Political Promise

Barnsley By-Election Results

In Newswire on March 4, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Dan Jarvis, former paratrooper and Labour candidate for Barnsley Central won the by-election last night with 61% of the vote.

Result from Barnsley Central By-election 3rd March 2011:

Dan Jarvis (Lab) 14,724

Jane Collins (UKIP) 2,953

James Hockney (Con) 1,999

Enis Dalton (BNP) 1,463

Tony Devoy (Ind) 1,266

Dominic Carman (Lib) 1,012

Turnout: 24,252 (37.0%)

At around 1am the result was announced that Dan Jarvis would become the new MP for Barnsley Central. With the coalition parties is 3rd and 6th place in the polling, it was deemed an embarrassing night for the government. Guido Fawkes reported it as the “Barnsley bombshell“.

By-elections are often seen as a litmus test of the governing party, and no governing party have gained a seat in a by-election since Thatcher’s Conservatives. Many saw the UK Independence Party’s polling as the real surprise of the night. Darrell Goodliffe wrote on Labour List this morning: “One of the things that struck me immediately was the overtly dismissive reaction to this result. On the BBC they brushed UKIP’s performance aside saying essentially they had been the incidental beneficiaries of lacklustre Conservative and Liberal Democrat campaigns. We underestimate UKIP at our peril.”

Turnout was typically low for a by-election, which was brought about by the resignation of sitting MP Eric Illsley’s fraudulent expenses claims.

WATCH Nick Clegg saying the election was tough for anyone non-Labour

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  1. One of the factors which I believe is decisive for the whole political class is the undeniably low turn-out which should induce many politicians to initiate a serious refection on the phenomenon. Regardless of Labour’s success personalized by Dan Jarvis’s election; there are no winners or loosers. The conservatives and Liberal-Democrats have paid the some-what traditional price of been the current governing parties. Labour on the other hand has won more votes mainly because it is the only main opposition party. I would like to expand on this and remind the reader that for the last 2 decades the UK has always had one dominant party in government and 2 dominant opposition forces. Let’s just say Labour has also had the luck to gain more votes for representing the only alternative.
    What is also quite astonishing is the collapse of the Liberal-Democrats which has been advocated by some commentators and confirmed by recent polls; however arrving 6th is abviously a symptom of bad health which the lib-dem’s leadership must take action upon. Nick Clegg’s self-justified comment concerning the difficulty every party had against Labour could not have been so unrealistic; why it was diffcult he failed to explain and let’s remember that Labour lost the last General Elections so in theory it should still be picking up the pieces of the defeat but Clegg speaks of it like Labour is a powerful un-stopable force. Theory is often minor in politics but making comments without foundations is something which could lead to a political downfall.
    The expenses scandal which has hit more or less the mainstream parties, seem, at least in relation to this by-election, to have hit the Tories and their unfortunate coalition partner. A by-election is a by-eletion and let’s not forget this, however the political class does not need to underestimate the minor frictions which effects it and that the electorate is becoming more and more volatile or not volatile at all by not voting.
    ”Writer Application”

  2. […] this link: Barnsley By-Election Results « Political Promise Share and […]

  3. Is this, as Carlo states above, a sign of the coming collapse of the Liberal Democrats? I think not. The party is not in “bad health”, far from it. One by-election is simply that, one by-election. Labour were always going to be strong and their victory surprised nobody. Was sixth place disappointing? Of course. But it is an attack on the coalition, rather than the LibDems themselves – and let’s not forget that it is the Conservatives shifting the blame onto their junior partners for Coalition actions that are not well-received. The Lib Dems historically have always performed excellently in by-elections. That they happened to have lost this one should under no circumstances be viewed as the Yellow Apocalypse. No-one knows what the next one will hold.

    Neither should this result be seen as a ‘victory for UKIP’, as leader Nigel Farage has been claiming. Quite apart from the fact that a second place cannot rightly be called a victory, this is a unique result that bears little correlation to the rest of the country. Farage himself still lacks a seat in Westminster. When a party leader – ostensibly the absolute best candidate your party has to offer – cannot win, it casts none of the colleagues in a good light. And his desire to be seen as the Third Party in politics on the basis of one by-election when they are still over 20% behind the LibDems nationally is just arrogance.

    So that is Barnsley in a nutshell – unsurprising result, disappointing Lib Dem showing, massive self-aggrondisement by UKIP and the BNP. Will it be a microcosm of future contests across the UK? Only time will tell.

    “Writer’s Application.”

  4. As is so often the case with by-elections in the United Kingdom, this one has been overstated, overhyped and overanalysed. Journalists and commentators alike seem unable to contain their surprise and glee at what strike me as the three most obvious and predictable consequences of the so-called battle for Barnsley.

    Firstly, that Labour won. The denizens of the left are trumpeting this victory as a damning indictment of the Coalition‘s Economic Policy; seemingly oblivious to the fact that their party has actually lost votes since the General Election in 2010. Although their vote share has increased due to the poor turnout, the reality is that almost three thousand less people turned out to case their support for the red rose than ten months ago. Whether you attribute this to the scandal surrounding Eric Illsley, or to voter apathy in general, the fact remains that holding onto a seat you’ve had since before the Second World War is really nothing to write home about.

    Secondly, the disastrous showing of the Liberal Democrats, knocked down to sixth place and deprived of their £500 deposit, has set tongues wagging. “Is this the end for Clegg?” asked the Daily Mirror, whilst simultaneously touting rumours of a planned leadership coup. The Barnsley result was embarrassing for them, nobody doubts that, but I knew long before Friday morning that Clegg and his ilk were in hot water. Their flagging performance in the polls has been rammed down our throats at every opportunity, and the disillusionment of grassroots activists and the party left has been visible throughout the blogosphere and beyond. Whatever the results of this election, Nick Clegg was always going to face difficult questions and a frosty atmosphere at his upcoming party conferences. If a week is a long time in politics, then four years is even longer, and I suspect that Clegg and his cronies will be able to tough it out for at least a little longer.

    And last but not least, we have UKIP knocking the Conservatives into third place. Nigel Farage was high as a kite as he held court at the UKIP Conference in Scarborough, and today’s news media reports him as ‘buoyantly’ declaring his ambition to become the ‘third force’ in UK politics. Steady on, Nigel. The Conservatives are a party which has made destroying itself over Europe into something of a pastime. Europe related squabbling was one of the defining features which brought Maggie’s reign to a premature close, and the party in-fighting which culminated in the Maastricht Rebellion is commonly seen as one of the factors which made the party unelectable and led the Blairite revolution to sweep to power in 1997. Over a decade later, and not much has changed. Bill Cash, the same man who led the Maastricht Rebels all those years ago, recently published an article slating the government’s European policy on ConservativeHome; the site purported to represent Tory grassroots opinion. UKIP’s success isn’t a punch in the face to Call-Me-Dave; it means what it always does, which is that many voters are concerned that the political immigration is soft on immigration and soft on Europe. Indeed, the same can be said of the BNP making fourth place. Quite honestly, that wasn’t news to me.

    So there we have it. The events which transpired in Barnsley Central give none of the main parties cause to celebrate, but I don’t think they should be beating themselves up too much either. It’s too early into this government to draw fanciful conclusions about how the Coalition is about to fall apart, how Nick Clegg faces an imminent political asssassination, how Labour are on the up again or how UKIP going to be the next big thing. This By-Election follows the same trends as other By-Elections; fringe parties doing well, government vote share decreasing and much ado, as they say, about nothing. We’d all do well to take these conclusions with a pinch of salt and move on, and not to treat them as the be all end all.

  5. Sorry, I forgot to include ‘WRITER APPLICATION’ at the end of that last comment. If whoever is moderating could add that, or tell me if I need to repost with it included, then that’d be greatly appreciated.

  6. […] was speaking after the recent Barnsley by-election. And yes, the result saw UKIP make a comfortable second place over the Conservatives. But to hear […]

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