Don Valley

2015 Result:
Conservative: 10736 (25.3%)
Labour: 19621 (46.2%)
Lib Dem: 1487 (3.5%)
UKIP: 9963 (23.5%)
TUSC: 437 (1%)
Others: 242 (0.6%)
MAJORITY: 8885 (20.9%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Thorne, Conisbrough, Bawtry, Hatfield, New Rossington, Finningley, Tickhill, New Edlington.

Profile: Don Valley covers the rural hinterland around the south of Doncaster. This is mostly made up of traditional former colliery towns and villages, though there are also a few more affluent towns like Tickhill and the upmarket Doncaster suburb of Bessacarr. The seat also contains Robin Hood Airport.

Politics: Don Valley has historically been a coal mining seat, with the monolithic Labour support that implies. In the past it used to be larger seat, a ring of mining villages that entirely encircled Doncaster to the north and south. These days the seat is slightly more heterogeneous, containing some suburban and non-mining towns and this, along with the disappearance of the mining industry, means Labour's position here is no longer as dominant as it once was.


Current MP
CAROLINE FLINT (Labour) Born 1961, Twickenham. Educated at Twickenham Girls School and East Anglia University. Former council officer and trade union officer. First elected as MP for Don Valley in 1997. PPS to Peter Hain 1999-2002, PPS to John Reid 2002-2003, Under Secretary of State at the Home Office 2003-2005, Minister for Public Health 2005-2007, Minister for Employment and Welfare Reform 2007-2008, Minister of State for Housing and Planning 2008-2009. Shadow Communities Secretary 2010-2011, Shadow Energy Secretary 2011-2015. Resigned from the government in 2009 claiming that Gordon Brown had seen her as female window dressing. She returned to the front bench under Ed Miliband, but declined to serve under Jeremy Corbyn.
Past Results
2010
Con: 12877 (30%)
Lab: 16472 (38%)
LDem: 7422 (17%)
BNP: 2112 (5%)
Oth: 4537 (10%)
MAJ: 3595 (8%)
2005*
Con: 10820 (29%)
Lab: 19418 (53%)
LDem: 6626 (18%)
MAJ: 8598 (23%)
2001
Con: 10489 (29%)
Lab: 20009 (55%)
LDem: 4089 (11%)
UKIP: 777 (2%)
Oth: 1266 (3%)
MAJ: 9520 (26%)
1997
Con: 10717 (25%)
Lab: 25376 (58%)
LDem: 4238 (10%)
Oth: 1847 (4%)
MAJ: 14659 (34%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
CARL JACKSON (Conservative) Born High Wycombe. Educated at Oxford University. Consultant and former solicitor.
CAROLINE FLINT (Labour) See above.
RENE PATERSON (Liberal Democrat) Born 1974. Educated at Don Valley High.
GUY ASTON (UKIP) Born 1951, Doncaster. Business and sales consultant.
LOUISE DUTTON (English Democrat)
STEVE WILLIAMS (TUSC)
Links
Comments - 177 Responses on “Don Valley”
  1. What regular contributors like is to stick to psephology and to the comments policy which, since you clearly haven’t read it, I’ll reproduce below:

    “UK Polling Report has a policy of encouraging only NON-PARTISAN comments.
    The comments sections on most political blogs is either one sided, or dominated by petty political point scoring and tired rehearsals of party political spin. I wanted something else. Therefore the rule in the comments section is that all comments should be made in the spirit of non-partisanship, to try and welcome all people here to discuss polls and politics like adults with a shared interest, despite supporting different parties.
    This means that it is not a place for spinning, not a place for saying how much you hate party X and wish they would lose, nor it is a place for saying what party should win, or what the public should support. We are interested in what will happen, what the public actually think, not what you think they should do. “

  2. I agree. I would also like to remind runnymede that his/her comments about Shaun Woodward are contrary to the comments policy. I too, as it happens, can’t stand Woodward, but my feelings about him are not relevant to this site, any more than Runnymede’s are. Let’s stick to the comments policy, whether we’re Tories, Labour or LD. In fact, much though I deplore most of that party’s policies, I think it’s worth complimenting the UKIP contributors to this site for sticking to the comments policy better than most. Let’s all follow their example!

  3. I’m curious as to how old A Brown is.

    Perhaps if he’s as young as some of the other posters here then his expectation that things will be different after 2015 than they were before 2010 might be more forgivable.

  4. I have to confess, I wouldn’t have known the comments policy by heart myself.
    I am quite pleased to learn that we are in fact encouraged to discuss politics alongside dry, hard, psephology.

    I like this site because people can discuss an interesting mix of polls, trends, and demographic change alongside some political issues without being political hacks (My side good, everyone else bad sort of thing). A delicate balance which for the most part works.

  5. I believe that A Brown is around my age – 25.

  6. he has told us that he is indeed 25

  7. Constituency name question – I’m aware the River Don runs through this seat but are the towns and villages within the Don Valley itself?

  8. Some of the towns are on the Don, like Conisbrough. Bawtry and Tickhill are actually on the Rivers Idle and Torne respectively.

    As well as that, “Don Valley” could apply to a lot of places in South Yorkshire, many not in this seat, but the name has been around a long time and I can’t really think of a good alternative name. You might suggest Doncaster South, but not much of it is really in Doncaster proper (and some parts of it are quite far north in the borough). Or you could select a couple of names of towns more or less at random and call it something like Conisbrough & Thorne.

  9. Labour 7822
    UKIP 7389
    Con 4163
    Oth 4687

    I’ve said before that this is the sort of constituency the Conservatives need to win in 2018-20 if they’re to get an overall majority.

    They are now at risk of being overtaken by UKIP as the beneficiaries of an anti-Labour vote.

    While this would increase the risk of Labour seat loses it also means that the Conservatives would be doomed to be part of government coalitions – either with UKIP or the LibDems.

    Something JJB might have thoughts on.

  10. Thanks for the totals Richard. The Conservative Party needs to attract those with Conservative views – in all regions and demographics, and there’s a lot to do.

  11. The Conservatives have allowed themselves to become associated with privilege again.

    In the Thatcher-Major years they were the party of aspiration.

    UKIP is drawing support from C1C2s and private sector Bs and Ds. These should be people open to voting Conservative but instead many of them now hate the Conservative party.

    You really need to take a look at where the Conservative party has gone wrong.

  12. Labour are 5% lower here than in 2010.

    Does anyone have a list of where Labour’s largest increases and decreases since 2010 are?

  13. Labour managed to stay ahead in all 3 Doncaster seats despite having a lead over UKIP of just 4,506 across the borough.

  14. Do excuse my ignorance….are Richard’s figures for the local elections or Euros?

  15. Locals. I don’t think they release ward data for the Euro elections, although I may be wrong.

  16. In that case they are pretty amazing. Don Valley is the nicest and least working class seat in Doncaster and therefore UKIP will be very happy to have done so well. Flint will be OK in 2015 but this won’t be a seat for life based on those results.

  17. UKIP came a strong second in the whole of the Doncaster area in May, and appear to be targetting Doncaster as an area where they can counterbalance their appeal to Tory Eurosceptics by seeking support from traditional working class Labour voters.

    Whilst I doubt whether UKIP can actually win this seat, a strong UKIP performance could seriously affect the result. In particular, if they succeed in taking away voters who see Labour as deserting the traditional working class the result could be to hand the seat to the Tories.

    Don Valley is hardly the back of beyond like, say, redcar or Burnley, but all the same Doncaster has been neglected by Westminster village politicians of all parties who seem to equate economic development in the regions with concentrating power in Bristol, Birmingham. Nottingham, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle. Given besides Caroline Flint Doncaster’s MPs are the Party Leader and Chief Whip, this shows a remarkable lack of constituency awareness by leading Labour MPs.

    Psephologists should not neglect to watch this seat.

  18. Guy Aston is the UKIP candidate. In fact he’s the first candidate to be selected for the constituency:

    http://www.guyastonukip.net/

  19. Frederic raises an interesting point.

    With politicians become London based and London become ever more different to the rest of the country they become detached from the values and needs of much of the electorate. Their attempts at regional policy are based on creating London ‘mini-me’s without first asking if that either desirable or wanted.

    Now whatever the attributes of London are, it is a place of extremes.

    Whereas the people who decide elections are ‘average’ ie people who live in average houses and do average jobs and have average families and want average average lives.

    Roughly speaking London is egg timer shaped while the electorate is egg shaped.

  20. Richard – is that situation really very different from 1914? or 1814? or even 1514?

    Hasn’t the political elite always been heavily London-based, probably more so in the past than now? And hasn’t London always been a place of extremes, with the very rich and very poor cheek by jowl?

    You can read stuff by Cobbett in the 19th century complaining about the ‘great wen’ and its negative impact on the rest of the country.

  21. There’s certainly an element of that but London now is certainly more different to the rest of the country than it has been since the universal adult franchise and the party leaderships are also more London based than at any time during that period.

    Now that might not matter if the political ‘elite’ had some empathy towards people who are different.

    But that’s something which our present politicians seems to have much less of than previous generations.

  22. Yes the rich and poor have always lived “cheek by jowl” in London (mostly Inner London), but from the 20s/30s onwards a massive ordinary middle class grew in the London outer suburbs – the suburbs themselves often being built completely new.

    These ordinary middle class as described well by Richard are now leaving the London outer suburbs in droves, taking their Tory votes with them.

    Runnymede is right in a sense that such an ordinary middle class hardly existed in great numbers before the 20th century. London is going back to Cobbett’s times.

  23. Richard I’m really not sure that is true, about party leaderships being more London-based than ever. I think you may find a lot of MPs in say 1914 spent most of their time in London and very little of it indeed in their constituencies…

    There is of course a very big difference from Cobbett’s time, which is not about social class. London is becoming ethnically very different from most of the rest of the country.

    It isn’t just London of course. A generation from now there will be a very stark division between largely non-white big cities and the rest of the country. I think that will make politics very unpleasant, and not along the lines of ‘London v. Everyone Else’.

  24. The ethnic point is a fair one. Though in London, outside the Muslim dominated east, it doesn’t seem to be as much of an issue as rich vs poor.

    I think it will be a much bigger issue in cities further north where race relations are worse.

  25. It’s not so much the politics within the cities I am thinking of, rather the politics between them and the rest of the country.

  26. What I mean is that the dynamic between London & the rest will be different to the dynamic of other big cities vs the rest. It will be more of an economic divide, with the rich hinterland of SE England on the same side as London.

  27. Carl Jackson has now been selected as the Conservative candidate for Don Valley.

  28. The introduction to this page states that Bessacarr is in this constituency. It is in fact part of Doncaster Central

  29. Bessacarr & Cantley ward is in Doncaster Central constituency but the outer parts of Bessacarr and Cantley suburbs stretch into this constituency in finnigley ward.

  30. Is this the constituency they are closest to winning in which the Conservatives have not yet bothered to select a candidate ?

    They did a very similar thing in 2010 – leave it until a few weeks before the election before drafting in a novice outsider.

    Especially odd given that its a constituency demographically trending rightwards and the sort of place where UKIP might take more Labour votes than Conservative.

  31. With the increasing support for anti-establishment parties there is increasing likelihood of surprise constituency results and candidates winning on under 30% of the vote.

  32. Is this the constituency they are closest to winning in which the Conservatives have not yet bothered to select a candidate ?

    No thats Dagenham & Rainham i think.

  33. The Tories selected a candidate a few days ago: Carl Jackson.

    I try to keep my candidates’ spreadsheet up-to-date on a daily basis:

    http://www.bitly.com/Xb3122

  34. Labour Hold. 8,000 majority.

  35. http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/06/list-mps-endorsements-labour-deputy-leadership-candidates-0

    Flint currently leads the pack for deputy leadership nominations. That said, Creasy, Eagle and Bradshaw aren’t that far behind. Unlike the leadership contest which appears to be between Burnham, Cooper and possibly Kendall, this one’s more open.

    There doesn’t seem to be any particular allegiance to one candidate based on which wing of the party they’re on. Caroline Flint is often identified as a Blairite, but not all of them are getting behind her. Ben Bradshaw came about during New Labour too.

    The most left leaning candidate is Tom Watson.

  36. Particularly for the Deputy Leadership MP endorsements are a poor guide to how each candidate will do under the Collins system. I expect either Stella Creasy or Tom Watson to win, with whichever one of them doesn’t win coming second.

  37. http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/06/labour-deputy-leadership-candidate-caroline-flint-unveils-another-12-supporters

    Flint wins a further 12 nominations. I’m a bit surprised Kate Hoey would endorse a Blairite.

  38. I’m not a Labour supporter but Caroline Flint is one of the few Labour frontbenchers who impress me. She’d make a far more effective leader than any of the mediocre leadership candidates currently announced. She should be standing for the leadership not the Deputy leadership. She’s on the blairite wing of the party without being a preening flake like Umunna, and does not come across as a well to do Islington liberal like Kendall, Creagh or Cooper. She will have understood the threat from UKIP, BNP and ED on Labour’s vote from her own constituency as far back as 2010. She has been in parliament since 1997 so has the depth of experience most of the others lack. As she isn’t standing, maybe a Burnham-Flint balanced ticket might be Labour’s best chance.

  39. I agree with some of that, but I think there are touches of the Metropolitan PC agenda in her.

  40. The question is why isn’t she standing for leader? I can only assume that, for whatever reasons, she’s managed to annoy sufficient people over the years so that she doesn’t have enough support to stand. But that shouldn’t be the important test: the important test should be whether she might have a good chance of winning a general election.

  41. Exactly. Her resignation from government certainly irked Brown loyalists at the time.

    I should also add that Flint has an interesting backstory, including an extremely abusive first marriage which she entered into at a very young age.

    I think Labour are mad not to leave Harman in place as a kind of Michael Howard caretaker leader for a year or two while they carefully consider who they need to elect and what policies they need to adopt. The range of leadership candidates is probably the weakest any major political party has had to choose from in modern times. Even the Tories in 2001 had Ken Clarke (though decided not to choose him).

  42. Maxim
    As I keep saying its very unwise to presume all the UKIP vote will coalesce around the Tories. Many of them especially in seats like this will be former miners or will have worked in other traditional industries, they are working class, socially conservative but aren’t amenable to the Tories for obvious historical reasons. For them UKIP is an acceptable alternative to Labour, if UKIP ceased to be these people would sooner not vote than go for the Tories.

  43. A fair whack will be but I’d say 60% tops probably closer to 40%

    Lets say for the sake of argument 60% will back the Tories and only 20% will back Labour, the rest will back smaller parties or not vote. That’s a VERY generous breakdown for the Tories here and yet it would still leave Lab with a 12% majority over the Cons.

  44. @rivers but Labour is running the risk of losing voters in places like this at the moment and that’s what Maxim is presuming. Still I would be surprised if they actually managed to lose here.

  45. We’ll just have to wait and see

  46. @Maxim yes Labour is starting from a low base already so there is only so far they can fall. My guess is if an election was held in the Spring of next year they would be down to ~200 (if it was held now in the midst of the leadership contest they would be lower). 2020 is a bit far off to make concrete seat predictions (especially given the review which is likely not to be helpful to Labour) but anyone who expects Corbyn to do well is being very ‘optimistic’ (or pessimistic depends on your view).

  47. Maxim
    “I get called out for being optimistic about Tory gains at the next election but Rivers seems to think Corbyn’s leadership won’t hurt Labour at all”

    I’ve never said that, I honestly don’t know what will happen in 2020 cos circumstances take precedent. If for example the Tories negotiate a crap Brexit agreement, that irritates everyone, tanks the economy and causes them to be at each others throats (all reasonably possible) then Labour would probably gain power if it were led by goat.

    Also I keep saying this I just haven’t (in my experience) seen this supposed mass hatred for Corbyn, most people just really don’t care. Of course that could change come a GE but it could equally change for the better, we don’t know what the future holds.

  48. ”Of course that could change come a GE but it could equally change for the better”

    The probabilities are not equal changing for the better is far, far less likely.

  49. Pepps
    “The probabilities are not equal changing for the better is far, far less likely”

    I’m ever the optimist though 😉

  50. Maxim
    “Brexit will be done and dusted by 2020 imo”
    You sure that isnt wishful thinking 😉

    I don’t quite think you realise the gravity of Brexit, I don’t mean that in a patronising way and who knows it could all turn out well (I’m doubtful though) but the signs aren’t great amd it certainly isn’t going to be a quick and easy issue.

    Just today listening to the Tories Brexit team at the dispatch box, consensus across the spectrum was that they don’t have a clue what their going to do, they spent hours saying words without answering anything. May has already reneged on most of the Leave camps main pledges (NHS money, immigration controls etc) so that’s hardly going to leave many people happy and on the economic front their was a piece the other day about the Japanese government (usually very reserved) who are absolutely furious with us, they said their companies made investments in Britain predicated on us being an EU member and this key element has been breached.

    This really isn’t a rewrite a few laws, sign a few treaties and be done and dusted in a year or so situation, honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if we procrastinated forever on this one…

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