2015 Result:
Conservative: 15122 (30.7%)
Labour: 23965 (48.6%)
Lib Dem: 1331 (2.7%)
Green: 1006 (2%)
UKIP: 7865 (16%)
MAJORITY: 8843 (17.9%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

Geography: East Midlands, Nottinghamshire. Part of the Bassetlaw council area.

Main population centres: Retford, Worksop, Harworth, Misterton, Carlton in Lindrick, Langold, Beckingham, Walkeringham.

Profile: The northern part of Nottinghamshire, the seat consists of the towns of Worksop and Retford and several small villages. Retford is a traditional market town, Worksop and the surrounding villages a former coal mining area that has suffered economic difficulties since the decline of the industry, including problems with heroin addiction. Major employers include Wilkinsons and Premier Foods, which produce Oxo in Worksop..

Politics: There is significant Conservative strength on Bassetlaw council (they had overall control of the council until 2011), but the Bassetlaw constituency is safely Labour, held by the party since before the Second World War.

Current MP
JOHN MANN (Labour) Born 1960, Leeds. Educated at Bradford Grammar School and Manchester University. Former trade union officer. Lambeth councillor 1986-1990. First elected as MP for Bassetlaw in 2001. PPS to Richard Caborn 2005-2007, PPS to Tessa Jowell 2007-2010.
Past Results
Con: 16803 (34%)
Lab: 25018 (50%)
LDem: 5570 (11%)
UKIP: 1779 (4%)
Oth: 407 (1%)
MAJ: 8215 (17%)
Con: 12010 (30%)
Lab: 22847 (57%)
LDem: 5485 (14%)
MAJ: 10837 (27%)
Con: 11758 (30%)
Lab: 21506 (55%)
LDem: 4942 (13%)
Oth: 689 (2%)
MAJ: 9748 (25%)
Con: 11838 (25%)
Lab: 29298 (61%)
LDem: 4950 (10%)
MAJ: 17460 (36%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
SARAH DOWNES (Conservative)
JOHN MANN (Labour) See above.
LEON DUVEEN (Liberal Democrat)
Comments - 199 Responses on “Bassetlaw”
  1. ‘Plus plenty of bonkers candidates from both main parties.’

    Such as?

  2. Some things I’m looking out for.

    Tories: gay cure advocates, climate change deniers, Islamophobes, disaster capitalists, Anne Widdecombe tribute acts, Darren Grimes

    Labour: anti-Semites, anti-vaxxers, MMTers, Assad apologists, anyone calling themselves “intersectional”, Aaron Bastani

    Both: Putin defenders (the most bipartisan form of crankery)

  3. Bound to get plenty of them – sitting mp’s cover many of the categories already.

  4. There are a lot of anti-vaxxers on the nationalist right, indeed they were a key constituency for Trump, as well as on the hippie left. Sadly many people who are sane in other respects also hold determined anti-vax views, including my lovely Italian neighbour, much to the frustration of her Brit husband.

  5. I can imagine a whole host of unpleasant people would want to associate themselves with extremists like Johnson and Corbyn

    But surely they are outnumbered by a greater, albeit quieter amount, who wouldn’t want to

  6. Anti vax is quite mainstream in Italy and a lot of the current collapsing government are Anti-vax

  7. If you dare tiptoe into a Mums’ facebook group there’s nothing gets them going like an anti vaxxer in their midst.

  8. PT – Grimes was UKIP then Brexit Party.

    Re wacky Labour PPCs: most of them appear on the paper reviews in August – when regulars are away on holiday – from Ash to some other anti-racism, ‘community campaigner’ whose name has changed twice.

    I agree that anti-vaxxers per se tend to be on the libertarian Right, although in Merseyside they tend to be from the religious (RC) Left. But tbf to them with some good reason to be suspicious, given the culture of secrecy in the NHS. When I was first a trainee journalist, both Alder Hey & Lpool Uni denied that they had been storing babies’ body parts. They continued to do so for a decade and the Dr who acted unlawfully was never even prosecuted.

    Add to that 120 other medics [who have committed ‘never acts’ such as giving a vasectomy to the wrong man], the Lpool Care Pathway, Thalidomide, Primados, Finasteride, the blood infection scandal etc, I’m frankly surprised that there aren’t more anti-vaxxers here. I think it’s a mixture of the elderly being deferential towards medics and of course those who have died due to medical negligence can hardly complain! Even today, Trusts continue to effectively rate themselves – by surveying well patients – as opposed to those in intensive care due to contracting sepsis from a dirty ward.

    I realise due to my job I am probably more aware of clinical negligence cases than the public and I’m not an anti-vaxxer – although personally I think the number of jabs is OTT, given that those aged 40+ grew up catching most of these things with no lasting ill effects.

  9. John Mann is standing down to take up a Govt appointment.

    He’s said that he can’t lie to voters and tell them to vote Labour as he doesn’t think it’s appropriate for Corbyn to be PM.

  10. Not surprised, though isn’t it possible to do this kind of thing while remaining an MP. IIRC David Lanky has done reports into stuff like racial inequality for the government.

  11. That should be David Lammy, of course. No disrespect intended.

  12. May appointed him to a role akin to what you mean, but Boris created this new paid role which Mann is taking up.

  13. Mann was about to be rejected by his CLP, so he jumped instead of being pushed.

  14. I doubt that. A snap election will actually save a few Labour MPs from ballots (Hodge, Ellman indeed any Labour Friends of Israel MPs still in the Party after Berger, Kennedy, Austin, Mann et al have gone).

    It is interesting though that the Tories who went are in safe seats (so not much use to the Opposition), whereas almost all of these retirements on the Labour side are in very marginal Tory target seats, eg here, Ashfield, Newcastle-under-Lyne etc.

    No wonder Labour activists in those seats plus Wakefield don’t want an election now. A candidate will be imposed at the last minute. Not that I think even Labour HQ loyalists would hold out much hope of holding those three.

  15. “Not that I think even Labour HQ loyalists would hold out much hope of holding those three.”

    Labour’s HQ loyalists clearly hope that the Tories do have such a daft and complacent attitude as this, which was clearly the case in 2017 until close to the end of the campaign when it was too late to change the narrative.

    As in 2017 a widespread perception is emerging that Boris will win a comfortable majority and in seats like this Labour will point to the newspapers and say “Boris is heading for a landslide – if that happens your benefits will be slashed, the NHS will be privatised, blah blah”.

    As in 2015 the Tories need to make it look like they are slightly behind in a very close national race.

  16. I agree with you UK- wide, but not in the seats I mentioned.

    Labour Cllrs are genuinely worried in Bury, Bolton, Blackpool etc. [I can see Labour taking another Kensington or Canterbury type seats; but, of course there aren’t many of those seats around, but there are a lot of Stokes, Walsalls, Derbys etc. I see Rob Flello just joined the LDs. Good job he lost last time! ]

    Indeed I assume it was also due to Labour complacency that meant they lost seats for the first time where they did. Certainly the case with Sir Alan Who not holding a surgery in years.

  17. “I agree with you UK- wide, but not in the seats I mentioned.”

    But Bassetlaw doesn’t fit so neatly together with the seats you mentioned….certainly it will be far harder for the Tories to gain it than Newcastle-under-Lyme.

    Growing up nearby I know the seat a bit….culturally much of it is essentially South Yorkshire despite actually being in Notts, As eg in nearby Doncaster, its historical antipathy to the Tories is deeper than in Mansfield or Ashfield. It will take a split left wing vote, a great Tory candidate, no serious Brexit party challenge and a poor Labour candidate for the Tories to win Bassetlaw.

    In Ashfield the Tories have an easier task obviously, nevertheless Jason Zadrozny standing makes it harder for them than on paper.

  18. Bassetlaw has performed by over 3,000 votes better for Labour – or less worse than the others when comparing 1997 with 2017.

    I took that to in part be due to Mann’s personal vote due to his stances. But it’ll depend if he and Kevin Barron et al are replaced with Remainer PPCs.

    Tories so far do seem to be selecting earlier and selecting more locals (Stoke, Ashfield, Bury, Bolton, Blackpool).

    In fact Labour have apparently only finished selecting in one seat where there’s a sitting MP. Compared with 120 seats for the Tories.

    LDs are also playing catch up: they have just selected in Montgomeryshire and 5 other Welsh seats.

    It may be due to inside knowledge or just accident of internal timetables but selection races appear to be running in this order: Cons way in the lead, then DUP, SNP, LD, Greens, Labour.

  19. John Mann has received a Peerage in May’s resignation list.

    As did the former Tory MP for Gower and Gavin Barwell.

  20. The most ludicrous of May’s awards was the CBE awarded to Nick Timothy – such a bad adviser he almost single-handedly lost May the election in 2017

    And how can an MP who was in Parliament for a mere 2 years – before being given the boot by voters – like Byron Davies – be deemed worthy of a peerage

    To get a peerage surely you have to have achieved something of significance

  21. Nick Timothy being given a peerage is somehow both unbelievable and utterly predictable.

    These things are sadly par for the course. IIRC David Cameron have his hairdresser a gong as part of his resignation honours.

  22. “Nick Timothy being given a peerage is somehow both unbelievable and utterly predictable”

    He isn’t being given a peerage as far as I know.

    You’re mixing him up with Gavin Barwell, who in all fairness is quite deserving of one, having been an elected representative in London for over 20 years.

  23. HH is right, although others are correct in that May has given a gong to every advisor including past PPS etc.

    Even the fat guy who used to walk behind her with his backpack (HH may recall Richard Jackson from CF days) was awarded a CBE! Guido has the full list and it is very lengthy indeed.

    Tim – it’s become a tradition for losing MPs to be put in the Lords. Indeed Labour referred to them as Lord this or that even before they’d received the ermine. I think Southampton being the most recent example re a defeated MP appearing on the News the day after as Lord and Shami being the most dubious one (as she was meant to be conducting an ind inquiry at the time).

  24. ‘He isn’t being given a peerage as far as I know.’

    No it’s a CBE but why should he get any award given he played a key part in May losing her majority in 2017 – and was so bitter about getting the boot (which he fully deserved) he used the media to attack May at every opportunity he’s got ever since

    He’s nothing but an incompetent grudge-holder, and is totally unworthy of any form if reward

  25. Hard to disagree that the honours system is not fit for purpose.

    It does sometimes make a tremendous difference to the little people though. In the 1970s my great uncle got the BEM for his decades of work at the coal face and as an NUM branch delegate….he treasured it to his dying day.

  26. ‘It does sometimes make a tremendous difference to the little people though. ‘

    Absolutely – but such people have done good things, which makes some form of formal recognition worthy and desirable

    the likes of Timothy, Ranger, Choudrey and Sheleg have dine absolutely nothing to make Britain a better counrey – quite the reverse – and simply don’t deserve any kind of reward

  27. Candidates shortlisted for Labour selection

    Keir Morrison (Ashfield councillor)
    Julia Long (Ashfield CLP Chair)
    Sally Gimson (ex Camden councillor)

    Shortlist done by a NEC panel. Council leader applied but was kept off

  28. John Mann took his seat in the Lords yesterday, so Bassetlaw is now vacant.

    Not that it matters much with only a week left.

  29. Some twitterati post floating about with various tweets from John Mann calling for the abolition of the House of Lords. Four legs good, two legs better!

  30. As long as they also criticised Prescott, Reid et al at the time.

  31. Gimson won the Labour selection – an ultra-Remain London councillor.

    Bozo could hardly have imagined a better scenario. If he can’t win here, his strategy of winning Labour Leaveistan has surely failed and we are in for a Corbyn government.

  32. Depends who the Tory candidate is, though. What if they select some greasy SpAd fresh from PPE at Oxford and an internship at PriceWaterhouseCoopers?

  33. The Labour NEC stitched up the shortlist for Keir Morrison. And they ended up with Gimson.

  34. Didn’t Kier Morrison hit the headlines with his Maggie’s Dead T-shirt? He looked about 13 at the time so presumably he’s in long trousers by now. Even the duffest Tory candidate will struggle to lose this in current circumstances. Flint next door will likely be closer…the Tory candidate there from 2017 has moved to Newcastle under Lyme.

  35. A more in-depth report of the selection battle here:

    Sounds like Gimson has grounds for legal action here…

  36. Apparently the NEC has imposed Keir Morrison.

    HH – wasn’t he the worst option? (from Labour’s point of view).

  37. Private Eye has a piece on the ongoing Labour CLP V HQ shenanigans going on here.

    Andrea – Labour NEC have approved the Labour PPC in Lpool West Derby, so is that now all issues dealt with?

  38. “HH – wasn’t he the worst option? (from Labour’s point of view).”

    I seem to recall he got into the press after Maggie’s death for wearing a Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead T-shirt at some Labour rally or other….something along those lines. He was only a teenager at the time so was rightly ridiculed given that he was born long after she left office.

    This should be a Tory gain but the floods here have apparently been pretty brutal, especially in Worksop, and rightly or wrongly that may affect who wins the seat.

  39. Events, dear boy. Yes, the floods have struck right at the heart of the “red wall”. Bad news for the residents but good news for the likes of Caroline Flint.

  40. “Labour NEC have approved the Labour PPC in Lpool West Derby, so is that now all issues dealt with?”

    they were still cleaning up candidates in hopeless seats. 2 were cut yesterday.

  41. “Events, dear boy. Yes, the floods have struck right at the heart of the “red wall”. Bad news for the residents but good news for the likes of Caroline Flint.”

    A bit of an exaggeration there. Unless the flooding spreads to other places it has only really impacted a couple of realistic Tory targets – Bassetlaw, Don Valley, Rother Valley, perhaps Penistone & Stocksbridge at a push though most of that seat is high up in the hills. Boris getting a hard time in safe Labour seats like Doncaster North isn’t going to be here nor there. It might make the difference in a close race, I accept. I’m not Boris’s biggest fan but leaders on these meet the flooded resident tours really can’t win.

  42. True. The ABI have said the worst of the flooding damage* actually occurred in Matlock last week and Loughborough this week – both of which are Tory seats.

    But as with my previous rants on Copeland etc, I very much doubt any London media know which is which if it’s north of the Midlands.

    * the only caveat to that may be that because the main high street in Matlock was flooded under 4 feet of water (where the lady was washed away to her death), the value of claims is larger even if it only affected ‘say’ 50 shops and pubs v 200 houses in S Yorks.

  43. Matlock has always been a Lib Dem / Labour town, swamped by the Tory voting countryside surrounding it in the Derbyshire Dales seat (partly because Derbyshire County Council has its offices there, hence loads of left wing council employees).

    Loughborough did look very bad on the news.

  44. Really? I think it said the lady who died had been a Tory Cllr in Matlock years ago and I spotted a Conservative Club (the only thing not flooded as it was upstairs on the high street). But I realise neither means much today.

    I think Darley Dale ward is Tory (where she was found). I’ve only ben to Matlock once and there were Union flags everywhere and they even ‘black up’ there for some local tradition – but again both may be for the benefit of tourists rather than meaning locals are right wing.

  45. Yes Darley Dale is a few miles up towards Buxton, and is Tory. Matlock town usually doesn’t vote Tory in an even year, in years when they do very well sometimes it does.

  46. Is Buxton a Tory-voting town?

    It seemed very nice when I went there – although nowadays that probably indicates an unlikeliness to vote Tory

    It also seemed quite arty/farty – another factor

    It’s certainly a lot nicer than Matlock which seemed very run don

  47. I think Buxton is mixed with very Tory bits and very Labour bits.
    I think on balance it swimgs with the tide.
    Matlock by contrast is Lib Dem through and through.

  48. ‘I think Buxton is mixed with very Tory bits and very Labour bits.’

    the property prices there certainly suggest there must be a fairly strong Conservative vote

    ‘Matlock by contrast is Lib Dem through and through.’

    Interesting – Matlock reminded me a bit of shepton mallet in somerset, another town where the Lib Dems once did well

  49. The high house prices thing annoys me. Do these folk who have paid off their mortgages in a more equitable time not ever stop to think where the hell their grandkids are going to live?

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