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 - 231 Responses on “Redcar”
  1. Also, discussion of a national swing of 5% between Lib Dem and Lab ignores the fact that some areas, such as this, will see larger swings to Labour.

  2. Far Easterner described me as being a Labour supporter on this thread- he was in fact wrong, I don’t, in fact I don’t support any party.

  3. where are bob and gloy i need a laugh

  4. I think this will swing less than the national average, whatever that average may be.

  5. @sgt wilson in the coal shed, the lack of Bob helps maintain sanity on these pages. If there was a more obvious Blairite shill, tribally attacking those within the party he doesn’t approve of, those mind-numbing predictions about which seats Labour will ‘definitely’ gain, and his unremitting love for some of the most disliked ministers from the last govt (Jacqui Smith, Hazel Blears).

  6. ….but Redcar should be natural Labour territory so if they don’t regain this in 2015, something is very very wrong. It’s bad enough that they selected some think-tank wonk who was also an adviser to a couple of MPs.

    The Corus issue must have been huge if it led to the loss of one of the party’s safest seats. Nonetheless Vera Baird managed to land on her feet, now that she’s a Police Commissioner (yes, what a turnout for those elections).

  7. Yes Neil your point in the first line is one I made previously about this seat on this thread- ultra-cautious Labour posters like Edward Carlsson Browne even sounded slightly sceptical and that in itself intensely surprised me and I don’t even support Labour. So I will repeat- Labour are in big trouble nationally potentially if they don’t win back seats like these in 2015…

  8. People often use the phrase “seats like this”. The truth is however that this seat is unique – it’s the only LD seat in the North-East with a Labour heritage – and so are the circumstances which caused it to go LD. It would obviously be a blow for Labour to fail to take it, but it wouldn’t have many implications beyond this seat itself other than that it would be one seat not won which should have been won. Some seats are very similar to each other, obviously – but some are very unusual, and at present this is one of the latter.

  9. This seat would surely have been a Labour gain in 2015 if Labour hadn’t selected a candidate from the South East! How do they expect to win local seats like this by shipping in external candidates? This shows a serious lack of local considerations. Ian Swales will stand a bigger chance of winning solely on his accent never mind his politics!

  10. LAB GAIN MAJ : 8%
    LAB 39
    LD 31
    UKIP 12
    CON 11
    GRN 4
    OTH 3

  11. Can you explain why you expect the Greens to get 4% of the vote here and why you predict a lower share for them in seats which might seem to have more potential (eg in Leeds Central you give them 3%)

  12. There are more LD votes to grab here than in Leeds C.

  13. I see. And I suppose all these LD voters in Redcar are of the beard and sandal wearing variety who fret about the rain forests (as opposed to being say former Labour voters concerned about the fate of the local steel works, or former Tory voters who voted tactically to defeat Labour) ?

  14. Of course not- but LD voters are more likely to fulfil that stereotype than Labour voters because Labour voters who stay Labour will less likely be swayed than those who defect to other ‘left-leaning’ parties like the LDs.

  15. In addition, the 3s and 4s are rounded, pretty much interchangeable figures- you can add or subtract 0.5% to/from both.

  16. 2015 IMHO

    Lab 41
    LD 33
    UKIP 11
    Con 10
    Others 5

  17. Barnaby had an interesting remark about this seat’s uniqueness. I’d have to agree. Like, I’m sure, everyone on this forum, I remember watching the returns in 2010, and––again, like many––being surprised at some of the Lib Dem results. Losses in Rochdale, Chesterfield, Newton Abbot, Montgomeryshire, Richmond Park, Harrogate, and Hereford, and no gains out of the much-touted group of Labour-facing targets (the Edinburgh seats, Sheffield Central, Hull North, Liverpool Wavertree, and I think one or two in Wales), and yet––and YET––they gained Redcar? Redcar? I recall my shock. It had never really been mentioned in the lead-up to 2010 as a potentially Lib Dem gain. It was truly just out of the wild blue yonder. I don’t think the Lib Dems or Swales in particular should be counted out here. It’ll probably be close, unless 2010 repeats and it’s just a completely bizarre result… Plaid gain, maybe? (For those who seem to struggle with this: I realize that this will not be a Plaid gain. That was what is known as a “joke.”)

  18. Ladbrokes:
    4/6 Lab
    11/10 LD

  19. The result here will be interesting.

  20. I cannot imagine that the Lib Dems will hold onto this seat, which needs a two-party swing of just over 6% for Labour to regain it. Agree with P.T.Richards that the Lib Dem gain seemed to come from nowhere, although there were of course big local factors, e.g. the closing of the steelworks. Although I would not necessarily expect Labour to win by a large majority here in 2015, I could certainly see them winning by about 3,000 – 5,000. That majority will then surely steadily increase again at subsequent elections.

  21. Only part of the steelworks closed (the blast furnaces). Corus kept the rolling mills and finishing facilities open. The blast furnaces were sold to SSI who have now re-started them. Conceivable that the Lib Dems could get some credit for helping to broker the deal. I don’t see this as a Burnley or a Withington. It’s most likely that the Lib Dems will lose but not a certainty.

  22. Agree – I don’t know what voters think in the area but can see this as a Lib Dem hold by about 1,000
    but it could of course be a Labour gain – but under 5,000.

  23. I’d be surprised but not astonished to see the LDs hold this. It’s possible but I think on the balance of probabilities Labour should win, though pretty narrowly.

  24. You may well be right – it doesn’t look quite as clear cut now – but after Labour have gained it easily we may just think what was all that debate about.

    I can see this

    Labour 22,200
    LD 16,700
    Con 5,000
    UKIP 3,000

    or this
    LD 20,000
    Lab 19,000
    Con 4,500
    UKIP 3,500

    as the rough range – pretty rough actually

  25. LDs will probably lose but only by 2-3,000.

  26. May 22nd:
    By election in Dormanstown (38.94% turnout)
    Liberal Democrats – 753 – 37.33% (-8.27%)
    Labour – 741 – 36.74% (-8.61%)
    UKIP – 523 – 25.93% (n/a)

    (changes from 2011, top vote)

    In 2011, this ward was split LD 2, Lab 1, with the resigning councillor in third place


  27. The Lib Dems must be holding up well if they are winning in Dormanstown. That’s about as traditional working class as you get.

    The Redcar constituency is not as naturally Labour as many seem to think. There are large numbers of voters in Marske and New Marske, that are pretty middle class, and Redcar itself has some fairly suburban areas as does Ormesby. They are all areas that vote.

    The Tories routinely got 30%+ in Redcar until Mo Mowlam established herself in the 90s.

  28. Well yes but the whole western half of the constituency is very working class. The seat as it is currently drawn – and it’s only existed as Redcar in any form since 1974 – would certainly have never been lost by Labour in any postwar general election until the last one. Even the old Cleveland which is more Conservative & middle-class than this present-day seat – almost all of this seat was in Cleveland until 1974 – was only won once postwar, in 1959, and then only very narrowly.

  29. prediction for 2015-

    lib- 38%
    lab- 37%
    UKIP- 12%
    con- 11%
    BNP- 1%
    TUSC- 1%

    we’re all in agreement that the vote here will be interesting however I’m confident that the lib dems will hold off labour in 2015- but perhaps not 2020. I also think that UKIP will manage third place , thanks to their spike in popularity and the collapse of the BNP vote. If the liberals do fail here – it will be tactical voting that really hurts them .

  30. Then there remains no hope for the Lib Dems in this seat.

  31. And suddenly I’m starting to like Labour’s chances here.

  32. “personal reasons” – to avoid the ignominy of defeat.

    In other words, he’s doing a Sarah Teather.

  33. Labour gain…. I thought it was always going to be, and Ian Swales MP clearly agrees.

    Like a lot of MPs these days, he can’t be a*sed to slog through a campaign, with all the strain and nervous stress, which he is very likely to lose…why not say you’re packing it in, a year to 8 months beforehand and give yourself a nice break and some time to think about what you’ll do next?

  34. lib dem hold? anyone…?

  35. Definitely not. Certainly not now Ian Swales has stood down. I had a feeling we would get a few Lib Dem MPs standing down like this, so this isn’t a complete surprise to me, TBH. Originally I would have had Labour down to gain this by about 1-3,000 votes, but now I think they should really get a majority of at least 5-6,000 without Swales’ incumbency.

  36. I actually don’t think his standing would have made much difference, just as in Brent Central Teather would have been smoked if she stood. I thought it was a nailed on labour gain, even before Swales committed political hari-kiri

  37. Oh don’t get me wrong, I still thought IS would lose. The majority here of 5, 214 is on paper, at least, comfortable, but there was a huge swing last time I can see there being at least some swingback this time round. I don’t think Labour should have lost this in the first place, and they will get it back next time- It’s a bit like a Labour version of Ludlow I reckon.

  38. I think in a few of the marginal Conservative/Labour battlegrounds there was actually a good chance of the Tories holding them. I’m looking specifically at Erewash, Cannock Chase and Hove. With loss of incumbency and Labour candidates already on the ground for quite sometime I’m now not so sure of Tory chances in those three.

  39. there were intensely local reasons to do with the part closure of a Corus-old british steel- plant that produced the result. Vera Baird didn’t do herself any favours either. she was a posh QC and metropolitan blairite who showed little but contempt for her constituents.

    In the Tory held seats, with the exception of Cannock Chase, where the MP behaved with real crass stupidity, the fact that they thought they were going to lose was a factor, I stress a factor not the sole reason, in the MPs standing down.

    The number of under 55 year old MPs standing down in safe seats is much rarer than seems to be the case for under 55s in marginal seats.

  40. I would have expected this to be close, as per local election results, though not as per the Ashcroft poll. The latter could well have been a factor in deciding Swales re his retirement, especially if it was borne out by their canvassing/private polling. I don’t expect it to be close now.

  41. The constituency poll here was a pile of sh*t (based on methodology, not result)
    He had already been reselected, so it is likely there are some real reasons here. Local elections had showed a very close fight, even holding a seat in a by-election (with a slight Lab->LD swing) which was held coterminously with the Euro elections.
    I still think this will be quite tight, but clearly Labour are favourites now.

  42. One incredible statistic to be remembered is that Ian Swales won this last time from Vera Baird on an absolutely massive swing of 21.8%, which in the conditions of any normal general election is absolutely mind-boggling. But it wasn’t just any normal election campaign here as we well know.

    But because of that eccentrically idiosyncratic swing last time, I can over time see there being steady yet gradual swingback to Labour which will correct the effects of the gain from their point of view- So next time there could even be a swing as large as 15% for Labour to take the seat back, and then in the elections that follow, depending on the state of play nationally, smaller swings back to Labour as well perhaps as the Lib Dem vote unwinds.

  43. The results while what you say is usually wise I’m going to go against you here as I think what you are saying is incorrect. Hear me out.

    If the general election was held today I’d predict something along these lines:

    lab- 38%
    Lib- 29%
    UKIP- 18%
    con- 11%
    BNP- 1%
    TUSC- 1%

    but the recovering economy will see a great rise in the the conservative and liberal vote once this government as it comes to a close. We all know this is just what happens in politics and as the labour vote drops the liberal vote should rise. You can an election now lab , according to the electoral calculus have a 70% chance of winning.

    when we come around to the next election I think the national polls will be looking at con- 36% , lab-30% Lib-11% UKIP-10% greens-5% others-7%

    under these polls I should think lib dems hold. I might be wrong about this but that’s where I’m putting my money, it’s not the likelihood but I really have that gut feeling, you know?

  44. So you expect a swing of nearly 5% to the Tories between now and 8 & a half months’ time, when the election will be called? It’s possible, but do you really think that there will be virtually no increase in the Labour vote despite Clegg being in coalition with the Tories? And that the Greens will poll 5% nationwide in a general election? I think you’ll find out when the results are in that it’s wishful thinking to a very large extent.

  45. Well I wouldn’t use Electoral Calculus to judge the likely result in any seats to be quite honest.

    And what makes you so sure that in just under a year’s time that the Tories will be 6% ahead of Labour in the opinion polls? They’d need to get back a lot of UKIP support between now and then for that to happen you know. And, to be honest, I just don’t see it happening at all.

    Turning to this seat, the Lib Dems are toast my friend. As toast as Welsh Rarebit. Any thoughts of them holding on to this seat next year, let alone without Mr. Redcar himself Ian Swales is a body blow to them and has lost them this seat straight back to Labour, who should never have lost it and went to the Lib Dems on a protest vote and it was related to the steelworks at the time. Therefore I can visualise normality being restored at the next election after this seat broke with it’s age old tradition.

  46. But TheResults he still thinks UKIP will get 10% of the vote. It’s very hard for UKIP to poll that much and yet not affect the Conservative vote at all. Basically his prediction is that the Tories will recoup from the LDs what they lose to UKIP, which is unlikely in the extreme, and that the LDs hardly lose any votes to Labour, which is just as unlikely. Yes there is churn sometimes, but not that much.

  47. And the Greens on 5%- WHAAT?

    UKIP might end up getting about 7-8% nationally if they can restrict the churn back to the Tories enough, but I still think if they were to get 10%+ like you say Barnaby there would of course disproportionally have to be enough effect on the Tory vote than there might otherwise be. The Lib Dems MIGHT still finish slightly ahead of UKIP in the final result nationally, but even that’s not really saying much.

    So we are in agreement basically that in fact the Tories will lose some votes to UKIP, and likewise the Lib Dems will probably lose even more votes to Labour?

  48. We are, although I don’t think there’s much chance at all that the Lib Dems will be behind UKIP in the popular vote. I thought the Guardian/ICM poll a day or two ago was pretty much how I see this shaping up, plus or minus a few points: the Lib Dems in the low double digits (11-14% is my current guess), the Tories barely ahead of Labour, but with Labour on slightly more seats, and UKIP in mid to high single digits.

  49. The ICM poll might turn out to be a reasonable predictor of the general election result in the end, although I doubt that UKIP will end up in single figures. What I don’t think it is is an accurate view of CURRENT voting intention. The LDs would get considerably fewer votes in a general election today than any of their polls show & Labour quite a lot more.

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)