Monday, 3 May 2010

A Look @: Humberside

This post will discuss the Unitary Authorities of East Riding and Yorkshire and Kingston-upon-Hull; East Yorkshire and Hull for ease! This area contains six parliamentary seats (if we exclude the handful of wards in a predominantly North Lincolnshire seat) and they are currently shared three a piece between the Conservatives and Labour. Unsurprisingly the split is distinctly Urban/Rural with the Tories doing well in East Yorkshire and Labour in Hull. The Conservatives took East Yorkshire out of No Overall Control in the 2007 elections, gaining 18 Council seats so they now hold 47 of the 67. The Liberal Democrats were the biggest losers dropping 10 Councillors but remain the second largest group. This doesn't bode well for any hope of taking David Davis' seat. Meanwhile in Hull the Liberal Democrats have the momentum having taken control of the council. They rose from 22 Councillors to 33 in the local elections and so they enjoy a small majority on the 60 seat council. Labour have been pushed into second here and won 19 seats in the 2008 elections.



Notional Majority

Swing Needed



Beverley & Holderness

Graham Stuart




CON Hold

Yorkshire East

Greg Knight




CON Hold

Haltemprice & Howden

David Davis




CON Hold

Kings'-u-Hull W & Hessle

Alan Johnson




LAB Hold

Kingston-upon-Hull N

Diana Johnson





LAB Hold

Kingston-upon-Hull E

John Prescott




LAB Hold


The Conservatives have held Beverley & Holderness since it was established in 1997 and they were also strong in the old Beverly seat that preceded it. Graham Stuart is finishing his first term and has escaped any major controversies. Labour managed to get quite close here during the Blair years, falling short by around 1000 votes in 2001, but I don't think their candidate this year, Cllr Ian Saunders, has much of a chance; Tory Hold.

East Yorkshire is another seat the Conservatives have held since its creation in 1997 and they were again strong in this area before that. Greg Knight is seeking a third term as an MP but he came under fire for his expenses claims which included a fair amount of maintenance work. I can't see this being enough to let the Labour candidate Paul Rounding, a former Mayor, slip in against the swing; Tory Hold.

Haltemprice & Howden played host to one of the more bizarre by-elections in this Parliament. David Davis has represented this area in Parliament since 1987 but in 2008 he stood down to trigger a by-election, which he would contest, in protest against the Government's plans to extend the period allowed pre-charge for terrorist suspects. The Lib Dems refused to stand because they agreed with Davis but Labour also boycotted branding Davis' decision a 'stunt'. Davis cruised to victory with no serious challenger and his party have rewarded him by leaving the former Shadow Home Secretary on the backbenches with no hint of a return. The Lib Dems only need a 5.3% swing here to take this and their candidate Jon Neal will be contesting this seat for the third time. But I think Davis' name recognition will negate any CON>LD swing in this region and he'll by returned to the Commons; Tory Hold.

Hull West & Hessle is held by the current Home Secretary Alan Johnson. He has been the only MP for this constituency which was established in 1997. Johnson shouldn't have a problem; Labour Hold.

A 7000 vote majority should be fairly straightforward for first term MP Diana Johnson. But like many seats in this election safe bets are a rarity. To be fair to Johnson she's kept a low profile and there isn't anything against her personally. But that serves to leave her at the mercy of national events, which aren't going Labour's way. The LAB>LD regional swing here is around 10% at the moment so Johnson has a little wriggle room. But the Lib Dems lead in the Councillor count in this constituency and they've stuck with their 2005 candidate Denis Healy. I think he'll run this close but I think their odds are a bit short here. The incumbent is relatively clean and overturning 13% swings is a tough ask so I'm going for a narrow Labour Hold.

John Prescott has represented Hull East since 1970 but at 71 the former Deputy Prime Minster has decided to draw the curtain on his 40 year Parliamentary career. This seat is solidly Labour and their candidate Karl Turner will easily hold this for his party; Labour Hold.


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