Analysis shows that Harrogate would likely remain Conservative in a General Election

4 April 2024

The Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency was Liberal Democrat from 1997 to 2010, when Andrew Jones took the seat for the Conservative Party.

Typically the winning candidate, over those years, has secured around 50% of the vote, and the 2010 vote saw a change of power, when there was a close run campaign with Conservatives, and Liberal Democrats.

Looking at voter turnout, that has remained at around 70%, although dropping a little for 2001 and 2005.

In 2015, Andrew Jones solidified his previous win for the Conservatives, and there was wider spread of the votes across other parties, but Liberal Democrats locally followed the national trend with a drop in votes. That is a drop that the party has never fully recovered from. In 2010 the they had 57 MP’s but following the 2015 election it fell to only 8, with a large factor being a younger voter-base, and the then leader, Nick Clegg, going back on his tuition fee pledge, and alienating those younger voters.

Looking at the 2017 and 2019 elections, Conservatives maintained the seat with around a 50% share of the votes. In 2017 Labour and Liberal Democrats had a similar share of votes, but in 2019, they did better, but not returning to the votes they received pre-2010.

If you look at the voter numbers, rather than percentages, it shows a fairly consistent number turning out for Conservatives, but Liberal Democrats, Labour and other parties having a very varied turnout with each election. In 2019 the Brexit Party stood down their candidates following a Conservative pledge to complete Brexit, nationally that helped secure the 2019 win for the Conservatives.


harrogate election


The 2019 election saw 365 seats for the Conservatives (their highest since 1987), 202 seats for Labour (their lowest since 1935) and 11 seats going to the Liberal Democrats.

The 2024 has candidates for Harrogate and Knaresborough are Conservative, Liberal Democrats, Green Party and Reform UK, with Labour not yet declaring a candidate.

There are many factors to consider with which party will take the Harrogate and Knaresborough seat 2024. National polling has given a poor picture for Conservatives, which although could be reflected in the local picture, Andrew Jones has demonstrated a loyal voter-base over the years, since being first elected.

With Reform UK are standing a candidate, they will take votes from many sections of the voters, and could motivate previous non-voters. If Labour don’t put forward a strong candidate then the majority vote share will be between Conservatives, Reform UK and Liberal Democrats. So for the Liberal Democrat literature to say it is between Conservative and Liberal Democrats is not true.

National picture vs local picture

The latest Westminster voting intention from Ipsos shows:

  • Labour at 47%
  • Conservatives 20%
  • Liberal Democrats 9%
  • Green Party 8%
  • Reform UK 8%
  • Others 7%

21-28 February 2024.

Labour may not put forward a strong candidate, and may not fight for the seat, meaning their 47% voter share is up for grabs locally. If a proportion of those 47% are previous Conservative voters, then they could return/ remain to vote Conservative in the District. But many/some of those 47% may switch to Green, Libdem or Reform UK.

Working very theoretical statistics, proportionating that 47% between parties (at the same proportions as the Ipsos poll) could put Libdem/ Green and Reform UK each on around 20%, but Conservatives on 40%


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