The man in charge of Labour’s General Election campaign has insisted the party can win seats including Morley and Outwood despite its dire poll ratings.
Andrew Gwynne, the Labour MP for Denton and its national campaign co-ordinator, chose Morley for Labour’s first rally in Yorkshire since Theresa May’s surprise calling of a General Election.
Labour’s loss of Morley and Outwood was one of the key moments of the 2015 General Election when then MP Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor at the time, was unseated by Conservative Andrea Jenkyns.
Current opinion polls suggest Labour is in greater danger of losing seats than winning them on June 8 but Mr Gwynne maintained taking back Morley and Outwood is a realistic target for the party.
He said: “We need to hold and win seats like this in order to form a Labour government and that’s our aim in this. It is to form a Labour government.
“We have a better vision of a Britain that works for the many and not the few and of course that means across the country in seats like this where previously there have been Labour Members of Parliament we need to return Labour Members of Parliament.”
Mr Gwynne admitted Labour might have to devote campaigning resources to try and defend the seats it already holds such as nearby Wakefield where the party had a majority of just over 2,613 in 2015.
He said: “That’s always a consideration in every election, this election isn’t peculiar in that sense.
“We always ensure that both seats we are defending and seats that we seek to gain are well resourced and that is going to be no different in 2017.”
Mr Gwynne pointed to the huge rise in Labour membership as a major strength.