Ripon candidates’ nervous for General Election count

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Skipton Town Hall is still eagerly anticipating the results of this year’s General Election with a decision expected at around 3.30am.

Julian Smith held the Conservative seat in 2010 by securing 51 per cent of the vote and an 18 per cent majority, after taking over from David Curry who held the position since 1987.

The Conservatives, who have held the seat since it was created in 1983, beat Liberal Democrat’s candidate Helen Flynn who secured 32 per cent of the vote.

Jacquie Bell, a native of Sheffield who was educated at UCNW, Bangor and Edinburgh University, is hoping to go one better and take the seat for the Liberal Democrats.

She said: “It’s been very much a busy one. It’s been particularly good

Malcolm Birks is a local architect who grew up in Glusburn and attended the South Craven School, is standing for the Labour party who 10 per cent of the vote in 2010.

He said: “Labour’s message has been pretty receptive here in Ripon. This constituency does have some really issues and I have tried very hard to be a voice for that and put Labour’s argument forward.

“We are all desperate to know what the end result is and how the split will be. This is a difficult seat historically but we feel that we have run the best campaign we ever have in this area.”

Andrew Brown, the first Green candidate to run in the constituency, has lived in the village of Cononley for more than 20 years and is a retired college lecturer.

He said: “The whole process has been really interesting, there’s been some great traditional hustings with some really interesting and challenging questions.

“It’s been a good, honest, straight campaign. I’m confident I won’t won but I’m confident we have made a difference and made huge progress as a party.”

UKIP secured 3 per cent of the vote in 2010 with Alan Henderson, who has lived in the costituency for 20 years, fighting for the seat in this election.

He said: “I’m enthusiastic, optimistic and hopeful. It’s been an excellent campaign spread across a very big constituency so it’s been quite challenging in that view.

“But we have covered a lot of ground, talked to a lot of different people and by and large we have been warmly well received. Whether we get a much more positive response from the public remains to be seen.”