Stoke-on-Trent North

2015 Result:
Conservative: 10593 (27.8%)
Labour: 15429 (40.4%)
Lib Dem: 1137 (3%)
Green: 1091 (2.9%)
UKIP: 9542 (25%)
Independent: 354 (0.9%)
MAJORITY: 4836 (12.7%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

Geography: West Midlands, Staffordshire. Part of the Stoke-on-Trent council area.

Main population centres: Burslem, Tunstall, Kidsgrove.

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 North covers the northernmost two of the six towns, Burslem and Tunstall, as well as the town of Kidsgrove.

Politics: Stoke is a city that is solidly Labour and Stoke-on-Trent North has been held by Labour since its creation in 1950.

Current MP
RUTH SMEETH (Labour) Educated at Birmingham University. Former Deputy Director of Hope not Hate and trade union officer. Contested Burton 2010. First elected as MP for Stoke-on-Trent North in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 9580 (24%)
Lab: 17815 (44%)
LDem: 7120 (18%)
BNP: 3196 (8%)
Oth: 2485 (6%)
MAJ: 8235 (20%)
Con: 6155 (20%)
Lab: 16191 (53%)
LDem: 4561 (15%)
BNP: 2132 (7%)
Oth: 1721 (6%)
MAJ: 10036 (33%)
Con: 5676 (19%)
Lab: 17460 (58%)
LDem: 3580 (12%)
Oth: 3399 (11%)
MAJ: 11784 (39%)
Con: 7798 (20%)
Lab: 25190 (65%)
LDem: 4141 (11%)
MAJ: 17392 (45%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
BEN ADAMS (Conservative)
RUTH SMEETH (Labour) Educated at Birmingham University. Deputy Director of Hope not Hate and former trade union officer. Contested Burton 2010.
PAUL ROBERTS (Liberal Democrat)
GEOFF LOCKE (UKIP) Contested Stoke on Trent North 2010.
JOHN MILLWARD (Independent)
CRAIG POND (Independent)
Comments - 121 Responses on “Stoke-on-Trent North”
  1. Just noticed that the seat profiles for Stoke-on-Trent North and Stoke-on-Trent Central are the wrong way around.

    I’ll add the first comment while I’m here. The age and length of service of the sitting MP would make 2015 appear an opportune time for her to stand down. Two of her close contemporaries are Joan Ruddock and Dawn Primarolo who have both announced they will be retiring at the next election.

    In a rock solid Labour seat such as this the identity of the next MP is very likely, if not certain, to be decided by who wins the nomination to be the new Labour candidate.

  2. Baddeley, Milton & Norton ward by-election result: City Inds gain (a local journalist). Stoke City Inds 861, Cons 504, Labour 444, UKIP 333, Ind (Elsby) 313, BNP 79, Green 50, LibDem 32, Ind 27, TUSC 25. 19% Turnout.

  3. Joan Walley has announced her decision to stand down in 2015.

  4. A seat for life awaits the winner of the Labour selection, barring drastic boundary changes.

  5. No real surprise. She hasn’t troubled the scorers in a long while.

  6. She was one of the surcharged Cllrs in Lambeth in the 80s.

  7. IIRC according to the 2001 census this seat had the lowest number of people in the professional/managerial category.

  8. Harriet Harman SPAD Mabel Mckeown being tipped for this seat here:

  9. It is as expected an AWS….no formal indication yet as to who is in the race but I’m pretty sure that I know the local contenders.

  10. My 2015 forecast here

    Lab 48
    UKIP 19
    Con 16
    LD 8
    Others 9

  11. Katie Ghose is making a bid for the Labour nomination in Stoke-on-Trent North.

    She recently failed to secure selection for Brighton Pavilion, having previously been head of the pro-AV campaign in 2011:

  12. Correction โ€” it was Kemptown not Pavilion.

  13. “WESTMINSTER lobbyist…”

    “The London-based…”

    Ah, what an ideal candidate for a seat like Stoke-on-Trent North.

  14. Anyone have any information on runners and riders here other than Katie Ghose?

    There must be significant interest for what’s likely to continue as one of the safest Labour seats in the West Midlands.

  15. An article above from November unfortunately listed some non-local called Mabel McKeown. I think she contested the nomination for Ealing Central and Acton. The article also mentioned other possible women to put their names forward being local councillors.

    Would be utterly appalling if either her or Katie Ghose won the nomination.

  16. Katie Ghose and Tristram Hunt would make an interesting couple of MPs for Stoke-on-Trent.

  17. If Katie Ghose can’t even campaign properly on her pet subject of electoral reform, what hope does she have of convincing people to vote for her on other issues? No wonder she is linked to a safe seat where it doesn’t matter!

  18. Katie Ghose (even though her other half is appalling) and Mabel McKeown.

  19. Local media is reporting 8 applicants for the Labour selection:

    The applicants are Katie Ghose, Ruth Smeeth, Clare White, Candi Chetwynd, Jasbir Jaspal, Louise Reecejones, Zaeba Hanif and Doreen McCalla.

    Hustings/selection is on April 5.

  20. Looks like Mabel McKeown isn’t on that.

    Had a search round for the backgrounds of them.

    Ruth Smeeth was apparently PPC for Burton last election. She is involved with Hope Not Hate.

    Clare White is a health worker.

    Candi Chetwynd is secretary for Stoke Central CLP Used to work for some charities and is currently a supply teacher.

    Jasbir Jaspal is a Wolverhampton councillor.

    Louise Reecejones is a carer and trainer in the field. She has her own website.

    Zaeba Hanif is “women’s officer” for the Stoke North CLP (not sure what that is).

    Doreen McCalla, I think, applied for Coventry North East. Not sure what background she has or if she’s local to Stoke-on-Trent.

  21. Ruth Smeeth also run for Labour NEC for Labour First slate in 2012.

    Louise Reecejones has been shortlisted in Dover and Redcar in the past.

    McCalla comes from NE Derbyshire.

    Both Chetwynd and White are reported to have joined the party around 2 years ago.

    Given the past (and present?) state of Stoke Labour it’s probably a good thing not to have been involved for too many years….

  22. Neil – most CLPs are supposed to have a Women’s Officer whether there is an active Women’s Section or not.
    Chetwynd is not a common name. On the one hand, the upper-class drinking club in my college was the Chetwynd Society, but on the other there was a Labour MP called George Chetwynd who represented Stockton-on-Tees from 1945 to 1962. He defeated Harold Macmillan in the 1945 election but Macmillan came back almost immediately, winning the Bromley by-election shortly afterwards. The Conservative victors in the Bromley & Monmouth constituencies both died before the results were announced, and the Labour MP for Smethwick died the day afterwards in a motor accident.

  23. Andrea – if Stoke politics is as fractious as appears I would have thought it’s even better for Labour to choose a candidate from outside the area not attached to any particular local factions.

  24. What are the problems in Stoke’s Labour group? Is it one particular issue or several things?

  25. I don’t think Stoke politics is anything like as tribal as it used to be. At least that natural order of things has been restored in the sense that Labour have overall control of the council again.

  26. Jaspal and Reecejones got 0 branch nominations and therefor are eliminated from Labour selection
    Shortlisting on March 15

  27. Anyone know the outcome of today’s Labour shortlisting yet?

  28. Ruth Smeeth tweeted she has been shortlisted. Candi Chetwynd has been eliminated. Silence from others so far.

  29. Thanks.

    My guess for 2015

    Lab 52
    Con 18
    UKIP 16
    LD 9
    Others 5

  30. Zaeba Hanif has been shortlisted as well from the messages on her Twitter feed.

    Still no word about Clare White or Doreen McCalla.

  31. Nothing about Katie Ghose either.

  32. Con GAIN

    Stupendous momentum!

  33. Reported elsewhere that the Labour shortlist is Ghose, Hanif and Smeeth.

    Katie Ghose is chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society.

    Zaeba Hanif is womenโ€™s officer of Stoke North CLP.

    Ruth Smeeth was PPC for Burton last election. She is involved with Hope Not Hate.

    As a local, Hanif must be the bookies favourite.

  34. Hanif would surely be the favourite here. She’s local, working class and could be a useful “anyone but Katie Ghose” candidate. PLEASE Stoke North CLP, don’t even think of selecting Ghose ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. At least one of Ghose’s predecessors Ken Ritchie was also a Labour parliamentary candidate. He fought Beckenham at least once. I should like to echo Neil’s heartfelt plea above even though it’s against the Comments policy ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Not sure why Katie Ghose is felt to be so awful?

    Of course without knowing the situation on the ground it could well be that Ruth Smeeth is best placed to beat Katie Ghose and win the Labour nomination.

  37. Smeeth received nominations from 8 ward branches out of 10.

    Wards can do 2 noms (+ a BAME if none of the first 2 are BAME). So having 8 noms out of 10 is not a guarantee of being the favourite without knowing who got the other “open” nomination from wards (you can be nominated by all wards as second choice if the nominations goes to the same 2 candidates everywhere).

  38. I think UKIP would target this seat if Katie Ghose is selected.

  39. Ruth Smeeth wins Labour selection.

    She had high profile backers from Newcastle wards (Cllrs, council leader)

  40. Thanks Andrea.

    Looks like Katie Ghose will be moving on to the next Labour AWS seat which comes up.

  41. When Ruth Smeeth was selected for Burton in 2007, it was described in Luke Akehurst’s blog as “Another Great Zionist Selected”:

  42. Stoke-on-Trent North must have one of the lowest proportions of Jewish people of any seat in the country. In the 2011 census the figures were 15 out of 96,715:

  43. I am sure that there will be some constituencies with none whatsoever. Probably more than you think.

  44. Cannock Chase and Hartlepool with 9 each would appear to be the lowest in England & Wales

  45. The Luke Akehurst blog looks as though it was a tongue in cheek post.

    I’d imagine local people will be more interested in whether Smeeth is likely to be any good or not than her religious background. Perhaps they might also be breathing a sigh of relief that they didn’t end up with Katie Ghose, echoing Neil and Barnaby’s comments above.

  46. It is not Luke’s real blog but the spoof version set up to mirror his entries

  47. Ruth Smeeth is a terrible candidate for a seat like this. Although she will unfortunately hold easily

  48. The wikipedia page for this constituency now lists three declared candidates.

  49. Paul Roberts is the Lib Dem candidate. I think it’s the same one who previously stood in Eddisbury in the 1999 byelection and 2001, and in Crewe and Nantwich in 2005.

  50. Labour Hold. 12,000 majority.

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