Constituency Volatility?

Democratic Dashboard has published data showing the results of all four elections since 1997.

I have extracted the data for the North East of England (my region), showing the winner of the 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2010 election (plus the incumbent from the 1992 election) Assumptions made by Democratic Dashboard where there were boundary changes and constituency renaming. I have added the History note mainly from Wikipedia records. Often the seats have been held by one party since they were created.

So in 4 election over 28 seats there will have been 112 opportunities to change an MP. In addition there have been 4 by-elections: in South Shields (2013), Middlesbrough (2012), Sedgefield (2007) and Hartlepool (2004). So from 116 opportunities, there have been 5 changes in MP made by the electorate. There have been other changes due to retirements, but in these cases the incumbent party’s selection committee has chosen the new MP.

Are the voters of the North East of England really that “conservative” and unchanging in their political views? Or might the voting system be unresponsive?


Footnotes: Northumberland

¹ Eddie Milne Labour MP was briefly an Independent MP after falling out with his local party. Normal service was resumed at the following election.

² Douglas Clifton Brown Conservative MP was elected Speaker. Normal service was resumed following his retirement.

³ Wansbeck was abolished in 1950 and recreated in 1983

Footnotes: Newcastle and North Tyneside

¹ Mike Thomas Labour MP defected to the SDP. Normal service was resumed at the following election.

² Including previous constituency of Wallsend.

Footnotes: Gateshead & South Tyneside

¹ Gateshead was abolished in 1950 and recreated in 2010. In the meanwhile there were constituencies like Tyne Bridge – normal service meaning they were Labour.

Footnotes: Sunderland

¹ Seats created in 2010: previous constituencies Labour since 1950/64

Footnotes: Durham

¹ Including former seat of Chester-le-Street

Footnotes: Cleveland

¹ Bill Rodgers labour MP (for the single constituency of Stockton) defected to the SDP. Normal service was resumed at the following election.

 

 

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