: IT’S ALL ABOUT VOTING
UK General Election 2015
Our Guide to 2015 UK General Election Night
Between 11:00pm – 1:30am
Sunderland is again expecting to win the race to declare first and all three seats are safe Labour but the details of the results will be important and at this stage the detailed result will probably be broadcast live.
HOUGHTON AND SUNDERLAND SOUTH is predicted to be first. In 2010 Labour had 50% of the vote on a 55% turnout and 19,137 votes, the Conservatives 8147, and the Lib Dems 5202. UKIP did stand and gained 1000 votes but the BNP more with nearly 2000. On the national polls we would expect Labour to go up a little, the Conservatives to go down a little and the Lib Dems to lose over half their vote. The wild card here is UKIP and this is the sort of seat where UKIP have been claiming that they will do well and come a good second to Labour so the other parties may all go down. Conservatives may vote tactically for UKIP to defeat Labour but Labour may pick up some of the Lib Dem vote. If UKIP comes second and the Labour majority is 5000 or less then UKIP may break through in places like Grimsby. UKIP have put in an effort here and if they come behind the Conservatives then they are unlikely to have any effect on Labour seats.
WASHINGTON AND SUNDERLAND WEST is almost identical to Houghton and Sunderland South in its 2010 vote. Labour 19615, Conservative 8157, Lib Dems 6382 and the BNP and UKIP about the same as well. The constituency is mostly the new town of Washington which might be a bit more volatile.
SUNDERLAND CENTRAL. The Conservatives are much stronger here and in 2010 with favourable boundaries changes thought they might have an outside chance of winning, so this is a seat that may behave more like the marginals and it will be more difficult for UKIP to get above the Conservatives. Labour had 19495 (45.9%), the Conservatives 12770 (30.1%) and the Lib Dems 7191 (16.9%). It is worth calculating the Labour/Conservative swing here though it is always dangerous to base a national projection on a particular region. In 1959 Labour gained in the first two results in Salford and then lost almost everywhere else. The seat may be a pointer to more marginal Darlington and Stockton on Teeside.
DURHAM NORTH-WEST. This seat is also safe Labour and includes the ex-steel town of Consett but the Lib Dems came a respectable second here with 10,900 votes to Labour’s 18,500. If the Lib Dem vote collapses and Labour gains then Labour should easily win other northern Lib Dem seats such as Burnley and Redcar. There is a possibility though that UKIP will pick up some Lib Dem votes in protest at the economic decline of the area.
A disparate group of seats should come in:
ANTRIM NORTH is a safe seat for the Democratic Unionist Party and the second party in 2010 was even more loyalist. Normally Northern Ireland seats are a sidelight to the main contest, only of interest to people in the province. However, Foyle is important this time. The seat was previously easily won by John Hume for the SDLP but in 2005 and 2010 Sinn Fein mounted a challenge. If the SDLP win that provides a vote in Parliament that would support many policies of a Labour Government but if Sinn Fein win then the MP will not take his seat. Sinn Fein have run on an anti-austerity programme but this time the SDLP may be able to claim that they will have a real influence on a British Government.
DURHAM NORTH is safer for Labour than Durham North-West so it probably won’t tell us anything we don’t know from the earlier Durham results. It includes Chester-le-Street and Stanley and the Lib Dems and Conservatives had about the same vote but 12,000 behind Labour.
DAGENHAM & RAINHAM. This outer London seat will be the first from the south and could be seen as a Labour held marginal with John Cruddas’s majority cut to 2000 last time by the Conservatives. The BNP did well for a time in local elections and are putting up a candidate as well as UKIP. The seat is less white working class than it used to be, especially at the Dagenham end, and if Labour does not retain it with an increased majority they are in for a very bad night.
NUNEATON. This Midlands seat is a crucial marginal with Labour needing a 2.3% swing to win so if the Conservatives hold on it will be like the Basildon of 1987 and 1992 giving a pointer to the overall result. It is a middle of the road seat similar to others across the Midlands such as Erewash and Amber Valley.
If the two parties are level in the exit poll then that equates to a 3.5% national swing which should give Labour Nuneaton. Labour had a 5% lead across the constituency in the last local elections, a 3% lead in the Ashcroft constituency poll last year and 5% in March so it looks like Labour has the edge. If the Conservatives lose here they will hope that Southern, Lancashire and Black Country marginals behave differently or that Nuneaton is reverting to its former status as a traditional Labour seat. Labour did win here in 1992 though the Conservative had a majority nationally.