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Results & Constituencies
 
 Newcastle upon Tyne Central
Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Jim Cousins Labour 19,169 55.0 -4.2
Stephen Psallidas Liberal Democrat 7,564 21.7 +6.7
Aidan Ruff Conservative 7,414 21.3 -2.1
Gordon Potts Socialist Labour 723 2.1  
Majority 11,605 33.3
Turnout 34,870 51.3 -14.6
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 5.5% from Labour to Liberal Democrat
Lab-Con (against 1997) 1.0% from Labour to Conservative

Description
One would expect Newcastle Central , on the strength of its name, to be rock solid Labour territory; in this case, however, names can be deceptive, since the seat does not in fact cover the true centre of Newcastle, but rather surrounds the large open space of Town Moor. The consequential effects on house prices and employment make this the Newcastle seat which has seemed least firmly tied to Labour.

Central has one of the highest proportions of professional workers in the country, and a relatively small number of skilled manual workers. The seatís middle-class credentials extend to a high student population, with both of the cityís universities within its boundaries. Even the employment is more white-collar than is typical for the area, with the City Council being the largest single employer in a seat lacking any heavy industry.

The seat did in fact return a Tory MP, Piers Merchant in 1983 (as a result of vote splitting between Labour and the SDP), although it was won back for Labour in 1987 by Jim Cousins, who has held it ever since.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Newcastle upon Tyne Central
Labour hold
Name Party Votes %
Jim Cousins Labour 27,272 59.2
Brooks Newmark Conservative 10,792 23.4
Ruth Berry Liberal Democrat 6,911 15.0
Charles Coxon Referendum 1,113 2.4
Majority 16,480 35.8
Turnout 46,088 65.9
 
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