York Central

2015 Result:
Conservative: 13496 (28.3%)
Labour: 20212 (42.4%)
Lib Dem: 3804 (8%)
Green: 4791 (10%)
UKIP: 4795 (10.1%)
TUSC: 288 (0.6%)
Others: 291 (0.6%)
MAJORITY: 6716 (14.1%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

Geography: Yorkshire and the Humber, North Yorkshire. Part of the York council area.

Main population centres: York.

Profile: As the name suggests this seat covers York city centre, a tourist centre with its historic walls, the Minster, museums and quaint shops. More populus are the surrounding residential areas, including council built developments in Clifton and Tang Hall (much of which is now owner occupied or rented thanks to right to buy). York`s economy was one based upon the railways and confectionary making. The railway industry has now gone, but Nestle remains a significant local employer. The University of York campus lies just outside the constituency boundary in York Outer and there is a significany student population within the seat.

Politics: York Central was created for the 2010 election, though it is a clear successor to the old City of York seat. The two York seats are an unusual case of the Boundary Commission splitting a city into two seats by creating an inner central seat and an outer doughnut, rather than splitting a town east-west or north-south. The old City of York seat was normally a reliable Labour seat, a record broken only by a brief (and extremely narrow) Conservative victory in 1987.

Current MP
RACHAEL MASKELL (Labour) Educated at East Anglia University. Former trade union officer and physiotherapist. First elected as MP for York Central in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 12122 (26%)
Lab: 18573 (40%)
LDem: 11694 (25%)
GRN: 1669 (4%)
Oth: 2425 (5%)
MAJ: 6451 (14%)
Con: 11364 (24%)
Lab: 21836 (47%)
LDem: 10166 (22%)
GRN: 2113 (5%)
Oth: 1118 (2%)
MAJ: 10472 (22%)
Con: 11293 (24%)
Lab: 25072 (52%)
LDem: 8519 (18%)
GRN: 1465 (3%)
Oth: 1631 (3%)
MAJ: 13779 (29%)
Con: 14433 (25%)
Lab: 34956 (60%)
LDem: 6537 (11%)
Oth: 1336 (2%)
MAJ: 20523 (35%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from York, City of

2015 Candidates
ROBERT MCILVEEN (Conservative) Born 1981. Educated at Warwick and Sheffield Universities. Network rail manager.
RACHAEL MASKELL (Labour) Educated at East Anglia University. Trade union officer and physiotherapist.
NICK LOVE (Liberal Democrat) Contested Wentworth and Dearne 2010.
JONATHAN TYLER (Green) Railwayman and transport consultant. Contested Walsall North 1976 by-election, Birmingham Edgbaston 1979.
CHRIS WHITWOOD (Yorkshire First) Teacher.
Comments - 117 Responses on “York Central”
  1. As discussed before 2010, the doughnut consitutency arrangements for York are a disgrace, more for York Outer than this seat.

    In relation to the profile, it is worth pointing out that York was fairly marginally Conservative from 1950 to 1964. Alex Lyons then had a large swing in 1966 which had a lasting effect.

  2. Did the Tories not hold this seat in the 80s?

  3. they did win in 1983, and by a whisker in 1987 too. But Labour did as well in 1992 (a losing year) as in 1996 (a landslide winning year).

  4. I meant 1966 not 1996 sorry.

  5. I agree with Frederic. I don’t see what was wrong with the pre-2010 arrangement i.e. a reasonably compact City of York, a Vale of York seat covering the villages to the north of the city and Selby covering the villages to the south.

  6. … and with Ryedale also covering places like Huntingdon etc.

  7. A 1996 election would have been a landslide so you slightly confused me.

  8. is heworth in this seat

  9. A 1996 election would have been much the same as 1997. The 1992 Major Goverment spent almost all the parliament awaiting defeat after they had been forced out ot the ERM, and political opinions changed little during this period.

  10. 2015 forecast for York Central

    Lab 47
    Con 23
    LD 15
    Green 7
    UKIP 5
    Others 3

    Turnout 59 (-3)

    I have a friend (my age) who is a doctor who rents in this seat.

  11. A Brown, you might have underestimated the Lab vote and overestimate the ConDems’ vote…here is my prediction for York Central in 2015:

    Lab 51
    Con 21
    Lib Dem 13
    Green 6
    UKIP 5
    Others 4

    My fellow Greens can gain good traction due to the hard work of Green councillors in York, but there are still only two of them…for us to get 7% or more as you predict, representing more than double our 2010 share, we Greens may need to elect more councillors in the City of York. Although local support does not necessarily translate into general election support, it is particularly useful for parties other than the Establishment’s big three.

  12. A Brown seems to have gone AWOL so I suspect Lotus you are dialoguing with yourself on the Green potential in this constituency…

    maybe you should note that BNP and UKIP added up to 5% last time.. so UKIP should be higher than a mere 5% this time around..

  13. The predictions above represent 5 and 8% swings from Con to Lab…well in excess of the current mid term polls.

  14. Urban seats like York Central will see larger swings than rural or semi-rural seats,though…British politics has changed so much in the last 10-20 years (with the growth of minor parties and with the three major parties becoming more and more alike) that uniform swings will be impossible to calculate.

  15. You would have thought that there must be a fairly decent number of die hard tories in York. There is quite a bit of nice housing near the centre. I dont see that kind of swing. If anything I would suspect it would be less than average here.

    Somewhere like Dudley or Wolverhampton is somewhere I would suggest might be higher.

  16. “Urban seats like York Central will see larger swings than rural or semi-rural seats,though…”

    That may be so, but even in rural and semi-rural seats you have been predicting these huge swings away from the Tories and big increases in the Green vote share. It doesn’t match up even slightly to the national picture and this, quite frankly, makes your predictions pretty worthless.

    Incidentally, there will be plenty of urban seats with low swings, including several London Tory marginals. It’s not about urban vs. rural, it’s about those seats which contain large numbers of swing voters.

  17. Dalek is incorrect, largely. The most recent polls have shown Labour at worst 3% ahead which is a swing of almost exactly 5%, and the average of the polls shows a Labour lead still above that figure, especially after the last YouGov poll. And it isn’t midterm any more – we’re now fast approaching the last year of this parliament. I do agree however that a swing of 8% is improbably in this seat, and would actually be unwelcome to Labour who will clearly be hoping to do better in the marginals that matter than a safe seat like this.

  18. The declaration for York was televised by ITN in 1992.

  19. This is perhaps now a somewhat unusual seat in that Labour is safe because the other parties’ vote is hopelessly split. This seems to happen more often when there is a Tory MP.

    It should be noted that for many years the old York seat was regarded as a key, bellweather, marginal. It swung heavily to Labour in 1966 and the Tories have never really recovered. They did win very narrowly in the 1980s, but only in a Conservatve landslide.

  20. “The declaration for York was televised by ITN in 1992.”

    The returning officer took an age to get it out and ITN cut away before it was completed.

  21. Robert McIlveen has been selected as the Conservative candidate.

  22. York City Cllr Helen Douglas defected from Labour to the Conservative Group, last month.

  23. Hugh Bayley announces retirement

  24. I think that makes 85 MPs standing down in May so far.

  25. Katie Ghose alert

    She applied for Labour selection

    Other contenders include Cllr Julie Gunnell, Unite’s Rachel Maskell (who tried in Leicester West and Erith & Thamesmead in run up of 2010 GE) and Jo Coles (who works for Balls; she tried in Halifax before 2005 GE and Leeds West before 2010 GE and Leeds East this time).

  26. The Greens reckon they’re going to take this. I reckon they’re deluded. But if the local party picks Katie Ghose they probably deserve it.

  27. There were loads of Green Party posters up here in 2010 – I was taking a short break in the constituency for my 50th birthday during the campaign – but as you can see they got nowhere.

  28. They’re very good at posters (that fluorescent ink can’t be good for the environment) but seem to be poor at canvassing. Their recent influx of members may help redress that but they seem to be a lot like Lib Dems in their campaigning to me – trying to create the illusion of strength.

  29. Just when we thought we saw the back of Katie Ghose 🙁 This is becoming a really bad joke.

    Waits for Guido to report on her once more…

  30. If the Green Party seriously believe they will win this seat in May they are delusional and have clearly lost their grip on reality. Sure they will almost certainly retain their deposit and may get into double digits (percentage) but they will not be even vaguely close to winning, in fact they will probably come fourth. This will be a very comfortable Labour hold regardless of who their nominee is.

  31. Just as I suspected, Guido reported on who they dub as “Ghastly” Ghose in light of her shortlisting:


  32. ….Her carpetbagging is worthy of political satire.

  33. “Her carpetbagging is worthy of political satire.”

    At least she didn’t move to York one week before the MP announced his retirement just in time to claim to live locally as one of the contenders here have done as I am told

  34. As a volunteer from Morley I would really like Jo Coles to be rewarded for all her hard work here.

  35. This seat has a considerable working underlass, and on the other hand a fair number of people who treat York as a middlle class outpost in the Norht, e.g. because of its cathedral. Neither of these groups are likely to vote Green in large numbers.

  36. Labour shortlist

    Jo Coles
    Katie Ghose
    Rachel Maskell

  37. Reckon that Coles who local to York should be able to win selection. That said it may be another 2nd place finish for Ghose as she has managed in previous hustings.

  38. Apparently there has been some rumblings about Rachael Maskell on Twitter.

  39. Why on earth would any Labour member vote for Katie Ghose?

  40. Maskell lives in York but she basically moved there one week before Bayle announced retirement. Maskell and Coles have the same number of noms from ward branches. I don’t know how many noms Ghose got.
    Ghose won the hustings organized by York University Labour club.

  41. I think it’s hustings today.

    Coles will be the safest choice as she’s local. Working for Ed Balls might be picked up on in some sections of the media.

    Ghose getting selected would be hounded in the press as would Maskell.

    Unsure how Julie Gunnell didn’t get shortlisted.

  42. I presume Julie Gunnell is in some way related to John Gunnell, former MP for Morley & Rothwell.

  43. Maskell won Labour selection

  44. 1st round

    Katie Ghose 79
    Jo Coles 110
    Rachael Maskell 132

    2nd round

    Jo Coles 143
    Rachael Maskell 174

  45. Would she be regarded as the most left-wing option of the three? I don’t really know much about her or Coles. Ghose, sadly, yes.

  46. Maskel works for Unite as its head of the health but that all I can find googling her.
    Why is Katie Ghose got such a reputation here. What has she done or not done

  47. Surely her crime is not simply applying to many seats.

  48. It’s applying perpetually to seemingly random seats to which she has no connection (Brighton Kemptown fair enough, since she’s from Sussex).

  49. I think it might be her New Labour views too.

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