How does Leeds look following the general election?

Elmet and Rothwell was held by Alec Shelbrooke of the Conservatives. Photo by Lauren Halligan

After the general election results came through last week, a lot has changed across the country.

By Harry Douglas-Gratton

The country has spoken, resulting in a Conservative majority of 78 seats.

The party won a total of 364 seats – its best result since 1987.

Meanwhile The Labour Party lost 59 seats, now holding 203.

For Leeds however, not much has changed.

Leeds Central, Leeds North West, Leeds West, Leeds East and Leeds North East were all held by Labour.

The Conservatives held Elmet and Rothwell, Morley and Outwood and Pudsey.

Of the eight seats up for grabs, Labour held five and the Conservatives held three. Election map from Leeds Live.

Leeds Central – Hilary Benn, LAB HOLD
Leeds North West – Alex Sobel, LAB HOLD
Leeds West – Rachel Reeves, LAB HOLD
Leeds East – Richard Burgon, LAB HOLD
Leeds North East – Fabian Hamilton, LAB HOLD
Pudsey – Stuart Andrew, CON HOLD
Elmet and Rothwell – Alec Shelbrooke, CON HOLD
Morley and Outwood – Andrea Jenkyns, CON HOLD

Despite holding their seats, some Labour MPs in Leeds saw their vote shares reduced. Hilary Benn, who represents Leeds Central, saw his vote share shrink by 8.5% and Rachel Reeves of Leeds West lost 8.9% of the vote.

But Alex Sobel, who was seeking re-election in Leeds North West, increased his majority by 4.5%. Leeds North West was previously a marginal between Labour and the Liberal Democrats, but the Lib Dems fell into third place behind the Conservatives in this election.

Looking at just these results, it would be easy to think not much has changed since 2017. However, the Labour Party saw significant losses – many of which in seats once considered Northern strongholds.

One surprise of the night was the loss of Dennis Skinner’s seat in Bolsover, which he had represented for 49 years. The seat was gained by the Conservative Party’s Mark Fletcher.

The Liberal Democrats also had an underwhelming night across the country. Their leader, Jo Swinson, lost her seat to the SNP.

Former leader Vince Cable told the Guardian that the party needs to move away from “zealous Europeanism” for future elections:

“The Lib Dems must be a voice for leave Carshalton – where we lost our excellent, longstanding MP Tom Brake – as much as for remain Twickenham.”

The Labour Party’s losses were numerous in leave voting seats. In total, 52 of the seats the party lost were in leave constituencies.

Party chair Ian Lavery told the BBC that the party’s failures were in part because of its policy on Brexit, consequently losing seats among working class leave voters.

“What we are seeing in the Labour heartlands is people very aggrieved at the fact the party basically has taken a stance on Brexit the way they have.”

MPs returned to Westminster on Tuesday.

About the Author

student
This article was produced by a student or students on the BA in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University.

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