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 - 92 Responses on “Workington”
  1. Prediction for 2015-
    Cunningham (Labour)- 22, 926 (57.4%, +11.9%)
    Conservative- 12, 567 (31.5%, -2.4%)
    Lib Dem- 3, 016 (7.5%, -6.0%)
    Others- 1, 363 (3.4%, -3.7%)

    Labour hold.
    Turnout- 39, 872.
    Majority- 10, 359 (25.9%)

    Swing- +7.15% From Con to Lab.

  2. Seaton ward by-election result on the Borough council: Lab gain from Ind. Labour 464, UKIP 426, Con 133, Green 108, LibDem 30. I’m told therf was a recount and there were 12 spoilt ballots. Labour also gained the Seaton ward from Inds on the County Council.

  3. This must be one of the weakest LD seats in the country. They haven’t won more than 15% since 1945.

  4. Thanks Lancs Observer. If I’m not mistaken that gives Labour parity (exactly half the seats) on Allerdale council.

  5. Labour have a majority of 2 seats according to PoliticalBetting, (I think it’s Harry Hayfield who writes the local election thread headers):

  6. If that’s correct, there may have been a defection to Labour – I don’t recall any Labour gains in any by-elections there since 2011. I am relying on the Gwydir Demon site for these statistics though – perhaps someone could comment as to how reliable it usually is.

  7. Harry Hayfield is usually very reliable.

  8. Some interesting local results in Workington and the surrounding areas from May onwards, following the formation of a new UKIP branch last year.
    The predictions above don’t even come close to the lowest regular North West polling results we see for UKIP. The Euro’s in 2014 will potentially give a bounce and the 2015 results will be dramatically different to those predicted IMO.

  9. The result a few weeks ago is here

    So lets make a credible constituency forecast for 2015 based on churn
    , differential turnout and so on –

    Lab 49 (+4)
    Con 22 (-12)
    UKIP 19 (+17)
    LD 5 (-9)
    Others 5

  10. A Brown, this far out from 2015, I feel uncomfortable making predictions so I will make a spread prediction here:

    Labour 48 – 57
    Conservative: 28 – 35
    UKIP 7-14
    LD 5 – 9
    others 3 – 7

  11. @The Results

    you may want to change the name on your Labour predictions, announcement to follow this week i would imagine.

  12. Tony Cunningham is to stand down at the next election

  13. He never really troubled the scorers & I’m at a loss as to why he got a knighthood.

  14. Has Cumbria ever had a female MP? Maybe this will be earmarked for a Labour AWS.

  15. Don’t think so Andy, it hasn’t.

  16. Although we do have a female candidate for Carlisle this time round, so there’s a decent chance of that record being broken regardless of what happens in Workington.

  17. I think Labour might still increase their majority to 6-7,000 here next time, but I do feel that there is all the same a longterm trend to the Tories here given the very good result for them in 2010.

  18. Eh? They had a swing well below the national and regional averages here and their vote share was up by less than 1% from the 2005 notionals.

  19. The Labour majority is now lower than it was in either 1983 or 1987 and I think that is significant.

  20. I think it’s true to say that the Tories are stronger in the small town of Aspatria than they once were, though Labour still remains way, way ahead in Workington & Maryport. The same seems to apply to Millom, at the opposite end of that coastline in Copeland. The loss of the Tory countryside surrounding Keswick however makes it extremely hard for the Tories to win the seat, even though Keswick itself is something of a marginal town between Labour & the Tories.

  21. The Results: Yes, but that’s not because the Tory results here have been particularly impressive – they’ve been stuck at around 30% since 2001. It’s because Labour held up notably well here in the 1980s.

  22. Had Judith Pattinson been local to the constituency, her vote share would have been increased.

    Labour will field an AFS and their candidate will not be Workington born and bred, if they’re even Cumbrian – that will make a difference there.

  23. Or it might make no difference whatsoever.

  24. Having canvassed for JP, I can tell you it would have done with her.

    In every local election since their formation of a local branch with some organisation, UKIP have been hot on the heels of Labour in their areas, and the Tories in theirs. That has to have SOME impact in 2015.
    Workington as a constituency is Allerdale minus a couple of Tory wards. UKIP were less than 100 votes behind Labour in the recent EP elections, and some local by-elections have seen nearly 40% vote share from a standing start – they’re definitely the unknown quantity.

  25. Malcolm X

    If Workington is an AWS, there are plenty of female local candidates to choose from. I know of at least two women from Workington and one from Copeland who are planning to run. This isn’t a seat where a London SPAD will get a look in (unless they are a SPAD with strong West Cumbrian roots).

  26. All female shortlists are annoying me , they are a temporary solution to a very much permanent issue. If you want more women in politics get them into it a young age?

    Anywhom I don’t see a problem with one third of women being in parliament , obviously it’d be better at half and half but to be honest it isn’t a major urgent issue for me.

    However I am a white male so I don’t know if that makes my opinion invalid…

  27. Robbie,

    Lets have 90% women in parliament, but let every one get there on merit alone. AWS aren’t a solution at all.


    There are doubtless some very good potential candidates in the two neighbouring CLPs, unfortunately I fear that none will apply and we’ll be left with the rubbish, and I suspect at least one of those you mention isn’t local – bar her address – and with excellent party links.
    It looks like the regional/national committee may choose the candidate after all, being that the CLP have kicked it back purely because it could be one particular males ‘last chance’, and local activists are very vocal about boycotting conference citing differences between CLP and national party.

  28. Do you think that women (as a category) are as capable of being good MPs as men (also taken as an entire category of human beings)?

    If not, can you explain why you think women are inferior?

    If you do think they are just as capable, can you explain why we shouldn’t be taking very positive action to get them up to 50% of the House of Commons?

    I look at “all” the male MPs and I can’t help but feel that, when people say “women should get there on merit”, they are overlooking the fact that many male MPs are, frankly, a bit crap: but men have the advantage, and the preponderant number of MPs, for a whole bag full of reasons, none of which are about them being MPs “on merit”.

  29. Or why don’t we just accept that AWS is a form of discrimination and that only 22% of MP’s are women be cause fewer women than men are willing to put themselves forward as candidates.

  30. Adam you need to consider the unconscious discrimination that occurs against female candidates who stand for preselection for all parties.

  31. Ben, have you got any evidence to prove that takes place?

  32. Yes i do Adam. Let me assemble my thoughts and i will comment later.

  33. I agree with Adam, having worked with many female activists and councillors, few want to take the extra step – who’d blame them in the current climate?

    Speaking locally again we have some tremendous female councillors, but as the CLP is controlled solely by one other female councillor, they stand little chance until she’s had her day. that control is why I jumped ship years ago, and nothing’s changed.

    Infighting will lose a number of seats at the next locals, it lost some in the County elections 2013, for the same reasons as the last paragraph.

  34. Lithotomist,

    I believe that the natural differences in female personality and intellect probably makes them better constituency MPs and more capable of running the country, however, those same differences mean that fewer have the desire to do either.
    Politics needs a serious clean-up and there is some way to go to make it ‘family friendly’, that may then have some impact. But there is never anything positive about discrimination, either way.

  35. The irony of “positive” discrimination is that it should be virtually impossible for white, middle class men of more or less average intelligence to get their foot in the door.

    The fact that this demographic remains as prevelant as it is on coveted career paths in my opinion proves that positive discrimination simply doesn’t work, and we instead need to try and understand the root causes for why that demographic is so well placed.

    That’s not what drew me to this thread though. I know virtually nothing about the area, other than having known previously that Workington was a northern industrial town. But from the little I do know I’m surprised Labour’s margin in 2005 and 2010 wasn’t more comfortable. I know there have been multiple boundary changes since, but it appears to be the sort of seat where you would expect a 20% margin of victory for Labour in a bad year. I can only assume that the seat is a lot more rural than the name implies?

  36. adam given the comments policy i will take a pass on debating discrimination against women.

  37. Malcolm X

    “I suspect at least one of those you mention isn’t local – bar her address – and with excellent party links.”

    My understanding is that the woman I suspect that you are talking about isn’t running *for no other reason* than everyone has (wrongly) assumed she’s a parachute. Which is a shame because she is very talented.

    This is the problem with these sorts of rumours. Most of the time they are untrue and end up doing more harm than good. I mean, how many seats, has Euan Blair been (incorrectly) associated with?!

  38. I’m told that the General Secretary appeared on Monday night to tell the local party that they will run an AWS, no question. It hasn’t been confirmed to me by the local powers that be.

    Absolutely shocking behaviour, firstly to choose on sex rather than merit and secondly to ignore a revolt from the grassroots – although motives on this occasion are questionable.

    That’s interesting, your comments confirm what I was told last week – which leaves selection wide open IMO.

  39. Another way of looking at it is this: no woman has ever represented a Cumbrian/Cumberland/Westmorland constituency ever during the whole course of parliamentary history. Are we really, honestly, saying that that is *purely* because no woman has ever been good enough, or is it just possible that other factors have been at play?

  40. Oh and all due credit to the General Secretary of the Labour Party for taking the trouble to travel all the way to Workington to engage with the local party on the issue. I’m sure he had a million other things he could have been doing with his time.

  41. The local Labur party is split over AWS.

    My prediction for 2015 is:

    Cons GAIN
    Labour 2nd
    UKIP 3rd
    Green 4th
    Lib Dem 5th

  42. AWS confirmed on internal party website.

  43. I love West Cumbria t bits, I really do, but this “Workington born and bred” lark has to stop.

    How long do you have to live in Workington before you’re allowed to describe yourself as “from Workington?” 10, 20, 30, 40 years? Someone could’ve got their first job at 16 in Workington and lived in the town for decades but that doesn’t make them “Workington born and bred”.

    Do you know how this sort of mindset comes across to new people moving to West Cumbria? Inhospitable, quite frankly. It says to them “you’re not one of us”. “We don’t want you here”. It’s a bigger issue than you think. I’ve known people move away because of it.

    Is it even possible that the Workington candidate might be chosen based on their abilities and credentials and not on their place of birth?

  44. Re Andrew’s contribution above, having only seen it today, he wins the H.Hemmelig Daily Horseshit Award.

  45. Labour shortlist

    Barbara Cannon (deputy leader of Allerdale council, previously shortlisted for Carlisle selection)

    Annajoy David (2010 candidate in Scarborough and Whitby, vice chair of CND in the 80s)

    Susan Hayman (county Cllr for Howgate ward in Copeland)

    Denise Rollo (town councillor for Moss Bay, works for Allerdale council)

    Gillian Troughton (Copeland cllr, previously shortlisted for Carlisle and Lancaster & Fleetwood)

  46. Thanks Andrea. That is very interesting as it is pretty much an entirely local AWS shortlist, as I had heard rumours of infighting between the local and national parties about possible high profile candidates perceived as being outsiders.

    I’m sure Rachel is right in what she says, although I don’t know the area all that well, but given UKIP are perceived to be doing pretty well in the area I’m sure it’s pragmatic in a seat like Workington which may be pretty insular to go for that sort of shortlist.

    It might be (though had a London candidate been imposed by the Central party it could have been very close and more interesting) as a result that whilst Labour’s share of the vote will no doubt drop the majority will increase.

    Battle for 2nd place could be interesting here if I’m right on the above; possibly the Kippers will run the Tories very close.

  47. I remember Annajoy David’s name from 2010. I believe she’s originally from East London, so not exactly a local to Scarborough at the time either.

  48. “pretty much an entirely local AWS shortlist” – only one ‘local’. As rachel says, there’s very much a ‘Workington born and bred’ culture – sadly.

    Barbara Cannon – local, contested Penrith and Border (twice?) and missed out on the Carlisle selection.

    Annajoy David – still billed as living in East London, Director of 5 companies in Spain. 2010 candidate in Scarborough and Whitby, vice chair of CND in the 80s . There 10,000+ employed at Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant and nuclear new build has just started there promising thousands more jobs.

    Susan Hayman – Moved to the edge of the constituency in 2011 but is a Copeland councillor. Mixes with Copeland labour types and there’s no love lost between Copeland and Workington labour partys. Stood Halesowen and Rowley Regis 2010, Preseli, Pembrokeshire 2005, European elections 2004 and worked for 2 MPs. Came under tremendous fire for short let and leaflets not proof-read in Preseli, despite calling herself a freelance proof reader.

    Denise Rollo – lived in the constituency for 15 years, Unison heavily pushing for selection.

    Gillian Troughton – Copeland labour again

    Google is a wonderful tool!

  49. The thing that makes me laugh about West Cumbria’s “born and bred” culture is that sometimes it is so ingrained that it sometimes comes full circle.

    I wasn’t born and bred in West Cumbria but my family has since….well…the Dark Ages really…and I’m related to almost everyone. So when I lived up there, I was actually considered local because people knew my grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins etc. etc, as in “Ah that’s Rachel that’s so-and-so’s granddaughter”

    I still don’t agree with it mind, but I had such a lot of fun with it. πŸ™‚

  50. Labour chose Sue Hayman

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