York General Election 2019 – Live

Chronicling the campaign in York Central and York Outer
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Rachael Maskell after her York Central win in the December election. Photograph: YorkMix

What York’s winners said

1 year ago

After winning York Central, Labour’s Rachael Maskell said:

  • Although disappointed bitterly by the results I see across the nation, because we come into politics to make a difference for people, I vow that I will continue to fight for my constituents with every bone in my body to ensure that their lives improve here in York now and in the future.

Julian Sturdy at the winner’s podium, Photograph: City of York Council

In his speech after retaining York Outer, Julian Sturdy said:

  • We have to make sure that, here in York, we build on our local successes.

    I want to make sure that we continue to build on the infrastructure projects we’ve delivered, make sure we deliver on the A64.

Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Johnson romps home with ‘powerful new mandate to get Brexit done’

1 year ago

Boris Johnson hailed his “powerful new mandate to get Brexit done” as his party romped to victory in the 2019 General Election, writes the Press Association.

The Tory landslide prompted Jeremy Corbyn to announce he will not lead Labour into another election after his party suffered humiliation.

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson also lost her seat to the SNP, who made further inroads in Scotland.

But the big winner was Mr Johnson as the Tories won seat after seat in Labour’s heartlands.

With over 600 seats declared, the PA news agency was predicting a Tory majority of 76.

Mr Corbyn admitted it had been a “very disappointing” night.

The anti-war campaigner, who has represented Islington North since 1983, ran as an outside candidate for the party leadership in 2015 and managed to outlast two Tory prime ministers.

But facing his second General Election defeat, Mr Corbyn said that he would call it a day as leader as he was re-elected in his London seat.

He said he would discuss with the party how to ensure there was a “process of reflection “.

“I will lead the party during this period to ensure this discussion takes place.”

The mood at Mr Johnson’s count was much more upbeat as he declared: “It does look as though this One Nation Conservative government has been given a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done.”

He added: “Above all I want to thank the people of this country for turning out to vote in a December election that we didn’t want to call but which I think has turned out to be a historic election that gives us now, in this new government, the chance to respect the democratic will of the British people to change this country for the better and to unleash the potential of the entire people of this country.

“And that is what we will now do, and if we are lucky enough to be returned, as the exit polls seem to suggest, then that work will begin tomorrow… or as I should say, not tomorrow, today!”

Mr Corbyn’s party, which had 243 MPs when Parliament was dissolved last month, was heading for its worst result since 1935 after support crumbled in its so-called ‘red wall’ of formerly safe seats across the north, the Midlands and Wales.

Some pictures from the count

1 year ago
Photograph: City of York Council

The York Outer results chart

1 year ago

The York Central votes chart

1 year ago

Result: Julian Sturdy holds York Outer

1 year ago

He’s still the only person to ever represent York Outer. Julian Sturdy retains the seat for the Conservatives, after first being elected to the seat when it was first created in 2010.

Keith Aspden (Lib Dem) 9,992
Scott Marmion (Ind) 692
Anna Perrett (Labour) 17,339
Julian Sturdy (Con) 27,324

Result: Rachael Maskell holds York Central

1 year ago

York Central is a Labour hold.

Rachael Maskell has held the seat.

More Yorkshire results

1 year ago

Here’s more Yorkshire results, via Battle For Yorkshire.

Labour holds Doncaster North and Doncaster Central – reduced majorities in both cases.

Greg Knight increases his majority and holds Yorkshire East for the Conservatives33,988 votes tonight aginst 31,442 in 2017

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks after he retained his Islington North Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Jeremy Corbyn to go – but not yet

1 year ago

After being returned as MP for Islington North, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has described the 2019 General Election outcome as “very disappointing” and said he will not lead the party in any future election campaign.

But he says a discussion will take place as to what happens next.


This from York Lib Dem candidate James Blanchard

1 year ago

Results from elsewhere in Yorkshire

1 year ago

Here’s a round-up of other recent Yorkshire results, via the ‘Battle For Yorkshire’ blog on The Yorkie:

Karl Turner hangs onto John Prescott’s old Hull East seat for Labour – with a much-reduced majority. Down from 21,355 to 12,713.

Labour holds Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough with a majority of 22,369 against 28,193 in 2017

In Leeds East, Fabian Hamilton holds the seat for Labour, but with his majority slashed from 33,436 in to 2017 to 19,464

The Conservatives hold Scarborough and Whitby – with an increased majority for Robert Goodwill

Labour holds Rotherham but, as we’re seeing elsewhere, with a reduced majority – down from 21,404 in 2017 to 14,736 tonight

David Davis holds onto Haltemprice and Howden and his hefty majority – but arrives too late to hear the announcement.

A Conservative hold for Harrogate and Knaresborough. Andrew Jones has had his 31,477 majority reduced a tad to 29,962 but still a very safe seat for the Conservatives.

Recap: How York Outer voted in 2017

1 year ago

In York Outer in 2017 there was a turnout of 76% (57,573 votes cast). This was the result:

Recap: How York Central voted in 2017

1 year ago

We could still be an hour away from the results here in York. So here’s a good chance to recall how the city voted at the last general election in 2017.

In York Central, on a 69% turnout (total votes 53,301), this was the result:

Video – Green Party’s Tom Franklin: ‘I am extremely worried for the future of the country’

1 year ago

Tom Franklin, the Green Party candidate for York Central, didn’t mince his words in this interview with York St John University’s April Coward and Victoria Cotton.

Of the prospect of a Conservative majority government headed by Boris Johnson, he said:

  • I am extremely worried for the future of the country.

    We’re in a climate emergency and the Conservative Party is not taking it seriously – and we’re in severe danger of not meeting any of our international targets…

    Brexit is going to be a disaster in itself, but the climate emergency is going to make that look like chicken feed.

More from Chloe on the political beat

1 year ago

Local democracy reporter Chloe Laversuch has been gauging more responses around the count.

Video: Keith Aspden – People felt revoke policy ‘didn’t give them a chance to engage in debate’

1 year ago

City of York Council leader and Liberal Democrat candidate for York Outer Keith Aspden has given his first reaction of the unfolding election results.

He said it was pretty clear that we were heading for a “pretty big Conservative majority”.

“For me that means the Conservatives have an awful lot to live up to, particularly for investment in places like York, Yorkshire and the North.”

He said the exit polls were showing the Lib Dems gaining one seat and an increase in their share of the vote – “it’s a step forward”.

Was the policy commitment to revoke Article 50 and stop Brexit a mistake?

  • On the doorstep a lot of people were saying they felt that simply saying we would revoke didn’t give people an opportunity to engage in that debate.

    Of course that policy was only if we got a majority government, and of course we were not going to get a majority government. We always were campaigning for a people’s vote to remain.

On the Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson he noted that she was in danger of losing her Dunbartonshire East seat.

  • For any new Liberal Democrat leader it invariably takes quite a few elections for them to establish themselves.

Turnout for York Outer much higher than York Central

1 year ago

Turnout in the York Outer constituency is much higher than in York Central – 74.44%.

There were 55,588 votes cast from an electorate of 74,673.

That’s in line with 2017 when the York Outer turnout was 75%.

But it is far higher than in York Central at 66.38%.

This from City of York Council give the turnout from 2017 as a comparison:

York Central turnout announced

1 year ago

The York Central turnout has just been announced by acting returning officer Ian Floyd – it was 66.38%.

The number of ballot papers is 49,717 from a total electorate of 74,899.

How democratic is York?

1 year ago

York resident and open government campaigner Gwen Swinburn makes a strong point here…

The counters are verifying the votes

1 year ago

Staff at Energise in York are hard at work verifying the votes. When that’s done we should get the turnout figure, then the real count will begin

‘People wanted to get Brexit done’

1 year ago

York local democracy reporter Chloe Laversuch has been gauging reaction from politicians at the count.

Video: Julian Sturdy – ‘I’ve got a big smile on my face’

1 year ago

Conservative Julian Sturdy, fighting to retain his York Outer seat, has told YorkMix of his reaction to the exit poll, predicting a healthy Conservative majority.

He said:

  • I’ve got a big smile on my face. Early days I would say, but at the moment the first few results we’ve seen come in – Blyth Valley as one that’s just swung our way which is fantastic news, and looking about a ten per cent swing from Labour – if that continues through the night then the exit polls are going to be about spot on.

He said Brexit was a key issue – people wanting to get Brexit over had come up on the doorstep.

“And Boris Johnson has cut through parts of the north where, previous Conservative leaders haven’t”.

In the campaign for York Outer, Mr Sturdy said:

  • Certainly early on the Lib Dems have pushed hard – they’ve put a lot of literature through the letterboxes – those residents of York Outer will be nodding in agreement I’m sure of that.

    But what I found most striking – and what we’ve tried to do in our campaign is make sure we’re out on the doorstep talking to people.

Early York Twitter reaction

1 year ago

Here are some reactions from the frontline today. This from the independent candidate for York Outer, Scott Marmion:

This from York For Europe, who tried a ‘vote swap’ between the Lib Dems and Labour in York Outer and Harrogate:

This from Andrew Dunn, SDP candidate for York Outer:

Victoria Cotton and April Coward, third year journalism students at York St John University at the election count

Students cover the election across Yorkshire

1 year ago

Around 70 Journalism and Media Production students and staff from York St John University are gearing up to cover the General Election this week, producing through-the-night programming under the banner ‘The Battle for Yorkshire’.

The mammoth operation will be the biggest news challenge the team has ever faced and will include producing TV and radio programmes pre- and post- election and a through-the-night live news feed as results come in.

All the content will be available to watch online through The Yorkie, the public-facing news website produced by our journalism students, and shared with local and national media through BJTC (Broadcast Journalism Training Council) media partners.

Student journalists will be reporting from vote counts in York and Hull, and picking up other Yorkshire results as they’re announced.

Sue Greenwood, Associate Head: Production in the School of the Arts, is leading the operation and said: “The enthusiasm of students and staff wanting to get involved is extraordinary.

“This is the busiest week of the semester for everyone but here they are – taking on extra work and pitching in to cover three production shifts. I think our students especially realise how important this election is and that this may be a one-off opportunity for them to be at the heart of reporting on it.”

We’re working together with YSJ students – including April Coward and Victoria Cotton, who are covering the York count, and will be including some of their reports on our blog.

Video: Rachael Maskell reacts to the exit poll

1 year ago

The exit poll is predicting a thumping 86 seat majority for the Conservatives.

Rachael Maskell, the Labour candidate for York Central, says it looks like a bad day for the Labour Party.

She said a Conservative government wasn’t going to address the problems facing York.

  • I’ll continue, as I have been doing over the past four and a half years fighting for the people of this city, making sure that they have a real voice in their futures and the future of politics.

    And within the Labour Party I’ll make sure their voice is amplified, but also within Parliament.

Did the exit poll surprise her? “Obviously for quite some time I’ve been worried by the impact of populism and the way that’s been playing, and the media messaging as well.”

What does she feel about Jeremy Corbyn’s position as leader?

  • I don’t think any rash decisions should be taken. What’s really important is to do the analysis first.

    But clearly if we are as a party going to move into a new era we’re going to have to think who is the right person to take us into that era.

    I don’t want to make any speculations tonight, I don’t think that’s appropriate. But we’ve got to get this right.

The first ballot boxes arrive. Photograph: YorkMix

The first ballot boxes have arrived at the York count

1 year ago

The count is underway at Election 19 in York.

The first ballot boxes arrived at Energise leisure centre on Cornlands Road shortly after the polls closed at 10pm.

We have been told to expect the results at around 4am.

And they're off… the polling station on Monkgate, York, this morning. Photograph: YorkMix

York goes to the polls in first winter election for nearly a century

1 year ago

York is going to the polls in Britain’s third general election in five years.

In York, 560 staff will be helping across the city to open 128 polling stations and count the votes cast throughout the day.

With more than 150,000 residents eligible to vote across York’s two constituencies it promises to be a busy day.

Residents can only vote in person at their designated polling station on election day, during opening hours. Polling stations opened at 7am and will close at 10pm.

All the candidates standing can be found here.

The outcome is uncertain in a very unusual election – the first winter poll in nearly a century, and one called against the backdrop of Brexit.

Turnout could well be a factor, and might be influenced by the weather. In York we are in for a cold day with rain later.

A poll by The Daily Telegraph and Savanta ComRes, published on Wednesday night, placed the Tories five points ahead of Mr Corbyn’s party – indicating the potential for a Conservative majority or a hung parliament.

But a separate poll by Kantar put the Tories on 44%, Labour on 32% and the Liberal Democrats on 13%.

You can see more details about this election on the City of York Council website.

The coalition outside York Minster. Photographs: Richard McDougall

Campaigners launch ‘vote swap’ to back Labour in York Outer (but prominent Lib Dem condemns ‘fake news’)

1 year ago

On a day when ‘tactical voting’ has been trending on Twitter, pro-EU campaigners have organised a vote swap.

Labour and Liberal Democratic supporters in two of Yorkshire’s key election battlegrounds came together to form a voters’ alliance against Boris Johnson’s Conservatives.

In a pact put forward by York For Europe and North Yorkshire For Europe, Liberal Democrats in Outer York have promised to vote Labour to help unseat Tory MP Julian Sturdy.

They are ‘combining their voting power’
Meanwhile Labour voters in Harrogate & Knaresborough have promised to vote Liberal Democrat to defeat Tory MP Andrew Jones.

Martin Brooks, chair of York for Europe, said:

  • Our Labour and Lib Dem supporters are becoming increasingly frustrated over the sniping that’s been going on at a leadership level between the two parties.

    They all agree that a Boris Johnson majority would be an unmitigated disaster but by fighting each other, they are greatly increasing the chances of the Tories getting in.

    This is a very simple solution to the muddle we find ourselves in: Rather than wasting energy fighting each other it makes much more sense to combine our voting power to unseat the sitting Tory MP.

But LibDemnewsview on Twitter – an account that links back to the blog of former Lib Dem council leader Steve Galloway – hit back saying it was ‘desperate fake news’.

Watch: Hustings video goes live

1 year ago

We liveblogged the York election hustings at Bootham School on Monday night – you can read all our coverage here.

Now Bootham School have put their video of the evening live. The candidates who debated were all for York Central:

  • James Blanchard, Liberal Democrats
  • Andrew Dunn, SDP
  • Tom Franklin, Green
  • Rachael Maskell, Labour
  • Andrew Snedden, Yorkshire Party
  • Nicholas Szkiler, Brexit Party
  • Fabia Tate, Conservative Party

Here’s the film. Enjoy!

Lord Shipley, Honorary Alderman Ann Reid, Councillor Keith Aspden & Councillor Ed Pearson at the level crossing in Haxby, by the site of the former station

Pledge on new station for Haxby

1 year ago

Keith Aspden has said a new railway station for Haxby could be on the cards if the Liberal Democrats win the election.

The York Outer Lib Dem candidate was joined on the campaign trail yesterday by Lord John Shipley, the party’s spokesperson for communities, decentralisation and the northern powerhouse.

During the visit, Mr Aspden promoted the party’s pledge to create a £50 billion regional growth fund.

He said:

  • For far too long, residents in York have seen our city miss out on millions of pounds of investment.

    The communities and villages of York Outer deserve better and looking forward, it is vital that we are not left at the back of the queue.

    That is why the Liberal Democrats are prioritising an ambitious £50 billion regional growth fund, which will be used to invest in sustainable transport initiatives across our region, including the possibility of a new rail station in Haxby.

Catch up with the Bootham hustings

1 year ago

If you want to read our live blog of the hustings at Bootham School, you’ll find it all here.

BBC Question Time at University of York – Key points

1 year ago

While we were watching York’s candidates debate in the local hustings some senior politicians slugged it out in the BBC Question Time Election Special – Under 30s debate at the University of York tonight.

The panel was:

Labour’s shadow education secretary Angela Rayner
SNP and Scotland’s justice secretary Humza Yousaf
Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price
Green Party leader Jonathan Bartley
Brexit Party co-leader Nigel Farage
Tories’ housing secretary Robert Jenrick

You can watch the whole thing on the BBC iPlayer here.

Here’s a summary of the debate summarised from the BBC’s own coverage.

  • Nigel Farage revealed he will spoil his ballot paper on Thursday. In his constituency, the Brexit Party – the party he leads – isn’t standing, and he won’t vote Conservative.
  • The Green Party’s Jonathan Bartley said the electoral system was “broken”, while Mr Farage and Labour’s Angela Rayner agreed that they both want to abolish the House of Lords. Jo Swinson said she’d love to have a system where people don’t feel they need to vote tactically
  • Brexit – The Conservatives’ Robert Jenrick refused to take any responsibility for the “mess” of Brexit over the last few years, while Labour’s Ms Rayner did not say whether she would back Leave or Remain in any new referendum, saying she wants to see what deal her party negotiates
  • Jo Swinson was pushed on whether opposing Brexit and wanting another vote is undemocratic – but she said she was “not going to change my beliefs”. Mr Farage accused the Lib Dems for breaking their word, after ex-leader Paddy Ashdown promised to respect the referendum result. And Plaid Cymru’s Adam Price – whose party also wants another referendum – was asked what evidence he has that people in Wales have changed their mind. “The opinion polls show a shift,” he said
  • Climate change – The Conservatives’ Robert Jenrick says it’s unlikely there would be state intervention to stop people from eating meat but the government had done a “huge amount” on climate change. Ms Swinson got a clap for saying to Mr Jenrick: “You literally abolished the department for climate change.”

The exit poll: How have the audience changed their minds?

1 year ago

Our moderator, Bootham School head teacher Chris Jeffery – who has done an excellent job of chairing the debate – thanks the candidates for the impressive way they have conducted the debate, which others nationally could learn from.

And he thanks all the people at Bootham School who have done such a brilliant job of hosting the debate, including the polls and multi media elements – singling out James Ratcliffe who has organised the whole shebang.

And then the closing polls came out. And the clear victor tonight is Andrew Snedden of the Yorkshire Party! Here are the voting intentions of the Bootham School hustings audience…

Question 6: What cabaret act would you do?

1 year ago

What act would you perform in the Bootham School cabaret on Friday if you won the election?

James Blanchard: I would do a song and dance routine based on Guy Fawkes to emphasise the need for more honesty in politics

Andrew Dunn: Considering the SDP have virtually no chance of winning, I think it would have to be a magic act!

Tom Franklin: The only cabaret I ever did was a fund raising version of The Full Monty – and I did a strip!

Rachael Maskell: Our spirits are going to be so high that we are going to have a collective sing to celebrate a Labour victory together. The Red Flag of course

Andrew Snedden: I’d have to do a one-man show of the Four Yorkshireman in an Australian accent.

Nicholas Szkiler: I used to be a DJ – but would quote some poetry about being a moth (which he did impressively from memory).

Fabia Tate: I have learned to stilt walk and fire juggle but I wouldn’t do both at the same time because it would be dangerous.

Question 5: Are all the set-aside arrangements in this election undermining democracy?

1 year ago

A one-word answer is required. James, Andrew and Fabia all said PR – proportional representation was the answer. Rachael joked Labour is going to win so it doesn’t matter.

Question 4: How will your party solve the nursing recruitment crisis?

1 year ago

From a former nurse: There are 42K nursing vacancies and recruitment is in crisis. How will your party address this?

Andrew Dunn: The SDP is committed to the NHS. We want to commit to training more nurses in this country, and to allow people to be a nurse without a degree.

Rachael Maskell: I spent 20 years working in the NHS and it breaks my heart to see it going back 20 years. It won’t just be solved by throwing money at it. We need to improve public health. Investing in education is very important. With the cuts in nursing bursaries we’ve seen a downturn in applications. We need to reverse that. We need proper workforce planning across the health service, they do it in Scotland and it works – we need to do the same in the rest of the country.

James Blanchard: I also work in the NHS. The reduction in overseas applications from the EU is crucial. It’s tied in to the cut in bursaries. We will bring in a lifelong skills wallet – money to invest in your training throughout your career. People will change career throughout their working life. There’s also a problem with GP recruitment, many are due to retire in the next few years – then try getting an appointment.

Nicholas Szkiler: With a disabled daughter I am a beneficiary of the NHS and passionately believe in it. We would reopen the nursing profession to people without a degree qualification. One millstone is the Labour initiative of the Private Finance Initiative – those schemes should be bought out. The huge interest rates being paid out on PFI could be invested in nursing bursaries.

Tom Franklin: Retention hasn’t been mentioned and that is hugely important. Allowing people to choose different ways of working might help retention. We want to abolish student fees and cancel existing student debt, which might encourage more people to study nursing.

Fabia Tate: After Brexit we can look beyond the EU to recruit nurses from elsewhere in the world, via an Australian style points system on immigration. Putting more money into the NHS to reduce the burdens on GPs and A&E is important. We need to plan to meet future demands now.

Andrew Snedden: It’s shocking that vital public services have been understaffed by tens of thousands of people. If Yorkshire had its own budget, we would have a much better chance of solving the problem.