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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #1100 on: April 14, 2022, 07:58:20 PM »

The seat has quite an interesting history; itís not one of the seats Thatcher won in 1983 (see Darlington, Batley etc) nor is it one of the ones that had huge Labour majorities in say 2010 or 2015.

It has been changed quite radically at every boundary review since (and inclusive of) 1983. As well as the changes alluded to by YL above, the constituency that existed in the postwar decades stretched a surprising distance south to include Royston (a large mining town just north of Barnsley) which greatly bolstered the Labour vote; its removal then made it a constituency quite vulnerable in a poor year and Labour were lucky that Walter Harrison decided to run one last time in 1983 - in the event he hung on by the skin of his teeth.
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YL
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« Reply #1101 on: April 15, 2022, 01:32:34 AM »
« Edited: April 15, 2022, 02:20:53 AM by YL »

The seat has quite an interesting history; itís not one of the seats Thatcher won in 1983 (see Darlington, Batley etc) nor is it one of the ones that had huge Labour majorities in say 2010 or 2015.

It has been changed quite radically at every boundary review since (and inclusive of) 1983. As well as the changes alluded to by YL above, the constituency that existed in the postwar decades stretched a surprising distance south to include Royston (a large mining town just north of Barnsley) which greatly bolstered the Labour vote; its removal then made it a constituency quite vulnerable in a poor year and Labour were lucky that Walter Harrison decided to run one last time in 1983 - in the event he hung on by the skin of his teeth.

I think the 1983 boundary changes were mostly just the removal of Royston; is that right?  (NB Wikipedia does not mention Royston as ever having been in the seat, but the historical maps on Vision of Britain show that it was indeed included.)  Obviously the removal of Royston helped the Tories, as you say.  It seems a little surprising that Labour held on in 1983.

The 1997 boundary changes moved Wakefield South to Hemsworth and Horbury to Normanton and brought in Denby Dale and Kirkburton across the border in Kirklees.  This seems a weird Boundary Commission decision, but I don't know what the alternatives considered were.  I guess the partisan effects on this seat were neutral to slightly pro-Labour?  (Wakefield South's Toryness replaced by Kirkburton's, and Horbury and Denby Dale both being marginal)

The 2010 boundary changes removed the two Kirklees wards again and brought back Horbury, bringing with it Ossett, which had been in Normanton since 1983 and before that had been in Dewsbury.  I assume this helped Labour a little; in fact the seat might have fallen in 2010 on the previous boundaries.

Meanwhile the current proposals effectively abolish the current constituency and divide it between two new constituencies, although one of those would take the name "Wakefield".  That one would contain the three Wakefield (compass point) wards together with the two Outwood wards to their north, currently in Morley & Outwood, and the Rothwell ward of Leeds, currently sharing the rather lumped together Elmet & Rothwell constituency with Garforth, Wetherby etc. but once giving its name to a constituency in its own right.  The other one, provisionally named "Ossett & Denby Dale", would include Ossett, Horbury and Wakefield Rural, actually the majority of the current constituency, together with Wakefield South from Hemsworth and, again, Denby Dale and Kirkburton, currently in Dewsbury.  You'd imagine that a Labour winner of the by-election would aim for the new Wakefield whereas a Tory would aim for Ossett & Denby Dale.

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CumbrianLefty
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« Reply #1102 on: April 15, 2022, 09:16:36 AM »

The seat has quite an interesting history; itís not one of the seats Thatcher won in 1983 (see Darlington, Batley etc) nor is it one of the ones that had huge Labour majorities in say 2010 or 2015.

I suppose the question is whether they would like to get a likely loss* out of the way or to drag things out in the hope that multiple electoral blows don't land in quick succession.

*By-elections are inherently unpredictable things but the combination of a) the circumstances b) the national climate and nature of the seat and c) the state of the local Conservative Association is certainly not... ideal from a government perspective, one would assume.

And (I could be proved wrong on May 5th!) the Labour led council for the city is relatively popular, enough for the deputy leader to run for the seat and not be well shouted down.

They had a relatively poor result last year, but quite a few of the seats lost were by small margins.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #1103 on: April 15, 2022, 09:57:18 AM »

I think the 1983 boundary changes were mostly just the removal of Royston; is that right?  (NB Wikipedia does not mention Royston as ever having been in the seat, but the historical maps on Vision of Britain show that it was indeed included.)  Obviously the removal of Royston helped the Tories, as you say.  It seems a little surprising that Labour held on in 1983.

Some parishes in between Royston and Wakefield were transferred into Hemsworth - generally very small but also Walton which had a population of about two thousand at the time and would have been pretty Labour (these days, now that it is a Wakefield commuter town and its industrial past long gone, it is larger and rather less Labour: though presumably still a little more Labour than this constituency, at least under normal circumstances). I think for 1983 it really was just that Harrison was a well-respected incumbent with local roots - the swing to Labour in 1987 was quite small for the general region.

Quote
The 1997 boundary changes moved Wakefield South to Hemsworth and Horbury to Normanton and brought in Denby Dale and Kirkburton across the border in Kirklees.  This seems a weird Boundary Commission decision, but I don't know what the alternatives considered were.  I guess the partisan effects on this seat were neutral to slightly pro-Labour?  (Wakefield South's Toryness replaced by Kirkburton's, and Horbury and Denby Dale both being marginal)

Notional calculations at the time (and as we know: pinch of salt) were of a slight nudge in the Conservative direction, I think on the basis that Horbury was a better bet for Labour in local elections at the time than Denby Dale.
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Blair
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« Reply #1104 on: April 15, 2022, 11:57:12 AM »

Reports that the Tories are struggling to find anyone good- this has actually been a v interesting trend over all their by-elections.

You can get away with it when doing well nationally but in conditions like thisÖ
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Torrain
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« Reply #1105 on: April 15, 2022, 04:21:18 PM »

It's a rather different sort of seat from Batley & SpenÖ
~snip~
Thanks for your incredibly detailed breakdown (far more than I could hope to provide!) - really good to get the raw data on the seat, and a ward breakdown of the area.

Do you have a prediction for the winner, and margin? Iíve got a couple of friends who live in Wakefield, but the problem with working in a Uni environment is that your entire sample group ends up being jaded lefties, and itís very hard to escape that echo chamber (outside of invading the local ďold man pubĒ and demanding their voting record and Brexit opinionsÖ).
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CumbrianLefty
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« Reply #1106 on: April 19, 2022, 06:35:52 AM »

If you want a laugh in these troubled times, then the weekend "Tories see (Lord) David Frost as their electoral superman to win Wakefield" concoction might just provide it. Quite apart from the trifling matter of it actually being illegal, it shows just how clueless many in that party currently are.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #1107 on: April 19, 2022, 08:46:55 AM »

If you want a laugh in these troubled times, then the weekend "Tories see (Lord) David Frost as their electoral superman to win Wakefield" concoction might just provide it. Quite apart from the trifling matter of it actually being illegal, it shows just how clueless many in that party currently are.

I wonder whether he has even so much as set foot in Wakefield before?
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YL
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« Reply #1108 on: April 20, 2022, 05:16:44 AM »

(From the THIGMOO thread in IGD)

Muttering Ed Balls might be running in Wakefield and ofc Gordon Brown is briefed as supporting it.

I do respect that heís the only ex prime Minister who still gets involved in THIGMO beef.

I would be shocked if it happens- Iím not sure heís local other than previously having a house (I assume) in Morley. Smacks of Hartlepool.

He was MP for the old Normanton constituency before it was abolished and he followed the Outwood wards to Morley & Outwood.  So he has been MP for part of the current Wakefield constituency (Horbury and Ossett) before.  I'm not sure that makes it a good idea though.

From the same story, it appears Ahmad Khan hasn't actually formalised his resignation yet, so we may be waiting a bit longer.
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YL
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« Reply #1109 on: April 20, 2022, 06:06:15 AM »

If you want a laugh in these troubled times, then the weekend "Tories see (Lord) David Frost as their electoral superman to win Wakefield" concoction might just provide it. Quite apart from the trifling matter of it actually being illegal, it shows just how clueless many in that party currently are.

I don't think it actually is illegal.  He could resign from the Lords according to the terms of the House of Lords Reform Act 2014 and then would be eligible to stand as an MP according to section 4 of that Act.
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CumbrianLefty
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« Reply #1110 on: April 20, 2022, 06:10:53 AM »

(From the THIGMOO thread in IGD)

Muttering Ed Balls might be running in Wakefield and ofc Gordon Brown is briefed as supporting it.

I do respect that heís the only ex prime Minister who still gets involved in THIGMO beef.

I would be shocked if it happens- Iím not sure heís local other than previously having a house (I assume) in Morley. Smacks of Hartlepool.

He was MP for the old Normanton constituency before it was abolished and he followed the Outwood wards to Morley & Outwood.  So he has been MP for part of the current Wakefield constituency (Horbury and Ossett) before.  I'm not sure that makes it a good idea though.

From the same story, it appears Ahmad Khan hasn't actually formalised his resignation yet, so we may be waiting a bit longer.

May be waiting for his actual sentencing, due "this week" apparently but further details are elusive.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #1111 on: April 20, 2022, 11:11:52 AM »

My view on this would be that if Balls wants to stand and if local members want him to be their candidate, then that's fine and unobjectionable, but that a rigged selection would not be a good idea.
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LAB-LIB
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« Reply #1112 on: April 20, 2022, 05:54:55 PM »

You'd think Ed Balls would want to stand in a safe seat.

Either way, imagine if it was an Ed Balls vs. David Frost matchup. Has there ever been anything like that before, where two such well known figures contest the same seat?
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icc
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« Reply #1113 on: April 20, 2022, 06:10:35 PM »

David Frost isnít well known, so probably yes.
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« Reply #1114 on: April 20, 2022, 06:27:25 PM »

David Frost isnít well known, so probably yes.
Prominent then. He was after all, the Brexit Negotiator.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #1115 on: April 20, 2022, 06:30:55 PM »

Look, no one normal knows who Lord Frost is. And if you say 'David Frost', they'll think you mean the late political journalist and interviewer.
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LAB-LIB
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« Reply #1116 on: April 20, 2022, 07:02:33 PM »

Well then it's pretty hilarious that Conservatives think he's some sort of savior.
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Blair
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« Reply #1117 on: April 23, 2022, 01:31:05 AM »
« Edited: April 23, 2022, 10:31:38 AM by Blair »

Ed Balls not standing in Wakefield.
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Leading Political Consultant Ma Anand Sheela
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« Reply #1118 on: April 23, 2022, 09:13:00 AM »

Ed Balla not standing in Wakefield.
Whomsoever could have foreseen this shocking turn of events
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TheTide
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« Reply #1119 on: April 23, 2022, 11:30:37 AM »

It would have been terrible for Labour if he had as the leadership speculation would have ensued immediately.
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JimJamUK
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« Reply #1120 on: April 23, 2022, 12:47:33 PM »

It would have been terrible for Labour if he had as the leadership speculation would have ensued immediately.
Not being an MP hasnít stopped baseless leadership speculation before.
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Leading Political Consultant Ma Anand Sheela
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« Reply #1121 on: April 23, 2022, 01:57:43 PM »

It would have been terrible for Labour if he had as the leadership speculation would have ensued immediately.
Not being an MP hasnít stopped baseless leadership speculation before.
Old hands will remember Keir Starmer was being tipped as a future leader about 15 minutes after being elected as an MP for the first time...
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Torrain
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« Reply #1122 on: April 24, 2022, 02:59:23 PM »

It would have been terrible for Labour if he had as the leadership speculation would have ensued immediately.
Not being an MP hasnít stopped baseless leadership speculation before.
Old hands will remember Keir Starmer was being tipped as a future leader about 15 minutes after being elected as an MP for the first time...

Not to mention the leadership speculation that started during Johnsonís time out of Parliament as London Mayor.
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CumbrianLefty
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« Reply #1123 on: April 25, 2022, 03:47:27 AM »

It would have been terrible for Labour if he had as the leadership speculation would have ensued immediately.
Not being an MP hasnít stopped baseless leadership speculation before.
Old hands will remember Keir Starmer was being tipped as a future leader about 15 minutes after being elected as an MP for the first time...

Not to mention the leadership speculation that started during Johnsonís time out of Parliament as London Mayor.

He was even regularly cited in "possible PM" polls at that time!
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Torrain
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« Reply #1124 on: April 29, 2022, 07:23:16 AM »

Imran Khan has finally submitted his resignation - effective April 30th (which, coincidentally allows him to claim a full months pay for his final month in office).

The writ for a by-election wonít be moved before the prorogation, and the internal estimate is that it wonít happen until late June. Fascinating to think that the landscape could be entirely different thenÖ
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