General election 2010: Tories take crucial Carlisle gain

By Sam Dale

The Conservatives have won a key seat in Carlisle, which has been held by Labour since 1964.

The victory represents a huge success for the Conservatives who made the seat target number 136.

There was a 7.7% swing to the Tories which would lead to a Conservative majority if repeated nationally.

Incoming MP John Stevenson gained 16,588 votes compared with Labour’s Michael Boaden who had 15,736.

Liberal Democrat John Hughes trailed with just 6,567 votes, losing one per cent in the northern constituency.

The Tories had targeted Carlisle as a key northern constituency and somewhat of a bellwether seat but considering more erratic results nationally it may not be the case.

Apart from the 1997 election, when turnouts have been high at around 70%, the Tories have run Labour very close here.