The success of Labour’s Dan Jarvis at yesterday’s Barnsley Central election was of little surprise, although their increased share of the vote [up 13.5% to 60.8%] was perhaps more than the Labour Party leadership had expected. However, from the point of view of those who wish us to withdraw from the EU, seeing UKIP’s candidate, Jane Collins, taking second place with a 12.2% of the vote [up nearly 8% to 12.2%] was heartening.
Clearly, the biggest losers of the night were the Liberal Democrats whose candidate, Dominic Carman, lost more than three quarters of his party’s share of the vote [down 13.1% to 4.2%]. This categoric rejection must leave their party’s leadership reflecting on their hasty decision to shift the Party from left, to right of center to accommodate the ambitions of Cameron and the Tory Party. It is likely that this shift offended more than half of the Party membership, who up until then, had considered themselves left wingers.
Not only did this shift create greater competition on the right, but also abandoned the left to the hugely discredited Labour Party, who, after their record in government and results at the General Election still less than a year ago, must be pinching themselves to make sure they are not dreaming that such an undeserved swing in fortune has occurred so soon.
The Tory Party’s candidate, James Hockney, lost more than half his Party’s share of the vote [down 9% to 8.3%] which might not concern Cameron too much as Barnsley is clearly not the Conservatives natural territory and the harsh cuts in government spending are seen more as their rather than the Lib/Dems. Nevertheless, he must be reflecting on the electorate’s short-term memory, who seem to have forgotten that it was Labour who left the Nation with record debts and the need for any cuts can be laid firmly at their door.
All-in-all a bad night for the Coalition who are aware that the impact of any cuts to date are meagre compared to what is ahead.
The full results were:
Dan Jarvis (Lab) 14,724 (60.80%, +13.53%)
Jane Collins (Ukip) 2,953 (12.19%, +7.53%)
James Hockney (C) 1,999 (8.25%, -9.01%)
Enis Dalton (BNP) 1,463 (6.04%, -2.90%)
Tony Devoy (Ind) 1,266 (5.23%, +3.58%)
Dominic Carman (LD) 1,012 (4.18%, -13.10%)
Kevin Riddiough (Eng Dem) 544 (2.25%)
Howling Laud Hope (Loony) 198 (0.82%)
Michael Val Davies (Ind) 60 (0.25%)