Just three seats set to change hands in the North East

The North East of England isn’t very likely to prove crucial in next year’s general election. Only two seats changed hands here in 2010. Based on Ladbrokes’ odds on every individual constituency, we are forecasting that both of those will switch back and only one further seat will see any change. Below is a list of the only constituencies that have any reasonable chance of being competitive; the “lose chance” is our estimate of the percentage chance of the incumbent party being defeated, based on the current odds.

Seat Winner 2010 Maj% 2010 Lose Chance Prediction
Redcar Lib Dem   12.4 77.64% LAB GAIN
Stockton South Conservative   0.7 72.23% LAB GAIN
Berwick-upon-Tweed Lib Dem   7.0 58.59% CON GAIN
Middlesbrough South & Cleveland Labour   3.6 23.00% LAB HOLD
Newcastle upon Tyne North Labour   7.8 12.76% LAB HOLD
City of Durham Labour   6.6 11.13% LAB HOLD
Darlington Labour   7.9 10.65% LAB HOLD
Hexham Conservative 13.3 8.95% CON HOLD

After the Liberal Democrats stunning win in Redcar in 2010, political punters are confidently predicting this seat will return to the Labour column. This constituency was badly affected by the closure of a local steel plant and saw the biggest Lab-Lib swing in the UK last time. The Lib Dems only other seat in the region, Berwick, also looks likely to be lost. Alan Beith’s retirement after over 40 years as the local MP has handed the Tories a golden chance to gain a rare foothold in the region.

No problems are foreseen for the Conservatives in holding on to Hexham, although Stockton South could be a very tight battle. James Wharton has won many good reviews during his first term as MP, but he’s going to need a big first time incumbency bonus to hang on to his wafer thin majority here.

The demographics of the region give UKIP some cause for optimism that they might perform well in a few places, although winning any seats looks unlikely. We rate their best chances as being Hartlepool, Blyth Valley and South Shields, all at 16/1.

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