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 - 233 Responses on “Colne Valley”
  1. specifics on this seat are rather spartan! AW must have come down with writer’s block….

    I didn’t realise this had been a Liberal seat.. it doesn’t figure on their target lists but maybe it should .. sometimes the easiest-looking marginals are actually a Sisyphean task. having some sort of local memory of a Liberal MP must be more helpful than going after something de novo.. what happened to Wainwright?

  2. Odd seat this

    A rare case of a rural seat which used to be Labour as far back as the 1920s, with the Tories taking it for the first time in 100 years in 1987 by prominent John Redwood supporter Graham Riddick

    Before that it had seemed more of a Labour/Liberal marginal

  3. The boundaries in this seat were radically changed Tim for the 1983 General Election.

    When Huddersfield West was abolished, the new Colne Valley seat took in a lot of the area that old seat covered. Therefore, this seat became by far more promising for the Conservatives.

  4. ‘The boundaries in this seat were radically changed Tim for the 1983 General Election.’

    I didn’t realise but it did seem strange that such a rural seat would have such a strong Labour tradition

    Interestingly the current MP, Jason McCartney, used to be a Lib Dem

  5. ”I didn’t realise but it did seem strange that such a rural seat would have such a strong Labour tradition
    Interestingly the current MP, Jason McCartney, used to be a Lib Dem”

    It was the industrial areas of the seat that gave Labour its strong support in Colne Valley, but there is also support tucked away for them in the suburbs of Huddersfield that are included within this seat.

    With regards to Jason McCartney, he actually stood in the local elections in Leeds when he was a Lib Dem a few years back.

  6. There has always been a strong Liberal presence in both Colne & Calder valleys. I think that this will still be a 3 way marginal after 2015. If pushed I would go with something like ; Con 33, Lab 31, LD 25.
    I think that generally in areas where there is a traditional LD following going back decades their vote will hold up (like here, South West, rural Scotland, parts of outer London, HazelGrove/Cheadle etc) . It will be in areas where LD votes have dramatically increased in the last 10 years or so, that there will be a huge drift away from LDs back to mostly Labour & some back to Tories. Because of this, they wont leak sufficient votes here to get Labour over the line, and I expect McCartney to just hang on.

  7. Although the Lib Dems have only been competitive in calder valley in the last few elections. There’s no real Liberal history their (not since the 1920s) or in it’s predecessor seat – (Sowerby) – as there was (is) in Colne Valley

    Actually for all this talk of Chorley, Dartford and Gravesend, Calder Valley has a better shout for being one of the tightest bellweather seats in the UK

    I agree that this looks like a Tory hold at the next election

  8. Jason McCartney was as Anthony says in the description an ‘ITV Yorkshire news & sport presenter’. Here he is in action below on Sunday 18th September 2005-

  9. Labour’s best area here seems to be Golcar but there is some support in Marsden & the Huddersfield suburbs. I don’t think Holmfirth or Slaithwaite are all that good for Labour.

  10. ‘Jason McCartney was as Anthony says in the description an ‘ITV Yorkshire news & sport presenter’

    Working for ITV and being a Tory seem to go hand-in-hand

  11. But he was a Lib Dem originally.

    McCartney seems likeable enough to me, and that coupled with a decent enough profile locally should be enough to see him hold his seat in 2015.

  12. Tim makes an interesting point. These Pennine seats can offer something for all three parties. The Lib Dems can build on a long Liberal heritage, which probably tailed back to Methodism. The Tories can gather votes from the villages and other semi-rural settlements, often now popular with white-collar commuters to Manchester, Leeds, and Sheffield. Meanwhile, Labour benefits from the fact that these seats, far from being entirely rural, contain some gritty ex-textile towns. Remember that Saddleworth, once part of this seat, had mills, such as the Dobcross Loom Works. You see similar towns in High Peak too.

  13. Saddleworth is indeed an old milltown, but it was a centre of strong Liberal support, which is stil evident.

  14. ‘McCartney seems likeable enough to me, and that coupled with a decent enough profile locally should be enough to see him hold his seat in 2015.’

    I agree – he seems one of the more sensible members of the 2010 intake, and is a tory i imagine lib dem voters in particular could vote for – and he won a pretty decent majority in 2010

  15. Girls

  16. Sorry typing error there.

    Gordon Beever, interestingly who was the Lib Dem candidate here in 2001, previously stood in Batley and Spen in 1992 and was the first Lib Dem candidate to actually increase the vote share since Wainwright stood down.

  17. Here’s what happened to the Liberal/Lib Dem vote after Richard Wainwright retired in 1987-
    1. 1987- 33.4%, -6.5%
    2. 1992- 27.0%, -6.4%
    3. 1997- 22.6%, -4.4%
    4. 2001- 24.9%, +2.3%
    5. 2005- 24.2%, -0.7%
    6. 2010- 28.2%, +3.7%

  18. Prediction for 2015-
    McCartney (Con)- 35%
    Lab- 31%
    Lib Dem- 23%
    UKIP- 5%
    Others- 6%

  19. Hope Jason McCartney holds in 2015. Seems like a really decent bloke who has rebelled on a number of issues. I’m not even a Tory, but if I was in that constituency, I would be voting for him.

  20. I agree about Jason McCartney he seems all right for a Tory IMHO. I don’t know where you would place him politically but he is as you say committed to what he believes in and clearly won’t let the party line run roughshod over his stances on certain issues.

  21. Council by-election here today…the vote is in Kirklees’s Golcar ward where Labour have leapt from third place in 2007 to first in 2011 and 2012 and are defending the vacancy. Their majority is less than 150 over the Lib Dems – who still have a councillor in the ward.

    Five candidates though with even a Green in the mix.


    Lib Dem making a pretty significant gain here. Labour must be very disappointed by this result.

    No matter what your views of them at national level, the Lib Dems in local government have a reputation of working hard. Kirklees has a pretty even spread of political representation among the main parties (plus a few Greens too).

  23. More devastating is the Tory performance for what is pretty much a rural/village ward

  24. IIRC Golcar has always been a pretty weak ward for the Tories. I think it has quite a tranche of council housing…it is suburbs of Huddersfield rather than being a “rural/village” ward, and is not especially affluent, unlike neighbouring Lindley.

    Remember too that quite a chunk of that winning LD vote will be right-wing voters, the “Blue Liberalism” of the West Riding still to this day has a few adherents, especially where the fight is LD v Labour as it clearly is in this ward.

  25. I wasn’t at all surprised by the result. For a start Colne Valley is unpredictable. But also, Golcar is traditionally a Liberal ward. Labour can and do win every so often but they don’t start as favourites.
    The winning LD candidate was the former councillor – she is popular and well regarded.
    On top of that, the councillor elected in 2012 resigned because he found he was too busy and I don’t think that would have gone down well – file under ‘enforced unnecessary by-election’

  26. Where is the geographical description of this constituency? It consists of a number of small towns/villages West of Huddersfield. The Eastern, Hudeersfield end would I guess tend to be more Labour and places further up the valley these days more commuter/Conservative. It also has tight-knit medium sixe towns which I guess would be good grassroot targets for the LibDems, accounting for the three-way marginal character of this seat.
    A post-Coalition collapse in the LIbDe vote here could well let Labour in here – there is a lot of the LibDem vote to collapse!
    Are there any precedents people can remember for the previously third placed party winning at two successive elections?

  27. LAB 31
    CON 31
    LD 19
    UKIP 10
    GRN 5
    OTH 4

  28. I don’t think it will be quite as close as that. The Tories I reckon will hold on by more like 1,500 – 2,000.

  29. I doubt the Lib Dem vote will fall that much. This is going to be a Tory hold. Think Labour will move into second place though.

    I like the current MP, but I also like what I’ve seen/read of the Labour candidate. Maybe in 2020 if Barry Sheerman were to stand down from Huddersfield (he’ll be nearly 80 by then), it might give Binnie Joshi Barr an opportunity to put her name down, as I don’t think she’ll win Colne Valley next year. She is from Huddersfield originally and she runs her business not far from there.

  30. Carrying on from the debate in the Southwest over the weekend on “reversing Beeching” we have this one:

    It has 197 MPs backing it if this list can be believed..

    Maybe my eyes deceive me but it doesn’t look like McCartney is a patron but merely a supporter.. with that level of wind in one’s sails then this would seem a rather elemental campaign to pick up and run with considering he is not sitting in the safest of perches..

  31. There is still enough to happen before the General Eection that any of Conservative, Labour and LIberal Democrats could win this seat.

    Don’t overlook the UKIP vote, which was low here last time. They may take over most if not all of the BNP vote, following that party’s problems. A 10% UKIP vote could be bad news for the Conservatives if it turns out to be a tight contest here.

  32. The LDs win here?? Calling that as horseshit.

  33. Ladbrokes:
    4/6 Cons
    5/4 Lab
    16 LD

  34. Shadsy,

    interesting divergence from paddy power who have

    lab 8/11
    con 6/5

    think you’re applying your formula, whereas they clearly feel they have local knowledge…

  35. That’s one possible explanation, although it looks like there is more of a systematic bias involved, as there are a lot of these seats that they have the Tories at significantly bigger odds than us.

  36. I think Shadsy is more on the money here.

    This is one of those seats with a large long-standing Liberal vote, which cannot be expected to collapse to Labour as if it were Manchester Withington.

  37. I agree with that. If anything Labour are a little short-priced – there is a lack of a solid Labour voting block in this constituency which makes it a fairweather friend to the party only.

  38. I’ve hardly slept since my baby daughter was born on Sunday night. Reassuring to hear that I’m not posting gibberish. Having a new baby and a 2 year old is proving to be quite a challenge.

  39. I agree that even with Ladbrokes that the tories are too long. Q. Difficult to see this turning red.

  40. Good luck with having two children pre school age. I hope you are ready for even less sleep!

  41. Congratulations, H. Hemmelig! We’ll be sure to tell you if you sound delirious.

  42. Thanks

  43. yes congrats HH, hope your sleep patterns are tolerable. But young children are wonderful, Enjoy your moments with them, the time will pass all too quickly. I naturally hope that your children will defy you in political terms to even my situation up a bit 🙂

  44. Many thanks. I’m not a tribal or partisan person, so if my kids voted Labour I wouldn’t consider that they were defying me. In the US my wife is a registered Democrat, though to the right of me on many things.

  45. Sadly, Labour candidate Binnie Joshi Barr has had to stand down for health reasons
    In many ways we need people in Parliament who know what its like to experience chronic illness or disability so its a pity she feels unable to carry on

  46. Really gutted about that. She seemed like a really good candidate too, but of course her health comes first.

    If Barry Sheerman stands down from Huddersfield in 2020, I wonder if Binnie Joshi Barr would look at that (health permitting). Sheerman will be approaching 80 by that point and she is a local to the area with experience of running a business.

  47. There are plenty of MPs who live with geriatric illness and dare I say it alcoholism. I don’t blame her for not wanting to be an MP with chromic arthritis, which would be hell.

    Without wanting to sound snide, the picture of Labour’s Calder Valley candidate in the article you link to is hardly flattering. Quite a belly on someone who looks about 18.

  48. Yeah, that was snide.

  49. Oy, enough of the fattism!

  50. Is he even fat though? Looking at his face, he doesn’t look it, and other pictures I’ve found make him look fine.

    Not that it would matter if he was fat. I respect H.H’s bluntness at times, but I didn’t imagine him the type to resort to, ‘Oh me gawd, he’s FAT!’

    Anyway, it’s sad news about the candidate here. As has been said, would have been great to have more people like her in Parliament.

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