Skipton & Ripon

2015 Result:
Conservative: 30248 (55.4%)
Labour: 9487 (17.4%)
Lib Dem: 4057 (7.4%)
Green: 3116 (5.7%)
UKIP: 7651 (14%)
MAJORITY: 20761 (38.1%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: Yorkshire and Humberside, North Yorkshire. The whole of Craven council area and part of Harrogate council area.

Main population centres: Skipton, Ripon, Settle, Pateley Bridge, Masham.

Profile: A large rural seat taking in the western part of the Yorkshire Dales and two of the Yorkshire "three peaks" as it stretches across the pennines to Ribblesdale. The population is mostly in small agricultural market towns and the cathedral city of Ripon. The main industries are agriculture - sheep and cattle farming - and tourism in the dales.

Politics: This is safe Conservative territory. The seat has been held by the Tories since its creation in 1983, for most of this period by the pro-European Conservative David Curry who retired in 2010.

Current MP
JULIAN SMITH (Conservative) Born 1971, Stirling. Educated at Birmingham University. Former managing director of a recruitment firm. First elected as MP for Skipton and Ripon in 2010. Government whip since 2015.
Past Results
Con: 27685 (51%)
Lab: 5498 (10%)
LDem: 17735 (32%)
UKIP: 1909 (3%)
Oth: 1897 (3%)
MAJ: 9950 (18%)
Con: 25100 (50%)
Lab: 9393 (19%)
LDem: 13480 (27%)
UKIP: 2274 (5%)
Oth: 274 (1%)
MAJ: 11620 (23%)
Con: 25736 (52%)
Lab: 8543 (17%)
LDem: 12806 (26%)
UKIP: 2041 (4%)
MAJ: 12930 (26%)
Con: 25294 (47%)
Lab: 12171 (22%)
LDem: 13674 (25%)
MAJ: 11620 (21%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
JULIAN SMITH (Conservative) See above.
MALCOLM BIRKS (Labour) Educated at South Craven School. Architect.
JACQUELINE BELL (Liberal Democrat)
Comments - 110 Responses on “Skipton & Ripon”
  1. Further to the above…ConservativeHome are now calling on Julian Smith to resign. Strange times.

  2. Clearly in these days of 24 hour news and social media, the whips can’t get away with anything like the shenanigans they got up to in the Callaghan and Major governments. Welching on a pairing arrangement was very common then and on the milder end of what they got up to. Could you imagine what would happen to the likes of Walter Harrison or David Lightbown if they were senior whips today?

    ConHome is becoming exceptionally factional of late against virtually any Remainer in the government.

    It might be that Julian Smith has to go but playing dirty is part of the Chief Whip’s job, in a hung parliament.

  3. Nay is yet again treating people like morons by insisting it was an “honest mistake”

    It was nothing of the sort – and May is doing herself no favours by repeating one of her costliest mistakes of the last election

  4. It’s strange that, for someone so cautious, May makes such a habit of telling downright lies to the commons. It can only be because people don’t perceive this to be a big deal any more. The couple of times Maggie was accused of this over an 11 year premiership (Belgrano, Westland…) they were seen as possible resignation issues at the time. Westland especially, she only escaped by the skin of her teeth due to Kinnock’s incompetence.

  5. I remember studying the Westland affair for Politics A Level. Even back in 2000 I remember the class being surprised that such a seemingly innocuous matter (which very few members of the public either understood or cared about) could potentially bring down the PM. As you say, Kinnock really ballsed it up. Brittan resigning (and carrying the can) also helped.

  6. HH- how do you think Brittan is viewed in Tory circles? I don’t want to rehash the allegations against him (of which he was deemed innocent). But the media reaction to his death was very odd I think.

  7. I think there is an old guard who were very upset about the allegations and the way he was treated – people like my MP Soames – who tend to be part of the disappearing old school breed of wets. The younger generation are more likely to shrug their shoulders, or even perhaps have a sneaking sense of pleasure at his downfall, given that behind Heath himself he was probably the party’s second most ardent high-profile Europhile.

  8. ‘behind Heath himself he was probably the party‚Äôs second most ardent high-profile Europhile.’

    But Brittan was never a wet – in fact he was an out and out free marketeer Thatcherite who had the distinction of being very pro-European

    But then back in the 1970s and 1980s many of the staunchest supporters of the Common Market/EEC tended to be on the Conservative benches, whereas the British Left viewed it more as a rich boys club which would enforce Neo-liberal economic policies on all its members

    I can’t really think of any right winger Europhiles nowadays – beyond say Peter Viggers and Jonathan Djanogly

  9. Julian Smith sacked. Be interesting to see who replaces him.

  10. Bonkers sacking that clearly has nothing to do with his performance and everything to do with not being enough of a yes-man.

    The DUP and Sinn Fein are both angry at his departure. Knowing Johnson, he’ll probably give the job to Mark Francois who will immediately try to install himself as the head of a revived UVF or something similarly insane.

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