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 - 64 Responses on “Sedgefield”
  1. David Reed was elected as Labour MP for Sedgefield in 1970 at the age of 25. I think he was the second youngest MP elected in that election after Bernadette Devlin in Mid Ulster.

    The Sedgefield constituency was abolished in February 1974 and David Reed hasn’t returned to the Commons since.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Reed_(politician)

  2. I remember once reading about Reed. If memory serves, he knew well in advance of ’74 that his constituency would be abolished, and he challenged Mark Hughes, the sitting MP for Durham, for the Labour nomination. I remember this because the selection battle was controversial – Reed won the first battle by a couple of votes, but then accusations were made that ineligible voters were brought in. In the second battle, Hughes won re-selection by a couple of votes, and that was the end of Reed’s career in Parliament.

  3. Doesn’t seem to be any details about him, either.

  4. What has David Reed been doing since 1974? Presumably somebody somewhere will want to know if only because at some point (one hopes in the distant future) the national newspapers will want to write his obituary.

    Wikipedia seems to be remarkably thin on his politcal stance. Presumably, again, he must have done something in his four years in parliament – not least because one would have thought that a young MP would have ambitions. One also wonders what politcal relationships he had with the Labour establishment in the North East, which at that time had some notable power mongers.

  5. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/tony-blair/10410792/Blair-says-problem-with-career-politicians-like-Ed-Miliband.html

    There is a huge amount of irony here. Even Alan Milburn is singing from the same hymn sheet as Ed Miliband on low pay.

    My forecast for 2015

    Lab 53
    Con 20
    UKIP12
    LD 10
    others 5

  6. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2000/dec/01/uk.eu

    Another reason why I know everything about Tony Blair is that my cousin lives in Newton Aycliffe and used to run this pub.

    He currently works as a chef working for other people now.

  7. Prediction for 2015-
    Wilson (Labour)- 51%
    Conservative- 21%
    Liberal Democrats- 12%
    UKIP- 10%
    BNP- 4%
    Others- 2%

  8. Tony Blair has been witness summonsed by Kate Hoey and Sylvia Hermon. He has to appear before the On The Runs Inquiry, next week otherwise he’ll be in Contempt.

  9. John Leathley is UKIP candidate number 521 according to my numbers:

    https://twitter.com/JLeathleyUKIP

  10. Interesting. I have encountered Leathley before actually. I saw him speak at a Durham University question time session a month or so ago. He evidently wasn’t aware that the European Court of Human Rights is completely separate organisation to the EU. When he was challenged on it by an audience member, he immediately backed down, saying “Oh… then I’m sorry. You are good at this! Wow, you really know your stuff!” to general bewilderment and laughter from the audience. He should manage second here, though.

    I wonder, are there any County Durham seats Ukip won’t come second in? Bishop Auckland and Easington, yes. Not sure about the rest of them. City of Durham will be the hardest for them.

  11. I’d think the LDs will hold second in City of Durham, albeit narrowly

  12. I tend to agree.

  13. I think the Tories will stay in second in Darlington as well.

  14. From what I’ve heard from people campaigning in that constituency, UKIP are a major threat in Darlo. I tend to think they’ll snatch second there. City of Durham is completely different and I cannot understand why they still don’t have a candidate this late.

  15. Ukip probably need over 25% to get 2nd in Darlington and I’m not at all convinced they will do that well. A 2nd place in Durham City is rather unlikely. Bishop Auckland isn’t a nailed on one for them either. Tories will get 2nd place in Sunderland Central too.

  16. I agree with County Durham Boy, actually. That sounds about right.

  17. Labour hold. 15,000 majority

  18. How late can a PPC drop out? 😉

    http://www.palatinate.org.uk/?p=58677

  19. Too late, he will still be on the ballot paper.

  20. I’ve seen a few good tory results but this is one of the most suprising. I guess the new Hitachi factory has helped them here.

    2015 1983
    Labour 47.2 47.6
    Conservative 29.5 29.2
    UKIP 16.6 –
    LD 3.5 22.6
    GRN 3.1 –
    Independent 0.7

    The tories have only been closer than 17.7% once since the war in 1959. (16.9%)

  21. The Conservative vote share here is now ahead of 1983 by 0.3%. I think this will continue to trend their way in the future- the Labour majority is now the lowest ever for the seat in its entire history and there is a lot of potential for them in this part of County Durham given the increasing presence of commuters I think.

  22. With this area seemingly moving one way and London the other, one day we could see quite a reversal in the seats of two of the most successful party leaders of recent, if not all, time with Blair’s old seat reliably Tory while Finchley (which, of course, went Labour for a while) being solidly in the red column.

  23. Commuting to where excactly?

  24. Durham? Newcastle?

  25. More likely to be Darlington, and Teesside, which includes Stockton and Middlesbrough etc, I would have thought.

    The University of Durham has a significant campus in Stockton, with a technology centre adjacent I believe, and the Teesside University has grown quite a bit as well, with a second campus in Darlington.

  26. The demographics are clearly changing here I think.

  27. Anyone think there is a slow trend towards the Conservatives in parts of County Durham? While Labour’s terrible performance is duly noted in the Midlands, they had a very mediocre night here. Could we see a Tory MP in Tony Blair’s old seat? Not just here, Darlington (which the Conservatives have held in the past), Bishop Auckland, Hartlepool. The Tory vote held up well and in some cases increased. UKIP was strong across the North East too and took a lot from Labour.

  28. The ones you mention that are in the North could all be in the purple column soon if the referendum is a close REMAIN.

  29. If there’s an alignment of events – amongst them, a close REMAIN, LUB resurgence, CORBYN failure to communicate on immigration and the UK not getting their way own on EU immigration/free movement – I think it easily conceivable UKIP could get as many as 40-50 seats – where the majority to make up is 12000 or less.

  30. No, still safe. A 17.7% majority in a year the party lost. A bigger majority than, for instance, Bradford South, Wolverhampton NE and Worsley and Eccles South.

    But if the Tories do ever take Sedgefield I will think of your ramping of it on here!

  31. This seat will be torn up by the boundary changes with the wards from Darlington council all transferred to the Darlington constituency. According to electoral calculus’ figures this slashes the Labour majority from 3,158 to a mere 683, making Darlington a prime target for the Tories.

  32. @Maxim as I said no they won’t as Sedgefield will probably disappear. Though the most Tory parts of Sedgefield will be transferred to Darlington making that much more winnable.

  33. Well on this very subject I’m going to post my NE region plan on the Europe NE thread, its actually the region I’m most pleased with, everything just seemed to work and the few contentious bits are either totally compartmentalised thus those that disagree could modify freely without effecting the rest of the Plan (Northumberland) or were totally pencilled in and I’m 100% convinced that what I did what was the best if not the only option (the neccisty of a cross authority seat between North and South Tyneside and Teeside and County Durham.

  34. To answer your question Maxim the areas you discuss are a real mixed bag for the Tories.

    Darlington is obviously a boon for the Tories making the seat an ultra marginal.

    However this is by taking the most Tory voting bits out of Sedgefield, the only real replacement for this is to dip into Bellingham (a complete necessity since their has to be a cross authority seat between Teeside and County Durham and all alternatives are horrendus) this isn’t terrible for the Tories since they have quite a bit of support in Bellingham but the rural Darlington wards were better for them.

    Re Bishop Auckland its anyone’s guess what the BC will propose. My proposal was for a “Durham West” constituency which basically takes all the rural Western bits of Bishop Auckland and Durham NW, short term this scuppers Tory chances but long term is definitely their best bet since the rural Durham NW wards will obviously be the first to drift to the Tories.

    However one unfortunate development for the Cons is Stockton S disappears. Short of resorting to gerrymandering you just cant make a Tory seat on Teesside. My proposal was for a “Stockton and Yarm” seat which would have been notionally Lab by about 16%

  35. Maxim
    Well you can see my whole plan on the Europe NE thread but to simplify most of the seat is merged with Redcar into a safe Lab “Redcar and Cleveland” while the southern wards from Middlesbrough are added to a new Middlesbrough South West which would also be safely Labour.

  36. Maxim
    You must have misunderstood my plan somewhere, under my plan the Tories would only have the one seat in the NE (Berwick and Hexham) they would indeed be very close in Darlington which would be notionally Lab by less than 1,000 votes, everywhere else though would be pretty safe Lab (for the moment)

  37. I am not sure where he thinks this mysterious ‘power base’ is going to materialise from. I doubt it will be from within the current Labour party.

  38. “He thinks there’s a massive hole in British politics…”

    He’s right about that…

    “…that he can fill.”

    …but not about that.

  39. A bridge to far this election
    Narrow hold

    LAB 42
    CON 36
    UKiP 13
    LD 7

  40. I’d be surprised if the Conservatives gained this- I think Labour will hold by about 7-8% or so. However, I think they could well take both Bishop Auckland and Darlington.

  41. That’s my thinking as well, Tory. Sedgefield is not quite within reach for the blues just yet but Darlington and Bishop Auckland certainly are.

  42. 59% Leave vote here suggests this is at least in play if double-digit poll leads for the Tories hold.

  43. If we have a 20 point lead goimg into the final few days we can take this seriously, but it does need to be up around that level.

    Personally I think we are more likely to see a 13 to 16 point lead.

  44. With a 13-16 point lead nationally (4-5% swing), and unusually varied swings across the country, it would be surprising if a handful of seats in the 15-20% range (requiring 7-10% swing) didn’t fall.

  45. Do you know how they voted in the referendum Plop?

  46. Tories won’t even come close in seats like this. For all that the polls are showing, they have a natural ceiling in a lot of areas that will limit the swing and their ability to advance

  47. Paul D @ Many people argued that Labour could not lose ultra safe Labour seats to the SNP….contary to the polls….but they did.

  48. I wonder what the LDs do here. Do they even bother? That 1300 votes could be very useful to someone.

  49. Tory 39%

    Labour 38%

    tory gain.

  50. Didn’t thatchers constituency go labour in 1997?

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