UKIP isn’t putting up candidates in five of the eight constituencies in the Leeds area at the forthcoming General Election, leaving some 26,000 votes they won in 2015 going begging.
They aren’t fielding a candidate in Morley and Outwood, where their 8,000-odd votes in 2015 played a big part in unseating Ed Balls, or in Leeds North East, the only marginal in the area (according to the bookies).
They’ve also withdrawn from Pudsey and Elmet & Rothwell, pretty much guaranteeing (what were already forecast to be) sizeable increases in the Tory majorities in both.
They’re not standing in Leeds North-West either – the most pro-Remain constituency in West Yorkshire, according to these estimates – where they polled 3,000 in 2015.
Morley & Outwood a marginal? Come again?
Morley and Outwood is a weird one, now a straight fight between the Tories, Lib-Dems and Labour. Weird because both Momentum and the Greens are describing it as a marginal (the Greens have stood down in favour of the Labour candidate there).
Don’t they look at the polls? And haven’t they looked at Oddschecker?
Compare and contrast with Leeds North East, where Fabian Hamilton’s Labour seat was already looking under serious threat before today’s announcement of who’s standing where.
Under threat? Well, here are the findings of some research three days ago into how the Tories are picking up votes from the other parties.
Translated to Leeds North East that would wipe out Fabian Hamilton’s 7,200 majority at a stroke and give the Tories a majority of under 1,000. With UKIP now not standing, all 3,700 votes of its 2015 votes are going begging.
Here’s what Oddschecker makes of the Leeds North East contest. It’s a proper marginal. And when the bookies clock that UKIP’s dropped out, the odds on the Tories will shorten further.
You can find chapter and verse of who’s standing where in the Leeds area here.