for the House of Commons
Boundary of Wakefield in West Yorkshire
Location of West Yorkshire within England
|Electorate||70,509 (December 2019)|
|Member of Parliament||Imran Ahmad-Khan (Conservative)|
|Number of members||One|
|Number of members||One|
|Type of constituency||Borough constituency|
1918–1950: The County Borough of Wakefield.
1950–1983: The County Borough of Wakefield, the Urban District of Horbury, and part of the Rural District of Wakefield.
1983–1997: The City of Wakefield wards of Horbury, Wakefield Central, Wakefield East, Wakefield North, Wakefield Rural, and Wakefield South.
1997–2010: The City of Wakefield wards of Wakefield Central, Wakefield East, Wakefield North, and Wakefield Rural, and the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees wards of Denby Dale and Kirkburton.
2010–present: The City of Wakefield wards of Horbury and South Ossett, Ossett, Wakefield East, Wakefield North, Wakefield Rural, and Wakefield West.
Latest boundary changes
Parliament accepted the Boundary Commission's Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies which altered this constituency for the 2010 general election, removing all three wards from Kirklees that reached far to the south-west[n 1] and instead adding wards from the abolished Normanton constituency to the immediate west, since which time the seat has comprised three-quarters of the West Yorkshire city of Wakefield along with Ossett, Horbury and small outlying settlements.
The far eastern suburbs of the city and its southern part falls within the Wakefield South ward and this is in the Hemsworth seat, the largest towns of which are, by a small margin, the towns of South Elmsall and South Kirkby, which form a contiguous settlement 7 miles (11 km) to the east.
- Predecessor seats
Electors of the area, since five years before the Model Parliament of 1295 until 1826 had entitlement to vote for the two representatives for Yorkshire, the largest county in the country. Parliament legislated for, from an unusual disfranchisement in 1826 of a Cornish rotten borough, two additional MPs.[n 2] From April 1784 until September 1812, one of the two members elected was William Wilberforce, internationally recognised as a leading figure in abolitionism (the anti-slavery movement). The large county was given far greater representation by the Reform Act 1832: Belle Vue's electors until 1885, alongside other Forty Shilling Freeholders non-resident in the Parliamentary Borough of Wakefield itself but owning such property in any part of the county division could elect the two members for that division: this became the West Riding of Yorkshire from 1832 until 1865 (which had its polling place in this city), after which, the relevant county subdivision became the Southern West Riding until 1885.
- Summary of results
Wakefield has returned Labour MPs since 1932. The size of majority has fluctuated between absolute and marginal.[n 3] The 2015 result gave the seat the 27th-smallest majority of Labour's 232 seats by percentage of majority. In 2019, Wakefield lost the Labour majority and returned the first Conservative MP in 87 years.
- Opposition parties
In general elections since 1923 the runner-up candidate has been a Conservative. Six non-Labour candidates stood in 2015 of whom two, those which were Conservative and from UKIP won more than 5% of the vote, keeping their deposits.
- Prominent frontbenchers
Rt Hon Arthur Greenwood was succeeded by Clement Attlee as leader of the Opposition in 1945, a few months before the party's landslide election victory. He had been from 1929–1931 the Minister of State (present equivalent: Secretary of State) for Health under the Second MacDonald ministry. In this role he successfully steered the Housing Act 1930 through both Houses of Parliament under the minority government, which expended more significant subsidies for slum clearance, allowing more affordable, spacious housing to be built for residents of slums. When the wartime coalition government was formed, Winston Churchill appointed him to the British War Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio in 1940. He was generally seen in such a role as of little wartime legislative effect, but in May 1940 he emerged as Churchill's strongest and most vocal supporter in the lengthy War Cabinet debates on whether to accept or reject a peace offer from Germany. Without the vote in favour of fighting on by Greenwood and Clement Attlee, Churchill would not have had the slim majority he needed to do so.
Rt Hon Arthur Creech Jones was Secretary of State for the Colonies from October 1946 until February 1950, appropriately given that in June 1936 he pressed the Government, who were encouraging Colonies to set up memorials to King George V, to follow the example of Uganda and set up a technical educational institution. The Labour Party nominated him to the Colonial Office's Educational Advisory Committee in 1936, on which he served for nine years. In 1937, he was a founding member of the Trades Union Congress Colonial Affairs Committee, and in 1940 he founded the Fabian Colonial Bureau.
Mary Creagh, since October 2010 has been the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, succeeding Rt Hon Hilary Benn.
Turnout in general elections since 1918 has ranged between 54.5% in 2001 and 87.3% in 1950.
The constituency has a rolling landscape with villages surrounding the city of Wakefield which is well connected to West Yorkshire in particular Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield, however also via two junctions of the M1 to the west, to South Yorkshire such as Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield. The small city itself has a large central trading and industrial estate, a central park, Clarence Park which includes a national athletics training squad, a Rugby League major team, Wakefield Trinity and its own Cathedral. Wakefield Europort employs approximately 3,000 people, a major rail-motorway hub for Northern England imports and exports with other EU countries. Horbury and Ossett and towns in the low foothills of the Pennines. In the far west of the constituency, there is the National Coal Mining Museum for England, on the site of the old Caphouse Colliery.
Workless claimants, registered jobseekers, were in November 2012 slightly higher than the regional average of 4.9%, at 5.3% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian, which is also higher than the national average of 3.8%.
Of the council wards, the Wakefield East and Wakefield North areas regularly return Labour councillors, whereas the others are marginal. The Ossett ward is particularly unpredictable, and has elected Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and UKIP councillors since 2005. The other wards are contested between Labour and Conservative.
Members of Parliament
Elections in the 2010s
|Brexit Party||Peter Wiltshire||2,725||6.1||N/A|
|Liberal Democrats||Jamie Needle||1,772||3.9||1.9|
|Conservative gain from Labour||Swing||6.1|
|Liberal Democrats||Finbarr Cronin||943||2.0||1.4|
|Liberal Democrats||Finbarr Cronin||1,483||3.5||12.9|
|Liberal Democrats||David Smith||7,256||16.3||2.5|
Elections in the 2000s
|Liberal Democrats||David Ridgway||7,063||16.3||+3.9|
|English Democrat||Adrian McEnhill||356||0.8||N/A|
|Socialist Alternative||Mick Griffiths||319||0.7||N/A|
|Socialist Labour||Linda Sheridan||101||0.2||−1.3|
|Liberal Democrats||Dale Douglas||5,097||12.4||+1.2|
|Socialist Labour||Abdul Aziz||634||1.5||N/A|
|Socialist Alliance||Mick Griffiths||541||1.3||N/A|
Elections in the 1990s
|Liberal Democrats||Douglas Dale||5,656||11.2||+0.1|
|Conservative||David P. Fanthorpe||20,374||38.3||−3.0|
|Liberal Democrats||Tim J. Wright||5,900||11.1||−1.0|
Elections in the 1980s
Elections in the 1970s
|National Front||A Cooper||530||0.99|
Elections in the 1960s
|Liberal||John M. Collins||6,753||14.23|
Elections in the 1950s
|Labour||Arthur Creech Jones||29,705||59.63|
|Labour||Arthur Creech Jones||28,180||60.45|
|Labour||Arthur Creech Jones||21,822||58.14||-0.14|
Election in the 1940s
|Liberal||George Leonard Jack Oliver||3,613||13.76|
Elections in the 1930s
|Conservative||A. E. Greaves||13,242||49.4|
|Labour gain from Conservative||Swing|
|Conservative gain from Labour||Swing|
Elections in the 1920s
|Labour gain from Unionist||Swing||+7.9|
|Unionist gain from Labour||Swing||+3.6|
|Liberal||Eric John Lassen||4,640||23.3||n/a|
|Labour gain from Unionist||Swing||+3.0|
Elections in the 1910s
|Unionist gain from Liberal||Swing|
|C indicates candidate endorsed by the coalition government.|
General Election 1914/15:
Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1915. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place and by the July 1914, the following candidates had been selected;
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||n/a|
Elections in the 1900s
|Labour Repr. Cmte.||Stanton Coit||2,068||36.9||N/A|
|Labour Repr. Cmte.||Philip Snowden||1,979||40.1||N/A|
|Liberal Unionist||William Wentworth-Fitzwilliam||Unopposed|
|Liberal Unionist hold|
Elections in the 1890s
|Liberal||Henry Smithson Lee Wilson||2,185||43.1||−2.7|
|Liberal||Thomas Young Strachan||2,178||45.8||−0.5|
Elections in the 1880s
|Liberal||John James Cousins||1,946||46.3||+0.0|
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+8.7|
|Liberal||William Hartley Lee||1,661||46.4||−8.6|
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+8.6|
- Caused by Mackie's death.
|Liberal||Robert Bownas Mackie||2,194||55.0||+7.6|
|Conservative||Thomas Kemp Sanderson||1,796||45.0||−7.6|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||+7.6|
Elections in the 1870s
|Conservative||Thomas Kemp Sanderson||1,814||52.7||+0.1|
|Liberal||Robert Bownas Mackie||1,627||47.3||−0.1|
- Caused by the previous election being declared void on petition, on account of corruption.
|Liberal||Robert Bownas Mackie||1,600||47.4||−3.3|
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+3.3|
Elections in the 1860s
|Conservative||Thomas Kemp Sanderson||1,512||49.3||+1.9|
|Liberal||William Henry Leatham||507||52.6||+2.4|
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+1.8|
- The writ, which had been suspended on 27 July 1859 with Leatham unseated due to being guilty of bribery via his agents, was restored and a by-election was called.
Elections in the 1850s
|Liberal||William Henry Leatham||406||50.2||N/A|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||N/A|
|Whig||William Henry Leatham||326||47.6||+7.9|
Elections in the 1840s
|Radical||George William Alexander||258||39.7||−12.5|
|Conservative gain from Whig||Swing||+12.5|
On petition, Holdsworth was disqualified due to also being the returning officer at the election, and Lascelles was declared elected on 21 April 1842.
|Whig gain from Conservative||Swing||N/A|
Elections in the 1830s
|Conservative gain from Radical||Swing||+7.9|
|Radical win (new seat)|
Notes and references
- The wards of: Denby Dale and large parts of Almondbury, and Kirkburton
- This Cornish seat was a 19th-century byword for corruption, Grampound.
- The Labour majority in 1966 was the greatest at 30.8% of the vote; that in 1983 was the narrowest since 1932, at 360 votes, see incumbent MP Walter Harrison (Lab) who did not stand for re-election in 1987.
- "Constituency data: electorates – House of Commons Library". Parliament UK. 15 June 2020. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
- 2010 post-revision map Greater London and metropolitan areas of England
- Grid Reference Finder distance tools
- Redistribution of Seats Act 1885. Schedule 5. Contents and Boundaries of Boroughs with altered Boundaries
- List of Labour MPs elected in 2015 by % majority UK Political.info. Retrieved 2017-01-29
- Jenkins, Roy, Churchill: A Biography (London, Macmillan, 2001), page 601
- Marr, Andrew: A History of Modern Britain (2009 paperback), page xvii
- "Parliament", The Times, 18 June 1936.
- Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "W" (part 1)
- Stooks Smith, Henry (1845). The Parliaments of England, from 1st George I., to the Present Time. Vol II: Oxfordshire to Wales Inclusive. London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. p. 171. Retrieved 21 December 2018 – via Google Books.
- "The General Election". The Spectator. 26 June 1841. p. 6. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
- "Election Prospects". Morning Post. 16 June 1841. pp. 5–6. Retrieved 21 December 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Wakefield Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
- "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "Wakefield". BBC News. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- "Wakefield parliamentary constituency – Election 2017 – BBC News". BBC News. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
- "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "UK > England > Yorkshire & the Humber > Wakefield". Election 2010. BBC. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
- "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 1992". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
- "Election Data 1987". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 1983". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- British Parliamentary Election Results 1918–1949, FWS Craig
- British parliamentary election results, 1885–1918 (Craig)
- "Election intelligence". The Times (36725). London. 26 March 1902. p. 10.
- "Election intelligence". The Times (36697). London. 21 February 1902. p. 8.
- Craig, FWS, ed. (1974). British Parliamentary Election Results: 1885–1918. London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 9781349022984.
- "Strachan, Thomas Young". The Times. 1 July 1892. p. 6. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
- "Yesterday's Nominations". London Evening Standard. 2 July 1886. p. 3. Retrieved 14 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Liberal Meeting at Wakefield. Adoption of Candidate". Barnsley Chronicle. 31 October 1885. p. 8. Retrieved 14 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832–1885 (e-book) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3.
- "Summary of News". Sheffield Independent. 3 July 1885. p. 2. Retrieved 14 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Wakefield Election Petition". Londonderry Sentinel. 25 April 1874. p. 2. Retrieved 21 January 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Wakefield Election". Nottinghamshire Guardian. 28 February 1862. p. 8. Retrieved 21 March 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Imperial Parliament". North Wales Chronicle. 30 July 1859. pp. 6–7. Retrieved 21 March 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "The Elections". Leeds Intelligencer. 10 July 1852. p. 3. Retrieved 15 July 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "English Cities and Boroughs". Globe. 20 August 1847. p. 1. Retrieved 21 December 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Leeds Intelligencer". 31 July 1847. p. 5. Retrieved 21 December 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Election Committees". Royal Cornwall Gazette. 29 April 1842. p. 2. Retrieved 21 December 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.