North West Durham

2015 Result:
Conservative: 10018 (23.4%)
Labour: 20074 (46.9%)
Lib Dem: 3894 (9.1%)
Green: 1567 (3.7%)
UKIP: 7265 (17%)
MAJORITY: 10056 (23.5%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Consett, Crook, Lanchester, Willington.

Profile: A large rural seat, covering the remote and sparsely populated Wear Valley and part of the former Derwentside council area. The isolated towns and villages here are the relics of heavy industry now departed, former coal mining villages in the Wear Valley and the old steel town of Consett. The steelworks closed in the early eighties, devastating the local economy and rendering this an unemployment blackspot. More recently the area is better known for making snack food than steel - the Phileas Fogg company (now part of KP Snacks) used to advertise their crisps as being made in Medomsley Road, Consett..

Politics: The coal mining and heavy industrial traditions of the area have the unusual result of created a remote rural seat that is overwhelmingly Labour. The seat has been held by Labour since its creation in 1950, for most of the period by members of the same family (Ernest Armstrong, the MP from 1964 until 1987 was suceeded by his daughter, Hilary Armstrong, who represented the seat until 2010. While Labour have been dominant at the Parliamentary level, at a local level there has been significant Liberal Democrat and Independent strength on the old Wear Valley and Derwentside councils. Watts Stelling of the Derwentside Independents contested the 2005 and 2010 general elections, retaining his deposit both times.

Current MP
PAT GLASS (Labour) Born 1957, Esh Winning. Former education advisor and officer. First elected as MP for Durham North West in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 8766 (20%)
Lab: 18539 (42%)
LDem: 10927 (25%)
BNP: 1852 (4%)
Oth: 3731 (9%)
MAJ: 7612 (17%)
Con: 6463 (16%)
Lab: 21312 (54%)
LDem: 7869 (20%)
Oth: 3865 (10%)
MAJ: 13443 (34%)
Con: 8193 (21%)
Lab: 24526 (63%)
LDem: 5846 (15%)
Oth: 661 (2%)
MAJ: 16333 (42%)
Con: 7101 (15%)
Lab: 31855 (69%)
LDem: 4991 (11%)
MAJ: 24754 (53%)

2015 Candidates
CHARLOTTE HAITHAM-TAYLOR (Conservative) Born 1978, Malton. Educated at Heathfield School and City and Guilds of London Art School. Artist. Wokingham councillor since 2010.
PAT GLASS (Labour) See above.
OWEN TEMPLE (Liberal Democrat) Durham county councillor since 2008. Contested North West Durham 2010.
Comments - 128 Responses on “Durham North West”
  1. AlexF of course there is. However as you know I co-run Red Labour, and Laura is fairly close to us. I wasn’t born until 1960 so obviously I can’t claim to have known historical figures born before then. I have never met Tony Blair and have only met 3 Labour Party leaders past & present.

  2. who died* before then

  3. Just wanna say my comment was meant as a back handed compliment.
    ; )

    An amazing speech by the new MP here – tearing into the establishment of Parliament.

    She, argued that “the intimidating nature of this place is not accidental”.

    “Turning to this place, this building is intimidating. It reeks of the establishment & of power; its systems are confusing—some may say archaic.”

    “I believe that the intimidating nature of this place is not accidental. The clothes, the language, and the obsession with hierarchies, control and domination are symbolic of the system at large.”

    I am with her and imo it’s a good thing that Speaker Bercow has allowed MPS to come tie – less. I wonder how long before Corbyn turns up at PMQS open necked?

  4. Whatever she thinks of Westminster’s arcane structures – and she has a point! – she is going to have to learn to use them if she wants to achieve anything. This should be easier than usual for an opposition backbencher, given the parliamentary arithmetic (see Stella Creasy’s amendement for example).

    On a broader note, I have never understood the anarchic streak on the left. There seem to be very few concrete differences between the philosophies of anarchy and libertarianism, even though these are placed notionally at opposite ends of the political spectrum. Douglas Carswell could have said a lot of those things – in fact his maiden speech referred to how he was “embarrassed” to be in Westminster when he felt that real change could best be delivered outside parliament.

  5. Why connect a desire for a more modern place of elected representatives to acting like an anarchist?

  6. I haven’t seen the whole speech, only the snippets quoted here, so maybe I’m reading them out of context – did she suggest any improvements or was she just having a good old moan?

    If I’m reading too much into this, it’s only because of how excited people on here became. Maybe I read something interesting and radical into something that has actually been said a thousand times before.

  7. I am not sure what the MP’s views on Parliament have to do with polling.

  8. I agree. I did mention that there were some over-wild predictions about this seat earlier but they seem to have been overtaken……sorry if I contributed

  9. When you think about it our parliamentarians are protected from all manner of measures that has reduced and depleted the working lives of other public servants, who have had to endure:

    Sell off of beloved public buildings (uneconomical to run)
    Pay rise of 10% – 2 yrs ago
    Sell offs to private sector
    Cuts in numbers
    Constant improving in procedures
    Constant cost cutting

    Meanwhile the inhabitants of the Palace of Westminster just rumble along like it is 1899.

  10. Laura Pidcock has revealed she is pregnant.

  11. Has anyone on here come across a David Lindsay?

    A quick search reveals a blog, a Trial where he was the Defendant and so on. He says he’s a socialist, but ran a High Tory Dining Club @ Durham Uni at the same time as the infamous Mark Clarke was there.

    Does he stand in the locals as often as Bill Boakes was a PPC?

    A colleague said, “Oh, you must have heard of him. He claims to have his own Party” as I’m from ‘up North’ – but, of course, this character is firmly in the North East as far as I can tell, so I’ve yet to hear of his antics.

  12. The Labour CLP here has passed a motion calling for Hilary Armstrong to be expelled from the Labour Party according to fellow former MP for the Seat Pat Glass.

  13. How will the lack of Brexit Party here affect the result. Plenty of rumours that it will be very close.

  14. I wonder if Laura Piddock will stand in a different seat in 2024 to try and return.

  15. Might be even earlier than that, there will be by-election opportunities at some point. Or perhaps she’ll stand here again – it’s hardly become an unwinnable seat.

    Unless the party’s centre of gravity shifts markedly towards the centre in the next five years, CLPs will be queueing up to select her. One way or another, she’ll be back.

  16. Nick Brown, Alan Campbell and Alex Cunnigham are at retirement age come 2024 if she stays in the north east.

  17. “Unless the party’s centre of gravity shifts markedly towards the centre in the next five years, CLPs will be queueing up to select her.”

    The Tories in said CLPs, and nationally, will certainly be hoping they do.

    If I may say so Polltroll, you are getting all of a muddle here. On the one hand you are predicting Labour victories in Chingford and Chipping Barnet, on the other that Labour will remain so far to the left that Pidcock and other losers of her ilk will be welcomed back into parliament with open arms. I would suggest that if one of these two eventualities happens, the other is unlikely.

  18. Even in 1992 and 1997 some far left labour candidates were selected – most notably John McDonnel- even with Kinnock and Blair trying. So even with Moderates in charge Piddock could still get back. The Moderates will rely on votes from Corbyn voters in any case.

  19. John McDonnell though stuck to his own patch in Hayes & Harlington despite losing it twice. He didn’t go carpetbagging to a more winnable seat (to his credit) and had he tried to do so the Kinnockite NEC would have tried to stop him. Under Blair numerous CLPs had their left wing candidates disallowed from on high, Leeds North East being one I particularly recall.

    I don’t expect the moderates to get back in control of Labour, at least for some time, so you are likely right that Pidcock et al will be embraced as martyrs. This in turn will leave Labour stuck in perpetual defeat.

  20. Hemmy: the Corbynite platform is a key vote loser nationwide, but that doesnt mean that it can’t be a vote winner within certain seats, or that even if it remains a vote loser even in those seats, they can’t nevertheless fall just due to shifting demography.

  21. If Labour are doing badly in 2024 and have zero chance of even making a hung parliament turnout will probably drop a fair bit.

  22. It’s difficult for me to not envisage a split / creation of a new centre Left moderate party.

    A new party was founded in the UK on 7 Dec. The Workers Party, it’s a Brexit supporting party on the far Left. Headed by George Galloway.

    Subs are quite expensive £5pm. But if you want to vote or stand for office you’ll have to pay £10pm. I suppose they might get a spike in membership if the centrists once more somehow manage to take over control of Labour.

  23. George Galloway heading it means it probably be an anti semetic party

  24. Sounds pretty grifty to me. Like Galloway saw how Nigel Farage creamed off thousands from far more public-spirited, if still batshit crazy people, and thought to himself, “I could do that.”

  25. “It’s difficult for me to not envisage a split / creation of a new centre Left moderate party.”

    The miserable failure of TIG has arguably ruined any chance of that (as has the defeat of all the defectors to the Lib Dems).

    Had TIG had 80 MPs rather than 8, some of leadership calibre such as Tom Watson and Ken Clarke rather than a bunch of nobodies, and had the Lib Dems played their hand more smartly, the past year would have turned out very differently indeed.

    As it is, Labour and the ins and outs of its leadership is now going to be an irrelevant sideshow for some years to come.

  26. I’m happy to hold my hand up and acknowledge that the £50 I donated to TIG the day they announced their formation was the worst investment I have ever made.

  27. I might easily have done that as well, had it been a truly centre group and not so ex-Labour dominated. They might well have got my vote. I think it speaks well of you to have donated so much, well done.

  28. ‘had the Lib Dems played their hand more smartly, the past year would have turned out very differently indeed.’

    About four months ago, not long after the election of Jo Swinson, one of my friends utterly disillusioned by Brexit and the mess attempting to sort it out has created, said he could still never back the Lib Dems as they were just, as he saw it, way too naive, and he couldn’t have really been proved more right

    Had they really wanted, and had they not adopted a uncredible revoke policy, the Lib Dems could have got that second referendum but bouyed by their successes in the local and European elections they ended up backing an election the result of which has made Brexit a certainty and reduced their numbers in the Commons, which were already at a historical low

    It was a huge miscalculation

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