Barnsley Central

2015 Result:
Conservative: 5485 (15%)
Labour: 20376 (55.7%)
Lib Dem: 770 (2.1%)
Green: 938 (2.6%)
UKIP: 7941 (21.7%)
TUSC: 573 (1.6%)
Others: 477 (1.3%)
MAJORITY: 12435 (34%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

Geography: Yorkshire and the Humber, South Yorkshire. Part of the Barnsley council area.

Main population centres: Barnsley, Monk Bretton, Royston, Darton.

Profile: The constituency includes the centre of Barnsley itself, along with some of the villages to the north such as Monk Bretton, Royston and Darton. Barnsley is a town with a deep industrial heritage, a former coal mining town with all that this implies about strong Labour support..

Politics: This is an ultra-safe Labour seat, along with its predecessor Barnsley it has been held by Labour since 1935, often with truly daunting majorities. In 2010 the Labour MP Eric Illsley was suspended from the Labour party after being charged with false accounting over his claims for MPs allowances. He subsequently pleaded guilty to false accounting and resigned from the Commons. The subsequent by-election was easily won by Labour.

Current MP
DAN JARVIS (Labour) Born 1972, Nottingham. Educated at Aberystwyth University and Sandhurst. Former army officer. First elected as MP for Barnsley Central in 2011 by-election. Awarded a military MBE in 2011.
Past Results
Con: 6388 (17%)
Lab: 17487 (47%)
LDem: 6394 (17%)
BNP: 3307 (9%)
Oth: 3425 (9%)
MAJ: 11093 (30%)
Con: 3813 (13%)
Lab: 17478 (61%)
LDem: 4746 (17%)
BNP: 1403 (5%)
Oth: 1175 (4%)
MAJ: 12732 (44%)
Con: 3608 (13%)
Lab: 19181 (70%)
LDem: 4051 (15%)
Oth: 703 (3%)
MAJ: 15130 (55%)
Con: 3589 (10%)
Lab: 28090 (77%)
LDem: 3481 (10%)
MAJ: 24501 (67%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
DAN JARVIS (Labour) See above.
DAVID RIDGWAY (Liberal Democrat) Kirklees councillor.
IAN SUTTON (English Democrat) Contested Barnsley Central 2010.
Comments - 39 Responses on “Barnsley Central”
  1. 2015 Forecast for Barnsley Central

    Lab 57
    UKIP 17
    Con 12
    BNP 5
    LD 4
    Others 5

    Turnout 53% (-3.5)

  2. I find this type of seat interesting. The labour vote is a whopping 22 points below 1992 – will this type of seat see labour continually doing worse than their national average or will it recover by a above average amount.

    Because of the UKIP intervention, I would think rather worse than average.


    Lab 52
    UKIP 18
    Con 13
    BNP 6
    LD 5
    Green 2

    Oth 4

  3. Obviously we’re talking about nuances here – it’s a very safe Labour seat. I’d personally have thought that A Brown is likely to be closer than Joe here – Jarvis will enjoy a bit of first-time incumbency boost, and the saliency of the expenses issue will be less damaging to Labour than it would have been in the by-election. Also, some of the factors which have weakened Labour in some other coalfield seats – most notably, former pit villages have become rather more favoured as commuting locations, and have thus attracted more Tory-inclined voters – won’t really be present here. This is an almost entirely urban seat, and there are very, very few middle-class enclaves in it. Labour shouldn’t therefore poll much lower a share of the vote than in the by-election.

  4. LAB HOLD MAJ : 37%
    LAB 51
    CON 14
    UKIP 12
    LD 12
    OTH 9
    GRN 2

  5. If the BNP really do get 6% here it will probably be their best seat.

  6. I’m in serious doubt that the BNP will actually stand in many areas at all. I heard that they have a budget of no more than £7000 for the next election. But presuming they do….

    Lab- 44%
    UKIP- 28%
    Con- 15%
    Lib- 6%
    Green- 4%
    BNP- 3%
    TUSC- 2%
    English Democrats- 1%

    Given the rise of UKIP, the greens, Labour’s unpopularity in WWC areas, the fact the the TUSC and the English democrats are definitely standing here… I struggle to agree with the claim that the Labour vote will increase, nevermind by 10+ points…

  7. David Ridgway is the Lib Dem candidate.

  8. Roy Mason has died, 2 days after his 91st birthday.

  9. Labour Hold. 15,000 majority.

  10. Something like..

    Labour: 55%
    UKIP: 22%
    Conservative: 14%
    Liberal Democrat: 6%
    Others: 3%

  11. Dan Jarvis is already being talked about as a potential leader. Compared to other names like Umunna or Hunt, he might be their best bet. As a former serviceman, Labour’s critics have much less to attack him on.

    Burnham is another possibility but his time as Health Secretary will continue to be brought up to haunt him. Especially where Labour talks a lot about the NHS.

    Yvette Cooper might be the most likely female leader if there is one. Louise Mensch (hardly an authority but still) has often spoken favourably of Cooper when asked about women in politics.

  12. You’re right Neil! I’ve now decided that Jarvis is the only person that can save Labour from terminal decline.

  13. “Dan Jarvis is already being talked about as a potential leader. Compared to other names like Umunna or Hunt, he might be their best bet. As a former serviceman, Labour’s critics have much less to attack him on.”

    I remember when the Tories thought only a military man could save them (IDS)

  14. Stella Creasy would be another good choice.

  15. Reports were that JARVIS was on the front row of seats at EAGLEs launch.

    Is it likely he’ll enter by next Wednesday? (And she pull out)

    He’s not said a lot recently but he did make a major speech when in March he set out his vision for Labour, concentrating mainly on economic issues.

    I have not heard him in the Commons but there are reports of the place falling silent when he rises.

    Him being leader may muffle the Iraq debate/Chilcot difficulties for Labour.

    Do the PLP / moderates think he can defeat CORBYN though?

  16. The PLP need to win this contest and that means there is an acceptance that they have to compromise on candidates and go for someone/perhaps two people if the Smith entry rumours are correct sufficiently far to the left to win back some 2015 Corbyn voters. That isn’t Dan Jarvis.

  17. Has Jarvis said or done anything in politics of note ?

    Or is he still relying only on his former employment as a feature ?

    I can remember when Eric Joyce was said to have a big political future for the same reason.

  18. “(…someone) sufficiently far to the left to win back some 2015 Corbyn voters. That isn’t Dan Jarvis.” Good point. Sir Keir Starmer?

  19. What you said, mainly (though to be fair he is a good speaker; one of the first signs that things were going wrong for the leadership candidates except Corbyn last year was when Jarvis got a bigger applause than Cooper/Burnham/Kendall at the Progress conference).

    Same goes for the ramping of Sir Kier Starmer – again largely due to his former employment rather than his attributes as an MP.

  20. I think Owen Smith would be good – he has some Kinnock-like qualities (not just being Welsh) which is probably what is needed. But there is a big clamour among Labour moderates for a female leader so it may be that he struggles to win support from enough MPs. We’ll see.

  21. It’s counter productive to have more than just one Anyone But Corbyn candidate. As with the leadership race, having multiple contenders will only split that section of the vote.

    I don’t know much about Owen Smith, but if he’s got more presence than Angela Eagle, maybe he’s better positioned as a unity candidate.

  22. Not necessarily counter-productive with the voting method used.

  23. The last YouGov poll showed Corbyn at 50% among. Unless something changes I’m not sure it would go to another round and if it did I doubt Corbyn would need many second preferences.

  24. Gove would have taken a significant amount of Boris’s support with him. The likes of Nick Boles and Ed Vaizey, and plenty of others too, only supported Boris because of Gove. Not sure how much support that would have left Boris with, especially facing somebody like Gove saying he’s not up to the job of PM.

    If Gove hadn’t knifed Boris and gone ahead with the joint bid I imagine they’d have managed to get similar levels of support to May, with the two well clear of the rest of the field whether or not Leadsom decided to run.

  25. ‘The likes of Nick Boles and Ed Vaizey, and plenty of others too, only supported Boris because of Gove’

    It’s funny that the likes of Boles and Vaizey – who in many ways are on the far Left of the party – would back a right-wing radical like Gove

    I think without the treachery, a Gove/Johnson ticket would have certainly made the final two – although I think doubts about Johnson’s suitability to being PM would dominate the campaign, and would help May edge ahead – as would Gove’s unpopularity and with the public at large that could never respect such a man

  26. Dan Jarvis has said he’s outraged that there was merchandise on sale at the alternative Momentum conference in Liverpool which mocked injured British troops.

    “It is totally unacceptable and I say that as someone who has served, unlike those at the Momentum venue.”

  27. I do wonder what Major Jarvis expects from a London trot-run Labour party. Is he just very naive?

  28. The problem with these kind of comments is that, even though I’m sure Mr Jarvis does feel rather insulted by the merchandise, it comes across as nothing more than yet another pop at Corbyn in a long-running war of attrition.

    If Clive Lewis made similar comments they would have far greater impact.

  29. Major Jarvis might have gone a long way in the Labourn Party, in say 1945.

  30. Rockingham Ward By-election, 14.12.17:

    Labour 938 67% (-10%)

    Cons 272 19% (+7%)

    LD 199 14%

  31. Dan Jarvis has announced that he will seek the Labour nomination for Metro Mayor of South Yorks.

  32. Probably a good career move if he gets it. He’s a talented MP but the political weather is pretty bleak for him at Westminster.

  33. I do hope that they can get this ‘one Yorkshire’ deal through, rather than the city regions.

    Hopefully a regional assembly too elected by PR, and a reduction in the number of councils…

  34. Given the Labour candidate is all but guaranteed a win, I find this Labour selection very interesting.

    Richard Caborn is well known and well liked, but has been out of the spotlight since 2010 and is getting on a bit.

    Ben Curran is quite well known in Sheffield Labour circles (he famously timed a very well publicised defection from the Lib Dems to coincide with their 2010 conference). But I’m not sure of his profile in the rest of South Yorkshire, and only being a Councillor rather than an MP may disadvantage him in the eyes of the press.

    As for Jarvis, his main issue is he’s been talked up to a degree he’ll probably find difficult to meet – but he’s probably the best known name among the younger generation, so who knows.

    Thus far there’s no real Corbyn candidate so that dynamic doesn’t enter things.

  35. Old Town Ward by-election, 12.07.18:

    Labour 548 44% (down 6%)
    Democrats & Veterans 338 27% (up 27%)
    Conservative 157 13% (down 2%)
    LD 124
    Yorkshire 47
    BNP 25

  36. Lewis Goodall of Sky News reporting he received a text from Labour source in Barnsley saying that local party figures are getting worried they’re losing a significant tranche of votes to the Brexit party in here and in Barnsley East and the seats are at risk while resources are still being pumped into Penistone and Stocksbridge.

  37. Len McCluskey has sent an email out to voters here and in east Local Labour MPs and councillors were out in force campaigning.
    Brexit Party being seen as the Threat.

  38. Sam Freedman ‘I keep hearing that Labour are genuinely worried about losing Barnsley Central to BXP and have a big GOTV operation planned. Would be utterly remarkable.’

  39. A plot of land called ‘Penny Pie Park’ is apparently the big local issue here and Labour is being blamed by Barnsley residents over it.

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)