Morley & Outwood

2015 Result:
Conservative: 18776 (38.9%)
Labour: 18354 (38%)
Lib Dem: 1426 (3%)
Green: 1264 (2.6%)
UKIP: 7951 (16.5%)
Others: 479 (1%)
MAJORITY: 422 (0.9%)

Category: Ultra-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: Yorkshire and the Humber, West Yorkshire. Part of the Wakefield council area and part of the Leeds council area.

Main population centres: Morley, Outwood, East Ardsley, Wrenthorpe.

Profile: A pair of small towns between Leeds and Wakefield, both former industrial towns turned into residential dormitories. Morley was once a textile and coal mining town, now a hub for new housing development. Outwood was a former pit village, but has seen a massive expansion of new build housing over the last few decades. The area is also, perhaps somewhat incongrously in this post-industrial landscape, a centre for growing forced rhubarb. The area between Morley, Rothwell and Wakefield has for centuries been the centre for rhubarb growing and in 2010 won Protected Designation of Origin status.

Politics: Morley and Outwood was previously the seat of Ed Balls, Gordon Brown's ally and the Labour shadow Chancellor under Ed Miliband. After boundary changes in 2010 the Tories ran an energetic campaign hoping to defeat Ed Balls and provide a "Portillo moment" of the election, but fell tantalising short. In 2015 the situation was the opposite, no one expected a Tory victory here given the polls were pointing to Labour gains, but Balls was the most high profile casualty of the surprise Conservative victory.

Current MP
ANDREA JENKYNS (Conservative) Born Beverley. Former business development manager, music teacher and singer. Lincolnshire councillor 2009, 2009-2013. First elected as MP for Morley & Outwood in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 17264 (35%)
Lab: 18365 (38%)
LDem: 8186 (17%)
BNP: 3535 (7%)
Oth: 1506 (3%)
MAJ: 1101 (2%)
Con: 8227 (19%)
Lab: 20570 (48%)
LDem: 6819 (16%)
BNP: 2271 (5%)
Oth: 4608 (11%)
MAJ: 12343 (29%)
Con: 9829 (26%)
Lab: 21919 (57%)
LDem: 5446 (14%)
UKIP: 1248 (3%)
MAJ: 12090 (31%)
Con: 12086 (26%)
Lab: 26836 (58%)
LDem: 5087 (11%)
Oth: 529 (1%)
MAJ: 14750 (32%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Morley & Rothwell

2015 Candidates
ANDREA JENKYNS (Conservative) Born Beverley. Business development manager, music teacher and singer. Lincolnshire councillor 2009, 2009-2013.
ED BALLS (Labour) Born 1967, Norwich. Educated at Nottingham High School and Oxford University. Financial journalist and advisor to Gordon Brown as Shadow Chancellor and Chancellor. MP for Normanton 2005 to 2015. Economic Secretary to the Treasury 2006-2007, Secretary of State for Children and Schools 2007-2010. Shadow home secretary 2010-2011, Shadow Chancellor 2011-2015. A close ally of Gordon Brown throughout the last Labour government. Balls was elected as MP for Normanton in 2005, but saw his seat abolished in the boundary review, despite legal attempts to have the boundary commission recommendations overturned. In March 2007 he was selected to fight the Morley & Outwood seat in place of the retiring Colin Challen. Unsuccessfully ran for the Labour leadership in 2010. Balls is married to Yvette Cooper, the MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford.
REBECCA TAYLOR (Liberal Democrat) Born 1975, Todmorden. Educated at Leeds University. Contested Rotherham 2010. MEP for Yorkshire 2012-2014.
DAVID DEWS (UKIP) Wakefield councillor since 2014.
MARTIN HEMINGWAY (Green) Teacher and former archeologist. Leeds councillor 1990-2002 for the Labour party. Contested Leeds North West 2005, 2010, Yorkshire and Humber region 2009, 2014 European elections.
ARNIE CRAVEN (Yorkshire First) Born Leeds. Educated at Leeds University.
Comments - 705 Responses on “Morley & Outwood”
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  1. MBIs tend to vote Conservative although I said some time ago that they asked UKIP not to stand for fearing their vote might be split.

    Chris Beverley was the BNP councillor in my ward, Morley South, but it was a very low turnout. He is now an English Democrat but after the fall of the BNP I tend to think his votes will largely go elsewhere. The reason he won was largely because my estate did not turn out, but two other estates, particularly the Glen where he was from obviously did. I know there are serious differences, but UKIP must get the votes of BNP if it to perform reasonably in the election.

    I tend to think that otherwise Morley South/North are really largely Labour/Tory spaces, Wrenthorpe is generally Tory but the rest seem to be more Labour. Looking at the typical UKIP voter they tend to be C2 and comparatively old. I am no expert on Robin Hood, East/West Ardsley or Outwood but I tend to think there may be some potential there but I think it will be some campaigning to find out where it is and I doubt that it could be used for 2015.

    I think UKIP will easily beat the LDs but I think it would have to do well to reach the Tories. I do not like doing this 2 months ahead but I would go for:

    Lab 20000
    Con 16000
    UKIP 10000
    LD 3000
    Green 1500

    Any predictions?

  2. Luke,

    I went on Wikipedia and thought you might be interested in this election results:

    Boston North West
    Party Candidate Votes % ±%
    UKIP Tiggs Keywood-Wainwright 708 43.6 43.6
    Conservative Andrea Jenkyns 378 23.3 -2.2
    Labour Paul Goodale 285 17.5 6.2
    Independent Carol Ann Taylor 248 15.3 15.3
    Turnout 1,624 23.3%
    UKIP gain from Conservative

    I put this on Morley because of Ms Jenkyns, but it certainly shows (admittedly with a low turnout) that UKIP is a force to be reckoned with in Boston & Skegness. I believe the council elections in the area went UKIP 8, Con 4, Lincolnshire Independents 3 and Labour 2.

    Lincolnshire Councils (main 3 parties) went:

    Conservatives 36 -24
    UKIP 24 +24
    Labour 12 + 4

    The Lincolnshire Council went from Conservative majority to NOC.

  3. Just got our next leaflet from Andrea Jenkyns covering the usual areas plus apparently

    “Ed Miliband would need to be propped up by the SNP in government, with Alex Salmond the likely Deputy Prime Minister if Labour win” !!!!!

    Has anybody told Alex Salmond this???

    Has anybody else seen this elsewhere? Is it party scaremongering throughout the country or just my Conservative candidate?

    By now, Ms Jenkyns should know that voters here tend to be independent. Having enclosed a survey (good), she should then not ask for it to be posted to LEICESTER (about 100 miles away) to be looked at.

  4. I could see Balls holding on more comfortably this time…even doubling his majority.

  5. A lot of people here seem to assume Ed Balls is going to have a easy victory here. The word on the door step and my experience would suggest something very different. Andrea Jenkyns has many more activists out week on week that Ed Balls and she and her team is putting much more effort into the campaign.

    Door knocking & surveys are revealing more Conservative voting intentions than Labour, and Ed Balls is frequently ridiculed and does not seem popular locally. Admittedly there is quite a few UKIP voters now in Morley & Outwood and what they end up voting on polling day could be key to this battle.

  6. I’d be surprised if he had a majority of less than 5000.

    There is a Conservative vote in Morley & Outwood, and an anti-Labour one too…. but the stars would have to align in a big way for her to get over the line here.

    Lots of people are pre-programmed to vote Labour remember – I was chatting with a woman in a pub last week and she spent half an hour laying into Hilary Benn and the councillors. When I asked her to vote for me she refused, on the grounds that she’s always voted Labour and won’t ever change.

    Now – that might be an isolated example, but I doubt it.

    Canvassing returns, or talking to people in the street and so on…. if those were accurate I’d need not bother campaigning for the rest of the election period, I’m already home with a significant lead in Beeston and Middleton…. that Benn wouldn’t be able to re-coup!

    Balls will get in, Andrea might even be 3rd if she has a bad day at the polls. Upsetting the MBIs by trying to claim credit for the planning refusal on the expansion of Cottingley Springs won’t have helped matters.

    Not sure what they’ll be doing this time – they’re angling for a deal with UKIP on Ardsley & Robin Hood…. they’ll want to unseat Neil Dawson, and hold Morley North.

  7. Luke Senior- there are similarly ‘tribal’ constituencies in the south which will vote Tory even if the local Tory MP came around and shat individually on each of their carpets. Not sure what your point is.

  8. That there’s a high floor to the Labour vote in seats like this, even if people are dissatisfied with their local MP or the Party as a whole, making it very difficult for the Conservatives to win here?

  9. And that isn’t the case in True Blue Tory constituencies?

  10. Given that he was posting about Morley & Outwood, it’s pretty irrelevant whether it’s true about a lot of safe Tory seats. Also, given the current majority here is 1101, it’s hardly a safe seat in the same way.

  11. Ahhh but he wasn’t posting about Morley and Otwood. His whinge was about Hilary Benn, who is the MP for Leeds Central. Hence it was a totally partisan post and deserved to be criticised.

  12. No, he used an example from his own experience in Leeds Central to explain why he felt that Ed Balls would do well here. Which is absolutely fine.

  13. Comparing a marginal constituency like this to a rock solid Labour constituency like Leeds Central? You think that’s relevant and ‘fine’? Ok.

  14. This should still be regarded as a marginal seat – the Tories will throw whatever they can here during the campaign and last time it was just over a thousand short.

    According to Ashcroft ten months ago Labour led the Tories by 17%. According to his figures Ed Balls was more popular than Andrea Jenkyns. (I’m sure as Labour has fallen in the polls it is around 10-12% now)

    According to William Hill Andrea Jenkyns is 7/1 so if you want to win some money Dean you could put your money on or alternatively you can see my post for Cambridge.

  15. I think that they have something in common in that they both have some tribal Labour supporters. I also think you’ve just come on here to troll and argue with people today. You’ve not made a single post that contributes meaningfully to any discussion.

  16. Morley & Outwood won’t be a marginal after this election.

    Given that there’s no love lost between the local UKIP group and those from Labour, I’m hardly going to come out and say that Balls will win comfortably if I didn’t think it was the case, am I?

    Plus – my whinge as you put it wasn’t about Benn at all – he’s a nice bloke, more the fact that people vote for parties that they don’t like, which to me seems baffling. Especially when someone has said that they agreed with my thoughts on many things.

    Perhaps that’s the case down south, I don’t know. The furthest south I have done any campaigning was Newark last year. Other than a day or two helping John Bickley last year most of my work has been done in Leeds.

    M & O is slightly different to Leeds Central – having lived, worked and attended school in both – it’s more affluent, more Conservative leaning – given that the candidate from last time who nearly won decided not to even attempt to be selected tells its own tale.

    All these seats where the conservatives ran labour close last time will see them slip back, they’ll lose votes to UKIP and end up with some pretty distant 3rd places – in my opinion.

    If I’m wrong I’ll be the first to admit it.

  17. If you mean ‘troll and argue’ to be that I’m pointing out complete nonsense being spoken…then yep. Plus my comment on the Broxbourne thread was very positive, I think you’ll find.

  18. In a strange way I think that Ed Balls is more at risk at the next Election, if Labour wins this one, and things subsequently go badly for them

  19. We had a letter from David Cameron today which is probably aimed at target constituencies. In the letter there was on section where it mentioned Morley & Outwood three times but it did not mention Andrea Jenkyns at all – surely a targeted letter.
    As far as I can tell, we have not had a hand leaflet delivered by a local activist – it has been delivered by the Royal Mail. However, looking at her website it seems that they had just packed around 18,000(?) letters. Whether that was packing the Cameron letter from today or whether there is something more local coming I don’t know.
    We also got a UKIP leaflet today delivered by an activist which looked more presentable than the Conservative one -being short, snappy and well coloured compared to the one coloured political information from the Tories.

  20. Tough choice this one for me. I can’t make up my mind. I’d like to vote for who I think will remove Ed Balls. In the past would have been conservative easily. Now, not so sure.

  21. People I’m speaking to locally think Andrea is in with a real chance of taking him – but I just can’t see it.

    Locally, people are either fed up with all the leaflets or aren’t ready yet for ‘silly season’.

    The Tories aren’t fighting a combined campaign with the local candidates helping Andrea and vice versa – which I think is an error.

  22. With 17% Lib Dems to squeeze and not being defeated in 2010, I can’t see Balls coming away with anything other than an increased majority.

  23. 2020 has the potential to be interesting depending on a number of factors, but Balls should manage a majority of about 5000 here this time.

  24. Hustings are on the 27th (I think in the Village Hotel) – (free) tickets needed where Ed Balls, Andrea Jenkyns and David Dews will debate (and possibly the Greens). I am just surprised the Lib Dems won’t be there.

  25. Chris James – “According to William Hill Andrea Jenkyns is 7/1 so if you want to win some money Dean you could put your money on or alternatively you can see my post for Cambridge”

    10-1 that last time I looked.

    I dont think the campaign has got underway yet, but most people will be voting against the Government, nationally, so the bookmakers have got it right, a win for Ed

  26. Neil,

    I often look at the odds and the 7/1 was from W Hill – the most generous at the time. At that time Ladbrokes was the most generous one towards Andrea Jenkyns at 5/1. The prices for W Hill and P Power have not changed but Ladbrokes have suddenly (via 1/10) moved Ed Balls into 1/33 for the election. It is unusual (but possible) for someone to have a large bet at 1/10 but I would guess it is just the way the campaign is going. Having said that I certainly won’t be backing him at 1/33 (P Power has 1/10) but I do think he has a 9/10 chance of winning.

  27. Are you attenting the hustings, Chris? As a resident of Tingley I’d be keen to find out the views of the candidates.

    I completely forgot about ordering a ticket to be honest but I’ve managed to nab one off someone so I hope to be there.

    I’m surprised at the bookies moving Balls so strongly odds on, I’ve noticed a bit of a swing towards Andrea, of the people I’ve been speaking to.

  28. Is this a Polling site? or is it a gambling site?

  29. Both. The odds given by bookmakers give some idea of the polling in the constituency. Here I am just trying to show how Ladbrokes have currently cut Ed Balls’s odds which surprises me.

    Obviously this is a polling site, but bookmakers odds are a part of that.

  30. Hi Luke,

    I will be there. I am the one with a dodgy right arm (from a brain tumour operation) if you want to say hello (and discuss polling findings!)

  31. Hi Chris – you might spot me first.

    Spot someone who looks about 30ish, in a suit, walking like they’ve got a seriously dodgy knee.

    That’ll be me!

  32. If i were Ed Balls id start to dust of my CV. Postal vote canvassing shows a very different picture to what people are expecting.

  33. Canvassing!!! There’s now 10/1 Dean. Get on it straight away!

  34. Don’t be ridiculous Dean. Ed Balls isn’t going to lose here however much you want him to.

  35. Not that counting postal votes is allowed, but they do always skew towards the Tories, because more older people have postal votes.

  36. In Leeds, and West Yorkshire generally, it’s Labour that have the postal voting campaign off to a tee.

    Several UKIP candidates were ahead last year, on polling day, until the postal votes came in and it was a near wipe out.

  37. If Labour are in governent after 7th May and Balls is Chancellor, he going to be in big trouble here in 2020.

  38. Labour Hold. 8,000 majority.

  39. The hustings were fairly docile but interesting. Nathan Hemingway was a good performer and made some fair points. David Dews looked nervous and I don’t think he explained his views very well. You could tell Ed Balls was the politician and made his points in the usual way. Andrea Jenkyns seemed particularly nervous (or she likes drinking a lot of water!) but I think standing next to the Shadow Chancellor she did well in some parts of the debate (but don’t quote ‘The Sun’) and should be given credit for that. I doubt the debate will have any influence but it is always interesting to see the views of the candidates.

    Luke – I could not see you anywhere but I hope you enjoyed it. I am surprised what you said about postal votes as the Tories, generally older people, tend to have more of them than Labour.

    Christian – I would have thought seats would change before 2020 and until we know the 2015 result and how people feel about the government in 2020 it is difficult to say.

  40. ”I would have thought seats would change before 2020 and until we know the 2015 result and how people feel about the government in 2020 it is difficult to say.”

    Yes, I suppose you’re right Luke.

    On another subject, today is Ed Balls Day, which commemorates the day when Balls tweeted his own name by accident whilst doing a search for information on Twitter about himself. Currently, #EdBallsDay is trending.

  41. “Luke – I am surprised what you said about postal votes as the Tories, generally older people, tend to have more of them than Labour.”

    It’s probably true what you say in terms of Con vs Lab.

    At the same time where Labour machine is strong, it is reflected also in postal votes organization, especially if compared with UKIP. Therefore it is pretty likely that Lab outpolled UKIP in postal votes last year with a wider margin than in polling day turnout.

  42. Nick Clegg is surely much more likely to survive than Ed Balls.. People can not forget that it was Mr Balls who made such a mess with the finances when he was in the Cabinet, can they?

  43. If the get rid of Balls was going to succeed, it would have done so in 2010, when Labour were in power. Now in 2015 we have a anti government feeling that will see Ed Balls romp home safely. Despite flipping his homes, not living in the constituency and all the expenses scandal, he kept his seat, his London and Castleford home scandal are now old news.

  44. I think it would be for the best if people ignored the blatant bullshit merchants here.

  45. @Dynbich Dai can you separate your own political views from your analysis of the likely results of the election?

  46. all this nonesence about Labour making a mess

    a) its was a global financial crisis
    b) Tories were in favour of EVEN lighter regulation of the banks which probably would’ve made things worse
    c) when Labour left office GDP was growing at over 1% before we had a double dip recession because of over cutting services which was reduced in 2012 which saw a return to growth.

  47. Any chance of any psephological comments instead of these tired spin lines and partisan wittering?

  48. I can’t agree with Dynbach Dai because this is the first time people could vote on Clegg’s failures. I still think he will survive due to shy LD voters but his failure as regards student fees in a ward with student voters and his previous failure as regards Sheffield forgemasters will put him in with a chance of a Portillo moment.

    If the public wanted to vote against Ed it would have been 2010 with an unpopular government and so much Ashcroft money. Ed survived his Portillo moment. Five years later we don’t have any journalists coming to interview Ed (apart from locally) because they don’t sense a result and neither do the bookies.

    A week is a long time in politics and five years is an eternity.

  49. Luke Senior (from yesterday)

    What you say about Postal Votes is partly true. However it is almost impossible to guess with any certainty how the postal votes break down to each candidate or party.

  50. Good call Runnymede.

    In terms of this seat, Ed Balls has to be safe surely!

    Even if the Tory vote holds up to 2010 level, any LD squeeze here would likely work in Mr Balls favour.

    The more pertinent question about this seat surely is could the LD’s lose their deposit?

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