Sedgefield

2015 Result:
Conservative: 11432 (29.5%)
Labour: 18275 (47.2%)
Lib Dem: 1370 (3.5%)
Green: 1213 (3.1%)
UKIP: 6426 (16.6%)
MAJORITY: 6843 (17.7%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

Geography: North East, Durham. Part of County Durham council area and part of the Darlington council area.

Main population centres: Newton Aycliffe, Sedgefield, Ferryhill, Trimdon.

Profile: A former mining seat in County Durham. Sedgefield itself is a small town of 5000, from where the Conservatives draw what little strength they have in the constituency. The rest of the seat is made up of former coalfields and mining villages, now diversifying into light engineering, and the countryside surrounding Darlington. The main population centre is the new town of Newton Aycliffe, built in 1947.

Politics: Sedgefield is a rock solid Labour seat, and had been held by Labour since its creation in 1983, most notably by Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair who represented the seat from 1983 until 2007. Tony Blair retired to become a Middle Eastern peace envoy in 2007 and Labour held the seat on a reduced, but still solid, majority.


Current MP
PHIL WILSON (Labour) Born 1959, Durham. Educated at Trimdon Secondary Modern. Former shop assistant, clerical worker and aide to Tony Blair, instrumental in originally selecting Blair in 1983. First elected as MP for Sedgefield in 2007 by-election.
Past Results
2010
Con: 9445 (23%)
Lab: 18141 (45%)
LDem: 8033 (20%)
BNP: 2075 (5%)
Oth: 2528 (6%)
MAJ: 8696 (22%)
2005*
Con: 5972 (14%)
Lab: 24429 (59%)
LDem: 4935 (12%)
UKIP: 646 (2%)
Oth: 5501 (13%)
MAJ: 18457 (44%)
2001
Con: 8397 (21%)
Lab: 26110 (65%)
LDem: 3624 (9%)
UKIP: 974 (2%)
Oth: 1153 (3%)
MAJ: 17713 (44%)
1997
Con: 8383 (18%)
Lab: 33526 (71%)
LDem: 3050 (6%)
Oth: 474 (1%)
MAJ: 25143 (53%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
SCOTT WOOD (Conservative)
PHIL WILSON (Labour) See above.
STEPHEN GLENN (Liberal Democrat)
JOHN LEATHLEY (UKIP)
GREG ROBINSON (Green)
Links
Comments - 82 Responses on “Sedgefield”
  1. It did, but there were boundary changes in 1997 and I think the old Finchley seat was notionally Tory.

    Even today it’s still semi-marginal, but since it has the greatest number of Jews of any seat in the country it’s probably unlikely to go red again any time soon.

  2. I’d say there’s a good chance of a Tory gain here… Maybe a four-in-ten shot.

  3. Yep. Plopwellian’/Con Estimate/Maxim’s long-held fantasies about a Con gain in Sedgefield may be about to come true sooner than even he thought was possible.

  4. I’m no sure what planet Polltroll is on re Finchley. The 1997 boundary changes made the seat far better for the Tories yet they still lost it until 2010. On Thatcher’s boundaries Labour might have just about held Finchley in 2010 but most likely not in 2015.

  5. In a recent council by-election in a Sedgefield ward the Tory candidate got zero. Nothing. Nada. Not a single vote. She didn’t live there so couldn’t vote. Her cousin lived in the ward and didnt vote for her. Rock solid Labour hold. 4k Maj at least. Let’s be realistic here shall we.

    http://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/news/no-vote-tory-i-m-not-surprised-1-1019229

  6. That happened again? I know it happened about 10 years ago here.

  7. That article is from May 2007, so not exactly ‘recent’. Tony Blair was still the MP for Sedgefield at the time.

  8. ”On Thatcher’s boundaries Labour might have just about held Finchley in 2010 but most likely not in 2015.”

    @H.Hemmelig

    Surely it would be the other way round? Finchley and Golders Green had a small Labour swing in 2015 and it is highly likely that the Finchley part of the seat had a fair swing to Labour while the Golders Green part of the seat (gained from Hendon South in ’97) swung Tory by a similar amount thus almost cancelling each other out. The bits of Finchley lost to Chipping Barnet in ’97 would certainly have swung Labour in 2015 too. So I’m pretty sure Labour would have done better in Thatcher’s old Finchley in 2015 than they did on 2010 and I think it looks like they probably would have won it both years anyway.

  9. Yes, on reflection that’s probably right.

    Actually when you do the numbers it would have been mighty close in both years, too close to call definitively.

    Finchley has become more similar to neighbouring Haringey whilst Golders Green and the Garden Suburb have remained much more solid for the Tories.

  10. This one of those ones that might be worth putting a fiver on you’d get really good odds I would imagine

  11. Cons are actually bookies’ favourites here

    Con 4/7
    Lab 6/5

    So that’s £2.85 profit for your fiver.

  12. I saw an election prediction site (not a particularly reputable one) that was forecasting Labour to hold this with a majority of 6!

    Maxim, if you’re watching, you only need to persuade your grandparents and two other people in this seat to change their allegiances to swing the seat 😉

  13. Quite a shift in the bookies’ odds for this seat since my post 4 days ago (per Paddy Power). As of today:

    Lab 8/11 fav
    Con evens

  14. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jul/15/brexit-followed-by-corbyn-put-uk-flat-on-back-tony-blair

    I recommend an enormous tub of popcorn to eat as you read the comments 😉

  15. I know it’s not the biggest deal right at the moment, but I was pretty annoyed to see Jeremy Corbyn tweet a video celebrating twenty years of the minimum wage, which somehow failed to include the man he voted against 428 times.

    The brilliant thing about Tony Blair’s introduction of the MW is not merely that he introduced it, but that he irreversibly shifted the Overton window, to the extent that the Tories who opposed it in 1999 continued to raise it when they finally got back to power, even during a recession. (And not even purely for reasons of electability – there are good right-wing arguments for a MW, chiefly that workers are also customers, and businesses do badly when their customers can’t afford to buy things.)

    I’m just imagining what it would have been like had Corbyn been Prime Minister in 1997. It’s highly likely he’d have introduced the MW alongside a boatload of reforms which sent the economy downhill, giving the Tories the perfect excuse to throw the baby out with the bathwater upon their return.

  16. Tony Blair was good at introducing pretty radical things like the minimum wage, devolution and the windfall tax without frightening the horses in Middle England. There are many reasons for that, not just his years of cultivating the moderate New Labour image, but the utter collapse of the Tories after 1992. Because of his baggage, there’s no way Corbyn will get such an easy ride even with fairly innocuous policies.

    The problem with the minimum wage today IMO is that it is unenforceable. Before it was introduced there were stories galore about greedy bosses paying their workers 50p an hour etc. This still goes on but is largely unreported nowadays.

  17. “Because of his baggage, Corbyn won’t get such an easy ride, even with fairly innocuous policies.”

    I have to say I’m guilty of that particular cognitive bias myself on occasion. But when Corbyn and his outriders constantly wax rhetorical about their own radicalism, can you blame me for interpreting mild reforms as the first step on a slippery slope?

  18. No. An opposition constantly advocating things like the confiscation of private property and massive uncompensated nationalisation cannot expect to be treated sympathetically by the bourgeoisie.

  19. HH at 1.16.

    That’s an interesting comment.

    Are you saying that there’s widespread flouting of the Minimum Wage law?

  20. Certainly if you include the massive scale of faux/forced self-employment these days that is a matter of public record.

  21. Thing is that’s not actually breaking the law.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s immoral behaviour and the loophole should be closed, but it’s not illegal.

  22. Yes I know that, but without a minimum wage a large portion of those people may well have been employees.

    It’s not that I disagree with the minimum wage, I think it is right that we have it, I’m just saying that whilst it is there we will always have many jobs that are lower paid circumventing the legislation (either legally or not). The governments since 1997 have largely turned a blind eye but I would expect Corbyn not to…it will be interesting to see how he tightens up (I do expect we will see some kind of Labour administration in the fairly near future).

  23. Alistair Campbell expelled.

    I’m surprised by this because there’s very likely tens of thousands of members who’ve done the same thing.

    Labour Rule Book ch 2..4a
    A member of the Party who joins and/ or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour group or other unit of the Party, or supports any candidate who stands against an official Labour candidate, or publicly declares their intent to stand against a Labour candidate, shall automatically be ineligible to be or remain a Party member.

    Does “support” unarguably mean, vote for?

    He said it after 10pm on 23May and this’ll be important to note. Decision will be reversed imo.

  24. I agree, things are getting silly on this. Ditto with Heseltine. Standing for a rival party like Widdecombe is one thing, but just saying you have voted for a rival is different. I imagine large numbers of Tory and Labour members voted for a different party last week.

  25. Deepthroat – yes, it does.

    I’ve known Labour members expelled for not voting, when the marked registers were checked. Although Kilfoyle admitted they resorted to that re a few Militants who weren’t photographed leafleting for Militant Labour.

    ‘Not voting Labour’ is the (Party) offence.

  26. In fact it’s even worse for Campbell than Heseltine, since he waited until after the polls had closed to reveal who he had voted for. His crime is no worse than that of one Jeremy Corbyn, who in 2012 made several comments about how pleased he was that George Galloway had beaten Labour in the Bradford West by-election.

  27. LO.. “not voting Labour” cannot and isn’t the offence according to the rules, the way they are written. But as a private organization they can interpret it in the way you’re suggesting anytime they want, initially anyway.

    I think it’s likely that AC will be actually charged with “bringing the Party into disrepute”, if they are pursuing this.

    PT..I think most unbiased observers will say that saying “well done” to another newly elected MP and publicly declaring you voted for another party in a very recent election are two very different things.

  28. Campbell did say before the election he planned on voting for a remain party.

    tbf Jeremy didn’t vote for George Galloway

  29. Alistair Campbell ran anti Semitic posters against Michael Howard in the 2005 GE. Strange how people have forgotten that

  30. @deepthroat

    Yes although the disrepute thing is a can of worms e.g. the Wadsworth case but there is a case Alistair Campbell is doing that in such a way that e.g. Charles Clarke and Bob Ainsworth aren’t.

  31. Betty Boothroyd, Charles Clarke both say they didn’t vote Labour.

    Deepthroat – I’m only going by what Labour NEC people have said on vote2012 and elsewhere. ‘Not voting Labour’ can lead to expulsion as it’s an established breach of the rules. There must be precedent so Ali’s appeal will fail.

  32. Betty Boothroyd is not a labour member.

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