Keighley

2015 Result:
Conservative: 21766 (44.3%)
Labour: 18713 (38.1%)
Lib Dem: 1321 (2.7%)
Green: 1661 (3.4%)
UKIP: 5662 (11.5%)
MAJORITY: 3053 (6.2%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

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

Main population centres: Keighley, Addingham, Ilkley, Haworth.

Profile: A seat in the north-west of West Yorkshire, set on the edge of the moors. Keighley itself is a former textile town, it contains somewhat troubled estates like Braithwaite, has a significant asian population and has in the past suffered some problems with racial tension. To the North the seat extends over part of Rombald`s Moor (including the iconic Ilkley Moor) to the towns of Addingham and Ilkley in Wharfedale. Ilkley is a prosperous Victoria Spa town that remains a popular tourist destination. To the south the seat follows the preserved heritage steam railway through villages like Haworth, again a popular tourist destination thanks to its association with the Bronte sisters.

Politics: While the north and south of the seat are Conservative, Keighley itself provides the bulk of Labour`s support in the seat. In the past it has also been a BNP target, West Keighley was briefly the BNP`s safest council seat and the seat was contested by the BNP leader Nick Griffin in 2005 after a furore over alleged grooming of young white girls in Keighley by Asian men. The mother of the girl at the centre of the allegations later stood for the Labour party in West Keighley, defeating the BNP, who no longer have any councillors in Keighley.


Current MP
KRIS HOPKINS (Conservative) Born 1963. Educated at Leeds University. Former College Lecturer. Bradford councillor 1998-2010, leader of Bradford council 2006-10. Contested Leeds West 2001, Halifax 2005. First elected as MP for Keighley in 2010. PPS to Andrew Robathan 2012-2013, Under-secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 2013-2015. Government whip since 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 20003 (42%)
Lab: 17063 (36%)
LDem: 7059 (15%)
BNP: 1962 (4%)
Oth: 1605 (3%)
MAJ: 2940 (6%)
2005
Con: 15868 (34%)
Lab: 20720 (45%)
LDem: 5484 (12%)
BNP: 4240 (9%)
MAJ: 4852 (10%)
2001
Con: 16883 (39%)
Lab: 20888 (48%)
LDem: 4722 (11%)
UKIP: 840 (2%)
MAJ: 4005 (9%)
1997
Con: 18907 (37%)
Lab: 26039 (51%)
LDem: 5064 (10%)
MAJ: 7132 (14%)

Demographics
2015 Candidates
KRIS HOPKINS (Conservative) See above.
JOHN GROGAN (Labour) Born 1961, Halifax. Educated at St Michaels RC College and Oxford University. Former local government officer and press officer. Contested Selby 1987, 1992. MP for Selby 1997-2010.
GARETH EPPS (Liberal Democrat) Born Cotswolds. Educated at Magdalen College School and Manchester University. Community Relations Policy Manager. West Oxfordshire councillor 2000-2006, Reading councillor 2007-2011. Contested Witney 2001, Reading East 2010.
PAUL LATHAM (UKIP) Educated at Lancaster University. Management consultant. Contested Keighley 2010.
ROS BROWN (Green) Teacher.
Links
Comments - 93 Responses on “Keighley”
  1. Any news on potential Labour candidates for Keighley? I’ve only heard of Ralph Berry and Henri Murison mentioned so far

  2. Labour shortlist for Keighley

    Kaneez Akthar (Cllr for Keihgley Central)
    Ralph Berry (Cllr for Wibsey ward, Bradford South)
    John Grogan (former Selby MP)
    Henri Murison (former Newcastle Cllr, currently living in Addingham and working as research director for the West Yorkshire PCC)

    Hustings on Nov 23

  3. interesting that Grogan has applied – he wasn’t beaten in Selby & Ainsty, but retired. He is however still only 52.

  4. If you read around the Internet, you might notice that Nadine Dorries isn’t a fan of Kris Hopkins one bit. Some of her Twitter comments about him have been a bit scathing. Seems that she doesn’t like him being an arch Cameroon Tory and more recently wasn’t too pleased about his promotion to a ministerial job.

  5. I don’t think being disliked by Nadine Dorries is necessarily a negative for someone.

  6. Today’s the day of Labour’s selection I see. Wonder who’s considered the favourite.

  7. John Grogan is the Labour PPC

  8. Looking at Grogan’s record as Selby MP, he did rebel quite a fair amount.

    Wonder what motivated him to seek the nomination in the first place. He was still in his late 40s when he stood down. Guessing he made a strong impression on the CLP.

    Wiki says that he lives in Burley in Wharfedale which is very close to the Keighley and Ilkely seat.

  9. Grogan was never a fully paid-up member of the New Labour project. Basically he belongs to the critical left but not really the Campaign Group harder left. It’s a very rare instance of a Labour MP voluntarily retiring & then attempting a comeback (even though the retirement had much to do with the obviously unfavourable boundary change).

  10. It must be quite rare full stop. I can only think of Alan Clarke off the top of my head.

  11. Though I guess this could be considered more of a forced retirement than a voluntary one with his seat being made near unwinnable.

  12. Gerald Nabarro was another one, but that was through ill health.

  13. There seems to be a pretty positive response to his selection on Twitter. Apparently he worked very hard for Selby.

    If he campaigns heavily and the Keighley electorate come out in force, this could be a really good Labour gain.

  14. Just to add to that, a few Labour MPs have congratulated his selection and from various parts of the party. Diane Abbott, Jon Trickett and Kevin Brennan have tweeted about him.

  15. Keighley has always tended towards left wing Labour MP’s. I think John Grogan could win next time..

  16. It looks like a good selection to me. His reputation as MP for Selby was always very good in terms of work both in the constituency & parliamentary scrutiny. Remember also that Ann Cryer didn’t stand in 2010, and therefore Kris Hopkins cannot enjoy double incumbency, only single.

  17. This one is very difficult to call. Id go ever so slightly towards a labour gain.

  18. This will be very close indeed in my view. I am currently leaning towards a Tory hold by a few hundred or so- the local election results here since 2010 have not been terribly auspicious for Labour. If Hopkins holds on, Keighley would lose its bellweather status.

  19. As it happens, I think the Conservatives will avoid significant damage in Yorkshire and N Lincolnshire. I think their real problems will be in the North West (lots of very marginal seats with increasingly unfavourable demographic profiles).

  20. ^Definitely agree about N Lincs. E.g. Both Martin Vickers and Andrew Percy seem to be very assiduous local MPs and that will be hard for any Labour candidate to beat.

    I remember at the time of the big Syria vote, Andrew Percy wrote on Twitter that he voted against the government motion, based on the general opposition of his constituents to intervention. That is a very unique and commendable approach IMO.

  21. Douglas Dodds-Parker also came back.

  22. I also agree that it’s quite unlikely that Labour will gain the 2 N Lincs Conservative seats. W Yorks is slightly different. I think Dewsbury looks very hard indeed for the Tories to hold, and Pudsey is also very dangerous. Keighley does look close but I have thought for some time that in a general election elements of the Asian vote which sometimes vote for (almost always Asian) local Tories in Keighley itself will vote quite heavily for Labour in a general election. I can’t quite make my mind up about Elmet & Rothwell so have it down as a Con hold by a fraction at the moment. It would be surprising if either Colne Valley or Calder Valley were lost by the Tories, and Labour won’t be at all pleased to have lost easily in Golcar (in Colne Valley) on Thursday to the LDs, even though it may have limited bearing on the general election result.

  23. Barnaby- I agree with you that Dewsbury and probably Pudsey will fall to Labour. We are also agreed about Colne Valley and Calder Valley- the Tories should hold both.

    As I’ve said I think Keighley will be very tight. On the old thread from late 2012, people were predicting a Tory hold by 1% point and I would tend to align myself with them- on the basis of first-time incumbency and Labour’s struggles there since 2010. But of course, that means I accept that a Labour gain is a very real possibility. From a Conservative perspective, I am more confident about Elmet and Rothwell- largely for demographic reasons.

  24. Tom Driberg resigned as MP for Maldon in 1955 (though he would have been defeated in any case), before standing in the safe seat of Barking in 1959.

  25. I have family in the rock-solid Tory town of Ilkley, so the people there could ultimately make all the difference between a narrow Tory hold and a convincing Labour gain- I’m not sure if perhaps Keighley the town outvotes Ilkley, but if the rural areas of this seat as well as Ilkley around it, particularly Addingham add to the Conservative vote enough, Hopkins has a chance of holding on by about 100-200 votes, but if Keighley comes out in great enough numbers it will be a Labour gain by about 1,000 I think- I would at the moment tend towards the latter however on balance.

  26. Basically there are 2 safe Labour wards (both in Keighley), 2 safe Tory wards (Ilkley & Craven), one marginal Tory-inclined ward (Worth Valley) and one marginal Labour-inclined ward in Keighley. Labour did better than usual in Ilkley last year because Ann Cryer was the candidate in the local elections, which of course is not going to a factor in the general elections, but the party in my opinion did less well in Keighley E than will be the case in the general election because of rather arcane aspects of Asian community politics too. If Labour keeps the margin of Tory superiority to something close to what has been seen in recent years in Worth Valley ward (which is not certain by any means) that should just be enough, with the large lead in Keighley town itself, to see Grogan home. But given the large Tory leads in the remaining 2 wards it will almost certainly be close.

  27. Labour gains in Yorkshire will be countable on one hand IMO > Dewsbury, Bradford East, Bradford West (Regain that), Leeds NW (Long shot but with a falling lib dem vote a labour gain by a whisker).

    I’ve got Pudsey down as a hold but incredibly close. It may even go into a double figure majority.

  28. Surely Labour are far more likely to win in Pudsey than in Leeds NW. And Elmet & Rothwell too. There has been no sign in local elections that either Labour or the Tories are garnering anything like the support needed to oust Greg Mulholland; although Labour has been winning again in Headingley of late, the LDs remain ahead of Labour in all the other wards, generally by quite some distance.

  29. After Bradford East, Pudey is Labour’s 2nd target in Yorkshire. For now I predict a gain but maybe not a large one.

  30. Pudsey is a difficult hold for us – I would have that down as a labour hold, though hopefully we will make it quite close.

    I think we will hold Elmet and Rothwell though. Leeds NW being a clear LD hold.

    So Pudsey, Dewsbury, Bradford E, Bradford W are seats labour should take. Keighley on a knife edge, and Elmet and Rothwell being quite possible.

  31. that looks about right to me too. Pudsey is the hardest of the first 4.

  32. ‘So Pudsey, Dewsbury, Bradford E, Bradford W are seats labour should take. Keighley on a knife edge, and Elmet and Rothwell being quite possible.’

    I thought Pudsey was affluent commuter land and was quite surprised that Labour won it in 97 – I always thought it was like Shipley, just posher

  33. That’s what is perhaps most surprising about Pudsey if it’s a well off Leeds suburb. Labout not only held it for three terms, but lost it only by a small majority.

    The Pudsey ward itself on Leeds council has three Labour representatives.

  34. Neil- Pete Whitehead did a very valuable piece of analysis on the 2010 result in Pudsey. His conclusion was that the Tories have only crept forward in the middle-class parts of the seat since 1997 (i.e. Horsforth and Calverley- or Airedale as I think it was once known). As such, they only won the seat because they made good headway in Guiseley and Pudsey- which are generally considered the less affluent parts of the seat.

  35. ‘His conclusion was that the Tories have only crept forward in the middle-class parts of the seat since 1997 (i.e. Horsforth and Calverley- or Airedale as I think it was once known). As such, they only won the seat because they made good headway in Guiseley and Pudsey- which are generally considered the less affluent parts of the seat.’

    that seems to be the pattern of the whole 2010 election – wiuth the tories overperforming in more working class areas and underperforming in middle class areas

  36. the very strong Labour lead in Pudsey itself in recent local elections suggests a good recovery there. There are some quite good Tory wards elsewhere but it will be hard for the Tories to hold on if Labour gets its vote out efficiently in its stronger areas.

  37. ” that seems to be the pattern of the whole 2010 election – wiuth the tories overperforming in more working class areas and underperforming in middle class areas ”

    Indeed.

    Of course this big swing to the Conservatives among working class voters wasn’t down to their sudden desire to ‘vote blue go green’ or their support for increasing overseas aid.

    It was instead a ‘disgruntlement vote’.

    Ironically they were voting for the type of old fashioned Conservative party the Cameroons so dislike.

    Which is why the Conservatives are now so vulnerable to losing this support to UKIP.

  38. ‘Ironically they were voting for the type of old fashioned Conservative party the Cameroons so dislike.’

    Which is why the Conservatives are now so vulnerable to losing this support to UKIP.’

    Definbitely true about UKIP’s threat to such voters but when I think of the “old fashioned Conservative Party” I think of people like Macmillan, Eden and Churchill all of whom were waaaay to the Left of Cameron and his allies

    The likes of Peter Bone, Andrew Rossindell, Lee Clarke etc – and other hard right extremists within the Tory Party are a relatively modern phernomenon and I feel they wouldn’t be as welcome in the old-fashioned Tory Party than they are today, where they are hero worshipped by the grassroots

    Of course there were always people from the hardline Right represented within the Tory Party, but they weren’t as prevalent as they are now – and essentiually I think you’re right that it is these types of characters that explain why the Tories did so well amongst the WWC demographoic in 2010 – all of which makes them very suspetible to switching to UKIP

    I spoke to one such gentleman the other day – who rather ironoically has an immigrant wife!

  39. Who do you mean by “Lee Clarke”? Do you mean Lee Scott?

  40. More likely Mark Clarke. I never had Lee Scott down as a hard right winger, though “Andrew Roth” might well know otherwise. Certainly he has a very multi-ethnic seat now.

  41. ” Definbitely true about UKIP’s threat to such voters but when I think of the “old fashioned Conservative Party” I think of people like Macmillan, Eden and Churchill all of whom were waaaay to the Left of Cameron and his allies ”

    And how do you define ‘way to the left’.

    For example the 1950s PMs would have been far more socially conservative than the Cameroons and economically more populist as well nor would they have given priority to overseas aid over defence spending.

    In any case the wwc voting for ‘old style’ Conservative reasons would have been thinking more of Thatcher and Tebbit ie 1980s Conservatives rather than 1950s Conservatives.

    But doubtless Tim Jones would regard Thatcher and Tebbit as ‘way to the left’ of the Cameroons.

  42. ‘Of course this big swing to the Conservatives among working class voters wasn’t down to their sudden desire to ‘vote blue go green’ or their support for increasing overseas aid.
    It was instead a ‘disgruntlement vote’.
    Ironically they were voting for the type of old fashioned Conservative party the Cameroons so dislike.
    Which is why the Conservatives are now so vulnerable to losing this support to UKIP.’

    I agree with all this.

    Bizarrely I also know a staunch anti Foreign aid pro Labour working class anti independence voter who lives in Alistair Darling’s constituency!

  43. And let me clear some things up: I have lived in the Lothians pretty much my whole life and have an English sounding accent rather than a Scottish accent!

  44. ‘And how do you define ‘way to the left’.’

    On all the major political issues they were

    The likes of Macmillan, Eden and also Churchill supported Keynesian demand management of the ecomomy, nationalisation of some of the UK’s big industries – railways, water, gas, electric – a proper comitment to the welfare state, government planning, policies which right wingers such as yourself hold in utter comtempt

    They almost certainly were more to the right on social areas – I imagine all three would have supported hanging, disapproved of homosexual relationships and other things that would be considered conservative in today’s world – but that’s more of a culural and generational thing as many old school Labour MPs in working class industrial areas shared such values

    I don’t really consider social and moral issues to be strictly Left/Right issues whereas things like ecomomic management, tax etc most certainly are

    ‘In any case the wwc voting for ‘old style’ Conservative reasons would have been thinking more of Thatcher and Tebbit ie 1980s Conservatives rather than 1950s Conservatives.

    But doubtless Tim Jones would regard Thatcher and Tebbit as ‘way to the left’ of the Cameroons.’

    I agree with the first paragraph and no I wouldn’ describe Thatcher or Tebboitt as way to the left of the Cameroons – otherwise people like you wouldn’t speak so highly of them.

    I would however regard them as more competent, much more in touch with voters and ultimately more effectrove at governing that the Cameroons, to whom politics is a mere hobby, which they will no doubt give up once their interest wanes

    ‘Who do you mean by “Lee Clarke”? Do you mean Lee Scott?’

    I actiually meant Chris Kelly Barnaby – so got both parts of his name wrong, which even for someone who gets names as wrong as I often do is still pretty bad!

    I quite like Lee Scott

  45. Notional results for an Ilkley constituency in 2010-
    (Based on the Bradford wards of Craven, Ilkley, Worth Valley, Baildon and Wharfedale)

    Conservative- 20, 554 (50.2%)
    Liberal Democrat- 9, 727 (23.7%)
    Labour- 8, 531 (20.8%)
    Green- 1, 328 (3.2%)
    Independent- 443 (1.0%)
    UKIP- 324 (0.7%)

    Turnout- 40, 907.
    Majority- 10, 827 (26.4%)

  46. How are you calculating that result? My figures are quite different with the LDs in third. Also the Greens had no candidate in Keighley covering three of the five wards so how do you get them to that vote which is nearly the entire vote they got from the Shipley constituency while excluding their best ward by far (Shiplpey itself) and there was no Independent in either seat. Was this supposed to be a notional prediction for 2015?

  47. I went off the Bradford results in the local elections in 2010. The Greens stood candidates in quite a few of these wards, and an Independent also stood in one of them.

  48. Its seems the definition of right-wing which Tim Jones uses is anything he dislikes.

    And I thought he would have known better than to assume where my political beliefs lie – there are several people who have made mistakes about that on this and other sites.

  49. “I went off the Bradford results in the local elections in 2010. The Greens stood candidates in quite a few of these wards, and an Independent also stood in one of them.”

    Oh so thats the local election votes cast in those wards in May 2010?

    The notional result for the general election would be:
    Con 21375 52.2%
    Lab 9452 23.1%
    LD 7960 19.5%
    BNP 920 2.2%
    UKIP 899 2.2%
    Grn 251 0.6%
    oth 63 0.2%

  50. I meant specifically the five wards I mentioned,

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