Election 24

Richmond and Northallerton: Can Rishi Sunak hold on in his North Yorkshire constituency?

Two hours north of Manchester, prime minister Rishi Sunak is fighting to defend his seat against 12 rival candidates in his Richmond and Northallerton constituency.

Who is standing?

The lure of unseating a serving Prime Minister for the first time in history has drawn 12 rival candidates to the ballot for Richmond and Northallerton.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s biggest threat comes from Labour’s Tom Wilson, an NHS worker born and raised in the constituency, with Reform UK candidate Lee Martin Taylor predicted to take third place at the polls.

Alongside representatives of the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party, the potential to overthrow a traditionally safe Tory seat has attracted some unlikely names including satirical candidate Count Binface, who also ran against Boris Johnson in the 2019 election.

Among the four independent candidates is Niko Omilana, a YouTube star known for his large-scale pranks. Omilana’s name is on the ballot in 11 constituencies across the country, a move that has prompted investigation for potential violation of Electoral Commission rules.

Voting history

Richmond and Northallerton is a new constituency, created after boundaries were reviewed in 2023. Previously Richmond (Yorks), the area has been considered the safest Conservative seat in the country, held by the party since 1910 and famously achieving the largest majority for a Conservative at the 2010 election when William Hague took 62.8% of the vote.

The constituency is part of the newly formed York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority which elected its first mayor earlier this year.

Despite over a century of unwavering support from Tory voters, a recent Survation poll suggested Sunak is only 11 points ahead of his Labour rival, a dramatic drop from his 47-point lead at the last election, when Labour failed to return a single MP in North Yorkshire.

What are the main challenges for Rishi Sunak?

If Sunak loses on 4 July, he will be the first serving Prime Minister to ever lose his seat, a scenario which the Conservatives have allegedly dealt with by diverting substantial campaign resources to the constituency to prevent a Labour victory.

The recent outrage following Sunak’s early departure from D-Day commemorations could be particularly significant for local voters, as his constituency includes Catterick Garrison, the largest British army garrison in the world.

The key issues in Richmond and Northallerton reflect those nationwide, with surveys citing the NHS and the cost of living as the biggest concerns for voters.

How to vote

Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm on Thursday 4 July, with results expected the next day. To find your local polling station, enter your postcode at Where Do I Vote.

In order to vote you must be:

  • Over 18 years old
  • A British, Irish, Commonwealth or EU Citizen living in the UK.
  • A British citizen living overseas who has resided in the UK within the previous 15 years

Constituency boundaries have changed since the last election, so it is important to check your postcode on an election map if you are unsure of which constituency you live in.

Voters will also need to bring a valid form of photo ID.

Image credit: Ian Capper / Northallerton Town Hall / CC

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