I’ve never been to South Shields. In fact, I’ve never been to the north of England at all. Well, Manchester and Hull for h2g2 meets, and Marsden in Yorkshire, where I have family history. But South Shields is much further north than these.
It is a town with a mining history. It is a town with a union history. It is a town with high unemployment. And, according to a lovely profile in the New Statesman, it’s doing pretty well, thank you.
South Shields remains the only parliamentary constituency since the Great Reform Act of 1832 … never to have elected a Conservative MP.