Skipton and Ripon (UK Parliament constituency)

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Skipton and Ripon
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Skipton and Ripon in North Yorkshire.
Outline map
Location of North Yorkshire within England.
County North Yorkshire
Electorate 77,098 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlements Masham, Ripon, Settle, Skipton
Current constituency
Created 1983
Member of parliament Julian Smith (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from Skipton, Ripon
European Parliament constituency Yorkshire and the Humber

Skipton and Ripon is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Julian Smith, a Conservative.[n 2]

Constituency profile[edit]

It is one of the safest seats in England, formed on an area with a long history of Conservative representation and with a large plurality of its voting-age population having in the last election voted Conservative. It was also the constituency in 1992 that when declared, saw the Conservatives gain the 4th straight majority since 1979 and John Major re-elected as Prime Minister.

At 1.6% only of its area as unemployment claimants, Skipton and Ripon had significantly lower than national average unemployment (c.f. 3.8%) in November 2012.[2]


This area of the Yorkshire Dales covers the whole of the Craven district including the towns of Skipton, Bentham and Settle. It also covers the northern and western parts of the Borough of Harrogate district including the city of Ripon and towns of Pateley Bridge and Masham.

History of boundaries[edit]

Boundary changes in 1997 transferred Boroughbridge, Aldborough, Dishforth and the immediately surrounding areas to the new Vale of York constituency.

Before Parliament's statutory instrument made so as to follow the findings of the Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies in 2009, the constituency had only part of the four shared electoral wards: Newby, Saltergate, Spofforth with Lower Wharfedale and, Wathvale and the remainder as after those changes.[3]

Latest boundary review

Following their review of parliamentary representation in North Yorkshire, the Boundary Commission for England has recommended only minor changes to the existing Skipton and Ripon constituency.

The seat as currently drawn takes in electoral wards:

  • Aire Valley with Lothersdale, Barden Fell, Bentham, Cowling, Embsay-with-Eastby, Gargrave with Malhamdale, Glusburn, Grassington, Hellifield and Long Preston, Ingleton and Clapham, Penyghent, Settle and Ribblebanks, Skipton: East, North, South and West (one each), Sutton-in-Craven, Upper Wharfedale and West Craven comprising the Craven District
  • Bishop Monkton, Kirkby Malzeard, Lower Nidderdale, Mashamshire, Newby, Nidd Valley, Pateley Bridge, Ripon Minster, Ripon Moorside, Ripon Spa, Washburn, and Wathvale in the Borough of Harrogate[3]


The constituency was created in 1983 from parts of the former seats of Skipton and Ripon.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[4] Party
1983 John Grenville Bernard Watson Conservative
1987 David Curry Conservative
2010 Julian Smith Conservative


Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: Skipton and Ripon[5][6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Jacquie Bell[7]
Labour Malcolm Birks
Green Andy Brown [8]
UKIP Alan Henderson[9]
Conservative Julian Smith
General Election 2010: Skipton and Ripon[10][11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Julian Smith 27,685 50.6 +0.6
Liberal Democrat Helen Flynn 17,735 32.4 +5.8
Labour Claire Hazelgrove 5,498 10.0 −8.2
UKIP Rodney Mills 1,909 3.5 −1.1
BNP Bernard Allen 1,403 2.6 +2.6
Independent Roger Bell 315 0.6 +0.6
The Youth Party Dylan Gilligan 95 0.2 +0.2
Virtue Currency Cognitive Appraisal Party Robert Leakey 84 0.2 −0.4
Majority 9,950 18.2
Turnout 54,724 70.7 +4.6
Conservative hold Swing −2.6

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Skipton and Ripon
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Curry 25,100 49.7 −2.7
Liberal Democrat Paul English 13,480 26.7 +0.6
Labour Paul Baptie 9,393 18.6 +1.2
UKIP Ian Bannister 2,274 4.5 +0.3
Virtue Currency Cognitive Appraisal Party Robert Leakey 274 0.5 N/A
Majority 11,620 23.0
Turnout 50,521 72.6 +6.5
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 2001: Skipton and Ripon
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Curry 25,736 52.4 +5.8
Liberal Democrat Bernard Arthur Bateman 12,806 26.1 +0.9
Labour Michael Dugher 8,543 17.4 −5.0
UKIP Mrs. Nancy Holdsworth 2,041 4.2 N/A
Majority 12,930 26.3
Turnout 49,126 66.1 −8.6
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Skipton and Ripon
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Curry 25,294 46.5 −11.9
Liberal Democrat Thomas A. Mould 13,674 25.2 −1.8
Labour Robert J.S. Marchant 12,171 22.4 +3.4
Referendum Party Mrs. Nancy Holdsworth 3,212 5.9 N/A
Majority 11,620 21.4
Turnout 54,351 74.7
Conservative hold Swing −5.1
General Election 1992: Skipton and Ripon[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Curry 35,937 58.4 −0.6
Liberal Democrat Richard Hall 16,607 27.0 −1.4
Labour Ms. Katharine R. Allott 8,978 14.6 +3.4
Majority 19,330 31.4 +0.8
Turnout 61,522 81.3 +3.7
Conservative hold Swing +0.4

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Skipton and Ripon
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Curry 33,128 59.0 −1.6
Liberal Stephen John Cooksey 15,954 28.4 −3.3
Labour Timothy Langdale Whitfield 6,264 11.2 +3.4
Green Ms. Linda Susan Williams 825 1.5 N/A
Majority 17,174 30.6
Turnout 56,171 77.8
Conservative hold Swing +0.9
General Election 1983: Skipton and Ripon
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John Grenville Bernard Watson 31,509 60.6 N/A
Liberal Kathleen Claire Brooks 16,463 31.6 N/A
Labour Ms. M.A. Billing 4,044 7.8 N/A
Majority 15,046 28.9 N/A
Turnout 52,016 74.9 N/A
Conservative win (new seat)

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ A county constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
  2. ^ As with all constituencies, the constituency elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election at least every five years.

Coordinates: 54°09′43″N 1°49′59″W / 54.162°N 1.833°W / 54.162; -1.833