Wakefield (UK Parliament constituency)
|for the House of Commons|
Boundary of Wakefield in West Yorkshire.
Location of West Yorkshire within England.
|Electorate||71,531 (December 2010)|
|Member of Parliament||Mary Creagh (Labour)|
|Number of members||One|
|Number of members||One|
|Type of constituency||Borough constituency|
|European Parliament constituency||Yorkshire and the Humber|
- 1 Boundaries
- 2 History
- 3 Constituency profile
- 4 Members of Parliament
- 5 Elections
- 5.1 Elections in the 2010s
- 5.2 Elections in the 2000s
- 5.3 Elections in the 1990s
- 5.4 Elections in the 1980s
- 5.5 Elections in the 1970s
- 5.6 Elections in the 1960s
- 5.7 Elections in the 1950s
- 5.8 Election in the 1940s
- 5.9 Elections in the 1930s
- 5.10 Elections in the 1920s
- 5.11 Elections in the 1910s
- 5.12 Elections in the 1900s
- 5.13 Elections in the 1890s
- 5.14 Elections in the 1880s
- 5.15 Elections in the 1870s
- 5.16 Elections in the 1860s
- 5.17 Elections in the 1850s
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes and references
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 3] and instead adding wards from the abolished Normanton constituency to the immediate west, since which the seat comprises three-quarters of the West Yorkshire city of Wakefield along with Ossett, Horbury and small outlying settlements. The seat has six electoral wards:
- Horbury and South Ossett; Ossett; Wakefield East; Wakefield North; Wakefield Rural; and Wakefield West in the City of Wakefield.
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.
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 4] 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. Wakefield became a county division under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, drawing in, as an extension, the Belle Vue area of the parish of Sandal Magna.
- Political history
Wakefield has returned Labour MPs since 1932 and since 1983[n 5] has witnessed medium to large majorities, presenting a safe seat for the party, but as of the 2010 general election the majority has moved into the bounds of marginality at 3.6% of the vote. In all general elections since 1923 the runner-up candidate has been a Conservative.
- 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.
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, the Wildcats 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.
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%.
Members of Parliament
Elections in the 2010s
|General Election 2010: Wakefield|
|Liberal Democrat||David Stewart Smith||7,256||16.3||−2.5|
Elections in the 2000s
|General Election 2005: Wakefield|
|Liberal Democrat||David Ridgway||7,063||16.3||+3.9|
|English Democrats||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|
|General Election 2001: Wakefield|
|Liberal Democrat||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
|General Election 1997: Wakefield|
|Liberal Democrat||Douglas Dale||5,656||11.2||+0.1|
|Referendum Party||Simon Shires||1,480||2.9||N/A|
|General Election 1992: Wakefield|
|Conservative||David P. Fanthorpe||20,374||38.3||−3.0|
|Liberal Democrat||Tim J. Wright||5,900||11.1||−1.0|
Elections in the 1980s
|General Election 1987: Wakefield|
|Social Democrat||L Kamal||6,350||12.08|
|General Election 1983: Wakefield|
|Social Democrat||D Carlton||9,166||19.32|
Elections in the 1970s
|General Election 1979: Wakefield|
|National Front||A Cooper||530||0.99|
|General Election October 1974: Wakefield|
|General Election February 1974: Wakefield|
|General Election 1970: Wakefield|
Elections in the 1960s
|General Election 1966: Wakefield|
|General Election 1964: Wakefield|
Elections in the 1950s
|General Election 1959: Wakefield|
|Labour||Arthur Creech Jones||29,705||59.63|
|General Election 1955: Wakefield|
|Labour||Arthur Creech Jones||28,180||60.45|
|By-election 21 October 1954: Wakefield|
|Labour||Arthur Creech Jones||21,822|
|General Election 1951: Wakefield|
|General Election 1950: Wakefield|
Election in the 1940s
|General Election 1945: Wakefield|
Elections in the 1930s
|General Election 1935: Wakefield|
|Wakefield by-election, 1932
|Conservative||A. E. Greaves||13,242||49.4|
|Labour gain from Conservative||Swing|
|General Election 1931: Wakefield|
|Conservative||George Brown Hillman||15,881||57.43|
|Labour||George Henry Sherwood||11,774||42.57|
|Conservative gain from Labour||Swing|
Elections in the 1920s
Elections in the 1910s
Elections in the 1900s
Elections in the 1890s
Elections in the 1880s
Elections in the 1870s
Elections in the 1860s
Elections in the 1850s
Notes and references
- A county constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
- 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.
- The wards of: Denby Dale and large parts of Almondbury, and Kirkburton
- This Cornish seat was a 19th century byword for corruption, Grampound.
- The majority in 1983 was the narrowest since 1932, at only 360 votes, see Walter Harrison.
- "Electorate Figures - Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- Parliamentary Constituencies in the Event of a General Election. Wakefield Council. Retrieved 9 May 2010.
- 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
- 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)[self-published source][better source needed]
- "UK > England > Yorkshire & the Humber > Wakefield". Election 2010. BBC. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
- "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 December 2010.