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Results & Constituencies
 
 Leeds North West
Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Harold Best Labour 17,794 41.9 +2.0
Adam Pritchard Conservative 12,558 29.6 -2.5
David Hall-Matthews Liberal Democrat 11,431 26.9 +3.2
Simon Jones UK Independence 668 1.6  
Majority 5,236 12.3
Turnout 42,451 58.2 -11.5
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 2.3% from Conservative to Labour

Description
Harold Best's 1997 ousting of Dr Keith Hampson, the Conservative incumbent since 1983, was a surprise - after all, the seat had been held by the Conservatives since its creation in 1950. Although the 12% swing to Mr Best mirrored Labour's achievements on a national scale, few expected him to win here, after his party could only manage a poor third in the 1992 contest.

Mr Best's victory, with a majority approaching 4,000, was all the more unlikely when the make-up of Leeds North West is taken into account. North Leeds is considered the conurbation's main middle-class residential area and home to a high proportion of the city's non-manual workers, but much like the neighbouring North East Leeds constituency, social changes to its inner-city wards eroded Conservative support.

The seat radiates out from the inner city Headingly ward (home of the eponymous Yorkshire county cricket ground), which with its high student and non-white population would seem to be the only natural stronghold for Labour. The suburban wards of Cookridge and Weetwood, combined with the rural Otley and Wharfdale, to make up a seat which was once regarded as a safe West Yorkshire haven for the Conservatives.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Leeds North West
Labour gain from Conservative
Name Party Votes %
Harold Best Labour 19,694 39.9
Keith Hampson Conservative 15,850 32.1
Barbara Pearce Liberal Democrat 11,689 23.7
Sean Emmett Referendum 1,325 2.7
Roger Lamb Socialist Labour 335 0.7
Robert Toone ProLife Alliance 251 0.5
Daniel Duffy Independent 232 0.5
Majority 3,844 7.8
Turnout 49,376 69.7
 
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