2015 Result:
Conservative: 4478 (12.9%)
Labour: 21132 (61%)
Lib Dem: 834 (2.4%)
Green: 733 (2.1%)
UKIP: 6491 (18.7%)
Others: 956 (2.8%)
MAJORITY: 14641 (42.3%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Seaham, Peterlee, Easington.

Profile: A traditional coal mining seat on the Durham coast. It consists of small former colliery towns and villages and the two towns of Seaham and Peterlee - a new town rapidly built in the 1950s to house coal miners. The final mines closed in the early ninties and the area suffers from the long term economic problems associated with many former mining areas as they struggle with the transition to alternative sources of employment.

Politics: Easington is one of the safest Labour seats in the country - in good years for the party they can obtain over seventy percent of the vote here and it has been held by the party since 1922, its MPs including some of the most influential figures in Labour history - Sidney Webb, Ramsay MacDonald and Manny Shinwell.

Current MP
GRAHAME MORRIS (Labour) Born 1961, Easington. Educated at Peterlee Grammar School. Former medical laboratory officer. Easington councillor 1987-2003. First elected as MP for Easington in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 4790 (14%)
Lab: 20579 (59%)
LDem: 5597 (16%)
BNP: 2317 (7%)
Oth: 1631 (5%)
MAJ: 14982 (43%)
Con: 3400 (11%)
Lab: 22733 (71%)
LDem: 4097 (13%)
BNP: 1042 (3%)
Oth: 583 (2%)
MAJ: 18636 (59%)
Con: 3411 (10%)
Lab: 25360 (77%)
LDem: 3408 (10%)
Oth: 831 (3%)
MAJ: 21949 (66%)
Con: 3588 (9%)
Lab: 33600 (80%)
LDem: 3025 (7%)
Oth: 503 (1%)
MAJ: 30012 (72%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
CHRIS HAMPSHEIR (Conservative)
GRAHAME MORRIS (Labour) See above.
LUKE ARMSTRONG (Liberal Democrat)
JONATHAN ARNOTT (UKIP) Born 1981, Sheffield. Educated at Sheffield University. Former maths teacher. Contested Sheffield Attercliffe 2005, Sheffield South East 2010, South Yorkshire Police Commissioner election 2012. Contested Yorkshire region 2004, 2009 European elections. MEP for North East since 2014.
SUSAN MCDONNELL (North East Party)
STEVE COLBORN (Socialist Party GB)
Comments - 37 Responses on “Easington”
  1. The mine here was doomed by Labour’s building a nuclear power station at Hartlepool and closed under John Major.

  2. does anything exciting ever happen in politics here

  3. “The mine here was doomed by Labour’s building a nuclear power station at Hartlepool and closed under John Major.”

    A lot of the deep mining around here went underneath the sea. Not only uneconomic but, in today’s world, the health and safety risks would be far too high.

  4. Just seen Orangina’s question. The answer is no, not nowadays – but the 1935 election is a celebrated one in this area. At the time the seat was called Seaham & saw a very high-profile contest between Ramsay Macdonald, Prime Minister of the National Government and standing as National Labour, and Manny Shinwell (who had been MP for Linlithgow in the 20s) standing for the Labour Party. Although nationally Labour were heavily beaten by the Tories & their allies, here Macdonald polled 14,000 to Shinwell’s 35,000. Since then Labour has utterly dominated the area, polling over 80% in 1997, the second-highest Labour share of the vote in the whole country. Their share has dropped a lot more here than in Bootle (where admittedly on different boundaries Labour polled a cool 83% in 1997) though it’s still a very safe seat indeed. So the answer to Orangina is yes – but not in most people’s living memory.

  5. Isn’t Luciana Berger related to Manny Shinwell?

  6. Also in answer to Orangina, they had some great parties here when she died.

  7. I hadn’t heard that Luciana Berger had died. I’m not a fan but that is very sad for somebody so young. It would be a very intersting by-election in any other parliament than this one.
    Also in answer to Orangina, the Tories came tantalisingly close to winning the Seaham diviision on Durham County council in 2008

  8. Aye, very good Pete.

  9. ‘I hadn’t heard that Luciana Berger had died. I’m not a fan but that is very sad for somebody so young.’

    What does this mean, Mr Whitehead?

  10. Prediction for 2015-
    Morris (Labour)- 66%
    UKIP- 13%
    Conservative- 11%
    Liberal Democrat- 7%
    Others- 3%

  11. You are presuming the UKIP eats the BNP votes? didn’t happen in Wythenshawe…

  12. I’m 50/50 as to whether or not the BNP will stand here.

  13. I get the feeling that the result here for Labour in 2010 was a bit worrying. I know it’s a diehard rock solid seat for them, but less so than once upon a time with the decline of the major industries longterm, and perhaps slight demographic change as well.

  14. Nonetheless, a 42.5% Labour majority in 2010-style conditions is very good going. Remember that they went as low as 59% in 1983 too so it’s not unprecedented. If Labour should be concerned about its industrial seats, it should be concerned about those seats in the southern part of the West Riding- not here.

  15. Labour continues to win almost everywhere here. The party will not in the end be upset, after all, if its vote declines from 80% to 60% in a rock solid seat yet stays firm in the marginals. The Tories waste a lot of votes in ultra-safe seats, whereas it was Labour to whom this happened in 1951.

  16. It’s worth noting that just as Labour’s result here was comparable to the one we got in 1983, southern West Riding seats like Wakefield were extremely close then too. Evidence for a pro-Tory trend in Yorkshire is much exaggerated.

  17. The Tories were 15-16% ahead of Labour nationally in 1983, and only 7-8% ahead in 2010. On a 1983 type of national result the Tories would have certainly won Wakefield, Don Valley, Morley & Outwood, Stocksbridge & Penistone in 2010, none of which they actually won in 1983. I’ve a feeling the boundaries have moved against the Tories in Wakefield as well. On 1983-97 boundaries the Tories would probably have won the seat in 2010.

    I don’t think anyone is saying there’s a pro-Tory trend across the whole of Yorkshire. In many parts of the country the opposite is clearly true….Leeds and Sheffield for starters.

  18. In many other parts of the *county*

  19. I think the Tories would have won Penistone & Stocksbridge in 1983 had it existed.

  20. Edward- well between 1992 and 2010, Yorkshire swung 2.4% from Labour to the Conservatives. Only Wales swung by a greater percentage in the Conservatives’ favour. And in 1992, which is more comparable to 2010 than 1983 is (and yes, I know I started it but I was talking about the Labour vote share) Labour held Wakefield by 12%. Perhaps Mr Whitehead can help but I doubt that Labour would have won that incarnation of Wakefield by the same margin in 2010. And it’s not just Wakefield, look at the results in places like Don Valley and even Rother Valley

    I am not for one minute suggesting that there is some massive pro-Tory tide in Yorkshire, poised to sweep all before it. But there are grounds for saying that there has been something of a trend in the Tories’ favour since 1992- though whether or not it continues is another matter.

  21. H Hemmelig- excellent post

    And I would second his comments about the importance of distinguishing between the conurbations and the small town areas. As H Hemmelig says, in Leeds and Sheffield things have gone in the other direction.

  22. Oh, I’m not denying that we’d have lost more seats in a 1983-style result (though the biggest difference between the two elections is the Tory %, not the Labour %). I’m merely saying that those West Yorkshire seats have always been places Labour could lose if it does badly, so high swings in an election where we did indeed do badly proves very little about the long-term trajectory of those areas.

  23. H Hemmelig- yes boundary changes have gone against the Conservatives in Wakefield though IIRC, it made Dewsbury more winnable.

  24. The removal of Heckmondwike and addition of a couple of more Tory favouring wards did that in Dewsbury if I’m not mistaken. The small majority produced suggests just how marginal the seat is now. Pretty much divided between the three Labour favouring Dewsbury wards and Tory favouring wards of Mirfield, Denby Dale and Kirkburton.

  25. I would guess the national swing plus the ejection of Shahid Malik should make Dewsbury an easy Labour gain.

  26. prediction for 2015-

    lab- 56%
    UKIP- 16%
    con- 14%
    lib- 11%
    BNP- 3%

    This seat is obviously going to stay labour, but the rise of UKIP here will take a few working class labour votes away. The tories will also make a very slight advance due to their success with the economy elsewhere and the failings of the liberal vote however had it not been for UKIP this rise could have been far greater. The BNP will also obviously see their vote slashed but this is the whitest place in England so you can guess why that means they should still perform alright over here.

  27. It doesn’t matter how badly Labour might ever do nationally in any election, for this seat will always remain ultra-safe, because it is Labour to the core.

    The 1997 result is still striking and overwhelmingly towering- 80% is mind-boggling. Of course now Labour have lost about 22% of that, but they remain well over 50%. I think that Grahame Morris has the job for life here.

  28. Johnathan Arnott MEP selected as UKIP candidate for Easington , http://www.jonathanarnott.co.uk/2015/01/jonathan-arnott-mep-selected-to-stand-for-parliament-in-easington/ , unlikely to win it this time round , but strong second?

  29. Depends what you mean by a strong second. I went to University in Durham, and also lived in Newcastle so know the area/culture a bit, though I stress a bit and that was nearly 20 years ago.

    Could see UKIP coming second certainly but they will still be weighing the Labour vote come May here. If the BNP stand I think Robbie isn’t far out but Labour will do a bit better I’d go:

    Lab – 61%
    UKIP – 15%
    Con – 13%
    LD – 8%
    BNP – 3%

  30. Houses for sale for £1 in this constituency:


  31. Labour hold. 17,000 majority.

  32. First post. political junkie and long time lurker.

    This seat is rated the 5th most Ukip friendly in the entire country, with the Regional MEP as a candidate. Its truly tribal labour country but id be shocked if Ukip still didnt get well into the 20% range.

  33. LD Gain.

    No, not really.

  34. On Easington Colliery and its Labour Party, see this link –

  35. TYNE
    This seat is rated the 5th most Ukip friendly in the entire country, with the Regional MEP as a candidate. Its truly tribal labour country but id be shocked if Ukip still didnt get well into the 20% range.

    April 10th, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    I hope you were shocked, Tyne, as UKIP only got 18.7% in 2015. However, Labour’s majority was more than halved in 2019, and it’s now the lowest its ever been in the seat, at 19.1%. The chief beneficiary of the vote increase was the Brexit Party, even though the Tories came second. I think in some of these old Labour heartlands there is too much antipathy towards the Conservatives for them to win, hence the Brexit Party got larger swings towards them, and in some cases came a strong second (in Hull, Barnsley etc).

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