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)
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.
|2005||Ed Balls||Labour Co-operative|