Sunderland Central

2015 Result:
Conservative: 9780 (23.4%)
Labour: 20959 (50.2%)
Lib Dem: 1105 (2.6%)
Green: 1706 (4.1%)
UKIP: 7997 (19.1%)
Independent: 215 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 11179 (26.8%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

Geography: North East, Tyne and Wear. Part of the Sunderland council area.

Main population centres: Sunderland, Ryhope.

Profile: Sunderland Central takes in the centre of the City of Sunderland itself and the coastal village of Ryhope to the South. To the north it includes Roker (the site of Sunderland AFC`s former stadium) and Monkwearmouth (home to the new Stadium of Light) and the affluent suburb of Fulwell. Sunderland itself is a former shipbuilding and coal mining town, both industries which have all but disappeared. Sunderland however is enjoying large scale inward investment and regeneration.

Politics: The Sunderland seats have all been Labour since the 1960s, though there is some Conservative support here. St Michael and Fulwell wards are normally Conservative and the Tories have managed to return councillors in five out of the nine Sunderland Central wards in recent Parliaments. The seat is still unlikely to ever be a close marginal, but it not monolithically Labour. The Sunderland constituencies are traditionally the first to declare on general election night, a holdover from the days when different local authorities used to race to get their results first, a contest Sunderland now seem to be the only entrant for.


Current MP
JULIE ELLIOTT (Labour) Born 1963, Sunderland. Educated at Seaham Northlea Comprehensive and Newcastle Polytechnic. Former trade union organiser. First elected as MP for Sunderland Central in 2010.
Past Results
2010
Con: 12770 (30%)
Lab: 19495 (46%)
LDem: 7191 (17%)
BNP: 1913 (5%)
Oth: 1094 (3%)
MAJ: 6725 (16%)
2005*
Con: 5724 (20%)
Lab: 15719 (54%)
LDem: 4277 (15%)
BNP: 1136 (4%)
Oth: 2057 (7%)
MAJ: 9995 (35%)
2001
Con: 5331 (18%)
Lab: 18685 (63%)
LDem: 3599 (12%)
BNP: 687 (2%)
Oth: 1518 (5%)
MAJ: 13354 (45%)
1997
Con: 6370 (17%)
Lab: 26067 (68%)
LDem: 3973 (10%)
Oth: 409 (1%)
MAJ: 19697 (52%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Sunderland North

Demographics
2015 Candidates
JEFF TOWNSEND (Conservative) Educated at Bedford School and Birmingham University. Public affairs consultant.
JULIE ELLIOTT (Labour) See above.
ADRIAN PAGE (Liberal Democrat)
BRIAN FOSTER (UKIP) Born 1954, Sunderland. Educated at Bede Grammar School. Retailler.
RACHEL FEATHERSTONE (Green) Educated at Farringdon Comprehensive and Sunderland University. University lecturer.
JOSEPH YOUNG (No description)
Links
Comments - 110 Responses on “Sunderland Central”
  1. SUNDERLAND is likely to declare first. Chris HANRETTY is saying that anything above 53% for LEAVE in SUNDERLAND suggests a 50/50 national share. (ANDY JSs model say it’s 54% LEAVE – see previous page)

    NEWCASTLE may declare first and HANRETTY says it is 44% LEAVE in Newcastle to suggest a 50/50 national result.

  2. Gibraltar should be first to declare I think, followed by the Isle of Scilly.

  3. Scillies won’t be that early, surely? Getting those boxes from the other islands to St. Mary’s will take too long. The small number of voters though will make it one of the earlier ones

  4. I think it will be relatively sharpish. It is anticipated to be anyway.

  5. Well I meant SUNDERLAND / NEWCASTLE first amongst areas that have a decent sample size to work with.

  6. Isles of Scilly are expecting 12.30-1.30 so I doubt they’ll be first. http://www.cornishman.co.uk/will-the-isles-of-scilly-be-the-first-to-declare-referendum-result/story-29436443-detail/story.html#ixzz4CQDQbTsK

    Not sure about Gibraltar.

  7. I haven’t posted in a bit. When I voted at 4pm (leave) the turnout was 2 1/2 greater than in the locals. A few days ago I thought the leave campaign would win the city big. Now I’m not so sure. A lot of people who don’t normally vote have shown interest and a surprising number are voting remain. It must be said that last week labours canvass results for remain in WWC was awful. I still think that leave may edge the city (52-48) but won’t be enough. I pray I’m wrong.

  8. Here’s how I think each area in England would vote if it were 50/50 in England:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hCtN3IY76azcr_6OiFPvZI0eXi_8JJqxT7d8vNhW2Do/edit#gid=0

  9. Somebody just tweeted that allegedly postal vote split in Sunderland for the EU Referendum looks like 60% Leave, 40% Remain!

  10. The BBC’s Richard Moss‏ is suggesting that Labour sources say sampling in Sunderland is 54% Leave, 46% Remain.

  11. That’s quite close the national picture going by hannety’s predictions.

  12. Dan Hodges saying the sampling in Sunderland is good for remain nationwide.

  13. Max..result expected just after midnight – so they say on BBCR5.

    If SUNDERLAND go 54% or more LEAVE have a chance. If it’s 58% or more to LEAVE hold onto your armchairs.

    If it’s 50/50 in SUNDERLAND then it’s a good remain win.

    That’s the theory from others anyway.

  14. Sunderland said to be good for Leave; Newcastle-upon-Tyne marginal Remain

  15. Matthew Goodwin has said he has indications that Leave has got 66% in Sunderland. I have to say I’d be staggered if that was the case.

  16. That would be a huge shock. It would be particularly miserable result for Labour’s remain campaign.

  17. 61% Leave

    39% Remain

    And with that Leave takes a small lead overall.

  18. Very good result for Leave but it may be a North East phenomenon.

  19. I would say now LEAVE should be favorites to win.

    Betting atm is 65/36% REMAIN.

  20. Deepthroat- premature in my view- it could be a regional thing.

  21. I suspect that the other large metropolitan boroughs (Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham) will record bigger margins for Remain. But who knows.

  22. Yes, I would have expected c 56-44 for Remain in Newcastle.

  23. Pound is down 6%.

  24. John Mcdonnell is suggesting SUNDERLAND is a protest vote vs govt over Nissan plant.

    So optimism for LEAVE may be dampened by that realisation

  25. I personally think the modelling which suggested a heavy
    Remain vote in NCL was wrong. It’s certainly more metropolitan than other areas of the NE but WWC turnout has been huge and Newcastle is still overwhelmingly a WWC city and the ‘trendy’ quotient is much lower than the other big core cities. Interesting that the Sunderland number oval vote was higher than Newcastle’s despite a lower turnout…

  26. Incidentally the vote had very little to do with Nissan. The ONLY issue on the doorstep and in the pubs has been immigration

  27. Could this seat be a shock one to keep an eye on? High leave vote and recent Tory strength in local elections. It would be a staggering gain but if there are to be stunners this would be more likely than some.

  28. Well, if a massive Tory majority is on the cards they may well get close in the Sunderland seats this time. Actually taking one is probably a bridge too far, but I wouldn’t rule it out entirely.

  29. Jack Sheldon*s analysis is spot on,If the present national polling is correct then its on the margins of a Tory gain.UKIP did well in 2015 and I suspect their vote will collapse, the LIBDEM vote will certainly increase from the terrible result in 2015.My bet is Labour will hang on with about 40% from the Conservatives with the Lib Dems in third

  30. Canvassing here has apparently pointed to a possible Tory gain here and close results in the other two Sunderland seats.

  31. If the results here are more close than usual, might that effect Sunderland’s ability to declare first? They’ve done so at every election since ’92.

  32. If this seat goes Tory there will be a Tory landslide.

  33. Lol I highly doubt it, if the Tories win this their on course for a 250 seat majority and the polls would have to be 10-15 points out and we’re actually looking at a 30 point Tory lead. If the polls are that wrong and that’s on the cards then frankly we cant rule out a Labour overall majority either yet I’m sure that prospect would be met with snorts of derision from many here.

    On a related note can I just say I’m pleasantly surprised at how Plopwellian Tory has conducted himself. I was very much anticipating him ramping up every seat in the country for this election yet now that his dream has come true he’s actually been reasonably sensible, its a handful of other posters who seem to be predicting Labour negative vote shares and the Tories winning every seat in the country.

  34. “Lol I highly doubt it, if the Tories win this their on course for a 250 seat majority and the polls would have to be 10-15 points out and we’re actually looking at a 30 point Tory lead.”

    That’s a ludicrous exaggeration.

    Con+UKIP here equal 42% so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that it may be part of a 100-150 seat landslide.

    Though I doubt this particular seat will be a Tory gain I do fear, as I pointed out to you a few weeks back, that you are suffering from 1997 Tory Activist Syndrome…judging by your posts on other threads doubting that things are much different on the ground from 2015 etc.

    Labour are going to get an absolute hammering and the only real debate now is whether they can keep the Tory majority below 100 or not.

  35. YouGov have published some data suggesting a 10% swing in the NE. This seat would need a 13.5% swing. Given how heavily it voted for Brexit it is possible the swing here might be greater than the NE average. There might also be polling error in the Tories favour. Hence I don’t think a close result is inconceivable, though I’d stand by what I said on April 23rd – that a Tory gain is probably a step too far.

  36. “Con+UKIP here equal 42% so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that it may be part of a 100-150 seat landslide”

    If we’re assuming every single UKIP voter is now backing the Cons and that they will manage a further 4 point swing on top of that then the Tories will end up with much more than a 100-150 seat majority.

    “as I pointed out to you a few weeks back, that you are suffering from 1997 Tory Activist Syndrome”

    I can only apologise if I come across that way but rest assured I’m under no allusions as to what’s going to happen, I know we’re going to lose badly (my personal ambition is that we’ll hold onto at least 200 seats which looks to be a challenge at present)

    My point was that many here are getting over exited and cant seem to distinguish between a 15 point lead and a 40 point lead, as if they all fall under a big blanket category called “massive Tory lead” that means every seat is now suddenly winnable. Yet if we stop and think for a min we’d all realise that even the very best polls leave a great many seats (this one included) well out of contention.

  37. Jack
    “Given how heavily it voted for Brexit it is possible the swing here might be greater than the NE average”

    Sunderland heavily backed Brexit but not Sunderland Central. This seat contains the most middle class parts of the city and the university and it was significantly less Brexit inclined than the rest of the city.

  38. “I can only apologise if I come across that way but rest assured I’m under no allusions as to what’s going to happen, I know we’re going to lose badly (my personal ambition is that we’ll hold onto at least 200 seats which looks to be a challenge at present)”

    No need to apologise and I personally hope you’re right. I think a Tory majority of 50 would serve the country better than a landslide of 150.

    I began the campaign expecting the kind of result you hope for but (despite Labour moving up in the polls) I can feel it slipping away. Partly because the Lib Dems have underperformed dreadfully and just aren’t going to gain a fraction of what might have seemed possible a few months back. And few would have expected Nuttall to so comprehensively destroy his own party. One crumb of comfort for you is that the idea that “UKIP will be winning Labour seats in the north” now seems on another planet. It will be easier for Labour to win back Bishop Auckland or Hartlepool from the Tories than it would have been from UKIP, just on the back of the normal electoral pendulum.

  39. HH
    “I began the campaign expecting the kind of result you hope for but (despite Labour moving up in the polls) I can feel it slipping away”

    I’m the complete opposite, I began the campaign believing we’d get utterly slaughtered but the way things are going I can see us just losing very badly instead. The Lab campaign has been a lot better than I expected (the manifesto was a real boon and is going down great on the doorstep) May looks increasingly robotic and seems to be doing her best to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Had she been facing any other Lab leader and without Brexit to hide behind she’d be getting crucified me thinks.

    I admit UKIP’s implosion leaves me somewhat alarmed but as of yet I don’t have enough info to guesstimate what it means nationwide.

    The Lib Dems pretty poor showing isn’t really an issue for me, while it makes any significant gains off the Tories less likely it allays my fears that they might make a strong recovery in seats like Norwich South or York Central and allow the Tories to slip through the middle, that seems very unlikely now.

  40. “I began the campaign believing we’d get utterly slaughtered but the way things are going I can see us just losing very badly instead.”

    That’s the spirit! 😉

  41. I think people ramp this constituency because of how symbolic it’s loss would be. As one of the first constituencies announced on election night the Tory victory would be prominent the news broadcasts next day. Think Birmingham Edgbaston 1997 or Basildon 1992.

    There are some factors wich could further increase the swing other than Brexit. Tories have picked a local candidate and the students will be away.
    Theresa May’s far more than Cameron ever was here. Anecdotally I’m struck by how unbelievably unpopular Corbyn is here, Margaret Thatcher is more popular here. Seriously.

    Something else that may have been missed on here; one of the first acts of TM’s premiership was her meeting with the CEO of Nissan, where she battled for the jobs of the workers in an unbelievably important sector for the city. You couldn’t ask for a better first impression really. Then Labour figures came out and criticised the ‘deal’. Not popular at all. I think many people in the NE started considering voting for May (not the tories) after this.

    Furthermore I fear there is a possibility of a Rotherham style scandal breaking here. I’m referring to the justice for Chelsey campaign over an alleged sexual assault by a gang. Tommy Robinson has been attending rallies in Sunderland over it and a petition of 50,000 signatures was collected. This isn’t helping Labour at all.
    (I’m not attempting to either promote or denigrate this campaign but it is an issue which has the potential to sway votes)

  42. I don’t know Sunderland well enough or which bits are most Brexity, but I’m happy to stick my neck out and say that on a >16% Tory lead nationally I believe at least one Sunderland seat will fall to the Tories.

    Contrary to River’s comments, this doesn’t of itself imply a 250 majority at all. It simply highlights the variation in swing likely to occur at the election. I think, for example, that Labour will hold on to Westminster N and think Tooting is a toss-up, and based on YouGov’s regional poll out today think a Lab hold in Hove is also possible.

    Remember this: at every election there are variable swings around the UNS. I think the highest Lab-SNP swing was 37% – compared to 22% Scotland-wide. That extra 15% swing is a result 30% more in SNP’s favour than even what was being forecast by those who believed the scale of the Nats’ surge!!

    In 1997 Con-Lab swung 10% nationally – but hurt Cons where it mattered most. I think the biggest swing IIRC was 17.5%.

    This time though, I am sure that the difference between average and largest swings will be even greater than usual – due to the overriding factor of Brexit.

    If the swing in the N-E turns out to be the 10% YouGov have found, then 20%+ swings in one or two seats in the region will probably occur – though I appreciate in this last sentence I’m comparing regional to constituency not national to constituency, so may be OTT. If the swing nationally is kept to c.5% then 20% swings anywhere would be quite major although possible in heavily working-class areas.

    Sorry, that got a bit long. . . Hopefully the point became clear.

  43. This isn’t in play though. Not unless the tories get a victory in excess of 20 points.

  44. UKIP large vote here in 2015 may have given Labour an artificially large majority. The 2010 majority is perhaps more realistic….in which case the Conservatives would require a swing of just over 8% instead of just over 13% from Labour to win.

    I think Labour will hold on here but with a greatly reduced majority….perhaps less than 5000.

  45. PT – to be fair if the Tories had repeated the 2010 advance here in 2015 it would already have been Tory for the past 2 years.

    But I agree with you that I can’t see the Tories gaining any Sunderland seats next month.

    I think what many are forgetting is that the Locals were mainly the shires voting and yes in these the UKIP vote went Tory. But the UKIP vote hasn’t disappeared. It may have halved but we’re yet to see if it holds up more in eg the NE ie Labour regions and so helping Labour to hang on in Hartlepool etc.

  46. We’ll have to see but perhaps the best two Conservative performances in the local elections were Northumberland and Tees Valley.

  47. After 3 results in the North East, UKIP vote seems to be breaking 2:1 to the Tories over Labour with Labour picking up the declining Green vote

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