Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland

2015 Result:
Conservative: 16925 (37.1%)
Labour: 19193 (42%)
Lib Dem: 1564 (3.4%)
Green: 1060 (2.3%)
UKIP: 6935 (15.2%)
MAJORITY: 2268 (5%)

Category: Semi-marginal Labour seat

Geography: North East, Cleveland. Part of Redcar and Cleveland council area and part of Middlesbrough.

Main population centres: Middlesbrough, Guisborough, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Brotton, Loftus.

Profile: A north-eastern seat with a varied demographic make up. It covers the southern fringes of Middlesborough, including both Labour voting council estates like Easterside and Park End and more affluent suburbs such as Marton (birthplace of Captain Cook) and Nunthorpe. The majority of the seat though is drawn from the more rural Cleveland Hills to the east, though this too is a mixture of Conservative leaning areas like the market town of Guisborough and the Victorian seaside resort of Saltburn-by-the-sea and Labour voting iron mining villages like Brotton and Loftus. With the decline of coal mining in Britain, in 2011 this was one of the areas with the highest proportion of miners of any seat, thanks to the Boulby potash and salt mine, one of the deepest mines in Europe.

Politics: Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland was created in 1997 to replace the Langbaurgh seat. Langbaugh had been an ultra-marginal Conservative seat, briefly held by Labour after a 1991 by-election but regained in 1992. Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland was captured by Labour in 1997 and has been retained by them since, though their majority was reduced to under two thousand in the 2010 election.

Current MP
TOM BLENKINSOP (Labour) Born 1980, Middlesborough. Educated at Newlands School FCJ and Teeside University. Former trade union officer. First elected as MP for Middlesbrough South & Cleveland East in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 16461 (36%)
Lab: 18138 (39%)
LDem: 7340 (16%)
UKIP: 1881 (4%)
Oth: 2394 (5%)
MAJ: 1677 (4%)
Con: 13945 (32%)
Lab: 21945 (50%)
LDem: 6049 (14%)
BNP: 1099 (3%)
Oth: 658 (2%)
MAJ: 8000 (18%)
Con: 14970 (34%)
Lab: 24321 (55%)
LDem: 4700 (11%)
MAJ: 9351 (21%)
Con: 18712 (35%)
Lab: 29319 (55%)
LDem: 4004 (7%)
MAJ: 10607 (20%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland

2015 Candidates
WILL GOODHAND (Conservative) Educated at Oxford University. Market researcher.
TOM BLENKINSOP (Labour) See above.
BEN GIBSON (Liberal Democrat)
STEVE TURNER (UKIP) Born Saltburn. Businessman.
Comments - 92 Responses on “Middlesbrough South & Cleveland East”
  1. PT – they already DID win Stockton S & Berwick last time.

    I tend to agree with Rivers10.

    Whilst in retrospect it now looks as if Mandy & TB have damaged Labour’s vote in those seats medium-term (largely because UKIP or Tories can remind voters that they are literally paid by bankers or whatever part of the elite is most hated at the time), but they should remain Labour.

    Scotland – and Sturgeon – does however seem to be causing a rise in the Tory vote in English seats near to Scotland. This began happening a decade ago in Carlisle, but now seems to have spread to a few other areas.

    Whether this grievance (of they get more £ per head, free tuition, free prescriptions, etc) continues, or just lasts as long as Corbyn or Sturgeon, remains to be seen.

  2. Lancs
    I’m not sure if there is much of a trend re seats near Scotland, those where there has been a rise like Carlisle have very obvious reasons, in the case of Carlisle the towns population has been shrinking for a while now and successive boundary changes have added more and more Tory countryside. Other seats like Wansbeck though have remained staunchly Lab even when comparable seats demographically have weakened for them.

    That being said if there was a trend I don’t think one can blame Sturgeon (who hasn’t been a nationally known figure very long) or the increased spend per head in Scotland which would surely effect everywhere in England and not just border seats.

  3. I met a party activist from Hexam he said it would always be Tory

  4. No he didn’t mention anything about her

  5. I was speaking to residence on Twitter they were telling me that he’s been a pretty poor MP particularly around supporting disabled residents. This may not be true but if it is perhaps he’ll jump ship before being shoved.

  6. There is no nuclear option for Teresa May in Middlesborough

  7. Plop you forgot the Ind figures

  8. As much as I wouldn’t be sad to see the back of Blenkinsop (who has to be one of the worst Lab MP’s at present) I can’t see him resigning like Reed or Hunt for the main reason that he probably has nothing waiting for him professionally outside of parliament, Reed and Hunt were both able to easily find alternative employment, Blenkinsopp’s previous professional career as a trade union officer and parliamentary researcher was both less well paid and innately political so it would be a big step down both economically and professionally. Like John Woodcock in Barrow he’ll probably hang on as long as he can.

  9. For different reasons though as discussed previously Woodcock probably gets a lot of reward from his work as an MP that helps him deal with his depression.

  10. Apparently I’ve been blocked by Tom Blenkinsop on Twitter though I’m not sure I knew who the man was today let alone ever talked to him

  11. He’s quite erratic on Twitter, he went on a something of a blocking spree a few months back when he reportedly blocked hundreds of people who responded to a tweet he made yet many people (including myself) got blocked just for liking or re-tweeting one of the responses yet even weirder just this morning in response to a Tweet I made about the by-election he now follows me…

    Quite a transformation, went from blocking me to following me and I’ve never even directly contacted him XD

  12. ”Who are Lab supposedly going to lose Hartlepool too? UKIP? Their a busted flush and we all know it and with the best will in the world I don’t think the Tories could win Hartlepool.”

    Normally I would 100% agree with you but we don’t live in normal political times. Labour is doing abnormally badly and if things don’t improve and the Tories do actually beat them nationally by 16-18 points (and yes of course this hypothetical) I would guess they’d probably take Hartlepool along with a large haul of other ‘safe’ Labour seats.

  13. Wow rivers you must be going up in the world did you tweet Tom4Leader?

  14. Wrong thread plop

  15. It does seem rather petty blocking someone who you don’t agree with on Twitter. Though I would add it’s not confined to the Labour right, apparently Angela Rayner blocked loads of Labour moderates and Corbyn critics…

    Oh for the record I’ve not heard good things about this MPs personal demeanour either.

  16. There’s a lot of people blocked by Blenkinsop on Twitter who have never even interacted with him. Some had never even heard of him before #BlockedByBlenkinsop started trending and they found that they too were on the block list.

    In the grand scale of things blocking most Tweeters doesn’t make much difference but it can undermine the ability to get a message out to the media.

  17. The southern suburbs of Middlesbrough are quite different from the poor terraces of the inner west side, and the rundown interwar semis near the railway tracks.

    Coulby Newham is a more modern housing development.
    Nunthorpe to the SE has traces of a village and probably voted Conservative in 2015 although it has had Independent Councillors for several years.
    In between the two is the Marton area, a bit more like Coulby Newham.
    Just north of this is some attractive older Victorian houses.

    Park End, slighty to the NE of Marton would be heavily Labour, although also now has Independent Councillors.
    These are council houses.

    I think this seat is vulnerable – as far as we can tell – although it will probably be slightly changed.

  18. Rivers10 – the effect I mentioned (in Carlisle a decade ago) was Tory gains in locals and which occurred after a campaign of citing the extra spend over the border in Scotland.

    Berwick-upon-Tweed was in part due to a hardworking Tory PPC trying again and Sir Alan Beith retiring, but it taken with Copeland does point to a trend in these Cumbria and Northumbria seats.

    As I said we await to see whether it’ll continue after Corbyn and Sturgeon.

    Wansbeck isn’t as far North as any of the seats I was referring to which is why it fits into the seats such as this and Hartlepool where I agreed with you that the Tories will find them harder to gain. Although with a local PPC here it should be close in 2020.

  19. Matt
    “Wow rivers you must be going up in the world did you tweet Tom4Leader?”
    Lol not in a million years XD No I just quoted the Coulby Newham result and said that it doesn’t bode well and Lab need to improve or we face a real drumming. Given that he had blocked me I’m not even sure how Blenkinsopp came across my tweet in the first place, its not like I’ve got massive reach, I only have about 400 followers. All around a weird situation.

  20. PT – I doubt the Tories have tried in either seat.

    Although again, Workington is nowhere near the seats I was thinking of. Indeed it’s so remote it’s even miles away from most of the people of Cumbria.

  21. Tom Blenkinsop is the first sitting MP to announce he won’t be running… won’t be the last.

  22. With him quitting and the national picture as it is, MSEC is very much vulnerable

  23. Those living here I spoke to Blenkinsop leaving might be a vote winner for Labour

  24. Be interesting to see which Labour MPs follow Mr Blenkinsop’s lead.

    In the meantime, the loss of any incumbency factor makes Labour’s hope of successfully depending this seat even more in doubt.

  25. Alan Johnson has stepped down but that maybe him retiring rather than anything else he probably would hold on in Hull

  26. UKIP is not standing here, which will cause added problems for Labour.

    Quite an interesting history to this seat. By 2005, you’d have been forgiven for thinking that it had slipped permanently from the Conservatives but they’ve dragged themselves back into contention and they now have a great opportunity to win it for the first time since 1992.

  27. Con gain MSEC

  28. I spoke to some locals from here they hated Tom Blenkinsop clearly him stepping down wasn’t enough tho

  29. YouGov’s model amazingly predicted exactly what happened in these two neighbouring seats.

    Differing demographics, I guess – Stockton is more public sector and was less heavily Leave though of the six Con gains I think MS&EC was the least Brexity.

  30. “…of the six Con gains I think MS&EC was the least Brexity.”

    I think it was the second-least Brexity of those in England at 65% leave. Derbyshire North East was 62%. The other 4 were all 70-75%.

  31. One of the more impressive results for the Conservatives in England.

  32. On the basis of the 2015 UKIP vote I was assuming this was in the 50-60 range. 65 isn’t so inconsistent with the others. Checking Chris Hanretty’s estimates they are:

    Copeland 60
    NE Derbys 62
    MS&EC 65
    Stoke S 71
    Mansfield 71
    Walsall N 72

    The latter three were in the ten highest in the country. On this basis I think Lab would have held Copeland were it not for the by-election.

    Stockton South was 58 – seats with a Leave vote in that sort of range generally didn’t see swings to Cons.

  33. Does anyone know or have a view why Stockton South and Middlesbrough South & Cleveland East went opposite ways?
    I don’t see them as being all that different.
    This seat includes the rural element, a market town, and a seaside resort.
    I think Park End in Middlesbrough is poorer than anywhere in Stockton South.
    Suburbs like Nunthorpe and Marton are not all that different from the newish housing in Stockton South.
    That seat includes Yarm which is more high status, probably more so than Guisborough.

    But not all that different.


  34. Joe James B
    I don’t say this with any local knowledge so take this with a pinch of salt but the following will have been of relevance…

    1) Stockton South is a more ethnically diverse seat, the non white population there is over 5% while here in Middlesbrough S is less than 2% not huge but that can make a difference.

    2) Stockton South has more students, while not a huge student population it contains a campus from Durham Uni, Midd S doesn’t contain any significant amount of students.

    3) The affluence in Stockton South is (for the most part)more of an affluent public sector worker type middle class vote, Midd S is very much skilled WWC.

    4) Stockton S is a much younger seat in general, several wards in Midd S are very much skewed to the over 65’s (Saltburn for example) there is nowhere in Stockton S comparable.

    5) I believe Stockton S was not as heavily Brexit backing as Midd S

  35. Rivers10 – thanks that’s really useful.
    Point 5 threw me off a bit because Stockton on Tees was 62% Brexit so I didn’t think it was particularly student but of course Stockton North could have been more leave.

  36. Plus a Labour member on here remarked how woeful the Labour campaign was in Stockton S in 2015.

    Clearly in a few seats the Party got a shock from the loss and worked to make up the deficit by identifying those who didn’t vote last time and so on.

  37. 3pm: Simon Clarke sits directly behind Boris Johnson in the commons, during the latter’s resignation speech.

    6pm: At the 1922 meeting, Simon Clarke withdraws his letter of no confidence in Theresa May.

    It is possible these two events were related.

  38. Forgive me for being slow. Are you saying that Boris’ speech was so turgid that this MP decided not to take any risks and withdrew his letter? Better the devil you know and all that.

  39. Bingo!

  40. It was pretty crap to be fair.

  41. I just spotted ex-MP Tom B on tv – he must now represent betting shop workers, as he was bemoaning the FOBTs’ cut (which was mainly called for by Labour Cllrs and MPs).

  42. I think he is working for Community union – the most moderate of the trade unions.

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