A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Friday, March 04, 2011

Barnsley Central clobbers the Coalition

The voters of Barnsley Central Central gave the Coalition a drubbing in the polls yesterday. Not so much by the fact that they voted in a neatly turned out ex-soldier, but by the sheer weight of their indolence. The Apathy Party took over and seduced them. Those that did turn out did so for a variety of reasons. Those that actively voted Labour wanted to clobber the government for the perceived cuts. They had conveniently forgotten the election of last year and the previous years of Labour profligacy. Or more accurately, forgot about the consequences.

It used to be said of those in West Riding Yorkshire that they had thick soles and thin uppers. The fact that they voted Labour yesterday is neither here nor there. The real interest is in the opposition to Labour in this constituency. Almost 9,500 people voted against Labour but were split eight ways. Seasoned commentators are saying that the LibDems have lost much because of their participation in the Coalition. Dominic Carmen lost his deposit. But he only lost the battle, not the war. I don't think the LibDems will lose much here. I think the greater losers are the Conservatives. They have a grinning Nigel Farage to contend with. He could do far more harm. This is a good result for him and UKIP. They got a good lead over the Conservative to come in second. If UKIP can sustain by-election success, then they could do to the Tories what the SDP did to Labour in the early Eighties. Defecting MPs, dwindling membership - it's a bigger problem than that for the LibDems.

The LibDem leadership is firm in its resolve. It is also in a no lose situation as the tail wagging the dog. If they do badly as yesterday, they can force the Tories to accept more liberal stuff. If they do well, they can take the credit for taking tough decisions for the betterment of the country. But if the LibDems get more say, it is likely that Tory MPs will mutter in front of their hands and maybe go off for more cosy chats with Farage. UKIP's leadership knows that it needs to unsettle MPs. Forget Rumpy Pumpy and his Eurocrats. It's votes for Westminster that count and UKIP counted 954 more than the Tories! And couldn't just one more have voted Tory to make the 2,000?

UKIP have also won on another front. They have seen off the BNP as a repository for right and centre disenchantment. This was supposed to be the big one for the BNP. No wonder they fancy regional lists. Just getting 5% plus would be OK.

And finally, as they say, a word for Tony Devoy. It's not easy being an independent but he succeeded in saving his deposit. He should not feel dejected. Who knows, if Dan Jarvis trips up, he might get to give Barnsley Central real Labour instead of the fake stuff.

The Result

Dan Jarvis (Lab) 14,724    60.79%
Jane Collins (UKIP) 2,953    12.19%
James Hockney (C) 1,999    8.25%
Enis Dalton (BNP) 1,463     6.04%
Tony Devoy (Ind) 1,266     5.23%
Dominic Carman (LD) 1,012     4.18%
Kevin Riddiough (Eng Dem) 544     2.25%
Howling Laud Hope (Loony) 198     0.82%
Michael Val Davies (Ind) 60     0.25%

Labour Majority 11,771


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