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 - 234 Responses on “Colne Valley”
  1. Well I blame the last Labour government for making us fattist – all this obsession with obesity and five a day.

    I also wonder whether my own MP’s obesity is the main reason for his extreme laziness? Beyond a certain point it must surely affect performance in the job.

  2. Who is your own MP?

  3. Eric Pickles?

  4. HH has said he now lives in Mid Sussex, so Nick Soames.

  5. “Bunter” Soames is not quite the same type of fatty as Eric Pickles. I suspect that Pickles enjoys pies whereas for Soames plovers’ eggs & caviar are more likely, even though they themselves wouldn’t be very fattening. Perhaps truffles?

  6. Local election votes:

    Lab 7,573
    Con 7,102
    LD 7,087
    UKIP 3,024
    Valley Inds 2,674
    Green 2,367

  7. Labour reselection is taking place soon – I know ‘cos they sent me an email asking contenders to send in applications, despite the fact I’m male and it’s an AWS. Surely the Labour mass-emailing system can filter its members by gender?

  8. Lib Dems amazingly resilient here, just 500 votes from winning most votes on such a disastrous day. Bodes well for the Tories holding the seat I think.

  9. Colne Valley and Calder Valley always seem to be won by the winning party at Westminster these days, (since 1987). Despite that, they don’t get much attention as bellwethers.

  10. Andy JS- I suspect that run may well end in 2015- for both seats. Not all that good a result for Labour here because of the resilience of the Lib Dem vote and the Tories actually carried Calder Valley.

  11. You expect to see Ed in Number 10 in 11 months’ time?

  12. Indeed I do, yes. That has been my view for a while and I haven’t encountered any significant evidence in the last fortnight to change it.

  13. With regret, I agree

  14. I agree with both Tory and HH. The problem is that, at the current time, the Tories simply don’t have a big enough pool of potential voters to win a GE.

    I suspect that after five years of a Labour government which is unlikely to be able to increase borrowing, the political landscape will be different. For now, I think the best they can hope for is a respectable defeat and to be vaguely within striking distance for 2020.

  15. As long as there’s a good Lib Dem vote here the opposition should remain split to allow for a Tory hold. This is an interesting 3 way seat though.

  16. It also helps if you really badly want to win. Cameron often gives the impression that he doesn’t care if he loses. He’s not going to be like a Brown or Thatcher, endlessly brooding about those who brought about his defeat. Like Major he will be off to the cricket the day after and retreat happily back to life as an upper class Oxfordshire squire.

  17. agree with HH and Tory. Indeed i have thought since the end of 2012 that miliband would get in at the GE 2015…

    Call me simple minded, but I can’t see how the Tories can with a) the collapse of the Lib dems and b) the rise of UKIP…2010 was key year for the first phenomenon, but the UKIP ascent only got going after the omnishambles budget and, by the end of 2012, they were polling at 10%…they haven’t really slipped below that since…

    the graph is pretty stark

  18. I still think it’ll be a hung parliament, so if Ed enters Downing Street it’ll either be with the LDs or a minority government IMO.

  19. Don’t disagree with that but if it’s a hung parliament Miliband is far more likely to enter Downing Street than Cameron is.

  20. Jane East is the new Labour PPC

  21. Here’s a few stats-
    The MP for this seat from 1966-1970 then Feb 1974-1987, Liberal Richard Wainwright, made a total of 2, 996 contributions to the House of Commons, that is according to Hansard. His successor, the Conservative Graham Riddick (MP from 1987-1997), made a total of 1, 433 contributions, just under half of Richard Wainwright’s.

  22. I seem to remember Riddick was a sales rep for Coca-Cola. He was rather tall & rangy, not built as one might expect a regular non-diet Coke drinker to look.

  23. He increased the Conservative vote share by 2.5% in gaining this seat from the Liberals in 1987, and then more than quadrupled his majority to 7, 225 and further increased his vote share by 5.6%. So when he lost to Labour’s Kali Mountford here in 1997, his decrease of 9.3% still left him only 1.2% 1983 because of his strong electoral performances.

  24. ‘still left him only 1.2% behind 1983 because of his strong electoral performances.’

  25. The Valley Independents here are part of the same group on Kirklees Council as the Greens. Both loose votes to Labour in General elections.

    One of the Valley Indepentdents used to be a Labour council candidate who left over an AWS selection in his ward.

  26. prediction for 2015-

    con- 34%
    lab- 24%
    Lib- 22%
    UKIP- 12%
    Green- 3%
    TUSC- 2%
    BNP – 1%

    The establishment will be shook here. UKIP will do well, the greens will do well and I think the TUSC could get over 1.5% of the vote. The rise of UKIP will , as always hurt the tories badly, labour somewhat too but the conservatives will definitely be keeping this one.

  27. Is that the same Jane East who was on the Sheffield Heeley shortlist? If I recall, she works in international development. If she is a parachuted candidate, Labour have shot themselves in the foot with this new PPC having initially selected such a strong one (who unfortunately had to stand down).

  28. I think that when the Liberals lost this is 1987, they may well have lost the seat forever.

    In many ways, Richard Wainwright WAS responsible for the Liberals holding this seat when they did, though they do retain a significant core vote of what seems unlikely to go under 20% without him here anymore.

    In this part of Yorkshire, there’s always been a radical tradition historically, and was dominated by non-conformism when Wainwright came on the scene. Liberal strength was also seen at one time in Huddersfield as well as across the Pennines in Rochdale and Oldham, which has of course now faded considerably.

    The Lib Dems came a reasonable second here last time, but I have a feeling they’ll go back to third next time, with Labour going up a few percentage points, but probably not enough to win this off the sitting Conservative Jason McCartney who seems to be a very effective MP for the area.

  29. You’re predicting a swing to Labour of only 0.3% – I would expect more than that & I suspect most people would. A Con hold is however far more likely than not.

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

  31. UKIP being outpolled by others seems unlikely, but I agree with The Results’ overall prediction as far as the standing between the three main parties and UKIP being distant is concerned.

  32. Not a parachute – I think this is the sort of candidate we should be selecting – someone with extensive experience in a challenging job with very clear expertise. Anything but a SPAD! Quite similar profile to Julie Ward MEP who is a home-based rural development worker.

  33. From the local election results, it is clear that UKIP are not targetting this area.

    The major question here is as to how much of their vote the LibDems will retain, and who their lost voters will go to. I suspect that this seat will be quite marginal next year between the Conservatives and Labour.

    In the longer term, I suspect that this seat is shifting demographically towards the Tories as it becomes increasingly attractive for commuters.

  34. “From the local election results, it is clear that UKIP are not targetting this area.” But only because they didn’t have many local activists or a branch structure.

    There is a significant BNP vote in this constituency for them to pick up, which they did in all 4 Kirklees wards where they did run councillors in this years local elections. In the other wards the ex BNP voters didn’t turn up to vote at all, and as a result turnouts were down.

    UKIP will get a reasonable vote here if they have a general election candidate.

  35. I stand corrected about Jane East. Thanks for the heads up.

    I think the BNP used to have a fair bit of support in wards which fell in either Dewsbury or Batley & Spen in the previous decade.

  36. The other women on Labour shortlist were: Jayne Dunn (Sheffield Cllr); Thelma Walker (CLP Women Officer) and Sarah Cook.

    There were 9 applications overall

  37. Local activists and a branch structure are essential if a party is going to make a serious challenge in any seat.

  38. Compo would be turning in his grave!

  39. Labour won some seats in 1997 despite having very limited local organisation…Sth Dorset springs to mind.

  40. oops that should be 2001 of course…they almost won in 1997

  41. 1) Local activists and a branch structure are essential if a party is going to make a serious challenge in any seat.


    2) Labour won some seats in 1997 despite having very limited local organisation…Sth Dorset springs to mind.

    are not necessarily contradictory…1997 was a wholly exceptional year…generally 1) applies…there will be some exceptions which of course break the rule.

    Across the piece, 1) is certainly true.

  42. ‘Labour won some seats in 1997 despite having very limited local organisation…Sth Dorset springs to mind.’

    So too the Tories in 1983

    Somehow they won the heavily industrial seat of Ellesmere Port, where they didn’t even have an agent

  43. I don’t think Ellesmere Port & Neston was a surprising Tory win in 1983. They won it very easily that year and I’m pretty sure it had been notionally Tory in 1979. All parts of the seat had been represented by Tory MPs since at least 1979 (since forever in the case of Neston). It was hardly some Nottingham North style out of the blue gain

  44. Wasn’t Cannock and Burntwood the Tories most surprising gain in 1983?

    I guess you could say the sane about Bradford North too?

  45. Pretty sure Ellesmere Port & Neston was a Tory gain in 1983, although there were plenty more shock gains – Cardiff West, Bristol East, Darlington, Barrow, Newport, Lewisham, Bridgend and seats in both Nottingham and Leicester

  46. As a ‘must win’ for them, I expected a slick promotion by Labour of Jane East by their media team to counter the predictable vote losing ‘parachuted in’ attacks; That slick promotion hasn’t happened. (Note to pedants: the locally delivered and dire self published media definitely doesn’t count)
    Labour would have walked this with their first choice- local Binnie Joshi Barr- but Labour selectors have handicapped themselves with this replacement if they can’t get a decent promotion act together.
    As it stands this will be a close call for May 2015. Bad news as it is regarded by many as a bellwether.

  47. This seat (along with it’s neighbour Calder Valley) has actually been quite elusive for Labour over the years, so I would hesitate to describe it as a bellwether. Colne Valley was gained by the Liberals rather unexpectedly in 1966 and was then not won by Labour in the 1970s or the 1980s. The 1997 and 2001 Labour majorities were only modest in very good years for them. It almost reverted to the Tory fold in 2005 before doing so decisively in 2010.

    Tory leaning marginal would be a better description than bellwether I think. The Liberal vote has remained substantial throughout, although will no doubt fade somewhat in 2010.

    I therefore think that it is unlikely that this seat will fall to Labour in 2015. I would expect a Conservative majority of something like 2000-2500.

  48. Labour won Colne Valley in 1970, the member elected being the later cabinet minister David Clark.

  49. The Colne Valley seat is really posh…. For ‘uddersfield. I’d have thought the demographics are shifting in the Tory’s favour, rumour has it you can even buy sun dried tomatoes in Marsden.

    The villages such as Marsden, Meltham, and Slaithwaite are much smarter than they were. That said there are lots of LibDem votes to be redistributed that may make this seat unpredictable. Do UKIP have a strong presence?

  50. The Lewisham seats were not completely out of the blue.
    Lewisham West had been Conservative in 1970 and Labour did well to hold on in 1979.
    Lewisham East was a slightly safer Labour seat but had shown Tory potential with a 9% swing in 1979.

    Colne Valley – I think Labour will come second.

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