Colne Valley

2015 Result:
Conservative: 25246 (44.4%)
Labour: 19868 (35%)
Lib Dem: 3407 (6%)
Green: 1919 (3.4%)
UKIP: 5734 (10.1%)
Independent: 54 (0.1%)
Others: 572 (1%)
MAJORITY: 5378 (9.5%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

Geography: Yorkshire and the Humber, West Yorkshire.

Main population centres:



Current MP
JASON MCCARTNEY (Conservative) Born 1968, Harrogate. Former RAF Officer and ITV Yorkshire news & sport presenter. First elected as MP for Colne Valley in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 20440 (37%)
Lab: 14589 (26%)
LDem: 15603 (28%)
BNP: 1893 (3%)
Oth: 2771 (5%)
MAJ: 4837 (9%)
Con: 16035 (33%)
Lab: 17536 (36%)
LDem: 11822 (24%)
BNP: 1430 (3%)
Oth: 2097 (4%)
MAJ: 1501 (3%)
Con: 14328 (30%)
Lab: 18967 (40%)
LDem: 11694 (25%)
GRN: 1081 (2%)
Oth: 917 (2%)
MAJ: 4639 (10%)
Con: 18445 (33%)
Lab: 23285 (41%)
LDem: 12755 (23%)
Oth: 1926 (3%)
MAJ: 4840 (9%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
JASON MCCARTNEY (Conservative) See above.
JANE EAST (Labour) Educated at University of Wales. International development program manager.
CAHAL BURKE (Liberal Democrat) Born 1977. Educated at Huddersfield University. College lecturer. Kirklees councillor.
MELANIE ROBERTS (UKIP) Bookseller. Contested Colne Valley 2010.
CHAS BALL (Green) Contested Colne Valley 2010.
PAUL SALVESON (Yorkshire First) Educated at Salford University. Kirklees councillor 2012-2013 for the Labour party. Contested Professor, writer and former railway worker. Awarded the MBE for services to the railway in 2009.
MELODIE STANIFORTH (no description) Contested Colne Valley 1992, 1997, Richmond Yorks 2001, Sedgefield 2005 for the Monster Raving Loony Party.
Comments - 238 Responses on “Colne Valley”
  1. The latest Ashcroft and the changes since his March figures:

    Con 37 +4
    Lab 35 +3
    UKIP 11 N/C
    L/Dem 8 -4
    Green 6 -4
    Other 2 N/C

    Of note that despite UKIPs vote being unchanged and only the Lib Dem and Green votes being squeezed, the Conservatives retain and slightly expand their lead. Labour appears to be running out of potential tactical votes.

    All however within the margin of error.

  2. It’s interesting to see how well the Conservative vote has stood up and that Labour is still behind despite a frankly astonishing collapse in the Liberal Democrat vote.

  3. Going on the Ashcroft poll this could still be a surprise Labour gain.

    I’m surprised to see the Lib Dems fall that far back though.

  4. That fall in the LD vote gives them hope in seats they are defending… They need all the other seats to be at or below 8%…

    And the fact that votes are falling in seats like this while the national vote is static means it must be going up somewhere else…

    But note the Lib Dem vote is not going to Labour in seats like this….

    When Richard Wainwright won this seat for the first time in 1966 he squeezed the Tory vote down to 8.4%! Traditional Lib Dem voters here are not Labour leaning.

    It will be interesting to see if they hold the council seats they won here in 2014… Quite possibly yes…

  5. But Andrew – and I suspect you are aware of this – the current seat may share the name but has little in common with that which Richard Wainwright won in 1966.

    The pre 1983 boundary changes completely changed to seat by removing the Saddleworth villages and adding some of the most upmarket areas of Huddersfield. Wainwright started the 1983 election technically in 3rd place and did remarkably well to “gain” the seat, albeit in a favourable climate.

    If the old boundaries had been retained, this seat would probably have been continuously held by the Liberals and Liberal Democrats since 1974.

  6. @StephenPT

    Yes, I realised it changed from safe labour (in the absence of Richard Wainwright) to Lab-Con marginal (in the absence of Richard Wainwright)… It is interesting how Labour and the Tories kept swapping places after 1989 with the Lib Dems getting 24% in 3rd place… Then in 2010 they managed to break back into second, just…

    I was fascinated to see that in the 1950’s the Liberals and Tories seem to have had a pact to try and get Labour out (without success), fighting alternate elections! Violet Bonham-Carter fought it in 1951, grandmother of Helena!


  7. And more importantly she was the daughter of the great Herbert Henry Asquith.

    She was also one of Churchill’s oldest friends and according to Roy Jenkin’s biography, Winston squared it with the local Conservative association that they would not run a candidate against her.

    And going further back this was the constituency of Philip Snowden, Labours luckless first chancellor, and Victor Grayson, the early firebrand Socialist who “disappeared” in 1920.

    Its a seat with a cracking history!

  8. Ah, I am reading about 1951! Churchill arranged for the Tories not to stand against Violet Bonham-Carter, his great friend (well, he almost married her, apparently!)

    The next election the Liberals did not stand, and then Richard Wainwright appeared in 1959, coming 3rd…

    They don’t make politicians like Richard Wainwright and Violet Bonham Carter (daughter of Asquith) any more…

  9. ah Sorry! I was writing the same as you! (but had to look it up!)

  10. No problem.

    There is another interesting link between Violet Bonham-Carter and Roy Jenkins. The latter of course wrote what is still probably the stand out biography of her father. During the course of doing so, he unearthed the now famous correspondence between Asquith and the young Venetia Stanley. She was a friend of Venetia’s and had been unaware of the letters and was horrified by their intimate tone. At her request, he held back some of the extracts he had used in his original draft, but following her death, subsequent editions of the biography reverted to the original text,

  11. ah yes, fascinating story

    Like Lloyd George and Frances Stevenson (although that affair lasted for 30 years and they married when Lloyd George was 80!


  12. Am I right in thinking that the planned HS2 route goes through this constituency, and Mr McCartney voted in favour of it?

  13. JACKMASTER; I don’t think that HS2 goesdirectly through Colne Valley as currently planned, but Jason McCartney has certainly been an enthusiastic supporter of it.

    The LibDems have clearly given this seat up as no hope from the off. Last election, they fought a strong campaign, but still came nowhere near, this time around, I haven’t had an election communication from them yet.

    ANDREW111; the council seats the LibDems won in the constituency in 2014 were all ones where they had a sitting councillor. In the same wards this time around, there are no LD defending candidates, 2 Tories and 1 Labour. I can see them taking the Colne Valley council seat and perhaps Lindley where there is a split Conservative vote, but Golcar off Labour on GE day will be much harder.

    My inclination remains that this will be a Conservative hold with a majority of just under 1000.

  14. Lexboz:

    Thanks for the local info! I am moving to Kirklees (Mirfield) shortly and I guess I should take an interest in what goes on on the Council!


  15. Conservative Hold. 2,000 majority. Labour 2nd.

  16. ANDREW111

    No problem. I think Mirfield is safe Conservative for the council.

    Was at the final hustings at Marsden Mechanics Hall, well-attended with ~200 there. The most impressive candidate on the night was Yorkshire First’s Paul Salveson. All the others made good points at times. I find it difficult to warm to Jane East, even though I’ll probably end up voting for her.

  17. This seat is probably moving towards the Conservatives for demographic reasons; but Labour should be expecting to win it if they are expecting an overall majority. But actually they don’t seem to be expecting this seat.

  18. Back home after a long weekend in Wirral West and there continues to be a marked contrast between the two; Wirral lots of political activity, Colne Valley, no evidence of canvassing my address [sorry you were out/candidate called today cards etc]. election communication from Jason McCartney, who’s ahead in the number of leaflets delivered anyway. Wonder if there will be an eve of poll one from Jane East. Still doesn’t feel like a key marginal.

  19. Labour did manage a day of poll leaflet, though it arrived after I’d left for work.

    Very quiet at the polling station, a contrast from 2010 where I had to queue for 10 minutes for a ballot paper.

  20. Colne Valley

    Cons 44.4 (+7.5)
    Lab 35.0 (+8.6)
    UKIP 10.1 (+8.0)
    LD 6.0 (-22.2)
    Gre 3.4 (+1.8)

    Con majority 5378

    Pretty much as you were regarding the Con-Lab battle. Appalling Lib Dem performance, even by the standards of 2015.

  21. This is still a seat Labour needs if they are to win a majority, but in which they will have struggle to maintain their position as the seat becomes increasingly commuterland.

  22. Yes- I agree, Frederic. The Conservative vote share in May was the highest it has been in this version of the seat.

  23. I think that his voting record shows Jason McCartney is not just lobby-fodder and his local roots may have boosted his support above any national swing. However the seat is certainly trending Tory and barring any mishaps I could see him holding it comfortably at future elections.

    The demise of the LibDem vote is not such a surprise. In 2010, it was effectively a target with a lot of resources poured in, to very little effect. In that context, they did nothing in this election save an election address and saved their deposit, suggesting some of their traditional core vote remains.

  24. The Boundary Commission is proposing to bring this seat up to quota by bringing in a small area from South Yorkshire. They claim that this is acceptable because the area has good road links.

    Really?! As its name implies, this seat consists of valleys West of Huddersfield. As a consequence its road system consists of roads going East-West up the Colne Valley and adjacent valleys e.g. to Meltham.. They are ordinary roads, not dual carraiageways, and they are subject to speed restrictions, particularly between Huddersfield and Marsden.

    If you want to go North-South in this constituency the likelihood is that you will have to go over hilltops between adjacent valleys, and the roads for this are definitely not good. On occasion, it will be easier to go into Huddersfield and out again.

  25. That may be true but what’s the alternative boundary wise?

  26. Unfortunately, the new, restrictive, quotas make it difficult to come up with sensible proposals fro a hilly but industrial /residential area like this. And Colne Valley is a historically significant seat which few people would wish to abolish.

    I hope the local political parties will be able to put forward improvements to the proposals.

  27. Pro-Brexit MP in a constituency where the referendum result was close to 50/50. In the current climate, it’s hard to see anything other than an increased majority for Jason McCartney with the Lib Dems regaining third place from UKIP.

  28. Had my first election leaflet from the Tories. Only 4 mentions of Strong and Stable Leadership, could do better!

  29. With a week to go, still very quiet here. 2 Lib Dem leaflets, one each for Labour and the Conservatives, nothing yet from the Greens and Independent. I live fairly near to the Labour candidate, so no surprise most of the posters around are red. No canvassers that I’ve come across here. A few hustings meetings, will attend my nearest in Marsden on Monday, but it’s not really feeling like a GE is underway at all.

  30. Might have jumped the gun with Shipley but Colne Valley has definitely gone Labour..

  31. Utterly delighted that Thelma won.

  32. Surprised at this one tbh. I voted Lib Dem, whose vote was squeezed significantly, but as long as Thelma Walker does a decent job will resort to tactical voting next election. Which I really hope isn’t for a while.

  33. Congratualtions to Labour here.

    Colne Valley has a political history all of its own; but Labour did well to get over the line this time.

  34. Once again very little political activity in my area of this marginal seat. Newsletter from ex MP and candidate Conservative Jason McCartney on the day the poll was called and a sprinkiling of posters on lamp-posts the totality to date.

    If the polls are to be believed, this will be a comfortable Tory gain. I’ve not seen anything yet to contradict that expectation.

  35. Not even a year has passed since Thelma Walker was unseated and she’s left the labour party.

  36. Seemingly because she’s a Corbyn supporter, reading between the lines.

  37. Thelma Walker is standing as a candidate for the Northern Independence Party (which I thought was an online joke, not something actually registered with the Electoral Commission) in the May locals.

  38. Apologies, she is actually standing for the Hartlepool by-election. Which I think has already been noted on the Hartlepo thread?

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