Houghton & Sunderland South

2015 Result:
Conservative: 7105 (18.5%)
Labour: 21218 (55.1%)
Lib Dem: 791 (2.1%)
Green: 1095 (2.8%)
UKIP: 8280 (21.5%)
MAJORITY: 12938 (33.6%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

Geography: North East, Tyne and Wear. Part of the Sunderland council area.

Main population centres: Houghton, Hetton-le-Hole, Doxford, Shiney Row, Silksworth.

Profile: The seat contains relatively little of Sunderland itself and it mostly made up of former mining towns to the south-west of the City, most notably Houghton and Hetton-le-Hole.

Politics: The seat underwent substantial changes in the 2010 boundary review, swapping the eastern part of Washington (now united in a single seat) for part of the dismembered Sunderland South seat. Both on old and new boundaries, it is solidly Labour and on various boundaries the Houghton seat has been held by Labour since 1935.

Current MP
BRIDGET PHILLIPSON (Labour) Born 1983, Gateshead. Educated at St Robert of Newminster RC Secondary and Oxford University. Former charity worker. First elected as MP for Houghton & Sunderland South in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 8147 (21%)
Lab: 19137 (50%)
LDem: 5292 (14%)
BNP: 1961 (5%)
Oth: 3484 (9%)
MAJ: 10990 (29%)
Con: 4772 (14%)
Lab: 22310 (64%)
LDem: 6245 (18%)
BNP: 1367 (4%)
MAJ: 16065 (46%)
Con: 4810 (14%)
Lab: 24628 (73%)
LDem: 4203 (12%)
MAJ: 19818 (59%)
Con: 5391 (13%)
Lab: 31946 (76%)
LDem: 3209 (8%)
MAJ: 26555 (63%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Houghton & Washington East

2015 Candidates
STEWART HAY (Conservative) Born 1956, Whotley Bay. Educated at Monseaton Grammar and Northumbria University. Solicitor and retired detective inspector.
BRIDGET PHILLIPSON (Labour) See above.
JAMES MURRAY (Liberal Democrat)
RICHARD ELVIN (UKIP) Born Lincolnshire. Educated at Newcastle University. Former teacher, runs a travel company. Contested East Midlands region 2009 European election for Libertas, Houghton and Sunderland South 2010, Middlesbrough 2012 by-election, South Shields 2013 by-election, North East region 2014 European election for UKIP.
Comments - 36 Responses on “Houghton & Sunderland South”
  1. I can envisage UKIP coming second in a lot of seats like this at the next election if they’re doing fairly well overall.

  2. i wonder if ukip will ever challenge labour in this sort of seat

  3. I think UKIP have the potential to take a fair few votes from Labour, as well as the Conservatives here

  4. Interesting that the combined share for UKIP, Ind and BNP was already 14.3% in 2010. I think UKIP have the potential to pick up the majority of those votes next time plus some more from the Tories and maybe a few from Labour and LD. Obviously they’ll be a considerable swing of votes from LD to Lab at the same time as there was in the South Shields by-election.

  5. *there’ll*

  6. Watching the 2010 coverage of this seat – does anyone know who the independent was and how he campaigned? 6% is way above usual results for Independents.

  7. Colin Wakefield is a local councillor for the Copt Hill Ward on Sunderland Council, first elected there in 2007. The Independents have pretty much replaced the Tories here as the party that can beat Labour so they don’t stand cnadidates in the ward. Labour presently has one of the councillors (elected in GE year, 2010). It’ll be interesting to see if they hold it in a non-GE year this time. It is a marginal though.
    Cllr Wakefield is a prolific ‘issues’ campaigner and rarely out of the press.

  8. prediction for 2015-

    Lab- 50%
    con- 19%
    UKIP- 15%
    Lib- 11%
    Indy- 4%
    BNP- 1%

  9. Please update my profile, I will supply a photo if you email me

    Stewart Hay (Conservative): Born in Whotley Bay (1956) educated at Monseaton Grammar School & law graduate of Northumbria University. Retired Detective Inspector with an exemplary service record, currently working as a consultant solicitor. A local association brach chairman, previously stood in local elections only in South Tyneside.

  10. According to the PA’s best estimate. It may not actually be the first.

  11. it was the first last time too

  12. I think it could be central that declares first, it was counted slower last time as it was assumed it could be close. Anyways ukip are putting effort into here especially into the Chinese finger trap that is Hetton. They will get 2nd and should be aiming to exceed what the tories got in 2010.

  13. Labour hold. 15,000 majority

  14. SOPN: http://bit.ly/1aHlHyf

    Richard Elvin (UKIP)
    Stewart Hay (Conservative)
    Jim Murray (Liberal Democrat)
    Bridget Phillipson (Labour)
    Alan Robinson (Green)

  15. ElectoralCalculus and ElectionForecast have UKIP at 13-14.5% here…I think this is one of those places where they’ll take far more Labour than Tory votes…it’s just how many L/D voters go to Labour..

    I’d be surprised if UKIP poll less than 18-20% here..same goes for Sunderland Central…

  16. Labour vote up 4.8%.

  17. It could be that they’ll pile up their votes in safe and semi-marginal seats but be underwhelming in target seats.

  18. A 35% swing from Labour to Lib Dem in Sandhill ward in this constituency:

    LDEM: 45.0% (+41.5)
    LAB: 25.0% (-29.9)
    UKIP: 18.7% (-7.2)
    CON: 10.0% (-5.7)
    GRN: 1.3% (+1.3)

  19. That really is a surprise.

    Dead cat bounce or the yellow peril really are back?

    Or was there a very local factor here?

  20. Word is the by-election was triggered cos the Lab councillor in question had an appalling attendance record, Libs ran on that.

    I have to say though I am again disappointed at the selective reporting here, the first week I stop posting local by elections and peeps only mention the bad Lab result, well here was the other result of the night.

    Gade Valley (Three Rivers) Lib gain from Con
    Lib Dem 60.9% (+24)
    Con 19.1% (-22.9)
    Lab 11.6% (-9.6)
    Ukip 6.7% (+6.7)
    Grren 1.8% (+1.8)

    If people are going to mention local by elections you have to quote them all not just the ones that you like the look of.

  21. @Rivers10
    If this is aimed at me, I think it’s ridiculous that any individual poster should be obligated to post all local by election results (there are sometimes 6 or 8, and many are not of great interest).

    You haven’t even bothered to find out the constituency Gade Valley is in. Why didn’t you post this under the relevant constituency?

    And why would you think I don’t like the Gade Valley result? I am in fact delighted by it, but that should be irrelevant.

    Posters need to reign in their partisanship. There are other sites for that.

  22. JR
    It wasn’t directed at you specifically others had been doing it for months prior to me posting all the results, I only just stopped doing so and to again see a bad result for Labour highlighted but the other result not mentioned irks me, sadly there are far too many peeps on this site who are more than happy to pontificate over any bad result for Lab while casually dismissing anything bad for their own party or good for Lab.

    I agree its ridiculous that any individual poster should have to post all results but seriously a while back we were literally bearing witness to 5 results in a night, four of which where a disaster for the Tories, one was a disaster for Lab and posters would gleefully post solely about the disastrous Lab result claiming it was a harbinger of Labs doom. That is what’s being partisan, simply requesting that if people find local by-elections to be sufficiently important to mention, simply post all results from a given night especially when the other results don’t fall under any definition of “boring”

    Its a sad state of affairs I agree but the behaviour of some here have necessitated it, I can’t highlight how bad the selective reporting was a few months back and I just want to nip it in the bud and stop it re-emerging.

  23. @rivers while I am of the opinion that people make far to much out of local by-elections the Sunderland ward is clearly more significant than Gade Valley. The Lib Dems nearly always win that ward, the only lose it in high turnout general election years so of course they’d win it easily in a pathetically low turnout by-election where they probably put far more effort in than everywhere else.

    For reference this was Gade Valley in 2016:

    LD: 61.7%
    Tory: 25.4%
    Lab: 13.%]

    Not substantially different from this local by-election.

    In Sunderland they came from deposit loss territory to win in an area where they have traditionally had no strength whatsoever. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out which of the two might be significant and which is a pretty standard Lib Dem local by-election performance.

    Though having said that I wish people would stop treating these pathetically low turnout elections, which are primarily fought on local issues as the be all and end or all or even vaguely indicative of the national picture.

  24. Rivers10 – to be fair the Labour share also halved in the one you quoted, so it wasn’t, ‘the one bad one.’

    It’s not selective as both showed the same: a good night for the LDs.

  25. Pepps
    We are in agreement that people read far too much into local by elections, I only ever posted them to stop the aforementioned selective reporting. If one wanted to delve in deep one could assume the Sunderland result is more significant but it still doesn’t excuse not posting all results.

    Also might I add there have been far too many cases of local by-elections of late where there has been a sound electoral factor (not a local factor) why Lab might “appear” to do badly most notably the result a few months back in multi member Eltham North were some peeps got far too overexcited over the Cons “winning” the ward from Lab even though it was an exact repeat of the 2014 result. My attempts at explaining that though were dismissed as me being an apologist…

  26. Lancs
    And the Tory vote fell by a third in the Sunderland result, frankly reading into local by election results in seats where parties don’t eve try is even more foolish.

    My main point was Lab lost a ward on a huge swing, the Tories lost a ward on a huge swing, no reason whatsoever to solely quote Labs loss, whether intentional or not that is selective reporting and we had far too much of that a few months back.

  27. ”the Tories lost a ward on a huge swing”

    There was only a small swing to the Lib Dems from the Tories in Gade Valley compared to 2016 result that I posted above. There was only a huge Lib Dem swing if you compare it to 2015 which had probably around 6 times the turnout. Gave Valley is a safe Lib Dem ward in non general election years.

    The Sunderland ward was a huge swing compared to 2016 too and the Lib Dems came from deposit loss territory in an area where they’ve never had any strength. It’s pretty clear that that result was the one perhaps vaguely significant while the Gade Valley one was entirely predictable based on past off year results. To pretend that it was equally bad for Labour and the Tories is a huge false equivalence.

    ”some peeps got far too overexcited over the Cons “winning” the ward from Lab”

    On that you were entirely correct on this you are wrong. The Sunderland result was a disaster for Labour (though people shouldn’t read too much into it) whereas Gade Valley voted exactly how you’d expect it to vote in a low turnout by-election.

  28. Can’t we just agree that these were two Plopwellianly good results for the Lib Dems and move on?

    If I were a Lib Dem activist right now I’d want a general election ASAP. They have nothing to lose and are the only party with any kind of momentum.

  29. “We are in agreement that people read far too much into local by elections, I only ever posted them to stop the aforementioned selective reporting”.

    Rivers, you’ve mentioned this before, implying that there has in the past been some sort of concerted effort on this site to mention local by-election results that are bad for Labour and ignore those that are good. In reality there are perfectly good reasons why some results might get mentioned and others not.

    Certainly I only tend to mention results when they occur in a part of the country I know something about so I can place them in some sort of context. Those areas would be north Derbyshire (where I was born and raised, and possibly Sheffield next door) and north Kent (where I live now). Doubtless others do the same, and this would be at least part of the reason why some results don’t get mentioned.

    Also quite simply all local by elections are definitely not equal. Those in Metropolitian wards and county divisions with big electorates tend to be more significant than those in shire district wards which often have tiny ones. The former are more representative and less likely to be influenced by local idiosyncrasies, so it’s perfectly legitimate that they might get more attention.

  30. Presumably the first to declare but there was a link on PB to an article by David Cowling explaining that the results should be much quicker this time because there are no local votes to separate. However looking at the Press Association list and some local media, a lot of councils haven’t bothered (or refused?) to update their time.

  31. I don’t have the figures but watching the declaration it would appear the result here was much better for the Tories than the exit poll.

  32. Clarify – 3.5% swing to the Tories. The hell?

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