Doncaster North

2015 Result:
Conservative: 7235 (18.3%)
Labour: 20708 (52.4%)
Lib Dem: 1005 (2.5%)
Green: 757 (1.9%)
UKIP: 8928 (22.6%)
TUSC: 258 (0.7%)
Loony: 162 (0.4%)
Others: 448 (1.1%)
MAJORITY: 11780 (29.8%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

Geography: Yorkshire, South Yorkshire. Part of the Doncaster council area.

Main population centres: Mexborough, Adwick le Street, Bentley, Carcroft, Moorends, Askern, Stainforth.

Profile: The more rural northern part of Doncaster borough, studded with former pit towns and villages. This is a traditional mining seat but most of the collieries are now gone, bringing with it the strains of deprivation and unemployment and the slow transition from pit villages to commuter towns for Doncaster and Barnsley. Coal continues to be mined at Hatfield, one of the few remaining coal mines operating in Yorkshire, and a new carbon-capture coal fired power station is planned in the area.

Politics: Like other South Yorkshire mining seats Doncaster North is a solid Labour seat. At a local level Doncaster`s political history is more interesting. A corruption scandal in the 1990s led to the growth of independent groups on the council and ultimately Labour`s loss of control of the council. While Labour have since regained a majority on the council, Doncaster has an elected mayor and in 2009 returned the populist English Democrat candidate Peter Davies (the father of Conservative MP Philip Davies). In 2010 the dysfunctional state of the council was such that the Secretary of State appointed a Chief Executive and appointed Commissioners to oversee the running of the council.

Current MP
ED MILIBAND (Labour) Born 1969, St Pancras, younger brother of David Miliband. Educated at Haverstock Comprehensive and Oxford University. Former Treasury advisor. First elected as MP for Doncaster North in 2005. Parliamentary secretary to the Cabinet Office from 2006-2007, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster with responsibility for the next manifesto 2007-2008, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change 2008-2010, Leader of the Opposition 2010-2015. Miliband became leader of the Labour party in 2010,defeating his own brother for the leadership.
Past Results
Con: 8728 (21%)
Lab: 19637 (47%)
LDem: 6174 (15%)
BNP: 2818 (7%)
Oth: 4126 (10%)
MAJ: 10909 (26%)
Con: 4875 (15%)
Lab: 17531 (56%)
LDem: 3800 (12%)
BNP: 1506 (5%)
Oth: 3866 (12%)
MAJ: 12656 (40%)
Con: 4601 (15%)
Lab: 19788 (63%)
LDem: 3323 (11%)
UKIP: 725 (2%)
Oth: 2926 (9%)
MAJ: 15187 (48%)
Con: 5906 (15%)
Lab: 27843 (70%)
LDem: 3369 (8%)
Oth: 1181 (3%)
MAJ: 21937 (55%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
MARK FLETCHER (Conservative) Educated at Ridgewood Comprehensive School and Cambridge University.
EDWARD MILIBAND (Labour) See above.
PENNY BAKER (Liberal Democrat) Sheffield councillor 2007-2011 and since 2012.
KIM PARKINSON (UKIP) Born 1953, Doncaster. Educated at Nottingham University. Business consultant.
PETER KENNEDY (Green) Educated at Bridgewater High School and Sheffield University.
DAVID ALLEN (English Democrat) Born Doncaster. Former sales manager. Contested South Yorkshire police election 2012.
MARY JACKSON (TUSC) Advice worker.
NICK THE FLYING BRICK (Loony) , real name Nick Delves. Educated at Cheltenham Arts College. Contested Derbyshire West 1997, 2001, 2005, Crewe and Nantwich by-election 2008, Derbyshire Dales 2010, Oldham East and Saddleworth 2011 by-election, Newark 2014 by-election. Shadow minister for abolition of gravity.
Comments - 605 Responses on “Doncaster North”
  1. “Back then we had politicians with integrity, and despite a few bad apples, the majoirity of MPs were in Parliament because they wanted to serve their country, not because they thought they could bulk up their bank balance, as is the case with too many MPs nowadays”.

    For a history graduate, Tim, you do often display a remarkably rose tinted view of the past. The impression that the politicians of the past were generally any better than those of today is in no small part due to the fact that the media was more tame in those days. The kind of gentleman’s agreement that largely covered up the activities of the likes of Bob Boothby and Tom Driberg and their links to organised crime simply wouldn’t happen today.

    I would argue there were as many dishonest or corrupt politicians then as there are now. It’s just that they were able to cover up their activities until long after a favourable image had become ingrained in the public conciousnes.

  2. “Kieran – re. ‘simple, pain free solutions’ and ‘incoherent policy platforms’….do you mean Labour, the Lib Dems or possibly the Tories?”

    I didn’t mean to suggest that the the parties you mention are immune the behaviour I described. They are though constrained in the extent to which they can use that tactic by the reality, or the realistic prospect of actual power.

  3. I also agree with runnymede’s analysis, though I don’t share Tim’s view of the 1950s type MP. MPs were held in much higher esteem then, but that’s because all authority figures were; teachers, magistrates, policemen, doctors were all held up in greater esteem, though i accept MPs have probably fallen the furthest.

    It’s ironic because I think MPs work much harder for their constituents now than they did then. I was reading Ken Livingstone’s entertaining autobiography, in which he recounts how Duncan Sandys the conservative MP for Streatham would show up in the constituency on a very occasional basis, even though the seat was only a few miles from Westminster; acc. to Ken, who is admittedly biased, Sandys showed minimal interest in the constituency…other anecdotes confirm this. the degree of correspondence MPs had to deal with was much less, with MPs sharing secretaries until the 60s and beyond…

  4. ‘It’s ironic because I think MPs work much harder for their constituents now than they did then.’

    I think that’s true – or at least we have been led to believe that’s the case

    That trend was particularly noticeable post-2005 – which saw an intake of a new breed of hyperactive Tory MP – like Rob Wilson, Nadine Dorries, Phil Hollobone – who portrayed themselves as champions of their local communities, even going to the extent of asking erroneous questions to manipulate their performance figures on the Theyworkforyou website.

    It seemed to work as all of them substantially increased their majorities in 2010

    Of course Liberal Democrat MPs had been making such boasts for years and part of the reason their MPs tended to get well entrenched in seats was because they portrayed themselves as such

  5. Frankly the ‘local champion’ thing is often I think a smokescreen to distract form the fact that these MPs contribute little of any value to the big national issues of the day – which is supposed to be what they are for.

    MPs are masquerading as local councillors because that is more or less the level they are actually at, intellectually and aptitude-wise.

  6. From Lord Ashcroft..

    “Released tomorrow polling in Doncaster North showing UKIP 2nd so if Tories tactically vote for UKIP Miliband loses #votetorygetlabour!”

  7. The only problem with such an analysis is that Miliband won’t lose, or even nearly lose.

  8. I wasn’t even expecting the combined UKIP/Tory vote to equal Miliband’s here, never mind see either trouble him by themselves. Though, as someone suggested on the Twitter, Ed could really do without his own constituency becoming the story during a national campaign. Even if the challenge is only media hype. It’s a distraction he doesn’t need.

  9. Ashcroft constituency polling:

    Doncaster North: Lab 40%, UKIP 28%, Con 23%, LD 5%
    Sheffield Hallam: LD 31%, Lab 28%, Con 19%, UKIP 11%
    Thanet South: Con 34%, UKIP 29%, Lab 26%, LD 7%

    Clegg down 22 points.
    Miliband down 7 points.

  10. The Tory figure in Doncaster North is a bit surprising. It’s up 2 points compared to the 2010 general election when they polled 21%.

  11. Yes – the Tory figure seriously undermines the credibility of this poll.

  12. No more comments? I was expecting at least 50 more by now.

  13. As already posted in another place:

    There is something very strange with the weighting of the Doncaster North Ashcroft poll. It appears that 2010 Tory voters have been massively upweighted and 2010 Labour voters massively downweighted, to the extent that on the weighted figures the seat would have voted Tory in 2010, and by some distance. The patterns seem to be similar in all the tables, but for example here are the absolute numbers of 2010 voters for Con, Lab and LD in Table 1, first the unweighted number and then the weighted one.
    Con: uw 117, w 246
    Lab: uw 379, w 175
    LD: uw 49, w 80

    (I wonder whether weightings appropriate for South Thanet were used here by mistake?)

  14. I think UKIP would be making far more of this if Farage werent 5 points behind in his seat.

  15. Stranger things have happened. The Tory vote being up slightly at the same time as the UKIP vote rising substantially looks completely wrong.

  16. Good spot YL, it does seem strange the Tories would be up 2 points in a seat like this especially with UKIP doing so well.

  17. Ashcroft poll (looks a lot like pre-by-election polls of Middleton):

    LAB 40
    UKIP 28
    CON 23
    LD 5
    OTH 4

  18. Oh sorry, I didn’t see that’d already been posted. My bad.

  19. Not surprised to see UKIP gaining on Ed here.
    IF Conservatives voted UKIP on mass they could dump Ed out of hte water. Especially as the polls show the Lib Dems that voted so as a protest are going to UKIP.

  20. NoConservative candidate yet. Perhaps best not to bother!

  21. GT: Do you think Tories could do a deal with UKIP not to stand a candidate? How would that affect Ed?

  22. The poll itself is suspect – Tories on 23% my arse! – but even on its own merits, this poll ruins the Tory message of “vote UKIP get Ed” – this poll would suggest the opposite, vote Tory get Ed!

  23. Unlikely to happen. One can only muse on a Conservative candidate mucking up his nomination papers.
    There will be no deals, it has too many national complications.

  24. “The Tory vote being up slightly at the same time as the UKIP vote rising substantially looks completely wrong.”

    Class differences.

    If UKIP are taking wwc votes here then they will be taking them overwhelmingly from Labour.

    Meanwhile the ‘normal’ demographic trends plus the collapse of the LibDem middle class vote help the Conservatives.

    but then it could be wrong, constituency polls can be very iffy.

  25. Please see my comment on the weightings above. The poll is clearly wrong.

  26. Tried re-weighting the poll using the actual 2010 vote percentages (im sure there are flaws in the method i used but it does look more what you’d expect.)

    The weighting should be something like
    LAB: 286
    CON: 127
    LD: 90

    The result i got was

    LAB: 52.16%
    UKIP: 25.74%
    CON: 12.73%
    LD: 6.09%
    GRN: 1.76%
    BNP: 0.94%

  27. Ceremony is quite right. The poll figures were clearly incorrect, as has now been acknowledged by Lord Ashcroft – apparently it’s down to human error, someone simply keying in the wrong figures. Ed Miliband is in fact twice as far ahead as the Ashcroft poll showed. I must say I was suspicious when I noticed that, despite a high UKIP total, the Tories still had 23%, and it seems that my suspicions were justified. Miliband doesn’t have a problem in his own seat any more than Cameron has; it’s only Clegg of the main party leaders (and Farage of course) who has a problem in his own seat.

  28. Current prediction for 2015-
    Miliband (Labour)- 53%
    Parkinson (UKIP)- 25%
    Tory- 17%
    Lib Dem- 3%
    Others- 2%

  29. Why don’t grandees like Lord Ashcroft pay more attention to sites like UKPR? We on here noticed the mistake with his poll the moment it was published.

  30. Not sure why anyone in Doncaster would vote for Ed!

  31. DaveyD

    Well maybe that is changing, in Doncaster North Ukip almost out polled Labour in the locals this year.

  32. Maybe that is changing? Did you not just see the results of the poll?
    I see you accused MrNameless of not reading the comments policy on the main thread. That was unfair. Your comment suggests that you have a partisan objection to Ed Miliband & Labour, though of course I could be wrong.

  33. Perhaps we ought to mention that the “Daily Mail” has recently published stories by an ex-Mayor of Doncaster who has become disaffected by Labour about Ed Miliband’s slip-ups when he lodged with him (the ex-mayor) whilst looking for somewhere to live in the constituency. I don’t know how much difference this will make as the stories were below the belt. In ten weeks of private time anybody is likely to do some silly things, although admittedly Miliband a few years ago does seem to have been less than averagely savvy about how the grass roots work.

  34. I think I said months ago on an earlier thread that EdM was the worst labour leader since the second world war. Nothing that has happened in the last 6 months has disabused me of this opinion.

  35. Ashcroft’s new pollster apparently messed up the figures for this seat. Real figures were:

    Lab 55
    UKIP 25
    Con 13
    LD 4
    Grn 2

  36. Mark Fletcher has been selected as Conservative candidate.

    Stil waiting for Tory candidates for Don Valley, Doncaster Central, Barnsley Central, Barnsley East, Penistone & Stocksbridge, Sheffield Central, Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough.

  37. Such seats will no doubt see Tory candidates put in at the VERY last minute. Spencer Pitfield was the Tory candidate in Penistone and Stocksbridge last time and he did very well, I wonder if we might ever see him resurface in an even better seat in the future?

  38. Pitfield was in a couple of shortlists/longlists for safe seats in 2013 (Hampshire NE and Mid Worcestershire). He also tried selection for Euro Yorkshire region.

  39. That’s interesting, thanks Andrea. He of course stood against Nick Clegg when he was first elected to Parliament at Hallam in 2005.

  40. Apparently the LDs have selected in Penistone but I can’t find out who was chosen.

  41. If Cameron and Osborne get back into Downing St. on 8th may by hook or crook, how long does Mili stay as leader of the labour party? presumably he will try and cling on, but will be forcibly ejected…how would that work?

  42. Not sure quite you’ve changed your tune. Labour still remains slightly ahead with less than 2 months until the campaign starts, AND there are signs of the SNP lead distinctly cooling in Scotland now. To me, though obviously there’s a huge amount to play for, Cameron looks less likely to remain PM than he did a week ago.

  43. Peter, I’m sure it would work the same way as last time…

  44. Barnaby Marder…

    The numbers still look favourable to labour, so my head thinks labour should be in govt.

    My instinct tells me, very unscientific I know, that Mili will really struggle. The move on betfair to tories being the largest party has been very sharp in the last 6 weeks, and even though the odds tend to favour tories generally, [remember last time!], it’s a liquid market and the change in sentiment has been severe.

    If i were a labour supporter, I would be worried. In December I didn’t think Cameron had a prayer of being PM in june 2015, now I think he has a lifeline.

  45. But Labour are currently slipping….

  46. “But Labour are currently slipping….”

    Link? They remain clearly ahead on the polling averages I have seen.

  47. MORI today Lab 36 Con 34

  48. and UKIP only 9. There is no evidence that Labour are slipping. 36% would be more than enough for Labour to form a government if it were true. When the polling average shows the Tories ahead of Labour, then we can say Labour are slipping. The Tories will have derived much comfort from polls showing Labour around or even above 20% behind the SNP in Scotland, which if repeated would make the party’s task in emerging with more seats than the Tories considerably harder: but at the moment the gap in Scotland APPEARS (though we can’t yet say it’s completely certain) to be narrowing, and Labour doesn’t seem to be weakening in England either. Not at present. Of course this could change, but I don’t sense a great sense of foreboding in Labour ranks at the moment, in fact rather the opposite.

  49. Well we’ve had “ah, but just wait till after the Party Conferences” and “ah, just wait till after Christmas when people start paying attention to the election”.

    And yet Labour have retained a small average lead of 2% or so, unchanged through all this. The Tories have run out of time.

  50. Barnaby I partially agree with you. I agree that I don’t see a Labour collapse in Scotland, sure they will lose a fair chunk of seats but not as many as the SNP fan club would like to predict. I also don’t think there will be a huge ‘swingback’ to the Tories anyway as there has been very little direct Con to Lab movement since 2010. Therefore I agree Labour look on course for government. However this is exactly why I get a sense of foreboding for their long term fortunes. I am firmly of the school of thought that this would be a great election for either Labour or the Tories to narrowly lose. Neither side will get a majority let alone a convincing one(which is why Labour’s ‘target seat’ list is comical) so will be dependent on the votes of other parties to govern. Labour’s best option of a stable coalition partner would be the Lib Dems but their party membership and presumptive leader Farron will want to pull them back into opposition to rebuild after the presumably disastrous May election plus the all powerful Len McCluskey has ruled out a deal with them anyway. This means Labour would have to turn to the SNP for help, this is not going to be at all helpful to their popularity in England. I also think in a weak Labour government the different factions of the party will begin to rebel; the left, the unions and the Blairites could cause fatal damage to a minority Miliband government. Saying this a weak Tory minority government would rip itself apart too which is exactly why the best case scenario for Labour would be to lose narrowly, ditch their liability of a leader (and the rest of the dead wood Harmon, Balls, Kahn et al.) and wait for a minority Tory government to become extremely unpopular (as it almost certainly would). This would all but guarantee Labour a majority at the next election, 2020 or before. But Labour has to be careful as the boot could be on the other foot, a narrow win for them in May could set the Tories up for majority in 2020 or before dependent if the weak Miliband Government falls. A narrow win next year may be a plus short term but could spell disaster in the long term.

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