2015 Result:
Conservative: 17078 (39%)
Labour: 17506 (40%)
Lib Dem: 1629 (3.7%)
Green: 1142 (2.6%)
UKIP: 5621 (12.8%)
Respect: 465 (1.1%)
Christian: 312 (0.7%)
MAJORITY: 428 (1%)

Category: Ultra-marginal Labour seat

Geography: Yorkshire and the Humber, West Yorkshire.

Main population centres:



Current MP
HOLLY LYNCH (Labour) Born Halifax. Former communications officer. First elected as MP for Halifax in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 14806 (34%)
Lab: 16278 (37%)
LDem: 8335 (19%)
BNP: 2760 (6%)
Oth: 1376 (3%)
MAJ: 1472 (3%)
Con: 13162 (33%)
Lab: 16579 (42%)
LDem: 7100 (18%)
BNP: 2627 (7%)
Oth: 191 (0%)
MAJ: 3417 (9%)
Con: 13671 (34%)
Lab: 19800 (49%)
LDem: 5878 (15%)
UKIP: 1041 (3%)
MAJ: 6129 (15%)
Con: 16253 (32%)
Lab: 27465 (54%)
LDem: 6059 (12%)
Oth: 779 (2%)
MAJ: 11212 (22%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
PHILIP ALLOTT (Conservative) Born 1959. Educated at King James School and Leeds Metropolitan University. Managing Director of a marketing company. Former Harrogate councillor. Contested Brent North 2001, Bolton West 2005, Halifax 2010.
HOLLY LYNCH (Labour) Born Halifax. Communications officer.
MOHAMMED ILYAS (Liberal Democrat) Born Pakistan. Runs a driving school. Calderdale councillor 2008-2012.
ASAMA JAVED (Respect) Solicitor. Bradford councillor, originally elected for Labour.
Comments - 96 Responses on “Halifax”
  1. The Halifax seat is an interesting one as the Conservative vote seemed to hold up better than in other seats in the Yorkshire region between 1997 and 2005.

    Despite the incumbent having some expenses issues and the machinations of the HBOS and Lloyds merger under the last Labour government causing job losses the Tory vote did not increase by all that much between 2005 and 2010, only by about 1000 votes. That said the perplexing array of what are thought to be “phantom voters” in at least one ward where Labour did well may explain the 2010 result.

    The proposed boundary change which would have transferred Hipperholme into Halifax would have made this a possible Tory gain. Now that the boundary change is unlikely to go through it makes Halifax less likely to go Tory unless there is an electoral pact between Tories and Lib Dems like the 1930’s National arrangement which would have dramatic results and turn a lot of what were once Labour seats into Tory ones. I think an electoral pact is also more likely than many give credence as the coalition will have a shared record in government of 5 years and what is more logical a pact that allows both parties a platform to make gains or fight each other and get returned with less seats.

  2. It’s clearly a low swing seat with both parties having a very solid base of reliable voters.

  3. What is with Rum & Coke and his conspiracy theories? Could you please offer us any evidence of these legions of ‘phantom voters’? How many were there? in which wards? who did they vote for? and how did it affect the result? and please pass this evidence onto the police as a matter of urgency…. or is it all just baseless conjecture which last time I checked is not the province of this site.

  4. This is a delicate question but I wonder what the result would have been had the BNP not stood here in 2005 and 2010? I am not trying to suggest that everyone who voted BNP would otherwise have voted Tory. Far from it. I know full well that the BNP has taken support from Labour’s old-fashioned wwc base. Nevertheless bear two points in mind. One, it was noticeable that the Tories went backwards in nearby Keighley in 2005 when Nick Griffin stood for the BNP there (though 2010 was a different story) Two, it looks like the Tories were making progress here in 2001- a 3.5% swing against Labour was good going. The stalling of this progress in 2005 and 2010 does coincide with the presence of BNP candidates. Now this may be a coincidence- the Tories may have already reached the upper limits of their potential. But I do wonder if some more of Labour’s disillusioned wwc voters might have voted Tory if the BNP alternative was not on offer. As I say, I am not drawing conclusions but am simply asking questions.

  5. Incidentally, own thinking on the matter is that Labour would still have won but that the margin of victory would have been even narrower than it actually was.

  6. *my own

  7. For the benefit of AM:

    “….evidence of voter impersonation, phantom registrations and voter intimidation which they have passed on to the police.”

    “It is believed that a large number of the postal ballots were handed into polling stations in Park Ward”


  8. The Tory share started falling apart in the local elections from 2002 onwards though, This is old hat from the old site but Calderdale was a Tory gain in the May 2000 elections, but things went up the spout later, despite the party nationally gradually improving, if slowly.

    I can’t quite remember the reasons for it – there was some in fighting
    and some demographic change I think
    plus tensions which led to some voters drifting off to the BNP (eg in Mixenden in January 2003).

    Even, so it is still a marginal seat so if the Tories can take some more votes off the non Labour parties they may do it, but more of those votes could move across to Labour.

  9. the operative word being alleged & the police investigated & found no evidence. Allegations and newspaper articles don’t constitute proof of anything. Fact is most of these stories invariably turn out to have no basis in fact.

  10. In answer to Tory’s question – I think Labour would still have won in 2010 without the BNP but with a Tiny majority, much like your own conclusion. We all know that most of those who voted BNP would not have voted Conservative anyway.

    I do find it funny that whenever there are stories flying around about dodgy postal votes it seems to adversely affect Labour and in wards with a high Asian population, Halifax, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest. Strange that…

  11. LD selection: Mohammed Ilyas.

  12. 2014 local elections

    Lab 9563 (39.1)
    Con 6999 (28.6)
    UKIP 4506 (18.4)
    LD 2417 (9.9)
    Gre 965 (3.9)

    Lab majority 2564

    Lab carried Town, Illingworth, Sowerby Bridge, Ovenden, Park and Warley. Cons carried Skircoat and Northowram.

    UKIP almost beat the Conservatives in Northowram and almost beat Labour in Illingworth (which elected BNP councillors in mid-2000s) and Town. UKIP stood in only 5 of the 8 wards but still managed 18.4%.

  13. Bit disappointing. Looks like Labour will push their majority up to 7-9%.

  14. Much more disappointing for Labour….Tories only about 5% down on 2010 in a mid term local election, with UKIP on 18%. Looks like this seat will stay quite marginal next year.

  15. Halifax have never managed to come out from the Labour leaning marginal status apart from 1997 landslide. Labour even originally put it in the “1997 priority seats” list, possibly because they feared Alice Mahon was a bit of vote loser (she had her majority cut in 1992).

    The 2014 locals result seem in line with the disappointing national voting pattern this year. The lead is similar to the one registrated in Derby North, Eltham, Bolton West, Bolton NE, better than Wirral South (but it’s normal as Conservatives always overpeform in Wirral locals) and the 2 Walsall seats (where Labour is used to underperform), worse than Wakefield. Dudley North and Great Grimsby are uncomparable because UKIP lapfrogged everyone there.

  16. prediction for 2015-

    Lab- 38%
    Con- 30%
    UKIP- 16%
    Lib- 11%
    Green- 3%
    BNP- 2%

  17. Halifax has been a bit of a nail biter for several elections now. Alice Mahon’s majorities in 1997 and 2001 were comfortable but after she stood down it was once again in marginal territory. The boundaries of Halifax seem OK for Labour and there’s a fair amount of Asian voters that usually favour them in elections.

    I picture a Labour hold with increased majority next year but it could become a seat that will switch hands more frequently in the future.

  18. The demographics here are changing pretty quickly so I think it will turn into a safe labour seat soon (ish).

  19. Pretty good for Labour – who tend to underperform here locally. Its rare for Labour to win as many seats as this in a local election.

  20. Green selection: Gary Scott for Halifax
    Source, plus gives other Greens in Yorks & Humber: yorkshireandhumber.greenparty.org.uk/people.html

  21. Linda Riordan is standing down as MP for Halifax.

  22. I’m guessing the NEC will have more say on the selection shortlist as Riordan’s retirement is at this late stage. Be interesting who gets shortlisted. Labour in Calderdale (both Halifax and Calder Valley) have selected candidates in the past as well as had MPs that are on the left of the party. Linda Riordan is part of the Campaign Group, as was her predecessor Alice Mahon. Calder Valley’s current candidate is on the left as was Janet Oosthuysen before she was replaced by Steph Booth (Booth’s candidacy really dragged Labour’s vote down in 2010).

  23. Labour selection process hasn’t started yet. You would think it’s a bit strange given GE is approaching fast.

    well, according to the Sunday Times, Karie Murphy of Falkirk fame apparently wants to apply for the selection…and Labour HQ is still trying to find a way to deal with it….

  24. http://labourlist.org/2015/03/halifax-selection-will-be-an-all-women-shortlist/

    All Women Shortlist announced for Halifax.

    A lot of concern about the seeming lateness of the central party to shift their arses into gear re the selection.

    The report mentions Fiona Twycross (London Assembly) and as Andrea noted a few days ago, the controversial Karie Murphy.

  25. Could it possibly be Katie Ghose…….?

  26. Oh dear god NO. If she tries a FIFTH seat…

  27. Riordan is backing Murphy.

  28. It will be interesting to see if Unite can get Murphy’s candidacy pushed through after Falkirk. Ordinary I would predict something roughly along the lines of Robbie, I think that is a decent enough prediction.

    This seat is by no means absolutely safe though and if Murphy is selected and Falkirk etc. raked up as it is likely to be I wouldn’t entirely rule out a Tory gain.

  29. Being an outsider would really hurt Murphy if she was selected, and her her Unite links (not to mention the Falkirk scandal) would be gold dust for the local Conservatives in their campaigning.

  30. Linda Riordan is in the socialist campaign group of the Labour Party which never did her any harm. The same was true of Alice Mahon before her. Murphy would probably be to the right of the last two incumbents.

    Given the swing to Labour in England since 2010, I think Murphy would win pretty comfortably. Only the Tories and the Blairites gave two hoots about Falkirk.

  31. Lord Ashcroft’s May 2014 poll in Halifax found a 7% swing to Labour.

  32. Hawthorn – Alice Mahon came very close to losing the seat in 1992, but I agree with the rest of your point.

  33. “Only the Tories and the Blairites gave two hoots about Falkirk.”

    Fair point, but one difference is that both Alice Mahon and Linda Riordan are locals to Halifax. Murphy isn’t and that might work against her on the doorstep much more than the Unite link.

  34. Neil

    Halifax is not Royston Vasey. I can’t see not being local to be a big deal.

  35. Actually Halifax strikes me as just such a place, in both senses!

  36. Lancs Observer.

    As you probably know, Royston Vasey is actually Hadfield. The local shop was filmed on the moors above Marsden in Colne Valley, which was represented by a Labour MP born in Crewe.

    To get to proper League of Gentlemen areas, you need to be more rural and further up the valley than Halifax.

  37. Lancs Observer.

    You have more of a point with Royston Vasey in the Roy “Chubby” Brown sense, although like most of the Pennine part of West Yorkshire it has a middle class Bohemian edge in places. Much less so than Calder Valley though.

  38. I am a Yorkshire man though I no longer live there and I think the general feeling in most West Yorkshire seats would be being local is not a big factor like it would be in some of the massive sparse rural seats but that being an “outsider” meaning some London parachute candidate with no connection to Yorkshire and the wrong kind of accent and approach can put a lot of people off..

    I saw this first hand when I was involved in the pudsey selection in 2005 for the Tories and we (stupidly in my view) selected an outsider who really struggled to connect with voters on the doorstep and as a result out vote fell 3%. Now not all of that can be attributed to the candidate but if even 1.5% is that could make a difference in a marginal

  39. CotswoldTory.

    I grew up in this part of West Yorkshire.

    Given the swing to Labour since 2010, and given that Labour held here in that year when they lost in Dewsbury, I cannot see the Conservatives taking this seat.

    Murphy is not exactly a London HQ parachute candidate!

  40. I should have been clearer- I don’t think the Tories are going to take this seat (it wouldn’t suprise me if it was a lot closer than most people think though) I just was making the point that being local- or at least being regional is still important in a marginal..

    Halifax will of course be a labour hold but I think there is potential for the Tories here in the future just not now…

    I also think West Yorkshire could be one of the few regions where we see UKIP hurting labour as much as the Tories just a hunch but this could have an impact on the labour majority here

  41. Cotswold Tory

    My gut instinct is that UKIP picked up some people in this area who stopped voting Labour in 2005. Not convinced about 2010 Labour voters.

  42. Michael Crick:

    “Halifax MP Linda Riordan has written to Lab general secretary alleging “underhand and anti-democratic manipulation” in Halifax selection”


  43. Andy

    Have you stopped posting at PB ???

    You’re missed.

  44. Really? I thought I got on everyone’s nerves, lol. I stopped posting because I accidentally mixed up tax evasion and tax avoidance.

  45. I noticed a comment or two from some of the better posters regretting your disappearance.

    And mixing up evasion and avoidance is very non league stuff compared to the tonnage of tedious rubbish, factual errors and partisan smearing that is posted at PB.

  46. Crick reports that the 6 women long listed are

    Holly Walker-Lynch (who works for Linda McAven MEP)
    Jo Coles (runner up in York Central selection 2 weeks ago, works for Ed Balls, shortlisted for Halifax pre 2005)
    Dot Foster (Calderdale Cllr)
    Susan Hinchcliffe (Bradford Cllr)
    Naveeda Ikram (Bradford Cllr)
    Jenny Lynn (Calderdale Cllr)

  47. Holly Walker Lynch is the new Labour candidate

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