The Red Wall battleground: could Yorkshire decide the result of the General Election?

Both Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer have campaigned in Yorkshire recently Credit: PA

Rishi Sunak has pulled the rabbit out of the hat - and the rabbit is a snap, summer general election.

It’s just a couple of weeks since the local elections results were announced, where the Conservatives got a kicking in our region.

Yorkshire is home to the Prime Minister’s own constituency - Richmond - as well as a number of key bricks in the so-called Red Wall.

So, could Yorkshire decide the result of the General Election?

You’ll hear a lot of talk about the Red Wall in this election campaign.

In 2019, the Tories took 14 seats from Labour in our region - many of them in Yorkshire’s Red Wall.

Of course, Labour will be desperate to win back seats like Great Grimsby, Rother Valley and Penistone and Stocksbridge - until 2019, they’d always voted labour.

But the truth is, that will be the bare minimum if they want to win a majority.

To take the keys to Number 10 off Rishi Sunak, Labour will also need to expand their territory in our region, pushing into traditional Tory heartlands.

We got a taste of what that might look like at the local elections, with Labour winning the contest for the first ever Mayor for York and North Yorkshire.

The mayoralty covers a number of True Blue constituencies - or, at least, constituencies that used to be seen that way.

In 2023, that idea was challenged by the by-election in Selby and Ainsty, where Labour had a shock victory.

Despite those two results, pushing into those constituencies is not a done deal for Labour.

Many voters are still undecided - and smaller Parties like Reform, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens could all have an impact.

Our region boasts the country’s only MP for Reform UK - Tory defector Lee Anderson.

Ashfield MP Lee Anderson defected from the Conservatives to Reform UK earlier this year

With so much of our region backing Brexit, they’ll be desperate to mop up support from Calendar voters.

While that could provide a boost for Labour, Keir Starmer’s Party need to look out for the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party.

The Lib Dems have their eye on Sheffield Hallam and Harrogate and Knaresborough - any wins there could eat into Labour’s chance at a majority.

And the Greens came third in the Mayoral elections in South and West Yorkshire, which risks them stealing votes from Labour at the general election.

No doubt, the Party leaders will be queuing up to visit Yorkshire in the coming days, trying to make their last pitch to voters.

It’s set to be a fascinating six weeks.

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