General Election 2019: Your guide to the South Shields constituency
South Shields joins the nation in going to the General Election polls on December 12. Here’s your guide to the constituency.
So what happened in South Shields at the 2017 General Election?
Defending candidate Emma Lewell-Buck clinched the seat for the third time to follow victories at the 2015 election and at the 2013 constituency by-election.
Her 2017 majority increased by nearly 4,000 votes to 14,508. Conservative Felicity Buchan was second with 10,570 votes, Richard Elvin (Ukip) was third with 3,006 votes, Shirley Ford (Greens) was fourth with 1,437 votes and
Gita Gordon (Liberal Democrats) was last with 681 votes.
Is Mrs Lewell-Buck standing again?
Despite political blogs beginning to write her Parliamentary obituary in November, the answer is yes.
Mrs Lewell-Buck, who became the town’s MP in 2013, was potentially facing deselection as part of a trigger ballot process within her constituency party.
This is where sitting Labour MPs face an internal challenge from party rivals ahead of an election.
As the process was incomplete when the snap General Election was called, however, Mrs Lewell remained Labour’s candidate.
Have Labour always held South Shields?
Only for the last 84 years. Liberal candidate Harcourt Johnstone defeated Labour MP Chute Ede in 1931 before Mr Ede regained the seat in 1935.
In the 19th Century the constituency was held by Conservative, Radicals, Whigs and Liberals.
Will Brexit be a factor during the election campaign?
Undoubtedly. At the 2016 Referendum, 62.05% of South Shields voters chose to Leave compared to 37.95% who wanted to stay.
While Mrs Lewell-Buck voted to Remain, she has repeatedly insisted that she respects the 2016 outcome and wants a deal signed.
Glenn Michael Thompson is also standing for the Brexit Party in South Shields.
Thompson? Why does that name sound familiar in this campaign?
That’s because South Shields Football Club owner and chairman Geoff Thompson, who has masterminded the Mariners’s rise up the non-league pyramid, is standing as an independent candidate in the constituency on December 12.
Better study that voting slip carefully.
Who else is standing in South Shields on December 12?
The full alphabetical list is as follows: Emma Lewell-Buck (Labour), Sarah Jean McKeown (Green Party), Oni Boghene Oviri (Conservatives), William James Shepherd (Liberal Democrats), Geoff Thompson (Independent) and Glenn Michael Thompson (Brexit Party).
What do the bookies say?
Labour are heavy favourites, according to Paddy Power, at 20-1 on, with the Conservatives their closest rivals at 9-1 and the Brexit Party a distant third favourite at 33-1.