Who will win Harrogate seat if General Election takes place soon

With demands and pleas and counter-demands for a General Election floating around Parliament, how is the electoral battle for Harrogate and Knaresborough seat likely to shape up if a poll does happen?

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 11:21 am
Flashback to 1997 when Phil Willis took Harrogate and Knaresborough for the Lib Dems.

Once regarded as a safe seat for the Conservative Party, then a Lib Dem stronghold, before reverting to type, the last 25 years have seen a to-and-fro battle in Harrogate between two parties.

It felt like the world had changed on the first of May, 1997 when Phil Willis was elected Harrogate and Knaresborough’s MP.

The constituency had always been regarded as a safe Tory seat; Robert Banks had been ensconced safely from February 1974 until he retired in May 1997.

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Current Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones who has won three elections in a row for the Conservative Party.

But Phil Willis’s win for the Lib Dems over former Chancellor Norman Lamont with 51.5% of the vote in the year of the Blair landslide represented a change of local direction.

The popular Mr Willis went on to repeat his success in the 2001 and 2005 elections with increased majorities both times hitting a high of 56.3% in 2005.

But the trend was halted when he retired at the 2010 general election.

Andrew Jones retook the seat for the Conservatives in 2015 with 45.7% of the vote, the first of three victories in a row.

Like Mr Willis before him, Mr Jones has seen his percentage rise on each occasion, rising to a new peak of 55.5% at the last General Election in 2017.

That most recent of electoral battles was significant partly because it saw a minor revival of the Labour Party vote under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, almost doubling to 20.1% in Harrogate and Knaresborough.

The main opposition party today in Harrogate and Knaresborough remains the Lib Dems, who achieved 23.5%.

Their candidate, should there be a General Election, will be Judith Rogerson.

It remains to be announced officially yet the position of the Labour Party and the Green Party on their electoral candidate.

General Elections

Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency

2017 Result

Andrew Jones (Conservative) was returned to Westminster with a majority of 18,168 and a percentage of 55.5%, an increase of 1,797 votes on 2015.

The Liberal Democrats were in second place with 23.5% in third with 20.1%

Both increased their share of the vote.

Turnout was 73.4% a rise of 3.6% on 2015.

2015 Result

Conservative: Andrew Jones 28, 153 - 52.7%

Liberal Democrat: Helen Flynn 11,782 - 22.1%

UKIP: David Simister 5,681 - 10.6%

Labour: Jan Williams 5,409 - 10.1%

Green: Shan Oakes 2,351 - 4.4%

Turnout: 53,376 - 69.0%

2010 Result

Andrew Jones Conservative: 24,305 - 45.7%

Claire Kelley Liberal Democrat: 23,266 - 43.8%

Kevin McNerney Labour: 3,413 -6.4%

Steven Gill British National Party: 1,094 - 2.1 %

John Upex UK Independence Party: 1,056 - 2.0%