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. I suppose we’ll wait on new constituency polls to see if this has had any noticeable effect?

    At any rate, I doubt that Conservatives will bleed enough votes into UKIP from this to swing the seat out of LAB, although it might cause the seat to strengthen enough for UKIP to take 2nd?

  2. If UKIP win all three on a good night — we will all be very surprised by their overall total of seats, I daresay! The demographics are there, but are the campaigns?

  3. Lancs Observer- did you have some inside information on Afzal Amin?

    If he’s shown to have promised the EDL political influence for stirring tension, then this is incredibly serious. I hope it can be converted into a prison sentence, though I suspect the legal arguments will be complex.

    What will this do in the seat on May 7th? I assume Tories will parachute someone in, but you would hope the local electorate will take a dim view. Perhaps the decent thing would be for the Tories to not stand here if the story is true?

  4. Andy JS – I can’t see UKIP winning Walsall north. Dudley N will be interesting now; if any Tories desert Afzal Amin, who will they go to? Perhaps if the Tory vote is sufficiently damaged, it may give UKIP a chance, but I think realistically UKIP would be extremely happy to come away with just Cannock Chase, of the 3.

  5. I will be surprised if UKIP win any Labour seats although they will secure some good shares. Even in Cannock I’ll be surprised if they get over 25%

  6. A gift for UKIP and Mr Etheridge (though after yet another torrid week on the UKIP candidate front, they needed a break!).

    Barnaby – slightly surprised by your comment “There is no convincing evidence ukip can unseat ian austin here.” See the analysis of the 2014 local elections and the Ashcroft poll. All the Dudley MBC seats are a classic mix of (usually) Conservative and Labour wards : all have to be viewed as marginal: and all have seen UKIP poll well. Austin probably starts favourite but if the right of centre vote coalesces around one candidate he is in danger.

    I am far from being a UKIP “ramper” but this does look like an outside chance for them,

  7. AA was another Warsi recruit according to Tim Montgomerie.

  8. Perhaps AA thought the Smethwick docu was a how to guide? His quote about winning by 3,000-4,000 by getting wwc votes struck me. Admirable if it hadn’t been based on deception of a fake EDL march which he planned to prevent.

  9. This must go down as one of the strangest political stories of the last 50 years. Outlandish really.

  10. Goodness knows who’ll benefit from this. It is just jaw-dropping.

  11. Looks like the tories have got themselves into more than a but of bother here.

    It’s one of the stupidest and most bizarre pieces of behaviour I’ve ever seen displayed by a PPC I’m a winnable seat.

  12. ‘This must go down as one of the strangest political stories of the last 50 years. Outlandish really.’

    I’m sure you would use much harsher language were it a Labour or lib dem candidate accused of doing what Mr Amin is alledged to have

    If true, it is nothing short of absolutely appalling and is down there with the racist campaign run by the vile Peter Griffiths in the 1964 Smethwick election

    Amin’s explanation is an insult to voters

  13. Tim, this sort of behaviour is inexcusable regardless of what party the person in question belongs to. And I’m saying that as a life long tory voter.

  14. It is inexcusable – it also seriously calls into question the judgement of the selection panel in a winnable seat.

    Obviously it’s always possible that decent, high calibre people with integrity can do inexplicably stupid things, but he comes across as very lightweight (quite apart from being duplicitous) and it does make you wonder what the selection panel saw in him.

  15. Absolutely. Sadly as with the Watford Tory PPC, some are so craven they’ll do almost anything if it helps them gain a seat and get elected. It’s psychopathic behaviour. AA even said, “I’m not a P*ki” to the ex EDL Leader. I’m not sure how he thinks it helps him saying that he met them for 57 hours! Surely he should have been canvassing.

  16. Ecowirral: the weekend after the election is likely to be dominated by an argument about legitimacy to govern. Share is part and parcel of that, so I suspect the Conservatives are unlikely to retreat from a seat in which even a parachute should deliver around 10,000 votes, even if not standing might dent Labour’s chances of holding.

    The allegations if true are beyond the pale. Not just the obvious r.e. the EDL, but because there’s no place in a democracy for out-and-out false flag politics from parties and political movements, whether mainstream or extreme.

  17. ‘Tim, this sort of behaviour is inexcusable regardless of what party the person in question belongs to’

    That was exactly my point Adam

    If true, it is totally inexcusable – rather than “outlandish” or “strange”

  18. Afzal Amin has resigned.

    Presumably the Tories decided that letting him push this story into a third news cycle was a bit too much.

  19. Will he stand as an independent?

  20. l think he announced he wouldn’t stand at all, or at least implied it.

  21. Will the Lib Dems lose their deposit here?

  22. Yes.

  23. Afzal Amin appears not to have understood British culture concerning democratic integrity. Given his background e.g. in the army, I find this surprising, but there we are. He is unfortunately not the first candidate, or indeed MP, to take such unscrupulous views of “acceptable” political activity and we should not pretend that the elephant in the room is not there when it comes to their predominant backgrounds.

    I hope and believe that this affair will be largely forgotten once there is a replacement candidate in place, so it will not have a major effect on the result.

  24. Evidence to support such statements, please. The last two I remember who “appeared not to understand British culture concerning democratic integrity” were Rifkind and Straw, but then I bet you wouldn’t have used similar language in these cases. Nor with all the white British MPs who fiddled their expenses, or the likes of Phil Woolas either.

  25. “British culture concerning democratic integrity.”


  26. Duck worth for the greens is an ex deputy leader and should do well out of this .

  27. Drove through this constituency yesterday – and a corner of W’ton South West – and was struck by the almost total absence of boards or posters in 2 seats with majorities below 1,000.

  28. That’s typical of modern elections in urban areas. They have an unreal feel as though they are taking place on a different planet. This is surely part of the explanation for reduced turnouts compared to the past.

  29. Yougov nowcast has this as being too close to call between UKIP and labour. Fair or should we take this with a large dose of salt?

  30. TYNE:
    Not sure and can’t find the “YOUGOV Nowcast” for this seat:

    However, I have this as a very likely LAB HOLD- although it’s a complex one that does has the capacity to surprise.

  31. https://yougov.co.uk/#/constituency/142/nowcast/

    No data, no polling. Lots of salt.

  32. Tyne-lots of salt, but that’s how I’ve seen this one since the Amin shenanigans: I’d guess Labour, but UKIP could pull it off.

  33. CON Gain

  34. NEIL TURNER -Ho Ho!

    Con are a certain 3rd. I reckon;

    Labour 35%
    UKIP 33%
    Cons 25%
    Green 3%
    Libdem 3%
    Others 1%

  35. Following the Afzal Amin debacle, its difficult to foresee an effective challenge to Ian Austin. Bill Etheridge appears one of UKIPs stronger candidates so the right of centre vote will possibly split equally between him and the Conservatives.

  36. I feel like Con/Lab waverers are more likely to be put off by the Amin stuff than Con/Kip waverers. So probably a Labour hold. But I’m not sure if I’m right on that reasoning, and this still feels like an interesting, volatile seat. I’m surprised how few comments it has.

  37. Wellytab- completely agree. Whilst I’ve stuck my neck out with a prediction,this is one of the seats which illustrates why this election is so unpredictable and interesting.

  38. I guess the lack of interest shows how much else there is to talk about!

    I do feel like UKIP targets in general aren’t generating as much excitement as other interesting seats, I’m not sure why. It seems that UKPR, like most of our media, think that UKIP = Farage!

  39. Are people factoring in potential Labour to UKIP switchers?

    There’s lots of them around, yet people talk only of UKIP splitting the Tory vote.

  40. I think the poll in Grimsby suggested that UKIP is likely not making as much progress in Labour held seats. Hence the lack of discussion. I think they probably have more chance in Tory facing seats, or in marginal seats like Thurrock where the Lab/Con vote will split relatively evenly.

  41. More than 13% of the vote for combined UKIP and BNP in 2010 points to a strong performance this time around.

    I predict:
    Lab – 42
    Con – 32
    UKIP – 20
    LD – 4
    Oth – 2

  42. That’s true, and my money would certainly be on Lab, but there are weird circumstances here (and one of UKIP’s stronger candidates, I think?) so I’ll still be watching with interest.

  43. The other Dudley MBC Ashcroft polls showed UKIP underperforming compared to their local election ratings. So given that and the Afzal Amin saga, its hard to see which party is best equipped to challenge Ian Austin. 35% could win.

  44. Labour Hold. 5,000 majority. Tories 2nd.

  45. If you spam 650 threads all at once, only the last 10 comments will be noticed.

    Why don ‘t you post them all in the same place and leave out the 80% of them that are safe seats.

    “Lab hold Birmingham Ladywood” and the like aren’t worth posting.

  46. Full Results:

    Lab 15,885 41.8%
    Con 11,704 30.8%
    UKIP 9,113 24.0%
    Green 517 1.4%
    LDem 478 1.3%
    Other 295 0.8%

    Majority 4,181 : Swing to Labour 4.6%

  47. I think I may start spamming you. This seat will not exist in anything like its present form after the boundary changes. In the West Midlands the proposals last time are a less reliable guide, but this seat was split precisely in half between a Dudley East and a Dudley West seat. The west seat would be fairly safely Conservative, and the east seat safely Labour.

  48. Once the boundary changes have been implemented it is too late. We ought to chatter in advance about options the parties might take on board.

  49. Dudley had its own eponymous constituency from 1832 to 1974 – and yet the Worcestershire North constituency from 1885 to 1918 included the Municipal Borough of Dudley… (confused)

  50. Ian Austin today heckled Jeremy Corbyn during his Chilcot speech, telling him to “shut up and sit down” and that he was a “disgrace”.

    Bearing in mind that Corbyn was reflecting on a report which identified much of what Corbyn has said about Iraq for years, and that he was apologising for the Labour party for its part in the wrongdoing, this strikes me as extremely insulting to the bereaved families. If this isn’t enough for his local party to deselect him, then what is?

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