Barnsley Central by-election – Shock?

Official logo of Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley
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Some unwelcome and disappointing numbers involved perhaps… When it came to the vote count for some candidates however; the overall result of the Barnsley Central by-election is hardly a surprise.

Barnsley is one of those UK wards where the majority of the electorate are ‘red or dead’, one of those places where you can ask “so why did you vote labour” and the reply will be… “Always have, always will, my father did and his father before him!”

The Independent: Lib Dems humiliated as Labour wins by-election – The coalition was dealt a major by-election blow today as the Liberal Democrats finished a woeful sixth place and the Tories were overtaken by the UK Independence Party… (Read more)

You can try to discus the issues that helped the voter formulate his/her choice or expand on their reasoning and all you’ll get is; “I’ve just bloody told you, are you thick or summat?” It’s always been that way and likely to remain so…

Dr Ashton’s Politics Blog: Last nights by-election result in Barnsley shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone. The victory of Dan Jarvis was a forgone conclusion as Barnsley has been a safe Labour seat for years, and short of a minor miracle he always going to win it. Of more interest was the big drop in turnout and the disastrous performance of the Liberal Democrat candidate… (Read more)

When a large proportion of the electorate forms their opinion from The Sun, The Mirror or maybe The Daily Mail headlines, it’s not surprising I suppose. What is surprising is how even the newspaper, supposedly ‘free from party political bias’ manages to spin up a story from a non event but hey, that’s British journalism for you I suppose? The one line from the report in The Independent that summed things up succinctly for me was…

“But perhaps the biggest story is that 70% of people didn’t think it was worth bothering.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve known and worked with some lovely people from Barnsley in the past however; many are indicative of our British political and election process, sheep who simply follow without informed and/or educated reason. A fact that many of our politicians actually rely upon!

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