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”

    ‘The number of Britons who think Ed Miliband is likely to be the prime minister after the next election has fallen dramatically, according to a poll.
    Research by ComRes for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror found 21% believed the Labour leader would be in No 10 after the next election, down 10 points since May.’

    ‘The poll put Labour on 36%, ahead of the Conservatives on 29%, Ukip on 18% and the Liberal Democrats slipping two points to 8%.’

    What’s ‘causing’ all this………….? 😉

  2. An excellent article assessing UKIP’s appeal in Doncaster and other safe Labour areas in the north

  3. I think we may see Miliband below 50% here in 2015. If UKIP keep on expanding and Labour are in government and unpopular 2020 could be potentially interesting. Stranger things have happened.

    He is an unusually poor match with his seat for a party leader.

  4. With a 15% LD vote to siphon, the odds of him being below 50% are rather low. We’re assuming here that UKIP keep doing well, and you can bet Labour will pour enough resources into the seat to ensure Ed’s victory.

  5. That’s probably right for 2015, though the longer term threat to Labour in seats like this may be significant, especially if they go back into government in 2015.

    “He is an unusually poor match with his seat for a party leader.”

    An interesting point. Most party leaders really do seem to represent seats which are a good fit for them. Perhaps Blair didn’t fit Sedgefield very well, but I think he had a better connection with and more respect from working class people than Miliband does. Before Blair you have to go way way back to find an example. Churchill and Macmillan both represented seats which were a bad fit for them (Dundee and Stockton), but a long time before they became PM.

  6. He is genuinely from Co. Durham which is a start.

    He would fit very well in middle-class Sedgefield itself or rural areas in the SE of the seat. Less so in Newton Aycliffe or the pit villages.

  7. It is a good article – I was going to post it myself.

  8. IIRC you live here, Richard. Do you think UKIP will really do as well as the article suggests?

  9. Im not sure about Doncaster, but in the demographically similar Durham coalfields, Miliband is certainly far less popular than his party. Luckily however voters hate Cameron far more but in 2019-2020 things may be more interesting….. It’s worth stating how little in common many of these traditional Labour voters have with Miliband other than hatred for the Tories, they feel badly let down by how their party has changed tover last 20 years. Currently however,very few have defected. Most UKIP voters even here are ex-tory, though they may not have voted tory since Major in 1992.

  10. I was struck by the news footage of Nigel Farage addressing a roomful of UKIP activists in Margate yesterday. There didn’t look to be a single person under 70. It looked like an old peoples home.

  11. To be fair, Margate in general looks like an old peoples home.

  12. I’d say that UKIP is likely to hoover up the disgruntled vote.

    But that probably includes proportionally more former Conservative voters than former Labour voters.

    Of course that will have no important effect here but in Don Valley it will.

    To win in 2019-2020 the Conservatives will need to gain seats like Don Valley and that’s going to be difficult if UKIP have instead become the anti-Labour opposition.

    you right that is worrying me a bit too esp as i am only 33 myself and that footage would look the same in bassetlaw.

  14. In the other parties there are plenty of ambitious young SPAD types to bring the average age down a bit. If UKIP really takes off then they might start to attract some of those types too.

    “To be fair, Margate in general looks like an old peoples home.”

    That certainly wasn’t my impression of the place the last time I was there. It looks like Benefit Street by the sea. Hordes of young chavs all over the place.

  15. The average age of UKIP members is something ridiculous like 68. It does make me wonder (in a completely serious way) how much campaigning they’ll physically be able to handle. Bear in mind that’s the average age, balanced out by some enthusiastic twenty-somethings.

  16. Nameless – Isn’t 68 the average age of Tory members? It was a decade ago. HH – there’s been a fair few young Tory activists who have defected to UKIP (although I only recall 5 Tory Cllrs being aged 20-35 who defected to UKIP). Conservative Future membership has fallen under Cameron as with the wider membership. I’m unsure how many Young Independence has.

  17. “An interesting point. Most party leaders really do seem to represent seats which are a good fit for them. Perhaps Blair didn’t fit Sedgefield very well, but I think he had a better connection with and more respect from working class people than Miliband does.”

    I think that is because Blair was MP for a great deal longer than Milliband when he became party leader and I get a sense that Blair mixed with working class people and so knew their worries which was exactly why he made no apologies for keeping a great deal of the changes that Thatcher implimented throughout the 1980’s.

    Milliband does not, and will not ever, have that connection. He is more the type of Labour MP who lived near a council estate but dared not visit it but seems to think that qualifies him as a man of the working class. Needless to say the hatred of the Tories in certain places up North and the puppet voting which occurs means that Edward is safe here

  18. I get quite irritated when people suggest that people who vote Conservative in Surrey, Chingford or Kent think deeply & hard about their decision, but folk in South Yorkshire or the Valleys vote Labour without thinking about it, in a puppet-like fashion. It’s best to show some respect towards voters who don’t vote for your party, they’re not all automatically stupid you know.

  19. I’m not sure people voting solidly one way or another on an apparently tribal basis is any less impressive than people flitting between one party and another on the basis of fashion or superficial image-related ‘issues’ they may have picked up on. And there are plenty of the latter, some of whom may think they are voting ‘intelligently’.

  20. “folk in South Yorkshire or the Valleys vote Labour without thinking about it, in a puppet-like fashion”

    Many don’t think about it at all. If they did they would have realised that whilst the Tories are perceived to be the party of the rich, Labour are no longer the party of the working class. The shadow front bench is almost identical to the frontbench on the other side in terms of wealth, background, self importance and general snootiness. However some voters in former industrial Northern towns and villages are realising this hence a boost for UKIP in such places and the English Democrats in Doncaster itself.

    I wish UKIP well in such places.

  21. The apparent realignment LBernard appears to seek will not happen. The impending doom of both the Labour (post-1983) and Conservative (post-1997 & up to about 2004) parties has been forecast by some during my lifetime, but it has never been at all likely. The 2 present leading parties will remain so.

  22. I’m not seeking realignment back to old times just a wider spectrum of MPs in all parties who are actually just normal everyday folk. The less people there are in politics like Cameron, Clegg and Milliband the better I believe the country will be….You are right that things will continue as they have been until another Thatcher like character comes along to shake things up a bit.

  23. I’m afraid we might be waiting a while LBernard.

  24. “Ed Miliband is drawing up a secret plan to allow Nick Clegg to remain Deputy Prime Minister in a new coalition between Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

    Senior Labour figures have privately disclosed that the two party leaders’ offices are in regular contact and that Mr Miliband is determined not to repeat the “mistake” made by Gordon Brown in 2010 of failing to plan for sharing power.”

  25. I’m sure both Barnaby and JJB will be equally delighted at the thought of a LibDem DPM in perpetuity.

  26. It would cause ructions the likes of which we haven’t seen since the days of John Major in his post-1992 administration.

  27. Well, that’s certainly credible enough that the journalist couldn’t have made it all up from one vague and unsourced quote because his editor told him to.

    Labour doesn’t get to pick the Lib Dem leader. But unless they’re floating themselves on the stock market and shorting the stock, the Lib Dems have no reason to keep Clegg on post 2015.

  28. Not going to happen. If there is a coalition (by no means certain) one of the Labour preconditions will be Clegg’s head on a platter. Not long ago we had reports of a ‘Get Clegg’ strategy, so which made up line are the press pursuing?

  29. Weren’t there reports a few months ago about some Labour figures ruling out a coalition?

    There are too many mixed messages in the news so it’s probably best to see what happens in the weeks immediately after the general election. Of which we don’t even know the result.

  30. There were reports about Labour figures saying they’d rather have a majority than a coalition. Which is so blindingly obvious that I’m not really sure why it was treated as news.

  31. It’ll be a different coalition, just you wait and see. Ed Miliband Prime Minister, Conor Murphy of Sinn Fein Deputy Prime Minister, and Caroline Lucas Chancellor of the Exchequer.

  32. f anyone lets Caroline Lucas anywhere close to power, it really will be time for ‘the last person to leave Britain to turn off the lights’, probably literally. What a nightmare that would be.

  33. LBernard – that’s very true. All polls show the 3 main Party Leaders have a negative rating and the recent polls show that more state Others (incl UKIP) than Tory or Labour.

  34. Caroline Lucas seems like she could be on the Labour left, she’s nothing extremely radical. I’m surprised you didn’t take more issue with Sinn Fein, Dr John!

  35. Might have done 15 years ago, but they are a bit safer now they’re in coalition with the staid old DUP, Mr Nameless. Ms Lucas has a capacity for smugness and sanctimoniousness only the Lib Dems could rival and is even more convinced of her utter rightness.

  36. Shouldn’t we ask what effect Miliband’s reliance on a US spin doctor, David Axelrod, is going to have at constituency level?

    We now have a situation in which all three major parities are relying on overseas psephological advisers instead of paying attention primarily to their constituencies. In my view this is particularly serious for Labour where the voters remember Blair’s kowtowing to George W Bush over Iraq and Afghanistan second only to their responsibility for the economic crash of 2008. What credibility has MIliband, a London based second generation immigrant, for standing up for his constituency and ordinary people generally rather than selling out to the international elite?

    One might say that Miliband’s seat is so safe he can override such troubles, but then one looks at comparatively recent events in Doncaster local politics. An effective right-wing rabble-rouser could cause Miliband serious trouble, providing he or she were squeaky-clean.

    A not totally unrelated matter. Shouldn’t we be considering the psephological implications of yet further mine closures in this area?

  37. In answer to your first question, not a lot. The public at-large won’t have a clue who Mr Axelrod is and I doubt that the vanishingly small minority of people who do know about him will care very much.

  38. Frederic often seems to think that things are issues to the general public which frankly aren’t. The mines which are closing are both in safe Labour seats – the last one which wasn’t was Daw Mill in Warwickshire. So many mines have now closed that the closure of those that remain probably will have very little psephological effect, especially since protests from political parties are so muted if they exist at all.

  39. Maybe since over a million people, including me, are on zero-hour contracts policy on them might have some impact locally and nationally.

    Miliband’s proposals to make employers have proper contracts, if they wish, after a year are wishy-washy. I don’t know about Doncaster North, but in my experience large numbers of people nationally with jobs at this level change employer much more often than once a year. This makes Miliband’s watered down ideas largely irrelevant. His back sliding from twelve weeks to twelve months gives the impression that he won’t stand up to employers in general.

    If Miliband really meant it he would make a clear and unequivocal pledge to raise the Minimum Wage to the Living Wage in a budget to be introduced within two months of Labour’s return to power. I am not holding my breath, and as a former Labour Party member I am not convinced to vote for them next time either.How many people in Doncaster North are thinking along the same lines?

    There is no getting away from the fact that real differences cost money, which to benefit the poor must come from the excessively rich, of whom there are plenty.

  40. To be fair, Labours new policy on zero hour contracts is riddled with that many loopholes, I find it hard to believe a serious political party thought it up.

    So workers are going to be automatically transferred to fixed hours contracts after 12 months unless they opt to stay on a ZHC. But what’s to stop employers from pressuring their workers to stay on ZHC’s? And couldn’t employers look down on workers who have gone on to fixed term contracts simply because they decided not to opt out?

    It’s like the debate about whether people should be able to opt out of the minimum wage. It’s a good idea in principle, but it would be open to abuse.

  41. It all makes sense when you realise what Labour is really going to do about zero hours contracts – fuck all.

  42. Zero Hours Contracts.

    What ever happened to the 48 hour maximum working week? I bet Mrs Milliband, who is a City lawyer, regularly works more than that, certainly her junior associates will.

    There are many people who for whatever reason will sign to dis-apply the regulations. That is what I was asked to do when the 48 hour limit came in.

    It will be interesting to see if Labour recovers it complete domination of the South Yorkshire area in both the euro and council elections. Over the past two decades loyalties are weakening, but they start with such a massive lead.

  43. Plus the self employed, who have massively increased in number.

    If Labour win they are going to break a hell of a lot of promises and make many supporters very annoyed with them.

  44. Just noticed the UKPR polling average has been updated and Labour’s projected majority has disappeared. They’re now one seat short, and have a 1% lead – 34 to 33.

  45. Interesting article on the Political Betting site by David Herdson about how Ed Miliband maybe “decapitated” in Doncaster North in 2015 – even allowing for the possibility of Labour still winning overall!

    I don’t think he was being entirely serious – but an interesting idea.

    While I agree Ed doesn’t seem ideally suited to this seat I would have thought that would have been more of an issue back in 2005 – by 2015 he will have been MP for 10 years, with all the extra kudos of being Labour leader.

  46. Zero chance of Ed losing here. People always think that leaders a PM/LotO can be thrown out of their own seat, but history says that just ain’t so. Being leader always provides a good boost on their home turf. Even if it’s just mitigating against a negative national swing.

  47. Ed won’t lose but it would be a bit embarrassing if his share or majority declined when usually a new party leader receives a big movement in their favour.

  48. And who exactly would mobilise a “decapitation” strategy in Doncaster North? The Tories are no where and the Lib Dems are trying to save their own seats. UKIP might take second place but a distant one.

  49. ‘If there is a coalition (by no means certain) one of the Labour preconditions will be Clegg’s head on a platter’

    Not sure about that. In those circumstances Labour would not really be in a position to make demands or conditions. Just like in 2010, the bigger party would be asking for Lib Dem support.

    If Clegg is still leader, and a similar situation arises, you would expect that faced with a choice of a Labour saying ‘please join us in coalition, but get rid of your leader’ or the Tories saying ‘please join us in coalition, and decide for yourselves who you wish to have as leader’, the Lib Dems would be likely to go with the latter.

  50. As someone who will probably vote Lib Dem next year, I’d be very happy to see Labour taking Clegg’s head on a platter then entering a coalition, but I appreciate I may be in a small minority on that one!

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