Wansbeck (UK Parliament constituency)

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Wansbeck
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Wansbeck in Northumberland.
Outline map
Location of Northumberland within England.
County Northumberland
Electorate 62,395 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlements Morpeth
Current constituency
Created 1983
Member of Parliament Ian Lavery (Labour)
Number of members One
Created from Morpeth
18851950
Number of members One
Type of constituency County constituency
Replaced by Morpeth, Bedlington and Newbiggin-by-the-Sea
Created from South Northumberland
Overlaps
European Parliament constituency North East England

Wansbeck is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Ian Lavery, a member of the Labour Party.[n 2]

Boundaries[edit]

Parliament accepted the Boundary Commission's Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies did not alter this constituency for the 2010 general election, thus since 1997 it has electoral wards:

  • Bedlington: Central, East and West wards; Bothal, Central, Choppington, Guide Post, Haydon, Hurst, Newbiggin East, Newbiggin West, Park, Seaton, Sleekburn and Stakeford which formed the former district of Wansbeck
  • Hebron, Hepscott and Mitford, Morpeth Central, Morpeth Kirkhill, Morpeth North, Morpeth South, Morpeth Stobhill and Pegswood in the former borough of Castle Morpeth - all of the above being in the unitary county of Northumberland.[2]

History[edit]

1885-1950[edit]

Political history

The seat alternated in accordance with the national trend in mining-strong communities outside of South Yorkshire, which as such saw significant early Labour support, and led to, in the 1931 and 1935 elections, a general transfer of loyalty to the Conservative Party, and ushered in a return to Labour support in the next contested election in 1945.

Prominent frontbenchers

Alfred Robens represented the area in the Attlee ministry and towards the end of the year of Attlee's more marginal victory (1950-51) served as Minister of Labour and National Service. He then in 1951 won instead the newly created Blyth seat to the immediate south. In 1955 he became Shadow Foreign Secretary until an unimpressive performance in predicting and reacting to events in the Suez Crisis in 1956. However, in a position which would span the period 1961 until 1971, he became Chairman of the National Coal Board (and Lord Robens) and oversaw substantial cuts in the mining industry. During this period he co-authored the Robens Report that followed his difficult but practical risk management of the coal mining sector, including accepting some culpability in the Aberfan Disaster. This led, with the ministry of Barbara Castle's adjustments, to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which set up the Health and Safety Executive and remains the foundation of this area of English law.

1983-date[edit]

The constituency has been held solely by Labour since its recreation, during which time its history presents a safe seat. The most marginal majority was in 2010, in a similar result to 1983 when the runner-up candidate was a Liberal Democrat.

Constituency profile[edit]

The seat has the visitor attractions of a historic main town with a castle, Morpeth and the traditional seaside town of Newbiggin. Workless claimants as registered jobseekers, with high male unemployment, which is widespread but exacerbated in the area, in November 2012, was higher than the national average of 3.8%, at 6.2% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian. This was marginally higher than the then regional average of 5.9%.[3]

Members of Parliament[edit]

MPs 1885-1950[edit]

Election Member[4] Party
1885 Charles Fenwick Lib-Lab
1918 Robert Mason Liberal
1918 Coalition Liberal
1922 George Henry Warne Labour
1929 George William Shield Labour
1931 Bernard Cruddas Conservative
1940 Donald Scott Conservative
1945 Alfred Robens Labour
1950 Constituency abolished

MPs since 1983[edit]

Election Member[4] Party
1983 Jack Thompson Labour
1997 Denis Murphy Labour
2010 Ian Lavery Labour

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2010: Wansbeck[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Ian Lavery 17,548 45.9 -9.3
Liberal Democrat Simon Reed 10,517 27.5 +1.0
Conservative Campbell Storey 6,714 17.5 +2.6
BNP Stephen Finlay 1,481 3.7 +3.7
UKIP Linda-Lee Stokoe 974 2.5 +2.5
Green Nic Best 601 1.6 -1.8
Independent Malcolm Reid 359 0.9 +0.9
Christian Michael Flynn 142 0.4 +0.4
Majority 7,031 18.4 -10.3
Turnout 38,273 60.7 +2.3
Labour hold Swing -5.2

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Wansbeck
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Denis Murphy 20,315 55.2 −2.6
Liberal Democrat Simon Reed 9,734 26.4 +3.6
Conservative Ginny Scrope 5,515 15.0 +2.2
Green Nic Frances Best 1,245 3.4 +0.9
Majority 10,581 28.7 -6.3
Turnout 36,809 58.4 −0.9
Labour hold Swing -3.1
General Election 2001: Wansbeck
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Denis Murphy 21,617 57.8 -7.7
Liberal Democrat Alan Thompson 8,516 22.8 +6.8
Conservative Rachael Lake 4,774 12.8 -1.2
Independent Michael Kirkup 1,076 2.9 N/A
Green Nic Frances Best 954 2.5 +0.4
UKIP Gavin Attwell 482 1.3 N/A
Majority 13,101 35.0 -14.5
Turnout 37,419 59.3 -12.3
Labour hold Swing -7.3

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Wansbeck
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Denis Murphy 29,569 65.5 +5.8
Liberal Democrat Alan Thompson 7,202 15.9 +0.6
Conservative Paul V. Green 6,299 13.9 -9.7
Referendum Party Peter H. Gompertz 1,146 2.5 N/A
Green Nic Frances Best 956 2.1 +0.7
Majority 22,367 49.5 +13.4
Turnout 45,172 71.7 -7.6
Labour hold Swing +7.8
General Election 1992: Wansbeck[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Jack Thompson 30,046 59.7 +2.2
Conservative Glen Sanderson 11,872 23.6 +4.2
Liberal Democrat Brian C. Priestley 7,691 15.3 -7.8
Green Nic Frances Best 710 1.4 +1.4
Majority 18,174 36.1 -21.4
Turnout 50,319 79.3 +1.3
Labour hold Swing +5.0

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Wansbeck
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Jack Thompson 28,080 57.5 +10.5
Liberal Mrs. S.A.G. Mitchell 11,291 23.1 -7.0
Conservative D.M. Walton 9,490 19.4 -3.5
Majority 16,789 34.4 +17.4
Turnout 48,861 78.0 +5.2
Labour hold Swing +8.8
General Election 1983: Wansbeck
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Jack Thompson 21,732 47.0 N/A
Liberal Alan Thompson 13,901 30.1 N/A
Conservative C.H.W. Mitchell 10,563 22.9 N/A
Majority 7,831 17.0 N/A
Turnout 46,196 72.8 N/A
Labour hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1940s[edit]

General Election 1945: Wansbeck
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Alfred Robens 40,948 60.00
Conservative Robert Scott 27,295 40.00
Majority 13,653 20.01
Turnout 77.69
Labour gain from Conservative Swing
Wansbeck by-election, 1940
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Robert Scott unopposed
Conservative hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1935: Wansbeck
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Bernard Cruddas 30,859 50.79
Labour E. Dowling 29,904 49.21
Majority 955 1.57
Turnout 79.59
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1931: Wansbeck
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Bernard Cruddas 33,659 58.25
Labour George William Shield 24,126 41.75
Majority 9,533 16.50
Turnout 81.86
Conservative gain from Labour Swing

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 1929: Wansbeck

Electorate: 67,390

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour George William Shield 27,930
Conservative Bernard Cruddas 17,056
Liberal Rev. Frederick Wandby 6,330
Majority 10,874
Turnout
Labour hold Swing
Wansbeck by-election, 1929
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour George William Shield 20,398 58.0 +5.1
Conservative I.M. Moffat-Pender 9,612 27.3 −19.8
Liberal H.A. Briggs 5,183 14.7 N/A
Majority 10,786 30.7 +24.9
Turnout 35,193 65.3 −14.1
Labour hold Swing +14.5

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

Wansbeck by-election, 1918
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Robert Mason 5,814
Labour Ebenezer Edwards 5,267
Majority 547
Liberal hold Swing

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ A county constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
  2. ^ As with all constituencies, the constituency elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election at least every five years.
References

Sources[edit]

  • Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3rd edition ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.