2015 Result:
Conservative: 8256 (22.6%)
Labour: 14076 (38.5%)
Lib Dem: 761 (2.1%)
Green: 1341 (3.7%)
UKIP: 11052 (30.2%)
Independent: 201 (0.6%)
Others: 849 (2.3%)
MAJORITY: 3024 (8.3%)

Category: Semi-marginal Labour seat

Geography: North East, Cleveland. The whole of the Hartlepool council area.

Main population centres: Hartlepool, Seaton Carew, Elwick, Hart.

Profile: Consists of the north eastern port of Hartlepool and the rural villages around it. Historically shipbuilding and steel dominated Hartlepool and it remains an industrial town, with the port, the steel and chemical industries, ship breaking and Hartlepool nuclear power station all important local employers.

Politics: Hartlepool was won by the Conservatives as recently as 1959, but since then is has become a reliable Labour seat, politically most associated with its former MP Peter Mandleson. Between 2002 and 2013 Hartlepool borough council had an elected mayor, held throughout the period by an Independent candidate, Stuart Drummond. Drummond originally stood as a publicity stunt for Hartlepool FC, dressed as their mascot H`Angus the Monkey (named after the local legend that locals hung a monkey as a French spy during the Napoleonic wars) and promising free bananas for school children. He won a shock victory, and was re-elected (without the monkey costume) twice before the position was abolished.

Current MP
IAIN WRIGHT (Labour) Born 1972, Hartlepool. Educated at UCL. Former chartered accountant. Hartlepool councillor from 2002. First elected as MP for Hartlepool in 2004 by-election. PPS to Rosie Winterton 2005-2006, Junior minister in Dept for Communities 2007-2009, Dept for Children, Schools and Families 2009-2010.
Past Results
Con: 10758 (28%)
Lab: 16267 (43%)
LDem: 6533 (17%)
UKIP: 2682 (7%)
Oth: 2002 (5%)
MAJ: 5509 (14%)
Con: 4058 (11%)
Lab: 18251 (52%)
LDem: 10773 (30%)
UKIP: 1256 (4%)
Oth: 1098 (3%)
MAJ: 7478 (21%)
Con: 7935 (21%)
Lab: 22506 (59%)
LDem: 5717 (15%)
Oth: 1893 (5%)
MAJ: 14571 (38%)
Con: 9489 (21%)
Lab: 26997 (61%)
LDem: 6248 (14%)
MAJ: 17508 (39%)

2015 Candidates
RICHARD ROYAL (Conservative) Educated at Headlands School and Lancaster University. Corporate affairs manager.
IAIN WRIGHT (Labour) See above.
HILARY ALLEN (Liberal Democrat)
PHILLIP BROUGHTON (UKIP) Supermarket supervisor and wrestling promoter. Stockton councillor 2007-2011 for the Conservatives. Contested North East region 2014 European elections.
MICHAEL HOLT (Green) Insurance salesman.
SANDRA ALLISON (Your vote could save our hospital)
JOHN HOBBS (Independent - Tell it Like it Is) Contested Hartlepool 2005.
STEPHEN PICTON (Independent)
Comments - 174 Responses on “Hartlepool”
  1. I don’t recall anyone saying that, and if they did they were clearly wrong.

    As far as I am aware, UKIP’s vote was down in all seats in GE 2017 compared to GE2015. For example, in Hartlepool they went from 30% to 11%.

  2. But of course both could still be true.

    Clearly it wouldn’t surprise me too much – if their average % was higher in the 2017 GE – as by definition they stood in their better seats in 2017, unlike everywhere in 2015.

    Presumably all it would take is say 8% avg in 2015 and 8.5% in 2017 for it to be true.

  3. Luke S – incidentally, I meant to ask: how long ago were you first involved with UKIP?

    I’d be interested to hear from anyone involved in the 2000s or 1990s.

    In Thurrock, clearly Tim Aker worked wonders in almost winning the seat in 2015 and gaining the council; but, having looked back at all of the results, I noticed that it was the BNP who beat UKIP in the seat in 2 GEs so maybe that stalled the growth there could have been. After all Thurrock is unusual in that it’s one of the very few seats where UKIP stood in 20-25 years ago.

    J D-P must be the luckiest MP alive, having won three times with tiny majorities and all sub 40%. Looking back further the Tory avg in the seat is 35% for decades, so UKIP may have helped her hang on each time (by taking what were previously Labour votes).

  4. @ Lancs

    I would suggest you do a quick check of at least some of the seats where UKIP stood in 2017. Their GB share of the vote fell from 12.6% to less than 1.8%. I think that the average in those seats where they stood was about 4%.

    It should be noted that in GE 2017, they failed to reach their overall GB share of 12.6% even many of their most competitive seats. For example, they were reduced from 34 % to 8% for Paul Nuttall standing in Boston & Skegness. They were down from 44% to just 8% in Clacton, despite previously holding the seat. Their best result in terms of both overall share and vote retention appears to have been Thurrock where they fell from 32% to 20%.Elsewhere, they failed to reach 12% anywhere.

  5. A click on any of the UKIP ‘target’ seats in this list illustrates this.


  6. Lancs… I first joined in 2013, but considered them as early as 2011.

    By the time I joined I was on a divergent path with the party, though this is only apparent years later.

    Someone moving further to the right economically, and toward a mish mash of social views… really had little place in the party by 2015.

    Locally we tried our best to be as organised as we could but as novices and with head office refusing to boot out some idiots we were up against it.

    I’d be stunned if they ever won a seat at any level under FPTP again.

  7. Its intetesting that some polls have ukip at 5% since they were only on 1.8% at the GE

  8. 1.8% at the GE but they only stood in half of Britain’s seats. It would have been more like 3% had they stood everywhere – so 5% isn’t a particularly big change since then.

    Nevertheless, if they really have had a mini-recovery then that fits in decently with what has happened politically since the election. Since June there has been a steady stream of small victories for Brexit pragmatists against the Peter Bones of this world. They’ve accepted the need for a divorce bill, for a transitional period, for something to be done about the Irish border, etc etc etc. They’ve moved beyond the “sticking their fingers in their ears and pretending everything will be wonderful” phase – but there is a section of the electorate that hasn’t moved with them.

  9. James E – and I suggest you re-read what I said (twice).

    You appear incapable of understanding that it could be true.

    Instead you merely repeat (twice) what we all know: that the UKIP national share fell (clearly this would have happened even if their vote increased in almost every seat they stood in as they stood in far fewer).

    I realise their vote fell.

    I was merely asking if it was the case that their average % obtained by their PPCs rose at all. As I can see it still could have done (as I said).

    If you didn’t know, you should just have said. I’m sure Luke S or another ex UKIpper will reveal all at some point.

  10. “I was merely asking if it was the case that their average % obtained by their PPCs rose at all. ”

    UKIP’s share in those seats where they stood in 2017 was reduced to less than one-third of their 2015 share.

    I suppose that in the broadest sense, their share in “could” have risen, but even a cursory check of the actual results from 8/6/17 would show that it didn’t.

  11. UKIPs targeting in 2015 wasn’t great.

    For lots of reasons I suppose. Firstly the lack of knowledge as to where the vote was coming from, in 2012 & 2013 they had success against the Tories, in 2014 against Labour & the Tories… and there wasn’t ever the sampling done to establish what types of areas within a seat were voting UKIP and making it possible to build profiles of target seats.

    Of course I’m Professor Hindsight now because I was part of that failing. Though when lots of people tried to mention the need for greater scrutiny of electoral successes and failings they weren’t really given and audience and might as well have been told to just shut up and start talking about immigration instead.

    Another issue was the activities of MEPs who felt entitled to their pick of the so called best seats, when more local (and sometimes genuinely better) candidates were available… and also people wanting to stand in the seat where they lived (or in my case where I grew up and still live ‘next door’).

    I could write a book on what went on – the good bits, the bad bits, the lessons from success and failure that weren’t learned… but I’m quite busy with other things and most importantly nobody would buy it. Plus I’m quite happy in ‘retirement’ from political activity at the minute, doing my best Peter Hitchens ‘they’re all rubbish’ commentary.

  12. Rural West ward by-election, 12.07.18:

    Cons 678
    Ind 546
    Lab 184
    Green 87

    Cons hold

  13. Labour Lose Hartlepool to NOC.

    I am starting to think that Jeremy Corbyn will have resigned by the end of the year – I get the feeling the next Labour leadership election is coming sooner than many people think.

  14. Through by then if Labour have voted for the Brexit deal a lot of members (including more MP’s and many Councillors) will have defected to change UK or gone independent in fury. Some even think Labour backing the deal will see the UK go to a Brexit party vs Lib Dem two party system (a view i don’t share.)

  15. Independents just one seat short of a majority here.

  16. And the independents are mostly an ukip leaning bunch I think. And there is a far right party who won a seat I think.

  17. Yes, Ann Marie W/Brian Silvester’s For Britain Party have gained a seat there and one in Essex.

  18. Hartlepool Council now run by a coalition between the Brexit Party and various independents:


    Given the Brexit Party did not run candidates at the previous locals, these must be defections from elsewhere. Anyone with local knowledge know where these folk have come from?

  19. Mike Hill suspended from the Labour Party over sexual harassment claims.

  20. Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice is to stand here.

    I suppose a 3 way split makes it an outside chance of a Tory gain, but I think Stockton South, Darlington, BA, Grimsby would fall first.

  21. ‘Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice is to stand here.’

    On the face of it it seems a complete miss-match, although as Victoria Ayling showed in Grimsby in 2010, unpleasant rich posh people can do quite well in these run-don, post-industrial port towns of the North East in the 21st century

  22. This is Tristram Hunt levels of ivory-tower-posh-bloke-in-salt-of-the-earth-white-working-class-seat.

  23. “I suppose a 3 way split makes it an outside chance of a Tory gain”

    I would have said a 3-way split makes it an outside chance of a Lab gain, tbh.

    May be wrong, but can’t see Lab beating their 2015 figure of 38.5% here.

    Now there’s a chance to leave the EU rather than a vague promise of a referendum like in 2015, I actually expect Lab to fall lower – no higher than 30% if they are still where they are nationally in the polls today – though obviously adjust that according to the overall national picture.

    And, of course, hold on much better in other seats where they have greater current appeal, to compensate for above average falls in seats like this.

  24. Labour sources here think Labour will hold the seat narrowly.

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