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election2001
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Blyth Valley
Labour hold

Constituency Profile by Robert Waller
Although this seat in the heavily populated south eastern corner of Northumberland looks the part of a Labour stronghold, it experienced an individual electoral history , to say the least, in the last quarter of the twentieth century. After dropping their independently minded MP Eddie Milne for the February 1974 election, Labour entered a long troubled period. Milne beat the official candidate in that contest, then lost narrowly in October 1974 and 1979. He died before the 1983 election, but instead Labour's highly eccentric John Ryman (an active fox hunter with some rather wild opinions) faced another strong challenge in the shape of the newly formed SDP. Things got no easier in 1987, when Ryman was replaced by a far left wing Labour standard bearer, Ronnie Campbell; the SDP lost by only 853 votes. After the disappearance of the SDP into the Liberal Democrats, Labour's position has become much stronger, and by 1997 Campbell had a majority of nearly 18,000, after a huge swing - here from the LDs, not the Tories, who have been bystanders throughout this mayhem. One cannot but feel that Labour have brought these troubles on themselves. Blyth itself is one of those far northern towns of remorselessly gritty aspect, with its seafront overshadowed by a power station, docks and the legacy of mining. There are old colliery villages like Seghill. Finally, a more volatile voting pattern might be expected in the "New Town" of Cramlington, still quite working class but less traditionally rooted. Cramlington was still in the 1999 local elections the site of the majority of the nine Liberal Democrats on Blyth Valley council, but they have never provided the threat that Eddie Milne and then the SDP did.

Personality Profile by Byron Criddle
In 1918 the Parliamentary Labour Party was dubbed “a committee of checkweighmen”, nearly half of them (25 out of 57) being miners. By 1997 in a PLP of 418 the total was 12 (ex-miners or NUM officials) and of those 12 collectors' items one is Ronnie Campbell, MP here since 1987. Facially birthmarked and with a Geordie accent that makes Gazza sound like Brian Sewell, he was born 1943, and after secondary modern schooling was a miner for 27 years until made redundant a year before he became an MP. He fairly regularly rebels with other Campaign Groupers, his belligerent verbal outbursts symbolising the eclipse of a proletarian culture and the mining industry's terminal decay.

Internet Links for this constituency
ACORN Population Profile of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
Thriving
Wealthy Achievers, Suburban Areas 1.28% 14.99% 8.51
Affluent Greys, Rural Communities 0.00% 2.13% 0.00
Prosperous Pensioners, Retirement Areas 0.12% 2.49% 4.86
Expanding
Affluent Executives, Family Areas 7.03% 4.43% 158.84
Well-Off Workers, Family Areas 22.57% 7.27% 310.26
Rising
Affluent Urbanites, Town & City Areas 3.09% 2.56% 120.44
Prosperous Professionals, Metropolitan Areas 0.00% 2.04% 0.00
Better-Off Executives, Inner City Areas 0.00% 3.94% 0.00
Settling
Comfortable Middle Agers, Mature Home Owning Areas 5.18% 13.04% 39.72
Skilled Workers, Home Owning Areas 15.24% 12.70% 119.98
Aspiring
New Home Owners, Mature Communities 16.53% 8.14% 203.01
White Collar Workers, Better-Off Multi Ethnic Areas 0.94% 4.02% 23.33
Striving
Older People, Less Prosperous Areas 7.82% 3.19% 245.53
Council Estate Residents, Better-Off Homes 15.27% 11.31% 134.99
Council Estate Residents, High Unemployment 0.95% 3.06% 31.01
Council Estate Residents, Greatest Hardship 3.99% 2.52% 158.42
People in Multi-Ethnic, Low-Income Areas 0.00% 2.10% 0.00
Unclassified
Unclassified 0.00% 0.06% 0.00
Household Income of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
£0-5K 11.11% 9.41% 118.06
£5-10K 20.20% 16.63% 121.47
£10-15K 19.14% 16.58% 115.47
£15-20K 14.56% 13.58% 107.21
£20-25K 10.28% 10.39% 98.91
£25-30K 7.09% 7.77% 91.24
£30-35K 4.88% 5.79% 84.34
£35-40K 3.39% 4.33% 78.18
£40-45K 2.37% 3.27% 72.71
£45-50K 1.68% 2.48% 67.84
£50-55K 1.21% 1.90% 63.51
£55-60K 0.88% 1.47% 59.65
£60-65K 0.65% 1.15% 56.20
£65-70K 0.48% 0.91% 53.10
£70-75K 0.36% 0.72% 50.31
£75-80K 0.27% 0.57% 47.79
£80-85K 0.21% 0.46% 45.51
£85-90K 0.16% 0.37% 43.43
£90-95K 0.13% 0.31% 41.53
£95-100K 0.10% 0.25% 39.80
£100K + 0.43% 1.34% 31.80

Local Map of the constituency
Blyth Valley - Local Map of the constituency

National Map of the constituency
Blyth Valley - National Map of the constituency

Swing
1992-1997 1997-2001
Labour (14.31%)
Conservative (-  2.26%) Liberal Democrat (- 11.04%)
Conservative (2.54%) Liberal Democrat (1.97%)
Labour (-  4.50%)
Con - 2.26%
Lab 14.31%
LD - 11.04%
Con 2.54%
Lab - 4.50%
LD 1.97%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Ronnie Campbell
Labour hold
Con Conservative (15.87%) 5,484 15.87%
Lab Labour (59.70%) 20,627 59.70%
LD Liberal Democrat (24.43%) 8,439 24.43%
Oth 0 0.00%
Maj Majority (35.28%) 12,188 35.28%
Turn Turnout (54.60%) 34,550 54.60%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Ronnie Campbell
Labour hold
L Ronnie Campbell 20,627 59.70%
C Wayne Daley 5,484 15.87%
LD Jeff Reid 8,439 24.43%
Candidates representing 3 parties stood for election to this seat.
1997 Results - General Election (1 May 1997)
Ronnie Campbell
Labour
Con Conservative (13.34%) 5,666 13.34%
Lab Labour (64.21%) 27,276 64.21%
LD Liberal Democrat (22.46%) 9,540 22.46%
Ref 0 0.00%
Oth 0 0.00%
Maj Majority (41.75%) 17,736 41.75%
Turn Turnout (68.78%) 42,482 68.78%
1992 Results -  General Election (9 April 1992)
Labour
Con Conservative (15.60%) 7,691 15.60%
Lab Labour (49.90%) 24,542 49.90%
LD Liberal Democrat (33.50%) 16,498 33.50%
Oth Other (1.00%) 470 1.00%
Maj Majority (16.30%) 8,044 16.30%
Turn Turnout (80.25%) 49,201 80.25%

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