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
2010
Con: 17264 (35%)
Lab: 18365 (38%)
LDem: 8186 (17%)
BNP: 3535 (7%)
Oth: 1506 (3%)
MAJ: 1101 (2%)
2005*
Con: 8227 (19%)
Lab: 20570 (48%)
LDem: 6819 (16%)
BNP: 2271 (5%)
Oth: 4608 (11%)
MAJ: 12343 (29%)
2001
Con: 9829 (26%)
Lab: 21919 (57%)
LDem: 5446 (14%)
UKIP: 1248 (3%)
MAJ: 12090 (31%)
1997
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

Demographics
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.
Links
Comments - 687 Responses on “Morley & Outwood”
  1. “That means most of them don’t know what it’s like to be in opposition.”

    Many stood for a parliamentary seat during 1997-2010 but were defeated. Very few active Tories over 40 “don’t know what it’s like to be in opposition”.

    More likely the explanation is generational. The older Tory MPs are much more influenced by the old platitudes about “loyalty is the Tory party’s secret weapon” etc, and believe in keeping disputes behind closed doors.

    Chatting online with my own MP, who is of that generation, this seems to be his number one objection to the ERG….that they are disloyal and that their public submission of confidence letters lacks class and dignity (his twitter feed will tell you pretty much the same thing).

  2. Was it not Soames who verbally lambasted Rees-Mogg or one of the other hard Brexit twerps when they spoke out against May in the House last week

  3. Yes, he shouted “sit down you disloyal twerp” at Andrew Bridgen.

    I think Bridgen is a fellow ex-military man and this, with its implied codes of conduct, particularly riles up Soames.

  4. ‘I think Bridgen is a fellow ex-military man and this, with its implied codes of conduct, particularly riles up Soames.’

    Bridgen certainly stands out as most military men in today’s Tory Party – Soames, Tugendhat Elwood, Lancaster, Stewart, Blunt, Mercer – hail from the sane wing of the party, as opposed to the extreme Right

  5. IDS is on the hard right as well though on a personal level a nice, kind man (I imagine Bridgen is not)

  6. ‘I imagine Bridgen is not’

    Funny, as I imagine the very same thing

  7. The other woman on that list, competing with Dorries and Jenkyns (who was abysmal on QT the other week) is Anne-Marie Morris, who for some reason has started doing a lot of media interviews…not sure helping the brexiteer cause.

  8. Yes, Morris is another headbanger. Incidentally it was her ex (Roger Kendrick) who was haranguing the PM at the CBI conference today…all coincidence of course!

  9. The latest tweet from Andrea Jenkins – congratulates her husband for being Made the PPS for the Brexit Department but at the same time accusing the whips of dividing and conquaring and how she won’t be silenced at home.

  10. She’s making herself look a right fool. Her appearance on Question Time the other week was risible…thick, trite, air headed.

  11. ‘Her appearance on Question Time the other week was risible…thick, trite, air headed.’

    Totally agree – she made an absolute fool of herself and proved totally unsuited to being an MP

    I wonder when the Tories will twig that being represeted by such people will do them few favours in the longer term

  12. I don’t want to sound like the devils advocate but she did win the seat off Ed Balls when Michael Ashcroft and all his money couldnt unseat him in 2010 and held the seat in 2017. You might think she’s a fool and many of her comrades have been punished by their constituents for similarly poor behaviour. But she’s survived. The electorate of Morley & Outwood have kept her for 5 more years

  13. Fair point but let’s bear in mind that Yorkshire is a county that elects people like Nick Griffin, Philip Davies and Andrew Brons to represent them, so they have form here

  14. Thats going a bit far isnt it. I wouldn’t describe Andrew Brons as precedent for Andrea Jenkyns. Plus Brons wouldn’t have got anywhere without PR. It was probably the towns in South Yorkshire that had the greatest showing; Barnsley, etc. Nick Griffin was an MEP for the North West i think

  15. ‘That’s going a bit far isnt it. ‘

    Perhaps a bit – but there’s little to distinguish many of the policies endorsed by both Jenkins and Brons – anti immigration, no-deal Brexit etc

    And yes, Griffin was MEP for the North West region

  16. Shame Like Senior doesn’t come here any more. It would interesting to hear his two cents, considering he campaigned heavily for Jenkyns here last year. He’d probably have good handle on local opinion.

  17. MPs like Andrea Jenkyns and Ben Bradley are defying gravity in traditionally Labour constituencies, and will be first in line to lose their seats even if there is only a minor swing against the Tories in the next election. They will vanish into obscurity, making it quite ironic that they are holding so much sway at the present time. The Tories have minimal local presence in these seats (they have precisely zero councillors in Mansfield I think), making it impossible to see them holding the seats in the medium to long term.

  18. Tbf in Mansfield the MIF currently occupy the ground where the Tories would usually sit and many of their voters will vote Tory in the GE.

  19. Maybe so but that’s not really any substitute for having councillors and activists. The Tory party really is very shrivelled up in these kind of seats, with membership likely below 100 and heavily dependent on assistance from neighbouring Tory seats and CCHQ. It is also an error to assume the Mansfield/Ashfield independents are primarily Tories, perhaps that was so in 2017 but when the Ashfield independents disintegrated about 10 years ago their vote mostly went to the Lib Dems.

  20. ‘MPs like Andrea Jenkyns and Ben Bradley are defying gravity in traditionally Labour constituencies, and will be first in line to lose their seats even if there is only a minor swing against the Tories’

    Although interestingly there are many polls showing that the Tories are currently more likely to be losing seats like Richmond Park and Putney than they are Mansfield or Morley – which tells us something in itself

    Is it not likely that seats like Mansfield will go the same way those mining and steel towns in places like West Virginia have gone over the past couple of decades – on a massive rightwards shift?

    Examples like Dewsbury, Keighley and Colne Valley would suggest not

  21. “Is it not likely that seats like Mansfield will go the same way those mining and steel towns in places like West Virginia have gone over the past couple of decades – on a massive rightwards shift?”

    Seats that have gentrified and become commuter towns, yes. I’d include seats like Sherwood, Derbyshire NE, perhaps even Bolsover in that category long term. Shithole seats like Mansfield and Walsall North however are a different kettle of fish and I think will revert to Labour over economic issues.

    Of course none of that means Labour can’t also gain Putney and Wimbledon while also winning back some old heartlands, at least in the short term my guess is that they will.

  22. “Examples like Dewsbury, Keighley and Colne Valley would suggest not”

    All those examples are largely explained by the ethnic dimension.

  23. ‘All those examples are largely explained by the ethnic dimension’

    I hadn’t thought of that but given the small majorities I think having a disproportionate amount of arguably the most reliably Labour-voting bloc there is, it must be

    And Bolsover is definitely in that category. It used to be one of the staunchest Labour seats in the country, throughout the 1980s. It’s not exactly marginal yet but once Skinner steps down (next election?) one suspects it will become so

    Of course the Tories did hold Mansfield in the 1980s at the height of the mining troubles

  24. I’m surprised about Colne Valley. I wouldn’t have thought there were many ethnic minorities in places like Calderdale, Kirklees, etc. They are very sparse towns where employment is rather dotted.

  25. One of the more interesting things about colne valley is that according to electoral calculus it was 50/50 in the eu vote, which seemed unlikely although there was a similar result in high peak- a similar seat

  26. “One of the more interesting things about colne valley is that according to electoral calculus it was 50/50 in the eu vote, which seemed unlikely although there was a similar result in high peak- a similar seat”

    I don’t know Colne Valley but have a good knowledge of High Peak.

    Firstly a surprisingly high percentage of the electorate lives in towns on the Stockport/Manchester fringe of the seat, containing many middle class professionals who commute to Manchester, and this area became quite strongly influenced by the strength of the Lib Dems in neighbouring Hazel Grove.

    Secondly, agriculture in the peaks is dominated by small hill farmers who have much more to lose from leaving the EU than big agribusiness.

    “Of course the Tories did hold Mansfield in the 1980s at the height of the mining troubles”

    The Tories never won Mansfield in the 1980s though they were only circa 50 votes behind Labour’s Alan Meale in 1987.

    Ironically it was a far more prosperous town then than it is today.

  27. What’s changed in Mansfield ?

    Apart from obviously the end of the mining industry.

  28. One of the more interesting things about colne valley is that according to electoral calculus it was 50/50 in the eu vote, which seemed unlikely although there was a similar result in high peak- a similar seat”

    Entirely plausible. Increasingly full of Middle Class Leeds and Manchester commuters and the most affluent seat in Kirklees MBC. In the North Euroscepticism is far more associated with Working Class occupations and (until recently) Labour voting.

    The divide is comporable in some ways to the Rugby League/Union split…spot a Union team in the suburb of an otherwise League town and you know it’s a “posh” area.

  29. This is a good observation, actually. The most prosperous seats in the north, places like Sheffield Hallam or Altrincham, voted significantly for remain; there weren’t the equivalent of seats like Aylesbury or Tonbridge & Malling which are very affluent but voted for leave. Any idea why middle-class notherners are significantly more pro-EU than their home counties counterparts?

  30. The 60%+ remainy rich areas of GM such as Bramhall and Altrincham/Hale are now seen as ‘metropolitan’ effectively but Tatton was still ‘only’ around 55% remain and still has some provincial character.

    Parts of rural Cheshire such as Eddisbury and around Congleton were marginally leave

    Also Harrogate itself was only around 55% remain with the other middle class and rural parts of North Yorkshire (e.g. Skipton) around 55% or so leave.

  31. Sheffield Hallam and Altrincham have more in common with the likes of Richmond and Barnet than Aylesbury and Tonbridge.

  32. Richard-

    “What’s changed in Mansfield ?

    Apart from obviously the end of the mining industry.”

    The mining industry is the main change. Unlike most mining areas, the end of mining in North Notts is relatively recent….the last mines closed less than 10 years ago (as is also the case for you in Doncaster). There was also quite a bit of opencast mining in the area until not that long ago. Quite a lot of the local mining industry was still operating when Blair came to power in 1997. So the change has been much more recent than in (say) North East Derbyshire.

    Also there was a massive textile industry locally, almost all of which has now gone, again much of it since 1997.

    It’s clearly the case that the more semi-rural former pit villages which are close to the M1 or A1 have gentrified very nicely. That’s the kind of place commuters want to live in, surrounded by countryside yet convenient for work. The more urban ex-mining towns have seen much less gentrification than the outlying villages and in many cases have gone significantly downhill.

  33. Thanks, that makes sense.

    The amount of new construction along the A1M and M18 really is huge at present.

  34. Andrea Jenkins- possibly one hardest of hard line brexiters – has endorsed Raab – hard to see how Mcvey/Baker etc get through to the final ballot if not being backed by all the out and out no dealers.

  35. I thought for one horrifying moment you were going to say she was going to run for leader too.

    Actually, scrap that. Jenkyns running for leader would have provided comedy gold that we would have all feasted on for years. Andrea, go for it!

  36. Remember when Boris Johnson was funny? Remember when Jacob Rees-Mogg was funny?

    They don’t stay funny forever. Be careful what you wish for.

  37. Andrea Jenkins has now endorsed Boris after Raab’s elimination.

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