What you need to know about the Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency

For the very first time the Harrogate Advertiser can profile the election landscape for the Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency.

Historically the constituency has seen the Lib Dems and Conservatives battle for the seat and in 2010 Conservative Andrew Jones won by just two per cent of the vote.

Harrogate view from Crescent Gardens

Harrogate view from Crescent Gardens

It was the narrowest victory in the history of the constituency and just 1,039 votes tipped the balance of power between the Conservative and his Lib Dem rival.

The momentous 9.1 per cent swing saw the Tories retake the seat after more than 13 years.

Harrogate was under Conservative control for more than 80 years before Phil Willis secured a landslide victory in 1997. He famously trounced the Conservative favourite, former Chancellor Norman Lamont, with a majority of more than 6,000.

The popular MP, now Lord Willis of Knaresborough, secured two further victories over the Conservatives in 2001 and 2005.

Turnout at the 2010 election was 71.2 per cent - compared to the national average of 65.1 per cent. It was the highest turnout since retiring Lord Willis was elected in 1997. A total of 53,226 votes were cast, including 13,236 by post, out of an electorate of 74,760.

Facts and figures:

2010 turnout: 71%, 53,134 votes were cast

Harrogate and Knaresborough 69.8% of the population are employed

46.6% of Harrogate and Knaresborough workers are in management or Professional roles

9.3% work in care or service industry

Average resident earns £488.4 per week

Health: 84% of the population are in very good or good health

2010 Result:

Conservative: 24305 (45.7%)

Labour: 3413 (6.4%)

Lib Dem: 23266 (43.8%)

BNP: 1094 (2.1%)

UKIP: 1056 (2%)

MAJORITY: 1039 (2%)

Swing 9.1%

2005 results:

Con: 13684 (32%)

Lab: 3627 (8%)

LDem: 24113 (56%)

UKIP: 845 (2%)

Oth: 589 (1%)

MAJ: 10429 (24%)

Age of the population

Total: 101,334

0 to 15 18,262 18.0%

16 to 24 9,504 9.4%

25 to 44 26,141 25.8%

45 to 64 27,889 27.5%

65 and older 19,538 19.3%

Home ownership 44,001 households

Owned outright 15,934 36.2%

Owned with a mortgage or loan 15,401 35.0%

Shared ownership (part owned & rented) 273 0.6%

Social rented/Local Authority 4.033 9.2%

Private rented 7,800 17.7%

Living rent free 560 1.3%

Employment

Part time 15.1%

Full time 42.4%

self employed 11.6%

Unemployed 2.8%

Student 6.1%

Retired 14.9%

Sick/disabled 2.5%

Not in work 4.6%