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. Dalek
    You are quite right. I was doing it from memory, nearly always a mistake! But the substantive point remains the case.

  2. Ekectoral Calculus put this down as a Tory gain.

  3. PT
    I think you are right and I too would be amazed, but the fact that we are having this discussion at all is pretty amazing in itself.

  4. I have just looked at the Council Election Results. A large number of Independents and small Residents parties make a straight comparison difficult, but though Labour polled the most votes there was still a significant UKIP vote and combined with the Tories their joint total exceeds Labour.
    I still think PT is right, but it does look interesting.

  5. Incidentally, Bessacar ward is in Doncaster Central, not Don Valley.

  6. “but though Labour polled the most votes there was still a significant UKIP vote and combined with the Tories their joint total exceeds Labour.”

    In Doncaster local elections this year, both Con and UKIP almost never fielded a full slate. So I assume there has been quite a few Con-UKIP split tickts

    For ex
    Conisbrugh ward: Lab 1685 Lab 1545 Lab 1523 UKIP 750 Yorkshire First 716 Con 676
    Edlinggton etc Lab 1292 Lab 1168 Con 679 UKIP 534

    In Conisbrugh I would exepect that many voters voted UKIP-Con-Yorkshire First in that ward.
    So summing together Con and UKIP votes doesn’t work as well as in other cases (single member wards or wards with full slates) as many people who voted UKIP are actually already counted in the Con column.

  7. Thanks, Andrea. That is a very fair point.

  8. The Opinion Polls are moving slightly in Labour’s favour. ElectoralCalculus have lowered the probable Tory majority and as a consequence Don Valley is back as a Labour hold.

  9. Will be interesting to see if this week’s coverage of the manifestos, which has seemed relatively positive for Lab and negative for Con, effects either party’s vote share in today’s polls. So far the Con score has been very solid despite Lab seeming to edge up.

  10. The Tories have outlined spending cuts. Labour has not proposed any budget cuts, but spending pledges and extra borrowing to pay for it. There is no commitment to reduce spending on anything from labour, they were too chicken even to say they would scrap trident. Unbelievable.

  11. Apologies re my earlier comment on Orgreave, keep getting mixed up between Don Valley and Rother Valley…

  12. Fascinating how many Conservative big-shots have visited Don Valley in this election – Liam Fox, Damian Green, Priti Patel and today Theresa May

    https://twitter.com/aaron4donvalley

    Likewise Bolsover has had Philip Hammond, Andrea Leadsom and Patrick McLoughlin:

    I can only think that some combination of these apply:

    1) The Conservatives are confident of a big majority
    2) The Conservative campaign is very confused
    3) This will be a very non-UNS election

  13. I think it’s very likely that their campaign plans were made before the recent changes in the polls.

  14. Plans can be changed very easily.

    If they’re going to these places its because they think they benefit in so doing.

  15. All the campaigns, but particularly the Conservative campaign, appear to be in a bit of a shambles. The Tories seem to have a dream that they can pick up former Labour safe seats like Don Valley, and it isn’t coming off.

    They should be coming to East Kent, where several seats are looking very marginal (albeit they would be advised not to be tainted by South Thanet and they should go to LibDem marginals near Bristol and in Susssex. But mainly they should go to the seats in the Midlands which are Labour/Tory marginals in election after election.

    Actually, I suspect that not all that many seats may change hands this time. Also, the large number of postal votes these days means that to a considerable extent the die have already been case.

    Finally, to a considerable extent lazy politicians simply go to seats with good transport links, and Don Valley comes into this category.

  16. Caroline Flint has revealed she has received a death threat for saying she might vote Theresa May’s Brexit deal depending on the terms.
    How Labour reacts to any deal is just as fascinating as the Tories – the partisanship is at a level that calls of whip suspensions and deselection for voting for the deal will be massive from within in the party as it will be going against the leadership and will be argued that it is saving a Conservative government.

  17. It’s more than that. It’s this divisive way everything is seen now through lens of remain & leave. If you vote for the deal you will be forever seen as the enablers that condemned Britain to economic obilivion. If you vote against the deal it will be the greatest betrayal and you will be seenas the traitors jeapodised Brexit.

    I saw Gareth Snell taking David Lammy to pieces over Brexit on twitter. These are two moderates for christ sake and even they’re accusing each other of enabling no deal

  18. Yes – through a few Labour leavers like Denis Skinner and Ronnie Campbell will more than likely follow the Labour whip and vote against any deal alongside the most anti Brexit Labour Mp’s like Lammy and Chris Leslie.

  19. “It’s more than that. It’s this divisive way everything is seen now through lens of remain & leave.”

    I saw polling recently showing that 70% of people identify strongly as leavers or remainers, but only around 30% identify strongly as a supporter of any political party.

    That’s really an unhealthy level of polarisation around a largely identity-political issue. (Not that it doesn’t have real-world consequences of course, but identity politics was the main driver behind how individuals voted, one way or the other.) I myself feel polarised by the issue. I used to be a “remain by default” kind of person, I didn’t love the EU but felt it a necessary evil. But the Brexit vote has made me feel European in a way I never did before.

  20. As for Labour MPs, this is going to be a very difficult vote for them. For Tories, it’s a (relatively) easy call – most will support May, and the fringe of nutters agitating for no deal will rebel.

    But for the Labour benches, this is difficult. This is a choice between Scylla and Charybdis. Support a terrible deal for Britain (and particularly for your own voters), or face the even worse alternative. It’s a horrible position to be in, and honestly I cannot criticise any MP who comes down on either side of the debate for their own personal reasons.

    Actually, there is at least one Labour MP for whom this will be easy. He voted against Maastricht, he voted against Lisbon, he’s consistently voted against every deal Britain has made with the EU. Why would Jeremy Corbyn change tack now?

  21. Didn’t Kinnock whip Labour MPs to oppose Maastricht

  22. Well, John Smith was leader at the time, but otherwise you’re quite right.

  23. “Didn’t Kinnock whip Labour MPs to oppose Maastricht”

    John Smith, in the summer of 1993.

    The excuse was that the government had opted out of the “social chapter”, guaranteeing maximum working hours and other workers rights. Which of course Blair signed up to anyway on practically his first day in 10 Downing Street.

    The Tories’ opt-out therefore achieved nothing but hassle for them in the long term, they might as well have signed the social chapter and got Maastricht through comfortably. They would have avoided all the bitter battles with their Euro rebels which did so much to worsen their defeat in 1997. Only a handful of wet Europhile Tories like Ted Heath and Hugh Dykes saw this at the time (and, dare I say it, me in my late teens).

    To me the lesson seems to be that May should prioritise a deal which moderate opponents will find it hard to oppose, and worry less about short term opposition from her own side.

  24. Difference is that signing up to Maastricht was something Labour instinctively wanted to do, and their opposition was of anything because Major didn’t go far enough in his European integration. (Plus a bit of opportunism, it’s generally a good thing to help the governing party attack itself.)

    This time, though, Theresa May is asking Labour MPs to leave the EU. Which is something the vast majority of them really, really don’t want to do.

  25. We are already leaving the EU, and Labour voting down a deal won’t change that. IMO we are now too far down the track to be able to change our minds and Remain, even if time could be found for a snap 2nd referendum. Also the political situation in the EU makes it even more impossible. Hard right nationalists in Italy and elsewhere, plus Merkel is almost gone so will be in no position to bully others into agreeing a face saving compromise.

    You’ve called me an irritating Remoaner in the past so you know my personal views on the issue itself – sadly I’ve come to accept that the only way back is to rejoin. Only when the reality of Brexit has been tested and its promises have come up woefully short can the 30 year boil of euroscepticism possibly be lanced. I’m not afraid of joining the Euro nor of a modified Schengen.

  26. I agree with everything HH posted, except I’m not very enthusiastic about joining the Euro for some odd reason. I guess that’s why Remain lost (or one of the reasons)…there’s a genuine lack of passion on the Remain side, and I would include myself in that.

  27. I’ve never been a europhile but up until the eurozone crash I thought Britain should join the Euro

  28. I think the other issue for May is that she might be more popular if she has to go with No deal than getting a deal which the Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage are condemning on the airways. Polling today was showing that is where the public are heading.

  29. No deal will likely cause the Tories to lose office almost instantly. The chaos would bring the government down and install Corbyn within a matter of weeks.

  30. Would it? Even if things are as bad as the worse warnings surely all Tory Mp’s would keep the government in place no matter what – due to their fear of Corbyn.

  31. Without a majority the Tories are constantly in this limbo of potential collapse while continuing to run day to day affairs

  32. “Would it? Even if things are as bad as the worse warnings surely all Tory Mp’s would keep the government in place no matter what”

    Tory MPs are not enough to keep the government in place – it doesn’t have a majority.

    Food riots, shortages of medicines (consequently many avoidable deaths), permanent traffic jams all the way from London to Dover, no flights taking off….you seriously think that wouldn’t bring a minority government down?

  33. “due to their fear of Corbyn”

    The people who really fear Corbyn are middle England voters and Labour moderates. Most backbench Tory MPs in safe seats are rich enough to be OK whatever happens so don’t really fear Corbyn at all (despite what they say in public). Much of the ERG would prefer a hard Brexit with a few years of Corbyn to a soft Brexit under the Tories. There is a widespread view (too complacent if you ask me), that Corbyn in government would ruin Labour’s reputation for generations and lead to a Tory landslide at the next election.

  34. The DUP through fear Corbyn a lot as well – due to their fear I suspect that were he to become PM his NI secretary would call a reunification referendum knowing the Republic of Ireland would never be able to publicly say no.

  35. What I don’t understand about your argument is this: if the ERG were “rich enough not to be scared of Corbyn”, then wouldn’t they also be rich enough not to be worried about the sort of Brexit we get? But they clearly are worried about that despite their wealth, which makes sense because if they were only motivated by their own wallets they’d be working somewhere in the private sector, rather than front-line politics.

    I find it unlikely that they could be so apathetic about the former, and simultaneously so driven by the latter.

  36. Strange logic you have there. Hard Brexiters in parliament believe in Brexit for ideological reasons. They are not stupid and know it will damage their wealth in the short to medium term, though they are rich enough that they will hardly starve.

    What Brexiter Tories haven’t considered enough is that by constantly ridiculing Project Fear from the EU referendum they make it much harder to successfully run a Project Fear against a Corbyn government.

  37. That is a good point – Project fear’s are damaged as a result of the Brexit referendum.

  38. The DUP appear to be, whether genuinely or not, making noises about whether Labour would be the better option.

  39. “The DUP appear to be, whether genuinely or not, making noises about whether Labour would be the better option.”

    Any Labour administration would almost certainly be a minority, leaving them still quite powerful. If a Labour government can negotiate some kind of Norway fudge which removes the need for any kind of border in Ireland or the North Sea, which May’s government seems politically incapable of agreeing to, tactically the DUP might prefer that to an Irish Sea border which would be the beginning of the end of the union.

  40. ‘If a Labour government can negotiate some kind of Norway fudge which removes the need for any kind of border in Ireland or the North Sea, which May’s government seems politically incapable of agreeing to, tactically the DUP might prefer that to an Irish Sea border which would be the beginning of the end of the union.’

    Whilst all that’s true, there is no way the DUP would EVER support a party led by a former IRA sympathiser

    And even if you take that out of the equation as the most right-wing party in the British Parliament, the DUP would be the staunchest opponents of a left-wing Labour government

    So it’s all bluff on their part, and nit a particularly clever bluff either

  41. On Economic issues the DUP are to the left of most Tory Mp’s and the current government.

  42. On Economic issues the DUP are to the left of most Tory Mp’s and the current government.

    They seem more like UKIP or the Republicans in the US (no pun intended) – than modern Tories, who are increasingly libertarian

  43. Which begs the question how genuine the threat is. Is stopping Corbyn and a left wing labour party more important than the potentially the break up of the union? There has been talk that unionists now have accepted that reunification is inevitable. As it is. I dont think the DUP would support Labour. They might pull from confidence & supply. The DUP are opposed to things like the Bedroom Tax & means testing winter fuel allowance

  44. “Is stopping Corbyn and a left wing labour party more important than the potentially the break up of the union?”

    That’s a false distinction. Part of the reason the DUP fear the former is they believe it could lead directly to the latter.

    “They seem more like UKIP or the Republicans in the US (no pun intended) – than modern Tories, who are increasingly libertarian”

    To be honest I wouldn’t call the Tories “increasingly libertarian”. Since May took over from Cameron, they’ve moved a shade towards the economic centre but made a far larger stride towards the cultural right.

    They may just have announced some tax cuts, but they certainly aren’t libertarian. A libertarian party would extend freedom of movement, build on the Green Belt, and legalise weed.

  45. This is absolutely true which is why there has been noise that if they fear the end of the union under the Tories why are they backing them to stop Corbyn

  46. ‘To be honest I wouldn’t call the Tories “increasingly libertarian”. Since May took over from Cameron, they’ve moved a shade towards the economic centre but made a far larger stride towards the cultural right.’

    They have but that’s because May personally is more centrist economically than Cameron and Osborne and equally more socially conservative, so she’s putting her personal stamp on her government, which all Prime Ministers do.

    The Tories aren’t a libetarian party yet, but that’s the wing of the party that is forever growing, compared to the old school centre left and even the Brexiteer Right

    20-30 years from now, if the Tories still exist in their current form, I would have thought libetarianism will be the dominant ideology, and yes, weed will be legal by then

  47. On the Tories’ economic positioning: I feel the move is less to do with May and more to do with the Labour Party’s control of the narrative. May did try and shift her party towards the centre at a time when she was walking on water, and she couldn’t do it then. Strangely enough it’s only now, when she is so, so much weaker, that they’re beginning to budge – that suggests to me that May is not the driving force.

    On weed: yes weed will be legal within the decade, and perhaps harder drugs like cocaine and ecstasy will follow. But that is merely because politics is downwind from culture, and has nothing to do with libertarianism, which remains a very niche political strain.

  48. Corbynism, and it’s knack for highlighting the many current injustices in 21st century Britain, has undoubtedly forced May into her leftwards shift, but May herself spoke of wanting to correct injustices on getting elected, so I think she’s definitely the driving force of the more mellow approach

    Weed will be legal within the next decade because public opinion is now squarely in favour of the move and the tax receipts it’s generated in the places where it is legal ought to make any fiscal conservative’s mouth water

    The UK itself is definitely becoming increasingly libertarian and as somebody who fundamentally disagrees with the libertarian approach it gives me no pleasure in saying this but despite the current popularity of Corbyn and his hard Left polices with certain sections of the electorate, young people as a whole don’t see it as a job for the government to make an individual’s life better, but a job for the individual, and that’s a fundamental tenet of modern Conservative thinking

  49. Nobody thinks the government should be responsible for making people happy but most young people who will sit at the bottom of the housing ladder, spend 40 years paying their mortage off, earn less than the increasing cost of living, never earn enough to pay their student loans, etc. must wonder what their taxes go towards

  50. If my rather socially right wing Father is backing regulated Cannabis sales then I think it appears inevitable that it will be introduced by 2030.

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)