BBC Newsnight broadcasts live from Yorkshire Sculpture Park as Wakefield voters have say on General Election

Newsnight interviewed voters in Wakefield, with the General Election less than a week away.

Friday, 6th December 2019, 11:16 am
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 11:17 am

The BBC's daily current affairs programme broadcast live from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park on Thursday night, having spent the day gauging opinion from city centre shoppers.

The Wakefield constituency has been a Labour seat since 1932, but with a narrow majority of just over 2,000, it is a prime target for the Conservatives.

Debra Lowe, who runs the Falafel Street Kitchen van outside Wakefield Cathedral said there is "mixed feelings" among the customers she'd spoken to about the election.

"When I've asked people who they're going to vote for, a lot of people have said they're not sure," she told presenter Kirsty Wark.

"That never happened before in this area. People knew who they were going to vote for. Wakefield was a Labour stronghold but I'm not picking up on that at all."

A number of people interviewed said they'd been long-term Labour supporters, but were intending to vote Conservative for the first time.

One of Debra's customers said: "It's Conservative this time for me, for the first time in my life. My mum and dad will be turning in their graves, because I've always been a Labour supporter."

Another voter said: "I'll vote Conservative for Brexit and then after that, see where the chips lie."

However, one man said he was voting Labour, adding that "austerity and housing" were two of his biggest concerns.

"Deprivation has increased," he said. "I work in the charitable sector and we work with people in an acute state of crisis. Foodbank use has increased."

Voters will go to the polls next Thursday.

General Election candidates for Wakefield

Imran Nasir Ahmad-Khan, address in Cumbria, The Conservative Party Candidate.

Mary Helen Creagh, address in Wakefield. Labour Party.

Ryan David Kett, address in Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford. Yorkshire Party - Speaking up for Yorkshire.

Jamie Luke Needle, address in Shipley. Liberal Democrats.

Stephen William Whyte, address in Wakefield. Independent.

Peter David Wiltshire, address in Windsor. Brexit Party.

Local Democracy Reporting Service