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Dudley North

2010 Results:
Conservative: 14274 (36.98%)
Labour: 14923 (38.66%)
Liberal Democrat: 4066 (10.53%)
BNP: 1899 (4.92%)
UKIP: 3267 (8.46%)
Others: 173 (0.45%)
Majority: 649 (1.68%)

Notional 2005 Results:
Labour: 15727 (43.2%)
Conservative: 11582 (31.8%)
Liberal Democrat: 3871 (10.6%)
Other: 5195 (14.3%)
Majority: 4145 (11.4%)

Actual 2005 result
Conservative: 12874 (31.1%)
Labour: 18306 (44.2%)
Liberal Democrat: 4257 (10.3%)
BNP: 4022 (9.7%)
UKIP: 1949 (4.7%)
Majority: 5432 (13.1%)

2001 Result
Conservative: 13295 (34.5%)
Labour: 20095 (52.1%)
Liberal Democrat: 3352 (8.7%)
BNP: 1822 (4.7%)
Majority: 6800 (17.6%)

1997 Result
Conservative: 15014 (31.4%)
Labour: 24471 (51.2%)
Liberal Democrat: 3939 (8.2%)
Referendum: 1201 (2.5%)
Other: 3183 (6.7%)
Majority: 9457 (19.8%)

Boundary changes:


portraitCurrent MP: Ian Austin(Labour) (more information at They work for you)

2010 election candidates:
portraitGraeme Brown (Conservative) Contested Ashton-under-Lyne 2005.
portraitIan Austin(Labour) (more information at They work for you)
portraitMike Beckett (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Goldsmiths College.
portraitMalcolm Davis (UKIP) Dudley councillor until 2007, having initially been elected as a Liberal Democrat. Led opposition to the building of a Mosque and community centre in Dudley
portraitKen Griffiths (BNP) Transport manager. Contested West Midlands 2009 European election.
portraitKevin Inman (National Front)

2001 Census Demographics

Total 2001 Population: 78681
Male: 48.8%
Female: 51.2%
Under 18: 23.3%
Over 60: 23.1%
Born outside UK: 4.9%
White: 90.4%
Black: 2%
Asian: 5.9%
Mixed: 1.4%
Other: 0.4%
Christian: 76.8%
Hindu: 1.1%
Muslim: 3%
Sikh: 1.5%
Full time students: 2.6%
Graduates 16-74: 11.2%
No Qualifications 16-74: 41.6%
Owner-Occupied: 64.1%
Social Housing: 28.6% (Council: 24.9%, Housing Ass.: 3.7%)
Privately Rented: 3%
Homes without central heating and/or private bathroom: 16.3%

NB - The constituency guide is now archived and is no longer being updated. The new guide is at

96 Responses to “Dudley North”

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  1. Many thanks for your words of encouragement Pete. I think the main differences in our respective political outlooks would be over Europe and immigration. I don’t believe that the time has yet arrived for this country to consider EU withdrawal, and indeed that time may never actually come. I still think there is a good chance that we can get the kind of loose relationship with the EU that the British people want without the other nations presenting us with the kind unpalatable take it or leave it choice the prospect of which is always raised by critics of current Conservative policy. On immigration I am far more relaxed about it than most Tories. I come to the immigration issue from a free market perspective and think that free movement of people is an important aspect of free trade. However I do believe that as a country we are entitled to expect a degree of cultural and social integration from those who come to live here, and also recognise that immigration needs to be effectively managed to prevent undue strain upon key public services. These are not I think huge differences and I would like to think that we will have a situation sooner rather than later in which guys like yourself felt able to join the Conservative Party again.

    With regard to the two seats you mention, I do not know much about Bassetlaw other than that it used to be represented by Joe Ashton who was on the right of the party with guys like Roy Mason. That is a section of the Labour party that now barely exists and I do feel that its demise has yet to be fully exploited by the Tory party. Many traditional Labour voters would be susceptible to the Conservative message on issues such as Europe and law and order, but we have yet to exploit this potential advantage. NE Derbyshire is I feel moving towards being a Conservative seat, but perhaps we may have to wait until the next election in which there is a big swing to the Conservatives to actually gain the seat, rather than the upcoming GE in which I reckon it may prove out of reach even if we win by landslide.

  2. Kieran

    “At the moment it looks as though the swing to the Conservatives at the next GE will be sufficient to see seats such as this gained by the party fairly easily. But I really don’t feel that we have done enough work in trying to gain the enthusiastic support of voters in places like this. That is to say won the depth of support for the party that is likely to prove endurable in the face of the inevitable backlash against the tough decisions that an incoming Conservative administration is going to have to make.”

    Spot on.

    The Conservative leadership doesn’t understand how little enthusiasm there is among their supporters. Enormous hatred of Labour will get people to vote Conservative next year but to keep people voting Conservative will require people in areas like this to be given positive reasons.

    In the 1980s policies such as council house sales, share ownership, union reform, income tax reduction and yes opposition to immigration and political correctness were popular among white working class and lower middle class areas. I see no equivalents today.

    To make things worse for a Conservative government there is now also legitimate protest parties such as UKIP and EDP who will quickly take the votes of disgruntled Conservatives.

    Also, hope your political ambitions prosper Kieran. Fancy applying for Chesterfield or Bolsover? Whatever you do though make sure you don’t gey Hallam 😉

  3. “I know you are no longer a Conservative, but does it not bother you in any way, shape or form, that the Parliamentary party is 90% white men.”

    Alternatively, does it not bother you in any way, shape or form, that the Parliamentary party is 90% middle class by origin?

    I can remember a discussion on ConHome a few months ago about having all women shorltists (or something similar).

    Louise Bagshawe (Con PPC for Corby) was IIRC a supporter as she wanted a more ‘balanced’ party.

    I put it to her that ther should be all working class shortlists as well and a limit on those who were of upper middle class south of England Public school types as well.

    Curiously she ignored my comment 😉

  4. “I don’t believe that the time has yet arrived for this country to consider EU withdrawal, and indeed that time may never actually come. I still think there is a good chance that we can get the kind of loose relationship with the EU that the British people want ”

    Actually my preferred option would be for UK membership of a radically reformed EU – a free trade organisation without the political aspects. Whether such an option is likely ever to be on offer is moot and ultimately one might have to decide between membership of an organisation which is not ever going to be reformed along the desired lines and leaving altogether. There is some hope with the continued expansion of the EU beyond the original Franco-German plus Benelux core that the kind of looser relationship you rightly say is favoured by British people will have greater support amongst other member states.

    “does it not bother you in any way, shape or form, that the Parliamentary party is 90% white men.”

    Matt not particularly – certainly not the white aspect, since over 90% of the population of this country are white I hardly see a problem with parliament reflecting that fact.

  5. Thanks very much Richard for your good wishes. I am not sure what would be worse, my ambitions falling foul of someone playing the race or gender card, or my being forced into the demeaning position of playing the working class card!

    I would certainly love the opportunity to be our candidate in either Chesterfield or Bolsover; both nominations represent a really good opportunity for someone just embarking on a political career with the Conservative Party. However I am still very inexperienced. I only joined the party 18 months ago despite having more or less known I was a Tory since the age of 14, and fought my first election only this year so I am looking more at the GE after next, after having hopefully won a seat on the council in Chesterfield in 2011. You are certainly correct about the Hallam nomination. As I have said on the relevant thread I wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole!

  6. Kieran

    There are Conservative candidates in winnable seats that have been party members for less time than you have.

    Do you have any knowledge as to when candidate selection is going to take place in your local constituencies? After the local election results I imagine Derbyshire NE would now have some local interest while Chesterfield and Bolsover would interest those who are willing to work hard for a few months in the expectation of getting a safe seat in 2014/5.

  7. Why were the Dudley seats redivided North and South in 1997?

    Can this not be challenged by local political parties?

    If the boundary commission decided to create a Brighton North and Brighton South to replace Kempton (East) and Pavilion (West) – would they not require good reason to make such a change?

  8. Richard, NE Derbys has had a candidate for some time. He is not local but has been spending a lot of time campaigning in the constituency. I think we are selecting our candidate in Chesterfield some time in the Autumn and several people have expressed an interest. Chesterfield is such a good opportunity because with the party having disappeared in the town in the decade following 1995 the level of support at the last few elections probably looks a lot lower than it in reality is. At the recent county elections we were able to double the Conservative vote share compared with 2005 despite having extremely limited money and manpower. You can bet that a fair few up and coming Tories have cottoned on to the fact that Chesterfield offers a good first go at being a PPC with very little potential downside in terms of the candidate’s political CV.

    Bolsover is probably less attractive in that I wouldn’t expect much of a Tory campaign in that seat. I have heard nothing about candidate selection there and suspect it could either be left until quite late, or be attached to the Chesterfield selection in some way. In Chesterfield we at least have the chance of getting councillors elected. That is not a realistic prospect in Bolsover (although we did win a county seat this year that falls within the Bolsover constituency but in NE Derbys district) so there is less incentive to run any kind of active campaign.

  9. Kieran

    How did Derbyshire NE end up with a Sussex councillor as candidate and why did he apply? Did he think he had a chance of winning?

  10. Huw Merriman was selected for the seat in 2007 when the opinion polls had a very different look to now. As I was not a member then I don’t know exactly when in that year he was selected, but it was not until after the bottled election in September of that year that we began to see consistent Tory leads, and even then there was, unlike now, no talk of a Tory landslide. In the context of the 2007 political situation NE Derbys was an unwinnable seat for the Tories. Now it is just about possible that we could take it. If the selection was taking place now there would probably be different people putting themselves forward, and the outcome could well have been different. Perhaps the party may have made a different choice knowing that they could be selecting an MP rather than merely a candidate.

    However, from my limited knowledge Huw is a good candidate who has been working hard, and as I said upthread, I still expect NE Derbys to to prove to be just out of reach for us at the next GE. Although that could change at some future election inwhich the Tories perform strongly.

  11. Was Dudley town centre in Dudley until 1974 (in all probability it was!) and then Dudley East until 1997? Has it been in Dudley North since then?

  12. Has Dudley town centre been in Dudley East until 1997 and in Dudley North since then?

  13. Yes

  14. The BNP have a new candidate here in Ken Griffiths

  15. We need some discussion of the campaign in this seat. Any news please?

    Perhaps BNP have hopes of coming third?

    Irrespective of BNP vote, I predict Con gain here.

  16. The BNP have been on the wane here as perhaps witnessed by the fact that the previous candidate, party vice chairman Simon Darby is off to fight in Stoke at the next election. He previously represented Castle & Priory on Dudley MBC but their vote has fallen away quite badly there in recent years. They also aren’t helped that one of their other strongest wards, Coseley East is moved out of this seat to join Wolverhampton SE. I’d expect their share to fall here but they could still beat the LDs by default as they are exceptionally weak here and could see their share fall even further. Of course both these parties could be beaten to third place by UKIP who unlike either do now have an elected councillor in the constituency who also happens to be the candidate (i’m getting a sense of deja vu and feel I may be repeating things I already said upthread).
    Anyway agree this will be a Tory gain with the battle for third place being close three ways.

  17. Lab Hold= 500 maj

  18. As the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate I have personally pledged that if elected he will donate half his Parliamentary salary to create additional local jobs and will campaign tirelessly to promote Dudley North’s economy as I am passionate about making things better for our community. None of the other Candidates have agreed to make such a pledge!

  19. As the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate I have personally pledged that if elected I will donate half the Parliamentary salary to create additional local jobs and will campaign tirelessly to promote Dudley North’s economy as I am passionate about making things better for our community.

    Working in the voluntary sector, including as a Citizens Advice Bureau Manager. I am used to working hard, motivated by social justice and helping people and not making much money. I am applying to serve the people and not to get rich out of it, I do not seek to enjoy a higher standard of living and while I am not independently wealth I can certainly live on this reduced income. I do not just want to talk about making things better, I believe that you have to lead by example.

    None of the other Candidates have agreed to make such a pledge for the good of the people of Dudley North!

  20. Yes Mike!

    But you’re the Lib Dem candidate! You may aswell pledge to build a bridge to the moon, that still wouldn’t get you elected.

    People who live in this constituency have a clear choice. Unfortunately it’s a two horse race; Labour or Conservatives. A vote for UKIP or BNP is a vote for Labour. People have to choose between Ian Austin and Graeme Brown. Now Graeme has a problem, apparently. He isn’t local, he apparently doesn’t know what people want in Dudley. But Ian Austin is local, he knows best for Dudley and being local is the most important thing when being an MP… WRONG!! The most important thing in being an MP is to represent your electorate. Ian Austin has failed his electorate. He has never rebelled against the government, he hasn’t led proper local campaigns to save our pubs, or against the mosque. Instead he has been enjoying getting promoted to higher ministerial posts. What has this man done for the people of Dudley? Or is it that the people of Dudley have done more for this man?

    Now this Graeme chap. He may not be local, but in the 6 months that he’s been here, he has been out and about an visible to local people. He is in a Gornal pub every weekend, he has got involved with local businesses and schools and has led campaigns to help the community. I don’t normally get involved with all this politics malarkey, but seeing a visible presence of a candidate earns them my vote.

    ‘Gornal Born N’ Bred, We’m Strong In The Arm And Saft In The Yed’

  21. Also I don’t quite understand how Mike’s pledge is achieveable. Sounds like a stunt to me.

    Is he going to give businesses money from his own salary if elected? If so, then this sounds suspiciously like bribery to me-the promise of financial incentive after a certain action has been solicited.

  22. Mike’s pledge regarding his salary is indeed a silly stunt. I would expect that type of thing from someone like Tamsin Omond, but not from someone standing as a candidate for a supposedly serious political party intent in playing a role in government. As Shaun said above (and as I said over on the Hampstead & Kilburn thread re Ms Omond’s similar promise), it verges on an attempt to bribe the local electorate.

  23. Lab Hold

    Maj 600

  24. CON 2400

  25. Con maj 1,000

  26. Nelson Mandela donated 1/3 of his salary to charity. I do not think he did this as a stunt. I have worked in the charity sector and am used to tireless work and living frugally. The pledge is an example of leading by example. As to the result of the election this is up to the people and I offer to serve at their pleasure…

  27. National Front: Kevin Inman


  28. CON GAIN – might change my mind on this one before polling day though

  29. quite a good result for Labour, again showing the importance of first-time incumbency. Stourbridge had too small a Labour majority for it to make much difference. Labour will be very relieved at holding here.

  30. I’m not sure why it took them more than 15 hours to declare the result when the margin of victory was 649 votes, which is small but not tiny.

  31. The Labour vote held up here.
    Tories advanced about the average.
    I didn’t spot this result until some time over the weekend – I rather assumed the Tories would take it,
    but it’s clearly one of the lower swing seats in the region.

    A very very mixed picture in the West Midlands – slightly disappointing I think for the Tories but mainly because of expectations.

    As Richard indicates on other threads, this election more than any other desperately needs some objective analysis of seat types because it varies a lot within regions.

    I hope David Butler will publish a book.

  32. Interesting with the minor parties – BNP vote halved, whilst UKIP almost doubled. Any explanations?

  33. “I’m not sure why it took them more than 15 hours to declare the result when the margin of victory was 649 votes, which is small but not tiny.”

    From the local paper:

    The evening started peacefully, after verifying results, the count finally got underway around 1am, but problems soon start surfacing around 4am.

    It looked like a full result was going to be given, with rumours circulated Labour’s Ian Austin had retained his seat.

    The election officers sent home the counters shortly after, but then Conservative candidate Graeme Brown began questioning the results, and around 5.20am claimed 2,000 Tory votes were missing.

    A frantic search began as officers began searching through the compiled voting slips, with over 100 Tory votes being found in the UKIP box.

    Following much deliberation, which at times got heated between the nervous candidates and the returning officer, a call for another recount was made.

    The recount will now take place at 2pm this afternoon, with the local elections following immediately after.

  34. Thanks for that Andrea,
    explains quite a lot.

  35. I did think the Tories would take this, but thinking about it this doesn’t include the solid Tory voting blocks that Dudley South does. It seemed that both seats had behaved fairly similarly from 1997 but perhaps the Dudley West by-election had continued to influence the result in Dudley South. Kingswinford exercises a far bigger influence in Dudley South and has far higher turnout than the more Labour inclined areas. Here it is only really Sedgley which is solid for the Tories and that is far from monolithic – Gornal is Tory leaning but the eastern wards are pretty solid for Labour.
    Of course the large vote for UKIP here (and the BNP) could have been crucial. To answer Tonyotim’s question, the BNP used to very active here and had a councillor in Castle & Priory ward some time ago but they did not even contest that ward this time. The councillor in question was Simon Darby who is a leading member of the BNP and presumably much regional effort by the party would have been focussed here in 2005 when he was the candidate. This time he had gone off to fight in Stoke and the BNP did not even contest Castle & Priory this year. meanwhile UKIP are well organised and active here and this is the only Met borough which has an elected UKIP councillor (in St James ward) and he was the UKIP candidate here.
    Clearly the right-of -the-Tories vote could have been decisive. It is a moot point whether in the absence of UKIP and BNP candidates, or with weaker support for both, voters would have opted for the Conservatives instead. I guess with more robust policies on Europe and immigration the Conservatives would have been able to appeal to such voters as they did in the 1980s, but then this may have cost them some support amongst more liberal middle-class urban types, and prevented them from winning some other seats…
    .. like Birmingham Edgbaston

  36. Thanks for that Pete. That makes it clearer.

  37. Also the Labour MP (Ian Pearson) retired (at the age of 50) in Dudley South.

  38. In Feb 1974 there was a notional 11.4% swing to Labour in Dudley East. The Labour majority was 26.9% which implies the notional 1970 Labour majority would have been 4.1%.

  39. Where are you getting these notional swings from Andy? Unfortunately they don’t appear in the Times Guide to the House of Commons.

  40. As well as the Powell influence which influenced both the 1970 and 1974 electins in opposite directions (as mentioned on the Staffs South thread), the result in 1970 in Dudley would also have been skewed by the fact that the Conservatives had gained the seat in a by-eletcion in 1968. Although Labour regained it in 1970 the majority was clearly smaller than it would have been without the by-election (similar to the effect in reverse on the result in Dudley South in 1997)

  41. exactly

  42. According to a recent article published in the journal Parliamentary Affairs this is the only seat in the country that was not won by the Conservatives this year but would have been had the election been conducted under AV.

    It’s a very interesting article, particularly its assessment of who voters for each of the main parties would have been likely to give their second preferences to. I shall post a link to it below.

  43. The last link I posted hasn’t appeared. The article is here:

  44. In this borough the Conservatives are defending a majority of 16. It seems unlikely to be lost this year. Labour looks likely to gain Belle Vale & Upper Gornal/Woodsetton of those seats which are being contested this year, has a decent chance in Wordsley and more of an outside chance in Amblecote & in Gornal. Further Tory losses are unlikely. Labour’s 2007 performance was short of being completely disastrous so there aren’t many easy gains to be had. Therefore it looks like CON HOLD in this year’s elections.

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