Wakefield

2015 Result:
Conservative: 14688 (34.2%)
Labour: 17301 (40.3%)
Lib Dem: 1483 (3.5%)
Green: 1069 (2.5%)
UKIP: 7862 (18.3%)
TUSC: 287 (0.7%)
Others: 283 (0.7%)
MAJORITY: 2613 (6.1%)

Category: Semi-marginal Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Wakefield, Ossett, Horbury, Middlestown, Netherton, Woolley.

Profile: Is divided into a more urban area north of the river Calder, covering the city of Wakefield, the town of Ossett and the large village of Horbury, and some more rural villages to the south of the river. This was an industrial area, dominated by coal mining and the textile industry. The final coal mine closed in 2002 and the area has diversified into services and retail, although there are still textile mills in Orsett. The National Coal Mining Museum is situated in the seat in the small village of Overton.

Politics: Historically Wakefield has been a very safe Labour seat, held by the party since 1932. As coal mining traditions fade though it has become more Conservative and was a Tory target at the last election, although they fell short of winning the seat..


Current MP
MARY CREAGH (Labour) Born 1967, Coventry. Educated at Bishop Ullathorne Comprehensive School and Oxford University. Former university lecturer. Islington councillor 1998-2005. First elected as MP for Wakefield in 2005. PPS to Andy Burnham 2006-2009, Government Whip 2009-2010. Shadow environment secretary 2010-2013, Shadow transport secretary 2013-2014, Shadow international development secretary 2014-2015. Announced her intention to contest the 2015 Labour leadership but withdrew her candidacy. She declined to serve under Jeremy Corbyn.
Past Results
2010
Con: 15841 (36%)
Lab: 17454 (39%)
LDem: 7256 (16%)
BNP: 2581 (6%)
Oth: 1312 (3%)
MAJ: 1613 (4%)
2005*
Con: 13648 (31%)
Lab: 18802 (43%)
LDem: 7063 (16%)
BNP: 1328 (3%)
Oth: 2540 (6%)
MAJ: 5154 (12%)
2001
Con: 12638 (31%)
Lab: 20592 (50%)
LDem: 5097 (12%)
GRN: 1075 (3%)
Oth: 1852 (4%)
MAJ: 7954 (19%)
1997
Con: 14373 (28%)
Lab: 28977 (57%)
LDem: 5656 (11%)
MAJ: 14604 (29%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
ANTONY CALVERT (Conservative) Wakefield councillor 2004-2007. Contested Morley and Outwood 2010.
MARY CREAGH (Labour) See above.
FINBARR CRONIN (Liberal Democrat)
ALAN HAZELHURST (UKIP)
REBECCA THACKRAY (Green)
ELLIOT BARR (CISTA)
MICK GRIFFITHS (TUSC)
Links
Comments - 89 Responses on “Wakefield”
  1. I see Anthony Calvert stood here. Is there a reason he didn’t stand against Ed Balls again?

  2. Maybe he moved to the area and thought it was genuinely winnable?

  3. The other way around – he was from Wakefield and a Cllr here.

    I just wondered why he didn’t stick at Morley.

  4. I may be wrong but I think that Calvert moved to London.

  5. Calvert did move to London.

    Living locally, whilst Jenkyns was always in the hunt to win, it wasn’t until the last month or so that there was a real surge in her direction.

    It took a lot of stars to align for her to win – which they did.

    She was elected on a fair sized personal vote…. whether Calvert could have achieved that I’m genuinely not sure.

  6. Thanks Luke.

  7. What do people make of Creagh entering the leadership contest?

  8. I doubt she genuinely thinks she’s in with a chance of winning, but I think she’s wanting to raise her profile so she gets a good shadow cabinet position afterwards.
    Wakefield remains uncomfortably close for Labour, and I think in the boundary changes all of Sandal may come into the seat. If that is indeed the case then it will be benefit the Tories.

  9. Wakefield MDC election results:

    Party/Votes/%/Candidates
    LAB 71701 (49.0) 21
    CON 38875 (26.6) 21
    UKIP 26218 (17.9) 16
    GRN 3744 (2.6) 9
    LDEM 2973 (2.0) 6
    TUSC 1627 (1.1) 9
    YF 654 (0.4) 2
    IND 580 (0.4) 2

  10. And the changes on 2014:

    LAB +1.5
    CON +4.7
    UKIP -4.4
    GRN +1.1
    LDEM -0.7
    TUSC -0.6
    YF +0.4 (from zero)
    IND -2.0

  11. I agree with John D.

    Mary Creagh has quite enough on her plate holding onto her marginal seat. If she were to become leader I imagine the Labour machine would do all it could to give her a favourable redistribution – and I hope she has a tougher and longer-standing agent then Ed Miliband appeared to have in Doncaster North. However, this seat is in the sort of suburban area which is moving against Labour in the MIdlands and to a lesser extent the North of England, albeit Mary Creagh did manage to achieve a small swing from the Conservatives to Labour at the beginning of this month.

    Mary Creagh is also at a disadvantage because she did not reach Cabinet rank before 2010.

  12. The boundaries could potentially be bad for Labour here as well if Wakefield South was to return to the constituency and if either Wakefield North or Wakefield East was removed.

  13. Mary Creagh’s vote dropped slightly from 17,454 to 17,301.

  14. Mary Creagh has withdrawn from the leadership contest. Her nominators are expected to disperse in a variety of ways. One, Tulip Siddiq, has suggested that she will now nominate Corbyn, others are more likely to gravitate to other candidates.

  15. This is a seat where the boundary changes are likely to be bad for Labour. Wakefield is currently 4,479 voters below the quota so it is likely the boundary commission will just add the ward of Wakefield South (currently in Hemsworth). Wakefield South is however by far the most Tory ward in the whole borough and will slash Creagh’s notional majority to around 1,000.

  16. A good analysis, Pepperminttea. Thanks.

    Labour is increasingly beng pegged back into the major cities, which are not enough to win a parliamentary majority.

  17. A brick has been thrown through the window of this MP’s office, here.

  18. @Maxim It depends what they do if they just add Wakefield South it is still notionally Labour albeit significantly more narrowly.

  19. Maxim
    I think it would have albeit narrowly. Really though the Tories best hope for the Wakefield area is to have the more Tory friendly rural bits like Wakefield Rural and Osset shaved off and added to a marginal like Dewsbury or something.

    As Pepps says even adding Wakefield South keeps the seat notionally Lab and that’s a ward that appears to be trending Lab’s way.

    Wakefield thus looks like one of those seats that will always be just out of the Tories reach.

  20. My thought was that Wakefield as a whole was trending Conservative. They came very close to winning control of the council in 2008 and, while they’ve fallen back appreciably since 2010, I would expect the council to go blue during their next stint in opposition nationally.

  21. Paul
    Over the past few decades its definitely drifted to the Tories but that appears to have stopped in the last few years or so. Looking at the election results locally most of the wards seem to be remaining solid where they are while some like Wakefield South or East appearing to be drifting Labs way.

  22. @rivers the best the Tories could hope for is for the creation of Dewsbury and Batley which packs Labour’s support into one seat. Then Brighouse and Spenborough returns as a seat that Labour could only win if they are winning by a large margin nationally. While the leftover Tory voting parts of the old Dewsbury are combined with the more Tory friendly parts of Wakefield (perhaps Wakefield South and Denby Dale?).

    Also Wakefield if the situation with Labour is the same at the time of the next election the Tories would probably gain Wakefield even on the current boundaries.

  23. Yes I should rephrase that, Wakefield looks to be a seat the Tories could only win in their very best years.

  24. Wakefield will be quite an easy tory gain I suspect. Quite Likely the Tory Majoirty will be 5000 thousand plus.

  25. They had some vox pops from Wakefield on a BBC video today.

    In the video they talked to seven people. Six 2015 Labour voters, and one 2015 UKIP voter. Of these seven, four Labour voters and the Kipper were going Conservative this time – an implied swing from Labour to the Conservatives (on this very small data set) of 64%, and therefore predicted vote shares Con 98%, Lab -24%.

    In all seriousness, I don’t know what the point in these vox pops is – they don’t tell anyone anything and they can selected to spin whatever narrative you like. And the fact they’re given five seconds to explain their voting choice means you don’t really understand their motivations.

  26. They also demographically unreliable. Nethertheless they will be massive massive swings in nearly all labour wwc seats

  27. Though perhaps the fact people describing themselves as Lab>Con switchers seem to be so east to find does imply that polls are right. (BBC vox-pops in Bridgend also found several).

  28. I think the only people that think the polls are wrong are those who are in delusion to the truth.

  29. I’m amazed by the amount of self-identified Labour voters I’ve seen on a variety of news programs saying they will be voting Tory this time round

    It’s reminiscent of the run up to the 97 election when dyed-in-the-wool Tory voters were lining up to declare they were backing Blair

    As New Labour found, I think keeping such voters on-side might be the tricky part but currently Labour’s WWC base is simply crumbling and they look set to take an absolute hammering come June 8

  30. The Tories haven’t even started on the IRA/Hezbollah stuff yet…

    One thing I have noticed is that, whenever Corbyn says anything, the well-drilled Conservative press machine has a pithy one-line response ready to go within the hour. This generally means that, on the news breaks on Radio 2 where elections are won and lost, a Jeremy Corbyn story always ends on the bad note, “but the Tories said this”.

    Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t do this. When the government announces, say, investment into housing, the Labour Party should immediately push the latest homelessness figures through the appropriate press channels. But they never, ever do.

  31. To be fair you say that but every time a Tory policy is announced the BBC headline is May steal Labour policy says Labour

  32. Lib Dems have selected Mary Macqueen.

    Word circulating on twitter that UKIP are to stand aside here in order to help the Tories. No confirmation yet though.

  33. Tim J – I’m amazed that you are amazed.

  34. Seats with large numbers of UKIP voters may well end up going Tory.

  35. Indeed. Creagh is in huge trouble here especially as she voted against Article 50.

  36. Con gain

  37. Anthony Calvert must really be regretting going for this in 2015 and not Morley & Outwood after missing out again while Jenkyns held M&O

  38. Wakefield West Ward By-election, 23.11.17:

    Labour 1,118 50% (+1%)
    Cons 933 41% (+11%)
    Yorkshire 156 7%
    LD 46% 2% (-4%)

    Labour hold

  39. Hmm… not the worst result for the Tories, this one.

    The consistent failure to break through on Wakefield council must be frustrating them.

    It does seem locally that they don’t see to be able to get big numbers out for by election campaigning in seats such as these… ones that are winnable with a following wind.

    In Stanley & Outwood East last month Labour had 40 people doing GOTV on polling day, which clearly made some difference.

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