Washington & Sunderland West

2015 Result:
Conservative: 7033 (18.9%)
Labour: 20478 (55%)
Lib Dem: 993 (2.7%)
Green: 1091 (2.9%)
UKIP: 7321 (19.6%)
TUSC: 341 (0.9%)
MAJORITY: 13157 (35.3%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Washington, Sunderland.

Profile: The constituency is mostly made up of the 1960s newtown of Washington, and includes only the north-western outskirts of Sunderland itself, little more than the suburb of South Hylton, the former mining community of Castletown and the developments around it and the large post-war council estate of Pennywell. Inbetween the Washington and Sunderland parts of the seat lies the huge Nissan motor works, the major employer in the area.

Politics: Whereas new towns elsewhere in the country often form key marginal seats, Washington and Sunderland West is anything but. It is a safe Labour seat, enjoying a majority of over thirty percent even in Labours historically poor 2010 election. Along with the other two Sunderland seats it tends to be one of the first to declare its result on election night.

Current MP
SHARON HODGSON (Labour) Born 1966, Gateshead. Educated at Heathfield Senior High. Former accounting clerk and Labour party organiser. First elected as MP for Gateshead East and Washington West in 2005. PPS to Liam Byrne 2006-07, Bob Ainsworth 2007-08, Dawn Primarolo 2008-09, Government Whip 2009-10.
Past Results
Con: 8157 (22%)
Lab: 19615 (53%)
LDem: 6382 (17%)
BNP: 1913 (5%)
Oth: 1267 (3%)
MAJ: 11458 (31%)
Con: 4812 (14%)
Lab: 20997 (61%)
LDem: 7590 (22%)
UKIP: 1269 (4%)
MAJ: 13407 (39%)
Con: 4970 (15%)
Lab: 22903 (68%)
LDem: 4999 (15%)
UKIP: 743 (2%)
MAJ: 17904 (53%)
Con: 6097 (14%)
Lab: 31047 (72%)
LDem: 4622 (11%)
MAJ: 24950 (58%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Gateshead East & Washington West

2015 Candidates
BOB DHILLON (Conservative) Finance director. Warwick councillor since 2007.
SHARON HODGSON (Labour) See above.
DOMINIC HANEY (Liberal Democrat) Born County Durham. Educated at Hull University.
AILEEN CASEY (UKIP) Born Sunderland. Senior youth worker.
ANTHONY MURPHY (Green) Educated at Oxford University. Solicitor.
Comments - 34 Responses on “Washington & Sunderland West”
  1. My 2015 forecast here

    Lab 60
    UKIP 18
    Con 12
    LD 5
    Others 5

    UKIP is more in tune with some WWC voters’ traditional concerns than the Cameron Leadership.

  2. There is a by-election taking place in the St Annes ward in the city on 27th March.

    Normally this very working class ward is an unassailable labour bastion however the councillor was convicted of benefit fraud and refused to resign until months after convicted. It will be interesting to see how well UKIP performs.

    i wonder if anyone knows if Labour has ever lost that ward? It used to be the old South Hylton ward.

  3. Labour held St. Anne’s but with a huge drop and a strong UKIP vote of 28% It does look like, as discussed after CON gain Ramsbottom, there exists an anti-incumbency effect, a backlash against local cuts. Ukip having never had a single position of power are candidates for this protest vote, though I imagine UKIP voters high willingness to turnout was further increased by Wednesdays debate.

  4. We will probably see Washington and Sunderland West back on our TV Screens in 2015, along with Houghton and Sunderland South and Sunderland Central, for the earliest declarations.

  5. St Anne’s ward by-election result: Labour 945, UKIP 555, Con 345, Green 120. Labour hold. Turnout: 23.2%. Perhaps the Farage v Clegg debate helped UKIP? The BNP didnt stand either.

  6. The labour candidate was found guilty of benefit fraud.

  7. The previous labour councillor sorry – not the recent candidate.

  8. I Currently reside in this seat so i will post my predictions here. Labour as you would expect hold an unassailable hold on their Sunderland bastion, and cannot lose control.

    During the 2010 elections the result was Labour 22 Con 3. While in 2012 was labour 21 + 1, Con 2 and Ind 2. Hence Labour are likely to lose wards here.

    CON Wards

    St. Michael’s.This ward consists mainly of the middle-class victorian suburb of Ashbrooke. The type of area that the tories have lost everywhere else in urban England still loyally votes them in here. While there is an increasing student and non- white vote here, i don’t expect Labour to repeat there 1995 triumph and win here for only second time (Con hold)

    Fulwell. The other middle class ward, consisting mainly interwar semi’s, once an utterly reliable tory ward, full of wealthy pensioners ,the tories have underperformed here since Cameron became leader. They almost lost here the last two elections. With Labour campaigning strongly here and UKIP splitting the Tory vote a Labour gain here seems likely on paper. However I think the Tories long standing incumbent councillor will narrowly hold. One for UKIP to target in the future. (Con hold)

    St. Chad’s. A more mixed ward consisting of some middle class areas along A690 and the working class Farington estate. The Tories have a long standing, popular incumbent councillor standing down here so a guaranteed loss. (Labour gain)

    Labour Wards

    Copt Hill. A mixed ward, half of houghton town and surrounding pit villages, parts of this ward have been gentrified. The Independents moved in after a row over the use of a local quarry for waste disposal. They won this ward easily in 2012 and the only reason there is any doubt is because the tories have put up a candidate. I would be shocked if this wasn’t an (IND gain)

    Houghton. This Ward consists of the more working class part of the aforementioned town. Labour should never have lost this and the IND has a personal vote that enabled her to win in 2012. However, that was in a straight vote and that is not the case this time. Labour held this last year in a by-election and I think they will hold his again. (Labour Hold)


    Labour since the dawn of time, Hetton is known as the birth place of Bob Paisley, the ward is Billy Elliot territory, it was decimated by the closure of pits in the 1980’s and suffers from numerous social problems. The Labour party here have suffered from bad publicity here in recent years from there councillors and UKIP have taken advantage. The party has campaigned hard and I think that tonight Farage will be celebrating the first UKIP victory of the night here. An absolutely amazing result. (UKIP gain)

  9. St Peters and Barnes.

    Two traditional tory wards that have slipped away from them in recent years. Labour won these easily last time, although i think that result flatters them. UKIP is running for the first time and could come close in St peters, but labour will hold both


    Scene of the fall of the last of the Sunderland Lib dems, the councillor almost held on after campaigning against a mosque. This ward has a high non white and student vote, as well as WWC vote. There is a local issue here with the closing of central fire station but I expect Labour to hold on with a low vote share. (Labour hold)

    Washington East.

    My current ward, comprising of part of the 1960’s new town of Washington, with its ex mining villages. This ward has been gentrified over last 20 years and is now socially mixed. Lots of nissan workers in this ward. The tories won here for the first time since 1930s in 2007 and briefly had all three seats but they lost them as they went into government, this ward was won by 30% last time and looks an open and shut case.
    However the labour councillor has had expenses issues and the tories have campaigned hard. I have had 12 pieces of tory literate in the last year. I had discounted a loss here though until I was canvassed Monday for the first time ever! I still think Labour hold but maybe with a large swing against. (Lab hold)

    Other wards

    Easy Labour holds but with reduced share and strong UKIP vote shares, 2nd in maybe every other ward.

    So I think Lab -1, Con -1, IND +1 and UKIP +1
    New council Con 7 Lab 63 Ind 4 UKIP 1

  10. Result from St Anne’s ward in the constituency announced just now, with changes on 2012:

    Lab 48.3% (-23.8)
    UKIP 33.2%
    C 14.1% (+0.1)
    GP 4.3% (-6.8)
    LD 3.1%

    Note UKIP coming from nowhere to take virtually a third, in doing so helping take a chunk out of Labour’s vote.

  11. To clarify, ‘GP’ denotes the Greens


    That’s actually the result for Pallion ward, which lies in Sunderland Central. Getting results from various twitter feeds can be confusing.

    Still interesting figures nonetheless.

  13. UKIP going from a standing start to taking 33% in a safe Labour ward is certainly very interesting.

    Could this sort of result be repeated in other traditional Labour voting areas across the country?

  14. They have done extremely well tonight by the look of things. UKIP will gain more council seats tonight than they did last year.

  15. I’d say so. If it can happen in Sunderland, it can easily happen in other met boroughs/Labour-voting areas. Here in my home area of Wakefield I’m expecting UKIP to surge but not as much at the expense of Labour as in Sunderland – Wakefield is just so strongly Labour at its core.

  16. They are just going to ride the euro election wave

  17. I like county durham boys run down of the Sunderland wards. I’ve done the same for my local area on the Walsall South thread.

  18. These Sunderland results should worry Labour I think

  19. I think it is astonishing, iIm surprised ukip didn’t win Hetton. 111 was right after all though congrats.

  20. First result in 2015

    *Lab 61% +8%
    Con 23% +1%
    UKIP 9% +6%
    LD 7% -10%

    Turnout -6%

    Swing to Lab 4%

    Not entirely serious by the way

  21. Can anyone point me in the direction of old Sunderland local election results pre 2002?

    The locals this year were a mixed bag for everybody, but despite what many people on the night, including me, thought this was not the UKIP triumph that was reported. Other than the marginal of Hetton which they didn’t take, they were not close anywhere else even with strong vote shares.

    The tories stopped the rot in Fulwell and unexpectedly won back St Peters, though they lost St Chads which was inevitable without the incumbent. The LD’s also came close to winning back Milfield.

    Next year, on general election turnout, labour should expect to win 22 wards including knocking out the former and now current tory leader Lee Martin in Barnes. The independent in Copt Hill will hold on.

  22. Prediction 2015

    LAB 59
    UKIP 17
    CON 16
    LD 5
    BNP 2

  23. Can anyone point me in the direction of old Sunderland local election results pre 2002?

  24. A real grim area, I expect UKIP to really challenge Labour in these parts.

  25. Washington East Ward By-Election result:

    Lab 775
    Con 595
    UKIP 506
    Green 93
    Lib Dem 52

  26. Washington isnt really that grim at all. The Sunderland bits of the seat are though, granted.

  27. Dominic Haney is the LibDem PPC here

  28. He could actually save his deposit I think, but only just.

  29. Labour hold. 13,000 majority

  30. Shaun – have you completely finished your Wales predictions? I think you may have left a small number. Not much scope for serious disagreement in this region, of course.

  31. Labour in the North east seem to be amazingly active, swarms of Labour canvassers were seen here today and we have had 4 leaflets already. Extraordinary, but most likely trying to campaign to defend our ward than because their worried about UKIP? Nothing from any other party.

  32. With 3 Sunderland seats in, average increase in Labour vote 3.83%.,

  33. Swing in 3 Sunderland seats was 4.1% to Labour.

  34. Cllr Paul Middleton’s Washington ward seat is due to be declared vacant, as he has failed to attend for 6 months.

    He was convicted of the attempted sexual grooming of a 12 year old girl in a care home and received a 4 month sentence which was suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to sign the SO Register.

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