General election 2010: Middlesbrough South and Cleveland remains loyal to Labour

By Marina Kim

Labour has held its north-eastern constituency in spite of a 7.4% swing to the Conservatives.

Tom Blenkinsop of the Labour party gained 18,138 votes (39.2%). Conservative Paul Bristow got 16,461 votes (35.6%).

With strong industrial roots it’s not surprising Labour are the major political force here. Labour held the seat since 2001. Previous Labour MP Ashok Kumar, who won the elections in 2005, unexpectedly died earlier this year.

This constituency has a varied demographic make up. It is a densely populated urban area comprising much of the eponymous town.

The main election issue in this constituency was a £60 million recovery package for Teesside set up to help the area recover from the mothballing of Redcar’s Corus plant.

The Conservatives were accused of plans to scrap the fund. The allegations were dismissed by the Conservatives.

Crime and unemployment are some of other concerns of the local population.