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Expert Reaction: Yorkshire 2017 General Election Battleground

Posted on 18 May 2017

The Tories' manifesto launch in Halifax has further emphasised the focus both the Conservatives and Labour have had on Yorkshire during the campaign. Professor Martin Smith, Head of the Department of Politics at the University of York, explains why God's Own Country is proving to be such a key battleground.

Yorkshire has emerged as a key battleground for the major parties

Professor Smith said: "Yorkshire has become a key focus of the election campaign in this election with leaders of both parties making a number of visits and Labour launching its manifesto in Bradford.

"Both parties see it as central battleground.

"For Labour the large northern cities are now its core constituencies and if it is to avoid complete disaster it needs to retain those seats."

Professor Smith added: "For the Conservatives this is an opportunity to make real gains in the region.

"On a seven per cent or eight per cent swing, the Conservatives could potentially win nine seats in the region including York Central and Penistone.

"Success in Yorkshire would demonstrate the national strength of the Conservatives and the vulnerability of labour.

"It is a crucial part of the campaign for both parties as they want to show that they are not just parties of the south but of what they see as ordinary working people."

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