Rother Valley

2015 Result:
Conservative: 10945 (23.3%)
Labour: 20501 (43.6%)
Lib Dem: 1992 (4.2%)
UKIP: 13204 (28.1%)
Others: 377 (0.8%)
MAJORITY: 7297 (15.5%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Dinnington, Maltby, Thurcroft, Wales, Wickersley.

Profile: The southernmost seat in South Yorkshire, to the south of Rotherham itself. The seat is situated in the South Yorkshire coalfield and is mostly made up of small former pit town and villages that grew up with the expansion of coal mining, and which have fallen into decline with its passing. Maltby has the only remaining coal mine in the area, the Maltby Main Colliery.

Politics: Like most coal mining communities this is a solid, safe Labour seat. While the majority has fallen below ten thousand in bad years for Labour, it has been held by the party continuously since its creation in 1918.

Current MP
KEVIN BARRON (Labour) Born 1946, Tadcaster. Educated at Maltby Hall Secondary Modern and Sheffield University. Former electrician at Maltby colliery. First elected as MP for Rother Valley in 1983. PPS to Neil Kinnock 1985-1987.
Past Results
Con: 13281 (28%)
Lab: 19147 (41%)
LDem: 8111 (17%)
BNP: 3606 (8%)
Oth: 2613 (6%)
MAJ: 5866 (13%)
Con: 7647 (19%)
Lab: 21871 (55%)
LDem: 6272 (16%)
BNP: 2020 (5%)
Oth: 1685 (4%)
MAJ: 14224 (36%)
Con: 7969 (22%)
Lab: 22851 (62%)
LDem: 4603 (13%)
UKIP: 1380 (4%)
MAJ: 14882 (40%)
Con: 7699 (17%)
Lab: 31184 (68%)
LDem: 5342 (12%)
MAJ: 23485 (51%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
GARETH STREETER (Conservative) , son of Gary Streeter MP. Educated at London School of Theology. Charity communications director.
KEVIN BARRON (Labour) See above.
ROBERT TEAL (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Sheffield Polytechnic. Businessman. Contested South Yorkshire police election 2012.
ALLEN COWLES (UKIP) Rotherham councillor since 2014.
SHARON PILLING (English Democrat)
Comments - 168 Responses on “Rother Valley”
  1. I see Andy has recently started posting up coverage of the 1984 ITN Election night Euro Elections program.

    This was very interesting, as although the Tories actually did well winning 45 seats to Labour 32 – with 40.8% GB Cons to 36.5% Labour,

    it was a notable Labour advance against 1983 and their first real sign of success since the 1981 County Elections (held after the SDP was formed, but before they stood and took off).

    Labour gained seats such as London West with a swing of over 9%.

    It did show that if they could have knocked about 2% of the Con vote, and recovered about 6% from the Alliance, even if the Alliance had stayed around 20%, they could have made the next General Election a close run thing.

    As it happened, I suspect the 1986/87 economy made the Tory vote rock solid in the event. There may have been some underlying swing away from the Tories to Labour in 1987 but it looks like the Tories got back some 1983 Alliance votes.

    Also a big attack on the loony left from early 1987.

    The program then cut to the news read by Trevor MacDonald.
    This referred to the miners’ strike – which started at 1984, and a lot of reference to Orgreave, and the town of Maltby.

    I did go through Orgreave, famous for the coaking plant, in 2010.

  2. coking

  3. There,s a lot of hidden tory areas in this seat and don valley esp close to bassetlaw (in fact some of it was in bassetlaw 50 years ago) with real nice villages such Letwell both just need working on.

  4. I think that the Tory areas in Don Valley are rather more coherent & substantial than they are here. Even in 1983 it was noted that this wasn’t as safe a Labour seat as the old Rother Valley, which had included much of what was Wentworth & Dearne, but the Tories have never really seriously made a bid to win here, unlike in Don Valley where there are at least quite good Tory wards.

  5. The best Conservative territory in this constituency is the most urban part where it approaches inner Rotherham around the highly affluent Moorgate area.

    By contrast in Don Valley the Conservative areas are small towns such as Bawtry and Tickhill and a myriad of small farming/commuter villages.

    Perhaps unusually the Conservatives still seem to get the urban middle class vote here whereas they have lost much of it to the LibDems in Sheffield and Doncaster and of course elsewhere.

  6. Rather like Sunderland where most of the better Tory areas are in the Central constituency and where the party have had a considerable degree of success, certainly compared to the likes of Newcastle, Gateshead and South Tyneside where the Lib Dems have moved into formerly safe Conservative territory.

  7. I thought that the Tories, vis a vis Don Valley, were also strong in the suburban Doncaster areas which are currently included in the seat, close to the racecourse.

  8. You’re referring to Finningley ward (which is similar to the old South East ward less the town of Bawtry).

    Now while that does contain some of the outer suburbs of Bessacarr and Cantley it also contains several commuter villages such as Old Cantley, Auckley, Branton, Blaxton and Finningley itself.

    I would say those might be more Conservative that the suburban parts of the ward.

    Likkewise I think the poshest parts of Bessacarr (Doncaster’s main middle class suburb) are in Bessacarr & Cantley ward (in Doncaster Central) which is safe LibDem.

    While the old Victorian/Edwardian ‘west end’ of Doncaster (which was in the former Town Field ward) is now subsumed into the present Town Moor ward (which also includes the old Intake ward) and where the LibDems have also done well.

    In short (which is an odd thing to say about such a detailed post) the Conservative parts of Don Valley are several miles from the centre of Doncaster whereas the Conservative parts of Rother Valley reach surprisingly close to the centre of Rotherham.

  9. Roughly speaking the Conservative voting area in Don Valley starts about 3 miles from central Doncaster while that in Rother Valley starts about 1 mile from central Doncaster.

    There is though a Conservative ward in Doncaster which does reach the edge of central Doncaster, but its not in Don Valley but Sprotborough ward in Doncaster North (admittedly the parts of Sprotborough ward closest to central Doncaster are not the best Conservative parts of Sprotborough ward).

    Which raises an interesting question:

    Which old industrial towns have Conservative wards closest to their centre?

    My guess is Wigan.

  10. …..that’s a good point, except the Tories have been losing Wigan Central ward of late. This has been assisted by a local split in their ranks, though in 2012 it looks as if Labour would have won there without such help. The Tory area in that ward is Swinley rather than the immediate environs of the town centre itself.

  11. The Wigan situation does make the discussion more complicated.

    I wonder if Pete has any ideas.

  12. Lindrick golf course is in this constituency.

    According to wikipedia it is three counties – Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

    But it looks to be solely in Yorkshire to me.

    Have the historic county boundaries been changed here.

  13. That claim on Wiki re Lindrick Golf course looks to be nonsense. The map on this page of the Yorkshire Ridings Society website shows the historic boundary of the county of Yorkshire.

    The boundary in the Lindrick area seems to have always placed Lindrick well inside Yorkshire, as is the case today.

    I had always known that the likes of Dore, Mosborough and Beighton were historically part of Derbyshire, but I was surprised looking at that map to see how much of what is now considered Sheffield proper used to be in Derbyshire.

  14. Not much has been made of how the Tories easily outperformed their 1992 results in hardcore Northern industrial seats like this one

    Labour’s majority in 2010 was the lowest it’s ever been here

  15. Because of BNP/UKIP getting almost 13% of the vote.

    The Tory vote share was about the same as in 1992, though I think boundary changes have made the seat a bit better for them.

    Obviously compared to the national average (Tory vote down 6% on 2010) it’s still a good performance.

    I’ve always thought Caroline Flint is a very bad fit for this constituency.

  16. LOL thought we were talking about Don Valley not Rother Valley.

  17. Caroline Flint wouldn’t be most people’s suggestion of a Doncaster MP not suited to their constituency.

    My mum once saw the Flints in a Tescos.

    she was very impressed with Flint’s hubby, less so with Flint herself.

  18. Flint’s hubby is a Cllr in Doncaster now IIRC (and her office manager).

  19. Kevin Barron got a knighthood in the 2014 New Year Honours list

  20. There was a big swing to the Tories here in 2001, well above the national swing. Perhaps a sign of the gradual trending towards them longterm? The Conservative candidate was James Duddridge, who became MP for Rochford and Southend East in 2005, succeeding Teddy Taylor, and remains there to this day.

  21. Rother Valley constituency: UKIP 10,935 Lab 9,498 (4 UKIP Cllr out of 8)

    tks andrea for numbers

  22. this seat is our best chance of a met seat as the cons have largely given up and labour party is not that big at around 250 members.
    2015 guess
    lab 45
    ukip 30
    con 20
    lib dem 5

  23. Only 250 members here? That really is quite small. We’ve got 550 in Hallam!

  24. I don’t think that’s too surprising. I’m not sure people are as politically active outside metropolitan areas though I could be wrong. It is interesting that Hallam has more members than my own CLP of Westminster North (401) as that one isn’t Labour and we are (albeit marginally).

  25. This seat contains some of the very southern fringes of Rotherham itself, and may also get the ‘after effect’ of the independent report into abuse.

  26. Only just noticed the main areas of settlement in the constituency above, and hadn’t heard of one of them in this connection – wonder if Plaid Cymru might make some headway here? 🙂
    (And, by the same token, Hamas or Fatah in Romsey & N Southampton.)

  27. Kevin Barron was reselected in February:

  28. Given the decline in party memberships generally, both for Labour and for other parties, a Labour membership here of around 250 is not too bad, even if not exceptionally good. There are other seats with worse. For instance, I would like to know how many members Labour has in the three Stoke on Trent seats, and for other reasons I would like to know how many members they have in the two Doncaster seats.

    Once one has taken away members who are not active, for reasons of age, ill-health or whatever and those who are away on any particular day, a membership of 250-300 will translate into regular meetings of 20 – 30 or so, which in terms of group dynamics is the “natural” size for meetings in which the majority of those present are making some sort of contribution.

  29. This seat must be a strong target for UKIP. There are lots of BNP votes to squeeze and decent Conservative and Lib Dem votes , but neither party is anywhere near making a challenge to Labour. Labour reselecting a long standing and elderly MP, is unlikely to mean a revitalised campaign that a new candidate can bring. It is possible that their membership is elderly and less active now. There is no pocket of students and academics to help them.

    The local child abuse scandals provide issued to hurt Labour.

  30. Ashcroft constituency –

    Labour 40%
    UKIP 34%
    Conservative 18%
    Liberal Democrat 4%
    Green 3%
    Other 2%

  31. I expect a strong UKIP performance. They did OK in 2010 and there’s very sizeable Tory, Lib Dem and BNP results to consolidate their vote. In that sense Labour’s share hasn’t suffered badly as they’re only 1 point down from 2010 but it’s still pretty disappointing as they’re unable improve on 2010.

    Rother Valley is the kind of seat that will remain with Labour a little while longer but is likely to trend away from them in the long term.

  32. The Conservative candidate is Gareth Streeter.

  33. Fed up with SW Devon?

  34. The Ashcroft constituency poll has to be suspect.

    2010 was a terrible result for Labour in this constituency, but there’s no way it will be this close on 7 May.

  35. Andy JS – He is son of. Lost in what was a safe tory ward in Croydon in May

  36. Thanks Jedinak.

  37. Bit odd choosing a West Country lad who lives in London. Anyone know Streeter’s occupation?

  38. He works for Oasis as their PR guru.

    At the tail end of last year he was writing into the Croydon Advertiser as “ashburton conservatives” after his defeat.

    He was also in favour of selling off a community building within the ward to a now discredited church organisation.

  39. At first reading your comment suggests he is working for the Gallagher brothers….suggest you correct that.

    Croydon’s state schools, in the north of the borough at least, are notoriously bad and for most of them Academy status hasn’t changed that.

    Streeters father, of course, is exceptionally churchy, a leading light in the “Christian Conservatives” group I think.

  40. I think he is evangelical house church, though, rather than a mainstream denomination.
    As is Gavin Shuker, Labour’s MP in Luton South

  41. The 3 Rotherham orough MPs are suing the UKIP candidate in Rotherham constituency for comments she made about the abuse scandal

  42. I guess that Streeter Jnr is being “blooded” in a no-chance seat before moving to more promising pastures for the following election. Perhaps he has hopes of succeeding his father?

  43. Many a slip betwixt cup and lip…

    Constituencies often fancy a change. After 20 odd years of flamboyant Alan Clark, Plymouth Sutton (Devon SW) opted for a dull religious type who would never amount to much but would dutifully represent the constituency. Next time they might feel like a bit of flair again.

  44. Maybe although Alan Clark was well known as a pretty poor constituency MP – spending very little time in his constituency

    Perhaps that experience led them to go for an opposite in Gary Streeter, a one-time SDP member who has been on a rigfht-wards drift ever since he first inherited the old seat from Clark in 1992

  45. Worth saying also that Streeter was selected right at the last minute….Clark only announced his retirement on the eve of the 92 election.

  46. Indeed he’d already had his election leaflets printed and ready to go out, which pissed off his constituency association enormously.

  47. Regarding Sir Kevin Barron MP, I had a dig around on the internet, and it seems he has a slightly dubious reputation in the local area. One commenter said he hadn’t been seen canvassing since 1983, when he got in! That’s pretty poor if true, but I doubt uncommon in safe seats for any political party. You have to wonder why they keep voting for him if they dislike him so much, although they may well be voting for the party and not the MP.

    There are complaints that he was re-selected by just seven members at a branch meeting. If people feel that strongly, why don’t they join up and deselect him? It’s not as if it hasn’t happened before.

  48. Mike H – yes, from what I’ve read, Gareth Streeter Jnr is from the Christian Right and gay, so would be fun for you two to debate. He campaigned for the controversial Tory PPC in Old Southwark last time. Not that the above is that unusual in reality eg Andrew Pierce of the Mail, Dr David Starkey and possibly Tim Montgomerie of ConHome and the Times (although the latter may be simply a celibate RC rather than gay, I can’t find anything definitive on the site). HH – not Oasis the band ha. A Christian charity run by Rev Steve Chalke who led the Evangelical Alliance and leads the church Streeter Jnr attends.

  49. I don’t think Tim Montgomerie is gay – he was the boyfriend of Nadine Dorries for a while. Though that hideous experience would be enough to turn anyone the other way.

  50. What kind of head injury did he sustain to think that was a good idea?

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