Normanton (UK Parliament constituency)

Normanton (UK Parliament constituency)

Normanton is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election.

The constituency has elected only Labour MPs since 1906, the longest run (with Gower and Makerfield) of any UK constituency. From 1885 to 1905, it had returned Liberal-Labour MPs.

Boundaries

The West Yorkshire constituency includes the towns of Normanton and Ossett and several villages. The area has a tradition of being working-class, but it has now become almost entirely gentrified as nearby Leeds has expanded as a financial centre.

The wards included are "Normanton and Sharlston" [the safest Labour ward], "Stanley and Outwood East", "Wrenthorpe and Outwood West", "Ossett" and "Horbury and South Ossett". Ossett is now actually the largest town in the area, due to its high growth in recent years. The Tory vote is very low in Normanton itself and in Ossett, but councillors have been elected for Horbury and for Wrenthorpe. The LibDems currently have all three councillors for the "Ossett" ward, but have never performed well in general elections, in this area. "Stanley and Outwood East" is a fairly safe Labour ward.

The constituency is nicknamed the banana constituency on account of its unusual shape.

The village of Altofts, located just to the north of Normanton, is currently included in the constituency, despite being part of a Castleford ward. The village is planned to move into a proposed "Pontefract and Castleford" seat. (but see below)

Boundary review

Following their review of parliamentary representation in West Yorkshire, the Boundary Commission for England had created a Normanton and Pontefract constituency. In late May 2006, the Commission published a revised recommendation changing the name of this constituency to Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford.

Local newspapers and the Labour Party opposed the initial change, but following a public consultation the Commission decided to create the seat conceding only a name change - from Pontefract and Castleford, to Normanton and Pontefract. This has now been extended to cover all three names. The wards of "Wrenthorpe and Outwood West" and "Stanley and Outwood East" - the most affluent part of the constituency - is set to be joined to the Conservative-leaning commuter town of Morley, which is in the Leeds district, in a Morley and Outwood constituency. Local groups and newspapers have protested that this represents a takeover of the Wakefield district by the Leeds district. Cynics reply that the Labour Party is worried that "Morley and Outwood" would be won the Conservatives. Ossett and Horbury are set for inclusion in the Wakefield constituency.

Members of Parliament

Election Member Party
1885 Benjamin Pickard Lib-Lab
1904 William Parrott Lib-Lab
1905 Frederick Hall Labour
1933 Tom Smith Labour
1947 George Sylvester Labour
1950 Thomas Brooks Labour
1951 Albert Roberts Labour
1983 Bill O'Brien Labour
2005 Ed Balls Labour Co-operative

Election results

1940s

2000s

See also

References

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