Normanton, Pontefract & Castleford

2015 Result:
Conservative: 9569 (20.8%)
Labour: 25213 (54.9%)
Lib Dem: 1330 (2.9%)
UKIP: 9785 (21.3%)
MAJORITY: 15428 (33.6%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Normanton, Pontefract, Castleford, Knottingley.

Profile: Consists of the three eponymous towns, along with the town of Knottingley and village of Ferrybridge, the location of a series of coal-fired power stations. It is a forming coal mining area, though the only remaining deep mine is now just across the North Yorkshire border at Kellingley. The area is now a mix of commuter areas for Leeds and Wakefield and manufacturing, with remaining industry including confectionary and the Burberry factory at Castleford.

Politics: Created in 2010 by the merger of two safe Labour seats - Normanton and Pontefract & Castleford - which were at the time represented by husband and wife, Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper. Ed Balls would instead be selected for the new Morley and Outwood seat.

Current MP
YVETTE COOPER (Labour) Born 1969, Inverness. Educated at Eggar`s School and Oxford University. Former political advisor and journalist. First elected as MP for Pontefract and Castleford in 1997. Under-seretary at the department of health 1999-2003 and the office of the deputy Prime Minister 2003-2005, Minister of State in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister 2005-2007, Minister of State for Housing 2007-2008. Chief Secretary to the Treasury 2008-2009, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 2009-2010. Shadow foreign secretary 2010-2011, Shadow Home Secretary 2011-2015. She is married to Ed Balls, the former MP and Shadow Chancellor. Unsuccessfully contested the Labour leadership in 2015, she declined to serve under Jeremy Corbyn.
Past Results
Con: 11314 (24%)
Lab: 22293 (48%)
LDem: 7585 (16%)
BNP: 3864 (8%)
Oth: 1183 (3%)
MAJ: 10979 (24%)
Con: 5727 (17%)
Lab: 20973 (64%)
LDem: 3942 (12%)
BNP: 1835 (6%)
Oth: 470 (1%)
MAJ: 15246 (46%)
Con: 5512 (18%)
Lab: 21890 (70%)
LDem: 2315 (7%)
UKIP: 739 (2%)
Oth: 935 (3%)
MAJ: 16378 (52%)
Con: 5614 (14%)
Lab: 31339 (76%)
LDem: 3042 (7%)
MAJ: 25725 (62%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Pontefract & Castleford

2015 Candidates
BETH PRESCOTT (Conservative) Born West Yorkshire. Parliamentary caseworker.
YVETTE COOPER (Labour) See above.
EDWARD MACMILLAN-SCOTT (Liberal Democrat) Born 1949, Cambridge. Former public affairs consultant. Contested MEP for York 1984-1994, North Yorkshire 1994-1999, Yorkshire 1999-2014. Originally elected as a Conservative, defected to the Liberal Democrats in 2010.
Comments - 134 Responses on “Normanton, Pontefract & Castleford”
  1. The Labour Uncut projections may not be far off a worst case scenario from a week ago. But they may now be a bit out of date, given recent narrowing.

  2. It depends how many of labour voters taking Labour in the Polls from 29 to 34 actually vote for them. I can still see Labour with a vote share under 28%.

  3. So can I. I think polls have prob been overstating Lab a bit all along – there are signs of that in the lack of Lab/Con switching picked up by polls compared to anecdotal evidence from canvassers and vox pops. But the poll bounce is significant enough that it is almost certainly real – even if in reality it is from 23 to 28 rather than 28 to 33.

  4. It’s hard to overstate Labour when the raw data shows a Tory lead half of what it is in the headline fugure

  5. Jack
    “ere are signs of that in the lack of Lab/Con switching picked up by polls compared to anecdotal evidence from canvassers and vox pops”

    Actually its right in line with what I’ve been hearing both personally on the doorstep and from other campaign teams. By all account the Lab vote is holding up remarkably well, more than a few don’t like Corbyn but for the most part they are (or at least claim to be) sticking with us out of loyalty, support for the local candidate or fear of the Tories. I seriously think the number of Lab to Con switchers has been widely overstated, the issue is the UKIP to Con switchers and possibly unenthused Lab voters not bothering to vote.

  6. Yes which is why I find this Labour uncut stuff odd. I haven’t campaigned in the areas they speak of but I haven’t heard anything like it

  7. On the other hand, this wobble may have actually nailed Corbyn by illustrating that maybe, just maybe, he might be able to win. Therefore, a lot of people who would have voted Labour safe in the knowledge that Corbyn would never be PM may start to reconsider their vote (provided their not more angry at the Tories!).

    Whether that was done by design or just the sheer silliness of the Tory campaign remains to be seen!

  8. An article on yesterday pointed out the dominance of clubs based in areas that voted remain in football’s premier league. It’s a picture that’s completely reversed in the top division in rugby league. Of the eleven English based Super League clubs only Leeds and arguably Huddersfield are based in areas that voted remain (Huddersfield is in Kirklees district which voted leave, but the town itself probably voted remain).

    League leaders Castleford along with Hull, Wakefield, St Helens, Salford, Wigan, Warrington, Leigh and Widnes are all based in areas that voted leave.

  9. An article on yesterday pointed out the dominance of clubs based in areas that voted remain in football’s premier league.’

    Burnley, Sunderland (relegated), Swansea, Bournemouth, Southampton, Stoke, Watford, West Brom, Middlesborough (relegated) and Hull (relegated) ate all based in areas that voted Leave

    That’s almost half of them

  10. Football teams and areas that voted remain/leave is a fun little topic that pb do

  11. It’s a worthless comparison.

    eg Millwall is located in a borough which voted circa 70% Remain

    Does anyone really think the average Millwall supporter is a Remainer?

  12. I have relatives in Castleford. The town is very depressing. Smells pretty bad as well.

  13. I didn’t write the post above.
    Slightly odd that I was around to spot this today,
    as don’t visit the site too often.
    Somebody is trying to create a bit of activity.

    Posted by the Real Joe James B.

  14. ”I have relatives in Castleford. The town is very depressing.”

    A few weeks ago, I heard there’re plans to build a huge shopping mall on the outskirts of Castleford next to the Xscape Leisure Park. Apparently, it’ll be the biggest out-of-town shopping centre built in the UK since Bluewater which opened nearly 20 years ago!
    Bluewater sucked the life and soul out of the retail centres north Kent towns i.e. Dartford, Gravesend, Strood, Chatham, Gillingham.
    I can envisage exactly the same happening to the already-dilapidated retail centres/ high streets of Castleford, Pontefract and Normanton when this new development opens in 2021!

  15. JJB (23/03/[email protected] 4.55pm) – thanks.

    I don’t incidentally work at the Echo!

    Incidentally, Richard was correct then wasn’t he.

  16. Cooper amendment fails 298-321.
    No deal surely becoming unstoppable.

  17. The Pound hasn’t taken the cooper defeat well and is dropping.

  18. 14 Labour MPs voted against the Cooper Amendment

  19. The full 14 Labour MPs who voted against :
    Ian Austin, Kevin Barron,Ronnie Campbell,Rosie Cooper,Jim Fitzpatrick,Caroline Flint, Roger Godsiff,Stephen Hepburn,Kate Hoey,John Mann, Dennis Skinner, Laura Smith, Gareth Snell,Graham Stringer

  20. Labour members have exploded with calls for deselctions. Including Corbynites calls for Denis Skinner to be deselected.

  21. Apparently the Cooper Bill passed by 1 vote and that being the convicted Member for Peterborough. Not sure if she breached her curfew to do so?

    Lords Lawson, Forsyth, Tebbit, Howard et al appear to be delaying it’s progress in the Lords at the moment.

  22. I support the Cooper bill but that is an outrage

  23. Apparently she’s in Court again – this time defending herself from a civil claim from a former employee.

  24. It doesn’t seem right that Onasanya can vote in Parliament when ordinary prisoners can’t vote in UK elections.

  25. I’m pretty sure that if you serve the rest of your time under house arrest you can vote?

  26. True.
    Through someone who has been released on curfew like Onasanya would be able to vote in UK elections.

  27. A picture of Onasanya should be included under the definition of ‘brass neck’ in the dictionary. Utterly shameless.

  28. You can vote in elections, yes.

    However those on a tag aren’t usually allowed out during the evening.

    We don’t have house arrest – although there are tight surveillance restrictions on terrorists.

  29. The Labour frontbench in the Lords has conceded that they can’t get the Bill through the House today.

    So just Second Reading today and it’ll continue on Monday (the House isn’t sitting tomorrow).

  30. Nigel Farrage has said this will be one of the Brexit party’s main Yorkshire targets in the next election.

  31. Friend just returned from visiting family here and said there are loads of Brexit Party posters here and plenty of 2017 Labour voters are switching to them – and some going Tory. They report a general sense of betrayal by Cooper over her Brexit stance

    But they think she will still hold it by a four figure majority.

  32. A man has been sent to jail for violent threats sent to Yvette Cooper.

    Depressingly routine story, but interestingly this man was a paid-up member of the Conservatives, and moreover one who had friends high up in the party (Andrea Jenkyns provided a charavter witness.) Add in the Daniel Kawczynski stuff from earlier in the week and it suggests that the firewall between the Conservative Party and the far right is being eroded.

  33. That is not correct. He did not send any threats to Cooper. He was caught chatting on a gay dating site about how he was going to get her beaten up. Sounds like a sad loser and a fantasist, the lower ranks of all parties have plenty of those. I wouldn’t describe Andrea Jenkyns as being high up on the Tory party.

  34. I don’t know about this particular story but I do know that most of Andrea Jenkins colleagues outside of the ERG think she’s as big as idiot and those on the Labour benches.

    She is widely viewed as somebody not fit to be an MP

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