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North East Euros

The North East European region covers Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and the former Metropolitan county of Cleveland. It returns 3 members of the European Parliament.

In 2004 the region returned 1 Labour MEP, 1 Conservative MEP and 1 Lib Dem MEP. The low number of MEPs makes this one of the least competitive regions. Labour lost out on a second seat relatively narrowly, but the only real question here is whether Labour could retake a second seat – there is no realistic possibility of the Conservatives or Lib Dems increasing their support enough to win a second MEP.

Sitting MEPs and 2004 Results

1. portrait Stephen Hughes (Labour) 266,057 (34.1%)
2. portrait Martin Callanan (Conservative) 144,969 (18.6%)
3. portrait Fiona Hall (Liberal Democrat) 138,791 (17.8%)
-. UKIP 94,887 (12.2%)
-. BNP 50,249 (6.4%)
-. Neil Herron (Independent) 39,658 (5.1%)
-. Green 37,247 (4.8%)
-. Respect 8,633 (1.1%)

2009 Candidates


1. portraitStephen Hughes. Sitting MEP. Born 1952, Sunderland. Educated at Leeds University. Former local government officer. First elected as MEP for Durham and Blaydon in 1984.
2. portraitFay Tinnion. Born Saffron Walden. Educated at Cambridge University. A teacher, who has also working for the Co-operative Party. Contested Richmond (Yorks) 2001
3. portraitNick Wallis. Family court advisor. Darlington councillor since 1991.


1. portraitMartin Callanan. Sitting MEP. Born 1961, Newcastle. Former Gateshead councillor. Contested Washington 1987, Gateshead East 1992, Tynemouth 1997. MEP for the North East since 1999.
2. portraitBarbara Musgrave. Educated at Tormead School. Sculptor. Guildford councillor 1979-1991. Surrey County councillor 1981-1993. Contested Blyth Valley 1997.
3. portraitEmma Moore

Liberal Democrat

1. portraitFiona Hall.Sitting MEP. Born 1955, Manchester. Educated at Oxford University. Former Parliamentary researcher. First elected as MEP for the North East in 2004.
2. portraitChris Foote Wood. Born 1940, Prestbury. Educated at Bury Grammar School. Author and ghost writer. Former leader of Wear Valley council. Contested Newcastle North F1974, Middlesborough O1974, Durham 1979, Bishop Auckland 2001, 2005. Contested Durham and Blaydon 1989 and 1994 European elections, North East 1999 and 2004 European elections.
3. portraitNeil Bradbury. Tynedale councillor and Northumberland county councillor.


1. portraitGordon Parkin. Contested Stockton North 2005. Will contest Stockton North at next general election.
2. portraitSandra Allison. Contested Stockton South 2005. Will contested Sedgefield at next general election.
3. portraitJohn Tennant. Researcher for the IND/DEM group in the European Parliament.


1. portraitShirley Ford. Will contest South Shields at the next general election.
2. portraitIris Ryder.
3. portraitNic Best.


1. portraitAdam Walker. Former teacher, resigned after being suspended for allegedly using a school laptop to make postings to far-right websites.
2. portraitPeter Mailer. Born 1956, Birmingham. Publican. Twice arrested and in 2008 and 2009 for ‘suspicion of committing a racially-aggravated public order offence’ after a complaint against him for displaying newspaper cuttings in his pub.
3. portraitKen Booth. Defected from the National Front in 2005. Was criticised in 2007 for comparing the presnt day memorial at Auschwitz to Disneyland.


1. portraitDon Botham Television producer.
2. portraitDaniel Parker
3. portraitCoral Thompson Contested Motherwell and Wishaw 2005.


1. portraitMartin Levy President of Newcastle TUC. Contested Newcastle East as Communist 1997, 2001, 2005.
2. portraitHannah Walter Unison shop steward
3. portraitPeter Pinkney RMT activist.


1. portraitKen Rollings
2. portraitAlasdair Macleod
3. portraitWilliam Tremlett

English Democrat

1. portraitFrancis Roseman
2. portraitAllan White
3. portraitGraham Robinson

Socialist Labour Party

1. portraitMichael York
2. portraitJohn Taylor Contested Redcar 2001, 2005.
3. portraitJames Anthony Dodsworth

Jury Team

1. portraitAhmed Khan Born Yorkshire. Formerly ran a uniform manufacturing company. Independent South Tyneside councillor since 2008.
2. portraitJacqueline Riley Carer.
NB - The constituency guide is now archived and is no longer being updated. The new guide is at

45 Responses to “North East European”

  1. Will the LibDems hold on here? (I hope so!) Or is there a chance of Labour getting the second MEP?

  2. I hope not!

  3. Labour only need to poll double the LD vote to take their seat and my hunch is that they will do that. The alternative scenario is that the LDs outpoll the Tories whcih could leave them without a seat but that is unlikely. This region with only three seats is unsuitable for the D’Hondt system – it is quite possible and likely that Labour will win 2 of 3 seats with barely a third of the vote

  4. Pete,

    This was Labour’s strongest region in 2004 (even better than Wales), so they could feel aggrieved at having only got one seat. Certainly, had there been a fourth seat here it would have gone to Labour.

    This regions was very much a local success for the LDs, who managed their second highest result in the country (after SW). The LD seat was secured by only 1%, so would fall to Labour on a swing of just 0.5%.

    It will be interesting to see if they manage to hang on to it.

    I don’t think the Tory seat is at risk here since they would need to both fall behind LDs and fall below half the Labour vote.

    [Quite agree your comment about d’Hondt not working here – but then it was never meant for such small constituencies (in terms of seats available). It was designed to allocate large numbers of seats between lots of parties each getting a small share of the vote.

    [FWIW, I suspect that STV – which works best in 3-member units, would probably deliver the same result for a Euro election, but would have been LAB 2, Con 1 if this were for Westminster.]

  5. The former Northern region including Cumbria was more sensible, assuming that would have entitled the region to 4 seats. It doesn’t really make sense that the former South East and East Anglian regions were altered to give a more balanced population between the two but with the Northern and North West regions the opposite happened, with Cumbria being taken from the small Northern region and added to the North West, already a large region.

  6. Andy,

    I agree that a Northern region including Cumbria would be more coherent. However, the European Parliament regions reflect the Government Office regions (in line with EU plan for Europe-wide regionalisation to undermine nation states).

    I have no idea why Cumbria was included in the NW region when the GOs were reorganised in the 1990s. I have a guide to the 1987 election which shows a Northern region as you describe. Perhaps it was an afterthought extension along the M6 for the convenience of the GO staff..

    If Cumbria were included, then the North would be entitled to 4 seats, which would almost certainly be permanently allocated Lab 2, Con 1, LD 1.

  7. I have pointed out by posting on the South-East England seat, which is unmanageably large, indeed larger than a number of EU countries, and which has little regional identity, that the unequal sizes of UK Euroseats is a disgrace.

    And this North East seat is the biggest disgrace of the lot.

    If the North East seat were simply combined with the Yorkshire seat, which in my view it should be, it would still be no bigger than South East England.

    Why should UKIP voters here be denied representation for their area when the UKIP vote is way past the quota in other seats such as the South East or South West?

    It serves Labour right that they lost out on taking two thirds of the MEPs here on approximately one third of the vote.

    I notice that the second Labour candidate on the list was born in Essex and educated in Cambridge. Has she built up extensive links with the North East since graduating, other than standing for a hopeless Westminster seat in Yorkshire (not part of this Euro seat)?

    It is very difficult to avoid the idea that the unequal sizes of the UK Euroseats is for gerrymandering purposes.

  8. This region was created just before Labour started trying to persuade people in the North East to accept their plans for a regional assembly. I wonder whether the creation of this undersized region (which should at least have been paired with Cumbria) had anything to do with that failed campaign.

  9. Maybe not since Wikipedia says the regions were first designated in 1994 (that’s from the page on the south east region). That still doesn’t mean Labour couldn’t have made the regions more equal themselves once in power of course, at least for Euro elections.

  10. I strongly predict no change. The small number of seats makes this a very predicatable region; were there a fourth seat, it would almost certainly go Labour.

  11. The BNP will hopefully get a seat up here. I think Adam Walker will really do a good job. Funny how he had kids in the school he was from protesting his departure.

  12. We will almost certainly see a rise in the Labour vote from 2004. As this needs to rise than by less than half of one percent I predict the Liberal Democrats will loose thier seat.


  13. Johns – since 2004 we’ve seen the collapse of Labour’s reputation – a big rise in the Lib Dem votes in County Durham and Northumberland unitaries and an increased majority on Newcastle City Council.

    Lib Dems advanced in Durham, Newcastle and several other seats at the 2005 general and took decent 2nd places in Hartlepool and Sedgefield by-elections.

    Rumours of the demise of the Lib Dems are greatly exaggerated!

  14. I think that both the Labour and Libdem shares will fall here, but Labour more than Libdem – this will be the general trend nationwide, although not necessarily true in every single region.

    Dan of Newcastle’s scenario of the BNP taking the Libdem seat is unlikely, but not absolutely impossible. To pull it off they would need to capture an awful lot of UKIP voters and, contrary to popular opinion, I don’t think UKIP voters tend to be likely to vote BNP.

  15. UKIP voters tend to be people who otherwise vote Tory and LD, especially in the south of England. BNP voters tend to be people who otherwise vote Labour. In the North East there’s probably slightly more people who vote both Labour and UKIP in different kinds of elections than in other regions simply because Labour is stronger in the north east.

  16. I think it is impossible for the BNP to win a seat here barring a political earthquake. Not only would they need to beat the LDs which in itself is very unlikely but they would have to get more than half as many votes as Labour. This is a region where they could get a decent share of the vote certainly – they have shown a potential to get a good vote in places like Sunderland and also areas in county Durham which suggests to me that outside the deeply rural parts of Northumberland and the Guardianista areas of Newcastle and other large towns they could easily score 15% of the vote. If this region was linked with Yorkshire as has been suggested by some then the likelihood of a BNP MEP being elected would be better than in the North West – in fact the BNP would have elected an MEP in a combined Yorks/NE region in 2004.
    Neil Herron who stood as an Independent in 2004 was the ‘metric martyr’ who obviously took a predominantly anti-EU vote. His particular area was around Sunderland and it is likley he ate into the potential vote for both UKIP and the BNP in this area. This means that the ‘nationalist’ vote in this region approached one in four of those voting last time.

  17. If BNP support were reaching levels that would enable them to get an MEP here we would know about it because there would be serious extraparliamentary political unrest. I say this as an observation based on past historical events, not to imply that anybody would be positively seeking such unrest.

  18. Updated to reflect nominations.

    The official list is here

  19. In 2004 the combined vote for the Conservatives, UKIP and Neil Herron was 35.9%. Assuming that about a half of Neil Herron’s vote goes to the Conservatives, and about 1/3 of the UKIP vote does (I disagree with those who think the UKIP vote will drop by much more than this), that would already give the Conservatives about 25%. Add to that a small swing from the Libdems, an even smaller one from Labour, and differential turnout – which is likely to benefit the Conservatives in every region given Labour’s unpopularity – and you could see the Conservatives challenging for top spot here, unlikely though it may seem.

    Best case scenario:

    Conservative – 28.5%
    Labour – 28%
    Libdem – 18%

    Most likely:

    Labour – 30%
    Conservative – 27%
    Libdem – 18%
    BNP – 12%
    UKIP – 8%
    Greens – 4%
    Others – 1%

    That would represent a fairly big swing – 6.2% Lab-Con but I think that is actually fairly realistic for the upcoming election.

  20. My prediction for this region would be along these lines:

    Lab 33%
    Con 23%
    LD 16%
    BNP 11%
    UKIP 10%
    Grn 4%
    Oth 3%

    This would result in Labour gaining the third seat from the Lib Dems, but clearly there is all to play for there. No plausible scenario exists other than 2 Lab 1 Con or 1 Lab 1 Con 1 LD.

  21. Lab 2
    Con 1

  22. Background info on the Green candidates:
    Iris Ryder: Mayoral candidate for Hartlepool, active in Hartlepool ‘ghost ships’ campaign, contested Hartlepool 2004, 2005

    Nic Best: contesting Wansbeck at next General Election, councillor Castle Morpeth BC 1999-2009, contested Wansbeck four times, Euro candidate 1994, 2004

    Photos can be downloaded from the Green Party website

  23. Recent events change things in this seat a bit; there is practically no chance of Labour topping 30% and/or getting a second seat.

    Labour – 28%
    Conservative – 24%
    Libdem – 17%
    UKIP – 15%
    BNP – 11%
    Others – 5%

    Any seats changing hands here is extremely unlikely IMO – which is a shame, and entirely due to there only being 3 seats here.

  24. I’m going to predict that the LDs narrowly hold their seat, mainly because of the expenses row damaging Labour’s vote, but it’s too close to call.

  25. I think I would incline toward the LDs holding their seat now for that reason. I suppose if UKIP did very well out of this there is the faintest possibilty that they could outpoll either of the Tories or LDs to take a seat but highly improbable. Bear in mind though that UKIP’s vote was suppressed last time by the presence of Neil Herron who attracted support which would otherwise have gone to them. They are quite strong in some places like Hartlepool and have done ok in parts of county Durham. UKIP + Herron last time = 17.3% – just below the LDs.

  26. Am I correct in thinking that there are no local elections in this region this year?

    If so turnout could be much lower than it was previously.

  27. There are not with the exception that there are Mayoral elections in North Tyneside and Hartlepool. Also there was all-posal voting in this region last time which also raised turnout (as with NW, Yorks, East Mids and Wales) and this factor will be absent this time

  28. On the YouGov poll from 14-16 May, the intention for those certain to vote in the North of England stands as follows: LAB 25%, CON 27%, LIBDEM 18%, UKIP 11%, GREEN 8%, BNP 8%

    This represents the entire North however, and with the BNP aiming for West Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire, I think that their percentage would most certainly be lower for NE. Labour would almost certainly be higher, Tory lower. It’s the LibDems, UKIP and Green I’m struggling with. I would imagine LibDem would be lower than last time, which was also 18%. UKIP will rise i’m sure from the 12% they got last time. It is really unchartered territories for the Greens and after receiving 5% last time I’m really not sure if they will capitalise on gains from LibDems and possibly Labour.

    Anybody have any ideas?

  29. I think i’m right in saying this is the only English region which has no Green councillors. Other than a bit of a Guardianista and student vote in Newcastle and city of Durham I cant see where they would gain any siginifcant levels of support. BY contrast the Greens have significant pokcets of support in the North west and in Yorkshire in both the large conurbations and in smaller cities such as York and Lancaster

  30. How do some of the candidates for this, the North East region expect to command interest from the media and raise awareness of NE issues when they have had difficulty raising their own profile for this election, in that they have no photograph of themselves displayed on this site or many other sites including those of their own parties?

  31. Final Prediction:

    Labour – 1
    Conservative – 1
    Libdems – 1

    Dull and boring, except that UKIP might run the Libdems closer than you think for that final seat.

  32. Quote from ConservativeHome:

    “The LibDems are REPORTEDLY neck and neck with UKIP in the North East and may lose their seat in the region.”

  33. However, I’m told the Lib Dems have topped the poll across Newcastle.

  34. And are ahead of Labour across Northumberland again.

  35. As widely predicted, one seat each for Labour, Conservatives and Lib Dems; Labour fall significantly but still 5% ahead of Conservatives, who are up only 1%. UKIP up 3% but still behind Lib Dems.

  36. No change in seats here but UKIP coming close to taking the LD seat

  37. Turnout seems down significantly – the number of votes received is down for every party, including UKIP, with the sole exception of the BNP, and they picked up fewer than 500 votes.

  38. All postal voting, plus local elections in Tyne & Wear in 2004

  39. Now that the Government has abolished English regional government, shouldn’t this seat be redistributed?

    The unequal size of Euroconstituencies is glaringly obviously unfair in that in this consitutency the minor parties have no chance, whereas in, for instance, the South East (and the North-East and Yorkshire and Humbershide combined would be no bigger than the South East) party getting under 10% of the vote gets representation. I am not considering whether it is right for minor parties to get MEPs; but the bar in terms of percentage of the vote should be roughly comparable across the country.

  40. Many years ago, I think when he was first elected leader, David Cameron made mention of wanting the Euro constituencies to go back to single-member types (obviously elected by PR as instructed by the EU).

    I assume, if he still desires this, that any change will have to happen after the 10% reduction. I have never been much of a fan of the Euro regions model, so any return to how things used to be (with AV or STV instead of FPTP) would be fine by me.

  41. Even if one in general prefers STV, I think there is a good case for the argument that one-member FPTP (or AV if you must). Euroseats are quite big enough. Particularly if one doesn’t get over-concerned about equally sized seats so that the seats represent geographically identifiable areas (but of course inequalities in size anything like as great as those of the current Euroconstituencies are unacceptable).

    Of course the problem is that multiple member seats are forced on us by the European powers that be. They would not let Cameron go back to single member seats, and I presume he knows it.

    Incidentally, I have posted about the outrageous discrepancies in UK Euroconstituencies, but there is the further issue that Europe is allowed to get away with a Parliament which greatly over-represents smaller countries. The European Parliament really ought to bicameral on the US system (and that of the German Parliament), with a lower house in which every MEP represents as nearly as possible an equal number of electors and an upper house in which each country has the same number of representatives – but of course the UK should be treated as at least four countries, and possibly more for places like Cornwall and even Kent and Yorkshire, in the Upper House.

  42. And in the North East, historically Durham of course would have claims to be separately represented as a County Palatinate.

  43. Seems very possible to me that the tories may lose their leader here.

    2 labour 1 UKIP is very possible indeed next year.

  44. FORMER Leader, Joe.
    I know that Mr Callanan still seems to act like the leader-being just about the ONLY Tory MEP apart from Dan Hannan that we ever hear of.

    But the group leader since last year has been a chap called Richard Ashworth-who has promptly managed to remain completely silent pretty much since his election.

    As for this region, I would be surprised if Callanan actually lost, but yes it could be very close.
    I suppose it could always be Labour 1 Tory 1 UKIP 1?

  45. I think that is the most likely scenario. The LD is toast here both from UKIP and from Labour doubling the LD vote.