General election 2017 - battle lines for target seats

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There is less than a week to go before voters decide who will lead the country for the next five years.

Prospective MPs will be frantically campaigning over the next six days ahead of the general election on June 8.

The campaign has so far seen a string of high-profile political figures land in Wakefield. The seat has been held by Labour since 1932 but is seen as a key election battleground.

On Wednesday Tory politician Michael Gove and Patrick Mcloughlin were in the city.

Last Friday John Prescott, Labour’s former deputy leader, spoke to party supporters at the St Swithun’s Community Centre in Eastmoor, along with Mary Creagh, who is seeking re-election for Labour. Current deputy leader Tom Watson was also in the city last week.

Tory transport secretary Chris Grayling has also visited.

And both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn landed in the Morley and Outwood seat, where Tory Andrea Jenkyns unseated Labour’s Ed Balls with a wafer-thin majority at the last election.

In Wakefield Ms Creagh won in 2015 with a majority of 2,600 over second-place Tory candidate Antony Calvert, who is also standing this time round.

This time her position could be precarious because of Ms Creagh’s opposition to leaving the European Union, despite the city voting heavily in favour of Brexit. It also remains to be seen how the absence of anti-EU party UKIP will affect the result. In 2010 UKIP got more than 7,800 votes in the Wakefield constituency.

On June 8 the other Wakefield candidates are Lucy Brown, of the Yorkshire Party, Finbarr Cronin, Lib Dem, and independent candidate Waj Ali.

Latest polling shows that nationally, Labour has continued to narrow gap on the Tories to just three points - down from more than 20 when the election was called.

On Wednesday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn took part in a live TV debate. The party previously said he would not take part unless Tory leader Theresa May would also be there. Mrs May has defended her decision not to take part but was criticised on the show for her absence. She was also expected to visit South Kirkby on Thursday

Each of the candidates has been asked to explain the issues they are campaigning on - click on the links below:

Wakefield http://www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk/news/politics/wakefield-candidates-have-their-say-1-8575346

Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford http://www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk/news/politics/normanton-pontefract-and-castleford-candidates-have-their-say-1-8575347

Hemsworth http://www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk/news/politics/hemsworth-candidates-have-their-say-1-8575343Morley and Outwood http://www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk/news/politics/morley-and-outwood-candidates-have-their-say-1-8575349