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Results & Constituencies
 
 Pontefract & Castleford
Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Yvette Cooper Labour 21,890 69.7 -6.0
Pamela Singleton Conservative 5,512 17.6 +4.0
Wesley Paxton Liberal Democrat 2,315 7.4 +0.1
John Burdon UK Independence 739 2.4  
Trevor Bolderson Socialist Labour 605 1.9  
John Gill Socialist Alliance 330 1.1  
Majority 16,378 52.2
Turnout 31,391 49.7 -16.6
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 5.0% from Labour to Conservative

Description
The demise of the coal mining industry here has not in recent elections affected Labourís hold on this constituency: some individual wards returned Labour candidates with a 90% or greater share of the vote.

The constituency is tucked away in the far north west corner of West Yorkshire, and its two eponymous towns - combined with Knottingly - have provided Labour with an historically loyal seat. Castleford, with 30,000 voters, holds the largest influence in the constituency, and in each of its three wards, Labour received over 80% of the vote even in May 1992 - when the party was reeling from its fourth general election defeat.

Despite the disappearance of coalfields from the heavily industrial landscape, unemployment has been kept in check in Pontefract and Castleford by massive power stations such as Ferrybridge, near Knottingly, which tap water from the two great local rivers - the Aire and the Ouse. Despite the rise of the energy industry in this area, many workers are only partly-skilled and correspondingly lowly-paid.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Pontefract & Castleford
Labour hold
Name Party Votes %
Yvette Cooper Labour 31,339 75.7
Adrian Flook Conservative 5,614 13.6
Wesley Paxton Liberal Democrat 3,042 7.3
Richard Wood Referendum 1,401 3.4
Majority 25,725 62.1
Turnout 41,396 66.3
 
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