Liverpool, Riverside

2015 Result:
Conservative: 4245 (9.6%)
Labour: 29835 (67.4%)
Lib Dem: 1719 (3.9%)
Green: 5372 (12.1%)
UKIP: 2510 (5.7%)
TUSC: 582 (1.3%)
MAJORITY: 24463 (55.3%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

Geography: North West, Merseyside. Part of the Liverpool council area.

Main population centres: Liverpool.

Profile: Liverpool is the once great port city of the north west, sunk deep in economic deprivation yet ever proud of its art, music and culture. As the name suggests, the Riverside seat runs along the coast of the Mersey, taking in the docklands, the city centre and the city`s two universities. Despite redevelopment of some parts of the seat the area continues to suffer from poor (and mostly rented) housing, high unemployment, deprivation and crime. There is a high student vote here, with over a fifth of the adult population in full time education..

Politics: Liverpool is dominated by the Labour party, they have easily won all the Parliamentary seats here since the abolition of the Liberal Democrat held Liverpool Mossley Hill in 1997. At a local level the Liberal Democrats have had successes, and they have advanced in many of the Parliamentary seats, but not enough to pose a serious challenge. Since the formation of the coalition Liberal Democrat strength has also evaporated at a local level, leaving Labour`s hegemony here unchallenged. As an interesting footnote, the Scotland Road area in the north of the constituency was once the heart of the Irish immigrant community and the old Liverpool Scotland seat was the only example of an Irish Nationalist MP being returned on the mainland, being represented by T.P.O`Connor for 44 years.

Current MP
LOUISE ELLMAN (Labour) Born 1945, Manchester. Educated at Manchester High School for Girls and Hull University. Former university lecturer. Lancashire county councillor 1970-1997, leader of Lancashire County council 1981-1997. Contested Darwen 1979. First elected as MP for Liverpool Riverside in 1997.
Past Results
Con: 4243 (11%)
Lab: 22998 (59%)
LDem: 8825 (23%)
GRN: 1355 (3%)
Oth: 1380 (4%)
MAJ: 14173 (37%)
Con: 2843 (9%)
Lab: 17951 (58%)
LDem: 7737 (25%)
GRN: 1707 (5%)
Oth: 953 (3%)
MAJ: 10214 (33%)
Con: 2142 (8%)
Lab: 18201 (71%)
LDem: 4251 (17%)
Oth: 909 (4%)
MAJ: 13950 (55%)
Con: 3635 (10%)
Lab: 26858 (70%)
LDem: 5059 (13%)
Oth: 1997 (5%)
MAJ: 21799 (57%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Liverpool, Riverside

2015 Candidates
JACKSON NG (Conservative) Educated at SOAS. Solicitor and political advisor.
LOUISE ELLMAN (Labour) See above.
PAUL CHILDS (Liberal Democrat) Air steward.
TONY MULHEARN (TUSC) Born 1939, Liverpool. Educated at Liverpool John Moores University. Liverpool councillor 1984-1987. Contested Crosby 1979 for Labour, Liverpool mayoral election 2012.
Comments - 339 Responses on “Liverpool Riverside”
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  1. Sorry not to post this in a Northern Ireland constituency, but they are not up and running yet, so I have posted in Liverpool Riverside instead because it is closest to a Northern Ireland constituency.

    I have been charting the movement to Unionist constituencies to being Republican or Nationalist and there has been a clear movement over the past 50 years.

    1966 Belfast West
    1983 Foyle (partitioned from Londonderry East)
    1986 By Election Newry & Armagh
    1987 Down South
    1997 Ulster Mid
    2001 Fermanagh & South Tyrone and also Tyrone West
    2005 Belfast South

    In addition, Belfast East and Down North were lost by the unionist in 2010 (though they did not go nationalist/ republican).

    The most marginal of the 8 remaining unionist constituencies are Belfast North (maj 2224), Upper Bann (3736 over third placed Sinn Fein) and Londonderry East (maj 5355).

    Only the three Antrim constituencies, Lagan Valley and Strangford look secure for the Unionist parties in the longer term.

    The movement from Unionist to Republican / Nationalist within the Westminster constituencies could be down to –

    1) Protestants having smaller families than Catholics has increased the latters base and reduced the formers.
    2) SF and the SDLP use to contest each other (resulting in a single unionist candidate winning in places like Mid Ulster and Fermanagh & South Tyrone with a 5 figure majority in the 1980’s, now it is more common for Unionist parties to contest each other.
    3) Greater turnout among the Catholic community than in the past.

    In the early 1990’s I would have expected Belfast North to have been lost by the Unionists before Belfast South but have also been surprised how the Unionists have remained relatively strong in Fermanagh & South Tyrone (when this was one of the nationalists best seats in the 1950’s and has moved around quite a lot in the past), when we have seen Mid Ulster, and Tyrone West move out of reach of the Unionists.

    Belfast South is remarkable, because even if the Unionists put up a single candidate (they still would not win, and the Alliance has not helped then either).

    I am also surprised how strong the SDLP remains in Foyle, and would have thought this would have fallen to Sinn Fein following the retirement of John Hulme, as per Newry & Armagh.

    In 2015, I think that Belfast North is the most likely loss for the Unionist (while Londonderry East and Upper Bann will became obviously marginal). They will also find great difficulty recovering Down North and Belfast East.

    This would mean that the likely result in Northern Ireland in 2015 would be DUP 7, Sinn Fein 7, SDLP 2, Alliance 1 and Ind 1.

    Sinn Fein and the SDLP only need to gain two of the following three (Belfast North, Londonderry East and Upper Bann) to have a Republican / Nationalist majority of the Northern Ireland constituencies. Only Belfast North is likely in the foreseeable future, but with the above shift, there is no reason why Londonderry East and Upper Bann could go SDLP or Sinn Fein in the longer term.

  2. “but with the above shift, there is no reason why Londonderry East and Upper Bann could go SDLP or Sinn Fein in the longer term.”

    should read –

    “but with the above shift, there is no reason why Londonderry East and Upper Bann could not go SDLP or Sinn Fein in the longer term.”

  3. Not too many seem fond of discussing the NI seats on here, but I’ll pen you a less than joined up reply.

    Fascinating fact: Foyle is the only NI seat never to be won by the UUP.

    Many of the seats listed should never have elected unionists…they just did because there were often 2 nationalist/republicans and one unionist. West Tyrone was perhaps the biggest fluke in 1997, from memory it was UU 34%, SDLP 32% SF 31%. It’s hardly a big surprise that unionist representation didn’t last here. In that election Mid Ulster actually had a larger unionist vote (38ish?) but the nationalists had rallied behind Martin McGuiness as best placed victor.

    I wouldn’t say North Down is in non unionist hands, Lady Hermon was UUP and I think would self define as ‘Independent Unionist’, however that description is not allowed on the ballot paper any more. Belfast East was lost because there was anti Peter Robinson momentum, which Naomi Long harvested beautifully.

    Belfast West has changed significantly. In the 1st Stormont elections Unionists won 3 out of 4 seats. A lot of unionists moved out of places like the Shankill to the likes of Carrick, and there was a motorway through it now, and some of the areas previously included around Sandy Row are in Belfast South.
    However with Foyle, I can’t imagine it would have ever been anything other than nationalist, had it existed before 1983. However if the old Londonderry seat still existed today, I think it probably be in nationalist hands. Recent slippage in Unionist votes there has probably been due to unionists voting for Mark Durkan tactically.

    Belfast South is probably a mini essay in itself. Belfast North looks marginal on paper. Personally, I think that Nigel Dodds will be safe. The DUP finally edged out the UUP in the last Assembly election, and the defeated Ulster Unionist later joined them. They imo don’t have a base to mount an effective challenge. In contrast I think the remaining SDLP vote is robust enough (this is apparently the only seat where nationalists tend to be wealthier than Unionists), and whilst some middle class Catholics feel less stigmatised voting SF than before, Gerry Kelly isn’t exactly the sort of candidate that can bring this to maximum effect.

    If a seat falls I suppose it would be Upper Bann, as both Unionist parties remain relatively competitive in the area, and SF appear to be squeezing the SDLP vote to the final drops. You might well see an inverse West Tyrone here. East Londonderry may seem close-ish on paper, but I don’t see it.

    FST: Fermanagh is perhaps the last outpost of Ulster Unionist strength, the DUP poll much better in Dungannon. The seat has changed a few times since creation in 1950. Look at the maps on David Boothroyd’s site: it starts as a near straight line across southern Tyrone, then in 83 a bite just south of Omagh is moved to Mid Ulster, and in 1995, the top layer of Dungannon is removed. I don’t know much about the first part, but I’d hazard that it’s more nationalist than unionist, the chunk removed in the mid 90’s however was Torrent, the DEA based on Coalisland, and it’s hard to think of a more Republican area in the provence. In 1997 unionists took just over 50% there, although that might well be due to nationalists concluding there would be an easy unionist hold, although the UUP did win the 1996 election here in a 4 way fight. Don’t get too bogged down looking for patterns though…in Western Ulster the number of votes cast and numbers of people voting are rarely one and the same.

    Any questions Peter/Dalek, or anything you disagree with, feel free to pick my brains!

  4. The boundary changes in 1983 appear to have made the constituency more nationalist.

    The partition of Londonderry into Foyle and Londonderry East initially helped the nationalists but since then it has maintained a unionist constituency in the area because I agree with you that the nationalists would have won the old Londonderry by now.

    The old Armagh constituency (although not as nationalist as Newry & Armagh) would also have been nationalist by now, but if Down North still contained Strangford then it may have been a close call between Lady Hermon (still as you say….an independent unionist) and the DUP.

    The Unionists were helped by the increase in the number of Northern Ireland constituencies from 12 to 17 in 1983 and to 18 in 1997.

    Antrim East, Lagan Valley, Londonderry East and Upper Bann did not exist under the pre-1983 boundaries, so of the old 12 Ulster parliamentary constituencies, only Antrim North, Antrim South and Belfast North would have been certain to be DUP.

  5. I’m not entirely sure, I expect some day I’ll compile some rough and ready crude notionals of the old seats. At a glance I think North Down would be UUP as the old one appears to contain Castlereagh (a Belfast suburb and DUP heartland) and Ards (DUP country). They polled handsomely in North Down proper in 2011 and should really be expecting to take that seat next time.

    Armagh would be roughly Newry & Armagh + Craigavon – Newry. I think it would be close and depend on numbers of candidates split votes etc. South Down seemed to contain most of modern day Banbridge, parts of Southern Strangford, and some Lagan Valley (not sure how much), and Newry town. It may be close, but then again things were begining to look dicey for Enoch Powell and Lawrence Orr in the late ’70s.

    I think the 83-97 FST would be handsomely Sinn Fein, The Mid Ulster of the same era was drawn about as beautifully for unionists as possible, with Coalisland, Strabane town, and ‘South Derry’ (Maghera, Sperrin Area) in FST, Foyle and East Londonderry respectfully. It would probably be the seat Unionists would attempt to seriously win with a unity candidate.

    The modern East Londonderry is suppose 60%ish-2/3 unionist. The main towns Coleraine and Limavady would both have unionist majorities, if only slightly in the latter. The rural bit around Coleraine is staunchly unionist, with the Portrush/Portstewart triangle somewhat more mixed. Nationalist strength would be prominant in most of the rural parts of Limavady council, particularly in Dungiven based Benbradagh. In Coleraine, Kilrea and Ringsend would be nationalist areas. The village of Ballykelly in Western Limavady has recently seen its army base close, with a big drop of military population, but I’m not sure how much exactly they took part in NI voting, the new areas around Claudy from Derry City would be nationalist, but I’d guess that nearly all unionists there vote DUP, and nationalists would be relatively evenly split between SDLP and SF. Politically speaking the UUP vote has been in freeforall, and the deselection of their MLA saw they’re vote half in 2011, largely to his benefit. SDLP are getting ever more squeezed, and SF might conceivably expect to take another assembly seat, however they’d need a credible Coleraine (or Kilrea based) candidate to compete with the SDLP’s Dallat. I personally don’t see a 3/3 MLA split in the near future, let alone a Nationalist overall MP.

    East Londonderry ought to stay unionist for the time being, as the unionists seem to have thrown their lot in with the DUP overwhelmingly, unlike the similarly made up Upper Bann where both unionist parties have some traction.

    One other consideration for NI that we’ve overlooked is of course parties other than the main 4. I think Alliance has plateaued, and may well lose Belfast East (although far from certain). TUV will survive with Jim Allister as it’s sole MLA. Basil McCrea and John McCallister are trying to form a new ‘Liberal’ unionist party, and UKIP are starting to fancy their chances. The last option might seem fanciful, but might just go somewhere…

  6. Sorry, that should read old North Down would be DUP, not UUP.

  7. Good points Robertbutton. I agree North Down wasn’t a loss and has a tradition of Ind MPs from Kilfedder to McCartney and in East Belfast the PUP canvassed for Naomi. Obviously that won’t happen again.

  8. Looking at the 2011 assembly elections, the DUP would look in a strong position to regain that seat (whether with Peter Robinson or with another candidate).

    The size of the SDLP majority in Belfast South (nearly 6000) was amazing but not when you consider the various factors –

    Large Conservative & Ulster Unionist vote
    Large Alliance vote (who take more Unionists than Nationalists)
    No Sinn Fein candidate.

  9. LAB 66
    LD 12
    GRN 8
    UKIP 7
    CON 7

  10. The Greens have selected Martin Dobson – he is a formaer Labour party member and local environment campaigner and is aiming to win the seat in 2020 or 2025!

  11. This constituency was regarden by the BBC as being the successor to Liverpool Toxteth…not Liverpool Scotland Exchange.

  12. surely it took in almost all of both previous seats.

  13. 39141 from Toxteth, 33650 from SE and 917 from Kirkdale. The point I was making is that it has often been regarded as the successor to SE but included more of Toxteth. It also now includes the parts of Toxteth that went into Mosley Hill in 1983.

  14. I know Scotland Exchange was a tiny seat in terms of population though – did any of that seat go anywhere else?

  15. Maybe 2025 if the North Westerners break their habit of voting Labour no matter what- otherwise 2nd place in 2015 or 2020 is probably wishful thinking.

  16. “I know Scotland Exchange was a tiny seat in terms of population though – did any of that seat go anywhere else?”

    The BBC ITN Guide to the New Parliamentary constituencies itemises not only how each of the new constituencies was composed but how each of the previous was distrubuted.

    I don’t have the guide to hand just now because I am at work (on my lunch break…but can check this evening), but it is possible for all of Scotland Exchange to be included in Riverside but not all of Toxteth yet more electors from Toxteth to form Riverside (simply because Toxteth was larger).

    Because of the ward boundary changes I don’t think that any constituency went in whole into a new constituency.

  17. If you add Scotland, Exchange and Toxteth up for the 1959 General Election, which is fairly similar to what is now Riverside today, you get –

    E 152,652

    Lab 54627 55.44
    Con 43904 44.56

    Maj 10723 10.88

    Relatively, the Tories have done less badly here than in other Liverpool constituencies, but this could be put down to the disportionate electoral decline of Scotland/ Exchange compared to Toxteth and trendy riverside developments.

  18. Barnaby,

    Of Scotland Exchange, 33650 went to Riverside, 1157 to Mossley Hill and 293 to Walton. This would have been due to re-warding.

  19. thanks that’s pretty much what I thought Peter.

  20. I just drove through Liverpool and was surprised to see wheelie bins and rubbish piling up.

    Apparently there’s been a ‘work to rule’ by binmen for 2 weeks now and the grass cutters and street cleaners have now waled out on strike too.

    I love Liverpool, as I lived there for 5 years, but do others think this ’80s mentality’ would still happen in many places? Glasgow? Tower Hamlets maybe?

  21. I believe it is still legal to withdraw your labour in this country – or has that also been confined to the past?

  22. Official strikes are, of course, lawful. But, of course, this isn’t and there has been no ballot.

  23. Does there need to be a ballot for work to rule? After all, it’s only religiously working only the requirements of your contract and nothing more.

  24. Exactly…….its not a strike. In any case I think everyone should be working according to their contract

  25. Interesting. I didn’t realise what was going on in the Big City to be perfectly honest.

    Certainly AFAIW here in Sefton nothing like that’s happened so I just wonder what the catalyst was for all this to happen?

  26. AW – sorry, I may have posted the wrong link, but the binmen’s work to rule which began 15 days ago doesn’t require a ballot. The unofficial & secondary weekly 1 day strikes are by street cleaners (ie city centre bins), grass cutters etc. Apparently the ‘work to rule’ is rather selective in that terraced roads are being collected, but city centrdm apartments and businesses are not ie a strike by another name. Although the latter may be to embarrass the Mayor/Council, as binbags are now piling up in Castle Street.

  27. This was my intended link (re the penchant of Liverpool teachers, uni lecturers, job centre staff, passport office workers, postmen, journalists et al to strike)

  28. Deputy Mayor, Cabinet Member for Finance and City Cllr Paul Brant has resigned. By-election due in Riverside ward.

  29. Well, this was the result when Brant successfully defended Riverside for Labour in 2011-

    Brant (Labour)- 2, 836
    McGing (Conservative)- 201
    Dadswell (Lib Dem)- 198
    Cranie (Green)- 196
    Ireland (TUSC)- 88
    Morgan (Liberal)- 30

    I’m sure Labour will be looking to improve on that…

  30. That may well depend on the reason for the resignation and forced by-election. It’s a very safe Labour ward, although I think there was a slight swing to the Greens in the last by-election, caused by Cllr Anderson resigning after he became Mayor.

  31. I don’t know what the result here will be, but I would be extremely surprised if it was anything other than a Labour hold.

  32. List of candidates nominated for the Riverside by-election on 5th December-
    Peter Anthony Cooney (Independent)
    Michelle Corrigan (Labour)
    Martin Dobson (Green)
    Alison Louise Goudie (Independent)
    Chris Hall (Conservative)
    Adam Heatherington (UKIP)
    John Gary Marston (TUSC)
    Steven McEllenborough (English Democrats)
    Kevin White (Liberal Democrats)

  33. Cllr Beryl McKnight has defected from the UUP to the DUP on Carrickfergus Council, East Antrim. Posting here as the NI seats don’t seem to be on the 2015 site yet and Beryl is also a Scouser.

  34. PS This now gives the DUP control, with 9 of the 17 Cllrs. The Results – do any of the above 9 live in Riverside ward? From my time in Lpool, I recognise the LD, Tory and Green names and know that they don’t live in the city centre.

  35. I’m not sure how many of them actually live in the ward but according to the statement of persons nominated two of them live in L1, part of which is in Riverside. (The southern part). The Green candidate lives Im Sefton Park, and there are candidates who live in Walton, Orrell Park and Wavertree.

  36. My prediction for 2015

    Lab 63
    LD 12
    Green 11
    Con 8
    Others 6

    St Michaels will be interesting next year

  37. The Riverside ward by-election is tonight. I will post the result first thing tomorrow once it comes through.

  38. I see that one of the main roads in the ward (Sefton St/”the dock road”) has been closed today, due to a roof blowing off a large building, during 60 mph gales. Not sure this will make much difference, to the already low turnout here.

  39. Are Labour likely to have increased their vote or might the Greens or UKIP have made inroads into their majority in Riverside? I think the Returning Officer who will announce the result is Ged Fitzgerald, who a few years back was Sunderland’s Returning Officer.

  40. Labour have won with 71%.

  41. How did you find that out?

  42. A reliable poster on the VoteUK message board.

  43. Full result (thanks to MerseysideMike on VoteUK):

    Michelle Corrigan – Labour 1,055
    Martin Dobson – Green 144
    Adam Heatherington – UKIP 119
    John Marston – Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts 49
    Kevin White – Lib Dem 64
    Chris Hall – Conservative 39
    Steven McEllenborough – English Democrats 9
    Peter Cooney – Independent 7
    Alison Goudie – Independent 1

  44. Wonder if there might be an odd lost deposit for the Tories in one of the Liverpool seats in 2015.

  45. I recall early on on the BBC’s 1997 election show it was being reported that the Tories themselves thought they had lost a deposit in I think Liverpool Walton, although in the event they managed 6%. In fact they’ve polled about 6% in all four elections since then.

  46. Pete W should be pleased with UKIP managing 8% in a ward of young professionals and ethnic minorities ie not their demographic, especially as they haven’t stood in the ward previously. Does anyone know the Manchester Ancoats’ result?

  47. Lab 965
    Lib 219
    UKIP 138
    Green 106
    Con 75
    Pirate 72
    BNP 46
    LD 31
    TUSC 17
    Communist League 9

  48. Ouch, Lib Dems beaten by the BNP and the Pirates? Not that the Tories did all that much better

  49. Not a bad night for Labour, expected the Greens to poll much better in Riverside than they did.

  50. Exciting stuff.

    Labour win by election in Labour dominated Liverpool.
    Labour win by election in Labour dominated Manchester.

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