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Which historic Labour seats could be at risk in this election?

Bolsover, Wakefield and Rother Valley are among the places that might turn blue for the first time in generations

A Labour rosette (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)
A Labour rosette (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

By Ian Jones, PA

This election could see the Conservatives gain seats that have been held continuously by Labour for many decades – in a few cases, for 100 years.

Here are some constituencies where generations of political tradition might be overturned on December 12.

– Ashfield and Workington

Both these seats have been held by Labour since 1979.

In Ashfield, Labour is defending a majority of just 441 and the constituency would fall to the Conservatives on a swing of 0.5%. Workington would need a bigger swing of 4.8%.

A general view of Workington (Danny Lawson/PA)

Labour’s roots in Workington go back to 1918, when the party first won the constituency.

It then held the seat without a break until 1976, when the Tories won it in a by-election. Labour won it back three years later.

– Stoke-on-Trent North and Stoke-on-Trent Central

This pair of seats has been held by Labour without interruption since 1950.

Stoke-on-Trent North would change hands on a swing of 2.9%.

A much larger swing of 5.9% would be needed for Stoke-on-Trent Central to turn blue.

– Bolsover

Bolsover was created in 1950 and since then has been represented by just two Labour MPs: Harold Neal and Dennis Skinner.

The Tories need a swing of 5.7% to overturn Labour’s majority of 5,288 – and recent polls have suggested this is possible.

– Bradford South and Great Grimsby

These two seats have been Labour since the general election of 1945. Bradford South would need a huge swing of 8.2% to change hands, while Great Grimsby would need 3.7%.

(PA graphic)

– Sedgefield

Tony Blair’s former constituency has been held by Labour since 1935, apart from a short interval between 1974 and 1983 when the seat was temporarily abolished.

Then US president George Bush alongside then prime minister Tony Blair at the Dun Cow pub, during a visit to Mr Blair’s constituency of Sedgefield (Owen Humphreys/PA)

A hefty swing of 7.3% would see Labour’s majority of 6,059 overturned.

– Bassetlaw and Bishop Auckland

Both of these have been held by Labour continuously since 1935.

Bassetlaw has had just three Labour MPs during that time: Frederick Bellenger, Joe Ashton and John Mann.

The Tories need a swing of 4.7% to take the seat.

Bishop Auckland was first won by Labour in 1918 and was held by the party until 1931. A Liberal National candidate then won the seat, before Labour took it back four years later.

Only four Labour MPs have represented the constituency since 1935: Hugh Dalton, James Boyden, Derek Foster and Helen Goodman.

A tiny swing of 0.6% would see Labour lose this time.

– Wakefield

Labour has represented this seat continuously since 1932.

A swing of 2.9% would be enough for the Conservatives to bring that 87-year period to a close.

– Don Valley

This seat has been held by Labour without interruption since 1922.

Only five MPs have represented it in the House of Commons during that time: Thomas Williams, Richard Kelley, Michael Welsh, Martin Redmond and Caroline Flint.

The Tories need a 5.7% swing to win.

– Newcastle-under-Lyme

Labour has held this constituency without a break since 1919.

It is now one of the party’s most vulnerable seats in the country, Labour’s majority in 2017 was 30, and would fall to the Tories on a swing of just 0.03%.

– Rother Valley

Rother Valley was created in 1918 and just five Labour MPs have represented the seat during its 101-year existence: Thomas Grundy, Edward Dunn, David Griffiths, Peter Hardy and Sir Kevin Barron.

To win, the Conservatives need a swing of 4.0%.



From Belfast Telegraph