2015 Result:
Conservative: 6630 (16.2%)
Labour: 17946 (43.9%)
Lib Dem: 7558 (18.5%)
Green: 880 (2.2%)
UKIP: 7516 (18.4%)
Others: 389 (1%)
MAJORITY: 10388 (25.4%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Redcar, Marske by the Sea, Eston, Grangetown.

Profile: An industrial seat on the southern bank of the Tees estuary. Redcar itself is a Victorian seaside town, but this seat is mostly heavy industry, including the steelworks, Teesport, the former ICI chemical works at Wilton and the Teeside power station, currently mothballed..

Politics: Redcar was previously a safe Labour seat, held by the party since its creation in 1974. Labour MPs Mowlam and Vera Baird enjoyed majories in excess of thirty percent. The closure of the steelworks in 2009 hit the town hard and was the foundation of an immense swing at the 2010 election, when the Liberal Democrats took the seat on a 22 percent swing. The steelworks were reopened in 2012, but it did not help the Liberal Democrats who lost the seat back to Labour in 2015 on a swing that was almost as large.

Current MP
ANNA TURLEY (Labour) Former think tank researcher and former special advisor to David Blunkett. First elected as MP for Redcar in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 5790 (14%)
Lab: 13741 (33%)
LDem: 18955 (45%)
UKIP: 1875 (4%)
Oth: 1602 (4%)
MAJ: 5214 (12%)
Con: 6954 (18%)
Lab: 19968 (51%)
LDem: 7852 (20%)
BNP: 985 (3%)
Oth: 3102 (8%)
MAJ: 12116 (31%)
Con: 9583 (25%)
Lab: 23026 (60%)
LDem: 4817 (13%)
Oth: 772 (2%)
MAJ: 13443 (35%)
Con: 11308 (23%)
Lab: 32972 (67%)
LDem: 4679 (10%)
MAJ: 21664 (44%)

2015 Candidates
JACOB YOUNG (Conservative) Educated at Macmillan Academy and Teeside University. Technician.
ANNA TURLEY (Labour) Think tank researcher and former special advisor to David Blunkett.
JOSH MASON (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Durham University. Press and campaigns officer. Redcar and Cleveland councillor since 2011.
PETER PINKNEY (Green) Born Saltburn. President of the RMT trade union.
PHILIP LOCKEY (North East Party) Born Teeside. Former serviceman.
Comments - 230 Responses on “Redcar”
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  1. Labour gain. Northern voters in the Teeside did not vote Lib Dem to get David Cameron as Prime Minister, that is without a doubt. It was a protest against Vera Baird and her failure to support the local manufacturing base. If we look at what has happened to the Lib Dems in the Teeside, they have faced wipeout even in Redcar and in South Shields they came a shocking 7th. Anna Turley can prepare to be the next MP for Redcar, talking of which, the fact that Community the Union is very connected to the Labour party in this area really does help.

  2. Redcar is the one seat bucking the trend contrary to Bob’s comments – having rescued the steelworks, Swales is not yet toast unlike in Bob’s dreams.


  4. Stupendous momentum for Labour…

  5. how about epsom and ewell ha ha

  6. Well he hasn’t quite got to Gloy territory yet, but the predictions are essentially worthless as they are of an obviously overly partisan nature. This sort of complacency isn’t of any help to the Labour Party which he claims to support.

  7. Interesting to read Bob’s comments.

    I personally think that a lot of the votes Swales gained in 2010 were from disillusioned Old Labour-type people in Redcar- Who were obviously angered over the whole furore over the Corus Job losses. I would expect that given this issue has largely faded away that Labour should gain back a lot of the Lib Dem vote in 2015- I don’t really know if that would be enough for them to win this back, however- It was after all a spectacularly massive swing that Swales got here, but like I say all down to the local factors at play in this part of the world.

  8. This seat is not bucking the trend, because every poll or survey in this seat has shown that Redcar will be a Labour gain. Obviously, Richmond (Yorks) will not be a Labour gain – that comment is just utterly stupid, that is impossible. Barnaby Marner clearly does not know what he is talking about, he makes claims and then retracts from them. I will be willing to bet £1,000 that this seat will be regained by Labour. If anything looking at the local factors, things will get worse not better for Swales. Just look at what has happened to the Liberal Democrats in local elections even in Redcar, they have become an non-entity in the North. Really and truly, look at the polls for the last three years and look at what has happened locally in this seat and say again that Labour will not regain this seat.

  9. I must confess if Labour don’t win this back in 2015 then something is not quite right with them as any kind of Parliamentary force.

    More to the point, what some people may forget is that for years and years and years and years this was quite literally a rock-solid safe Labour seat- What happened in 2010 was a bit of a freak result it has to be said. If Labour can’t regain this in two years’ time then I must say they have got problems in the North East that nobody knew about.

  10. Very true. Especially seeing as the Lib Dems are being seen as the Tories’ partners in crime. Also, remember – Community the Union.

  11. ”Redcar is the one seat bucking the trend contrary to Bob’s comments – having rescued the steelworks, Swales is not yet toast unlike in Bob’s dreams.”

    It’s not. What a load of nonsense.

    What Bob hints at about Redcar being obliteration for the Lib Dems is entirely true and non-fabricated.

    Labour have been regaining seats in Redcar and Cleveland at a local level since 2011- In a by-election last year, they even gained Newcomen from the Lib Dems.

    Also, the Lib Dems now only have 16 councillors left and are the opposition at a local level- They were never even in charge locally with a majority.

  12. ”Very true. Especially seeing as the Lib Dems are being seen as the Tories’ partners in crime. Also, remember – Community the Union.”

    I agree. As long as the Lib Dems are in coalition then that must dishearten a good many of Swales’ 2010 voters here I would reckon.

    I mean for crying out loud there is no way the people of Redcar voted Lib Dem in 2010 so they could have a Tory-headed government- They probably voted in the hope that they would be getting a Lab-Lib pact. I for one feel very sorry for all those people who believed the hype at the time and for all their loyalty to Swales the Lib Dems have sadly sold their souls by being in government with Public Enemy Number One in these parts- Something which I doubt would go down very well locally…

  13. I have never understood why the people of this seat rejected Labour in such a wholesale manner in 2010 and elected a Liberal MP instead. Vera Baird was pretty harmeless and non-controversial as a MP, so it can’t be a personal issue, Other seats won by Liberals such as Burnley and Bradford East were easier to understand.

    Given this I would be cautious about “certain Labour gain” predictions. Swales will have a personal vote next time, and the people who voted for him last time must have done so for a reason.

  14. It just strikes me as a bit bizarre that this seat is NOT held by Labour.

    Yes circumstances change and therefore I would have to hazard a guess that the electorate’s attitude will be somewhat different here come 2015.

    But if Labour don’t win this back then they may not have the best of nights.

  15. Ian Swales does not have a personal vote, he is not Simon Hughes and he is not hugely popular. Hughes is the only Lib Dem MP who could save himself from the crisis in 2015, because he has a strong personal vote (some people in Bermondsey think he is a Labour MP – I know that as a fact). Burnley was a rebellion against Kitty Ussher, Bradford East near a university and Redcar because of Lib Dem support for the steelworks. Community the Union is a steelworks union (of which I am a member) and is heavily organising in the Teeside. That party is wiped out up North, if Swales is returned in 2015 – well it’s unfathomable as it is unthinkable.

  16. Bob

    Do you live in Redcar ?

    If not how can you with such confidence say that Ian Swales does not have a personal vote ?

    All MPs have personal votes and LibDem MPs generally have higher than average.

    And as has been pointed out the LibDems haven’t been wiped out locally and the rescue of the steelworks will give a continuing boost to Ian Swales at the next election.

  17. But Richard his involvement in a coalition with the Tories that scarcely anyone in Redcar I would imagine wanted nor voted for will not play at all well in his favour.

    And besides, there is more to politics than just a single issue.

    I’ll say it again- If Labour don’t win here in 2015 they will be in big trouble nationally I suspect.

  18. “But Richard his involvement in a coalition with the Tories that scarcely anyone in Redcar I would imagine wanted nor voted for will not play at all well in his favour.”

    Well apart from many of those who voted LibDem or Conservative here.

    Swales should be able to pick up plenty of tactical votes in 2015 as well.

    And I’ll point out that Simon Hughes was elected on a single issue and he’s still the Bermondsey MP.

  19. Some 2010 predictions:

    Shaun Bennett
    Lab Hold= 9,000 maj

    Lab Hold Maj 9500

    Pete Whitehead
    Lab maj 7,000

    I think I can guess what Bob and Results would have predicted here 😉

  20. I’m sorry any suggestion that people in Redcar WANTED a Tory-Lib Dem coalition is quite incredible IMHO.

  21. You could say that about any Conservative or LibDem constituency in the country in that case.

  22. I would tend to agree that a Lab gain is overwhelmingly the most likely outcome. It would only require a 5.5% swing, or 1/9 of their current vote share. Given the Lib Dem’s current performance, nationally, that’s a very low bar.

  23. Thanks for agreeing with me Hannah.

    It’s a pity that a lot of other people aren’t so certain of a Labour gain…

  24. Why does it matter whether or not people are certain?

    In any case, there are certain factors that don’t suggest an easy regain – namely that Labour were not streets ahead in the 2011 locals, when the Lib Dem brand was as bad as it’ll ever be, and that Lib Dem incumbents are often very difficult to shift.

    I happen to think that Swales will lose, and probably by a fairly decent amount, but it’s not necessarily a foregone conclusion.

  25. I definitely think Swales will lose TBH. No doubt about it.

    For those who are interested, here is the prediction for this seat in 2015 that I posted on the old seat a while back-

    Possible result-
    Labour- 20, 388 (48.6%, +15.85%)
    Swales (Lib Dem)- 13, 776 (32.8%, -12.37%)
    Tory- 4, 427 (10.5%, -3.3%)
    Others- 3, 355 (7.9%, -0.39%)
    Turnout- 41, 946.
    Majority- 6, 612 (15.7%)
    Swing- +14.11% From Lib Dem to Lab.

  26. I must admit, I’m finding the bar charts really useful in visualising the potential swings.

  27. Edward C-B

    Nice to see one Labour supporter talking sense not extremes.

    What you say exactly matches my perception of the seat, hence my comment at the start of this thread that met with such ridicule from some of your ‘colleagues’.

    I also wonder whether posters like Bob and The Results are making some assumption that Labour will still have their 10% poll lead come 2015, which many other Labour supporters realise is no foregone conclusion.

  28. I am not sure whether the 10% poll lead will come in 2015, I think it could be lower but depends on whether Miliband pulls his socks up, UKIP actually pose a threat (too many people sneering at them) and actually the Lib Dem refugees actually stay (chances are that they will). Even still, places like this held by the Lib Dems are a foregone conclusion – have been since 12th May 2010. What is not a foregone conclusion, is Tory marginals where they have reasonable good majorities approaching 3,000 votes. That is where the battle is.

  29. I expect the LD-Lab swing nationally to be somewhere in the region of 5%. To win this seat Labour require a swing of 6.2% – by no means impossible, but I definitely wouldn’t be willing to put anything on the outcome either way.

    Depending on how local issues play out, and how important they are seen by the voters, this could be a majority of about 3,000 either way. All I’d say at this stage is that it will probably be close.

  30. I think that’s close to what I think Neil.

    I suspect the LDs could hold this, but I would still err towards a Labour gain by 2-3,000
    as a most likely.

  31. The Redcar thing has come up in discussion often enough. I’m going to hold up my hands in ignorance on this one…how do the Lib Dems appear to be faring here at the moment?

  32. Not all that badly I think from local elections.
    Not well but no evidence of a collapse like in Norwich, Manchester Withington, and probably better than in Burnley.

  33. Anthony’s description on the seat mentions steelworks closing and then reopening again in 2012. If many people in the seat are dependant on this industry could this not just about save the Lib Dems here?

  34. I believe only one blast furnace out of 3 was re-started.

    And of course the downstream steel facilities here never closed in the first place.

  35. hmm, wasn’t fully aware of that detail. That is rather less for Swales to shout about than I thought. I still however would err on the side of caution – Labour lost this for a reason & the reasons haven’t entirely gone away. I would tend towards a Lab gain on balance though.

  36. Economically the “rescue” makes little sense.

    Corus retained downstream steel rolling and processing facilities at Redcar which it now feeds from the blast furnaces at Port Talbot.

    1 out of the 3 blast furnaces at Redcar was restarted with all the semi-finished steel being exported to Thailand.

    It’s not sustainable long term, just a pretty shabby political deal.

  37. This place is a Labour gain. Look at Lib Dems in Redcar and Cleveland local elections – not good, also look at their results in South Shields, another part of the North East, and put that on a regional basis. Swales only delivered the steelworks supported by Community the Union, which is heavily backing the Labour candidate.

  38. Were the local CLP to make the same assumptions as some posters on this thread about the result in 2015 then there is a strong chance of a nasty shock. The local Labour party had a membership of less then 200 in the year 2010. The nearby seat of South Shields had similar membership numbers. Following the recent by-election there was an article on LabourList critical of the voter contact rate in the years previous. The Lib Dems have historically managed to canvass well in areas where membership numbers are low. If the Redcar CLP have not gone through a revival, increasing membership and increasing voter contact, then the result is much more likely to be favourable to the Lib Dems.

  39. Bob: have you been taking note of some of the local by-elections in Redcar where the LDs have been performing rather well?

  40. Ian Swales will lose his seat surely. After such a massive swing in 2010 to him this is surely the kind of seat Post-Coalition were traditional Old Labourites will go back to the party with glee having witnessed the betrayal that they’ve had to suffer locally and nationally- No bad reflection on Mr Swales but the people of Redcar should feel betrayed that they didn’t get the government they wanted out of voting Lib Dem.

  41. I think the range is lib dem majority of 1500 to Labour majority of 5000. I’m not sure what government they thought they were getting last time but you may be right. This is the problem with the lib dems. One of them. Assuming you can have opposition and government at the same time. You can’t. Silly old sausages. Silly old sausages here aswell.

  42. Hello JJB. You have made my night mate- it’s nice to see the return of an old friend. How’s tricks in South London my man? 🙂

    I agree. What I was referring to was the fact that maybe they elected Swales out of desperation with Baird yet with a Lib-Lab Coalition in mind. Who knows?

  43. You’d expect Labour to have no problems winning this but stranger things have happened on election nights in the past.

  44. I know what you mean mate and I admire your words of caution- it’s a good trait for a person to have so well done for as usual remaining nonpartisan, unlike me Andy LOL!

  45. On YouTube I get messages of thanks from Labour supporters for uploading elections like 1997, and at the same time thanks from Tories for putting up 1983. It’s got nothing to do with which party I support of course but they get a bit carried away and think I must be a supporter of their party just for uploading a particular election show.

  46. Strange isn’t it eh? You try to remain impartial but when it’s a landslide election you’ve uploaded, there’s just no hiding place is there? I seem to recall JJB or was it Barnaby who said you were a soft centre right liberal or something like that? Didn’t you say you supported John Major as well back in the day?

  47. Andy has stated that he has voted Conservative, but has at times supported other parties, including I think Labour.

  48. Gloy doesn’t predict any majorities under 5,000 as an absolute minimum.
    Rule of thumb is if it’s a hopeless seat, it’s 5,000.
    If there’s any detectable Lib Dem support, it’s 8,000, and if it’s a Lib Dem seat it’s 20-25,000.

  49. Andy I think tends towards the Tories but is not a member or anything. I’m sure he can answer for himself and his posts are impeccably independent.

  50. I think that Labour will take this seat because the large base of support that the Lib Dems had built up over the years has fallen back quite heavily in recent local elections. The dissaffection with the Lib Dems in this part of the world is very deep and the few pockets of support that will stay strong for Mr Swales are not likely to save him.
    I would predict a Labour majority in the order of 5 – 6,000 and that this will increase in the years ahead to ‘normal’ politics for this area.

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