REACTION: Could it be a Labour double in Calderdale?

Both Calderdale seats are still up for grabs as the exit polls show they are '˜too close to call'.

Friday, 9th June 2017, 3:20 am
Updated Tuesday, 13th June 2017, 3:36 pm

If the exit polls are correct Labour could take both seats in the borough.

Exit polls show that for the Calder Valley, the Conservatives have a 40 per cent chance of victory and Labour has a 60 per cent chance of victory.

Conservatives have held the Calder Valley seat since 2010 and had a 4,427 majority in 2015.

With Halifax, the Conservatives have a 45 per cent chance of victory and Labour has a 55 per cent chance of victory.

Holly Lynch, incumbent MP, holds a small Labour majority with 428. Conservatives last held Halifax in 1987.

Mike Payne, chairman of the Halifax Conservative Association, helped to run Halifax candidate Chris Pearson’s campaign.

He said some of the party’s core vote had been lost.

“At this stage, we would have expected to have polled more votes,” he said.

“I’m specifically looking at Sowerby Bridge because that’s my ward and I would have thought that in the boxes we’ve looked at so far, we would have polled more.

“It’s not looking as good as we’d hoped for, it’s not what it was six weeks ago. There’s a definite shift in the way the electorate have chosen to vote.”

Speaking about the campaign, he added: “It was something we relished because we wanted the opportunity to win Halifax, but it’s not over yet.”

Tim Swift, leader of the Labour group on Calderdale Council, said he was treating the polls with caution, but felt “very confident” about Halifax.

He said: “Calder Valley was a very big ask, but we’ve run a brilliant campaign. Let’s wait and see what comes.

“I think Theresa May and the Conservatives have been found out. The way she called the election was very arrogant - there was no need to do it. I think they took the British people for granted.”

He said the Labour campaign gave people a sense of hope.

“Holly after only two years has made a fantastic reputation for herself,” he said. “The amount of recognition, the amount of people that know Holly, who value what she is doing has been amazing after just two years and we think that has made a real difference, whereas the Conservatives have not run a local campaign at all - they’ve tried to rely on Theresa May and it’s all gone wrong on them.”

Janet Battye, Liberal Democrat candidate for the Calder Valley, said: “Locally what we’re seeing here, I regret to say, we’ve got really squeezed by Labour and the Conservatives.

“It’s really disappointing after all the hard work we have put in.”

Rob Holden, Independent candidate for the Calder Valley, said the seat was looking “very, very” close between Labour’s Josh Fenton-Glynn and Conservative Craig Whittaker.

He said he thought it was a shame that the general election had been turned into a ‘presidential’ style election.

“People haven’t been voting for the local candidates, they have been voting for either Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn,” he said.

“We’ve seen that tonight in the polls. I’ve never seen such a two-horse race in the general election in the Calder Valley for a long, long time.

“I think it could be a much smaller majority, but I do think it could go to Labour.”

A representative from Craig Whittaker’s team described the Calder Valley race as “knife-edge stuff” and said: “We cannot call it.”

“It will what it will be, people choose, it’s a democratic result and that’s how it has to be. I think the expectations were a bit different with Halifax, there was a hope it could swing our way and if it’s not looking like it is then that’s going to be slightly disappointing if that’s not what it proves to be.”