Corbyn to tour marginal seats as Labour set for snap poll

The Calder Valley is among five Yorkshire seats being targeted by Labour this summer as Jeremy Corbyn readies the party for another snap election.

Monday, 24th July 2017, 3:17 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 11:54 am
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at Hebden Bridge town hall.

The party has drawn up a list of 73 marginal constituencies where it will focus campaign efforts in coming weeks – enough to secure a working majority should Theresa May’s government collapse.

According to The Yorkshire Post the Conservative-held seats of Calder Valley and Shipley are also down as Yorkshire targets along with Morley and Outwood, Pudsey and Scarborough.

Mr Corbyn is expected to tour at least half of the marginals on the list over the course of the summer in a bid to maintain the momentum built up during last month’s election. The Labour leader is seeking to persuade voters that his part is “a government in waiting”.

The offensive was launched in London last week and continued with a string of appearances in the Midlands yesterday.

Addressing activists in Telford, Mr Corbyn accused Mrs May of “running out of ideas” while setting out Labour’s promise to “put power and opportunity in the hands of the many not the few”.

“The Conservatives held Telford by just 720 votes this year. We are campaigning to win here at the next general election, whenever it is called,” the Islington MP said. “The Conservatives have run out of ideas, their Cabinet is in chaos and Ministers are divided over Brexit. Labour is a government in waiting.”

Pudsey is top of the party’s target seats in Yorkshire, where Tory MP Stuart Andrew saw his 4,500 majority reduced to just 331 in June. This is followed by Calder Valley, where Craig Whittaker held on to his seat by 609 votes.

Ed Balls’ former seat of Morley and Outwood is also named, despite incumbent Andrea Jenkyns increasing her lead to 2,104. Lower down the list is Scarborough and Whitby – where Education Minister Robert Goodwill has a majority of 3,435 – and Shipley.

Talk of a snap election in Westminster is largely limited to opposition parties, with Tory MPs making it clear their members have “no appetite” for further uncertainty. The latest polls have Labour leading by one point, and reveal a surge in Mr Corbyn’s approval ratings.

However, Labour have endured fierce criticism in recent days after the party toned down its rhetoric on tackling student debts. There are also signs of a growing rift over Brexit, with Europhile MPs renewing efforts to keep Britain in the Single Market.