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Berwick upon Tweed

2010 Results:
Conservative: 14116 (36.72%)
Labour: 5061 (13.17%)
Liberal Democrat: 16806 (43.72%)
BNP: 1213 (3.16%)
UKIP: 1243 (3.23%)
Majority: 2690 (7%)

Notional 2005 Results:
Liberal Democrat: 19137 (52.6%)
Conservative: 10565 (29%)
Labour: 6708 (18.4%)
Other: 5 (0%)
Majority: 8571 (23.5%)

Actual 2005 result
Conservative: 10420 (28.9%)
Labour: 6618 (18.3%)
Liberal Democrat: 19052 (52.8%)
Majority: 8632 (23.9%)

2001 Result
Conservative: 10193 (28.1%)
Labour: 6435 (17.7%)
Liberal Democrat: 18651 (51.4%)
UKIP: 1029 (2.8%)
Majority: 8458 (23.3%)

1997 Result
Conservative: 10056 (24.1%)
Labour: 10965 (26.2%)
Liberal Democrat: 19007 (45.5%)
Referendum: 1423 (3.4%)
Other: 352 (0.8%)
Majority: 8042 (19.2%)

Boundary changes: only minor changes to bring the seat into line with ward boundaries. These result in the gain of around 500 voters in the Hartburn ward of Castle Morpeth. Technically Northumberland`s population was only enough for 3 seats in the boundary review, but the fourth seat was retained due to the sparse population in the North and West of the county. Conservative counter proposals that Hebron Hepscott and Mitford wards be moved into the constituency to equalise electorates were rejected at the inquiry as they would have made an already geographically large seat even bigger. It was proposed at the inquiry that the name of the seat be changed to Berwick-upon-Tweed and Mid-Northumberland to better reflect the seat, but this was rejected in the final proposals.

Profile: The most northerly constituency in England, covering the border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed and much of rural Northumberland. Sparsely populated, it is one of the smallest constituencies in England in terms of population, though covers a large geographical area. Berwick is a market town and seaport, historically contested between England and Scotland. Alwick, the county town of Northumberland, is a rural market town better known for its castle, the seat of the Dukes of Northumberland and the second largest inhabited castle in the country (and the exterior of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films), the town is within commutable distance from Newcastle and is becoming more of a dormitory town.

The constituency also includes the seaside town of Seahouses, the tidal island of Lindisfarne and the small towns of Wooler and Rothbury, popular with walkers in the Northumerland National Park. The vast majority of the seat though is sparsely populated countryside. Dominated by agriculture, the seat should be a Tory seat in the vein of Penrith and the Border. There is a history of Liberals being elected in the seat prior to the war though, and following the resignation of Lord Lambton in 1973 after tabloid revelations that he used call girls and cannabis, the seat was won by Alan Beith in a by-election. Beith has held the seat ever since, transforming it from an ultra-marginal in the 1970s to the Lib Dem stronghold it is today. It remains to be seen whether Beith can bequest his majority to a Liberal Democrat successor when he decides to stand down.

portraitCurrent MP: Alan Beith(Liberal Democrat) born 1943, Cheshire. Educated at the King`s School, Macclesfield and Oxford University. Former politics lecturer at Newcastle University. Former councillor on North Tynedale District Council and Hexham District Council. Contested Berwick-upon-Tweed in 1970. First elected as MP for Berwick in the 1973 by-election following Lord Lambton`s resignation, and held the seat in both 1974 elections with a wafer thin majority. Liberal Chief Whip from 1976 until 1987, treasury spokesman from 1987. He was Deputy Leader of the Liberal party from 1985, in 1988 he contested the first leadership election for the newly merged Liberal Democrats, losing to Paddy Ashdown. From 1992 to 2003 he was Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats and served as their Home Affairs spokesman from 1994 to 2001. He stood down from the Lib Dem front bench in 2002. Beith is now the longest serving Liberal Democrat member of Parliament by some distance (the next longest serving is Simon Hughes, elected in 1983) (more information at They work for you)

2010 election candidates:
portraitAnne-Marie Trevelyan (Conservative) Educated at Oxford Polytechnic. Chartered accountant.
portraitAlan Strickland (Labour) Educated at Oxford University.
portraitAlan Beith(Liberal Democrat) born 1943, Cheshire. Educated at the King`s School, Macclesfield and Oxford University. Former politics lecturer at Newcastle University. Former councillor on North Tynedale District Council and Hexham District Council. Contested Berwick-upon-Tweed in 1970. First elected as MP for Berwick in the 1973 by-election following Lord Lambton`s resignation, and held the seat in both 1974 elections with a wafer thin majority. Liberal Chief Whip from 1976 until 1987, treasury spokesman from 1987. He was Deputy Leader of the Liberal party from 1985, in 1988 he contested the first leadership election for the newly merged Liberal Democrats, losing to Paddy Ashdown. From 1992 to 2003 he was Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats and served as their Home Affairs spokesman from 1994 to 2001. He stood down from the Lib Dem front bench in 2002. Beith is now the longest serving Liberal Democrat member of Parliament by some distance (the next longest serving is Simon Hughes, elected in 1983) (more information at They work for you)
portraitMick Weatheritt (UKIP)
portraitPeter Mailer (BNP)

2001 Census Demographics

Total 2001 Population: 70941
Male: 49.1%
Female: 50.9%
Under 18: 20.3%
Over 60: 25.7%
Born outside UK: 2.1%
White: 99.5%
Mixed: 0.2%
Christian: 82.1%
Full time students: 1.7%
Graduates 16-74: 17.4%
No Qualifications 16-74: 32.4%
Owner-Occupied: 61.2%
Social Housing: 20.6% (Council: 16.8%, Housing Ass.: 3.8%)
Privately Rented: 11.1%
Homes without central heating and/or private bathroom: 6%

NB - The constituency guide is now archived and is no longer being updated. The new guide is at http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/2015guide