General Election 2024: Mansfield Profile

By Jamie Waller, Local Democracy Reporter

If Labour is on the path back to government, as many in the party hope, that road will almost certainly run through Mansfield.

The constituency was a key brick in Labour’s so-called Red Wall, voting for the party without fail for nearly 100 years.

Then it turned to the Conservatives when Ben Bradley narrowly captured the seat in 2017, and won re-election in 2019 with a huge 16,000 vote majority.

It is being viewed as a battleground seat this election with the Tories looking to retain control while Labour mount a challenge to retake it.

Results in 2019 – Conservative HOLD – Ben Bradley

Turnout: 63.9 per cent

Electorate: 77,131

Majority: 16,306

Constituency boundary

The 2024 Mansfield constituency (Source: Ordnance Survey)

Questioning the candidates

Zen Bilas – Independent

Zen Bilas, Independent candidate in Mansfield

Why should people vote for you for MP?

“You need a doctor in Parliament. The midwifery scandal is a matter of medicine which barristers and solicitors don’t understand. Once we have no antibiotics working, we will have no invasive surgery and there will be mass unemployment within the National Health Service. There will be an exponential rise in deaths. You need a doctor to solve the problems.”

What is the most important issue in Mansfield?

“If we ensure that no mum requires an episiotomy (a surgical procedure) during childbirth that allows infection in, we don’t use antibiotics and we keep most of our population in employment. I would also like to see more new green homes. I would like to see trees pruned Bonsai-style to a height of ten feet – more jobs for men, less for machines. Keep those trees trimmed every spring so they don’t lift the tarmac and invade the foundations.”

What has Mansfield most got going for it?

“It’s the history – for example the chapel floor where James I worshipped in Old Clipston. I would hope that more tourists could visit and walk back in time to 1702. He translated the Bible to English. It would be nice to be highlighted and put on the tourist trail so more people who are interested in monarchy and religion could visit. Visitors from as far as New York can come and put dollars into the economy.”

Ben Bradley – Conservative

Ben Bradley, Conservative candidate in Mansfield

Why should people vote for you for MP?

“We’ve delivered a huge amount with record investment in Mansfield –new Community Diagnostic Centres, schools rebuilds, a new university campus. We’ve got more to do, delivering visible change in the town and getting funding for the roads, and I’ve been a strong voice for Mansfield. We’ve had influence and clout in Westminster, and that needs to carry on.”

What is the most important issue in Mansfield?

“There are a number of challenges, not least the long-term stuff like health, job opportunities, education. We’ve begun to make real progress. The thing that residents contact me now about are regeneration in the town centre, investing in the roads and pavements. We need to deliver on the long-term issues that are in the pipeline, and focus on new issues.”

What has Mansfield most got going for it?

“This place is wonderful – it has the best work life balance of anywhere in the country. It’s a market town where you can walk into the town centre or the middle of Sherwood Forest. Lots of people around the country are desperately seeking that. There are beautiful heritage buildings in the town centre, and so much potential.”

Philip Shields – Green

Philip Shields, Green candidate in Mansfield

Why should people vote for you for MP?

“It’s the first opportunity that Mansfield’s had to vote for the Green party. Everyone’s kicking off about environmental issues- the green party has been doing that for ever and a day. The main parties seem to be picking up on it now but the Green party are the ones to go with. On the street speaking with voters, it comes up top every time.”

What is the most important issue in Mansfield?

“Potholes comes up all the time. People blame Nottinghamshire County Council. It’s time there was scrutiny about how the potholes are fixed.”

What has Mansfield most got going for it?

“It’s youth, it’s open, and it’s cheap for investors to come into compared to other places. It’s just getting those businesses to come in. To help young people, we want to increase minimum wage to £15 across the board, starting from 16-year-olds. Businesses will complain but there’s ways to offset it, and it gives young people money in their pocket to spend in Mansfield.”

Steve Yemm – Labour

Steve Yemm, Labour candidate in Mansfield

Why should people vote for you for MP?

“I was born here, my dad was a coalface worker and my mum was a dinner-lady. I’ve lived her all my life. I will be the full-time Member of Parliament. If we’re going to have a Labour government, I want to make sure they deliver for the people of Mansfield.”

What is the most important issue in Mansfield?

“There are a lot – everything from better jobs, getting the economy back on its feet, and not being able to see a GP or dentist. In this marketplace, it’s anti-social behaviour and regeneration. We also need to get our roads in a decent condition.”

What has Mansfield most got going for it?

“It’s a fantastic place. It’s such an ambitious place that’s been held back by 14 years of Tory government. I want to be that full-time, local hard-working MP that gives people here the opportunities they deserve to get on in life. We want to put Mansfield back on the map and give people their future back.”

Karen Seymour – Trade Union and Socialist Coalition

Karen Seymour, TUSC candidate in Mansfield

Why should people vote for you for MP?

“The TUSC is the only party that’s one hundred per cent anti-austerity and anti-cuts to jobs and services. We think they are cuts to people’s standards of living. I see this all the time in Mansfield where I work.”

What is the most important issue in Mansfield?

“Housing is very important. There’s an estate where only ten per cent are affordable rents and the developer makes millions of pounds each year. The NHS is also very important. I’ve been supporting cleaners and porters who earn only a penny over minimum wage, which is scandalous.”

What has Mansfield most got going for it?

“The people are fabulous. They will help you when you need it. It’s a really good place to live. There’s a real community spirit.”

Wesley Milligan 

A statement on Wesley Milligan’s website says:

“I’m standing as an independent to be the MP for Mansfield on July 4 because I want to help lead my hometown to a brighter future. Like many ex-mining towns, Mansfield has suffered at the hands of a government who do not care. Mansfield is a poor area and the quality of life is generally low. But having been born and raised in the town, I know we have huge potential. We can do so much more.

“Mansfield Deserves Better. Every young person in Mansfield deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential. Every resident deserves to enjoy a high quality of life, and Mansfield deserves a town centre that isn’t falling to pieces. We need an MP who will build up new industries in the town, whilst also holding parliament to account.”

Peter Michael James Dean (The Socialist Labour Party), Matt Warnes (Reform) and Michael Wyatt (Lib Dem) are also standing in the seat. 

They were either unable to attend the interviews or didn’t respond, and haven’t sent a written statement.

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