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election2001
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St Helens South
Labour hold

Constituency Profile by Robert Waller
St Helens is a tough working class town. It is overshadowed by the factories of Pilkington's, one of the world's leading glass makers, and its ancillary industries, and the area around Parr used to host coal mining too. As in the case of its rival Wigan, the most popular and successful sport in St Helens is Rugby League, that epitome of masculine, northern, muscular, working-class culture; St Helens is one of the largest towns not to have Football League soccer club. The metropolitan borough of St Helens has covered a wider area since 1974, but most of the area within the more historic community boundaries lies in this South division. It is a town of fixed and traditional tastes, and one of these is the Labour party, even in its modernised and sanitised incarnation. Whether this stretches as far as Shaun Woodward, who is more of a reincarnation as a converted (if leadership-coverted) Tory MP, remains to be seen. A choice for more Left-wing, or perhaps more traditional , voters will be offered by the candidature of Neil Thompson, a miner’s son and last-minute defector from Labour to the Socialist Alliance. One final oddity: Shaun Woodward said he left the Conservative Party because of the Tories' social illiberalism, specifically their refusal to back the repeal of Section 28 on the promoton of homosexuality. Yet Gerald Bermingham was one of a handful of Labour MPs to oppose any reduction at all in the gay age of consent, a sentiment which may well have suited a constituency with a high proportion of Roman Catholic and working class voters.

Personality Profile by Byron Criddle
Shaun Woodward, the floor-crossing Conservative who switched to Labour over Tory homophobia and europhobia in December 1999, was deftly dropped in here by Millbank at the start of the election campaign courtesy of the last minute withdrawal of the sitting MP Gerry Bermingham. Born in 1958 and educated at Bristol Grammar School and Jesus College Cambridge, Woodward married a Sainsbury heiress and worked at Central Office and the BBC before being elected as Tory MP for Witney in 1997. With his sudden switching to Labour after two-and-a-half years as a partisan Labour-baiting MP seeming less convincing than the slower transition of fellow Tory deserters Alan Howarth and Peter Temple-Morris, the choice of St Helens for his new career as a Labour MP has a certain symmetry. For it was here between 1945 and 1958 that the Labour MP was Sir Hartley Shawcross, whose eventual desertion of Labour was to earn him the sobriquet “Sir Shortly Floorcross”.
ACORN Population Profile of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
Thriving
Wealthy Achievers, Suburban Areas 11.77% 14.99% 78.48
Affluent Greys, Rural Communities 0.00% 2.13% 0.00
Prosperous Pensioners, Retirement Areas 0.00% 2.49% 0.00
Expanding
Affluent Executives, Family Areas 0.31% 4.43% 6.95
Well-Off Workers, Family Areas 15.20% 7.27% 208.96
Rising
Affluent Urbanites, Town & City Areas 0.00% 2.56% 0.00
Prosperous Professionals, Metropolitan Areas 0.00% 2.04% 0.00
Better-Off Executives, Inner City Areas 0.19% 3.94% 4.79
Settling
Comfortable Middle Agers, Mature Home Owning Areas 5.15% 13.04% 39.51
Skilled Workers, Home Owning Areas 30.08% 12.70% 236.83
Aspiring
New Home Owners, Mature Communities 7.96% 8.14% 97.69
White Collar Workers, Better-Off Multi Ethnic Areas 0.07% 4.02% 1.77
Striving
Older People, Less Prosperous Areas 4.15% 3.19% 130.28
Council Estate Residents, Better-Off Homes 17.49% 11.31% 154.67
Council Estate Residents, High Unemployment 1.62% 3.06% 52.77
Council Estate Residents, Greatest Hardship 5.95% 2.52% 236.44
People in Multi-Ethnic, Low-Income Areas 0.00% 2.10% 0.00
Unclassified
Unclassified 0.06% 0.06% 95.32
Household Income of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
£0-5K 12.16% 9.41% 129.12
£5-10K 19.53% 16.63% 117.40
£10-15K 18.14% 16.58% 109.41
£15-20K 13.99% 13.58% 103.00
£20-25K 10.11% 10.39% 97.27
£25-30K 7.15% 7.77% 91.94
£30-35K 5.04% 5.79% 86.93
£35-40K 3.56% 4.33% 82.25
£40-45K 2.54% 3.27% 77.93
£45-50K 1.84% 2.48% 73.98
£50-55K 1.34% 1.90% 70.37
£55-60K 0.99% 1.47% 67.10
£60-65K 0.74% 1.15% 64.14
£65-70K 0.56% 0.91% 61.47
£70-75K 0.42% 0.72% 59.06
£75-80K 0.33% 0.57% 56.87
£80-85K 0.25% 0.46% 54.90
£85-90K 0.20% 0.37% 53.10
£90-95K 0.16% 0.31% 51.48
£95-100K 0.12% 0.25% 49.99
£100K + 0.58% 1.34% 43.28

Local Map of the constituency
St Helens South - Local Map of the constituency

National Map of the constituency
St Helens South - National Map of the constituency

Swing
1992-1997 1997-2001
Labour (7.61%)
Conservative (-  9.52%) Liberal Democrat (-  0.53%)
Liberal Democrat (9.74%)
Conservative (-  1.15%) Labour (- 18.92%)
Con - 9.52%
Lab 7.61%
LD - 0.53%
Con - 1.15%
Lab - 18.92%
LD 9.74%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Shaun Woodward
Labour hold
Con Conservative (13.83%) 4,675 13.83%
Lab Labour (49.70%) 16,799 49.70%
LD Liberal Democrat (23.12%) 7,814 23.12%
Oth Other (13.36%) 4,516 13.36%
Maj Majority (26.58%) 8,985 26.58%
Turn Turnout (51.91%) 33,804 51.91%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Shaun Woodward
Labour hold
Ind B David Braid 80 0.24%
Ind M Michael Murphy 271 0.80%
SL Mike Parry 1,504 4.45%
C Lee Rotherham 4,675 13.83%
UK Bryan Slater 336 0.99%
LD Brian Spencer 7,814 23.12%
SA Neil Thompson 2,325 6.88%
L Shaun Woodward 16,799 49.70%
Candidates representing 8 parties stood for election to this seat.
1997 Results - General Election (1 May 1997)
Gerry Bermingham
Labour
Con Conservative (14.98%) 6,628 14.98%
Lab Labour (68.61%) 30,367 68.61%
LD Liberal Democrat (13.37%) 5,919 13.37%
Ref Referendum (2.63%) 1,165 2.63%
Oth Other (0.40%) 179 0.40%
Maj Majority (53.64%) 23,739 53.64%
Turn Turnout (66.53%) 44,258 66.53%
1992 Results -  General Election (9 April 1992)
Labour
Con Conservative (24.50%) 12,263 24.50%
Lab Labour (61.00%) 30,572 61.00%
LD Liberal Democrat (13.90%) 6,961 13.90%
Oth Other (0.60%) 304 0.60%
Maj Majority (36.50%) 18,309 36.50%
Turn Turnout (73.09%) 50,100 73.09%

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