UPDATE: GE2015 Selby and Ainsty: candidate interviews

The candidates and members of the public are eagerly awaiting the results of the ballot counting taking place in Tadcaster’s Riley Smith Hall, with the result expected after 5am.

Conservative Nigel Adams is fighting to hold onto the seat he won in 2010 with a majority of 23.7 per cent.

This morning he said: “It is early, but so far it looks very encouraging. Certainly the early returns from the Harrogate Borough wards in the seat look as if we have clearly won, but this is a large constituency made up of other wards in the Selby district as well.

“It wouldn’t surprise me at all if we had a Conservative majority parliament. To increase a majority in places like Nuneaton, which was high on Labour’s target list, is fantastic, so if that is replicated elsewhere I wouldn’t be surprised at all.

“I think the turnout is very high across the country and I think for a lot of people the reality is dawning on them that the alternative to a Conservative government would be Labour propped up by a rampant SNP, and that is happening as we speak, so those fears are making people turn out in their numbers.”

The Labour candidate is Mark Hayes, who wants to regain the constituency the party lost at the last election.

In 2010, Labour got 25.7 per cent of the vote.

He said: “I don’t think I will win, I will hopefully reduce the 12,000 majority to something a bit more manageable.

“The exit poll is hard to believe, but in a sense until we have evidence to contradict it I suppose we will have to believe it.

“It is really disappointing but there are several issues. The first is the media, and the print media in particular has been quite harsh in its attacks of Ed Miliband, pretty personal attacks, which I think is unnecessary.

“I could argue that Labour hasn’t really articulated a vision and also the whole austerity thing. Several academic economists have said austerity has harmed the British economy and if people like that are saying it, why is it that we have failed to articulate that to the public? Why are they still saying we can’t be trusted with the economy?

“And what I find astonishing knocking on doors is that people who should be core Labour voters are saying they’re not voting at all or are voting Tory or UKIP.”

The Lib Dem candidate is Nicola Turner.

In 2010 the Lib Dems got 17.7 per cent of the vote.

In the 2010 election UKIP got 3.2 per cent of the vote.

UKIP candidate Colin Health said: “I am extremely optimistic about getting my deposit back. My wife’s holiday depends on it.

“We will get more than five per cent, and it will be significantly better than last time.

“I am aiming to come second to the Conservatives. I don’t think that is likely, but I have to say the Labour Party has chosen an exceptionally good candidate.

“If I am going to come third I can’t think of two better people to come third to.”

Green Party candidate Ian Richards said: “I don’t know what is going to happen. We have seen the exit polls and they are quite surprising.

“I was expecting Labour to be the biggest party and they are forecasting us to get two seats. We were hoping for four but we will see what happens.

“I hope we can continue to expand on the base we have built. In this area we are going to have on town councillor so we just need to build on the local level and hope the party continues to grow nationally.”

The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition candidate is Ian Wilson.

In Selby and Ainsty, which covers 327 sq. miles, 76,592 people were registered to vote in 2010.

In 2010, 71 per cent voted, 25,562 of whom voted in favour of Mr Adams and the Conservative Party.

The 2010 election saw a swing of 9.7 per cent from Labour to the Conservatives as Labour lost 17.3 per cent of their vote.

Previously, the Labour Party won in 2005, 2001, and 1997 though the Conservatives won by 15 per cent in 1992.

The 2010 results:

Conservative: 25,562 (49.4 per cent)

Labour: 13,297 (25.7 per cent)

Lib Dem: 9,180 (17.7 per cent)

UKIP: 1,635 (3.2 per cent)

BNP: 1,377 (2.7 per cent)

English Dem: 677 (1.3 per cent)

Majority: 12,265 (23.7 per cent)

Turnout: 51,728 (71.1 per cent)

For the 2015 results as soon as they are called follow @JRMetcalf92