Labour plan to target Dewsbury and Mirfield

TOTTING UP: The Labour Party have made Dewsbury and Mirfield a key election battleground. (d06051111)

TOTTING UP: The Labour Party have made Dewsbury and Mirfield a key election battleground. (d06051111)

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DEWSBURY and Mirfield is set to be a key battleground in the 2015 general election.

The Dewsbury constituency is one of 106 which the Labour Party this week put at the centre of its campaign to win a 60 seat majority.

But the seat is also part of the Conservative Party’s campaign to hold 40 seats and win 40 more.

Dewsbury Constituency Labour Party chairman Mike Greetham said: “We did expect it to be a key seat, but it’s nice the National Executive recognises it. We’re all very excited about being selected as a target.

“We’re keen to select a candidate and get into campaigning as soon as possible. There’s already been one or two enquiries from people, but we have to wait for the go-ahead [to start selections] which we’re expecting very soon.”

The party lost the Dewsbury seat, which includes Mirfield, Denby Dale and Kirkburton, at the last election.

Its candidate, Shahid Malik, was beaten by Tory candidate Simon Reevell who won 18,898 votes – a 1,526 majority.

Mr Reevell, Dewsbury’s third Tory MP in 142 years, said: “I always thought it would be a key battleground and I’m glad it’s a seat that’s going to be hotly contested.

“It’s in our part of West Yorkshire that the next election is going to be defined. There are seats we have to hold such as Dewsbury, and seats we have to win such as Batley and Spen if we are to have a majority.

“I hope it will make people take an interest in the issues. We had a good turnout in 2010 and I think the most important thing as a politician is that you do what you can to get people interested in politics.”

Dewsbury is the 21st seat on Labour’s list. The party needs a swing of 1.4 per cent to Labour.