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Results & Constituencies
 
 Wansbeck
Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Denis Murphy Labour 21,617 57.8 -7.7
Alan Thompson Liberal Democrat 8,516 22.8 +6.9
Rachael Lake Conservative 4,774 12.8 -1.1
Michael Kirkup Independent 1,076 2.9  
Nic Best Green 954 2.5 +0.4
Gavin Attwell UK Independence 482 1.3  
Majority 13,101 35.0
Turnout 37,419 59.4 -12.2
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 7.3% from Labour to Liberal Democrat
Lab-Con (against 1997) 3.3% from Labour to Conservative

Description
Based on the former Morpeth seat which was replaced in 1983, the constituency is now more appropriately named after the river which winds its way through the seat, rather than the affluent commuter town of Morpeth which is hardly representative of this gritty division in the heart of the former Northumberland coalfield.

Labour has won Morpeth and then Wansbeck in every general election since the Second World War and Denis Murphy won majority of 22,367 in 1997.

The main centres of population here are the towns of Morpeth, Newbiggen, Bedlington, Pegswood and Ashington - birthplace of the footballing brothers Bobby and Jack Charlton. All of these towns are industrial in nature and grew up as mining communities, although other industries are replacing coal and the largest employer is now Alcan - makers of aluminium cans.

There is some agriculture in the seat, and some of Newcastle’s better-off commuters choose to live here.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Wansbeck
Labour hold
Name Party Votes %
Dennis Murphy Labour 29,569 65.5
Alan Thompson Liberal Democrat 7,202 15.9
Paul Green Conservative 6,299 13.9
Peter Gompertz Referendum 1,146 2.5
Nic Best Green 956 2.1
Majority 22,367 49.5
Turnout 45,172 71.6
 
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