2015 Result:
Conservative: 23637 (46.4%)
Labour: 19136 (37.6%)
Lib Dem: 1926 (3.8%)
Green: 1539 (3%)
UKIP: 4689 (9.2%)
MAJORITY: 4501 (8.8%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

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

Main population centres: Pudsey, Guiseley, Horsforth, Calverley.

Profile: A long spindly seat between Leeds and Bradford, stretching from Hawksworth Moor in the North to include the town of Guiseley (the site of Harry Ramsden`s first restaurant and still home to the largest fish and chip restaurant in the world), the Leeds suburb of Horsforth, the rural village of Calverley and the town of Pudsey itself to the South. The constituency is mostly an affluent residential area for Leeds and Bradford commuters.

Politics: Pudsey has been held by the Conservatives for most of its history, but often by narrow margins - it has never been a safe seat. It fell to Labour in the landslide election of 1997 and was regained by the Tories in 2010.

Current MP
STUART ANDREW (Conservative) Born 1971, Anglesey. Educated at Ysgol David Hughes. Former charity fundraiser. Leeds councillor 2003-2010. Contested Wrexham 1997. First elected as MP for Pudsey in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 18874 (38%)
Lab: 17215 (35%)
LDem: 10224 (21%)
BNP: 1549 (3%)
Oth: 1221 (2%)
MAJ: 1659 (3%)
Con: 15391 (33%)
Lab: 21261 (46%)
LDem: 8551 (18%)
UKIP: 1241 (3%)
MAJ: 5870 (13%)
Con: 16091 (36%)
Lab: 21717 (48%)
LDem: 6423 (14%)
UKIP: 944 (2%)
MAJ: 5626 (12%)
Con: 19163 (36%)
Lab: 25370 (48%)
LDem: 7375 (14%)
MAJ: 6207 (12%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
STUART ANDREW (Conservative) See above.
JAMIE HANLEY (Labour) Born 1973, Leeds. Educated at Hull University. Solicitor. Contested Pudsey 2010.
RYK DOWNES (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Leeds councillor.
ROGER TATTERSALL (UKIP) Educated at Allerton Grange and Leeds University. IT professional and engineer.
CLAIRE ALLEN (Green) Born York. Educated at Liverpool University. Mental health worker and former teacher.
Comments - 142 Responses on “Pudsey”
  1. Andrew:

    Thanks for the latest posting. This is certainly proving a fascinating contest. Though Pudsey has been an interesting seat for a long time.

    I had presumed that the key to winning this seat, for either Labour or Conservatives, would be tapping the long standing Lib Dem vote in Horsforth. And Labour does seem to have polled better since 2010 in the local contests. So your observations about the lack of activity or urgency are rather puzzling.

    Are the Conservatives putting any effort into the ward?

  2. My grandparents live in this seat and have always voted Tory.. The conservatives are putting a huge amount of effort into firming up their core vote as both sets (both living in horsforth) have had tones of post through the door and both been knocked on and spoken to personally by Stuart Andrew…the same goes for my parents (also horsforth) who are down as possible con voters as they have been personally canvassed by the MP.

    Whether this Is the case across the seat I don’t know but the Tories are very visible in horsforth…

    One thing which would be interesting to know is all my family live in the posher end of horsforth which is natural Tory territory but are they putting as much effort into the less prosperous parts of the ward?

    The conservatives are going to walk it in calverley and Farsley and labour should be strong in Pudsey itself so it’s going to come down to 2 things.. 1) how much of a dent do UKIP make into labour in Pudsey and 2) who gets the liberal vote in Horsforth?

    I am leaning to a Tory hold as I think UKIP will damage labour in pudsey and I think the liberal vote in horsforth (or what’s left of it) will stay loyal to them and go nowhere..

    Just my insight though

  3. The Conservatives in Pudsey and Horsforth have always campaigned quietly, without a big show of posters… Cementing their core support as CotswoldTory suggests is what I would expect, combined with a good bit of telephone canvassing. In local elections the Lib Dems have won most of the time in Horsforth by converting some CONS on the basis of local activity and plenty of LABS on the basis of “can’t win here”. There is just one polling district in Horsforth where Labour have a “natural” vote and they need to get 60% there on May 7th to be winning the seat (The Lib Dems would often get 60% in that district if they were doing well)…. Although In 1997 Labour swept home in Horsforth along with all the 3 other wards, according to my Labour friends who were at the count…

    I have had a couple of good leaflets from Stuart Andrew and loads from Jamie Hanley, but not much recently… There are no Tory posters up at the moment, even on Rawdon road (which is the A65). I think they saw how well a low key poster campaign worked last time, and are hoping for the same… Labour voters are always less motivated to turn out on average and a high key campaign is needed by Labour if they want to win, in my opinion… There is a big middle class public sector vote in places like Horsforth and Guiseley who are very disgruntled with the coalition, and Labour need to tap that together with their traditional vote (to be honest, today’s safety-first manifesto is unlikely to do the trick, in my view – take a leaf out of the Nats book and give the millions of people who work in the public sector some hope of the recovery reaching them…)


  4. What was behind the static results here in the Labour years? Just noticed, that Paul Truswell’s majority was 12% in 97 and 01 and then 13% in 05 as the Tory share of vote dipped a little.

    Reminds a bit of Morecambe & Lunesdale in the Labour years. Remained a very still but then both swung to the Conservatives in 2010.

  5. I really do think it is very simplistic and superficial to seek to assess the strength of campaigning and local support on the basis of posters! In any case posters – rather than boards – appear to have gone out of fashion over the last ten years. At the Local Elections in my area the Greens comfortably won the poster war but were still defeated by Labour.

  6. Paul Truswell was an excellent MP who countered the gradual slide in Labour fortunes after the Blair landslide… I agree the figures were amazingly static!

  7. @Graham

    It is of course common to win the poster war but not the vote…. But that does not mean that posters make no difference (have the Greens ever won your ward in a local election?). As I tried to say, the Tories do very well here without the posters, but Labour need to get their vote out… In 2010 they suffered an 8% swing against compared to 5% nationally, and while some of that might have been the loss of Truswell as candidate, I think the low key campaign hurt them too…. With the best will in the world only a small minority of the voters can get canvassed in a general election – very few activists really like canvassing….

    A good show of posters encourages waverers to go with the herd and above all encourages your activists to make more effort.

    If you are making a distinction between window posters and garden posters I agree that window posters are less common than they were.. I suspect this is due to the decline in doorstep canvassing in favour of the telephone… But I was not talking about window posters


  8. Andrew111 re your post above what polling district in horsforth has a built in labour majority? I haven’t lived and canvassed the area for a good 10 years now so I don’t know how things have changed but I didn’t know labour had a built in lead in any one of the polling areas..

    Just Spoken to my parents here and the haven’t got their postal vote yet would have thought they would have started arriving by now..

    I don’t understand the need for posters other than to signal to your opponent your serious which I assume in an ultra marginal like this everyone is aware you are..

    I still think horsforth is the key to winning this one and turnout will be everything on the day… I think the demographic of this seat suggests that the Tory vote will be easier to get out e.g older and AB and C1s which tend to turn out in greater numbers and labour may find this a little harder with their demographic… With polls suggesting that 75% of people plan to vote but in actuality only 67% actually do I wonder if this seat is the type where the labour vote may be slightly over-stated… that could just be wishful thinking though

  9. I’ve always thought the Tories would hold here. UKIP will take a huge chunk out of Labour in Pudsey ward – with paper candidates they have attracted a decent share, including nearly winning last time – in the times they’ve stood there.

  10. Cotswold:

    HoG on this map. They need to win HoE and HoD as well, and at least draw in HoI and HoC (these are good areas for the Lib Dems in local elections too)


    In the local elections the Lib Dems will probably win all those wards (they will if they win, anyway…)

    What Labour need to do is signal to those voters that they are serious in the General Election… Posters create momentum for that… Otherwise the votes they need will go Lib Dem (as in 2010) or UKIP (as in the Euros, and the last locals…)

  11. Thanks for that map and insight.. Strange how things haven’t changed that much really I am not suprised at the areas of liberal strength and labour strength..

    I do wonder to what extent UKIP will take votes from labour in horsforth and particularly pudsey?

    Out of interest this year which areas of horsforth are you expecting to be the strong ones for the Tories?

    Really reinforces that it all comes down to turnout on the day and getting your postal voters out

  12. Hello Cotswold,

    I am not involved in politics any more – in fact they have changed the polling district boundaries since i was last involved! I did organise elections though and was even a Lib Dem councillor here for a couple of years! Horsforth is a pretty stable community….

    Best votes for the Tories will be HoA, HoF, HoB and HoJ, in that order… Not many voters in HoA though!

    I think UKIP may well take votes from labour in the council estates, especially in Pudsey. I dont know what they are doing to stop that…

    If you look up the thread to about March 10th or so there is an analysis of the local votes – Ukip seem to have taken votes from Labour in Pudsey and Guiseley, but from the Tories in Calverley

  13. Is there a lib dem candidate for this ward? I live in Calverley but no lib dem leaflets through my post box in this campaign. Why not?

  14. Conservative Hold. 1,000 majority.

  15. More nailbiting stuff in the new Ashcroft poll. Figures are per new poll and changes from the last one.

    Con 41 +1
    Lab 40 N/C
    UKIP 8 N/C
    LDem 7 +2
    Grn 4 -2
    Oth 1 N/C

    Some rounding by Lord Ashcroft.

    Stuart Andrew is doing sterling work for his party here. This remains the most marginal Conservative seat which is likely to stay Conservative.

    Any Lib Dem or UKIP supporters identified in previous canvassing can expect visitors in the next few days!

  16. I’m heading up to support here tomorrow and Monday as this is really close at the moment..

    Anecdotally the Tory postal vote in horsforth and calverley seems to be turning out really strongly which is a positive sign but you always think your side is doing really well at this stage of a campaign..

    All to play for now and will be a fascinating one to watch on thursday

  17. The interesting thing when you look at that poll is that 7% of Tory voters voted Labour last time, while only 3% of Tory voters voted Labour. That is a direct swing of 2%, probably an incumbency effect. Meanwhile UKIP voters split equally. The reason Labour are almost drawing with the Tories is that former lib Dem voters have switched to Labour 35% to 16%… And the reason the Tories are just ahead this time is probably that the Lib Dem vote has ticked up 2% since last time (which may be real or an artifact…).

    Living in Horsforth I finally received an election address from the Lib Dem candidate last week, which was quite good and positive, plus two local election leaflets (Horsforth has two Lib Dem and one Tory councillor) The Lib Dem candidate is a councillor in Otley ward which is in Leeds NW but includes much of Yeadon – he may well have some exposure in the other bits of Yeadon which are in Pudsey, and in Rawdon and Guiseley… So a little bit of swingback to the Lib Dems may give Stuart Andrew the seat.

    Judging by Twitter Labour do seem to have been out and about a lot and are using students to telephone canvas (which may be a mixed blessing… I am not sure the constituents will respond as well to the student canvassers compared to the perhaps more mature Tory variety). I still say their poster campaign has been lacklustre compared to Labour in Leeds NW…

    The signs on Twitter are that Labour are targeting Pudsey much more than Leeds NW, which might be significant for people thinking of betting on Greg Mulholland… No sign that the Labour students are out with Alex Sobel much…

  18. StephenPT – Croydon C is far more marginal.

  19. Sorry StephenPT – ignore that.

  20. This will be the most closely watched result here in Yorks & Humber. Others like Dewsbury and Bradford East are seemingly in the bag for Labour, but this one is still dividing opinion. On BBC Look North, they showed one street that had signs evenly divided between the Tories and Labour.

  21. CON hold by less than 250

  22. @Neil,

    It must have taken them a very long time to find a street with any Tory signs in Pudsey! The only Tory posters I have seen are on the ring road verge, and a couple in farmer’s fields (and I have been looking around!). Sounds like setup for tv… (either that or it was Killinghall road in Bradford East, where there is a stretch where 90% of houses have either a Labour or a Tory poster attached to their fence)

    I voted this morning at 8.30 am and there was no-one collecting numbers, which suggests a surprisingly ineffective GOTV operation by both parties

  23. @andrew111

    The problem with staffing polling stations is that it takes up huge amounts of people. If each ward has 4 polling stations and there are 7 wards (some places will have more than this) that is 28 places to staff between 07:00 – 22:00 when folk can be better employed knocking on doors. Generally even in a marginal the approach would be to pick a few key polling districts or wards to run a full operation, for the others simply print out sheets of promises and cross off when folk tell you they have voted. So no great surprise you didnt see anyone. Both parties are putting a lot of effort into Pudsey so there will be many knocking up teams criss crossing the area. If Pudsey is like the rest of the country far more labour than tory

  24. Hello Eastender,

    well, when I used to organise elections in Horsforth we used to deliver targeted leaflets (to our voters, and those we wanted to squeeze, excluding main opponent) up till 8 am. Then we would man the polling stations where our vote was concentrated (I will admit that the polling district where I vote has got split in two recently and therefore only has about 1500 electors rather than 4000) and try to cross off as many people as possible before calling on them from 6 pm onwards. After 6pm we did not bother taking numbers, usually.. We always had quite a lot of people who were happy to take numbers but not to do anything else… But then we (Lib Dems) were very locally rooted in those days

    I would not underestimate the Tory effort in Pudsey, which will be low profile but intense. Mostly phone-based.

    If I were the Labour campaign organiser in Pudsey I would have done things quite differently (mostly an aggressive poster campaign in council estates and Pudsey ward). Also I hope they trained their students very well for telephone canvassing, or it could have been counter-productive!

  25. And after all the brinkmanship promised by Lord Ashcroft we ended up with:

    Con 23,637 46.4%
    Lab 19,136 37.6%
    UKIP 4,689 9.2%
    LDem 1,926 3.8%
    Green 1,359 3.0%

    Majority 4,501 : Swing to Conservatives 2.75%

  26. Well, I never expected a swing to Tory here, I must confess. Labour really threw the book at this seat in terms of leaflets. Somehow they were very samey though, whereas the Tories put out a late newspaper (with the Scottish scare vote) that I thought was very effective. They also had some of their Alex Salmond posters up, whereas I saw no Labour equivalent. I always thought Labour might have countered that campaign with the obvious Cameron dancing to Farage’s tune, but no doubt the focus groups said it would not work

    If you look at the local election votes Labour only won by 6% in Pudsey, where they normally pile up the votes. I suspect the UKIP vote came mainly from Labour and the Lib Dems in Horsforth broke to the Tories

  27. Was really pleased with this result and I can only assume like Andrew said that the bulk of the horsforth lib dems broke for the Tories as that is a shockingly low vote share for the liberals (especially considering they have a considerable base in horsforth which makes up a decent chunk of this seat).

    Does anyone have the ward breakdown for the votes in the general election for this seat (if that’s something you can even get) as would be interesting to see where contributed what to the overall vote?

    Swing to the Tories suprised me here most of all because I thought the incumbency would be offset by the fact the labour candidate has stood here before so should have good name recognition- clearly this wasn’t a big factor

  28. The only consolation for Labour here was that their vote share held up and rose a bit instead of going backwards. Strong result for the Conservatives completely defying Ashcroft.

  29. @cotswoldtory

    I was in contact with Stuart Andrew’s campaign team throughout, and the result was not so much of a surprise to them. They had a great response on the door step, and people were very complimentary about Stuart’s performance as a local M.P. That said, it was very distracting to be constantly told how close the result was going to be by Ashcroft’s (as it now turns out) hopelessly inaccurate polling. I can confirm that the ballot boxes showed a massive win for Mr Andrew in Guiseley and Rawdon, Horsforth and Calverley and Farsley, and a very close competition in Labour’s only strong ward in the constituency, Pudsey. I think that going forward it will be very difficult for Labour make inroads back into this constituency, as they have taken such a hammering everywhere. I also think that in another couple of years, given the changing nature of the Pudsey Ward (new family homes being built) that the Tories will take this ward too. #labourwipeoutinpudsey

  30. Pudsey local elections

    Cons 39.4
    Lab 33.6
    LD 11.3
    UKIP 8.6
    Green 3.8

    Conservatives carried Calverley and Guseley straightforwardly enough. Labour carried Pudsey itself. The Lib Dems narrowly prevailed in a three-way fight in Horsforth with Labour 22 votes ahead of the Conservatives in second.

  31. Pudsey CLP nominates Corbyn relatively narrowly tonight. Reports that the meeting was quite electric and some even thought it could all kick off. .

  32. Mr Andrew should dust off his CV; he’s likely to need it with his seat losing Horsforth and picking up Armley, Bramley & Stanningley and also Tong from Bradford. Ouch, those changes probably make it a safe Labour seat

  33. Tories have hung on here

  34. I think was probably only his performance/reputation as a constituency MP that kept him in a job…

    One of the most shocking results of the night in the Yorkshire region.

    A Tory seat trending further Tory… unbelievable that this went to a recount. Nobody in their right minds would have predicted a reduced majority, never mind a potential loss.

    I wonder what odds you’d have got on him having a lower majority than Morley & Outwood, considering there are no wards that are comfortably & reliably Labour… and Stuart being on the left of the Tory party (unlike Andrea Jenkyns).

  35. To be honest Luke, where you are within a particular party counts for very little compared to the party label itself. In 2005, Jeremy Corbyn suffered the same swing to the Lib Dems as every other Labour MP in central London. That’d be the same Jeremy Corbyn who was the leader of Stop The War at the time. Didn’t matter.

  36. Dire result- like other seats which swung markedly to Labour it was a pro-Remain constituency with quite a large young(ish) professional element. The Keighley result was even worse- I wonder if wealthy Tory remainers in Ilkley sat on their hands?

  37. I do think through Labour would have gained Broxtowe had a brexiter been the tory candidate.

  38. I am spending Christmas in this fabulous constituency so have been thinking about future elections and the shock (to me anyway) close result here in may.

    I think the all out elections in Leeds will be a really good measure of Party strength this coming may.

    I would predict the following:
    Calverly: 3 Tory hold
    Guisley: 3 Tory hold but with poss for 1 lab gain if people split vote
    Pudsey: lab hold
    Horsforth: 1 LD guarantee hold others up for grabs in 3way

    It would be a terrible result and bad omen for Stuart Andrew if Lab gained in guisley as this only happens in landslide Blair year elections.

    Horsforth I expect and hope cons hold their one seat as they have a popular candidate but labour pipped to 2nd last time and really could be in contention. As with Guisley any lab win here would be a bad omen as it only happens in landslide years .

    LDs based on election numbers should be wiped out but they have one supremely popular councillor who will hold easily and they will throw everything they have at this one ward where as other parties will have to spread resource which makes it easier for LDs to hold on in their one base in the seat.

    Leeds wide I will be watching alwoodley and horsforth for signs of Cons struggling with remain voting middle classes and Westwood and otley to see if LDs are loosing votes on the back of loosing the parliamentary seat in may and lab seeming viable again

  39. Jane Aitchison (an unequivocal left-winger) has been selected for Labour here, winning in round 2 after Sinead Engel was eliminated.

  40. From what I’ve heard, she seems… colourful, shall we say.

    Definitely seems that Momentum (or the Labour left more generally) getting their preferred candidates selected more reliably than they managed in the snap election last year. They always had the numbers but the old Labour establishment seemed generally better organised (no offence, Barnaby). Since then, however, that gap has now closed sufficiently that their numerical advantage is decisive in many cases.

  41. Tbf in the snap election unless the 2015 PPC stepped aside there was no contest

  42. I wonder whether her colourful views will count against her at the ballot box or whether the electorate would dismiss it as more Tory smears.

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