Batley & Spen

2015 Result:
Conservative: 15769 (31.2%)
Labour: 21826 (43.2%)
Lib Dem: 2396 (4.7%)
Green: 1232 (2.4%)
UKIP: 9080 (18%)
TUSC: 123 (0.2%)
Others: 53 (0.1%)
MAJORITY: 6057 (12%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

Geography: Yorkshire and the Humber, West Yorkshire. Part of the Kirklees council area.

Main population centres: Batley, Heckmondwike, Cleckheaton, Liversedge, Birkenshaw, Gomersal.

Profile: The Batley part of the seat consists of the working class town of Batley, a former mill town that has a large Asian population from the demand for cheap Labour in the last century. The Spen in the seat title refers not to a particular settlement, but to the collection of former textile towns and villages of the Spen Valley, which tend to be smaller, whiter and almost semi-rural.

Politics: Batley tends to vote Labour, while the other towns and villages are more Conservative, making this a marginal seat between the Conservatives and Labour. This is the sort of ethnically mixed seat where the Conservatives have struggled in recent years, having fallen further and further behind since first losing the seat in 1997.


Current MP
JO COX (Labour) First elected as MP for Batley & Spen in 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 17159 (34%)
Lab: 21565 (42%)
LDem: 8095 (16%)
BNP: 3685 (7%)
Oth: 605 (1%)
MAJ: 4406 (9%)
2005*
Con: 12186 (31%)
Lab: 17974 (46%)
LDem: 5731 (15%)
BNP: 2668 (7%)
Oth: 649 (2%)
MAJ: 5788 (15%)
2001
Con: 14160 (37%)
Lab: 19224 (50%)
LDem: 3989 (10%)
GRN: 595 (2%)
Oth: 574 (1%)
MAJ: 5064 (13%)
1997
Con: 17072 (36%)
Lab: 23213 (49%)
LDem: 4133 (9%)
Oth: 856 (2%)
MAJ: 6141 (13%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
IMTIAZ AMEEN (Conservative)
JO COX (Labour)
JOHN LAWSON (Liberal Democrat)
ALEKSANDAR LUKIC (UKIP) Educated at Heckmondwike Grammar School. Teacher.
IAN BULLOCK (Green)
KARL VARLEY (Patriotic Socialist)
DAWN WHEELHOUSE (TUSC)
Links
Comments - 678 Responses on “Batley & Spen”
  1. Christian
    “these type of ex-mining, non-metropolitan seats”
    This seat isn’t mining country its old textile mills and “metropolitan” is often a buzzword for multicultural and this seat has a very high Muslim population. On the surface it ay appear to fit in the same mould as other WWC seats but its actually quite different.

    “Batley and Spen was slowly trending towards the Tories before Cox’s murder”
    It really wasn’t the seats rising Muslim population has really hampered the Tories here, indeed the seats description points out that the Tories are doing worse here than they did in 1997.

  2. Yes and no.

    It’s no coincidence that the very right wing local Elizabeth Peacock performed well here throughout the ’80s and ’90s and the Asian Tory PPC underperformed here.

  3. I am of the view that this seat will turn blue.

    My estimate is 38% Conservtaive, 34% Labour.

    There are 9k UKIP votes up for grabs (yes, they will stand this time).

  4. Interested to hear Elizabeth Peacick described as “very right wing” as i remember her as a socially conservative one nation Tory who managed to hold what is essentially a Labour seat for longer than ond might have expected

  5. No UKIP candidate here, but interesting to note that Alex Lukic is standing as an independent.

  6. As expected the usual suspects here who would have leapt on this had it been a Labour candidate are curiously quiet regarding this incident

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/election-2017-ann-myatt-jo-cox-batley-spen-nobodys-been-shot-yet-joke-hustings-conservatives-tories-a7761981.html

    As it is I doubt it will make much difference whether this seat is held or lost but an embarrassment for the candidate regardless.

  7. I saw that report as well. Word is Brabin will Hold for LAB.

    Daily Mail 29/5/17: “The Tory candidate, hoping to win the seat represented by murdered MP Jo Cox, has apologised after she made an unfortunate joke at a hustings about no one being shot.

    She said: ‘We have here people of all faiths, we have here people from different parts of the community, and we have not yet shot anybody so that’s wonderful.’

  8. She probably had quite a good chance of winning prior to that, in this Brexity constituency, even with narrowing polls nationally.

    But not any more.

  9. Interesting that the area largely voted to Leave, only days after Cox’s death. Her husband noted in a recent interview that several of Jo’s relatives also voted that way, so he doesn’t hold the campaign responsible for the incident.

    As to all the discussion about “democracy” and not standing other candidates in the BE – well, you didn’t have to wait long and you’ve now had it. I remember Electoral Calculus predicting this as a Con gain during early stages of the campaign. Brabin got quite a good lead last week in the final result.

    I also noted when the murder happened that Birstall was a Conservative council ward. (Just an observation, no inference implied.)

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