City of Durham

2015 Result:
Conservative: 10157 (22.5%)
Labour: 21596 (47.9%)
Lib Dem: 5183 (11.5%)
Green: 2687 (6%)
UKIP: 5232 (11.6%)
Independent: 195 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 11439 (25.4%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Durham, Waterhouses, Ludworth, Brandon, Coxhoe, Sherburn.

Profile: Co-terminous with the old City of Durham local authority, now subsumed in the unitary authority of County Durham, the seat includes Durham itself - a small medieval city dominated by its cathedral and ancient university - and the surrounding villages such as Waterhouses, Ludworth, Brandon, Coxhoe and Sherburn.

Politics: A Labour seat since 1935, but became a marginal seat with the SDP in the 1980s and, more recently from the Liberal Democrats. While Durham itself has had some Liberal Democrat strength (the City council was controlled by the Lib Dems until its abolition), the outlying villages are largely former mining areas and in many cases monolithically Labour.

Current MP
ROBERTA BLACKMAN-WOODS (Labour) Born 1957, Belfast. Educated at University of Ulster. Former lecturer and professor at the University of Northumbria. Newcastle councillor 1992-95, Oxford councillor 1996-2000. First elected as MP for City of Durham in 2005. PPS to Hilary Armstrong 2006-07, PPS to Des Browne 2007-08, PPS to David Lammy 2008-10.
Past Results
Con: 6146 (13%)
Lab: 20496 (44%)
LDem: 17429 (38%)
BNP: 1153 (2%)
Oth: 1028 (2%)
MAJ: 3067 (7%)
Con: 4179 (9%)
Lab: 20928 (47%)
LDem: 17654 (40%)
Oth: 1603 (4%)
MAJ: 3274 (7%)
Con: 7167 (17%)
Lab: 23254 (56%)
LDem: 9813 (24%)
UKIP: 1252 (3%)
MAJ: 13441 (32%)
Con: 8598 (17%)
Lab: 31102 (63%)
LDem: 7499 (15%)
Oth: 213 (0%)
MAJ: 22504 (46%)

2015 Candidates
REBECCA COULSON (Conservative) Educated at Cambridge University. Musician and singing teacher.
CRAIG MARTIN (Liberal Democrat)
JOHN MARSHALL (Independent)
JON COLLINGS (Independent)
Comments - 64 Responses on “Durham, City of”
  1. I didn’t expect the Labour vote to go up that much here given how well they held up in 2010 but they must have been a bit disappointed to not edge over 50%.

    The Tory vote clearly must have risen due to major tactical unwind and to be fair to Hemellig and Frederic they suggested that would happen.

    I suspect the LD challenge is done for good now and that County Durham could see an LD wipeout in 2017 with the Tories (and Greens to a lesser extent) also gaining in the city itself although I would welcome people like Joe R’s views on this.

  2. The Tories also had an enthusiastic young candidate, whereas Labour’s campaigning was tepid at best, and the Tory candidate has local roots: her father was a long sitting exceptionally popular academic at the univeristy.

  3. Labour have seen off a strong LIbDem challenge here. I cannot see anybody else seriously challenging Labour in this seat for a considerable time, unless Labour implodes totally at a national level

  4. The Lib Dems will probably hold up locally, as they did this year in e.g. Newcastle, Gateshead. It probably won’t be indicative of any resurgence in a Parliamentary election.

  5. Hello again. Been a while

    Very different atmosphere than the last election. Last time I flirted with the tories but didn’t vote for them. Then I was seen as mad for even considering the thatchers baby eaters.
    At the moment Labour vote is crumbling, the change from Cameron to May has helped tories massively. Cameron was toxic due to his background even if he gave everyone in the county a million pound he’d still have been hated.

    I tend to think labour should rally their core vote but this worse I’ve ever known it.
    However I’m not here to ramp are some tidbits. Working on a Tory lead 15-20% or so.
    Labour are going to run a core vote strategy, focusing on NHS and school funding.
    Darlington – This will be main Tory target and labour will fight on NHS downgrade aka Copeland
    Bishop – This seat is in play. 50/50
    City of Durham- Labour are concerned this seat is close, LD performing strongly in the city. University students will still be present but election is during exam period.
    In other seats reports large numbers of middle class switchers. My parents both Labour last time are going Tory. Mainly over Brexit

  6. Anyways prediction – LD’s to regain 2nd place.

    LAB 39
    LD 27
    CON 24
    UKIP 6
    GRN 4

  7. The final balance for the wards in this seat at the 2017 local elections was 15 Labour, 10 Lib Dem and 1 independent councilors. In the wards covering Durham City itself, however, the result was 8 Lib Dem to 1 Labour.

    I think that what this illustrates is that while the name of the seat is ‘City of Durham’, it does extend to some of the former mining villages and these remain staunchly Labour. I suspect that this will be enough to carry the seat for Labour in 2017 even though the city itself would lean Lib Dem.

  8. To my amazement Richard Moss reckons the tories are targeting here! The chancellor was up campaigning here on Thursday. They may have picked a candidate here who is a perfect fit for this seat but they need to be careful they don’t overreach and fail in Bishop and Darlington.

  9. Yeah, that’s wildly overconfident from the Tories. They’ll do well if they halve the majority.

  10. I was wondering if they would keep second at one point. Think they will manage it comfortably now.
    The chancellors visit is probably a feint.

  11. Seems an unlikely target. Prehaps the torries think a fair bit of Labour to Lib Dem leakage in the city centre plus Labour to Tory swing could just do it.

  12. It depends on how much the Labour to Lib Dem vote is here on if the Torries have a chance.

  13. Dawdon ward By-election:

    Labour 693
    Seaham Community 633

    Lab 52% (+6)
    SC 48% (+11%)

  14. Roberta Blackman Woods will retire at next GE

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