Hartlepool (UK Parliament constituency)

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Hartlepool
Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Hartlepool in Cleveland.
Outline map
Location of Cleveland within England.
County County Durham
Electorate 70,010 (December 2010)[1]
Current constituency
Created 1974 (1974)
Member of parliament Iain Wright (Labour)
Number of members One
Created from The Hartlepools
Overlaps
European Parliament constituency North East England

Hartlepool /ˈhɑːrtˌlpᵿl/ is a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament[n 1] which has elected a Labour member to serve it since 1964.

Boundaries[edit]

The seat is currently coterminous with the borough of Hartlepool, which has close to the average population for a UK parliamentary constituency. The seat includes the town of Hartlepool itself and the nearby villages of Hart, Elwick, Greatham, Newton Bewley and Dalton Piercy. Before 1974 the seat was known as The Hartlepools (reflecting the representation of both 'old' Hartlepool and West Hartlepool).

History[edit]

The constituency had previously substantially been in the constituency of The Hartlepools. It became the constituency of Hartlepool in 1974.

Since its creation Hartlepool has been a Labour constituency, although its predecessor did have Conservative MPs both in the early 1960s and during the Second World War. In the 1992 general election, Edward Leadbitter stood down and was succeeded by the former Labour Director of Communications Peter Mandelson. Mandelson's pivotal role in the reshaping of the Labour Party into New Labour has attracted much attention and he has become a prominent target. During the first term of office of the Labour government he was twice appointed to the Cabinet and twice forced to resign amid controversial small scandals. In the 2001 general election, there was a prominent contest when the former leader of the National Union of Mineworkers and current leader of the Socialist Labour Party, Arthur Scargill stood, hoping to exploit uneasiness about "New Labour" in the traditional Labour heartlands. In the event, Mandelson held his seat, while Scargill polled only 912 votes. Mandelson shocked many with a highly triumphalist victory speech in which he declared "They underestimated Hartlepool, and they underestimated me, because I am a fighter and not a quitter!"[1].

The following year, the town's first direct Mayoral election generated surprise when the mascot of Hartlepool United F.C., H'Angus the Monkey (real name Stuart Drummond) was elected on a platform that included free bananas for schoolchildren.

Mandelson quit his role as MP for Hartlepool when he was appointed as a European Commissioner in the summer of 2004. This triggered a by-election that took place on 30 September 2004. The Hartlepool by-election was the last before the 2005 general election. Iain Wright retained the seat for Labour. That by-election marked the first time that the United Kingdom Independence Party had ever come third in a by-election. Labour have continued to hold the seat since the by-election with a dwindling majority and falling vote share, and at the three most recent elections, three different parties have come second - the Liberal Democrats in 2005 (following their strong performance in the by-election the previous year), the Conservatives in 2010, and UKIP - going one better than their by-election showing - in 2015. In 2010, the Conservatives gained their largest percentage vote increase in the country in Hartlepool taking the Labour majority to just over 5,500, whilst in 2015, UKIP recorded their eleventh highest vote share in the UK, taking 28% and reducing the Labour majority to just over 3,000.

2010 General Election[edit]

Both the 2010 and 2015 General Elections (in addition to several local elections) took place against the backdrop of concerns regarding the potential closure of Hartlepool and Stockton hospitals and their replacement with a new ‘super hospital’ in out-of- town Wynyard. This precipitated the closure of several departments and the removal of services from Hartlepool. The move was initially supported by Hartlepool MP Iain Wright and opposed by Stockton South candidate James Wharton at the 2010 election. A substantial protest group was formed opposing Wynyard and calling on services to remain at Hartlepool, backed by a campaign by local newspaper the Hartlepool Mail.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat Governmental coalition announced it would scrap the Wynyard proposals, although no guarantees were made regarding the future of Hartlepool hospital. This issue continued to dominate politics in Hartlepool at both General Elections and local council elections, which did not act in favour of Iain Wright and Labour, who had backed the Wynyard plans.

At the 2010 General Elections the Conservative Party approached regional BBC broadcaster and Hartlepool Mail columnist Alan Wright to stand as their candidate, despite his lack of political and campaigning experience, hoping that his high profile would help. The Conservatives gained a 16.7% swing – the largest in the country – taking second place from the Liberal Democrats and gaining them a vote share exceeding their historic support figure.


2015 General Election[edit]

Sitting MP Iain Wright was the only 2010 candidate to remain on the much extended ballot paper in 2015, where the three main parties faced competition from UKIP, the Green Party and three Independent candidates, each standing primarily on healthcare related platforms. Popular local taxi driver and charity fundraiser Stephen Picton put himself forward as the voice of the hospital campaigners, although this was challenged by the last-minute candidacy of Sandra Allison who stood under the banner of ‘Your Vote Could Save Our Hospital’ . John Hobbs, an 80-year old autism campaigner stood under the tag-line ‘Tell it like it is’.

UKIP earmarked Hartlepool as a potential gain and the seat became one of its top ten national targets as well as its main target in the North East, attracting significant party funding, visits from leader Nigel Farage and the regional party conference. It selected Philip Broughton, a former Stockton Conservative Councillor and wrestling entrepreneur, as its candidate. The Conservative Party selected public affairs consultant and competitive swimmer Richard Royal as its candidate.

The Conservative’s national 40/40 strategy meant that much of its regional resources were directed towards the marginal seats of Stockton South and Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, forcing candidates to campaign outside of their selected seats. The Green Party selected local member Michael Holt, who had been arrested the previous year for obstructing a police officer at a protest in London, although charges were subsequently dropped . Just days before the nomination deadline, the Liberal Democrats selected Darlington based Hilary Allen as its candidate.

On Valentines Day 2015 a ‘We Love Our Hospital’ rally was organised by Save Our Hospital and the Teeside Peoples’ Assembly Against Austerity, attracting large crowds in Hartlepool town centre. Candidates Iain Wright, Richard Royal, Philip Broughton, Stephen Picton and Michael Holt each gave speeches alongside other selected speakers.

One day prior to the General Election, local football club Hartlepool United FC took the unprecedented step of openly criticising Wright and seemingly encouraging fans to support either Royal or Broughton, both of whom had met the club’s leadership and shown support for its interests. The club was under pressure, facing relegation and had an ongoing land dispute with the Labour council. Throughout the campaign, both Philip Broughton and Richard Royal sought to portray themselves as the only viable alternative to Iain Wright, with Broughton distributing leaflets claiming that the Hartlepool election was a ‘two-horse race’, and Royal referring to the close 2010 result with his slogan “Wright for your town? Wrong for your future. Turn Hartlepool Royal Blue”. UKIP and the Conservatives gained a combined 48.9% compared to Iain Wright’s 35.6%, but neither taking enough votes individually to defeat Labour.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[2] Political party Offices held
1974 Edward Leadbitter Labour
1992 Peter Mandelson Labour Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (11 October 1999 – 24 January 2001),
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (27 July 1998 – 23 December 1998),
Minister without Portfolio (2 May 1997 – 27 July 1998)
2004 by-election Iain Wright Labour Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for 14–19 Reform and Apprenticeships (9 June 2009 – 11 May 2010)

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: Hartlepool[3][4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Iain Wright 14,076 35.6 -6.9
UKIP Phillip Broughton 11,052 28.0 +21.0
Conservative Richard Royal 8,256 20.9 -7.2
Independent Stephen Picton 2,954 7.5 N/A
Green Michael Holt 1,341 3.4 N/A
Save Hartlepool Hospital Sandra Allison 849 2.1 N/A
Liberal Democrat Hilary Allen 761 1.9 -15.2
Independent John Hobbs 201 0.5 +N/A
Majority 3,024 7.7 -6.7
Turnout 39,490 56.8 +1.3
Labour hold Swing
General Election 2010: Hartlepool[5][6][7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Iain Wright 16,267 42.5 −9.0
Conservative Alan Wright 10,758 28.1 +16.7
Liberal Democrat Reg Clark 6,533 17.1 −13.3
UKIP Stephen Allison 2,682 7.0 +3.5
BNP Ronnie Bage 2,002 5.2 N/A
Majority 5,509 14.4 -6.7
Turnout 38,242 55.5 +4.2
Labour hold Swing −12.9

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Hartlepool[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Iain Wright 18,251 51.5 +10.8
Liberal Democrat Jody Dunn 10,773 30.4 +15.4
Conservative Amanda Vigar 4,058 11.5 +1.3
UKIP George Springer 1,256 3.5
Socialist Labour Frank Harrison 373 1.1 +0.8
Green Iris Ryder 288 0.8
Independent John Hobbs 275 0.8
Monster Raving Loony Jedediah Caleb Bartimaeus Headbanger 162 0.5
Majority 7,478 21.1
Turnout 35,436 51.5 −4.3
Labour hold Swing −11.5
By-election 2004: Hartlepool
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Iain Wright 12,752 40.7 −18.5
Liberal Democrat Jody Dunn 10,719 34.2 +19.2
UKIP Stephen Allison 3,193 10.2
Conservative Jeremy Middleton 3,044 9.7 -11.1
Respect John Bloom 572 1.8
Green Iris Ryder 255 0.8
National Front Jim Starkey 246 0.8
Independent (Fathers 4 Justice) Peter Watson 139 0.4
Socialist Labour Christopher Herriot 95 0.3 −2.1
Common Good Rev Dick Rodgers 91 0.3
Independent Philip Berriman 90 0.3
Monster Raving Loony Alan Hope 80 0.3
Independent (Rainbow) Ronnie Carroll 45 0.1
English Democrats Ed Abrams 41 0.1
Majority 2,033 6.5
Turnout 31,362 45.77
Labour hold Swing −11.5
General Election 2001: Hartlepool[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Peter Mandelson 22,506 59.1 −1.6
Conservative Augustine Alberto Robinson 7,935 20.9 −0.5
Liberal Democrat Nigel Frederick Harrison Boddy 5,717 15.0 +1.0
Socialist Labour Arthur Scargill 912 2.4 N/A
Independent Ian John Henry Cameron 557 1.5 N/A
Independent John Richard Booth 424 1.1 N/A
Majority 14,571 38.2
Turnout 38,051 55.8 −9.8
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Hartlepool[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Peter Mandelson 26,997 60.7 +8.9
Conservative Michael Horsley 9,489 21.3 −13.5
Liberal Democrat Reginald Clark 6,248 14.1 +0.8
Referendum Maureen Henderson 1,718 3.9
Majority 17,508 39.4
Turnout 44,452 65.65
Labour hold Swing +11.2
General Election 1992: Hartlepool[11][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Peter Mandelson 26,816 51.9 +3.4
Conservative Graham M. Robb 18,034 34.9 +1.0
Liberal Democrat Ian John Henry Cameron 6,860 13.3 −0.8
Majority 8,782 17.0 +2.4
Turnout 51,710 76.1 +3.1
Labour hold Swing +1.2

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Hartlepool[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Edward Leadbitter 24,296 48.5 +3.0
Conservative Peter Charles Catchpole 17,007 33.9 −5.3
Liberal Arthur Preece 7,047 14.1 -1.3
Independent Ian John Henry Cameron 1,786 3.6
Majority 7,289 14.5
Turnout 50,136 73.0
Labour hold Swing
General Election 1983: Hartlepool[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Edward Leadbitter 22,048 45.5 -9.9
Conservative F. Rogers 18,958 39.2 +1.3
Social Democratic N. Bertram 7,422 15.3 +8.6
Majority 3,090 6.3
Turnout 48,434 69.8
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1979: Hartlepool
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Edward Leadbitter 27,039 55.1 +3.4
Conservative K. Miller 18,887 38.4 +3.4
Liberal C. Abbott 3,193 6.5 -6.9
Majority 8,162 16.6 -0.1
Turnout 49,109 74.7 +2.3
Labour hold Swing
General Election October 1974: Hartlepool
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Edward Leadbitter 24,440 51.7 -2.6
Conservative NH Freeman 16,546 35.0 -10.7
Liberal L Tostevin 6,314 13.4
Majority 7,894 16.7 +8.1
Turnout 47300 72.4 -4.5
Labour hold Swing
General Election February 1974: Hartlepool
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Edward Leadbitter 26,988 54.3 -3.6
Conservative NH Freeman 22,700 45.7 +3.5
Majority 4,288 8.6 -6.8
Turnout 49,688 76.9 +2.5
Labour hold Swing

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ As with all constituencies, Harlepool elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election at least every five years.
References

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

  1. ^ "Electorate Figures – Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "H" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
  3. ^ "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  4. ^ "Hartlepool". BBC News. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  5. ^ "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  6. ^ http://www.hartlepool.gov.uk/download/5989/parliamentary_notice_of_poll
  7. ^ "UK > England > North East > Hartlepool". Election 2010. BBC. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  10. ^ "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "Election Data 1992". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  12. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
  13. ^ "Election Data 1987". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  14. ^ "Election Data 1983". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 

Coordinates: 54°39′N 1°16′W / 54.650°N 1.267°W / 54.650; -1.267