THE CONSERVATIVES are favourites to win back Dewsbury & Mirfield at the General Election – but Labour’s Paula Sherriff is campaigning hard to retain her seat.
The Dewsbury constituency has been the most marginal in Kirklees, swapping between Labour and Tory on the last two elections. With no candidate standing for UKIP on June 8, 24-year-old Conservative Beth Prescott is now 1/6 on to gain control, according to bookies Betfair.
At the 2015 vote Paula Sherriff secured a 1,451 majority over Tory Simon Reevell, winning with 22,406 votes to his 20,955.
However, in third place was UKIP’s Mark Thackray with 6,649 votes – more than 12 per cent of the total.
Assuming that few right-leaning UKIP voters will switch to Labour, just a few thousand need to be persuaded by Miss Prescott to make her the MP. Tactical voting by Liberal Democrat and Green supporters could make it a very close call come June 8.
This week Ms Sherriff told The Press: “Out speaking to hundreds of local people over the last few weeks, I’ve been delighted by the response on the doorstep.
“People recognise the hard work I’ve put in over the past two years – helping local residents and fighting for the best for our area.
“It’s clear that people round here reject Tory cuts to our hospitals, schools and services and that they want a strong, experienced voice they can trust to speak up for them both here and in Parliament.”