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. Pfft

    Every election I can remember has been described as “a good one to lose” by somebody or other.

    The next election is not a good one to lose as far as either Cameron or Miliband is concerned because to do so will finish their political careers.

  2. Not talking about Cameron or Miliband I’m talking about the parties. This is election I believe will cause serious long term problems for whoever wins which at this point is Labour. If either could get a comfortable majority or had a decent option for a long term coalition partner it would be great to win. However as both of these things look to be off the cards I believe a narrow loss and then bide your time in opposition and wait for the other party to face plant in minority government would be the best outcome for both parties. A blessing in disguise if you will.

  3. Like I said, the same has been said before every general election in living memory. With a couple of exceptions (1992 and Feb 1974 come to mind) it is usually nonsense.

  4. Oh so one every ~20 years is a good one to have lost. Look like we are just about due for one :).

  5. And remember, parties do not care about “long term problems”. Never have and never will. It is all about short term power and maintaining jobs, salaries and seats as long as possible.

  6. Sure thing. I am not saying either party are trying to lose, they are fighting tooth and nail to win. But I think the winner will live to regret it (at this point this looks to be Labour). Please don’t think this is partisan either, the Tories being in minority government in May would be a disaster too and do the party an awful lot of damage long term.

  7. I don’t recall anyone saying ’87, ’97, ’01 or ’05 would be good elections to lose (as I was 5/6 in 1983 I wouldn’t know if anyone said it or not then!), to be honest. ’10 certainly, ’15 yes, ’92 yes.

  8. Almost every Tory MP who opened their mouth (off the record) was looking forward to losing in 97 as “it was a good election to lose, giving us time to rebuild in opposition”. I vividly remember this from visiting speakers at my university in 1995-97 (Roger Freeman was one I particularly recall). I grant you, nobody in Labour thought 97 was a good election to lose.

    I’ll give you 87 and 01 but take issue with 05. Some people could see the crash coming and didn’t like where Blair was heading, though of course a Tory win in 05 was utterly unrealistic.

  9. Never have and never will. It is all about short term power and maintaining jobs, salaries and seats as long as possible.

    This is very true esp. for Cameron and the gang around him. Cameron after all said, when asked why he wanted to be PM, “because I’d be good at it”.

    He has no ideology or firm beliefs whatsoever. It is all about the maintenance of power and prestige with him. I ask tory friends what they think DC’s vision for the 2nd term is and the vacuity is deafening, so to speak.

    One fairly insidery person said, “every problem we have as a govt. on 8th May is a good problem to have”. They really don’t have any long term plans at all.

    re. good elections to lose. I guess I am a bit older than HH and JHarcourt, but not much. Nobody said this about ’83, ’87 or really ’92…the triumphalism of the tories after ’92 was a joy to behold. The tories were amazed they won and thought that they had a divine right to government. I have to say I remember op-ed’s prophesying the death of the labour party and either bewailing or celebrating the fact that “labour would never win again”. The thatcherites would argue they never did, as “new labour” was a different party…..

  10. “the triumphalism of the tories after ’92 was a joy to behold. The tories were amazed they won and thought that they had a divine right to government. I have to say I remember op-ed’s prophesying the death of the labour party and either bewailing or celebrating the fact that “labour would never win again”. ”

    I remember this as well (I was about 16 at the time), but IIRC it only lasted a few months before Black Wednesday hit Sep 1992 and the party flushed itself down the toilet, from which it still hasn’t really climbed back out.

  11. HH,

    you’re totally right about Black Wednesday…it was obvious at the time that the tories were done for. I remember reading Charles Moore in the Daily Telegraph the next day saying, “yesterday was the day the tories lost the next election” or words to that effect. It was obvious that a major f*ck up had occurred and that the tories would pay heavily for it. from september 17th the tories were dead electorally, and you’re right, they’ve never really properly recovered.

  12. Yes their idiotic attachment to European idealism at that time has cost them dear – never was the moniker ‘the stupid party’ more deserved than in 1992.

    And of course to make matters worse they then made exactly the same mistake again over the wretched Maastricht Treaty. If Black Wednesday lost them the trust of the voters, it was Maastricht that created the divisions that undermined them until Cameron’s time, and are still a drag on their performance.

  13. No election is good to lose.

    Ed Miliband in Government would be quite diffferent from Ed Miliband and would be able to shift the odds for the following election in his favour, assuming he had a majority. Not least there would be a desitibution of seats and might well be (very regrettablky in my view because of what we know about the maturation of cognitive processes) a reduction of the voting age to sixteen.

    If the next election would be good for Ed Miliband to win, it would be correspondingly bad for the Conservatives to let him do so.

    By the way, I think that Cameron is considerably under-rated as Prime Minister, even though I in general disagree with him.

  14. I pretty much agree.

    People are also underestimating the boost to the economy and living standards which could result if the drop in oil prices is sustained. Perhaps the forecast economic disaster might not happen and Labour might do better than expected (and they will be starting with expectations at rock bottom, which is always useful).

  15. (and they will be starting with expectations at rock bottom, which is always useful).

    I have little doubt they will amply fulfill these expectations.

  16. “Election 2015: Academics predict Labour will win 20 more seats than Tories and form next government

    Polling Observatory’s maiden seat forecast is in stark contrast to five other election forecasts, which predict a Tory ‘win’ in May.”

  17. I have posted elsewhere that i am more on the side of polling observatory than the other models…it ‘s a good test…i will certainly remember what varying models were suggesting at different times and will love to compare them with the result…

    The fisher model was barking in october 2013 when it said the tories would win a 24 majority with 337 seats. I am proud that many on this site said this was total baloney at the time.

    his model is more sensible at the moment, but i still think swingback is still too heavily relied upon. his model reflects this…his was the only one which had the tory/labour gap in seats shrink last week; nobody picked up on it, but his swingback effect is slowly unwinding the longer we don’t have swingback, not sure the others are quite there…on the day of the election all the models will no doubt be saying very similar things which, one would hope, would be very similar tot the result.

  18. We are having yet more reports about Labour and the LibDems being funded by rich, and many would say dodgy, donors How long will it take before voters in seats like this one change their voting behaviour on the basis that London-centric MPs don’t represent their interests? The Tories are funded the same way, but everybody believes that they will be.

  19. Although pepperminttea is right that a GE might be good for a political Party to lose. HH is right, but talking about Leaders and Ministers always wanting to hang on. Although I realise these days none are mass membership Parties like they once were.

  20. this GE is very good one to lose for one party = the Conservatives (well maybe two, because another stint in government may end the LDs)

    why? A vote on Europe has the potential to rip them apart.

  21. Heard the people of Doncaster are getting a bit disillusioned with Ed Miliband as he can’t relate to people in the constituency.

  22. “Heard the people of Doncaster are getting a bit disillusioned with Ed Miliband as he can’t relate to people in the constituency.”

    That’s very strange that after 10 years as their MP they should choose this moment to suddenly become disillusioned with him – was that before or after his bravura performance against Paxman?

  23. Votes on Europe didn’t destroy the Labour Party in 1975.

  24. The TUSC candidate is Mary Jackson.

  25. Well Ed Miliband is very unsuited to this seat culturally. But of course anyone wearing a red rosette will win comfortably here regardless, but there are probably Labour people who would win here by a higher margin than Miliband will in May.

  26. l don’t agree. it is a frequent occurrence that party leaders receive a boost in their own constituency. lt wouldn’t be at all surprising if ed miliband were also a beneficiary of that phenomenon.

  27. The party leaders don’t always get a boost in their own seats. Generally they already represent very safe seats and the additional focus by their local party helps get turnout higher.

    Margaret Thatcher rarely won massive majorities in Finchley. If anything her candidacy encouraged Labour to contest the seat when they would have been better focussed else where.

    Many of John Major’s cabinet ministers had the opposite effect of losing worse than the party at large.

  28. ‘The party leaders don’t always get a boost in their own seats’

    They nearly always do

    Both Brown and Cameron increased their majorities in 2010, and Howard substantially increased his majority in Folkestone in 2005.

    Before that Major and Hague achieved their parties best results as leaders in 1997 (Huntingdon) and 2001 (Richmond) and Major again in 92

    And Clegg saw his majority more than double in what was already oned of the Lib Dems safest seats in Shieffield Hallam

    The evidence is overwhelming

  29. Margaret Thatcher rarely won massive majorities in Finchley

    I don’t think this is true. looking at the figures. she squeaked home in the october 1974 election, with a majority of 10%, before extending her majority in the 79 election (19% maj) and getting over 20% majorities in the 1980s.

    Interestingly her largest majority in % terms was in 1959, where her opponents were even split between labour and liberals.

    there is no evidence that her becoming party leader in 1975 lessened her majority at elections held after that date. I think the opposite is more likely

  30. What do people think of Ed’s pledge to abolish non-dom status?

    However much people like me worry about it being economically damaging and a net negative for the exchequer, there’s no doubting its likely popularity among the masses. Is it the game changer which will allow Labour to break through the election stalemate?

    Poor leader he may be, but Miliband seems better at pulling rabbits from a hat than Cameron.

  31. Labour have kept back a lot of dry powder for the short campaign, which will now be of some use to them. It’s a step I hadn’t anticipated, and which might well be useful in taking control of the narrative.

    Given Vince Cable and Richard Bacon have both criticised non-dom status (and in Cable’s case advocated its abolition too) it will be interesting to see the Coalition parties’ response on it.

  32. Yes, it is very hard for the Tories to respond to it in terms which don’t reinforce their image as the party of the rich.

    I personally hope that Miliband will quietly forget this promise in government. If not it is a bad omen for what is going to happen to the economy under his premiership. To me, it’s the same thing as Farage saying “I’d prefer to be poorer with lower immigration”….Labour is saying “I’d prefer to be poorer as long as we can get rid of the rich bastards”. It’s very difficult to expose the nonsense in both statements to the man in the street however.

  33. The Tory response on it so far seems to be coming from two angles – 1) Ed Balls previously said it wouldn’t be a good idea, and 2) it’s “tinkering round the edges”.

  34. Certainly not tinkering round the edges, at least if Labour is serious about enacting the policy. It’s so radical a step that no previous Labour chancellor has dared to do it, even in financial crises such as 1947, 1976 and 2008.

  35. Yes I thought that was an odd criticism. I suppose it’s the difficulty the Tories run into of not wanting to look, as you say, like the party of the rich – so they have to make out they’d do more.

  36. “Is it the game changer which will allow Labour to break through the election stalemate?”.

    In all likelihood it will entrench the stalemate. It will make it that much more difficult for the Tories to remove the “party of the rich” millstone from around their necks. At the same time though it will highlight the negative perception many voters have of Labour as being a party that generally enjoys taxing people.

    If all it took for a centre left party to win an election was wheeling out the odd “tax the rich” wheeze then they would rack up a great many more victories than they actually do.

  37. I hope you are right but I fear you are not. “Tax the rich” (as long as you don’t think I’m rich) flies a hell of a lot better today than it did between 1979 and 2008.

  38. It’s just another example of Labour clambering aboard the ‘tax the rich’ bandwagon and not fully understanding the potential consequences.

    And whilst the ‘tax the rich’ message might appeal to some parts of the electorate, there are many others who will see it as anti-aspirational, and these are the sort of C1/C2 swing voters that both main parties desperately need support from.

  39. Adam- that’s the whole point. Those aspirational C1/ C2 voters have started to realise that they will never get ‘there’ (I.e. rich). So this type of policy appeals a lot more than it did back in the gullible days. Let’s face it, social mobility has been nothing to write home about for decades in the UK. It’s just that people are sufficiently not distracted to cotton on now.

  40. I’d disagree Tristan. Any party that appears to be against successful people is bound to lose votes among the aspirational middle classes. And just because social mobility has ground to a halt it doesn’t stop people from seeing themselves as aspirational.

  41. I recommend to everybody Richard Brook’s excellent book “The Great Tax Robbery” (He also writes extensively in Private Eye).

    The UK is the only major economy to have a Non Domicile status in its tax code. When linked to other devices (Trusts, LLPs, use of loans instead of income transfers), it can be used to effectively eliminate income tax – and that’s before one considers Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax, Stamp Duty etc.

    I’ve heard the figure of £1 billion being quoted today as the resultant shortfall. Those who have looked into this area like Brooks and Richard Murphy would probably say this is a significant underestimate : but of course HMRC rules regarding confidentiality mean an true estimate is difficult to arrive at (and even HMRC probably lack information as to how much in assets or income are held offshore anyway).

    So this is a big issue, both financially and ethically, and given the level of direct and indirect tax levied on ordinary tax payers likely to remain so.

  42. The trouble is that policies which are populist with the left will have no real effect on the living standards of middle of the road voters. This is what Tony Blair understood so well. Ed Miliband could’ve gone after C1/C2 voters so much more if he didn’t pledge to raise the top rate of tax or have this vacuous view about corporation tax/business rates (I think a good number of these voters own small businesses). The latter about not cutting corporation tax in order to freeze rates for small businesses will apparently have little effect since they already qualify for relief.

  43. You are quite deluded if you think this kind of policy won’t (unfortunately) have massive approval amongst the bedrock of C1/C2s – builders, plumbers etc. As Tristan says, we are living in a totally different world from the 1980s. Of course, many such voters still won’t vote Labour for other reasons.

  44. I can’t see how the world we’re living in today is that much different from 30 years ago in terms of what motivates people to vote for a particular party.

  45. I suggest you read up on the 1980s then. There’s no cold war for a start. There would have been little mileage in bashing bankers and tax avoiders in the 80s as it was such a minor issue. Today is totally different.

  46. I don’t think this is so much about tax avoidance and banker bashing, it’s about which party can claim to be on the side of successful people who want to do well in life through their own effort. Whilst this policy will only directly affect a relatively small number of people, it says a lot about where the Labour parties priorities lie. It’s just a very eleborate way of them saying ‘we don’t care about successful people’.

  47. If that’s how the majority of people felt then the Tories would walk the election, and would have done in 2010 as well. The truth is they haven’t won a workable majority since 1987, nearly 30 years ago. The voters mindset is far more social democratic now than it was then.

  48. There’s probably a lot of truth in that, but populist banker bashing is still a very dangerous thing to do on account of how much wealthy people contribute in tax revenues.

  49. Couldn’t agree more

  50. I could see an argument that the 50p tax rate puts off C1/C2 voters. In my experience, it really doesn’t (most C1/C2 voters don’t expect to earn £150000 per annum any time soon, and those who do aren’t Labour sympathetic anyway), but you could make the argument.

    But it just doesn’t work with non-dom status. That’s not something people aspire to, it’s viewed as (and largely is) a tax dodge by foreign bankers.

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