Newcastle upon Tyne Central

2015 Result:
Conservative: 6628 (18.9%)
Labour: 19301 (55%)
Lib Dem: 2218 (6.3%)
Green: 1724 (4.9%)
UKIP: 5214 (14.9%)
MAJORITY: 12673 (36.1%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Newcastle.

Profile: The central part of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne, once a driver of heavy industry, shipbuilding and coal mining, now a hub for service industry and retail. Newcastle is home to two universities and the bulk of the student population historically lived in this seat, although Newcastle East is now undergoing increasing "studentification". The seat includes St James` Park, Newcastle`s Chinatown and the International Centre for Life, a science village in the middle of Newcastle that is a hub for stem cell research.

Politics: Newcastle Central is normally a reliable Labour seat, though the split between Labour and the SDP resulted in a short period of Conservative representation in the mid 1980s when the SDP defector John Horam stood in the seat and split the Labour vote (Horam himself later completed his trip across the political spectrum and became a Conservative MP). More recently Conservative support has faded away and the Liberal Democrats made a strong challenge in 2005, but saw their support collapse in 2015.


Current MP
CHI ONWURAH (Labour) Born 1965, Wallsend. Educated at Kenton Comprehensive. Former Chartered engineer working for Ofcom. First elected as MP for Newcastle Central in 2010.
Past Results
2010
Con: 6611 (19%)
Lab: 15694 (46%)
LDem: 8228 (24%)
BNP: 2302 (7%)
Oth: 1322 (4%)
MAJ: 7466 (22%)
2005*
Con: 5749 (16%)
Lab: 16211 (45%)
LDem: 12229 (34%)
GRN: 1254 (3%)
Oth: 477 (1%)
MAJ: 3982 (11%)
2001
Con: 7414 (21%)
Lab: 19169 (55%)
LDem: 7564 (22%)
Oth: 723 (2%)
MAJ: 11605 (33%)
1997
Con: 10792 (23%)
Lab: 27272 (59%)
LDem: 6911 (15%)
MAJ: 16480 (36%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
SIMON KITCHEN (Conservative)
CHI ONWURAH (Labour) See above.
NICK COTT (Liberal Democrat)
DANIEL THOMPSON (UKIP)
ALEX JOHNSON (Green)
Links
Comments - 100 Responses on “Newcastle upon Tyne Central”
  1. Newcastle city centre (Westgate ward) was in Newcastle North from 1950 to 1983, then Tyne Bridge (when I believe the equivalent ward was West City and Gateshead town centre was also included in that constituency)

  2. EU REFERENDUM

    NEWCASTLE area results expected in next 20 mins.

    If it’s LEAVE get appreciably more than 46% this is good for LEAVE nationally.

    A 54/46% Newcastle result points to 50/50% nationally.

  3. UK TO BREXIT! !!!!

    50.7/49.3% TO REMAIN

  4. Definitely bad for remain especially if reports about Sunderland are to be believed.

  5. Welp, this is going to be a very long night…

  6. Squeaky bum time for Remain.

  7. Wow! It’s getting spicey now! Haha!

  8. It’s looking very bleak for Remain at the moment. Reports from North Warwickshire, Nuneaton, Hartlepool, etc. very bleak for them.

  9. This MP has accused Corbyn of being racist towards her and another black female MP (Thangam Debbonaire) quoting that whole incident re the ministerial briefings mix up in the shadow culture brief, this is truly desperate for the following…

    Firstly most accept that whole situation was at worst a case of incompetence, nothing untoward about it and if this MP felt there was something going on why didn’t she complain months ago?

    Second no matter what you think of Corbyn you’d be hard pushed to accuse him of racism. His record is as follows
    1) Spent decades campaigning against Apartheid.
    2) Voted for every piece of anti racism and anti discrimination legislation to come before the house in his time as an MP.
    3) Appointed every black female Lab MP to frontbench roles two of whom are now in the shadow cabinet (Abbot and Osamore)
    4) Actually had a black girlfriend for many years in the form of the aforementioned Diane Abbot.

    A truly ridiculous accusation and one which I believe will backfire even more so than the whole “office gate” issue with Malhotra and will probably drive more Smith supporters to Corbyn than it will Corbyn supporters to Smith.

    Disappointing from an MP that until now I used to admire.

  10. Lol what is it with Labour MPs and labelling everyone a racist. They just can’t help themselves.

  11. Honestly their throwing everything at Corbyn and seeing what sticks, he’s supposedly a racist, an anti Semite, a sexist, a homophobe and a terrorist sympathiser.

    The question is will they go much lower? At this rate I wouldn’t be surprised if they accused Corbyn of fraud, sexual harassment and high treason…

  12. Fraud is out of the question for such a famously frugal character as Jeremy Corbyn, who lives of baked beans and has regularly had the lowest expenses claim of MP.

    As for treason, he didn’t sing the national anthem…

  13. Rivers, most of that is justified: An affinity for violent Irish republicanism and sympathy for giving away the Falklands ties nicely in with being anti British and a terrorist enthusiast.

    But racist? Nah. It’s the go to term for labour MPs to belittle anyone who thinks differently with them, whether it’s a far left leader, leave voters or people the Prime minister meets whilst campaigning in Rochdale.

  14. I agree, I didn’t think Corbyn was racist. Or a homophobe I wouldn’t think. Probably not guilty of fraud, although he likes the company of shady Latin American types so who knows. Probably not treason, definitely not HIGH treason. 🙂

    Draw your own conclusions from my lack of reference to the other items on the list. 🙂

  15. I do actually agree with Rivers this article was laughable and this MP sounded like an idiot. The reason why her and my current uni MP, Thangham Debbonaire (who I never realised was black?!) got their jobs mixed up or whatever she was complaining about was not due to racism but sheer incompetence. True both are highly indesirable traits in a leader but equating them makes her look stupid and Corbyn look better which is I guess the opposite of what her article was supposed to do.

    As for Corbyn it is not that he his a racist, sexist, anti-Semite, homophobe, wants people to me massacred in a terrorist atrocities etc. It’s that he enables, shares platforms with and has given legitimacy to people who are all out and out bigots and even worse to people who are actively encouraging violence and terrorist acts. In my opinion that makes him nearly as bad.

  16. Rivers 10 – whilst I agree with some of what you said, I don’t buy the ‘he can’t be a racist, because he’s spent years on anti-racist marches’ line.

    It’s these very same people (Ken, Lee Jasper, BLM, ANL, Rev Al Sharpton) who are indeed often anti-Semitic or anti-Sikh or anti-Christian etc.

    It’s just that their mindset means they THINK only WASPs can be racist.

    That’s the problem – they don’t even realise it’s wrong. Corbyn gave the same response at the Select Committee when questioned about Ruth Smeeth and the press conference and the anti-Semites within Momentum.

  17. Lancs
    I don’t want to get into a wider debate about Corbyn’s allies or racism as a whole I was simply pointing out that accusing Corbyn of racism is like accusing Farage of being a Europhile. The man has spent his life campaigning against it. One would have to have a pretty odd mindset to campaign on the belief that black people should be treated equally then yourself treat them differently??/ It just doesn’t make sense especially when as I said in my original post he actually backs up his words with actions on this issue.

  18. There is a fine line between vocal support of one side of a debate, and discrimination against the other. One man’s support for recognition of Palestine is another’s anti-Semitism.

    The problem is that, in Britain, people don’t really care about the Israel-Palestine conflict. But they may well be Jewish or have Jewish friends – and that identity matters a lot more to them than a struggle taking place thousands of miles away. Hence criticism of Israel is often confused with anti-Semitism – and this confusion takes place both within the left-wing bubble and in the wider electorate.

  19. Rivers10: of course Brussels-bashing Nigel is now applying for German citizenship…

  20. Polltroll

    Re Israel-Palestine I agree its a sensitive issue but this is a totally different ball game, frankly your either racist or your not, now of course their are different shades and severities of racism but its fairly apparent Corbyn is none of them, as I said his actions reinforce his words.

    As for Farage well yes that’s another issue entirely and one you really don’t want to get me started on 😉

  21. First result of the night

    LAB hold, 14000 majority, 2% swing CON -> LAB

    A bit less than the exit poll forecast

  22. I know this being wise after the event (this is Chris K posting by the way) but I always felt that this was a risk. I’ll write at more length at a later time but this was, I think, a miscalculation and the Tories hadn’t won the key arguments on the economy, cuts, etc. Thus said – and I entirely appreciate that this is a partisan argument – if 35-40% of the electorate have voted for a “sweet shop” manifesto then I rather think they deserve what they get.

  23. Great tidbit buried in this weeks Spectator cover piece – Chi Onwurah is the only Labour MP with a science degree.

    With scientific and technology increasingly dominating human existence, it doesn’t bode well for our elites that they are so short of expertise in this area.

    Britain is run by PPE blaggers. Germany is run by a graduate chemist. I may be biased as a physics graduate myself, but I can’t help thinking there is a link between the success of the countries’ respective elites, and their educational backgrounds.

  24. As a non science graduate myself…surely top notch science graduates have better things to do than enter politics? There are many more interesting career options open to them compared to the average law or history graduate.

    I absolutely hated physics at school so you have my utmost respect.

  25. Your response is revealing. There should be no job more prestigious than running the country. It should be both the noblest and most humbling career a talented youngster could pursue. How sad that it isn’t.

  26. By the way, I did Frau Merkel a disservice, she’s actually a PhD.

  27. I agree with PollTroll that there is no greatest honour to represent your constitents in the highest office in town.

    I dont like the technocratic administrations of Macron & Trudeau. Ofc people should know what they were doing but some of our best secretaries of state were miners, etc. I dont think someone shpuld be disqualified because they haven’t got a degree or never went to uni.

  28. Well, you would say that Polltroll as you have an interest in politics. Many, many people don’t and would far rather do.something else with their lives. Not to mention that politics seems to reward grinding, dull hard workers (Theresa May is an excellent example) rather than sparkling intellectuals.

  29. When it comes to science and politicians I think there are merits to both sides of the argument.

    On the one hand no harm (and obviously quite a bit of good) can come from having more scientists and engineers involved in politics. The American celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse-Tyson has actually made this point, that most politicians (in the US at least but it probably applies here too) are former lawyers and lawyers don’t deal in facts (unlike scientists) they instead deal in arguments and thus we are electing politicians not based on their grasp of and ability to analyse information but instead those who are best able to argue for their own side.

    However on the flip side I actually don’t think its possible (at this stage in human development) to have a truly technocratic government. As Matt pointed out En Marche was meant to be an exercise in technocratic politics with a tranche of previously non partisan, highly qualified individuals governing based not on ideology but on what works. Instead Macron is leading one of the most dogmatic governments that France has had in the post war period. So swings and roundabouts

  30. You may think Macron’s government is dogmatic, but I would wager France’s institutions are much more future-proof than Britain’s (and France, lest we forget, is a country so averse to change that it has an official body to regulate the evolution of its own language). Macron gave a cover interview to Wired a few months ago, in which he talked about automation, artificial intelligence etc, and how he plans to navigate those challenges/opportunities in a world which will be strikingly unlike anything that has gone before. Meanwhile, in Britain, Michael Gove cautiously pledged to eliminate petrol cars by 2040, probably well after car manufacturers would have done so purely through market forces.

    I’m never going to get you to share my enthusiasm for Macron, but surely you can accept that on this score at least he’s streets ahead of anyone in this country.

  31. Macron is completely standard 5th Republic president.

    His talk about technology is further evidence (the French have long been into high tech, such as nuclear power, TGV and Minitel in the 1970s).

  32. Tbf I don’t expect people to share my enthusiasm for politics but I’ve worked with people who talk about their local MP with pride; David Blunkett, Jack Ashley, etc. You don’t have to be instered in politics to be inspired by people that represent them

  33. Very good spectator article, I very much concur.

  34. “By the way, I did Frau Merkel a disservice, she’s actually a PhD.”

    In Germany anyone who is anyone brags about having a PhD and insists on putting it on their business card. In international business in almost any other country, it’s considered rather gauche to do this, and it is a standing joke that Germans with PhDs are rather robotic and clunky thinkers obsessed with their supposed intellectual status. That seems to describe Merkel pretty well actually.

    A decade ago, just before the financial crisis, I spent a few years working for a Russian oligarch. The angriest he ever got with me was when he asked me to send his biography to a conference he was speaking at, and I put PhD after his name. “You’ve made me look like a fucking German” was his not very polite response. But you get the idea.

  35. “Well, you would say that Polltroll as you have an interest in politics. Many, many people don’t and would far rather do.something else with their lives. Not to mention that politics seems to reward grinding, dull hard workers (Theresa May is an excellent example) rather than sparkling intellectuals.”

    And the reason is that politicians, outside of the superpower countries, can’t really do much any more.

    These days we are run by a combination of global business and whatever the US, EU and Chinese want.

  36. Yes, basically. It makes me laugh when I see Britain, France etc ranked so highly in the ‘worlds most powerful country’ metrics. The gap in power between those two countries and the top few (particularly the US and China) is so massive as to render the list pretty pointless.

  37. The upside is that it limits the damage they can do.

    Had the current shower of UK politicians presided over the country in, say, the 1980s, it would have led to a monumental economic collapse.

  38. Talking about economic strength and global politics, here’s a thorny issue – US growth figures are hitting 4%, which is pretty much unparalleled anywhere else in the developed world at the moment. Despite Trump’s trade wars etc.

    Three questions:

    1) Can Donald Trump take credit for this growth?

    2) If yes, could any amount of growth justify his presidency?

    3) If yes, how much growth would it take?

  39. Tbf there is an argument that the growth is because of the trade wars. In increasing import tariffs on aluminum, milk & steel the US economy has to rely less on produce made abroad and more on whats made at home. Therefore their economy won’t be influenced quite as much by the global economy where growth is pretty stagnant in most countries

  40. Particularly amusing to re-read Rivers10’s continued protestations upthread that Corbyn simply can’t be racist (after a Labour MP accused him).

    As today he is accused of just that by other Labour members (the specifics apparently being that in on a panel JC said that even though Jews have lived here for years they need to learn the British sense of humour and so on).

    [Although personally who he sat with that day for hours is more shocking to me than what he said; but, I can understand in the current climate why the Jewish Chronicle and Mail are running with this today]

  41. Matt W – that’s a good point.

    Although even Fox concedes that in the long-term trade wars don’t benefit either side, there are a fair few on the Right who would support protectionism in the short-term, especially if publicised as part of a rebalancing exercise or ‘Buy British.’

    Indeed not just the Right, as the trade unionists who supported Leave would presumably support an Ind populist in the same way the mining unions switched from Democrats to Trump, as ‘all politics is local’ and ‘they’ve been screwing us for years’ both being popular perceptions.

  42. Matt: “In increasing import tariffs on aluminum, milk & steel the US economy has to rely less on produce made abroad and more on whats made at home. Therefore their economy won’t be influenced quite as much by the global economy where growth is pretty stagnant in most countries.”

    The principal target of tariffs thus far has been China, which is growing at 6.7%. I don’t know about you, but I’d be over the moon if Britain had that “stagnant” growth rate.

  43. Lancs: Those on the right who think protectionism is a good idea are lying through their teeth for votes. Hence Jacob Rees-Mogg moving his hedge fund to Ireland, etc. (Trump’s different – I used to think he was a smart guy pretending to be an idiot, but I have since conceded he genuinely is an idiot.)

    This is the best explanation of the right’s attitude to trade that I know of:

    http://www.thebigquestions.com/2016/06/29/trading-in-fallacies/

  44. Though I was talking about growth around the world as a whole rather than specific examples.

    Tbf to JRM as far as I was aware the company wasnt his and he or his family only had a share in it and he has no control over it

  45. Polltroll
    “I’m never going to get you to share my enthusiasm for Macron, but surely you can accept that on this score at least he’s streets ahead of anyone in this country”

    I would largely agree but that’s nothing to do with Macron and everything to do with how substandard and ineffectual British politics and institutions are and have been since the late 70’s (but I won’t go down that rabbit hole cos its a different argument)

    As for Macron being dogmatic I think its plainly obvious, he’s introduced a range of tax reforms that were drafted by(and happen to benefit) the financial firm he used to work for so some classic cronyism there.
    Then we have his proposed reforms to the French constitution which betray an innate authoritarian tendency yet fail to achieve their objectives
    Then there is his treatment of unions which bears a striking resemblance to the opening years of Thatcherism in this country and our resulting relationship with unions (fat load of good that has done us) I’m not saying French unions don’t need reform but there are two routes to go down, the Anglo/American route or the Northern European (German/Dutch/Scandinavian) route, you don’t need to be an expert to see which one is better yet Macron seems to be opting for the worse approach, what other reason is there but blind ideology?
    And why not end on the point that the guy has the biggest ego in Europe and has reportedly overruled dozens of his own (more qualified) ministers. Hardly a mark of a technocracy.

    I could go on for ages but the evidence bears it out, Macron is nothing special. He’s a bog standard, cookie cutter Neoliberal.

  46. “Talking about economic strength and global politics, here’s a thorny issue – US growth figures are hitting 4%, which is pretty much unparalleled anywhere else in the developed world at the moment. Despite Trump’s trade wars etc.

    Three questions:

    1) Can Donald Trump take credit for this growth?

    2) If yes, could any amount of growth justify his presidency?

    3) If yes, how much growth would it take?
    Talking about economic strength and global politics, here’s a thorny issue – US growth figures are hitting 4%, which is pretty much unparalleled anywhere else in the developed world at the moment. Despite Trump’s trade wars etc.

    Three questions:

    1) Can Donald Trump take credit for this growth?

    2) If yes, could any amount of growth justify his presidency?

    3) If yes, how much growth would it take?”

    The US is experiencing nothing more exceptional than classic Keynesian economic overheating. Inflation has moved up sharply, as has the federal deficit. Trump will have 1-2 years to enjoy his temporary economic boom (if he isn’t impeached) before the chickens come home to roost.

    Earlier in the summer I attended a mining conference in Asia at which a bigwig from the Economist Intelligence Unit gave a great medium term global economic outlook. The Economist’s view is that the shit will hit the fan in the US economy around 2020. That looks quite unfortunate timing for Trump’s re-election prospects, unless the downturn were to start late in the year.

  47. Rivers: “I could go on for ages but the evidence bears it out, Macron is nothing special. He’s a bog standard, cookie cutter neoliberal.”

    You’re missing the point, though. I like that stuff, and it’s fallen sharply out of favour across the west, so I have some emotional investment here, much as you may have had in, say, Syriza. I could have called Syriza, “bog-standard left-wing populism”, but of course that is the very reason they inspired you.

    I must admit so far Macron has underperformed a bit, but the proof of the pudding will come in whether he can create growth and reduce unemployment. I am prepared to admit I was wrong if those figures don’t improve.

    (And while I’m not a right-winger, I happen to think that the labour reforms proposed are the right solution for France specifically. Those much-vaunted workers’ rights are no good for France’s unemployed millions – in fact, they make hiring more expensive for employers. Britain has the opposite problem – low unemployment, in-work poverty – and so ought to be moving in the opposite direction. Nothing inconsistent about that.)

    Hemmelig: Good point – Trump’s tax cuts were not accompanied by any spending cuts, which is quite un-Republican. (And a more sensible explanation for the growth than Matt’s idea that his protectionism was paying off.) But I guess I was implicitly assuming the hypothetical that Trump’s growth was sustainable, and in that case it’s still an interesting moral question. It’s remarkable how much tyranny you can get away with if you give your people their bread and circuses, China again being the standout example.

    As for Trump, whether the bubble bursts or not will likely decide whether he wins a second term.

  48. Do you really? You’ve always struck me as a classic liberal more than anything else. The kind of person whose favourite PM is Lloyd George or Asquith.

  49. Interesting thing about Macron & Syriza, having read Yanis Varoufakis’ book on his negotiations with the EU, the only person who wanted Syriza to succeed was Macron. Macron & Yanis used to text each other constantly throughout tge negotiations

  50. Polltroll
    “You’re missing the point, though. I like that stuff”

    Your perfectly entitles to like that stuff, my point was lets not pretend Macron is anything new or special. this conversation started re the discussion of a technocratic government and my point was that despite all claims to being one Macron is anything but.

    Instead he’s implementing the same stuff that’s been in vogue across the west for the past 30+ years, there’s nothing new about it. The only thing unique about Macron is that he is very “corporate Democrat-esque” meaning that he is essentially a politician firmly of the centre right but he dresses it up as being of the left. This is obviously very common in the US Democrats but its a new phenomena in Europe, even Blair didn’t quite go that far.

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