Tuesday, 4 May 2010

A Look @: Wakefield

We've spilt the West Yorkshire metropolitan area into four posts. This will focus on Wakefield and you can find Bradford & Calderdale here, Kirklees here and Leeds here. West Yorkshire is dominated by Labour on a Parliamentary level as the party hold 20 of the 22 Parliamentary seats. The area has lost a seat in the boundary review with the Kirklees and Wakefield seats taking the brunt of the alterations.

Wakefield is pretty straightforward having been run by Labour since the council was set up in 1973. In 2008 they only secured a tiny majority winning 32 of the 63 seats. The Conservatives are the party with momentum here having leapt from 10 to 23 seats on this Council since the last General Election. This has been at the expense of Labour and so the Conservatives will be hoping to translate this into a Parliamentary gain.



Notional Majority

Swing Needed




Jon Trickett




LAB Hold


Mary Creagh





LAB Hold

N'ton, P'fract & C'ford

Yvette Cooper




LAB Hold


Hemsworth has been held by Labour since its creation in 1918 so it's safe to say it's unlikely to fall anytime soon! Their MP here is Gordon Brown's Parliamentary Private Secretary Jon Trickett and he'll win with ease; Labour Hold.

The Wakefield seat is the interesting one in this council. With a majority of over 7000 votes Mary Creagh wouldn't normally be considered in a marginal constituency. But the Conservatives are having to target seats way down their list following the Lib Dem surge. The Conservatives would consider this a good seat to go for as they already have a solid council base here holding 9 of the 18 seats within the Constituency but Labour aren't far behind on 7. Currently the Conservatives wouldn't take this on any of the polling projections, whether they're based on national, regional or marginal data. So Andy Story will need something up his sleeve to push his party over the top and being anti-EU enough to stop UKIP standing against him can't harm. However, UKIP only poll 1% of the vote notionally so I don't think this will be a major issue. Creagh's expenses might be though with the main issue being the repair of her roof. She has defended the claim, and wasn't asked to pay it back, so I'm not sure this will be too damaging. I think all this will take Story close to a historic gain in a seat Labour have held since World War II but I feel he'll come up just short. There is certainly potential for a surprise here though; Labour Hold.

Yvette Cooper wisely chose not to take her husbands name when they married. She is the wife of Labour's Education Secretary Ed Balls and has been in Parliament since 1997. Cooper has recently held a few ministerial positions herself and is currently Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. The both received bad press for their expenses claims having 'flipped' their designated second home three times in two years. Cooper is defending the new Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford which is mostly made up of wards from her old Pontefract & Castleford seat with the Normanton part of her husband's disbanded Normanton seat. The notional majority is massive and so Cooper's expenses issues won't be enough to unseat her; Labour Hold.


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