Stoke-on-Trent Central

2015 Result:
Conservative: 7008 (22.5%)
Labour: 12220 (39.3%)
Lib Dem: 1296 (4.2%)
Green: 1123 (3.6%)
UKIP: 7041 (22.7%)
Independent: 2120 (6.8%)
Others: 276 (0.9%)
MAJORITY: 5179 (16.7%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

Geography: West Midlands, Staffordshire. Part of the Stoke-on-Trent council area and part of the Newcastle under Lyme council area.

Main population centres: Stoke, Hanley.

Profile: Stoke-on-Trent is actually an amalgamation of six towns, heavily associated with the industrial pottery industry. The most famous British pottery brands such as Wedgwood and Spode are all based in or around Stoke. This is also a former coal mining area, with the last coal mine in Stoke closing in the 1990s. Stoke-on-Trent Central covers the middle two of the six towns, Stoke and Hanley, which forms the city centre and main retail centre for Stoke as a whole.

Politics: Stoke is a city that is solidly Labour and Stoke-on-Trent Central has been held by Labour since its creation in 1950. Tristram Hunt`s select as Labour candidate here in 2010 was controversial, his (even more well-heeled) predecessor Mark Fisher stood down at a late stage due to ill-health meaning a shortlist for the Stoke Central seat was imposed by the national Labour party and did not feature any local candidates. Hunt was returned with a comfortable 17% majority but it is a sign of just how safe this seat was that this was the lowest ever Labour majority here. In 2015 Hunt's majority remained stable, but UKIP replaced the Liberal Democrats in second place.

Current MP
TRISTRAM HUNT (Labour) Born 1974. Educated at University College School and Cambridge University. Former Historian, journalist and broadcaster. First elected as MP for Stoke on Trent Central in 2010. Shadow Education Secretary 2013-2015. Declined to serve under Jeremy Corbyn.
Past Results
Con: 6833 (21%)
Lab: 12605 (39%)
LDem: 7039 (22%)
BNP: 2502 (8%)
Oth: 3491 (11%)
MAJ: 5566 (17%)
Con: 4823 (17%)
Lab: 14760 (53%)
LDem: 4986 (18%)
BNP: 2178 (8%)
Oth: 1160 (4%)
MAJ: 9774 (35%)
Con: 5325 (19%)
Lab: 17170 (61%)
LDem: 4148 (15%)
Oth: 1657 (6%)
MAJ: 11845 (42%)
Con: 6738 (17%)
Lab: 26662 (66%)
LDem: 4809 (12%)
Oth: 965 (2%)
MAJ: 19924 (50%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
LIAM ASCOUGH (Conservative)
TRISTRAM HUNT (Labour) See above.
ZULFIQAR ALI (Liberal Democrat) Cardiologist. Contested Stoke on Trent South 2010.
MARK BREEZE (Independent)
Comments - 1,447 Responses on “Stoke-on-Trent Central”
  1. I agree with BT.

    Lots of the UKIP twitterati are melting on social media because the Tories split their vote and let Labour in.

    The failure to squeeze the Tory vote is quite telling, and with UKIP pursuing a leftist economic view and ‘it’s everyone’s fault’ socially… Cons aren’t going to vote tactically.

    Especially in a key by election where a UKIP win could finish Corbyn, potentially.

    The plight of UKIP isn’t dissimilar to Labour in Scotland, attacked from the left and right… May has swept up much of the former Tory voters that switched to UKIP, and Lab are still ahead with working class people in large parts of the country.

    Until they find a niche they’re going to keep losing what appear to be winnable elections.

  2. plopwelian tory,

    Why are you still posting on here after promising to leave if Labour won this seat ?

  3. I think UKIP’s biggest problem is that the NOTA vote is drifting back to the Lib Dems as memories of the coalition fade

  4. I notice with Plop Tory that he simply ignores anything that doesn’t suit him – a number of posters have given him the same message and he doesn’t respond.

    As I said yesterday him posting isn’t a problem, it’s the endless posts……..and as with several points above, they are simply stating the obvious. Which we all do from time to time, just not seventeen times a day.

    Concise and relevant PT…..concise and relevant………

  5. SCOTT BOY…., PLOP will probably spin it by writing that he promised not to post anymore HERE; that is, solely on the STOKE-ON-TRENT central thread!!

  6. @BT

    I agree with you that neither UKIP’s policies nor its appeal is all about Brexit. It is, however, the case that last week’s YouGov had UKIP on 0% among Remainers. Few NOTA voters will have voted Remain, and if they did then that suggests that UKIP are unlikely to be a very attractive protest for them.

    The core point that Curtice is making, and which I think is correct, is that the much talked about leave vote from core Labour voters is much smaller than is usually suggested. In Stoke Central, for example, whilst 65% voted Leave overall, it is likely that the majority of this was comprised of 2015 UKIP, Con and Ind voters, and only a minority from 2015 Lab voters. Even in Stoke Central it is likely most 2015 Lab voters voted Remain. If UKIP want to get the Brexit majority to back them they need to target the Tory vote too, not just the Labour vote.

  7. Amongst LAB GE2015 & LEAVE voters, this yougov poll shows slightly more LAB – UKIP than LAB – CON

    8% LAB LEAVERS will definitely switch to UKIP
    8% LAB LEAVERS will definitely switch to CON

    25% LAB LEAVERS will consider switch to UKIP
    14% LAB LEAVERS will consider switch to CON


  8. Jack

    Yes, but of course they targeted Labour here – they were the incumbents. And also very wishy-washy on Brexit compared to Tories.

    Anyway, Curtice’s more extended point / conclusion was that therefore they shouldn’t make Labour voters their chief target because there’s more Tory leavers to target. Which of course is literally correct, but a naive strategy. They (Tory leavers) have less reason (atm at least) to switch to UKIP.

    Furthermore, people talk about the % of Labour who are / were Leavers – but this overlooks the huge pool of ex-Labour voters from the 1992-2005 era. Many of which are now in the WNV category, and probably a very good match for UKIP (but not for either New Labour or ‘Islington Labour’).

    Even back to Curtice’s original premise re Labour Leavers – 1/3 of the Labour 2015 vote is still nearly enough to double UKIP’s 2015 vote haul. That’s without the WNVs, who might be tougher to win over but a) at least no longer have party allegiance; and b) many of whom got back on the voting register for the EU referendum.

    Plus, finally, in some if these working class seats the messaging for Labour and Tory voters that UKIP want to woo might often not be that different. People don’t belong to large homogeneous voting blocs anymore like the 1960s.

    Sorry, this post has jumped around a bit. Hopefully you get my drift. . .

  9. As a political student I’m sure he’ll appreciate these words of implorement::-

    “You have (posted here) too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go”

  10. ”Anyway, Curtice’s more extended point / conclusion was that therefore they shouldn’t make Labour voters their chief target because there’s more Tory leavers to target. Which of course is literally correct, but a naive strategy. They (Tory leavers) have less reason (atm at least) to switch to UKIP.”

    Yes squeezing the Tory vote in places like Stoke is how UKIP is going to break through in WWC Labour heartlands and probably also by targeting non-voters. Most Labour voters who would consider UKIP seem to have already switched and targeting Labour’s remaining base is probably a fruitless task as Labour’s base mostly hates UKIP.

    In my opinion if UKIP had run a strong local candidate and ran a strong, professional, highly organised campaign specifically targeting Tory voters I think they would likely have beaten Labour in Stoke Central. If they could somehow implement and replicate this strategy they would probably pose a serious threat to Labour in WWC seats where the Labour vote is sub about 45% and where the Tories have a base vote (to squeeze) but are uncompetitive to actually win. There are quite a lot of constituencies that fit this description though implementing this strategy is easier said than done…

  11. Thanks….What’s the weather going to be in the City of Chester on the 6th May 2020…?

  12. Plops

    And what will you think this seat will do in 2020, on Monday?

    And Tuesday?

    And Wednesday?

    And . . .

  13. ‘There are quite a lot of constituencies that fit this description though implementing this strategy is easier said than done…’

    Especially if your party is more interested in fighting itself than anyone else, as UKIP is.

    UKIP’s moment for this kind of strategy has passed. Unless the Tories renege on Brexit, I think UKIP face steady decline from here.

  14. Nigel Farage was on Jeremy Vine this lunchtime and opined that UKIP would have to follow the Lib Dems’ example of winning seats by taking tactical votes from other parties to defeat incumbents.

    But he’s missing the point that UKIP are very few people’s second-favourite party. They are favourite party of a significant minority of voters and despised by a large proportion of the rest. This contrasts with the Lib Dems, who (at least before the coalition) weren’t really hated by anybody and were a much easier sell.

  15. Yes…it’s difficult to see UKIP winning a seat in a by election. Even seats like Thanet N or Folkestone would be v big asks for them.

    Of course if A50 is triggered in a few weeks time, there’ll be no need for any Tory MP to resign and do a Carswell or Reckless.

  16. The only way to achieve it would be to work a patch for years and be reliant on the party message chiming in with the electorate there for a prolonged period.

    In 20 years from now I think people will look back in astonishment that UKIP held a seat like Rochester – even if it was entirely on the back of the personal vote of a defecting MP. 30% in a GE in an area like that for them won’t happen again.

    By that point, they’ll have lurched from their current leftist economic position back to wild free marketeers, and then back again…. whilst maintaining a ‘it’s everyone’s fault’ socially.

    The switch from harming the Tory party electorally to being completely incapable of putting a dent in them happened remarkably quickly.

    Lots of the members still don’t realise that they’re going to have to campaign on issues that they joined UKIP to campaign against… in order to be successful electorally. Strange paradox.

    A lad who I was fairly good friends with before I left and he subsequently fell out with me over it identifies as a libertarian yet recently apparently came out in favour of state ownership of public services. When I first met him he was on the Dan Hannan wing of libertarianism.

  17. Where’s TheResults these days? Funny how he disappeared just before Plopwellian Tory arrived, although they have different political positions.

  18. Andy JS
    Plopwellian Tory is Maxim Parr-Reid, aka Conservative Estimate..

    I don’t think he is also “The Results”

  19. That would be a twist

  20. You’re 18 and it’s Saturday night. Get a life, man.

  21. I’m 25 and I spent my Saturday evening attending a quiz night at my local church where the average age was probably about seventy.

    We’re mostly losers on here.

  22. I’m sorry not to have posted earlier about the stupendous Lib Dem success here. I had a great evening at a pole dancing club until I spent ages calling out desperately for paper but nobody would help.
    So only back to this now. UKIP has gone got wheeled off into a ditch and Labour are in a mess. Only the Lib Dems can and will take seats like this next time. I think the Lib Dems should, though, come out for Brexit in Leave seats only.

  23. Polltroll

    You could do plenty worse. I find the old have more depth to them on the whole, and often make the best company.

    Segregation of the generations is a significant cause of society’s ills IMHO.

    And it’s not like you went to your local knitting club. . .

  24. POLLTROLL – you made me laugh thanks.

    As for Gloy, surely LD should seek an alliance with UKIP? For e.g; Clegg, and Nuttall are so similar in personality.

  25. Joe

    What is this reference to ‘calling out for paper’? I never quite get it, guess there’s a story behind it from a count or something?

  26. BT..he’s calling out for loo rolls.

    BT..did you have any bets on the by elections?

  27. Thanks, and no I didn’t have any bets. If anything I would have bet on Labour holds, but wasn’t enough genuine news from the ground to get much certainty.

    Did you?

  28. Yeah. .lost on turnout in Stoke <34%. Had a good amount on CON in Copeland in early January and the CON/LAB dbles.

    Just a word about the betting. .. betting odds have been criticised here lately but actually in these two by elections they've been quite a good guide.

    Conservatives went off 73% favourites in Copeland and Labour went off 68% favourites in Stoke. Both winners were big favourites in each of their seats from 2-3 weeks ago

  29. BT: I wholly agree that the generation gap is the biggest division in British society – and the problem is that there are so many different causes of this that no single action can heal it.

    We don’t spend our money on the same things. We don’t share the same cultural reference points. We don’t talk about the same things, or even in the same language. We don’t fill our spare time in the same way, or have the same amount of spare time to fill. We don’t communicate in the same way, and the isolating effect of different communication platforms means we end up not speaking to each other at all. We don’t think the same way, or act the same way, and we certainly don’t vote the same way – which causes election results to be very highly divisive. Then who ever wins looks after their own voters, creating further resentment, and the cycle continues…

  30. Next time (2020) this seat will be going. ..
    – not Con – sorry Plop;
    – not UKIP – not even if Farage returns as Leader;
    – definitely not LD – sorry original plop;
    – not even Lab – Gareth Snell will be looking for a new job;
    ….in the history book.

    Which explains why predicting results for 2020 on existing boundaries is a complete waste of time.

  31. PAUL H-J – Ah…..I see you haven’t ruled out a shock Green victory?

  32. I liked Poll Troll’s interesting, if somewhat gloomy post about the generation gap. I am an exception to the rule in that I am a millennial by birth but not by lifestyle or outlook (I am a young fogey and a mortgagor). Therefore whilst I can understand some of my generation’s gripes, I tend to make common cause with older people on most issues.

  33. I thought it was a pretty feeble whinge really, which could have been indulged in by anyone in a younger age group at any time over the last century or so.

    Probably longer.

  34. “I thought it was a pretty feeble whinge really…”

    Hear, hear!

    Though, in all serious, my point was not the whole “baby boomers have ruined my life” rant you would get from some of my “progressive” peers, who seem to think that demonising old people is fine. It is merely that we are very different – society is delineated by age more than by any other demographic marker.

    Indeed, it is this stratification by age that leads to the cognitive dissonance whereby young people who are generally so inclusive can be so dismissive of the old. A century ago white people didn’t mix with black people and that meant most white people were racist. Now young and old don’t mix and that leads to intergenerational grievances.

  35. Is it really any different from say the 1960s?

  36. Yes. In the 1960s there was less mixing across all identity and class divisions. The working classes, for example, had a social life based largely around their work – after a day down t’ pit they would retire to a union-sponsored drinking establishment – and this kept the working classes siloed away from the middle classes. Immigrant communities often had a poor grasp of English and hence kept to each others’ company. Integration is far from perfect nowadays but it is certainly better, and Facebook & friends are accelerating its development (at least among youths).

    But the one area where this is not true is age. Family no longer defines us in the way that it used to – indeed one of the failures of traditional conservatism over the last fifty years is the collapse of the nuclear family as a basis for the growth of society. (It says something that people barely even think of the family as a conservative ideal any more.) As families have grown ever more distant, with most millennials now only seeing their elder relatives at occasional family get-togethers, which they attend out of a sense of obligation rather than enthusiasm – and when they do appear, elderly people present to the younger generation a test of endurance (“Sorry, what did you say?” “I SAID I THINK YOU NEED TO TURN YOUR HEARING AID ON!”), rather than a source of wisdom. As a result, young people treat the elderly as an “other”, in much the same way that white, working-class communities treat immigrants – in both cases it’s because they never actually see them in real life.

  37. Nah.

    When my father was in his 20s in the 1960s he didn’t hang out with old people. Nor did I when I was in my 20s. I often got bored visiting older relatives as well. I get bored with my father’s deafness now as well.

    None of this is new.

  38. “PAUL H-J – Ah…..I see you haven’t ruled out a shock Green victory?”
    In terms of “Swing required” technically Stoke Central is/was Green target number #12..

  39. I learnt to sign but then my brothers were born Deaf

  40. Polltroll – the only observations I’d make on your thoughts are:

    there were hardly any (we didn’t mix with black people 100 years ago);

    pensioners only make up 15% (the only reason they exert more political power is that they’re 3 times more likely to vote than young people).

    segregation has actually increased in some areas.

    Where young people do have a tough time is reality: ie all of the things OAPs fear (crime, terrorism and so on) are in fact far more likely to be inflicted upon young people.

  41. No UKIP candidate here. Think it may help labour actually, doubt the core UKIP vote who were planning to cast a ballot for them on June 8th will be that favourable to tories at all.

  42. Apparntley that is not actually true and UKIP are standing here

  43. Yes I was mislead by Election Data tweets. It’s Stoke North and South where they aren’t standing.

  44. This is too good not to share:

    Mad woman is mad. Manifesto pledges 28 (“Israeli terrorist Karl Marx”) and 35 (“The death penalty for anyone using a radio signal to kill or control another human being”) are particularly bonkers. But, in a way, I’m proud that we have an electoral system that doesn’t sneer at such people, that allows them to stand up for what they believe in, and seek to win public support for their platform at the highest level of government.

  45. Barbara Fielding-Morris (who I mentioned at the time of the by-election) has been jailed for 6 months for inciting Anti-Semitic racial hatred.

  46. The likes of Gareth Snell may well deeply regret not voting for May’s deal when a no deal occurs.

  47. The BBC visited Stoke and said only North and South are marginals. The most likely outcome is all three seats are going tory with stoke south having a good chance of a five figure majority.

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