Karen Allen

I fought South Shields at the May 2010 General Election for the Conservatives, gaining a 6.4% swing which was a 4% vote increase. The Conservatives polled 7,886 up from 5,207 in 2005. I was born in the North East and grew up in South Shields. I currently live in London and am employed as a Director at Lloyd's Broker Howden International.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Betting Men and Women out there?

So what do you think is going to happen on Thursday, here in South Shields and nationally?

Let's look as the voting record in South Shields. The elections in 1992 and 1997 have turnouts of around 70%, this plummeted down to 45-50% in both 2001 and 2005. Conservatives have roughly polled the same number of votes in 1997, 2001 and 2005 - the lower turnout was because previous Labour voters didn't turn out to vote.

It's 2010. We have the least popular Prime Minister of a generation (and possibly beyond). An MP who was parachuted into South Shields in 2001 - Miliband has never pulled the votes Dr David Clark did.

We are at a similar turning point to 1997. People want change, but I think in some parts of the country and I'll include South Shields in that, people are not sure of what change they want. That's why I've been knocking on doors and standing in King St and we've had over 150,000 leaflets delivered in South Shields - because I want to convince people it's Conservatives who can bring about this change.

If you are reading this and you're still unsure, I urge you to take the plunge. Put your faith in Cameron.

But back to the main subject of this post, here were the results in 2005 for the three main parties:

Labour 18,269
Lib Dem 5,957
Conservative 5,207

Here are the 2001 results:

Labour 19,230
Conservative 5,127
Labour 5,140

What's the result going to be in 2010? Please post your speculation as a comment! I'll be interested to hear your views.


Blogger Rogue Economist said...


I hesitate to put the numbers in but as you know there is change in the air and Brown is certainly not helping himself.

I have the pleasure of voting Conservative May 6th and if you havent already get a copy of this weeks 'Economist' at WH Smiths, they fully support the Conservative party and detail exactly why they are a better choice than Labour or Lib/Dem. It's in the 'leaders' section and made me snmile.

Good luck again Karen, all the best, Den.

1:38 pm  
Anonymous Pete said...

Conservatives to take Shields - you've canvassed far more than any of the other candidates and have the benefit of being both local and representing changes.

The optimist in me thinks Cameron can get an overall majority.

The pessimist in me is scared of a Lib-Lab coalition. (The Liberals seem a little to the left of Trotsky and lord only knows what they'd do to the country.)

The satirist would be amused if a party was one seat short and it all went down to the Thirsk and Malton election on the 27th May. (A day after HM opens Parliament.) Imagine the chaos if that one seat could decide the whole election? It would be amusing, if nothing else.

I still think the conservatives can get an overall majority this week though. No one seems to be counting the fact that some people will poll with what seems cool in the media (Nick Clegg at the mo) then go into the booth and poll with what is sensible.

2:12 pm  
Anonymous David Rocke said...

My speculation....Cameron squeaks an overall majority and you give Miliband a bloody nose with the biggest swing to the Conservatives in any constituency....

5:24 pm  
Blogger McMurdo said...

Whilst I don't think you have a realistic chance of winning, I have to say that you have worked extremely hard in what is quite hostile territory to the Tories and I admire you for this.

A good friend of mine was speaking this week to a neighbour, a retired miner who had voted Labour all his life. He said that he is switching to the Conservatives. I don't know how typical this is, but it is quite incredible in an area like this where the Tories are seen as the enemy.

7:31 pm  
Blogger Metaresearchboi said...


Interesting blog, keep up the good work.

On the subject of the swing, I honestly feel sorry that you've been given this seat to challenge for, as you seem like a great Conservative candidate, and you deserve better.

The fact is, anyone standing in a Labour T-shirt would win South Shields. It wouldn't matter their policies, nor their actual personality; this is as "true red" an area as it gets. Indeed, the Labour voters here are probably voting in the next Labour Leader (after Gordon falls at the Election) so I can't see much to change that.

Back to my point, I hope that the Conservative Party see that you've run a good campaign in the face of impossible odds and in the next election give you a winnable seat. I know all candidates have to start somewhere, but I think you've ran a very personable camapign based on local issues, and placed in a more marginal seat you'd probably have stood an excellent chance of being an MP.

I'm genuinely sorry you'll never be my MP, as I think South Shields could do with someone like you representing it, but I wish you all the best in future, and I'm sure come 2015 you'll be fighting again in a winnable seat with a much better chance.

Otherwise the Conservative Party has thrown away an outstanding potential MP.

12:01 pm  
Blogger Karen Allen said...

Metaresearchboi, thanks for posting your comment. I made a very definite choice to stand in my home town South Shields in 2010 - I passionately feel the area has been taken for granted for too long by Labour.
Although it's been a difficult campaign at some points and needless to say a lot of hard work, it makes it all worth while when you meet someone who tells you they have decided to vote for you, to vote Conservative. I've found a remarkable number of people who are first time Conservative voters and I include in this figure ex-Miners. I met one in Whitburn just this morning.
This makes my campaign all worthwhile.
Vote Local, Vote for Change, Vote Karen Allen in South Shields!

1:40 pm  

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