2015 Result:
Conservative: 11596 (30.1%)
Labour: 16282 (42.3%)
Lib Dem: 1708 (4.4%)
Green: 1149 (3%)
UKIP: 7538 (19.6%)
Independent: 190 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 4686 (12.2%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

Geography: North West, Cumbria. Part of the Allerdale council area.

Main population centres: Workington, Cockermouth, Maryport, Aspatria, Silloth.

Profile: A seat at the extreme north on England on the banks of the Solway Firth. Workington and towns like Maryport and Aspatria are a working class and industrial with a history of iron ore and coal mining and steelmaking, further inland the seat is made up of smaller market towns and villages and the economy more dependent on Lake District tourism.

Politics: A comfortable Labour seat, held by the party since its creaton in 1918 with the brief exception of a Conservative by-election win in 1976. The seat returned to the Labour fold at the following general election.

Current MP
SUE HAYMAN (Labour) Educated at Anglia Ruskin University. Former public affairs consultant. Cumbria councillor since 2013. Contested Preseli Pembrokeshire 2005, Halesowen and Rowley Regis 2010. First elected as MP for Workington in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 13290 (34%)
Lab: 17865 (46%)
LDem: 5318 (14%)
BNP: 1496 (4%)
Oth: 1290 (3%)
MAJ: 4575 (12%)
Con: 12659 (32%)
Lab: 19554 (49%)
LDem: 5815 (15%)
UKIP: 1328 (3%)
Oth: 381 (1%)
MAJ: 6895 (17%)
Con: 12359 (30%)
Lab: 23209 (55%)
LDem: 5214 (12%)
Oth: 1040 (2%)
MAJ: 10850 (26%)
Con: 12061 (24%)
Lab: 31717 (64%)
LDem: 3967 (8%)
Oth: 217 (0%)
MAJ: 19656 (40%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
ROZILA KANA (Conservative) Born Kenya. Project manager and former police officer.
SUE HAYMAN (Labour) Educated at Anglia Ruskin University. Public affairs consultant. Cumbria councillor since 2013. Contested Preseli Pembrokeshire 2005, Halesowen and Rowley Regis 2010.
PHILL ROBERTS (Liberal Democrat) Former local government officer. Former Allerdale councillor. Contested Workington 1997.
MARK JENKINSON (UKIP) Born 1982, Whitehaven. Educated at St Josephs RC Secondary School and West Cumbria College. Small businessman.
JILL PERRY (Green) Born West Cumbria. Jam maker and former language teacher. Contested North West region 2014.
ROY IVINSON (No description) Born Penrith. Farmer.
Comments - 98 Responses on “Workington”
  1. County councillor for Howgate ward, Cumbria. Lives in Workington.

  2. Labour Hold. 6,000 majority.

  3. Third-time lucky for Sue Hayman – assiming it’s the same Sue Hayman who faught and lost the labour-held seats of Pressili Pembrokeshire in 2005 and Stourbridge in 2010

    I imaqgine watching the resukts come in, she must have been quite worried

  4. In all 3 occasions she has been a quite late selection (December 2004, March 2010 and February 2015). Therefore she didn’t have to spend 2-3 years fighting in a marginal seat. I suppose the effort could be demanding if done for 3 electoral cycles in a row if you have a real job to do at the same time.

    On Tory side the third time lucky was Maggie Throup who won Erewash after Colne Valley 2005 and Solihull 2010.

  5. If Jeremy Corbyn wins the Labour leadership election, what are the chances that this seat will go to UKIP? it is Number 30 on the UKIP notional target list and NUmber 19 on their list of Labour seats to win.

    The Labour vote here, mostly whilte working class, seems to me a million miles away to the new largely middle-class membership of the Labour Party in places like Islington North. Even if Jeremy Corbyn wants to hold out his party’s hand to people in places like Workington, it is difficult to imagine that the mass of people who have joined Labour recently will let him moe his policies to do so.

    A point I am asking on a numbr of seats. How is Workington likely to be altered if there are boundary changes before 2015. I imagine that the population may be declining in comparative terms which means, particularly if the total number of seats is reduced by fifty, that Workington may have to be enlarged to take in more rural surroundings to its core towns. This could make the seat difficult for Labour to hold.

    I see from Wikipedi that Workington has been held by Labour at every General Electipn since at least 1931, and I would imagine before that. In 1931 the Labour majority was 3,304 over the Conservative. In 1935 the Labour MP was unopposed. However, Labour lost the by-election in 1976 to the Conservatives when Fred Peart was elevated to the House of Lords.

  6. I think it might be a very close three-way fight here in 2020 if Jeremy Corbyn is indeed elected leader of the Labour Party and is still there to lead them into the next election-
    Hayman (Labour)- 33%
    UKIP- 32%
    Conservative- 29%
    Green- 4%
    Liberal Democrat- 2%

  7. The Cumbria seats are relatively small. I also expect that the county will lose an MP on redistribution. If so, I would expect rural wards from Workington and Copeland to be added to Carlisle and Barrow respectively, which would be bad news for Labour. Worse a single safe Labour seat consisting of the costal towns would concentrate all their support in one place – from Workington and Copeland combined.
    This would also leave Penrith as safely Conservative and Westmoreland as secure for Tim Farron.

    So a county with three Labour MP’s could drop to one, with the Conservatives moving from two to three and the Lib Dems remaining on one.

  8. Will this seat even exist at all in 2020?

  9. Cumbria may end end up looking quite different if they get their way..l

  10. Christ.

  11. Well their Cumbria suggestions are fairly sensible (unlike many areas of the country) it just so happens that reducing the number of seats here from 6 to 5 is naturally extremely helpful to the Tories.

  12. It’s just going to be interesting if this actually goes through at all given psephologists haven’t had any new seas to get excited about since 2010 as the last review was scrapped IIRC…

  13. All chronic areas of weakness where at one time they were very safe in a lot of the seats- luckily for them it’s by and large still the case for Labour in Wales, where although they now poll less than half the vote in a lot of the traditional valleys type seats they hold easily because of heavily split opposition and there often being no clear challenger.

  14. I think Labour are extremely fortunate that in Wales for the timebeing they can afford to not worry too much about their lesser vote shares when there’s no one getting anywhere near them. With regards to the closer contests, I agree that there has been a pattern emerging where they do appear to be behaving more like the battleground of the English Midlands- Clwyd South and to a lesser extent Wrexham aren’t a million miles from Telford for example.

    As for Alyn and Deeside and Delyn I’m inclined to agree with the thought that the Merseyside Effect is influencing the voting patterns to enough of an extent in this corner of North East Wales nearest the border with Cheshire in England.

  15. I think Alyn and Deeside and Delyn may look towards Chester and Liverpool because they’re the largest cities within commutable distance even though they’re over the border- the Liverpool influence is likely to be particularly strong given there are bound to be more jobs there I would imagine, maybe this does apply enough to Wrexham but perhaps less so Clwyd South which is slightly further out?

  16. I wasn’t entirely sure because I do get the feeling Wrexham may be in many ways about as close in terms of who it looks towards to Shropshire than it is to Merseyside given its obvious geographical location for one thing- am I correct in thinking that Wrexham and Chester are fierce rivals, like in football terms?

  17. It really is a forgotten part of the world, It’s a bit far from Liverpool to be a direct influence. Chester and Shrewsbury are the biggest influences (and rivalries).

    I live in that part of the world, close to where Clwyd South, Eddisbury and North Shropshire meet. The border really doesn’t mean much. Go to Oswestry on market day for example and you are as likely to hear Welsh spoke in the streets as English. The Shropshire/Welsh border really is the most porous part. Have a look at a map of NW Shropshire and see the place names! Llynclys, Llanymynech, Selattyn, Rhydycroesau…

  18. That’s very interesting WJ. Thanks for that local knowledge. Would you agree that where you live people look towards Oswestry to a large extent, certainly more than they would say Chester or indeed Liverpool?

  19. I suppose Shrewsbury isn’t exactly a million miles from Chester, or indeed Wrexham for that matter. What are your thoughts with regards to places in Powys only a little further south from where you are, say Welshpool or Newtown for example?

  20. I’d say there’s evidence of that in that the Tories came closer in more seats across North East Wales than they did on the Wirral.

  21. How many gains roughly can the Tories realistically accept to achieve in 2020 do we think?

  22. Late candidate for post of the year there. Brilliant.

  23. I know this sounds quite shallow but I think Sue Hayman the MP for this seat looks very good for her age.

  24. Anyway back to the discussion at hand lol- I wasn’t knocking your post CF, merely remarking how detailed and thorough it was. No need to apologise at all!

  25. It would be especially signicant in my view if the Tories gained Stoke North given they’ve never won the seat before.

  26. I know what you mean. I think it depends on whether there’s a ceiling or not in Tory support and perhaps whether they’ve already gone as far as they can in vote share. I know it’s unthinkable in a way but Labour could in my opinion manage to cling on in all these seats if the Tories lose vote share at the same time as Labour!

    That’s very interesting WJ. Thanks for that local knowledge. Would you agree that where you live people look towards Oswestry to a large extent, certainly more than they would say Chester or indeed Liverpool?

    I suppose Shrewsbury isn’t exactly a million miles from Chester, or indeed Wrexham for that matter. What are your thoughts with regards to places in Powys only a little further south from where you are, say Welshpool or Newtown for example?”

    I guess Oswestry has its own sphere of influence, but Shrewsbury really does eclipse it, at least where I am in North Shropshire, most of my business is done there, but if I were a few miles further north I’d look to Chester more. Welshpool falls into a similar category as Oswestry as both have important livestock markets. Newtown is a bit too far away from here for anyone to bother about. I have family in Welshpool and again, if it wasn’t for the “Welcome to Powys/Welcome to Shropshire” signs, you wouldn’t know you’d crossed the border. Even the accents are very similar.

    Liverpool is really quite distant. If people associate with a city it would be either Manchester, or more likely, Birmingham, but honestly, the big cities are not really on anyone’s register.

  28. They are a bit far from me to comment on with any accuracy. However, I would have thought that there has been a lot of movement from Liverpool to those constituencies as people retire and get a place in the country or by the coast. They seem to stick to their Labour voting pattern more than the equivalent people moving from London to the home counties however, which is probably why they have yet to fall to the Conservatives.

  29. Thanks for the responses WJ- they’ve very informative.

  30. Prediction – Labour hold.

    This seat will not copy Copeland and most probably Barrow. Nuclear is not an issue and the old working class communities will not make the leap to Tory. This seat will behave more like the semi-rural ex-mining seats of Durham and Yorkshire. Labour is safe.

  31. I think this might just go Tory.

  32. Nah, this should go Tory fairly comfortably. Their targeting heavily and would take it just on the Copeland by-election swing, before you consider a higher UKIP vote to collapse.

  33. High Leave vote?

  34. Labour hold. Tory optimists dumbfounded. Grin grin grin.

  35. Cllr Mike Little has defected from Putting Cumbria First to the Conservatives, here.

  36. Constituency poll here:

    Con 45
    Lab 34
    Brex 13
    LD 5

    No doubt about it, if the general election were held today the Tories would win with ease. But of course, we haven’t had manifestos etc yet…

  37. Awful news for Labour. But it’s very early doors.

  38. Workington: Ladbrokes betting:
    CON 4/9
    LAB 13/8

  39. I guess it’s plausible that the Tories could win seats like this and still fall short of a national majority.

    Difficult to say what the critical seats are for the Tories to get to the 326 threshold. There are multiple classes of seats which will behave fundamentally differently at this election, and how well the Tories do in one affects how well they need to do in others.

  40. Dire for Lab, no question. What is even more worrying for them is that this poll is far more emphatic for the Tories than the Electoral Calculus prediction of a narrow Tory gain by 2%. I guess Jezza and co will be secretly praying that these constituency polls will be as inaccurate as many of Ashcroft’s were in 2015.

  41. It does look odd the Tories have gained ground despite falling back nationwide the same goes for the Lib Dems

  42. Alternatively, it’s plausible and just means the Tories are absolutely haemorrhaging voters in the Home Counties/South West.

  43. Surprised there wasn’t more discussion of this seat, given it was seen as emblematic during the last election, partly due to the Tory research report which coined the term ‘Workington man’. One interesting factor is that it has the highest percentage of White residents of any English constituency, at 98%. I suspect it’s based on quite old data (from the 2011 census), but it probably hasn’t changed much in this sort of area. There’s more detailed information on the Parliament website here:
    The top of the list is dominated by Northern Irish and Scottish seats, which isn’t too surprising really. NW Durham is third among English seats, followed by Bishop Auckland. All Labour losses (second is Penrith and the Border). The rest of the top 10 for England are Easington, Staffordshire Moorlands, North Norfolk, Blyth Valley (another Labour loss), Ludlow, Louth and Horncastle. So Easington is Labour’s whitest seat. The only other seat in the top 20 which Labour hold is North Durham, and their other loss in that list was Sedgefield.

    Bottom of the list is unsurprisingly all Labour strongholds, headed by East Ham.

    I know this isn’t topical, but I thought I’d reinvigorate some of these old threads which I’m catching up on, as I’m sure some of us anoraks don’t need topicality as an excuse to discuss stats.

  44. Pretty sure all ten of those seats voted for Brexit. The only one I’m not certain of is Penrith and the Border.

  45. Looks like Workington Man is going a bit cool on the Conservatives:

    On these figures the Tories would lose enough of their 2019 gains that, combined with them losing a few more seats in commuterland, would leave them unable to form the next government.

    One bright spark for the party is that Rishi Sunak remains extremely popular with these voters, with a net score of +33 in these seats.

  46. Interesting poll. There’s still a long way until the next election of course. The latest Electoral Calculus prediction does show Workington as a Labour gain.

    Many people did say they were “loaning” their votes to the Conservatives to “get Brexit done”, so on that basis, you’d expect them to switch back to Labour. The Ashcroft poll from February had 21% of 2019 Labour defectors saying “2019 was an unusual election and the reasons I didn’t vote Labour were very specific – I will probably vote Labour again next time.”

    Corbyn was a spectacularly bad candidate of the kind Labour rarely has, so replacing him removes one barrier to their success. At the moment the polls show a Labour minority government, but that “uncertain” scenario might scare enough people back to the Tories by polling day.

  47. One thing I can’t quite wrap my head around is how poor Priti Patel’s numbers compared to the depressing popularity of many of her policies. She’s the Conservatives’ answer to Jeremy Corbyn…

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