowned after close of nominations?

  48. I’m starting to think UKIP may be able to register a trio of wins in this general area in Dudley North, Walsall North and Cannock Chase. The demographics are very good for the party in all three.

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