General Election 2019: Your guide to the Jarrow constituency
Jarrow joins the nation at the General Election polls on Thursday, December 12, to elect a new MP. Here’s your guide to the constituency.
How did the Jarrow public vote at the last General Election in 2017?
Veteran MP Stephen Hepburn (28,020 votes) held the seat for Labour with a 17,263 majority from the Conservatives’ Robin Gwynn (10,757). They were followed by Ukip’s James Askwith (2,338), Liberal Democrat Peter Maughan (1,163) and the Greens’ David Herbert (745).
Have Labour always held Jarrow?
No. William Pearson triumphed for the Tories at the 1931 General Election by 3,192 votes before losing four years later to local Labour legend Ellen Wilkinson by 2,350 votes.
Will Brexit be a factor during the election campaign?
Yes. The Brexit Party will be represented at the election by Richard Monaghan.
Nearly 62% of the constituency also voted to leave the European Union during the 2016 Referendum.
Despite Mr Hepburn, who wanted to remain in the EU, seeming to be at odds with the bulk of his constituents, he actually increased his majority in 2017 by nearly 3,500 votes.
Why is Mr Hepburn not standing for Labour?
First elected during Labour’s 1997 landslide victory, Mr Hepburn is currently suspended by his party while they re-investigate an historical complaint of sexual harassment.
Owing to the time scale of December’s snap election, a selection panel was quickly convened and chose North Tyneside councillor Kate Osborne as their official candidate.
How was her selection received?
A group of 37 members of the Jarrow Constituency Labour Party (CLP) complained that Ms Osborne has been “imposed on our constituency”.
They also felt that her apology for sharing a social media image of then Prime Minister Theresa having a gun pointed at her head was not enough and that she should be replaced.
Labour have stuck to their decision while pointing out that Ms Osborne’s selection was unanimous and included CLP representation.
Are the other parties seeking to take advantage of the Labour crossfire?
Not yet. The other candidates have so far stressed that they want to concentrate on issues rather than personalities.
So what are the issues?
Brexit, yes, but expect public services to also be hotly debated.
Travelling to and from South Shields by public transport to visit patients can be both time consuming and costly. Even more so if your starting point is Jarrow or Hebburn.
And who are the candidates?
In alphabetical order, the candidates are Mark Anthony Conway (Social Democratic Party), James Paul Milne (Green Party), Richard Leslie Monaghan (Brexit Party), Nick Oliver (Conservatives), Kate Osborne (Labour), John Andrew Robertson (Independent), Shaun William Sadler (Independent) and David Wilkinson (Liberal Democrats).
Who do the bookies think are the leading candidates?
Bookmaker Paddy Power’s early prices backed Labour as 1-25 favourite, the Conservatives at 9-1 and the Brexit Party at 33-1.